Saturday, May 23, 2015

"People of Faith" (False Doctrine)

I suppose it would be appropriate to address false doctrines while on the subject. False doctrines varies from something that is very similar to the truth to something being directly opposite.

It may look very similar to the real thing, just stretched and twisted slightly to misrepresent the truth.

False doctrines are nothing new, they have been around for a very long time.  You don't have to do very much reading in the New Testament to discover the New Testament writers were very often having to address false teachings that were continuing to crop up.  Then if you do a little study throughout church history you will find church history filled with correction and debate over these false teachings.  If you have a passion for God, this can be frustrating to deal with, but we shouldn't let it discourage us from continuing to seek the truth.  These false teachings can sometimes be very damaging, but they have their purpose, as all things do.  We find in 1Co 11:18  For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 
1Co 11:19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 

Here Paul tells us that there must be heresies, but these heresies have their purpose, they come so that the real deal may be known among us.  So we have them and always have and always will in this age, but when we understand their purpose it helps us to continue to press through and be watchful.

So how do we watch for these false teachings?
There are several things that come to mind that can be helpful.  One being when you hear something you are not sure about, take it to your church leadership, if they have been properly set in place there is some good council to be had in the safety of the local congregation.  I suppose that should be a given.

But that don't leave us without any responsibility to do some work ourselves. (Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so) These things are too weighty not to take them seriously.  Check out some church history, if what you have heard cannot be found in church history, it may not be in church history and that should raise a red flag.

Even more helpful is the study of the Word of God yourself, being familiar with it is a necessity in the Christian life.  But it is also important how you approach the study of the Word. One of the Sola's of the Church is Sola Scriptura, which basically means Scripture Alone.  It is the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. It is the understanding that we speak where the Scripture speaks and not beyond.  This principle of course was held by the early church, (2 Peter 1:19) but it was brought to light more recently during the reformation of the 16 century.

So how does this work?  This may get me in trouble as I have some very close friends that hold to this practice, but it makes for a good example. I bring this to light with a most humble heart not seeking to offend but only to test this against  Sola Scriptura.

There is a practice in many churches today call being slain in the spirit.  It is where an individual is supposedly overcome by the Spirit of God and falls into a trance like state.  If you were to ask me what this practice is, it would be difficult to tell you as you do not find this practice in Scripture.

Some might point to accounts in the Bible where people fell down in the presence of Angels, or fell into trances and had various experiences. But none of those fit, explain or sanction, this practice we see today.  I have seen this occur many times, have participated in the practice myself.  When I once questioned the experience, I was told I was just to yield to the Spirit and let God minister to me.  So I tried to do as I was told as best I could understand. I'm sure one looking on would have determined I had been slain in the spirit, but nothing really happened to me outside of human persuasion.

I suppose I could be challenged, that being only my experience, others would say they had a real experience.  I will not challenge the fact some may really have had some kind of spiritual experience, but can we justify and induce a practice into worship based on an experience?  If you hold the idea that Scripture is sufficient, you will have a very difficult time doing so.  If you are looking to determine if this practice and doctrine is biblical or false, unless you allow for other forces to determine your doctrine and practice other than Scripture, you will have another red flag.

I want try and answer all the persuasions that might be brought forth to justify being slain in the spirit here.  If you do have a question I will do my best to answer it. The issue is identifying false teachings and false doctrines which lead to false practices and corrupt forms of worship.  The New Testament is detailed and very descriptive in the ways we are told to Worship Him.  The book of Acts lets us see into the actions and practices of the early Church.  Sola Scriptura does not give us authority to add to that descriptive worship outside of Scripture, doing so opens the door to all kinds of activities, some might even induce some kind of experience. This seems like a very dangerous thing to allow to manifest itself inside the Church.

I could bring up a number more numerous than I would desire of practices inside many Christian Churches today where we would have many red flags arise using these principles mentioned above. Most all of them I have myself either believed or participated in at one time or the other.  I have come to feel safe only in the Scripture, it is just to dangerous to go beyond it.  An experience may be fascinating, it may for the moment give you a feeling of peace or joy, but if it falls outside of Scripture I would be very careful.  1Jn 4:1  Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 

I hope some of this can be helpful, my intent is only to encourage us to test the things we think we know or believe with the truth of Scripture. If all we have is some obscure passage somewhere in the Bible where something similar may or may not have happened, or we have to stretch or twist the scripture just a bit to give us what we want, do we not at the least need to give thought to and question what we are doing?

