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
1 Corinthians 1:18-19: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: „I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.‟”
Something to Smile About
• All my life I thought air was free…until I bought a bag of chips.
• Never laugh at your spouse’s choices….YOU are one of them.
• Oh! I offend you with my opinion? You should hear the ones I keep to myself!
• Okay, so you are 10 years old, you have a laptop, iPod, Facebook and a blackberry….When I was 10, I only had one thing to play with….it was called “OUTSIDE.”
• People write congrats because they can’t spell congrajlashins.
Think About It
“Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.” — Benjamin Franklin
“Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.” — Henry Ward Beecher
“There is as much difference between the counsel that a friend gives, and that a man gives himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer. For there is no such flatterer as is a man’s self.” — Francis Bacon
“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” — Helen Keller
“The strength of a man consists in finding out the way in which God is going, and going in that way too.” — Henry Ward Beecher
“Through the dark and stormy night
Faith beholds a feeble light,
Up the blackness streaking;
Knowing God’s own time is best,
In a patient hope I rest
For the full day-breaking!”
— John Greenleaf Whittier