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Faith, Family, Ministry, and Everything in between

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Truth

Feature Friday (08/03/18)

Questions. They fill our conversations. They take up lots of space in books and articles and letters. And they make up so much of our education and learning. Without questions, a dialogue would quickly become a monologue. Without questions, an interesting interaction would simply be the infusion of information. Questions are imperative to human learning, curiosity, and growth.

Yet we all know there are various types of questions. Questions that seek more information. Questions that are more accusative. There are good questions and then there are, well, bad questions. We have all been told there are no stupid questions, but the reality is we have all asked or been asked one at least once in life. However, there are more important questions to life.

Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? Is there anything after death? All of these and more can be considered “important” questions. But is there one question that stands above the rest as the “most important” question? If so, how you answer that question may be the difference between life and death.

Stating and showing two very different answers to the “most important” question is what Eric Davis does in “Differences Between Salvation in the Qur’an & the Bible” over at The Cripplegate.

As always, enjoy the article and be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (2/3/17)

I’m sorry. These two little words, when withheld, have the power to change mediocre to awful. These two little words, when spoken, have the power to redeem a horrible situation. Yet it is these two little words that seem so often absent from relationships, marriages, and families. It is these two little words that unfortunately have been withheld all too often in the very group who is on earth to spread the greatest message of redemption. It is these two little words that are the beginning point of love. It is these two little words that the church must speak more often, in more ways than one…

Check out Tim Barnett’s article over at the Stand to Reason blog entitled: The Apology to the LGBT Community That Needs an Apology for an excellent apology, well many of them actually.

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Feature Friday (10/16/15)

www.atacrossroads.net
http://www.atacrossroads.net

Ask most people that know me and they will tell you I can be sarcastic at times. Ask my wife and she will tell you that sarcasm is one of my love languages. Ask others who do not know me that well and they may mistake my sarcasm for rudeness. The point is, I can be, am, and enjoy good sarcasm. Sarcasm has a way of making a point that otherwise would not be heard. This is why I enjoyed reading this sarcastic article so much. While it is a bit lengthy it is well worth your time.

Enjoy and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Social Media: How it Affects us (Truth)

Social Media affects everything. It is everywhere in our world:

  • at home,
  • at the store,
  • at school,
  • at restaurants,
  • at work, and
  • in our pockets.

Social media is with us and around us all the time. The truth is…IT IS AFFECTING US! But how? The social media gurus want us to think that social media is strictly positive, and great for everyone and everything. They want us to think that social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and texting) are all about building relationships and passing on information.

But is social media really causing us to relate more and give good information? If we are honest with ourselves, I think we can all say we have at least once felt, that while we are overly connected by social media, there is still an underlying feeling of being alone, depressed, and disconnected. In light of this reality, we are in the middle of a five-week study here at Preacher on the Run to examine  how social media affects us. We are looking at five areas in which social media affects our views: relationships, words, time, self, and truth. Today we continue with Social Media: How it affects our view of truth.

JonahPsalm 119 is the largest chapter in the Bible. It is almost exactly in the middle of the Bible. And this entire chapter is all about one thing–the truth of God’s Word. Do you think it a coincidence that the longest, most in-depth chapter of the entire Bible is all about God’s Word? – I don’t think so! In writing classes and classes where you learn the methodology of writing, you learn a rule called the principle of proportion. This principle tells you that the more space a subject takes up in writing the more important it is. So when we come to Psalm 119 we have to at least recognize that God spent the longest chapter to tell us about the value, and, more importantly, the truth of His Word.

But what is truth today’s world? It’s relative, and social media just magnifies that. When you write something, anyone can disagree. When you disagree with them, people stop listening simply because “that may be true for you but not for me”. But there is another issue that social media affects with regard to truth and that is the mystical nature of truth. According to our culture, truth comes from within us and we can, individually, and as a community come up with and come to truth on our own. The world would tell us, and often times even those in the church, would tell us that truth comes from within us. It is mystical, not logical. So the question is: Is truth constructed by us or does it exist outside of us?

Let me give you an example. How does Wikipedia come up with all its information? People from around the globe can just add to it whatever they want to add whenever they want to add it. Now, I must admit that in the past few years Wikipedia has gotten better at requiring people to cite sources, but Wikipedia still operates by having people add seemingly absolute truths to entries and expects people to believe them. But don’t Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., do the same? People put a quote up and just because you know them you are expected to accept their truth or their statement. But on what basis, or what authority? The issue at hand is: does truth exist within us or outside of us?

Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “At many times, in many ways, God spoke to our fathers, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son”. God spoke from outside of us. The truth He proclaims comes from outside of us and is found in His Word (through prophets) and His Son (Jesus Christ). Peter goes on to tell us in 2 Peter 1:16-21 that “We did not follow myths, but we were eyewitnesses, we ourselves heard this very voice, and we were with him, and we have something more sure (truthful, secure than that experience) the prophetic word, knowing that no prophecy comes from man, but from God” (paraphrase mine). The experience Peter and disciples had is only superseded by the prophetic Word left by the prophets and apostles. God’s Word is greater than the experience. It is more trustworthy and of greater value. It came from outside of man (John 8:32). It is the truth that sets us free and in John 17:17 Jesus tells us what that truth is. He says, “Sanctify them in your truth, your Word is truth.”

you-cant-handle-the-truth-meme-generator-you-want-the-truth-you-can-t-handle-the-truth-9789ddGod’s Word trustworthily and accurately records the life, death, burial, resurrection, and teaching of Jesus Christ. And it is through that record that we will and can be sanctified (grown to be like Christ). Social media, unless it is founded upon and from God’s Word, cannot give you the truth. We must look to God and His Word alone to understand our sinfulness and need of salvation in and through Jesus Christ alone.

As I argued from the beginning, social media affects everything. And one of the major areas of our lives and thinking it affects is our view of truth. Social media operates on the belief that truth comes from within us and is not external to us. But God communicates to us over and over again that the only absolute truth is found in His Word. Stop by next week where we will wrap up the Social Media series by discussing what options we have based on what we have covered the past several weeks. In case you missed it Social Media: How it affects us (Relationships) or Social Media: How it affects us (Words)  or Social Media: How it affects us (Time) or Social Media: how it affects us (Self), you can find them here.

Feature Friday (9/6/13)

02A12B8GWe’ve all heard it said, “If someone frustrates you, just take a step back, count to ten and try to listen where they are coming from” Not bad advice, but often times it is said to be biblical even and James 1:19 given as the supporting text. But James is not saying that. “Instead, he is imploring us to be quick to listen to the word of truth (1:18).”

As always, be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day!

Death of a Saint

tumblr_msfcbp9kQ21relheoo1_1280In the midst of what has been a hectic weekend I missed my regular Monday post. I do not intend this short post to be an apology for that but rather an explanation and encouragement to those who have gone, are going, or will go through the experience of losing someone you loved and enjoyed being around. On this past Saturday morning, August 31st, 2013, a dear friend of mine past away. While I only knew this man for 2 years, he made an impact on me that will last for eternity. Paul Davis Saunders Jr. was the type of man whom I loved and admired because he was the type of man who emulated so well the Lord Jesus Christ.

While I cannot at this point put into words the deep sorrow I have that I will never be able to hear Paul tell one of his jokes again or speak of the God He loved and served, I hope to in a few short sentences express why I am actually rejoicing that Paul is with His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in heaven now. To begin to express this I must ask the question, “why is the death of another so hard to experience?” Why is it so heartbreaking and difficult? And how can we deal with it? Here are 4 truths I am finding it helpful to remember in dealing with death.

1) Death is not a designed part of life. God did not create mankind to die (Gen. 2:7), rather it was a result of man’s disobedience (Gen. 2:16-17).

2) Death is a result of sin. Death is not something that happens for no reason, it is a reality of our world because of the sinfulness of man (Rom. 5:12, 6:23; James 1;15).

3) Death is a reality for us all. None of us will escape death because none of us can refrain from sin (Rom. 3:10-18, 23). Death is something that comes once for all of us (Heb. 9:27).

4) Death has a death as well. Death has always had its day coming as well (Is. 25:8, 53:11). We are told that a man, Jesus Christ came to conquer death and sin (1 Cor. 15:26, 54-57). The toughest part of this reality is that there is an ALREADY aspect (2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 2:9), but also a NOT YET aspect (Rev. 21:4).

So while I cannot entirely put to words all the feelings surrounding the death of a dear friend, I am so thankful that I can face it and deal with it, because of the Truth(s) found in God’s Word and His Son Jesus Christ.

Here are the thoughts from another individual who was impacted greatly by Paul’s life. All was Well!

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