Truth Trumps All #11

by admin on January 13, 2015

Why TTA?

 

Truth Trumps All. The simple phrase has been the title of our blog series this school year and by now you may be wondering why. If you want a short answer, it’s because the phrase is accurate and easy to remember. A more in depth explanation is in the paragraphs below. But first, let’s define the terms.

 

Truth (Noun): the property (as of a statement) of being in accord with fact or reality

 

Trumps (Verb): to do better than (someone or something) in a contest, competition, etc.

 

All (Adjective): the whole, entire, total amount, quantity or extent of

 

[Taken from merriam-webster.com]

 

 

So does that mean anything that is factual can triumph over everything else? No. It may be true that you’re a diligent student but that fact in no way results in your dad’s health getting better. Therefore, the truth can’t just be any fact; it has to be an ultimate truth.

 

 

Psalm 119:160 “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.”

 

 

The Bible is the ultimate truth. In John 17:17 Jesus prays that our Father would “Sanctify [God’s people] in the truth; your word is the truth.” Yet we are specifically referencing its story of redemption for humanity. This is the gospel, the good news, the best deal you could ever find. It is the reality that God loves you far more than you deserve and far more than you can comprehend. Maybe you’re thinking, “It’s true that God loves me, but he loves everyone so what’s the big deal?” That’s a valid question. And his love is a big deal because it’s the reason he gives you his undivided attention every single minute. He can listen to you all the time. And he wants to listen to you. He’s not like other parents who need to keep an eye on another child (or other children) while spending time with one child. He’s all-powerful; he can give full attention to every child constantly. That’s why all of God’s people can and should feel special.

 

 

 The truth can’t just be any fact;

it has to be an ultimate truth. 

 

 

Truth Trumps All. The fact that the Almighty God, for whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37), loves us is the greatest truth ever conceived. It has the power to triumph over despair, doubt, pain, suffering, any fear, any sin, and any brokenness. It gives us the greatest hope and joy imaginable. We want ourselves and our readers to be reminded of this regularly. That’s why we proclaim with every blog post that “Truth Trumps All.”

 

Psalm 51:6 “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.”

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Truth Trumps All #10

by admin on December 26, 2014

What if We Treated God like Facebook?

 

The concept sounds absurd but think about it. Why do we use Facebook? Do we use it as a means of procrastinating? For a reason to pull out our phones in awkward situations? For entertainment when we’re bored? Do we desire the ease of keeping up to date on friends and family?

 

 For some using Facebook is the

best example of what devotion

to Christ should look like.

 

 

Now imagine if we turned to God for those same reasons. When you want to put off doing your homework why not read your Bible, pray, or unpack the meaning of the children’s song “Jesus loves me”? When you find yourself in an awkward situation, why not talk to God? (If you want to make the situation even more awkward just try praying out loud.) When you’re bored you can read the Bible, pray, or remind yourself and/or friends who God is and what he has done for you individually. And since the Creator of everything designed us to need community it would make sense for him to lead us to a solid community we can depend on.

 

These are just a few of the countless ways our need for Facebook could be satisfied in Christ. For it is Christ alone who can wholly quench all of our needs. Therefore, the Psalmist says:

 

 

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,

for his wondrous works to the children of man!

For he satisfies the longing soul,

and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

- Psalm 107:8-9

 

 

What if instead of going to Facebook for entertainment, we constantly updated our “newsfeed” with what He’s told us in his Word as well as “status updates” from his children? These status updates aren’t random people just ranting on social media, but brothers and sisters sharing their successes and failures, their joys and worries. It’s family members proactively seeking when and how to lovingly encourage and admonish one another. It is a system where everyone is loved because of the value God gives them, not because of their own accomplishments. It is an environment where no one feels the need to wear a mask.

 

 When you find yourself in an

awkward situation, why not talk to God?

 

 

The goal of this is to be a network of building up the church, similar to the Israelites rebuilding Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra. But the good thing is that figuring out how to grow in the most beneficial way is not the burden of one or two leaders. Almighty God is in charge of it all. Not only that, he’s guiding each of us how to love and serve one another better each day. Maybe he’s also trying to show us how the angels “serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation” – Hebrews 1:14.

