Friday, September 25, 2015


Okay, let's talk in hypotheticals.  I'm going to provide you with an opportunity to spend one minute with God.  No more, no less.  And in that minute, you can ask him anything you want.  And he, in his infinite wisdom, will answer you.  What might you come up with? 

Think about it.  In all that's around us.  In everything that makes up this crazy, mixed-up world, there out to be something that lurks deep inside of you. 

As I've matured in my Christian walk, I continue to ask questions and look for answers, but there is one, perhaps more glaring than anything else,  that I'd say, "God, help me with this.....what is truth?"

A question we all need to learn how to handle.........
Jack Nicholson, in the movie, "A Few Good Men", offered the question many of us struggle with.  "The truth?  You can't handle the truth."  Jack makes a good point.  Most of us can't handle the truth.  Or so, we think we can't.  But.... 

Winston Churchill once stated, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.”
Can anyone really know “the truth”? Or is truth subject to human interpretation?   Many today think truth is relative to the circumstances—that what is true for one situation is not necessarily true for others.  This means that truth for one person is not necessarily the same for everyone!  If this is correct, how can we know with certainty what to believe and how we should live?  Almost 2,000 years ago, a Roman governor asked a wrongly accused prisoner who stood before him, “What is truth?”  The Roman’s name was Pontius Pilate.  The prisoner was Jesus of Nazareth (John 18:37-38).

Jesus did not respond to Pilate’s question during this encounter.  At least we do not have a record of it if He did.  Apparently, Pilate walked away from the question that day and simply washed his hands of the ordeal.  At least he thought he did.  Christ did answer the question elsewhere.  The same writer, John, records it in a prayer of Jesus to His Father.

The night before His crucifixion, Jesus offered a heartfelt prayer to His Father on behalf of His disciples—not only those of that day, but also those who would follow Him in the future.  Within the context of that prayer, He said, “Sanctify [set apart] them by Your truth. Your word is truth (John 17:17, emphasis added throughout).

Here, Christ is saying one should be able to examine the pages of God’s Word—the Holy Bible—to learn the truth on any subject of major importance or significance. The Bible contains the answers to questions about why we were born, our purpose in life, whether God exists and the potential of mankind—to name only a few of the subjects covered within this Book.

The Psalmist wrote similarly: “The entirety of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Interestingly, the word “truth” can be found more than 200 times in Scripture. 

Many people believe that science can reveal truth.  But Kathy Sykes, a British physicist and professor at the University of Bristol, explains, “Science is not about truth, but is about trying to get closer to the truth. This is important, because, too often, people look to scientists as having the ‘truth.’ What we have is wrapped in uncertainties, caveats and simplifications.”  Then there is absolute truth.

There are those who do not believe in absolute truth. defines the word absolute as “free from imperfection; complete; perfect.” The word truth is defined as “the true or actual state of a matter …; conformity with fact or reality …; a verified or indisputable fact.”

Knowing the truth is wonderful, but it is not enough!  God expects us to act on the truth as He helps us learn it.  More important than knowing the truth is living the truth—walking in truth. Wisdom, knowledge, understanding and truth are all attributes of God.  You can know the truth if you diligently and prayerfully seek for it.

“Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge [truth] of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:3-6). This is the absolute truth.

I'd like to thank Harold Rhodes of Life, Hope and Truth for many of these thoughts and messages.  But, if the truth be known, those aren't necessarily his thoughts...but God's thoughts.  And that's the truth too.  So help me God.

Now, back to the hypothetical question.  What would you ask God?  It might be a good time to ponder that thought, because my hypothetical, might just become reality for you some day.  I hope you'll be ready.      



Friday, September 18, 2015


The movie, "War Room" has hit home with a multitude of Christians.   And well it should.  It might be one of the best Christian movies, ever.  But will its message be long lasting?  That might be a bigger question to ask.   Here is the general subject matter: "With great jobs, a beautiful daughter and a dream house, the Jordans seem to have it all. Appearances can be deceiving, however, as husband Tony flirts with temptation and wife Elizabeth  becomes increasingly bitter, crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage.  Their lives take an unexpected turn for the better when Elizabeth meets her newest client, Miss Clara."
Prayer a Powerful Weapon that Changes Everything

A long lasting message?  That will be the task facing every Christian.  We've all gone to conferences or heard sermons that have challenged us.  In fact, they've even caused us to want to change.  But then in typical fashion, the world we live in, challenges their thinking and days, weeks or months later, the message is forgotten.  The battle and ultimately the "war" will come in the form of a word I blogged about several months ago.   Here is my offering......

