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Entries in God's Word (31)

Saturday
Nov102012

What is truth?

When I think and say that America is in a moral mess am I being intolerant, judgmental or pushing my opinions? Good question! My answer might turn you off or bore you but... I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. That means I really believe that God through His Spirit moved in the hearts of men to record His Words. Yep, I really do believe this! I also believe that the inspired Word of God is the supreme and final authority for my faith and for my life.  Bear with me one more second because I also believe that Jesus Christ is God who left His throne in Heaven, took on flesh and died for me and for you so we could have forgiveness of our sins and a relationship with Him now and for all of eternity. Oh and something else - I believe that the moment I acknowledged these truths and in my heart and declared Jesus as my Lord and Savior that God put His Holy Spirit within me to enable me to live as Christ lived while on earth - righteous and holy.  Thank you for letting me share this.

So, what I believe does and should impact what I say, do and how I behave. Some might say, well that's fine for you but that's not what I believe and you shouldn't push your opinions on me. Okay - I understand it's just that I have to ask: What is truth?  Is there absolute truth or do we all just do our own things based on whatever sounds right?  I read a Barna report that observed "people's willingness to draw from a variety of conflicting sources" when determining truth. "This is perhaps most clearly evident through the finding that a plurality of adults (44%) contends that, 'the Bible, the Koran and the Book of Mormon are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths.' Just 38% of Americans reject that idea."

Very revealing! Here are some more stats:

  • By a 3-to-1 margin (64% vs. 22%) adults said truth is always relative to the person and their situation. (Barna.org)
  • By far the most common basis for moral decision-making was doing whatever feels right or comfortable in a situation. Nearly four out of ten teens (38%) and three out of ten adults (31%) described that as their primary consideration. (Barna.org)
  • 32% of those born again believe in moral absolutes, compared to just half as many (15%) among the non-born again. (Barna.org)
  • One third of born again adults (33%) say that abortion is a morally acceptable behavior, compared with 45% of all adults.
  • The United States has one of the highest abortion rates among developed countries ... At current rates, an estimated 43 percent of American women will have at least one abortion by the age of 45." (Carrie Gordon Earll)
  • Divorce is more common among "born-again" Christians than in the general American population. (Ronald J. Sider, "The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience, Why don’t Christians live what they preach?"
  • 30% of all adults consider having a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex a morally acceptable behavior. (Barna.org)
  • 14% of Elders, 32% of Boomers, 41% of Busters and 40% of Mosaics consider having a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex a morally acceptable behavior. (Barna.org)
  • Though many believe pornography is a harmless pastime, it's estimated that more than 20 million Americans are addicted to it ..." (Bill Wilson, “Porn’s Effect Discussed in D.C.)
  • About half of all adults (49%) contend that homosexuality is due to non-genetic factors such as upbringing and environment, one-third say people are born gay (34%), and the remaining 17% are not sure. (Barna.org)
  • By a 2-to-1 margin (62% - 30%) adults disapprove of clergy marrying gay couples or blessing their marriage unions. (Barna.org)
  • Nearly half of the adult population felt that two other behaviors were morally acceptable: having an abortion (45%) and having a sexual relationship with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse (42%). About one-third of the population gave the stamp of approval to pornography (38%), profanity (36%), drunkenness (35%) and homosexual sex (30%). The activity that garnered the least support was using non-prescription drugs (17%). (Barna.org)
  • More than half of all adults (54%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven. (Barna.org)

What is truth?  Well, I can say with absolute certainty that God's Word is truth and God, in His Word, speaks clearly about each of the above stats, thinking and behaviors.

Did you know that God says in His Word that we suppress the truth. He goes on to say that He has made Himself evident - His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen and understood by all. Now, that's an out there truth. God talks like that in His Word. God puts the truth about Himself and us out there and we have to deal with it. We can choose to accept it as truth or we suppress what He says we know or go and live based on what we think is right. This is a true statement because I experience it every day of my life and certainly every time I come face to face with God through His Word. So I ask myself - if I really believe there is a God and the Bible is His book, then why would I choose to suppress the truth and do my own thing? Or, why would I stop proclaiming truth?

I don't believe what I believe because someone told me to believe it or that was how I was raised or because I just determined it in my own mind. No, I've personally experienced the power of God through His Word.  The truth has jumped off the page, gone straight to my heart and the Word of God together with the Spirit of God have changed my heart, my life, my attitudes, my thinking. I know by experience that God's Word is truth.

