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Showing posts with label Truth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Truth. Show all posts

Saturday, December 18, 2021

The Gift that Keeps on Giving – His Truth that Lasts Forever - Purity 605


 The Gift that Keeps on Giving – His Truth that Lasts Forever -  Purity 605

Purity 605 12/18/2021     Purity 605 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of blazing sun over three standing planks in the waters somewhere in the Florida Keys comes to us from a friend’s October vacation.  

If you follow the blog, you may suspect that this is the third photo from our friend’s Autumn vacation, and I guess you could say that their trip is the gift that keeps on giving because it continues to provide us with stunning scenes of God’s creation.   

However if you did suspect that these photos were from the same October vacation and the same friend, and hey perhaps the same day,  you would be correct with two of your suspicions, but they would have been based on your deductions, or assumptions, of the evidence, for you could have been incorrect as I never named the friend and could have had three different friends that took October vacations to the Florida Keys.  And as for whether the three photos we share all coming from the same day, that is a hypothesis that is possible but would take more information to verify.  

As a teacher of Christian Discipleship and Spiritual Warfare, one of the things I teach is to question our experiences and to test them against the truth of God’s word. Satan’s primary tactic against mankind is deception and the reason that we struggle so much in life is that we believe the lies that the world, the flesh, and the devil tell us. And unfortunately we can also do a number on ourselves when we assume things.   

Today is the 18th of  December and we are a week away from Christmas and many of us will use this weekend to do some shopping for our Christmas celebrations and to buy gifts for our loved ones.  As Christians, we really shouldn’t be propagating the lie of Santa Claus as those of us who were lied to about that flying fat man who gives presents on Christmas can attest to the disappointment, loss of innocence, and possible sense of betrayal that we felt when we learned the truth.  Christmas shouldn’t be surrounded by lies! Should it?  

The Santa Claus lie not only causes us to doubt our parent’s motives and truthfulness, it also can cause a lack of faith in God as parallel associations between God and Santa are easily drawn. Who else sees you when you are sleeping and knows when your awake? Who else wants you to be good for goodness’ sake? Who else gives gifts, by answering prayers? Who else can let you down?  Who else isn’t real?   Satan would love to lead you on this train of thought to atheism and bitterness by answering: God to all of the above.  

So for our first holiday spiritual warfare lesson let’s learn to : submit to God, by standing on the truth of God’s word, and resist the devil, by rejecting his lies, and he will flee from you, as James 4:7 teaches us. 

When we question our experience against the truth of God’s word, it’s much easier to see Satan’s game and to send him packing by confronting him with a hearty rebuttal: “It’s a lie!”  And then following it up with a truth from God’s word. Like: “God is real! For Genesis 1:1 tells us that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth!”    

Christ’s temptation and victory over Satan in the wilderness documented in Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s gospel accounts teaches us this strategy so if you want to answer the question of What would Jesus Do? WWJD? Know that you can follow Jesus’s example by using the word of God as your foundation for living and to use it to expose the lies of the enemy and to live a life of truth and righteousness. 

So because Santa isn’t real should we not give gifts at Christmas?

No! Gifts express our love for one another, and as many a preacher and Christmas play has taught us, gift giving is a part of the Biblical Christmas narrative as the wisemen presented gifts of myrrh, frankincense, and gold to Jesus.   We all know that story about the “three wisemen” giving gifts to Jesus, right?

Well it might shock you to know, that the Bible never actually numbers the wisemen as a trio.   Nowhere in Matthew 2, does it state that there were three wisemen: the text only says wisemen.  We assume three wisemen based on the number of gifts and from church tradition, which is not infallible. 

Also another shocker from this part of the Christmas narrative is in verse 11:

  Matthew 2:11 (NKJV)
11  And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Wait… they had come into “the house”?  Didn’t the wisemen show up with the shepherds in Luke 2:16  who:

Luke 2:16 (NKJV)
16  … found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  

I’m not throwing doubt into any of the Christmas narrative, I am only saying that the wisemen may have been a little later in coming to visit Jesus and that the birthday gifts they brought appear to have been belated as Mary and Joseph had found lodging in a “house” when they presented the gifts.  