May the Grace of God be upon each of you,


  Honor to Whom Honor

Once again we find ourselves coming upon yet another Memorial Day on our calendars.  Celebrations will soar with all manner of observances and for the most part, fun and recreation.  Surely there's nothing wrong with enjoying that extra long weekend away from the duties of the workforce and the often periods of stress that are known to accompany the work day.  Yet, in all of the rest and refreshment that are so cherished in this time of year, we really mustn't forget the reason for the occasion.

As we went into town this weekend, the patriotic reminders were posted in shop windows.  Flags displayed along walkways were popping up throughout the city.  How good it was to see that there are those who do not forget.

We owe eternal gratitude to our Sovereign God for preserving us in this nation.  Truly it's a given that everything about any success that has transpired in this great land, has been a provision from above.  Yet so often the means by which our freedom was achieved has come from those who paid with their own blood and even life itself.  My simple thinking today inclines me to say "thank you" to those who have gone on before,  and to those in their family who may know the experience of giving that loved one up for such a noble cause.

Among our festivities and moments of pleasure during this time, may we give thanks to our Heavenly Father while we are much in prayer for the salvation of such a land of the free.  As Christians we know that we have citizenship in Heaven, though we are citizens somewhere here in this earth while we're here.  The Apostle Paul gave some well clarified instructions to the Romans that leads us to understand what is expected from Christians in this world.

Romans 13:1-7 "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.  wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?  do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good.  But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

With Grateful Heart,


Saturday, May 16, 2015

"People of Faith" (What is true Doctrine?)

In Joh 18:37  While Pilate was interogating Jesus and pressing him for answers, Jesus stated, ". . . Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."  

Pilate obviously proving himself not to be of the truth replied, "What is truth. . . ."  Truth for many is not an absolute, but is a thing of relativity, as a matter of fact there may be multiple truths existing at the same time.  For others truth is simply what they believe it to be and for others truth is something obscure that can never be fully known.

For people of faith, truth must be absolute and it must be knowable.  But as we have noted in previous post, this can be a difficult process that will require effort on our part. One looking in from the outside or someone newly arriving in Christian circles may look at all the different doctrines within all the various Christian groups and wonder, how will I ever know the truth?  Which one really has the truth? 

Here are just a few things to acknowledge about the truth of Scripture: 

1st - The text from which we derive our doctrine is ancient, thousands of years old.

2nd - Cultural differences are immense between the time of their writing and ours.

3rd - Language barriers are difficult, first understanding the meaning, then bringing that meaning fully over into another language all with varying dialects.

4th - The actual text we have are copies of copies that have been made over the centuries.

One might take the above statements and argue that we never can really really know the truth, or perhaps try to explain why it seems Christian's can't agree upon what they really believe the truth to be (their doctrine).  That would be a misuse of the statements, it is only to acknowledge that there are difficulties to overcome, but they can be over come.

In the opening scripture Jesus said he came to bear witness of the truth. That tells us that truth is out there, and He was a witness of it.  Like last week's post when Peter testified to the truth of who Jesus was, Jesus told Peter that knowledge did not come from man, but from the Father.  Here Jesus tells us that those who are of the truth hear His voice.  This is a statement of not just hearing but understanding the truth of what is heard.  This is what happened in last weeks post with Peter's understanding of who Jesus was. All of the difficulties that lay before Peter in coming to this understanding were overcome by the light of Grace provided by the Father. 

Now lets be real, it is fair to ask after reading that, why are we not as Christians walking under one unified doctrine of belief as in the beginning of the ancient church?  

To avoid a complicated answer and getting lost in all the various factors involved in human complexity, the likes of which I am insufficient to even begin, let me give you the sum of it all as was spoken by Jesus to the Pharisees upon their question of divorce.  

