Thursday, October 30, 2014

Whose Idea Was That?

What if I told you that I had a really good idea. It involved us all going to Krispy Kreme and each buying a dozen beautiful original glazed donuts and eating the whole box within 45 minutes so that we could achieve a new level of holiness. Would you believe me?

Hopefully you wouldn't. If you did, I would hope you would be checking out more blogs related to your drug addiction problem.

But seriously, it's a crazy idea. No one in their right mind would follow along with someone teaching that a new level of spiritual elevation could be reached by doing something as crazy as eating donuts. Donuts are pretty amazing, but not that amazing.

However, whole religions have been formed because some genius said, "Hey, let's do this!" and like sheep the people followed. This is what we call a false teacher, and they are always with us unfortunately. For example, some guy found this set of "holy glasses" that helped him read hidden scriptures which revealed a "new revelation" of the Bible. And now, today, millions of people follow the cult of Mormonism. Or how about that one lady who somehow missed the part where God told Peter that all meats, as well as all peoples, are clean. So Seventh-Day Adventists don't eat meat to this day (unless they're really hungry).

I constantly harp on knowing God's truth, and there are so many reasons why you should. Maybe you thought you had a good idea about God. Did you cross-check it against what Scripture says? If you didn't you may surely be leading people astray. Or maybe you heard something that sounded like a wonderful idea from someone else. Did you check to see if this person got the idea from the Bible? If they didn't, you have surely been led astray.

God gave us His written Word so we don't have to wonder about these things. He gave it to us and gave us the opportunity to mass-distribute it so that we have no excuse about knowing the truth. Will we understand and comprehend all things related to life and God? No! But we have all that we need to be able to stand firm against Satan's attempts to deceive us.

This is why you all need to make it a habit of reading your Bible every day. Without doing so, you are making yourself susceptable to deception. I thought I knew what the Bible said through the teachers and the preachers, but then I started reading it myself daily and it took on a whole new level of impact on my life.

Why am I saying this? Because on this blog I do say a lot of things freely without giving a Bible reference with it. I try if I can, but I often lose my flow as a writer if I stop and take five minutes to find where that verse is that I know. The reason I can do this is because I know my Bible pretty well, enough that as I am writing here I can hear some verse in my head that relates to this. If I think that the reference is that important that it needs to be stated, I will do that. But I try to make everything I say here be in agreement with scripture. If you have any questions about something in particular I have said, please ask and I will find the reference. I don't wish to lead anyone astray.

But I want you all to understand that God's Word is all you need to be able to withstand doubt, tempation and false teaching, but you need to know the Word. The only way you can know it is if you spend time daily meditating on it and letting it become a foundational part of your life. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't eat bacon without checking it against scripture to see whether they are right or wrong.

(Spoiler alert: they are wrong. Bacon is a true gift from God. [<= that is my opinion.])

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I always find it interesting how temptation likes to attack when we are at our weakest. It's like it knows that we are more likely to be swayed when we are lacking in the strength needed to fight it.

This is something I've been becoming more aware of in my own life, that while I must be vigilant all the time, the time I need to really be on the alert is when I am weakest. It's in those times when I need to be constantly reminding myself of God's truth because the lies become so easy to believe.

The truth is that God is our strength when we are weak. It's just up to us to ask for that strength and then respond obediently when he prompts us to act in trust. We can trust Him to be faithful when it really counts.

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's Not Too Hard. Sure.

Here I am at Disneyland. No, really, I am at Disneyland. Here for the week. One never outgrows Disneyland, don't let anyone convince you otherwise. I am taking a vacation from life, but this year I'm not taking a vacation from God. I'm going to maintain my usual evening devotion times as much as I can, by going away from family to the balcony of the Grand Californian Hotel lobby and read my Bible and write in this here blog kinda like a journal. Let's hope I discipline myself to do it as many nights as I can.

I've been reading in Deuteronomy for the last month or so, and it has been interesting. Of all the books in the Pentateuch, it is the book that features more life-applicable content than the other books, especially Leviticus. Deuteronomy is Moses basically preaching three sermons about the Law that was given by God to the nation of Israel. He restates some of it and adds a little extra to it. His main emphasis is exhorting Israel to keep the commandments given by God.

The commandments given in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) are, in fact, not that overly difficult or hard to fathom. Don't sleep with a woman who isn't your wife. Don't murder anyone. Don't participate in pagan rituals or practices. Don't have sex with animals (Yes, for some reason, that has been a problem for certain folks). Things that aren't difficult for a person to really do. There is a bulk of the Law centered around proper worship practice in the tabernacle/temple and which sacrifices to give when and how. Most things, if you follow the prescribed directions, you won't have that much of a problem.

Now, obviously, we as modern-day Christians do not have to follow this Law to the letter. We don't have to offer sacrifices. We can charge interest on loans. We can eat bacon (Hallelujah). But while the letter of the Law isn't fully applicable, the spirit of the Law is still very much applicable. Why? Because this particular Law of Moses given to Israel is a special application of what I refer to as the "True Law of God." God, in his righteousness, has a standard. For every application, there is right and wrong. God gave a certain application of this Law to Israel, but the truly righteous person follows the True Law of God that supersedes the Mosaic Law and applies to everyone.

The main difference is that we as Christians are covered by Jesus' sacrifice if we happen to goof up (which happens more often than we wish it did). So we can endeavor to attain to the standards of the True Law of God without being hindered by the times we fail it. Remember, God wants us to succeed, and so He has made a way for us to be able to succeed, even in our fallen human state.

That being said, Moses states in Deuteronomy 30:11 that ",,,what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach." So then how are we "all sinners" if attaining to the Law is so un-difficult?

Think about it: each of the laws given in the Pentateuch is not so difficult that we can't do them. We have no excuse. Except that doing all the laws becomes a little bit daunting. Even so, each of us has the complete human ability to fulfill the Law to the letter. It is not so out of reach. We are more than able.

But are we capable? No. We may have every ability to follow the Law, but we each have made the choice not to. We all make mistakes, and none of those are outside of our control. Our sinful nature influences us in such a way that we don't choose to make the right decision or take the right actions. So, in other words, our fallenness isn't due to a lack of ability; it's due to us choosing to sin.

Thanks be to God that He has sent Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins, completely wiping away every stain we ever had or will have. We are saved from our own depravity and the deserved punishment, as long as we choose to follow Jesus. Just like our condemnation is due to a choice, our salvation from that condemnation is also due to a choice. Therefore, let us choose to make every effort everyday to seek righteousness and holiness in our every thought and action. We will make mistakes, but it shouldn't be a big deal in the light of our constant pursuit of the righteousness that God gave His Son so we could actually seek to attain without hindrance. God wants us to succeed.