 

Now to clarify, none of this has been said to dis Facebook or social media. We use it; we plan on using it for the foreseeable future. But there are aspects of how we use social media that can be applied to our relationship with God. For some of us using Facebook (our dedication to checking and rechecking our newsfeed) is the best example we have of what our devotion to Christ should look like. And, as always, our goal is to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

 

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 

– 2 Peter 3:18

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Truth Trumps All #9

by admin on December 16, 2014

Jesus was Born to Die

 

During this holiday season we celebrate the fact that the Son of God came down to earth from heaven. Let us not, however, forget the reason he came. On one hand there were many purposes for his incarnation. Everything he did on earth had meaning behind it.

 

Jesus frequently taught the masses while on earth. He performed miracles and healed countless ailments. But his main focus was always on teaching his twelve disciples by example through all of the things he said and did. In the book, The Master Plan of Evangelism, Dr. Robert E. Coleman explains, “All the disciples had to teach them was a teacher who practiced with them what he expected them to learn.”

 

Despite having multiple goals to accomplish while living among the children of Israel, Jesus did have one ultimate objective while on earth. Jesus was born to die. Now his physical death on the cross was extremely significant. We wouldn’t have atonement for our sins without it. However, that is actually not the death I’m referring to

 

 

“And he [Jesus] said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me,

let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’”

– Luke 9:23

 

 

 “All the disciples had to teach them

was a teacher who practiced with them

what he expected them to learn.”

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that Jesus intended to show the disciples what it looked like to “take up his cross daily” with his life? He did this by continuously submitting to what the Father wanted. He showed that the pinnacle of taking up our daily cross is giving up our will so that God’s will can be accomplished. He cared for the broken. He gave of himself endlessly. He stayed up late and got up early to pray. Jesus did all of this because that’s what his Father desired. And here’s the thing: he found joy in obedience.

 

 

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you,

leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”

– 1 Peter 2:21

 

 

Therefore, if we are disciples of Jesus, he expects us to take up the cross daily just like He did. Our fate has to be the same as the one who is in charge of us. The great news is that when we die like him he gives us the new life that can only be found in him, and this new life is the best thing we could ever experience.

 

 

 ”If anyone would come after me,

let him deny himself and take up

his cross daily and follow me.”

 

 

But how do we actually die like Jesus? By taking the advice of people like Bill Bright, Cru’s founder. “As you begin each day, acknowledge the fact that you belong to Him. Thank Him for the fact that He lives within you. Invite Him to use your mind to think His thoughts, your heart to express His love, your lips to speak His truth. Ask Jesus to be at home in your life and to walk around in your body in order that He may continue seeking and saving souls through you.”

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Truth Trumps All #8

by admin on December 2, 2014

When there’s no room at the Inn try the Barn

 

At first glance of the sacred text (Luke 2), Mary and Joseph had no problem sleeping in a barn rather than at the inn. But think about it. They’ve been traveling all day. Mary’s been ready to give birth for weeks. They expected a room at the 5-star hotel in town; instead they were directed to a barn. Talk about humiliating.

 

Did the Bethlehemites even know with whom she was pregnant? The Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit! He’s too noble to be born in anything less than the absolute best. Surely they could’ve made room for him at the Inn! Or God could’ve put in a special deluxe suite just for that occasion.

 

 

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, 

it’s thinking of yourself less.” 

– C.S. Lewis

 

 

But if we’re being honest, he’s too noble to even come down to earth. And that’s the point. From day one he wanted to show us what true humility looks like: submitting to the Father’s will no matter what.  God makes clear from the start that whatever happens to Jesus, good or bad, it is all part of the bigger purpose of giving God glory.  Later on in his life, Jesus reveals that whatever he says or does serves the bigger purpose of pursuing God’s exaltation.

 

“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.”                             

-       John 5:19-20

 

They expected a room at

the 5-star hotel in town; 

instead they were directed to a barn.

 

 

C.S. Lewis defines humility in a simple yet remarkable way. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” Jesus’ life is the epitome of what Mr. Lewis meant. This Christmas season let us ponder this humility that God’s desire for us to emulate. As the apostle Paul said,

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

-       Philippians 2:1-7

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A Confession

November 30, 2014

This morning was another link in a long chain of hopelessness There might not be a link for every morning But I can’t tell you for sure, it was the morning This hopelessness is so easy to welcome into my heart Why? 7am logic? My worldly passions? A desire for companionship? Perhaps just that, perhaps […]

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Truth Trumps All #7

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 […]

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Truth Trumps All #6

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? […]

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Truth Trumps All #5

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 […]

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Truth Trumps All #4

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 […]

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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 […]

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