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
Out of love for one another…….
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“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ESV)
Scripture of the Week
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” “And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” ~~ 1 Peter 5:8 & 10-11
Something to Smile About
Did you hear about the efficiency expert who did a seminar on time management for a company’s junior executives? He ended one of his lectures with this disclaimer, “Don‟t attempt these timesaving tips at home,” he said.
“Why not?” one of the executives asked.
“I did a study of my wife’s routine of fixing breakfast,” he said sheepishly. “She made a lot of trips between the refrigerator and the stove, the table and the cabinets—often carrying only one item. So I asked my wife, “Honey, why don’t you try carrying several things at once, so you can be more efficient?””
“Did that save time?” the young executive asked.
“Actually, yes,” the lecturer replied. “It used to take her twenty minutes to get breakfast, now I get my own breakfast in seven minutes.”
Think About It
Amen to What is Right
Of all the goofy, depressing, and astounding things that happened recently (take your pick), my jaw literally dropped at the choice of a veteran congressman and denominational minister to finish his congressional prayer with “amen and a-woman” (not to mention the blasphemous content of his prayer!).
Did you know the word “amen” is the favorite word of Jesus in the book of John? It is commonly translated “truly” or “assuredly” and the word literally means, “may it be” or “let it be.” It is ironic that Christ used it most at the beginning of His statements, as one man observed, to punctuate His authority and Christians now use the word today at the ends of prayers to invoke His authority.
There is something special about God’s people “amen-ing” what is right. What Mr. Emanuel (or is it Ewomanuel?) Cleaver prayed is a mockery of God and a signal to us about the gross disparity and ignorance of God and His will. Christians, wake up to our work, especially if he is a representative of Americans! May God be merciful to us (the church) and provide grace to herald what’s right while we’ve still got time (Prov. 14:34). AMEN!
It’s going to be a great week to His glory! – Andy Baker Graeber Road church of Christ Rosenberg, TX