I say we all owe it to ourselves to makes absolute certain that what we believe is TRUTH. I say we owe it to ourselves to know if there really is absolute truth.
If you are reading this and don't believe the Word of God is truth or you've not yet come to know God through His Son Jesus Christ, then I beg you to ask yourself....what if I am right?  What if God's Word really is absolute truth? Would you consider taking an hour of your life to sit down, ask God if He really is real and if His book the Bible really is truth?  If you are willing,  please go find a quiet place and pull out your Bible and read through the book of John. Or, go to http://www.esvbible.org/search/John/. As you read, ask God to make Himself real and His Word alive.

I thank God for you.




Saturday
Sep082012

I am woman hear me ROAR

In 1972, Helen Reddy wrote a song entitled “I Am Woman” which became the anthem for the women’s liberation movement.  Here it is:

Okay, listen to this: Reddy credits the song as having “supernatural inspiration.” She said:

 “I remember lying in bed one night and the words, ‘I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman’, kept going over and over in my head. That part I considered to be divinely inspired. I had been chosen to get a message across.” 

In October of 1972, the song reached No.1 on the Billboard charts and won a Grammy Award. In her acceptance speech for Best Female Performance, Reddy thanked “God, because She makes everything possible.” In 1973, the National Organization of Women (NOW) closed their annual convention with the playing of “I am Woman.” NOW’s founder Betty Friedan said

“Suddenly women got out of their seats and started dancing around the hotel ballroom and joining hands in a circle that got larger and larger until maybe a thousand of us were dancing and singing. ‘I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.’ It was a spontaneous, beautiful expression of the exhilaration we all felt in those years, women really moving as women.”

Women were mad and they weren’t going to take being treated unfairly any longer! “I Am Woman” is the song of a feminist heart. The song lyrics reveal her experiences deepened the convictions (strong belief) of her soul. She had been:

· Down on the floor
· Bent but not broken
· In pain and paid a price

She goes on to say that wisdom was born from this pain. She infers that she has learned from this experience or experiences and that her thinking about herself and the direction of her life has changed.

Are we as women today so different? Some of our decisions have been born out of pain due to the actions of others.  This can certainly change the directions of our lives.  We can feel a need to protect ourselves, fight for our rights, or finally be heard (a/k/a ROAR). We have many reasons to thank those brave women who went before us fighting for equality and justice on our behalf. But have we come too far?

Often, our opinions, attitudes and actions are made based on what we feel or think is right based on our circumstances. So then, since truth is relative to our circumstances, we do whatever feels right, is comfortable, makes others happy, results in the least conflict or produces a positive outcome for us.  Here's the thing though - opinions, attitudes and actions can be influenced and, therefore, can change.  Is there any way to know that we know what is true about us no matter what is going on around us? Is there absolute truth in the face of our circumstances?

I believe God’s Word is absolute truth and God, in His Word, has a very clear standard for us as women and individuals.

Standard means…something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality.

If we proclaim to be followers of Christ, then truth is not relative to our circumstances. We must make decisions based on what God says is right in a situation.  There is absolute truth and there are moral truths and principles that do not change no matter the times or circumstances.  No matter what is going on in society or culture, we can cling to absolute truth. No matter what our feelings or circumstances tell us, God’s standard for us remains the same. All kinds of bad things can happen to us and demeaning things said to us but God’s people make their decisions based on His Word - Truth. Every lie that demeans and devalues comes from the father of lies – the one who is a murderer from the beginning. We must remember his crafty schemes are devised to destroy us, our families, and our society. And, if we don't believe in absolute truth then any 'ole lie will do...and will eventually destroy us.

Our choices and behaviors not only impact our own lives, they have a ripple effect on our families and our society in general. But, we can turn this around.  We can do it!  First, we have to decide what we are going to believe.  Are we going to believe the liar or the one who is God – Truth?

I am woman hear me ROAR:   there is absolute truth!  Let's remember, to live otherwise has and will continue to put our families, homes and society at risk.  Amen?

Saturday
Jun022012

Big Blue Marble


During a meeting last week I noticed a co-worker had the most incredible picture of earth I've ever seen as his screen saver. So, I did a Google search and found this picture from NASA.

Doesn't this picture just cause you to sit a minute in wonder?  It's obviously taken miles from earth.  Look at earth - just hanging there in space - so beautiful.  And we are down there on that big blue marble that hangs in space.  Remarkable.

As I was listening to my ESV Chronological Podcast yesterday, I head the psalmist say "You established the earth, and it stands" and my mind immediately went to this picture of the earth.  It stands but how?  


