Truth Trumps All #7

by admin on November 18, 2014

Has God ever asked you to do a trust fall?

 

A trust fall is essentially a situation in which a person can’t see exactly what is going to happen and so they must trust that someone else will come through on that person’s promise to assist the first person. It usually consists of the first person falling backward and trusting the second person (or group) to catch them.

 

He’s proven himself time and time again

through Scripture, our own personal experience,

and the personal experiences of other believers.

 

 

Honestly, every situation is like that for us as Christians. There is never a moment when we can truly see the full picture of what’s going on. Only God can. This means that we always have to trust him with the unknown. There’s no guarantee that I’ll live long enough to finish writing this blog. I can only trust Jesus that it would be the right time for my life on earth to cease. There is no guarantee that you won’t lose everything for the sake of Christ. You can only trust that God is worth it.

 

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose trust is the Lord.

He is like a tree planted by water,

that sends out its roots by the stream,

and does not fear when heat comes,

for its leaves remain green,

and is not anxious in the year of drought,

for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

- Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

We’ve established that we need to trust God. But why can we trust God? We can trust him because he can see the whole picture. God loves us. He wants what’s best for us. His motives for influencing our lives are completely pure. He’s proven himself time and time again through Scripture, our own personal experience, and the personal experiences of other believers. Whenever we doubt God’s trustworthiness these are three valid sources to remind us again why we can believe God.

 

There is no guarantee that you won’t lose

everything for the sake of Christ.

You can only trust that it would be worth it. 

 

 

What if you were playing football for a coach who had the opponents playbook memorized plus ALWAYS knew what EVERY player on both teams would do before it happened? Would you question what he tells you? Never! It’s because he strongly desires for you to succeed in your role so that the whole team can succeed together. He always knows what you should do and when to do it. He knows every single variable. In fact, he is the only ting that is truly consistent. That’s what it’s like to serve God. That’s why you don’t have to worry when he asks you to trust him with more.

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your flesh

and refreshment to your bones.

- Proverbs 3:5-8

{ 0 comments }

Truth Trumps All #6

by admin on November 4, 2014

What can we be separated from?

 

There are enough passages in Scripture dealing with communion with God or separation from him that it can sometimes become confusing what these verses really mean. We’ll look at three aspects of this issue that can be rather blurry and confusing.

 

Can we be separated from God?

 

Actually yes. The Bible is very clear that no matter if we follow him as our Lord/Boss/President or not, when we sin there is a disconnection between God and us.

 

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.” – Isaiah 59:1-2

 

“They [who do not obey God] will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,” – 2 Thessalonians 1:9

 

If that’s true, then what about passages like this next one?

 

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

 

This verse, and others like it, are specifically written to someone obediently following God. The idea is that the less we allow sin to hinder our relationship with God the more we can experience and understand how much he does not want us to be disconnected from him.

Can we be separated from God’s sight?

 

Nope. We could say more about it, but these verses are pretty self explanatory.

 

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged swaord, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.” – Hebrews 4:12-13

 

“You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.”  – Psalm 90:8

 

 

Can we be separated from God’s love?

 

Absolutely not! Wait, really? Even though we can be separated from God himself by our sin AND God always sees every one of our sins, God’s love never leaves us? Exactly. God’s love never leaves us. And here’s the thing: God’s love for you is significantly greater than your love for you.

 

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

{ 0 comments }

Truth Trumps All #5

by admin on October 21, 2014

Masks

 

This month the American culture celebrates Halloween by putting on costumes and taking on a different persona. But, believe it or not, masquerades happen daily. Every day people pretend to be what they aren’t. Maybe it looks like someone who is going through a difficult time and doesn’t want everyone to keep bugging them about it, so they keep a smile on their face. Or maybe you’re trying to impress a group of people so you do everything you can to fuel the impression that everything you do is flawless.

 

Where do you find your identity?

 

We all do it. And maybe we’re so used to doing it we don’t realize it half the time. But have you ever thought about why we wear masks? Here are a couple reasons:

1)   Pride. The mask makes us look better than we actually are which fuels our ego and own self-righteousness.

2)   We believe people would like us better if we were just a little more impressive.

So now the question becomes whether or not this habit is beneficial for us. In many ways it is actually harmful for us. Why? Let’s say I break my arm. It’s not life threatening but it needs attention. If I pretend nothing is wrong I won’t go to the doctor for help. Eventually I’ll assume it is normal for my arm to behave how it does. The doctor won’t even know I need treatment. I’ll endure a great deal of pain that could’ve been prevented. It is also likely that more than just my arm would end up being affected.