Mat 19:8  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 

Any time we are outside the truth of God's Word it is because of the hardness of our hearts.  That is not something we as Christians like to acknowledge, but our differences in what we believe the truth to be come from the hardness of our hearts, our holding to our pride, self worth, or a myriad of other vices that blind us to the truth.  This hardness separates us in doctrine and opens us to deception and false teachings that are ever present to avail itself within the Church.

John 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 

Want to know the truth?  You can begin the wonderful discovery of who God is today, humble yourself, seek his face, give your life to knowing Him.  As you travel you will discover truth all along the way.  While you travel, love those who differ, knowing like Peter, the light of Grace will shine truth before your eyes.  

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 
2Ti 2:16  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 
2Ti 2:17  And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 
2Ti 2:18  Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 
2Ti 2:19  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 
2Ti 2:20  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 
2Ti 2:21  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 
2Ti 2:22  Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 
2Ti 2:23  But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 
2Ti 2:24  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

In another place we are told to "think on these things" this is our journey, we work, we study, we think and employ our mind, all of these efforts are but only means by which God uses to bring the light of truth. Don't let all the differences in Christian doctrine deter you from seeking the truth about Him, there have always been difficulties, there always will be in this age, but truth has always been there to discover and enjoy as we discover who He is, the Christ, the Son of God! 

May the Grace of God be upon each of you,


Contentment in Christ

Once again we find ourselves in the heart of the completion of another school year.  Young men and women are graduating and diplomas are being passed out by the scores.  What exciting days for these who will embark on yet another adventurous leg of the journey for their lives.  If you are reading, and this status applies to you, then a very warm "Congratulations!" be to you from us.

While attending the graduation of my nephew recently, I was blessed to be seated with my mother.  As we had ample time to have some good conversation due to arriving so early to get a seat, she made a remark that has stayed with me since the event.  We were watching people so busily buzzing around to take care of their part of the ceremonies when my mother said to me, "I'm so thankful that the Lord blessed me to be a housewife."  My only correct answer would be to concur with her.  After all, she has always been there for her family, serving faithfully her God, her home, and her neighbor.   

It should be so appropriate to be able to say when we're in the last miles of our journey in this life that we're content and blessed beyond measure with the lot we were given from our Father above.  On the other hand, it can be rather saddening for those we may know that never seem truly content with any aspect of their lives.  We who know something of this contentment that is found in Christ also know that it's because of Him that we can be content.  All other methods  of responding to this life will leave us short of the mark we wish to reach.

The perfect situations, the perfect career, the perfect family, or the perfect housewife simply do not exist.  Truth revealed unto us lets us know that only Christ is perfection.  Our daily walk with Him which requires us to humbly seek His direction through His Spirit insures us of  peace of heart even midst the most difficult of circumstances.  

If we truly seek the Christ while He may be found, there will be no shortage of contented labor in Him.  With all due respect to those professionally inclined, we really do not have to find our worth in a document that hangs on our wall sporting our accomplishments.  When that document is needed for what the Christ has given us to do, He will teach us how to carry His gifts.  Even though "pomp" certainly seems to go with the "circumstances," the glory and honor belong to our Lord.

May we do well that which He has given us to do.  May we run well in this race to His glory, honor, and praise.  Oh to speak of our satisfaction with Him, and pray to hear Him say He is satisfied with us!

Thankful for His Grace and Contentment,


I Timothy 6:6-8 "But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

Philippians 4:11-13 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."


Saturday, May 9, 2015

"People of Faith" Doctrine II

In the previous post we talked a little about doctrine. I'm still talking about that because to be honest (and I really should be honest) doctrine is a subject that has always bothered me.  It bothered me even before I began to understand a little about what it was.  It seemed to always have been a stumbling stone, a cause for offense.

This has come to mind as a Pastor friend of mine has been preaching a series of sermons on evangelism. As he laid the Scriptural foundation for the hows and the whys, this thing of doctrine came to mind again.

You may have experienced this same thing, but I don't know how many times I may have shared a Scripture with someone to address a particular subject for the moment, only to have them reply, "Well, that's just the way you see it, let 12 different people read that and you will get twelve different views, what makes your view the right one?"  There I stand staring them in the eye, not wanting to appear arrogant and a know it all, yet searching for a reason why they should believe me rather than someone else.  All the different views, which we will call doctrine, seem to diminish our ability to evangelize, for who can know the truth?  Thus, the troubling in my soul.

