May 14, 2013
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16)
We can be a philosopher and love truth. We can be a sincere seeker after truth and never find the truth we seek. According to Jesus when we come to know the truth by relationship, He himself will make us free (John 8: 30-36).
Jesus said in a prayer to His Father: “Thy Word is truth.” (John 17: 17) This means we should read the Bible as a lover and seeker of truth. Jesus made the claim that His teaching is the truth of God (John 7: 17). He even told us how we can prove that claim. The doing leads to the knowing. If we will personally do what He teaches we will know that His teaching cannot be the teaching of a man. It has to be the teaching of God.
There are times when we can devastate people with the truth. There are also times when the truth can cut through the denial of people and set them free from problems that are isolating them from reality and destroying them. It is then that we must speak the truth in love and ask if we have become their enemy for doing so.
When we are facing those kinds of challenges we must pray that: “God will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves” (2 Timothy 2: 25). To repent means to think again and have a change of mind will and direction.
May your search for truth not only end but begin with the One who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
November 6, 2012
“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in meekness correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” (2Timothy2:24-26)
We might label these words Paul wrote to Timothy: “How to relate to a difficult person.” We all need this teaching because we must all deal with difficult people.
According to Paul the difficult person to whom we are relating has been taken captive by the evil one and we cannot free them. We can maintain three fruits of the Spirit (gentleness, meekness and patience), which keeps the door open for God. We then earn our hearing and place before them the Word of truth they need to hear. We must not quarrel because that opens the door for the evil one and closes the door for God.
When they acknowledge the truth of God’s Word they experience repentance, and escape from the captivity of the evil one. This is not a matter of teaching or preaching. It is not having the last word or winning the argument. This is becoming a conduit through which almighty God sets people free who were not free.
To repent means to think again or to have a change of mind, heart, will and direction. It is a work of God you cannot perform. Only God can use His Word and you His servant to make this happen. In an attitude of prayer and in dependence upon God and His Spirit are you willing to be a conduit of this miracle?
March 14, 2012
“Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100: 4, 5)
In Hebrew culture names had great significance. When parents named a child the name they chose often expressed their desire for the life of their child. Sometimes the name was given to a child because certain events occurred surrounding the birth of the child. The significance of names is especially important when we consider the names of God in the Bible – they tell us much about God.
In this short psalm we are instructed to praise the name of God. We are to praise God because He is good. Rick Warren told us life is like a railroad track. The left rail represents this reality: there is always something negative in our life because God is more interested in our character than He is in our comfort. The right rail represents this reality: there is always something good in our life because God is good and He loves us.
In this very short psalm we are instructed to bless the name of God by focusing His goodness, His everlasting mercy, and His enduring truth. Mercy is His unconditional love and forgiveness. That word is found 366 times in the Bible because God knew we would need it every day and He even included a year like this leap year.
If we read the Bible looking for truth we will discover truth that endures to all generations. In the last verse of his shepherd psalm David informed us that the mercy of God pursued him like a hound of heaven. Will you fill and take this prescription for blessing the name of God?