My Bible is filled with untrue statements.

tattered bibleThe Bible is filled with statements that just are not true. I was reading in Romans today and it said this:
(5:3) we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;

I don’t know about you but tribulation – for just a teeny example, think of a flat tire on a rainy day – does not cause me to break into my happy dance.

Or how about this one also in Romans:
(8:28) And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, …

We know that? Really? If I know that then why do I freak out when things I don’t like come into my life?

Read more »

Categories: Galatians, Romans | 2 Comments

Why did Jesus contradict the Law?

No LawMatthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. …
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It sounds like Jesus is changing the Old Testament law – You have heard it said .. but I say unto you. But just 11 verses earlier (Matthew 5:17) He said He didn’t come to do away with the Law but to fulfill it. So obviously He would not then proceed to “do away” with it and replace it with His own set of rules. So what is up here?

This passage makes sense when you make a simple change in emphasis in the reading. We tend to read it .. “But I say unto you..” putting the emphasis upon “I”.  But it all makes perfect sense when you put the emphasis upon the “you”.  “I say unto YOU ..”  How can I justify such a change? Read more »

Categories: 1 Peter, Matthew | 4 Comments

A Dimension of Peace

Today we live in a very polarized world. You are liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, pro-abortion or anti-abortion, pro-same sex marriage or anti-same sex marriage, for “a pathway to amnesty for undocumented workers” or pro-secure borders and “get in line with the others”.

We choose our news source by our position on the issues and they spoon feed us what we are to believe about every issue and why that is the only reasonable stance.

But one of the things that confounded His followers was that Jesus seemed to always be touting a third option – a higher perspective of the issue. Read more »

Categories: 1 Corinthians, Isaiah | 2 Comments

The Great I AM not

In Exodus 3 God referred to Himself as I AM. Grammatically that leaves a blank that I want to fill in. I am … what? And the words that we could use to fill that blank are nearly endless.

He is love. He is joy. He is peace. He is patient. He is kind. He is holy. He is faithful. He is …

In worship this morning I was thinking of all that He is and realizing that if He is the Great I AM, then I am the great I am not.

He is Holy. I am not. He is always kind. I am not. He is always faithful. I am not. He never fails. I do. He does not judge by outward appearance. I do. He always thinks the best. I don’t. In every area where He is the I AM, I am the I-am-not. Read more »

Categories: Exodus, Proverbs, Romans | 1 Comment

I need to be reminded

Ugly as SinIn 2 Kings 23 King Josiah cleans Judah of its idolatry. I was struck by how perverted God’s people had become – prostitutes set up shop in God’s temple, the people burning their own children as sacrifices and other flagrant awful sins. Some of this had been going on for centuries.

But Josiah changes all that. The book of the Law is read. He relentlessly attacks and destroys the false gods. “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” (2 Kings 23:25) But even though the repentance was genuine they did not all live happily ever after. Read more »

Categories: 2 Kings, Galatians | Leave a comment

How to avoid criticism

Will RogersIf you’ve felt the sting of the critic’s mean words it’s natural to want to avoid future attacks.

And it’s really easy to avoid criticism.

Simply do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
In short, waste your life and no one will criticize you.
(Except perhaps your parents because they love you enough to tell you you’re wasting your life.)

If you could live you whole life and do nothing but good you still could not avoid criticism.
One man did that and they nailed him to a cross three years after He went public.

Will Rogers said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”
At first I thought that was an outlandish statement – especially since he knew so many politicians in his day. :-)

But years later it dawned on me what he was saying. Read more »

Categories: John, Luke | 4 Comments

How do I work out my salvation?

I'm working on itAs a new believer I found this passage (and a lot of other ones) totally confusing. I was told salvation was “not by works” yet here Paul clearly says work it out. So what’s up with that? I got a better understanding of what this was all about when I saw one thing and learned another.  Read more »

Categories: 1 John, Philippians | 1 Comment

What are you full of?

Crying out to GodOne day a broken hearted woman went to church to pray. Unfortunately she chose a church where the priest was out of touch with God. Since fervent and intense prayer was not something he was accustomed to when he saw her passionately imploring the Lord to answer her prayers, he assumed she must be drunk and rebuked her for coming to church like that.

Jesus said what we fill our heart with is what will inevitably come out our mouth. Because this priest’s heart was cold toward God his default setting was judgment, not mercy. He immediately assumed the worst rather than defaulting to the best. But love “always looks for the best”. (1 Corinthians 13:7 MSG)

What we fill our heart with colors how we see others and how we see the world. If we think the world is against us, that no one likes us, that people are judging us we react in ways that cause that to happen. If we are always attune to the negative, always quick with criticism, always assuming the worst we make it harder for people to approach us, to love us. Read more »

Categories: 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians | Leave a comment

Ever Feel Helpless – Part 2

Weak as a king?THE STORY
Abner, the commander of Saul’s armies was faithful to Saul’s family even after Saul’s death. But Saul’s family insulted him and he defected to David’s side planning to bring his troops with him. This would have saved many Israeli lives, brought peace to the kingdom and immediately established David as king over all of Israel.

But the commander of David’s army, Joab wanted to kill Abner to avenge the death of his brother that Abner had killed in battle. Without David knowing it Joab deceived Abner and killed him before peace could be established. Upon hearing of this, David says this interesting thing:

THE PASSAGE
And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak, and these sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me. May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!” (2 Samuel 3:39)

THE APPLICATION
Do you ever feel helpless against evil people or situations in your life? Am I the only one that at times has wished I could stop being a king (Child of God) for just a few hours? “If I weren’t a Christian I could do this and then do that. But as a Christian I have to ‘turn the other cheek’, ‘bless those who do evil to me’, ‘pray for them’, love them.’ UGH! How can a king be so powerless to attack evil?” Read more »

Categories: 1 Peter, 2 Samuel | 3 Comments

Ever feel helpless?

helplessA  story in 2 Samuel really caught my attention. Abner, the commander of Saul’s armies was faithful to Saul’s family even after Saul’s death. But they insulted him and he defected to David’s side planning to bring his troops with him. This would have saved many Israeli lives, brought peace to the kingdom and immediately established David as king over all of Israel. (Judah had already recognized him as king once Saul was killed in battle against the Philistines.)

But the commander of David’s army, Joab, wanted to kill Abner to avenge his brother who Abner had killed in battle. Without David knowing it Joab deceived Abner and killed him before peace could be established. Upon hearing of this, David says this interesting thing:

And today, though I am the anointed king, I am weak, and these sons of Zeruiah are too strong for me. May the Lord repay the evildoer according to his evil deeds!” (2 Samuel 3:39)

Can you hear the frustration of David? I am king but I am still powerless against evil. These sons of my sister, Zeruiah, (yes, they were family) are out of control and do whatever they want. I am powerless. Read more »

Categories: 2 Peter, 2 Samuel | Leave a comment