So what are we to do?  I think I have come to an understanding of a few things that help, perhaps some of you can give us further insight to help us to even a greater extent.  One of the greatest things that has helped me is a greater understanding of the Sovereignty of God in Salvation, really His absolute Sovereignty over His creation.

To the left here we see Dr. Rush studying, keeping the Word of God before his eyes, contemplating with his mind the things of God.  If we do that we will discover the complexity of Creation.  We as human beings are very complex in our nature, to that we must add the complexity of our fall.  Everything we are has been damaged and altered, nothing remains untouched,  the way we think, reason, even our emotional make up, in all it's complexity we are drastically affected by the fall, some refer to this as total depravity.

When we start with this precept, we can begin with the understanding that it is a wonder we understand anything correctly at all.  So who can know the truth?  Left to our own understanding, no one.

So now we know why there are so many different views (doctrine) of Scripture.  In our damaged state, even as Christians (regenerate beings) it is difficult for us to see correctly. (Paul mentions we see through a glass darkly 1 Cor. 13:12) Perhaps better said, it is easy for us to lean on our own understanding.  So how does this help me as I stand there starring in the eyes of the question, "Who can know the truth?"

Perhaps it would help if we had a mind as brilliant as Albert Einstein! We could then make a good enough argument to persuade people we are correct in our views (doctrine).  If we could just get enough people with a mind like his to read and study the Scriptures for us, they could discover the truth and explain true doctrine of which we could all then follow.

I am being fictitious of course, we all know this would get us no where, Einstein himself was baffled by the God of the Bible, not being able to understand the complexity of Creation.

Let's try to get somewhere now, In Matthew 16 we find these words,

Mat 16:12  Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 
Mat 16:13  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 
Mat 16:14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 
Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 
Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 
Mat 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 

The Word of God is Amazing, if I could think of a more glorious way to say it I would.  My vocabulary and knowledge of the English language and language as a whole is not sufficient to describe the magnificence of God when He speaks.  While it is true every event of our lives is not specifically addressed in Scripture, if it were we would have a book so large it would be useless to us, but we do find principles and precepts that do apply to every aspect of our lives.

Since we have determined we are not smart enough to grasp true doctrine, we must get it some other way.  Notice the question Jesus asked his disciples, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? "  Their reply will be their views, (doctrine).  Notice there were many, yet only one truth.  From this we can determine that out of those 12 different views mentioned in the beginning of the post, there could be one that really is truth.

Notice also Peter's view (doctrine) "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." This is true doctrine, the others were reasoning's  of men and not true doctrine.

Now notice how Jesus said he got it, " . . . flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."  Now that is pretty straight forward.  But we must understand this didn't just come somewhere from thin air so to speak. Peter heard words taught, this includes the false views (doctrine).  He studied the Scriptures, which also included the not so accurate commentaries, yet out of all this he was able to know and define true doctrine.  It came not from intellectual capacities or powerful persuasions, but from the Spirit of God.  His attention to what was preached, his study of the Scriptures himself, his pondering of the things of God were the means by which God used to bring Him to true doctrine.

Here is the strength of my point, God in His absolute Sovereignty is not surprised nor frustrated by all the diversity of views (doctrine) we face today, Therefore, since he allows it, there must be purpose in it and a benefit to us from it, and as a result at the end of all things He will be Glorified the more by it being so.

I do know I find, as a result of all the diversity of Christian doctrine, a driving passion to seek truth all the more.  As Paul said of the Berean's in Act 17, they searched the Scriptures daily to see if those things were so. Out of that searching and desire in prayer the means of truth is revealed and settled in our hearts. The things we have to fight against is our fallen tendency's to hold to our views (doctrine) rather than seeking truth above all things.  Many times our pride in or faithfulness to our views (doctrine) supersede our humble dependence upon the Spirit of God.

