Friday, October 27, 2023

Too Cool For School

1 John 2:27 says…the anointing…abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you

The Holy Spirit is a gift to every believer. And the Holy Spirit helps the believer to be able to understand Scripture. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need teachers. Teachers are also a gift to the Church.

Christians need to be taught, and they do need teachers. What you don’t need are spiritual goons who tell you that you don’t because you have some special power. Or spiritual gurus who tell you that they are the ones with some special power. Using 1 John 2:27 to say that you don’t need a teacher only proves that you do need one.

In the book of 1 John, the Apostle was condemning the notion of spiritual gurus who had secret knowledge, who were called the Gnostics. John was saying that scripture is able to be understood. He was not saying that you don’t need teachers at all. Think about the irony of someone teaching you that you don’t need to be taught. John wasn’t doing that. He was a teacher himself, and he was teaching people right then as he wrote those words.

The clarity of scripture is an important doctrine, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be, or don’t need to be, taught in the Word. It means that you don’t need to have enlightened masters to initiate you into secret truths. You just need to learn to interpret the Bible like anyone and everyone else can and should. The Bible isn’t a secret code to solve.

We all start out as students, and even scholars learn and glean from others. Teachers have to be taught. You don’t have to have a PhD to study and learn and know the Bible, but a teacher can help you understand it more fully.

The reason we use terms in Latin like “sola scriptura” and “ordo salutis” and the like, or phrases or big words that may not be initially understood is that they communicate concepts. They convey in a few words a whole lot of agreed on information, therefore you can discuss things without having to go over material that is already understood. When we say “justification”, for instance, we are using that word, a biblical word, to talk of right standing with God, how that is achieved, what it leads to, and so on.

For another example, by using the acronym TULIP, is understood to be a whole system of doctrine. It is the nomenclature, the vernacular, it is the “trade specific” language used by those in theological discussion. Liken this to an electrician, or plumber, or others who do the same things. Imagine if a team of builders had to explain all of the catch phrases to each other every time; that structure would never get finished!

You can’t say, “I don’t need teachers, I just need Jesus”. Because Jesus doesn’t want you to say that. Jesus is the one who gave you teachers (Ephesians 4:7-16) so that you will grow up in him. No one is exempt from learning. You can’t be too cool for school. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, October 20, 2023

Through the Lens of God

You need to see your circumstances through the lens of God, instead of seeing God through the lens of your circumstances. I’ve said that many times, and I’m sure I’ll say it again many more times. But today, I want to explain that a little further. So let me say it again. You need to see your circumstances through the lens of God, instead of seeing God through the lens of your circumstances.

Now what does that mean? And what do you need to do to make sure you get this right?

It means you need to get the order right. If you start by meditating on your current circumstances and then reason from there to the character of God, you are going to see him wrong. In other words, if you look at your problems, and ask yourself, “What does this tell me about God?” you’re headed in the wrong direction, you’re going to draw the wrong conclusions, and you’re going to make some wrong choices.  

If you want to start getting this right, start from the right starting point.

Instead of meditating on your current circumstances and then reasoning from there to the character of God, start by meditating on God, and then see your circumstances in light of that. In other words, start by looking at who God is. God is sovereign, God is good, and God is working all things together for my good. Then you tell yourself, “My circumstances are a part of God working his good purpose in and through my life.”

When you start by reminding yourself of God’s good character and good purposes, then you’re headed in the right direction, you’re going to draw the right conclusions, and you’re going to make some right choices.  

And you can pray about this – Lord Jesus, help me see as you see, so I would be as you would be. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Thursday, October 19, 2023

You don’t have to be a Prophet

1 Corinthians 15:33 says – Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals."

Sometimes it is obvious what certain associations, behaviors, and beliefs will lead to. We warn our children that doing certain things will yield certain results, things that we can see easily but they rebel against.

We do the same thing as adults. God warns us, but we think we can avoid the inevitable consequences as we try and do things “our way.”

Listen, you don’t have to be a prophet to watch the grass grow. If you plant the seed, and fertilize your lawn, and then turn on the sprinklers, well, you know what will happen.

It is the same with life. Your choices and decisions are either going in one direction or the other, the godly way, or the ungodly way.

The question is which lawn are you watering? 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, October 13, 2023

You’re not supposed to like it

You're not supposed to like everything you hear. If you like everything you hear, then how do you expect to be challenged enough to grow? And if you don't think you need to grow, well, that's a big problem in itself, isn't it? What's the matter? Don't you like what I'm saying?

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

Friday, October 06, 2023

I Am Invincible

My life is the mission of God. And I praise God that he called me to his mission. I’ll have obstacles, and I’ll face opposition, but I’ll have courage. If God desires for me to continue, I will. But when it’s the end of my mission, so be it, and praise the Lord. I know that until I complete God’s mission for me, I am invincible. And the end of God’s mission for me is not the end of the mission of God. And the end of God’s earthly plan for me is not the end of God’s eternal plan for me. I will not lose, and I cannot lose, because even when I lose, Jesus still wins. He is the focus of my life, and my eternity. This is the truth of the gospel, and the lens by which I see and live life.

This is the creed of Christian courage. No matter what you’re dealing with, what situations you’re in, what choices there are, or what decisions you need to make, you can still live the gospel, you can still love people, and you can still aim to please God. Focusing on the proper message, the proper method, and the proper motive will give you courage in all of your life. Amen. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©