This brings up another principle of Spiritual Warfare and good Christian Discipleship, don’t assume you know what the Bible says based on what you have seen in movies, or even learned in Sunday school or at church. As disciples of Christ, we should seek to read and know what the Bible says, and doesn’t say, through our own study if we are to properly apply its wisdom to our lives and to be mature in our faith.   

The out right lies of the enemy and our own assumptions about faith can lead us astray. 

I believed the lie that I had to “be good to go to heaven” which is common among even those who call themselves Christians. 

This lie takes what the Bible teaches, that we are to be holy for God is holy and twists it against us by utilizing other truths in the Bible that tell us that those who practice the “work of the flesh”… will not inherit the kingdom of God”. The enemy and the world will take two trues and make a lie out of them by excluding information or by leading you to a logical but false conclusion, that if you sin, you are automatically going to hell.

That is true, unredeemed sinners do go to a place described as “outer darkness” where there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.  but it is only true for people who don’t put their faith in Jesus Christ for

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV) says:
8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.    

We are not saved by our good works but we who are saved by faith, aka created in Christ Jesus, should walk in them (good works).  

Our good works are how we should live as Christians not the means by which we become Christians.   So do good works and share the love of God this Christmas by giving gifts and telling people about the reason for the season and the cause for your peace and joy: Jesus Christ.  

And one more thing, as we seek to resist the devil and refute the lies that are pervasive, I want to expose a whopper of a lie that most of us believe. 

I was listening to a pop song yesterday and one of the lines in the song said something about “nothing lasts forever”.  As I was listening, I believe the Holy Spirit gave me a “heads up”  as I realized that this is possibly the biggest and most pervasive lie that the enemy and the world declares that few of us have the insight to deny. 

Nothing lasts forever. That’s just a fact, right? Everyone dies. Everything falls apart. We are but a vapor, as the Bible teaches right?

Well science, our experience, and everything we see tells us that this is just one of those harsh realities of life that we have to deal with.   Right?

But it’s a lie.   It a lie that most of us believe.  Everything we see tells us that it is true, but the word of God tells us of the God who was there before -Genesis 1:1’s “In the beginning…”.  God made time and space. He was there before all that we see began.  

Revelation tells us that all though this earth will pass away, God will create a new heaven and a new earth.  

God lasts forever.  Pretty awesome huh.  

Well, hold on to your hat.  Christ came to save us and those who put their faith in Him are called to be with Him for all eternity for:

John 3:16 (NKJV) says
16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Those are Christ’s words, and they tell us that we who put our faith in Jesus, last forever too.  And as Jesus said in

John 11:25-26 (NKJV)
25   "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
26  And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

As Christians, though we may die, we shall live for as our Savior told us whoever lives and believes in Jesus will never die.  

The question for you, and your peace and joy, is : Do you believe this?  

So stand on the truth of God’s word and resist the enemy and the world’s pervasive lies that lead us to condemnation and despair, by saying in your heart, mind, soul, and spirit: “Yes, I believe the Truth, the Way, and the Life and I will live forever with Him for He said it and “It is written”!”

So keep walking and talking with God. Know His truth and live in the peace. joy, and love that He wants you to know, now and forever more.

 

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Proverbs 2:8 (NLT2)
8  He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.

Today’s verse reminds us of the Lord’s protection to His faithful followers.  

The word of God dispenses wisdom for us to live by and as we have seen the enemy loves to contradict it and will even use scripture against scripture to cause us to doubt it’s truth and the goodness of God.  

 

Here the Bible tells us that God guards the path of the just and protects those who are faithful to Him. 

 

In this one verse there are many lessons to learn.  

For one, God’s protection seems to be conditional.  To claim this verse as a promise, we should understand that it applies only to those who are just and who are faithful to him.  

I hate to say it, but scripture tells us that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. So none of us can question the Lord if something negative should be fall us because none of us, by our own efforts, are just or completely faithful to Him.  

This answers the paradoxical question of why bad things happen to “good people”?