Now, how do I answer the question starring me in the face, "Who can know truth?"  I resign to the Sovereignty of God in all things.  Yes, there are 12 other views, (you choose the number) but the truth will not be persuaded by my strong argument or the intellectual capacity of the individual.  We are not told to study to be powerfully persuasive, though we must study.  We are not told to be intellectual giants, though we must learn all we can.  We are told to preach the Gospel, and all who are ordained to eternal life will believe. We preach, God opens the heart, His truth becomes clear light illuminating the life of the believer.  My answer to one who says there are 12 other views, yes, but if you desire to search for it, you can know the truth.  It may not be easy and it may not come quickly, but if you desire the truth you can know it.  It is my prayer to God, it is important enough that you will be moved to search for it.

May the Grace of God be upon each of you,


 Mud Pie Moments

This week brought the blessing of precious days filled with one of the grand girls, and sometimes two.  Those of you who've experienced these moments with your special little ones know there are so many stories to tell.  The funny things they do and say, the times they try our patience and teach us the necessity of more conformity to the character of the One we serve, and the times that our minds and bodies get so exhausted that we think we have absolutely nothing left to give, are simply priceless.  Then, all at once, we get that second wind, or breath of spring, and off we go again.

Determined that the girls would play some things creative other than indoor games and veggie tales, we set out to make an outdoor playhouse.  We used whatever we could find to turn into our kitchen.  This included fresh garden dirt for coffee and pie filling, with plenty of fresh water for cooking and dish washing.  At any rate, "it was on," with the mud pies and coffee.

As we have a freshman lad trying to do his school work around these functions, once I found myself needing to call his spelling words for his test.  We got to the word "essential" when the 4 year old piped up and said "What's essential?"  The best example, for the moment, to give her was the one pertaining to how necessary her bath was going to be after she pulled her arm (elbow deep) from the rich pot of mud coffee she was brewing. lol

You're thinking, Oh no, it's grandparent tell all time!  This can be tricky, and we must watch how we speak of those we love so much.  They have their place in our love, but we know that the love of our life must be the Christ, our blessed Savior.  He blesses us so well with the provision for all that we need.  It is hard not to share the moments that bring us such joy from His great hand of mercy.

As I sat down to write this post, my grand daughter asked me why I did this.  She had a very valid question, and I tried to think before speaking to her about it.  My prayer is that if someone at all could be helped by something written here in their spiritual walk in Christ, then it would be worth it all.

So many times when David will ask me to post something on the blog, it seems that my grand daughter's question is present with me, "why?"  The best answer here is that Christ is worthy of every effort to honor His name.  He'll even take a southern girl that often doesn't even use the good English she has learned to bear witness to His truth.  How thankful am I for His patience and method of choosing His vessels.

Maybe this is just a word of thanksgiving today to the One Who pours out such abundant blessing.  Once we may have carried a brief case and sat behind a desk to acquire an appropriate economic boost for our efforts.  But, once we experience the blessing of wholesome family living and the strength of the relationships that can be built through Christ, how could moments such as these be traded for any compensation this world could offer?

Take time to enjoy the provision of the One Who has provided while we worship Him as the All Sufficient One.  What a glorious place of rest it is to us to trust His hand of providence!  You don't have to make mud pies with your kids, but enjoy them with His rest in mind.

I Timothy 6:17 "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;"

Have a blessed week,


Saturday, May 2, 2015

"People of Faith" Doctrine

Has been a while since our last post, life has been busy and other studies has keep me away from the blog.  But here I am and it seems I have found the time to sit down for a few minutes and post some thoughts.

When I began these posts on people of faith, I thought I was heading to the subject of  William Tyndale, perhaps I will still make it.  But this morning as I sit I question whether or not I have titled these last few posts appropriately.  I have noticed I have been struggling with the previous posts feeling it necessary to try and qualify what I meant by "People of Faith".  That phrase has come to mean so many differently things to different people, it is almost a useless phrase without qualification.  Our pluralistic society has made it very difficult to do  without this need of qualification.  In the beginning of our nation, when our founders spoke of religion, a qualification was given only if they were for some reason speaking of something other than Christianity.  That is no longer the case.

But it goes deeper than that, we have become so confused over the term of faith, we cannot speak of it even in Christian circles without some kind of qualification.  It is no wonder the world is confused about the nature of God when the church itself is so confused.  I used to ask the question sometime when inquiring about where someone went to church, "What faith are you" but I think a more accurately stated inquiry would be, "What is your doctrine?"

