Tag Archives: Truth

Ezekiel 11-15; Cardboard Houses

Jesus used the terms, “whitewashed wall,” and “whitewashed tombs” in reference to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. (Matthew 23) Here in Ezekiel 13 God uses the same terminology when prophesying against the false prophets in Israel during Ezekiel’s time. In this portion of Scripture God says in essence, you can paint a cardboard wall, but it won’t hold up in a storm no matter how good you make it look.

Sometimes you run into people who are adamant about their beliefs. They might believe God is merely a concept invented in the minds of needy people. They might believe you have to do X number of good deeds in order to escape hell. They might believe with all their hearts that good people go to a better place no matter what name they pray to. They might even believe all life is a delusion, or that whatever the Higher Power is out there, it certainly isn’t involved in the lives of individuals. 

If you press, even the most dogmatic of these lost souls, about where they base their beliefs, you’ll find them living in cardboard houses. Base my belief on science? On what is observable? On what makes sense to me? On the word of someone who claims to have had a message from God?

You might hear the argument that the Bible is flawed, that it’s no different than the Koran, or the Watchtower, or some other religious writing. Is it? Is the Bible just another collection of religious penmanship?

When I was getting my counseling degree, we studied a technique of the 5 Why’s. When presented with a problem, you ask “Why…” Then you use the answer to that question to ask the second “Why…” And so on until you get to the root of whatever is going on. 

I believe if we press deep enough into a person’s belief system, not just the “what” but the “why,” it will reveal if that belief system is based on Truth or opinion, on fact or myth. I have no problem going five whys deep into my belief because the bottom line is, I believe what I believe because God said it.

The God of the Bible tells us how the world began, it shows God is who He says He is with example after example of supernatural occurrences, many of which can be verified by extra-Biblical sources. God inspired many men over thousands of years, to write down a cohesive book that consistently reveals God the same yesterday, today, and forever. “I AM” is the name which this God calls Himself in the Old Testament, and that by which Jesus identified Himself in the New. The Bible clearly says that there is One God, one way to God, one Truth, so therefore cancels out any other religion as remotely true.

My belief isn’t based on opinion. It’s not based on someone’s imagination or reasoning. My belief is based on the Words of the Creator, the inventor of life, the eternal God who loves me.

If anyone’s belief is based on anything other than the entire book we know as the Bible, they can dress it up in intellect, in emotion, in religion, or even apathy, but it is still only whitewash on a cardboard wall. One day, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, that God is who He has said all along He is, and that believing anything else is believing a lie. (From Philippians 2:10) And only those whose belief is grounded in Scripture will be able to withstand the judgment that follows.

I would challenge you to go “5 Whys” into your own belief system. Do you know the Scriptures that are the foundation for what you believe? Are you basing your beliefs on conjecture or downright lies or on Truth? Are you living on the solid rock of God’s Word, or are you hiding in a whitewashed cardboard house?

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Jeremiah 5-6; You Can Believe What You Want To Believe

“How many times do I have to tell you…?”

I bet you’ve said that more than once in your lifetime. We humans can be slow learners. We humans don’t like to be told what to do. We humans like to do what we want to do, say what we want to say, live like we want to live, believe what we want to believe.

And we humans would be wrong to believe that’s ok,

God, through Jeremiah, gives His people repeated warnings. You don’t ever have to guess what God demands. He spells it out clearly. Then He spells it again.

But:

A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? (5:30-31)

I read a thing on FaceBook this morning about prayer. It’s beautifully written and tells us prayer is thinking positive thoughts, it’s hugging a friend, or cooking a meal for someone, it’s when we say, “drive safely,” it’s “an expression of your silent being,”

Come on, people. Really? That’s just stupid. And stupid is contagious:

“DNA doesn’t determine gender.” “Homosexuality is not a sin.” “Abortion is not murder.” “Rich people are evil.” “God is love and accepts everyone.” I could go on but I’m getting angry,

You can believe what you want to believe. That’s your God-given ability. But believing something doesn’t make it true. There is one Truth. There is one Way. There is one God. That’s not something I’ve come up with on my own. It’s been true from the beginning.

You can believe what you want to believe. But your belief won’t change the Truth. Understand that what you believe will land you either in heaven or hell. There is no third option.

That’s the truth. And with Jeremiah I ask,

But what will you do in the end?

Isaiah 40-43; Hold On To Your Hats

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

Reading these chapters today has me praising God, not only for what He does for His children (which is nothing short of amazing), but in the reality of who He is. I hope you’ll read these chapters today for yourself. Be ready to have your socks knocked off!

It starts off with God wanting to comfort us, to assure us His Word will stand forever. It was true back then, it’s true today, and it will be true a thousand years from now. There is something very reassuring about that fact. I don’t have to wonder, or stress, or hope what I believe is right. If it’s in there… it’s true!

Isaiah tells us God is exactly who He says He is. He’s the God above all gods, the Creator, and the Savior. There is no one like Him. Lift up your eyes and look to the Creator who gives strength to us who hope in the Lord. He gives us everything we need to face our day, and in every situation. He upholds his children (me and you) in His right hand. Doesn’t that give you confidence and peace?

I love 41:17-20. We are thirsty, but God doesn’t just give us a drink. He turns our desert into pools of water, flowing rivers, and bubbling springs. And He doesn’t even stop there. He grows shade trees, fragrant trees, and food-producing trees to sustain us.