In truth, there are no good people.  That’s why Christ came, we all sin and need to be forgiven to have peace with God.  

No one likes to hear that because the world likes to tell the lie that is made famous by Anne Frank’s quote that says “… I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” 

Anne Frank’s sentiment is in direct contradiction to truth of the Bible and unfortunately some Nazi’s didn’t express the goodness of their hearts as they exterminated her and an estimated 6 million other Jews, an estimate that is refuted by some who are believing the lie that the holocaust never happened.   

So all lies are not created equal – some are lies to hide evil schemes and some are lies that tell the tale of what would be nice but simply aren’t true.  

So the enemy would challenge today’s verse, pointing to all the suffering in the world and those instances in which the “just and the faithful” were not protected and would say that God is a liar and that none of us can expect protection.  

However, although we will more than likely suffer, and possibly die, before Christ returns to reclaim the earth, today’s verse is true because those who have placed their  faith in Jesus are declared just and faithful and the everlasting life that is promised in John 3:16 for those who believe is the protection that never fails.  

So make sure you can enjoy measures of the Lord’s protection here on earth because of His providence and His ultimate protection in the coming Kingdom because of your placing your faith in Jesus Christ.  

God does protect us and encourages us to live lives that are just and faithful.  When we represent the King, our conduct and hope can be used to extend His protection to more people as they choose to live and be protected by making Jesus their Lord and Savior as we did.  

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 22 as this current resource series will lead us to Christmas Eve.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Tozer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.

DAY 22

THREE TRUTHS BEHIND CHRISTMAS

But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.

MATTHEW 2:6

Now the second chapter of Matthew gives us the story of the birth of the infant Lord. This story is the wonder story of all lands and all ages. It is also told by Luke. It is said to be, and I believe it is, the most beautiful story in human language. It is beautiful but terrible as well. For there are three unexpressed facts that explain the chapter, facts that are not here but that explain it. They are the setting for the chapter. They are that which go before and go after and make it intelligible to our intelligent minds.

There are these three things:

The total moral and spiritual disaster that had engulfed the human race. Now we cannot think of the coming of our Savior to the world apart from this, or think of a rescue ship going out to rescue those who had not been shipwrecked, or a doctor sent to a place where there had been no accident or epidemic.

This was a rescue. And that is the second unexpressed fact here. This is the story of a rescue, not a rescue team, of one who came alone to rescue mankind and thus fulfill God’s ancient purpose in sovereign grace, the sending of a Rescuer. Save is the word we use and it means the same thing: to save the world and to redeem men who had been caught in this disaster and engulfed in this woe.

And the third is the black malice, the cold fury of the one we call Satan, the destroyer. You and I, all we human beings, we are adept at the business of presenting one side of a question. And all through this rather happy Christmas season, there is but one side presented: it is the side of the golden bells and the angels who said, “Peace on earth, good will to men.” But I say these unexpressed facts make all this intelligible to mortal men. The evil, the fury loosed against humankind and through humankind against God. For it was not the devil’s fury or anger at mankind that caused him to be the devil he is, but it was his anger with God. And since mankind was made in the image of God, and God has expressed—and did express—His great love for mankind, then it was to get at God that the devil attacked that race of beings that God had loved the most.

And so we have in this chapter—and I want you to think of the entire chapter, not just one text out of it—events that are solemn and fearful and breathtaking. We have a view of life inside and outside, a view of the human race, of the religious world and of the irreligious world, of the Jewish world and of the pagan world, of the temple and of the armory, of the priest and of the soldier, all here. And we have this view of yesterday and an explanation of today and a preview of tomorrow.

Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Truth and Love: The Key to Relationships - Purity 445


Truth and Love: The Key to Relationships 

Purity 445 06/15/2021  Purity 445 Podcast

Good morning.

Today’s photo of Lake George comes from a friend’s recent boating excursion with their child as they decided to dedicate the day to seeing the beauty of the lake and to spending some quality one on one time with their son.  As awesome as a day on the lake can be by oneself, it can be even better when two people can put their troubles and personal agenda’s aside and just take delight in the sights to behold and in one another’s company. 

