The One & Only BIBLE

Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work. -2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NET)

Recently, somebody posted a link on Facebook to a clip indicating that the current Pope has compared the Koran to the Bible– saying that they basically are the same thing. I really hope he has not said that (don’t believe everything you see and hear on the Internet). As a Christian, I get alarmed when I hear things like that, because they are supposedly often from influential leaders in the Christian community and blatant falsehoods.

Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6 (NET)

Jesus said He is the way the truth, and the life– and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. The Koran does not say that (to my knowledge). That is a key truth contained within the pages of God’s Holy Word, the Bible. Funny thing about truth: opposing views cannot both be true, especially when it is something as important as the truth found in Scripture.

One may call me narrow-minded in this regard, and I guess I am. Narrow is the path…

“Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it! – Matthew 7:13-14 (NET)

Part of what defines me as a Christian (a large part) is that I believe what is written in the Bible. I cannot speak to the Koran, as I have not studied it– and I do believe in tolerance of other faiths. However, my attitude should not be confused with those who cave in to whatever is popular to say at the time. I will not accuse the Pope of actually doing that, because I have not spent any serious amount of time trying to validate the comment. My only point to this post is that, as Christians, we have an obligation to stand up for the truth.

It’s Right In Front Of You

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: -Romans 1:19-20 (KJV)

Bill Wilson, a co-founder of the worldwide fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, once wrote that deep down inside every man, woman and child is the fundamental idea of the existence of God. I think this verse alone confirms that– never mind what your eyes show you and your ears tell you!

True Religion

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. -1 John 4:20-21 (KJV)

Time and again, our Lord reminds us that the biggest thing we can do in life is love others. What is the second greatest commandment Jesus told us to adhere to? We are to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). I know for me in my life, this is often an area I fall short in. Fortunately, with God’s grace, I am able to strive toward that goal.

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27 (HCSB)

Always A Way Out

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. -1 Corinthians 10:13 (NRSV)

Many times in my adult life I have heard the expression that we are never given more than we can bear. What is conspicuously missing from this phrase is the rest of that truth, being that the reason we can bear it in the first place is nothing short of the power of God the Holy Spirit. God makes for us a way of escape, as Paul writes in the verse above. Whether or not we choose to take it is up to us. God has given us a choice; it is for us to accept or deny the gifts He offers us along life’s path. Is there a decision you need to make?

Moving Forward

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

This past Sunday, my wife and I went to the Salvation Army in a nearby town and the Scripture the Captain (Pastor) read was from Philippians 3. He spoke about New Year’s resolutions, which most of us make either consciously and outloud or somewhere in our heart, yearning for something to change in our daily lives. One of the important things to remember here is the fact that Satan would love nothing more than for us to wallow in past failures and take on a “what’s the use?” attitude. Recall Paul’s words above in the 13th verse: “forgetting what is behind…” God calls us to move forward and not be held back by past failures and the shame and fear they can bring to the table.

By the way: I love their simple mission statement: preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Get Rid Of It!

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Joyce Meyer (and others) mention this verse a lot when teaching– and with good reason. Notice how it doesn’t say cast most of it or some of it or the stuff that you deem too difficult? When I take the time to step out in faith and ask my Lord to take it from me He does and I feel better. I want to get to the place where worry or stress is something I would really have to work at to obtain. The times I feel stress out and full or fear are those times I fail to place my trust in God and ask Him to take it from me. We have not, because we ask not, right?

Let’s all step out in faith in 2015.