How does the earth hang there in the middle of nothing?  The simple truth takes my breath away.  How?  Because God says so.  Earth hangs or stands because His Word is just that powerful.  He is just that powerful.  Wow!  Here is where the psalmist says:
 " Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants." (Psalm 119:89-91)
I have God bumps all over my arms just reading these verses and seeing this picture.  Almighty God...Abba Father  -  spoke the world into existence.  He said let there be....and by the power of His Word it be (exists)!  I go back and I read the creation account in Genesis and I see and declare - Your Word is settled in the Heavens....You established the earth, and it stands.  They stand this day according to Your ordinances (or words) - for all things are Your servants.

God, oh my God - You are amazing and Your faithfulness does continue throughout all generations.  You have been faithful to cause the earth which You established to stand to this day.  You are forever faithful to Your Word!  Thank You God for this awesome and beautiful reminder of your might, majesty and faithfulness.  Cause me to hang on Your every Word, to know Your every Word, to cherish and delight in Your every Word and to keep and walk in Your Word - for You have magnified Your Word together with Your Name. (Psalm 132:8).
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All rightly then.  That sure enough winds my watch!

Saturday
May192012

Beloved of God - Free Resource

 

Thanks to Precept Ministries International, learning inductive Bible study skills changed my life!  I did not learn how to discover truth for myself until I was in my 40's but once I learned how to mine God's Word, I found treasures...and I'm still digging and discovering. Hallelujah!

 

When I first started studying inductively, I thought I knew a lot about God but boy was I wrong!  I didn't have a right understanding of God and I didn't have a right understanding of who I am in Christ.  Getting my mind around the character of God and that I am Beloved of God were  major markers in my spiritual growth.  So, about 10 years ago, I wrote them down in a little book and enjoyed sharing these truths and the little book with as many women as the Lord sent to me.

Why I am sharing the PDF to this little book now?

 

·  This week I received an email from a woman who told me learning these truths had been a marker in her life and wanted to know if she could get the book to share with someone else.  I told her I would send her the PDF.

·  It was just last week I had to remember that I am Beloved of God, take up these truths and do some mental battle!

·  I've learned so much since putting these truths in a booklet and for several years I've wanted to give it an update.  But, the Lord has had me busy doing other things and I don't see an update any time soon!

 


So, here it is: Beloved of God Book

When the little book was printed, I had wristbands made.  For over 10 years, when I needed to be reminded that I am Beloved of God, I would wear this wristband as a visual reminder. I've pulled mine back out!  I have about 10 of them left - do you want one?

Saturday
Mar172012

A handful of sand


The discovery of Psalm 139 was life changing for me. Why? I discovered the most amazing truths about God.  Ya'll He's big, majestic - beyond human comprehension.  He sees all, knows all, understands all and He knows each one of us intimately.  That right there - that He knows each one of us intimately - is mind blowing. How many times have I felt unloved by God - or anyone else for that matter?  Or alone?  Thinking no one knew, understood or cared.  HA!  Psalm 139 tells me God knows when I sit down and when I rise up.  He even knows the words I am going to speak before I ever speak them.  (Which is why I often ask Him to strike me mute to keep me from saying some of the stuff I apt to say!).

I exist, you exist because God created us.  He knit us together in our mothers wombs.  He alone planned for us and has plans for us. Yep!  Mind blowing.  Don't these truths stop you?  Don't you hear your soul saying wait!  Stop!  Backup - read it again.  Wow. Creator God - the One who spoke the world into existence - He sat in the Heavens and He knitted me together in my mothers womb.  He knows us intimately, He loves us and later in His Book we find He sent Jesus to die/shed His blood and to redeem us or purchase us for His very own possession.  The reality of these truths change my perspective, my thinking, my focus.  But it doesn't stop there...He goes on to say that His precious thoughts toward me out number the grains of sand.  Seriously?  Come on now.  Hard enough to imagine that God has any precious thoughts towards me really but that the number of His precious thoughts toward me outnumber the grains of sand.  Honestly, a hand full of sand or precious thoughts toward me is more than I can comprehend. 

God's Word speaks!  And when God speaks His Word into our hearts we are filled with such gratitude aren't we?  This morning, I ask myself and I ask my God - do my precious thoughts toward Him outnumber the grains of sand?  Do I know God so well and so intimately that my precious thoughts toward Him outnumber the grains of sand?  Let it be Lord - get me there Lord - let it be.