I think that’s what Paul meant when he honored God as the one “who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20) We ask for a sip of water, God opens the flood gates!

Isaiah points us to Jesus who opens blind eyes, and sets captives free. He is God! He loves us, redeems us, forgives our sins and promises to never remember them ever again, and He takes us by the hand to guide us.

Isaiah 43:2 is a treasure you can take to the bank.

Oh dear one, take time to read these words God inspired Isaiah to write. But hold on to your hat. You’re going to be blown away. Then join me in praising God, the One who deserves our praise.

Proverbs 13-16; How Do You Know?

The proverbs repeatedly differentiate between wisdom or righteousness with foolishness and sin. Many proverbs speak of gaining wisdom and understanding, acting out of knowledge, holding to this truth.

But how do you know what is true?

I am convinced, as I read these verses, of the absolute necessity of Bible study for each of us. There are so many made-up definitions of truth out there, so much advice that tells us to look out for number one at any cost, so many ungodly examples of people treating one another with anger, dishonesty, violence, and hatred while we call it entertainment.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. (14:12)

There is a flip side to that verse. There is a way that is right, and in the end it leads to abundant life here in this life, and everlasting life when we leave this earth.

What is right? What is true? What is advice you can bank on every time?

Read your Bible. It’s in there.

 

Proverbs 10-12; Only A Moment

So I’m reading these proverbs this morning and listening to what God has to say about those of us who wear Jesus’ righteousness. We are blessed, and a blessing to others. We have joy and peace. God is our refuge. We reap a harvest, and receive eternal life. God delights in blessing us!

Then I got to 12:19 and heard myself say, “That’s not true.”

Did I really just say that? Here’s the verse:

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

Has anyone ever lied about you? Did the lie only last for a moment before the truth came out? Or did you live with people believing the lie for years?

Then God impressed in my heart to look beyond the immediate. Didn’t Jesus say HE is the Way, the Truth, and the Life? It’s not always about you, Connie.

This verse, like so many others, points to Jesus. The Truth that is Him will endure forever. That’s a fact I can build my life on.

Oh, it may seem like the lies are out of control, that evil is winning over good, that wrong is right and right is wrong in our society. But Matthew Henry reminded me that the Truth of Scripture, Jesus Himself, will last forever. And in the light of eternity, the lies will last only a moment.

 

Psalms 12-16; Using A Plumb Bob

When my dad first got a CB radio for his pickup, he had to come up with a “handle,” something that would identify him to other CB radio users without using his name. Dad was a plumber. His name was Bob. And he adopted the handle “Plumb Bob.”

Do you know what a plumb bob is? It’s a weight, usually with a pointed end, tied to a string. When you hold the string end and drop the weight, it will form a perfectly straight vertical line. No matter how many times you drop the weight, it will always create that perfectly straight line. Perfectly straight. Every time.

I thought about that today as I read these psalms. David speaks of “flattering tongues,” manipulation, outright lies passed off as truth. He talks about people who say God doesn’t exist, others who are evil and lure God’s people away to destroy them.

We live in a society where we are told truth is fluid, that it is personal, relative, subjective. And those who will tell you that often also say if you don’t agree with them, then you are a fool, or intolerant, or a hater.

How do you even know what is true any more? Or is there truth at all?

Let me get one thing straight. Truth is NOT fluid. Truth is NOT subjective. Truth cannot, by definition, be one thing for you and another for me. Opinion can be. But opinion and truth are not synonymous. Do not mistake that fact.

12:6 says, “And the words of the Lord are flawless…

And there’s your plumb bob. Whatever you hear, whoever you hear it from, no matter with how much authority it’s said, check it out with the Truth of God’s Holy Word, the Bible.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

And that’s the Truth.

 

Judges 17-18; What You Believe

What do you believe about God? On what or whom do you base your theology? Is it church doctrine? Are your beliefs based on the writings of a Bible scholar you like? A dynamic speaker, or your own pastor? Is what you believe about God based on your own thoughts and desires?

We read about Micah, his mom, and some Danite thugs, and they all seem to call on the God of their Fathers. But their religion cannot be described as one based on the Word of God.

The key to this account is the fact there was no king in Israel at the time. Everyone did as they felt was best for themselves. (18:1) So it was not unheard of that someone like Micah might fashion a religion to his own liking, one that appears to acknowledge God, yet in reality denies Him.

I am burdened for those here in 2017 who have fallen for the same deception as Micah did; religions that acknowledge God, or a higher power, or a supreme being, yet place idols around their homes and in their hearts. I am burdened for people who use God’s Holy Word as a suggestion rather than the complete and utter Truth.

Dear one, I would encourage us to put away the commentaries, the self-help books, the opinions of men and women for a while. Turn off the TV and radio, quit reading blogs, (including mine) and open up the Bible. Read it. Pray about it. Meditate on it. Open your heart and mind to the Holy Spirit. Let God speak to us through His Word, as He longs to do.

I’m not saying we should never read study guides and enrich our beliefs with the opinions of others. I hope you’ll come back to reading my blog after you’ve spent time in the Word.

But I am convinced we shouldn’t be reading those things until we are first and foremost firmly grounded in the Bible. If our theology isn’t based on the Truth of Scripture, with no add-ons or take-aways, then we have acted as though there is no King, and have fashioned a religion to our liking.

And that, my friend, is not a religion, or a belief system God will honor.