Thursday, April 28, 2022

Can You Imagine?

Can You Imagine?

(J.D. Hatfield) ©2013


Imagine there’s a heaven

Your conscience tells you why

There will be justice

Eternal and divine

Imagine all God’s people

Living for the Lord


Imagine there’s a kingdom

A Sovereign King there too

Something to live and die for

What Jesus said is true

Imagine all God’s people

Perfect and in peace


You may say that I’m evil

But our God’s the only one

I pray someday you’ll join us

And we’ll live with God as one


Imagine God’s possessions

The wonder of His plan

Only love for each other

God is one with man

Imagine all God’s people

Sharing all of God


You may say that I’m evil

But our God’s the only one

I pray someday you’ll join us

And we’ll live with God as one

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Monday, April 11, 2022

The Trinity is the First Truth

What is the first truth that the Bible teaches? Well, what are the first words of the Bible?

 Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 

·         There was a beginning

·         God was before the beginning

·         God created the beginning

These are the first truths that the Bible declares. And they are all so vital and valuable and connected. And they are echoed and expanded upon by John 1:1, using similar language.

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

·         The Word was also before the beginning

·         The Word is distinct from God

·         But the Word is also God

Genesis 1:1 tells us that there is one God, one creator, who was before the beginning. But we see a fuller picture of this one God in John 1:1. We see a distinction as to persons but not a separation of those persons. In other words, the Word, who we know as Jesus, he is a distinct person from God, but he is also God. So, here we have God the Father and God the Son.

John 1:2 says – He was in the beginning with God. Here, we see the Son, the Word, Jesus, was with God the Father in the beginning. We know that this Word, who was and is God, and who was there at the beginning, also created when we see John 1:3. It says – All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made

Jesus is not a created being. He is uncreated. He is God. As Jesus says in Revelation 1:8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” 

So, when Genesis 1:1 says God created, it means both God the Father and God the Son created. And we know that this Word is God the Son because we see it in John 1:14, which says – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. As John 1:18 says – No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. God the Father and God the Son, both eternal, and both the Creator, are both God, of the same essence, but distinct from one another.  

And then we see a third person who is God, who was also with God in the beginning, and who also was involved in creation. Genesis 1:2 says – The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And then you see the events of creation unfold in vs.3 and following. So, this “Spirit of God” is also God. And God the Spirit is Creator. And we know God the Spirit is involved in the ongoing maintenance of creation. As Psalm 104:30 says – When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground

Now, you might think that this “Spirit of God” is not a distinct person. But Jesus, the Son of God, the Word who is also God, he calls the Spirit a person, who is still God, but who is distinct from both the Father and the Son. In John 14:26, Jesus says – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. You see all three, Father, Son, and Spirit in this verse, presented as distinct persons.

In John 15:26, Jesus says – …the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. Once again, you see all three, Father, Son, and Spirit, presented as distinct persons.

Romans 8:26 says – Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. The Holy Spirit feels you, he prays for you, better than you can pray for yourself. He is a person, a person who was there before the beginning, a Creator, a person who is God.

So now, if Father, Son, and Spirit were before the beginning, and all are Creator, and all are God, but there is only one God, then what is the answer to all this? The answer is that God is one in essence, but three in person. This is what we call the Trinity, or Triunity of God. In a very real sense, the Trinity is the very first truth to know about God. It is the first truth of the Bible.  

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Why the Word isn’t Working

Romans 12:2 says – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

This text is pointing to your need for the word of God in your life. The Bible is the means of renewing your mind, changing what you think, how you think, how you process life, and how you make decisions.

But there is an issue, right here in this text.

As the text clearly says, being transformed by the renewal of your mind is the way to avoid being conformed to this world. And that is the issue. Transformation requires both positive and negative actions. In other words, you need to get the word of God working in your life, but part of that includes putting off those old patterns of life. Putting off the world, and putting on the word. These things work together, in concert with each other. Renewal is meant to be replacement.

The Apostle Paul speaks elsewhere of putting off one thing and putting on another. And as you get more word into your life, you crowd out that old way of life. You learn to discern what God’s will is, and your mind and your will are better equipped to want to do it. That’s the way the word of God works. You put the good stuff in and it pushes the garbage out. At least it’s supposed to.

What about you, though? Do you feel as if the word isn’t working for you? Is there a reason? Well, let me talk about one sure way that hinders the word of God in your life. There are others, but this is the big problem for most people.

The problem for most people is that they aren’t getting enough word. More precisely, they aren’t letting the word get into every part of their lives. Stay with me, this may not be what you think. In growing as a disciple of Jesus Christ, there will be other issues to address, but this issue must be addressed. You need to be immersed, marinated, saturated, in other words, fully engaged with the word of God. This is the only way that you will be renewed in your mind to such a degree that you are transformed in every area and arena of your practical life. Perhaps you’ve been dipped in it, maybe bathed a little in it, or even some parts of your life are full of the word of God. But again, you need to be immersed, marinated, saturated in the Scriptures. In other words, you need to be dunked in it, rolled around in it, and so well soaked that you are permeated with the word of God.

Now I’m getting at something here that may seem like you’ve heard it all before, but maybe you really haven’t. I don’t want to make you feel guilty, I want to show you how to grow. I want you to feel good, and hopeful, and confident that there is a clear path and definite plan for you to start getting the word to really have an effect in your life.

Sometimes people might not realize how little space they leave for the word in their lives. People are immersed in the culture, they marinate their minds with social media, and they are saturated with virtual reality, with politics, with any number of other things. That’s what’s having the most effect on them. The word of God is crowded out, or placed in a “Sunday morning and hopefully for less than 30 minutes” space. And maybe just every other week or so. You might think you’ve got to have your alone time, your family time, or whatever. I’m not trying to begrudge you that. And I’ll talk about your time in a minute. The point is that instead of the word saturating every part of your life, it is compartmentalized for when you think you need it. It is as if you expect that since the word of God is divine that it will replace your discipline. It will not.    

Romans 12:2 comes on the heels of Romans 12:1, which says – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. When you put Romans 12:1-2 together, it tells you that you need to sacrifice some of those things you might like to do for the most important thing you need to do. There is your answer. You have to give up some things, sacrifice them, to make time, in order to get the word working in your life so you won’t be fit into the pattern of this world and you’ll be able to live out the will of God in your experience.  

Now, speaking of experience, people are often looking for emotional or transformational encounters outside the word of God rather than saturating themselves with the word of God. And so, when then they hear a message like this, they think it just means they need to spend more time in their Bibles. As if it is just one more item to add to their “to do” list. You try and do that, you wear yourself out, and then you reason that you just don’t have enough time. And here we are, to the clarifying message I want to give to you from this text.  

You don’t need more time; you need to better use your time. To replace your time. To make time. You see, I’m not saying that you just need to add more and more Bible to your routine. I’m saying that you need to change your routine. I don’t want you to wear yourself out. I want you to wise yourself up. Replace time in the world with time in the word. That will always work.

You can fool me, but you can’t fool God, and please, don’t fool yourself. You don’t get to shortcut the process of permeation. Your lack will catch up to you. Yes, you should memorize verses of Scripture. But you don’t get to just memorize some verses and then think you can just whip them out like some “pocket Jesus” for those times you need extra help.

A lot of people can know a lot of Bible but still have only a little of the word working in their life. They treat God’s word like a college course that they just need to get through in order to graduate. But the word of God working in your life is a lifetime journey. It’s not a side issue.

Keep your sword sharp, my friends.  

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©