April, 2012

The Nature of Truth

I have noticed than when we get toward the end of life we are divided into two broad categories: the satisfied and the unsatisfied. I have also noticed that these categories do not necessarily match up with things like financial security or worldly success. I think the distiquishing feature is the recognition that the principles by which we lived turned out to be true or not.

If we live, for example, for the accumulation of weath, toward the end we begin to realize that did not bring happiness. The principle that it would has turned out not to be true. We end in dissatisfaction.

So too if we live for pleasure, it doesn’t take forever to realize that pleasure is not an satisfying end in itself.

It is quite common these days for folks to live with the idea that there is no truth, at least no absolute truth. They believe that truth is relative. They live their lives accordingly. As the end approaches, it may become obvious that certain things are true, always and eternally. The life lived in the lie of relative truth ends badly, unsatisfied.

It seems, then, to me, that life satisfaction requires, as early as possible, learning that there is absolute truth and the identification of those things which are eternally true. Once discovered it becomes obvious that life should be lived in recognition of these truths.

How can these truths be discovered? Many believe in the trial by error method. You hear this expressed when someone says a child has to “make his own mistakes.” Truth can be learned this way. And all of us gain at least some knowledge by this method. It is, however, a painful way to go. Some of us learn so slowly that by the time the lesson is learned, much of life has been wasted.

It would seem a naturally good idea that once these truths were learned that they be recorded and passed on to others. This would greatly reduce the need for trial by error learning. For centuries it was generally considered that the Bible was such a compilation. In fact, believers in its truth contend that not only is it a compilation of learned truth, but rather, it is truth provided by the Creator who, as creator, would certainly be in the best position to know truth. The truth of what He says therein having been proved by lives lived in accordance with its teachings.

For centuries, the Bible was generally accepted as containing truth. There were those who attempted to follow it’s precepts and those who refused to. Even those who refused admitted that the Bible was “right” they just didn’t want to follow the truths therein.

Eventually, men began to question the validity of the Bible as truth. It may have been due to the inconsistency between the Bible and the lives lived by those who claimed to be adherents to its truth. It may be because of the development of man. As man began to discover science and learn how to put the truths of science into play for the betterment of mankind, some where so dazzled by the advancements that they looked to science as the arbiter of truth. It was another sad case of the gift being cherished over the giver.

Certain misconceptions about the Bible arose. Principally, the idea that the Bible offered a choice between joy now and joy later. We could have our happiness now, temporarily, or suffer now and be happy forever in heaven. The truth of scripture is that it provides the only means for joy (more satisfying than happiness) now and forever.

Whatever the reason, it is no longer sufficient to point to the Bible and urge adherence to it’s teachings. We are now in a position of having to prove the validity of Bibical Teaching before we can effectively gain new adherents to its truth.

There also developed the misconception that the Bible was an expression of an ideology. It’s no longer sufficient to say “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.” Even if that expresses our position, it’s not a workable argument. We need to remember that scripture is the Revelation of Jesus. That the goal is to introduce Him. The scripture is the effective revelation; not the end to be worshiped. It’s not about a sounder theory; it’s about Jesus.

We need to spend some time re-evaluating the Bible. We need to recognize it more as a revelation of Christ than a book of rules. We need to be able to relate how Jesus has made the difference. Our lives are better not because we have followed different rules, but because we follow Him.

If we are to have any success in our Great Commission; we need to do a better job of relating the Truth of Christ.


Work Day

Today is Work Day at my church. The guys meet and power wash the building, do a little painting, whatever needs to be done. I’m getting ready to head over there. Since I hurt my knee I’m not particularly helpful or handy with much but I can talk to the guys, encourage them or something. I will try not to get in the way.

Having reduced capacity sucks. But it’s not the same as having no capacity. In our spiritual lives, we often operate under the assumption that we don’t really have the capacity to make much of a difference. We can’t preach. We freeze up when we try to talk about Jesus. Our example doesn’t always inspire. The last Kairos weekend I felt kind of that way. I brought a wheel chair, although I don’t normally use one, because it was a long walk from the parking lot to the education building at main. Casey took on the job of wheeling there and back. I almost backed out a couple of times because I felt like more of a burden than a help.

It turned out to be the most productive Kairos I’ve ever personally had. The guys sitting on either side of me had great experiences and I got the chance to lead one of them to the Lord.

Every day is work day. Don’t judge your capacity. It is not about what we can do. It’s about what He can do through us. The more useless we appear, the greater His glory. It doesn’t look like I’ll be very helpful. In fact, it’s raining “cats and dogs.” Maybe nothing will get accomplished.

I’m going anyway. It’s work day. TIme to get to work.

Have a great day.



How Great Thou Art

My purpose in writing this blog is to get me and you to think each day. Today I am thinking about the greatness of Our God. When things are rough and humanity seems to be so messed up, it’s a good thing to consider the Power of God. When the Church is under fair attack as a failed institution, we need to consider the Holiness of God.

When we face a mountain size problem, we need to think less about the problem and more about the Great Goodness and Concern of God.

As our lives march on to eventual death, should the Lord tarry, we need to consider that where we are headed is better than where we are. We do that by thinking about the Great Welcoming Arms of God.

When our past seems to run after us like a persistent puppy, we need to remember the Great Forgiveness of God.

When we are fearful for our lives and the futures of our loved ones, we need to remember the Great Greeting of Our Lord: Fear not.

So today no matter what you face today, spend some time and give some comforting thought to the Greatness of Our God.



First Things First

Matthew 6 Matthew 6:25-33 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Writing a daily blog is kind of like writing an advice column. If you don’t follow your own advice, people wonder. I have to say much of the “advice” I put out is as much self-directed as anything else. There is one policy I adopted a couple of years ago; which has provided much blessing. I tried to truly implement the concept of “seek first.”

Each morning I try to put out my blog before I do anything else. Lately I’ve added listening to David Jeremiah’s daily radio broadcast. If I have work to do for the kingdom: like updating the church or Kairos website or something similar, I do that first.

Quietly this procedure has returned great blessings. I also seem to have time for those other things I need to do, like making a living. In fact, I seem to experience a more efficient use of my time when I “seek first.”

Once Kingdom business is done, what next? I find if I next do the thing I dread the most, it’s best. There is nothing worse than having an unpleasant task hanging over your head. Best can it done and out of the way.

When it’s time to work, what’s the first thing you do? How do you decide? Give “Seek First the Kingdom” a try and be blessed.