If the title of this post concerning lukewarmness doesn't evoke some emotion, than I'm not sure what might.  Because the subject were going to talk about isn't to be taken lightly and it shouldn't be dismissed.  If you are lukewarm in your faith, you've got issues.  Frankly, an atheist and agnostic at least have a commitment in their thinking.  And as you're about to find out,  most Christians have a lot of soul searching to do. 

Let's see what Revelations 3 15-16 has to say about being lukewarm:
 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other.        16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Is that God's anger we're utter disdain for the lukewarm mind.  I think so.   In some interpretations, the "spit you out" is closer to the word "puke".  That most likely says it all.

Where are you at on the thermometer?

One of my favorite Christian radio hosts is Adrian Rogers.   For over fifty years, Rogers consistently presented the Good News of Jesus Christ with strong conviction, compassion and integrity.  He led Southern Baptist churches in the deep South and challenged his congregation each and every time he spoke.  He was a three-term President of the Southern Baptists.  When he spoke, people not only listened, they were moved to act.  Rogers died in 2005 yet his sermons are heard daily on hundreds of radio stations across the world.  His sermons are as accurate today as they were then....the message is unchanged.  Rogers has some in-your-face thoughts regarding the lukewarm Christian. 

 "Lukewarmness is that state of being a little too cold to be hot and a little too hot to be cold; no fire, zeal or enthusiasm for the things of God.  Believers who yawn in the face of God".   If.....the greatest commandment there is, is, "love the Lord with all your Heart", then the greatest sin, is, not, "loving the Lord with all of your Heart". 

So, what does lukewarm look like...

Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so.  After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right? 

Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict. They desire to fit in both at church and outside of church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives. 

Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin. They don’t genuinely hate sin and aren’t truly sorry for it; they’re merely sorry because God is going to punish them. Lukewarm people don’t really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one. 

Lukewarm people are moved by stories of people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for “extreme” Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers. 

Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends. They do not want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about private issues like religion.

Perhaps you see yourself in the descriptions above. Perhaps they challenge you.  Perhaps it's time for some say, Perhaps.

At what temperature are we lukewarm?  All we know is lukewarm is cooler than hot.  Everyone has different thermostats.  What you think is hot might be cold to God.  If at one time you are on fire for God and have begun to cool off, at what point does that cooling become lukewarm?  There is not really a gauge between hot, cold, and lukewarm.  Have you ever wondered about the thermostat wars that go on between you and your wife? Why did God make men and women in this way?  Why is it that my wife is cold when it's 90°?  Why is it that am not cool until it's below 70?  At bedtime she's got a pile of blankets, and as men we are throwing the blankets off of us.  The point is this, we don't really have an accurate way to measure hot and cold.  Everyone has a different gauge.  God says when you hit his lukewarm point he is spewing you out of his mouth.  It means that you are distasteful, intolerable, and rejected by God.  What does that mean to you?  God says if you keep letting this cooling process continue in your life, you will reach a point when God is done.  You need to let those words bother you.  Can you look at your life in the light of this text and say I'm not on fire.  Can you live with that and continue to live your life like everything's okay.

So how does a person keep lukewarmess in check?  Try this...."Reading the Bible should not be a philosophical pursuit or an exercise in academia. The purpose of God's word is to show who God is and show us who we really are, to align ourselves to the God we will face on Judgment Day. James 1:22 - '.. be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.'

Some of the most deceived people on the planet sit in churches every Sunday profoundly deceived because thinking that because they hear the word, that makes them right with God.  It is astonishing how many Christians are not doers of the word.

Or you could try this....Serve, Give, Lead someone to the Lord, Find a Mission Field and Love.

A recent study by the Barna Group showed that among ten activities studied of Christians, that Americans are most likely to pray.  More than four out of every five Americans (83%) said they had prayed in the last week.  This was followed by attending a church service (43%) and reading the Bible outside of church worship services (41%).  Notably, just one-quarter of adults possess an active faith, meaning they engage in all three of these activities (pray, attend church, and read the Bible in a typical week).

Slightly less than one-quarter of adults had volunteered free time to help a church (22%) or some other type of non-profit (23%) in the last week.  About one-fifth of all adults had attended Sunday school (20%), while a similar proportion had participated in a small group for Bible study, prayer and Christian fellowship (19%). The survey showed that half of all adults (50%) said they had donated money to a congregation in the past year.

If my quick look is accurate, I see only one category where the numbers are over 50%...that being the fact the 83% of Americans said they prayed last week.  And to draw some attention to that, I quote Adrian Rogers, "if you remain in your are most likely a sitting duck".

There's and old expression that goes something like this, "Lord Love a Duck".  Now the question is, are you a sitting duck a lame duck or just a duck?  Just because it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, doesn't mean it's a duck....could be blended into, just because it looks like a Christian and walks like a Christian, doesn't mean it's a Christian.  You're the one that determines that.