God is a personal God and He designed us to be in relationship with one another. Relationships can be beneficial because they can help us meet each other’s needs, but they also allow us to share our experiences and love with one another.    By the way, this is what our relationship with God is supposed to look like too. He meets our needs, but He also wants you to share your experiences and love with Him. 

But anyway, all relationships can thrive when the parties are honest with one another and I’m not just talking about facts and figures, I’m talking about thoughts and emotions too. 

Many of our relationship problems come from dishonesty or from misunderstanding one another’s motivations. We can’t read one another’s minds. So taking time to talk with one another about what’s going on in life, and in our hearts and minds, can help us to avoid misunderstandings and bring us closer together.

I attend a group this evening whose core is based on honesty and mutual support. The forum allows for people to take off their masks and to speak honestly about their situations, thoughts, and emotions.   As we have continued to meet and be vulnerable with one another, a real sense of community has developed.

In recovery circles, they say we are only as sick as our secrets. Although all the problems and situations the members of the group are facing haven’t necessarily been solved in the six weeks we have been meeting, I believe that we are all a little bit healthier than where we were when we started, because if nothing else, we have a support that we didn’t have before.  The word says that one of the benefits of confession is healing and the Lord is using our group to make that happen.      

And that’s the key to successful relationships: the truth, according to God, and love.

We can’t be truly honest without God because He is the author of truth.  He determines what is right and true.  However, God is also love. He doesn’t use the truth to hurt us, but He will lovingly guide us to align our lives with His truth because it is the way we were made to be. Living according to His truth is the best way to live.  

Telling the truth is sometimes called “keeping it real” and we can’t be right with God, or each other, and not be real. 

I know from experience that God will make you be real to be right with Him and I also know that to keep the peace and harmony we have with God that we have to keep on “keeping it real” by being honest with Him and continuing to live according to His wisdom.  

Likewise, to keep the peace and harmony we have with others we must find that fine balance of truth and love.  That’s a lot harder with people than it is with God, because people are less than perfect.  We are all on different paths of understanding and maturity and we differ in the amount of truth and love that we are capable of.  Some people don’t have the truth. Some people can’t handle the truth. And others won’t or can’t accept the truth.  

So in all our relationships, we must remember the Lord’s command to love one another. We may have to adjust the amount of truth we dispense but we can always love as Christ did.

Jesus told us to love our enemies but the love we show our enemies may look very different from the love we show to our close friends or family. To keep peace we must use the wisdom and compassion the Lord has given us to find the balance of love and truth in each relationship we face.   

We won’t do it perfectly, but we can learn as we go.  God will show us the way and He will be with us as we take each step into our new lives in Christ.  


This morning’s meditation verse is:

Matthew 28:19 (NKJV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Today’s verse is every Christians call to action from Jesus Himself.   I

It also shows me that the Lord has a sense of humor as it was only yesterday that my “random” draw of the verse of the day drew Matthew 28:20. So it appears that we are going backwards in the book of Matthew!

But seriously, I believe the Lord interacts with our daily experience because He is sovereign and is in relationship with us. As a sovereign God, He is over and above all creation, directing the course of history for His purposes, and that includes the part we play in His plan too.

As He one day called me out of darkness and unbelief and has since been guiding me to increasing levels of sanctification and understanding, I choose to believe that His presence in my life never ends.   So when I, or you, if you also believe the Lord is with you, receive a Bible verse, message, or theme, that keeps on coming up in our experience, I choose to believe that the Lord is telling me something.  

So what is the Lord telling us?  Well, we are to go make disciples. That means we will have to speak about our faith and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to other people.  We should take every opportunity to let others know, with our words and actions, that we represent the kingdom of God and are ambassadors for Christ. We are to live our lives in a way that people know we are Christians that live by faith. 

I know sharing our faith can be difficult when we focus on how we feel or how we may be perceived by others, but the key to sharing our faith is to just speak the truth about what the Lord has done in our lives and the lives of other Christians that you know.  

