Tag Archives: God’s Truth

Jeremiah 21-25; It’s That Serious

God has quite a lot to say to shepherds in these chapters of Jeremiah, doesn’t He? But before you think you’ve dodged a bullet because you aren’t a pastor or teacher in your church, remember God commanded all of us to “Go,” to share the Gospel with our world. What Jeremiah writes to the shepherds of God’s flock, applies to all of us who are called by Jesus’ name: Christian.

We have a message from God to tell. And God takes it very seriously that our message be truly His. The only place you will find His message is in the pages of the Bible. Not the Bible plus anything. Not someone’s opinion of what the Bible says, not a new revelation. God has given us all the Truth we need to know right here in these precious pages.

We need to know what it says. Because not only does God place a great deal of responsibility on the tellers of His Truth, He places responsibility on listeners as well. Yes, false prophets, preachers, and teachers will pay dearly for their lies. But those who follow them will not get a free pass, either. The Bible is clear. You either believe God or you don’t. Believing anything other than what God has given us is a death sentence.

It’s that serious.

Dear one, we have got to be in God’s Word every day. We’ve got to be memorizing it, thinking about it, testing everything we hear according to what is in there. We’ve got to recognize a lie and reject it, not go along with it because it sounds good, and everybody else is following it.

Satan can be pretty subtle. His lies often sound Biblical. His lies can sound like love, and tolerance, and compassion, and praise, and success, and happiness, and health. His lies often are accompanied by a Scripture or two.

But they are still lies. And if you go along with those lies you will be held accountable. If you spread those lies God will show no mercy.

I’m honored that you read my post today. But if this is the extent of your “devotions,” I’d rather you didn’t. Instead, pick up your Bible. Put all the other books and blogs away. Turn off your TV or radio preachers. And get in God’s Word. YOU get in God’s Word.

Because you are going to be held accountable for what is in there. It is that serious.

 

Psalms 12-16; Using A Plumb Bob

When my dad first got a CB radio for his pickup, he had to come up with a “handle,” something that would identify him to other CB radio users without using his name. Dad was a plumber. His name was Bob. And he adopted the handle “Plumb Bob.”

Do you know what a plumb bob is? It’s a weight, usually with a pointed end, tied to a string. When you hold the string end and drop the weight, it will form a perfectly straight vertical line. No matter how many times you drop the weight, it will always create that perfectly straight line. Perfectly straight. Every time.

I thought about that today as I read these psalms. David speaks of “flattering tongues,” manipulation, outright lies passed off as truth. He talks about people who say God doesn’t exist, others who are evil and lure God’s people away to destroy them.

We live in a society where we are told truth is fluid, that it is personal, relative, subjective. And those who will tell you that often also say if you don’t agree with them, then you are a fool, or intolerant, or a hater.

How do you even know what is true any more? Or is there truth at all?

Let me get one thing straight. Truth is NOT fluid. Truth is NOT subjective. Truth cannot, by definition, be one thing for you and another for me. Opinion can be. But opinion and truth are not synonymous. Do not mistake that fact.

12:6 says, “And the words of the Lord are flawless…

And there’s your plumb bob. Whatever you hear, whoever you hear it from, no matter with how much authority it’s said, check it out with the Truth of God’s Holy Word, the Bible.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

And that’s the Truth.

 

Genesis 37-39 It Doesn’t Matter

I’ve enjoyed my change of Bible study so far this year. I’ve slowed down, read less, and studied more. I’ve looked at each story, each verse a little more closely, and I’ve learned a lot.

But I’ll confess I also get a bit frustrated. As much as I respect the theologians whose commentaries I read, sometimes I feel they can get caught up in insignificant speculation. Like, did Joseph’s brothers throw him into a well or a pit, was it Judah or Reuben who pulled him out, did they sell him to the Medanites or the Midianites, was Potiphar a eunuch (someone really presented the possibility).

Now I know I, too, have speculated on certain points as I’ve posted my thoughts these past few years. It’s natural to wonder, isn’t it? But in the end all that really matters is what God has revealed in His Word. And really, it might be a waste of time to get caught up in possible details not included in the inspired Word. It might be a ploy of Satan to get our attention away from what God wants us to know.

The Scripture tells us that Joseph’s brothers sold him, he ended up in Egypt, God blessed Joesph in spite of circumstances, and used Joseph’s obedience to save his whole family. We read that his brothers lied to their dad, and continued with that lie for years. Those are the facts. And there are enough lessons to be learned from the facts without arguing whether Joseph’s coat was striped or ornamented, or both.

It doesn’t really matter.

Father, I thank you for men and women who have studied your Word and are led to share their insight. But God, help me to trust Your Words first and foremost. May I always read the commentaries, articles, books, and blogs (including mine), using Scripture as the plumb line. And help me not miss the lessons You would have me learn, by being too preoccupied with details and supposition.

