Monthly Archives: November 2014

Truth vs Ideology

In today’s world of social media, the internet and cable TV, it is easy to see how different people think about things. Opinions and ideology run high not only in intellectual circles, but also in religious, political  and cultural circles. It is pretty clear that we don’t all think the same way. So what is the right way of thinking? Which is the right denomination, government, or morality standard? What is truth? I’m thankful I live in the United States of America not because of ‘American exceptionalism'(whatever that is). I’m thankful for the the principles upon which it was founded. I’m thankful for the Constitution and the guaranteed rights of an individual; that we can indeed have our opinions and yet we must respect another’s right to disagree. Democracy is an ideology.

I am thankful for a God who has given us free-will choice to believe or not believe in Him. It is amazing that that is the way He chose the universe to operate. All men are equal in His sight as He gave His only begotten son for all (John 3:16). God’s love is available to all without exception. The choice is ours whether to believe it. I looked up the first use of truth in the Old Testament:

Genesis 24:27 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.

Abraham sent a servant out to look for a wife for Isaac and God led him to one of Abraham’s brethren. It was no coincidence and couldn’t have had better timing. In the New Testament, the first use of truth is in Matthew 14:32-33 in the record of after Jesus bid Peter to walk on water:

32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. 33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Jesus Christ is the son of God! These two situations don’t represent an ideology. They reveal the truth about God. The Creator of the universe is the source of truth. Love and truth go hand in hand. There is always the opportunity with which an ideology can bring people into bondage when it is not based on truth. We have seen this throughout history. Loving the truth doesn’t mean that one cannot develop an ideology, but it is truth that actually sets us free.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

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Money is Not Evil!

There was a time I felt that money was evil and that giving it up was a way to show God how much you loved or believed Him. I have seen people go through some of the weirdest motions of self-sacrifice to prove God in their lives. It is really quite simple. It is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil and it is not hard to recognize when you are in that mode of thinking.

When the love of wealth transforms money into an idol that comes before God things get murky and dark. Compromising on what is right goes hand in hand with this. Just because you have a lot of money doesn’t mean you have the love of it, sometimes not having enough makes you love it and put it before anything else.

Overly obsessing about the budget also is not a glory to God (been there, done that) either. Budgeting should be a grand experience in seeing God’s work in your life. If you go at it with thankfulness, it will bless you immensely. Too often that thankfulness comes in retrospect when we get to see what God has done for us. Things take time, but God’s presence in our lives is always there when the air we breathe is thankfulness.

Prosperity is individual. One man’s prosperity is another man’s poverty. We are all different, so when we look at something another has we are doing ourselves a disservice. God supplies all our needs, yet every man has different needs. Thankfulness is a big filter to keep stain, strain, drain and pain out of our lives.

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Titus 1:15

Once we lose thankfulness, things become tainted and everything seems negative, suspicious, and stark. On the other hand focusing on thankfulness generates power, love and sound thinking because God is allowed to go to work.

Philippians 4:6-8 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

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Awesome Comfort – Better Than Chocolate!

In the New Testament, ‘comforter’ and ‘advocate’ are English words translated from the Greek word ‘parakletos’. Parakletos means ‘one called alongside of for help’. ‘Para’ (alongside) is found in various English words like ‘parasite’ and ‘parallel’. In the Bible, four of the New Testament uses are found in John referring to the holy spirit that came on the day of Pentecost.. The fifth use of ‘parakletos’ is the word ‘advocate’ used in I John 1:2.

2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate (called alongside to help) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

John 15:26 But when the Comforter (called alongside to help) is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Even if we sin we have help.  It’s the alongside kind of help, how amazing. We have a lot to be thankful for! Another form of the Greek word is found in:

II Corinthian 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

That’s a lot of comfort!

Joy!!!!

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Clarity

Leviticus 17:1-7 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them; This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, saying, 3 What man soever there be of the house of Israel, that killeth an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp,4 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer an offering unto theLord before the tabernacle of the Lord; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people: 5 To the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they offer in the open field, even that they may bring them unto the Lord, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest, and offer them for peace offerings unto the Lord. 6 And the priest shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar of the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and burn the fat for a sweet savour unto the Lord.7 And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations.

The sojourners of the desert had left Egypt behind, yet may have carried some extra pagan ritual baggage. Offering sacrifices in an open field was an example. God made it clear how this had to be stopped.

Culture has a huge effect on people. God loves us and wants the best for our lives. Blurring the lines of God’s word allows devilish practices to blur the blessings of God.

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