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
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” ~~ Psalm 139:23-24
Something to Smile About
My Favorite animal
Our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was, and I said, “Fried chicken.” She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everybody in the class laughed.
My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my Dad what had happened, and he said my teacher was probably an animal advocate, the people who love animals very much.
I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef.
Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principle’s office. I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.
The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite animal was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why. I told her it was because you could make it into fried chicken.
She sent me back to the principle’s office again. He laughed, and told me not to do it again. I don’t understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am.
Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what famous person we admire most.
I told her, “Colonel Sanders.”
Guess where I am now . . .
“A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . “ ~~~ Proverbs 17:22
Think About It
Longing for Home
“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you‟” (Exodus 13:19).
Joseph had enjoyed a distinguished career in Egypt. Next to Pharaoh, he had held the highest position in that country. Yet those long years of faithful service never made him feel he really belonged in Egypt. Before he died, he adjured his people to take his mortal remains to the land God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Lord expects His people to be faithful in their earthly positions and responsibilities. By so doing they honor Christ and His church. Yet they are to never become so attached to this world that they prefer it to the land of promise.
Our home is not here, but in heaven. Here we are pilgrims and sojourners on our way to a better place (1 Peter 2:11).
Peter thus wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (2 Peter 1:3-4). — Glenn Walton