Revelation says we overcome by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony, so quote John 3:16 and explain that Jesus was sent to save us. After you do that, tell people how He saved you and what He has done in your life. Leave the results up to God and whether they accept Christ as Savior or not, be pleased that you were faithful to God’s command.   

Our lives of faith are walking expressions of God’s mercy, grace, and love. All we have to do is tell people our story and be prepared to have the Lord use us for His glory.  

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 

Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, beginning Chapter 3.

 

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support His work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Theology Before Practicality

The experiences of Claire and Derek illustrate the importance of establishing our Christian lives on what we believe instead of how we behave. We need a firm grip on the truth of God's Word before we will experience much success at practical Christianity. We need to understand who we are as a result of who God is and what He has done. A fruitful Christian life is the result of living by faith according to what God said is true.

The problem is that we try to base our spiritual growth and maturity on practical sections of the Scriptures and spend too little time internalizing the doctrinal sections. For example, Paul's letters tend to fall into two major parts. The first part is generally called the doctrinal section, such as Romans 1-8; Ephes. 1-3; Col. 1-2 and so on. These sections reveal what we need to know about God, ourselves, sin and salvation. The second half of the letters is the practical section: Romans 12-15; Ephes. 4-6; Col. 3-4 and so on. These passages describe what we need to do to live our faith in daily experience.

In our zeal to correct the problems in our lives, we skip the doctrinal first half and jump to the practical second half of God's Word. We want a quick fix, a rule or instruction we can apply like a Band-Aid to make things better. We don't have time to wade through the deep theological concepts of Scripture; we want a practical solution and we want it now.

Perhaps you have already discovered that a Band-Aid approach to daily living doesn't work. Why not? Because you need an adequate foundation of truth to live a practical life of faith. How can you hope to "stand firm against the schemes of the devil" (Ephes. 6:11) if you have not internalized that you are already victoriously "raised . . . up with Him, and seated . . . with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus" (Ephes. 2:6)?

How can you rejoice in hope and persevere in tribulation (see Romans 12:12) without the confidence of knowing you have been justified by faith and "have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1)? When your basic belief system about God and yourself is shaky, your day-to-day behavior system will be shaky. When your belief system is intact and your relationship with God is based on truth, however, you will have very little trouble working out the practical aspects of daily Christianity.

Positional and Progressive Sanctification

Most Christians are aware that salvation for the believer is past, present and future tense. By that, I mean we have been saved (past tense; see Ephes. 2:4, 5, 8), we are being saved (present tense; see 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15) and someday we shall fully be saved from the wrath that is to come (future tense; see Romans 5:9, 10; Romans 13:11). We have not yet experienced the totality of salvation, but I believe we can have the assurance of it.

Paul says, "You were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory" (Ephes. 1:13, 14). John says, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).

In reference to the believer, sanctification is also past, present and future tense. We have been sanctified (past tense, see 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Peter 1:3, 4), we are being sanctified (present tense, see Romans 6:22; 2 Cor. 7:1) and we shall someday be fully sanctified (future tense, see 1 Thes. 3:12, 13; 1 Thes. 5:23, 24). The doctrine of sanctification begins at our new birth and ends in our glorification. Past-tense sanctification is usually referred to as positional sanctification, and refers to the position or the status the believer has in Christ. Present-tense sanctification is referred to as progressive or experiential sanctification.

The positional truth of who we are in Christ is real truth and it is the only basis for the progressive sanctification that follows. Just as the past reality of salvation is the basis for the present-tense working out of our salvation, so is our position in Christ the basis for our growth in Christ. In other words, we are not trying to become children of God; we are already children of God who are becoming like Christ.

It is my firm belief that if we fully appropriated the first half of Paul's Epistles, which establish us in Christ, we would naturally (or supernaturally) live the second half. For a comprehensive study of sanctification see The Common Made Holy, which I had the privilege to coauthor with Dr. Robert Saucy.