I have heard it said that doctrine divides and it is therefore avoided, I am incline to believe doctrine unites.  I have heard preachers almost boast about the fact they don't preach doctrine, just Christ.  But you can't preach Christ without doctrine, that is doctrine, what you believe about Him is doctrine, and that is very important.  Doctrine matters to the utmost degree.  We have come to the place in the Christian church that you can just invent you own doctrine and go start another church, call it Christian and for the most part the Christian world will embrace it and acknowledge it.

I find most people who attend church regularly if asked what is their doctrine, they have no idea or either spill off some kind or unorganized statement of beliefs that generally fall within their group.  I know this to be so, for not so long ago I was one of them.  Out of sheer Grace I was given a desire to define what I believed and why.  To compare that with what I found in Scripture, then with what those before me believed and why.  Then to look at church history and what the church has believed over the centuries, see where they found themselves missing the mark and how they made their corrections.  To weigh the time tested doctrines of history against my own.

As a result I have had to make some corrections of my own, things I have believed to be Christian truth for most of my life I found to be in error.  This is a difficult thing for one to do, when so much of your life has been given to something, then discover it was vanity.

I am in good company though, the great Apostle Paul discovered on his way to Damascus that everything he believed about God was wrong. He then counted all that as dung and began to press toward the mark.

I would encourage you, whoever you are, don't take your calling lightly.  If you are called into the Kingdom of God, you have purpose, but you also have responsibility.  Neglect your responsibility and you may find there is no calling.

Test you convictions against the Word of God, weigh it against the history of church. Scrutinize it with the wisdom of great men of the past, whose lives and life testify of truth.  Look to the critics of you faith and see if you have answers.  Doctrine is most important, we must be as accurate as we possibly can.  If you have a belief that is not clearly stated in Scripture, and a way of life that cannot be found in Acts and the early believers, things that the great men before us do not speak of, things that were not accepted throughout early church history, be careful, be diligent, strive for the truth.

Preface all of this with sincere pray and commitment to God for Him to give you a heart and eye for truth, then be patient, it most likely will not come over night.  Most generally it will begin slowly and continue for the rest of you life.

May the Grace of God be upon each of you,


The Blessing of Godly Mothers

Today I've experienced  another great measure of God's precious grace in this life.  Just this very morning, spending time with both my mother, and my mother-in-law (as two of the best friends one could possibly have), has reminded me of the blessedness interwoven into our lives by such a caring Heavenly Father.  The design He established with making families and the many joys found in such relationships are among the richest endowments of His great hand of provision.

While thinking on the coming weekend and the celebration we hold in this nation in honor of our Moms, the thought came along side for those who cannot celebrate with their Moms living on this earth with them now.  They've already gone on to their reward with Christ, or maybe even it isn't a good memory at all.  Those who never got to know their earthly mother, or even had to live in the issues of an ungodly parentage, would have many struggles with such a celebration which so many of us desire to honor.

Yet, after thinking a little further, we must realize that our Heavenly Father has so many varying blessings that come our way in this life.  The friendship and close bond that I may enjoy with these two precious gals are of the greatest He has given me.  Someone else, on the other hand, will experience His great hand of providence in yet other graces.  Isn't it so comforting to know that the Lord of Heaven and Earth has in store for us just what we need, and exactly when we need it?  When we can really lay hold on this truth that "our God will supply our need according to His riches in glory in Christ"(ref. Philp 4:19), we can rest in the assurance of His choice of blessings toward us.

Paul was speaking to the folks at Philippi when he stated the passage above.  This seemed to come about after their faithfulness to the work of the Lord and provision for the ministry of those serving in his capacity.  If He (Christ) truly is the One in Whom we place our confidence, then our investments of time, energy and finances will reflect this place of trust.  How marvelous to enjoy His blessings while we worship and honor the One Who Blesses.

As we approach this time of honor toward Moms, my prayer is that you have indeed this occasion to be thankful for.  But, if not, may we examine His many graces toward us and trust His hand of great mercy with a thankful heart.  He's so worthy of our praise and thanksgiving even amidst the many things that we are yet to understand.

Blessings to you as you hold His hand in confidence of Who He Is in your life, the Lord, Savior, and soon coming King of Glory.