August 15 – The Oracle From God

Jeremiah 23-25

The Bible talks a lot about false prophets. They are out there! They’ve always been out there. They claim to have a message from God – but it’s not true. They write books and blogs, go on talk shows, and stand before some congregations every Sunday. They label themselves Christian, and even can quote Scripture. But they are polluted and wicked, (23:11) and “intend to make (God’s) people forget (His) name…” (vs 27).

Jeremiah says the more they proclaim this “oracle” from God the harder it will be to recognize the Truth.

For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord because every man’s own words will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. (vs 36)

Do you know the Truth when you hear it? Do you recognize a distortion of that Truth? You’ve got to read and re-read God’s Word for yourself. In these pages is the only Truth. And it doesn’t come by one or two verses taken out of context.

Read the whole Bible. Memorize passages that God lays on your heart. Ask Him to help you recognize the lies.

And He will.

August 12 – My Prayer For Luke

Jeremiah 10-13

We welcomed the newest member of our family, Luke Mitchell, into the world yesterday. 8lbs 15oz, with a head full of thick, blonde hair. He gave his mommy a very hard time. But she and her precious son are doing fine.

Sometimes when I read God’s Word and hear Him express anger toward disobedience, and see how He disciplines His children, like here in Jeremiah, I can get fearful for the future of the little ones in my life. I recognize the blatant disregard for God in the Old Testament children of Israel as the same as the disregard for God in some aspects of the 2016 Church.

I hear God say, “I have forsaken My house, I have abandoned My inheritance; therefore I have come to hate her.” (12:8) Pretty strong words. We don’t like to think about God hating His own people.

Here’s my prayer for Luke (and the other amazing little people filling our quiver).

May he be raised in the nurture and admonition of God. May he come to know Jesus as his Savior as soon as he understands what sin is and what Jesus did for him on the cross. May he grow up to be a man who knows the Truth of Scripture, who applies it to his life, and who’s stands for that Truth without compromise. May he never give God reason to hate him. And may his life be a testimony that draws others to the wonderful grace of Jesus.

And may God speak to the hearts of all His people today. May He find us obedient, standing in His strength, empowered by His Presence, and not ashamed to make it known. May none of us give Him reason to hate us.

August 10 – Rejected Silver

Jeremiah 4-6

Several of Team USA’s Olympic athletes have given God the glory for their successes. That’s not unusual in sports, as often you’ll see a ballplayer point to heaven after getting a hit or scoring a touchdown.

But a couple of athletes have gone a step further and said their identity isn’t in being an Olympic medal winner, but rather in Christ.  There is some meat in that testimony.

I remember watching an awards show a while back where several of the winners began their acceptance speeches with a shoutout to God. Six or seven people stood in front of millions and said something like, “I want to first thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I always pray that testimonies like these will speak to hearts and draw people to the Lord.

But that night I cringed, when one award winner began her acceptance speech holding the statue in the air and said, “First of all, I am NOT going to thank any god. I did this. Me.” And it made me sad when she received a thunderous applause for her statement.

Being anti-God has become more commonplace these days. It seems God haters are bolder, more vocal, and accepted more and more. That’s why I think it’s refreshing when people like we’re seeing in the Olympics publicly and sincerely proclaim the Lord.

I thought about that when I read Jeremiah 6:16-17. That’s an in-your-face defiance of God. I shake my head and wonder how anyone could be that blatant in their rejection of the Creator Himself. That’s a bit like Chad le Clos shadowboxing in front of Michael Phelps before their race. Like saying, I’m not afraid of you, you’re nothing to me.

But instead of taunting a swimmer, you’re taunting the Sovereign God of the Universe. That is serious business.

Jeremiah tells us those who continue to deny God are “rejected silver, because the Lord has rejected them.” (6:30) Those who continue to deny God will never have the last word.

le Clos looked mighty foolish when Phelps won that race; his grandstanding meaningless in light of the superior swimmer. And that’s nothing compared to those who continue to deny God in light of His Power.

You’ve got to know who you’re dealing with here.

April 24 – The Church: A Laughingstock

Psalms 43-45, 49, 84-84, 87

43:1 caught my attention right away this morning: Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation; O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.

Genderless public bathrooms? That’s just the latest insanity running rampant in our ungodly nation.

I want every Christian in America to read this psalm and let it be our anthem. So much is happening these days to undermine decency and truth. (I just realized my spell-check doesn’t recognize the word “Christian.”  What’s up with that?) It’s tempting to throw up our hands in defeat.

Let this be our prayer: O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead (us). (verse 3, emphasis mine) It goes on to say our hope is in God.

44:13-16 describes where the Church is today. We’ve become a reproach to our neighbors, labeled as judgmental haters. The psalm continues to say we are a “scoffing and a derision to those around us,” a laughingstock.

Christians are not taken seriously. We are a joke to those who declare themselves to be “enlightened” or “progressive.”

Dear one, let’s allow God’s light and His truth lead us. Let’s hope in God alone. Let’s not cower because some have said what we know to be true according to Scripture is old fashioned or irrelevant or laughable.

