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
“Teach me, O Lord, to follow Your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep Your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; renew my life according to Your word. ~~ Psalm 119:33-37
Something to Smile About
History According to Schoolchildren The following excerpts are actual answers given on history tests and in Sunday School quizzes by children between 5th and 6th grade ages in Ohio. They were collected by two teachers over a period of three years.
Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandos. He died before he ever reached Canada but the commandos made it.
Socrates was a famous old Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. He later died from an overdose of wedlock which is apparently poisonous. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.
It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood.
The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a young female moth.
Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf that he wrote loud music and became the father of rock and roll. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him.
Think About It
With All Your Mind
Jesus said, “The great and first commandment:” “you shall love the Lord your God with all your…mind” (Matthew 22:18).
The current spiritual battle is not fought with carnal weapons (swords, guns, bombs), but with ideas from the word of God. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:6-7).
The war against the lies of secular humanism will be won by truth. The battles fought with evil and wickedness will be won by righteousness and peace. The battles fought by stirring up hatred will be won by love. – Cecil May Jr. Preacher Talk