In your Bible reading, do you ever come across something that doesn’t fit into your theology? The margins of my daily reading Bible are full of my comments, references, and a few question marks. The question marks mean that I don’t know God as well as I need to. They say, “Your theology (understanding of God) is too small.” I wonder if we too often pick and choose passages to support our idea of how we want God to be…and ignore others.
One of the passages that became popular (used as a basis of articles, books, and sermons) is Jeremiah 29:11, ”‟For I know the plans I have for you‟ declares the Lord; „plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.‟”
The same God gave this message to the prophet (Jeremiah 21:10), “I have determined to do this city (its inhabitants) harm and not good, declares the Lord …”
In the New Testament we find “God is love” and we also find “our God is a consuming fire.” Now which one is it? Do I base my theology on one and ignore the other?
Most people do. And they have an idol — their own tailor-made god. Of course, the correct answer is “It’s neither one; it’s both.” God has two primary characteristics: love and righteousness. One accounts for God’s goodness — kindness, mercy and grace toward man and the other, His severity — justice, vengeance and punishment.
The same God that sent the flood to destroy mankind sent His Son to save mankind. The cross demonstrates both His love and His righteousness. It’s no small matter to have an inaccurate understanding of God. It all begins right here: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3). No other god. Not one you create with your hands, nor one you create with your mind. – Ken Stegall Woodland Oaks church of Christ, The Woodlands, TX
Scripture of the Week
Ephesians 3:20– 21 “Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Think About It
The Apostle Paul encourages us with these words: “Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to Him through God the Father” (Colossians 3:17).
As we examine this text, we see that prayer is a constant event in the life of a Christian. And one of the main parts of that prayer is giving thanks to God.
This month our nation recognizes a day set aside to give thanks. The original presidential proclamations of this holiday all point out that the subject of our thanks should be our Creator – the Lord God of the Bible. In Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation, he wrote that we give thanks for the “gracious gifts of the Most High God.” And he described Thanksgiving as “a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.”
Give thanks to God for all our gifts. That is exactly what we all should do this Thanksgiving and every day after that, just as Colossians 3:17 commands. Larry Fitzgerald, Woodlawn church of Christ, Abilene, TX
Something to Smile About
A family of four went to services on Sunday. After they returned to their home and were sitting around the table eating their noon meal, the father said, ―Well, I just didn’t like the preacher’s sermon today.
The mother said, ―I liked the sermon all right, but that song leader was all out of tune.
Frances said, ―I enjoyed the singing but the sermon was long enough to wear out the patience of Job.
Little Johnny added ―Daddy, I thought it was a pretty good show for just the nickel you gave.