Monthly Archives: August 2022

What Good Is It?

Jeremiah 22

What good is it to live in a nice house, go to church in a beautiful building, enjoy a healthy body, and not know God? The blessings are fleeting. The blessings don’t make you a good person. The blessings aren’t even a sign you are right with God.

In fact, God says many have eyes only for greed and dishonesty, they murder the innocent, oppress the poor, and reign ruthlessly. And that doesn’t make Him happy.

I warned you when you were prosperous, but you replied, “Don’t bother me!” You have been this way since childhood – you simply will not obey me! It may be nice to live in a beautiful palace paneled with wood from the cedars of Lebanon, but soon you will groan with pangs of anguish – like that of a woman in labor. (22:21,23)

I sure hope you are enjoying a healthy, prosperous, comfortable day today. I hope you have clothes to wear, food to eat, a job to go to. I hope you have a family you love and who loves you. And I hope you’ll go to church on Sunday..

But don’t neglect the most important thing. Don’t neglect obedience. Confess your sin. Be holy, separate. Stand for the Truth at all cost. Because things are going to change. You won’t live on this planet forever. And God is not going to care what your house looked like. Only what your heart looks like. He won’t care where you worshiped. He’ll care that you worshiped Him in spirit and truth according to Scripture.

Jesus asked this question:

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)

How would you answer Him?

What good is it to live in a nice house, go to church in a beautiful building, and enjoy a healthy body?

Nothing, unless Jesus lives in you!

Accepting The Joy

Habakkuk 3

Any time we base our happiness on circumstances and/or relationships, we set ourselves up for disappointment, even devastation. I know from personal experience, how quickly situations change that can steal my joy, if I am depending on imperfect people (including myself) to make me happy. I’ve seen how quickly things can happen to change a sunny Sunday afternoon into the darkest day of my life.

But there is something deeper than happiness, something surer than circumstances, something more lasting than even the best and purest marriages and friendships. Listen to what the prophet Habakkuk says:

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! (verses 17-18)

Even when I don’t “feel” happy, I can rejoice in the fact my sins are forgiven at the cross of Jesus. Even when people fail me, or life gets hard, I have joy knowing God is my Heavenly Father who sustains me, embraces me, loves me, and strengthens me.

You see, joy is a fruit of the Spirit, something that supernaturally defines those in whom the Spirit dwells! It has nothing to do with whether or not I get that promotion at work, or if my children are obedient, or if I’m surrounded by friends. This joy is a result of my relationship with God, my Savior. It’s joy non-believers can’t understand or experience.

May we who have received God’s grace through the blood of Jesus rejoice in the Lord, separating that joy from our circumstances. May we accept the joy that come from knowing God who has saved us.

Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, said the following. I’d like to say the same to all of us today:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)

Can It Get Any Worse?

2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34

I opened You Tube today and saw the title of a video that got my attention. I’ve never listened to this man before, but he titled his talk: This Pastor Is Worse Than You Thought – Andy Stanley, Jordon Peterson, Voddie Baucham – My Analysis. (The Gospel of Christ; John Henry).

He played a portion of a workshop given by Pastor Stanley, and even though I wasn’t at that workshop or watched the entirety of it, what I did hear left me speechless. Stanley said he no longer refers to the Bible when he teaches. He doesn’t say “The Bible says…,” or “God’s Word says….” In fact, he says Christianity shouldn’t rise and fall on the inerrancy or accuracy of 66 ancient documents we call books of the Bible. It rises and falls on the identity of a single individual… Jesus of Nazareth.

He said that. And he posted the same on Twitter.

Now, to be fair, Stanley said his position on referring to the Bible isn’t a change in theology. It is merely a change in how he talks about theology. It seems he believes he can talk about what is in the Bible without using it as the authority.

In a podcast, Stanley said that in the beginning of Christianity, no preacher said, “The Bible says…, the Bible says…” He pointed out that the ancient Christians didn’t have a Bible, many couldn’t even read, and surmised that what drove the faith was an event, not Scripture.

“We have to shift the focus from the Bible to the resurrection…”

I want to ask him how can we know about the resurrection without the Bible?

Anyway, after listening to this You Tube video, I opened my Bible (yes, I still do that every day). My chronological Bible had me in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles where I read how reading God’s Word changed everything for King Josiah and the nation of Judah. They didn’t realize the seriousness of their actions until they READ what God had to say about them. That lead to repentance and revival in the land.

Ok. You might argue that is all from an ancient ANCIENT document. It’s Old Testament, and we live after the cross. So let’s look at Jesus.

Jesus often used Scripture (the Bible in Jesus’ day). Read Matthew 27, 23; John 13, 15. When he walked with the men going to Emmaus after the resurrection, He talked to them, not merely about the resurrection, but about what Scripture said.

Paul, after the cross, refers to Scripture repeatedly: 1 Corinthians 3, 18, 26, 30; Romans 10,15, and on and on and on.

To say we shouldn’t base Christianity on Scripture negates 2 Timothy 3:16-17. And if we want to base Christianity simply on Jesus’ miraculous resurrection from the dead, we need only read John 1 which clearly states that same Jesus IS the Word!

I hope you’ll investigate this for yourself. If I’ve misrepresented Andy Stanley, please listen to the video I referenced, and go to Stanley’s Twitter account (although I believe he has taken down some of what was said earlier). But let me know if I am in error. I don’t want to put words into Stanley’s mouth.

But let me ask you: what is the authority on which you base your faith? Personally, I am standing on the written Word of God, and I will continue to proclaim the Bible as that authority.

I’ll thank God for the privilege of proclaiming His Word, all 66 books, as His inspired Word live and effective today. And I’ll continue to urge you to read it every day.