Oh God, may You find us faithful in the face of an ungodly nation, in the hands of deceitful and unjust men. Lead us by Your Truth. And may Your will be done in the hearts of Your children, and through us in this great nation.

Feb 2 – Tweaking the Truth

Exodus 10-12

Have you ever tried to bargain with God? How did that work out for you? Did you ever keep your end of the bargain? Or was God the only one held to that standard?

As I read about the last of the plagues today, it occurred to me that Pharaoh is an example of what happens when we try to negotiate with God. Moses told Pharaoh God wanted all Jews and their livestock to leave Egypt. Pharaoh, after being warned about the locusts that would destroy his crops, said ‘Sure. Go. But only the men.’ Moses didn’t take him up on that. It wasn’t what God required.

Then, after the locusts came like Moses said they would, and after complete darkness fell on Egypt for three days, Pharaoh relented. ‘Ok. Everybody can go. But leave the animals.’  Again, that wasn’t what Moses needed to hear.

The thing is, God gave a directive: ALL Israelites and ALL livestock are to leave.

Pharaoh was ready to obey – kind of. He just wanted to obey on his own terms.

It struck me when Pharaoh said to Moses, “I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. Now therefore, please forgive my sin only this once…that He would remove this death from me” (10:16-17)

Each time Pharaoh heard God’s command, then tried to tweak it, his heart grew harder and harder. Somehow he thought if he gave in a little, God would be ok with that. Then he must have thought if he let God forgive him a little bit, he’d escape the bad things that were happening.

Friend, I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where it says God wants us to kind of obey Him. I don’t see anywhere where it says if we give Him a portion of our hearts, He will bless us. Let’s face it. God is Who He says He is. And if He says something, we can’t tweak it to fit our own desires.

Be holy as I am holy.

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one goes to the Father except through Me.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.

You can try to tweak it, but that doesn’t change the Truth. So don’t even try. God demands complete obedience, complete surrender. Anything else is disobedience. Period.

Father, I pray for those reading this blog today. May we be students of Your Word so we know exactly what it is You are demanding of us. Convict us when we are tempted to obey You with anything less than everything. May we confess, repent, and be the people You demand. And may you find us willing to serve You with our whole hearts. 

 

Jan 30 – Raising Moses

Exodus 1-3

Moses was raised by an Egyptian woman. So how did he come to believe in the God of Israel? His adoptive mother must have told Moses about his birth family. Did she also tell him about the God they worshiped? How else would Moses recognize God’s voice, and obey Him?

Moses was raised in a pagan society. Yet he rejected the false gods and followed the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Bible isn’t clear about those years Moses spent in Pharaoh’s house. But I think we can conclude that somehow, he was introduced to the One True God while growing up there. I’d like to believe his Egyptian mom had been touched by the influence of his Jewish mom who tended to Moses until he was weaned. Maybe she was the one who taught Moses to honor God. Just a thought.

I can’t help but pray for parents and grandparents today. Our world is every bit as pagan as was that in Moses’ day. Do your children know the God of Creation? Can they recognize His voice amid all the other voices vying for their attention? Are you raising children who know the Truth according to Scripture plus nothing?

Dear God, May You raise up an army of people like Moses because their parents lived and taught them according to Your Holy Word. May our children reject the influences of a society that rejects You. May they recognize Your voice. And may You give our children courage to follow You only.

Jan 7 -Useless Talk and More

Job 14-16

The title my NASB gives for chapter Job 15:1-16 is, “Eliphaz says Job Presumes Much.”

In verse 3 of the chapter, Eliphaz asks: should a wise man argue with useless talk, or with words that are not profitable?

Then he continues with, “your guilt teaches your mouth.” (vs 5)

Now I know much of what Job’s friends tell him is off base. But I had to stop and consider Eliphaz’s question. Because I recognize that sometimes I let my opinions influence what I believe to be true. When that happens, my arguments are useless talk and nothing more. I need to be careful not to allow my guilt, my sin, justify my belief.

For example, if I over eat, I might adopt the opinion that gluttony isn’t that serious a sin – or not a sin at all. I can argue my point all day long, but my words are not profitable. And my truth is a fantasy.

Eliphaz also says, “Indeed, you do away with reverence and hinder meditation before God.” (vs4)

And that stopped me in my tracks. It’s one thing to rationalize my sin. It’s another to try to convince someone else of my lie. But when I realize that doing so comes between me and my Lord, I fall on my knees in repentance.

I don’t want anything to come between me and my God who loved me so much He died for me. I don’t want to mislead anyone with opinions I adopt to justify sin in my life. And I don’t want to misinterpret Scripture in order to make me feel good about myself.

Father God, I pray once again that I will be a student of your Word, that I would not have an opinion that is in any way contrary to Yours. I want to know the Truth as You have spelled out. And, Dearest Lord, I certainly don’t want to do away with the reverence I have for You. I worship You. I honor You. I bow before You. Let nothing hinder my meditation before You.