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

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God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Monday, October 12, 2020

Purity 236

Purity 236 10/12/2020

Good morning,
Today’s photo comes from a friend who climbed the heights Rondaxe Fire Tower in top of Bald Mountain in Old Forge NY.
As we pull into a new week some are blessed with an extra day off, while others are off to work like any other Monday. On days like today people who have the day off often take advantage of the fact that others have to work and plan their day accordingly.
Just as the Rondaxe Fire Tower gives us a view that is far and wide, months ago I was looking ahead to this day and decided to use my holiday as an occasion to get a medical check up and scheduled a physical.
Of course what seemed like a good idea months ago, seems more like a burden and an obligation today!
However, I’m no spring chicken and after having friends recently diagnosed with cancer, I will dutifully fulfill my appointment because although I feel fine, what do I know?
Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living and I believe that is true. Periodically, we need to get a check up of how our life is going from an objective source who will tell us like it is!
Today my doctor will examine and take tests and make a recommendation for treatment. There is value in early detection of some disease so we should get regular medical check ups.
While our bodies are important, I would also stress the importance of doing a regular spiritual check up too. We may exercise our bodies but are we taking the same care to exercise our faith through a regular weekly or daily practice of communicating with God to make sure everything is okay in our spirit?
God is THE objective source of Truth and when approached He will certainly tell us like it is.
His advice may cause a conflict with how we are living our lives but we need to realize He is an expert and His advice is said with authority and love.
So as you go through life make sure to take care of your body but don’t be afraid to rise to new heights by taking a spiritual course of treatment from the One who made you, loves you, and has your best interests in mind when He tells you to make a change.
God bless you all!

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

You don't have to be a Harvard Graduate to understand truth.

Tonight was my last session of Church History 3, and Pastor Romano presented the class with the original Harvard crest.

 As You can see the Word Veritas is surrounded by the words Christo Et Ecclesia which means Truth for Christ and the Church.  The First Rules of Harvard College stated "Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, 'to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3),' and therefore lay Christ at the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning, And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom. let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him (Prov 2:3)."

Harvard has changed. The crest only contains Veritas now.  Time marches on and Christ has to go....let's not discriminate... we can turn our backs on tradition... history...... The LORD..... yada dee yada da.  This is a good rant but this is not my rant.  

With that said, I was greatly encouraged to see that there is a group of students, faculty and ministers that "encourages students to pursue Truth, connect their academic and vocational life to Christ, and emerge with clarity and hopeful vision for our world."   Their website is http://veritas.org/  and I haven't dug deep but it looks like they are genuine in trying to reconcile Christ and people that have academic or scientific misgivings about the gospel. If you have questions, you may find your answer.  


I was quite taken with the statement of the First Rules of Harvard, above, particularly the phrases " the main end of his life and studies is, 'to know God and Jesus Christ "  and  "Christ ..., as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning,".  These simple phrases are profound statements of purpose and truth.   

Our purpose :  to know God and Jesus Christ.

Our truth:   Christ ..., as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning,


Reviewing Harvard's Rules, reminded me of a fundamental concept that only recently was impressed upon me: All truth is God's truth.   Apparently the founding father's of Harvard knew this.  The way I understand it is, that God created everything and that everything that exists and the way everything works and interacts has been set in motion by God for His purposes.  

The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, "Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand," - Isaiah 14:24

The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. - Proverbs 16:4

"I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. - Job 42:2

So anything we try to understand should be examined in the light of The God that created the universe and who sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to reconcile man to God by paying for our transgressions on the cross and by imputing His perfect righteousness to those who have faith in Jesus.  

Granted you can gain understanding of scientific principles and facts that have been proven through  direct experimentation and observation. We can learn a lot. We can understand a bunch.  However questions like: "What happens when I die?" and " What is my purpose in life?"  can only be understood when we consider the God who made us. He has revealed himself in the Holy Scriptures (The Bible) and in the flesh (Jesus Christ).  

As Harvard's rules state: " the Lord only giveth wisdom. let everyone seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him" , so seek the wisdom that only the Lord can give.  Read the Bible. Pray for understanding. Pray for salvation.  If you know Christ already, I hope you know that there is always more to learn and I hope you dig deeper.  The revelations of truth are as limitless as the Lord is infinite.