The same concept is true spiritually. If there is sin in your life that you don’t acknowledge it will be detrimental. In fact, the Apostle John wrote,

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” - 1 John 1:5-8

Therefore, hiding sin in our lives from even the ones closest to us only ends up hurting us. Thankfully, he goes on to say that

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9

 

But what if it’s not sin that I’m hiding? What if I’m really just trying to fit in better? In that case, God already knows us for who we are including every little personality quirk. Plus, he already loves us more than we can imagine in spite of our oddities. Therefore, we have the freedom to open up to others and show them who we are while our joy rests in the fact that God’s love will never leave us.

If we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship with one another.

 

So what’s your mask? What are you hiding? What are you pretending to be? Where do you find your identity? What are you afraid of? What are you worried about? What brings you the greatest satisfaction? Answering these questions may help us to stop unnecessary masquerades.

{ 0 comments }

Truth Trumps All #4

by admin on October 7, 2014

God is bigger than the Boogeyman

 

“Since 1993 Veggietales has been helping children discover that God Made Them Special – and He Loves Them Very Much!”  – http://veggietales.com/vtmain/whoweare/

 

The creators at Big Idea Entertainment have told countless, humorous stories over the years that teach kids about God, the Bible, and good behavior. One of their videos, entitled “Where’s God when I’m Scared?”, featured a segment about a boy (Jr. Asparagus) who watched a scary television show before bed time, then became afraid of falling asleep because he was convinced there were monsters in his closet. That’s where good ol’ Bob and Larry stepped in.

 

No matter what fear we have

we can have the hope that God is

bigger than what we are afraid of. 

 

 

But here’s the thing. They NEVER tell Jr. that his fear is irrational because monsters aren’t real. They say, “God is bigger than the Boogeyman [or any monster for that matter] and He’s watching over you and me.”

 

And as our society celebrates monsters, horror movies, and other terrors we can learn from this same truth. The truth is NOT that monsters aren’t real so it’s irrational to be afraid of them. There are monsters, or more accurately evil spirits, roaming the earth. No matter who you are, if you saw one you would freak out. But here’s the thing: God is bigger than them. God has them on a leash. And he loves his people so we can trust that he won’t let them touch us. He’s watching over his children. He’s the good shepherd protecting his flock.

 

 God is bigger than the Boogeyman

and He’s watching over you and me.

 

 

But the application of this principle extends beyond the fear of monsters. Perhaps you’re more afraid of heights, snakes, spiders, public speaking, what others think of you, failure, or the unknown. No matter what fear we have we can now have the hope that God is bigger than what we are afraid of AND he’s watching over us.

 

So no matter what may cause you to be afraid, delight to know that it is nothing compared to our great and majestic God. And believer, never doubt for a second this God is fighting for what’s best for you.

 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

– Romans 8:28

{ 0 comments }

Truth Trumps All #3

September 23, 2014

Pruning & Cultivating   Many of the people in Jesus’s day lived off of the land. Because of this, his illustrations often involved farming or gardening. And even today, although many of us aren’t farmers by trade, we can still understand these illustrations because many of us invest a significant amount of time and energy […]

Read the full article →

Truth Trumps All #2

September 9, 2014

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” – Luke 24:5   These words were originally spoken to the women who came to the tomb on Easter morning but it is a question for every Christian. Why do seek the living among the dead? Why do you search through death hoping to find life? […]

Read the full article →

Truth Trumps All #1

August 26, 2014

God’s Truths are Like a House   In many ways the truths of God’s word are like a house. They provide rest, security, joy, hope, peace, and many wonderful memories. They are well-defined boundaries that we strive to live within.   “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like […]

Read the full article →

Behind the song: Elohei Tehillati (The God of my Praise)

April 25, 2014

In the last days before his ascension, Jesus had a remarkable conversation with Peter (John 21:15-17). Jesus asked, “Peter, no matter what happens, no matter if the Romans crucify me again or if they crucify you or if you never see me again on earth, will you still love me? Do you love me as […]

Read the full article →

Behind the song: Adonai Tzidkenu (The LORD our Righteousness)

April 24, 2014

One of the basic principles of the Christian faith is that we as humans are separated from God. However, we cannot blame God for this separation. As Isaiah 59:1-2 explains, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a […]

Read the full article →

Behind the song: El Gibbor (The Mighty God)

April 23, 2014

Jesus told us “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” – John 15:18. This implies that if we are His, we will be hated. The real enemy of those who follow after Christ is not persons who hold other convictions but Satan, his demons, and our own sinful nature. […]

Read the full article →