Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Searching for the Truth

"My son if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, listening closely to wisdom and directing your heart to understanding; furthermore, if you call out to insight and lift your voice to understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure,m then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God."
                                                                   Proverbs 2:1-4

This is what I'm trying to do.  This is what I will hopefully continue to do for the rest of my life.  This blog is all about my search for the truth and is raw and honest about what I am learning at the moment.  As I continue my search for truth, my thoughts may change as I learn more.  Join me on this ongoing journey.  Please leave comments and let's start a conversation.  I won't be letting you always know on Facebook when I post something new on here, so if you want to know, please consider following me.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pointing Fingers versus Speaking the Truth in Love

I'm a little afraid to write this post.  I'm afraid because I don't want to offend.  I don't want anyone to make assumptions about how I feel about them or jump down my throat if we are in disagreement.  I am hoping if we have a disagreement, we can have a civil conversation.  So, feel free to comment, but keep it civil please,

I want to talk about Matthew 7:1 again.  "Do not judge, so that you won't be judged."  That is a dangerous verse to stand alone.  I still stand by my previous blog post about this verse, God is the ultimate judge and we are to love.  See http://angel-searchingforthetruth.blogspot.com/2014/01/god-is-judge-not-you.html.

As I do further study and research, I feel I'm gaining a different understanding of the interpretation of this verse.   Matthew continues on saying, "For with the judgement you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but don't notice the log in your own eye?"  Romans 2:1-3 warns that we should not judge others for things we do ourselves.  We should look at ourselves first and focus on our own behaviors.  We are not to spend our time judging others when we are not following the truth ourselves.  We should spend more time and energy searching for the truth and learning how to apply it to our own lives than constantly judging others.  

However, I believe we have a responsibility to "speak the truth in love."  It is not one bit loving to learn the truth and keep it to ourselves.  It is not loving to know that another person is sinning and not share your concern.  It is not loving to even silently agree that there are many paths to Heaven.  John 14:6 states, "Jesus said, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.'"  That seems pretty clear to me.  There is ONE way, Jesus is the ONLY WAY.

But we must speak the truth in love.  Yelling, screaming, and pointing fingers is not the way.  People tend to close their ears when they feel attacked.  Attacking someone verbally is not what we are to do.  We should love and help them and be there for them as both of us struggle during our search for truth.  Let's focus on finding the truth together and holding each other accountable along the way.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Scripture that Puts a Song in My Heart

I will be randomly adding to this post as I read scripture that makes me sing a song I know.  Please feel free to comment and add songs of your own.

Psalm 8
"Lord our Lord how majestic is your names in all the earth!'

God is the Judge--Not You

"Do not judge, or you to will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
                                                                                                                Matthew 7:1-2 (TNIV)

Worry about yourselves.  Spend more time looking internally at your own motives and behaviors and less time judging others.  That's what I think I'm learning through all this.  Does this mean I just let people behave however and do or say nothing?  I don't think so.  A book I was reading recently stated the answer to this dilemma more clearly than I have heard before:  "As I process this with God, I feel he has said two thing to me.  First, have I told you what I believe on this subject?  I have.  And second, I believe God is asking me to embrace this reality: It is God's job to judge.  It is my job to love you as he loves you.  I love you."  from The Beauty of the Broken by Elisa Morgan.

 I think my job is to speak the truth and then love.  God is the ultimate judge.  You will ultimately answer to Him.  That is how I want to be judged.  Show me the truth and then love me as I work through changes I need to make.  The above passage says, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged."  That is how I want to be judged:  Be shown the truth and then love me no matter what.  And, I think as a Christian that is my job.  Show the truth and introduce others to God and love them no matter what.  Does that mean I let them hurt me over and over?  No.  But, I love them no matter what.  I don't hurt them on purpose in return.  I love and forgive.  It is not my job to judge.  It is my job to love and to point them to God.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Worry About Yourself (or Better Yet Don't Worry At All)

I read Matthew 6 and the pressing impression I left with was that I need to focus on myself and really only worry about what God tells me, not what the world tells me.  My motivation for whatever I do should be to serve God.  If that is what I am focused on, I will not be worrying about what others think.  In fact, in Matthew 6, Jesus clearly states that you are not to do things to be seen by others like giving, praying, fasting, etc.  The motivation for such things should not be earthly glory by others or praise from others.  In fact, Jesus is clear that if that is what we are looking for, it will be our only reward. The motivation should be to serve and honor God and when that is your motivation, you don't need anyone else to see.

If your focus is on God, worry should not be a part of your life.  It does not matter what others think.  I heard Steve Chiles once say that "worry is really praying to yourself."  When you worry, you are focused on what you can do or not do about something in your own strength.  None of us has strength enough to handle all of life by ourselves.  The good news is God can and will.  All we have to do is trust Him and wait to see what amazing things he has in store.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cancel the Law?

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.   Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."  Matthew 5:17-18

I have heard it said in my life, "That is the Old Testament.  It doesn't really apply now since Jesus came."  or "Jesus is all about love and acceptance and not the law."  While I agree Jesus is all about love, the above passage makes it clear to me that the law is not gone.

I think the problem really comes when we're trying to excuse our poor behavior and/or judge others for theirs.  I believe I am responsible for my own behavior.  I am not focused on the law or trying to meet all the laws adopted by the Pharisees.  In response to being asked which was the greatest commandment, Jesus said,  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c]38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.  Matthew 22: 37-40 (NIV)

If we really do this--love God and love others, the law falls into place.  We will not intentionally be breaking the law if we are focused on love.  Real love. Check out 1 Corinthians 13 for a definition.  I know when I look at 1 Corinthians, I fall short.  I am not patient, kind, etc. 100% of the time.  There are many times I find myself self-serving.  So, what I need to do is spend my focus on myself and making the necessary changes.  I am so glad Jesus came and provided grace and mercy.  Boy, do I need those.

On the other side of things, I don't need to be judging others.  I should just speak the truth and then act in love.  God is the judge, not me.  http://angel-searchingforthetruth.blogspot.com/2014/01/god-is-judge-not-you.html

What do you think the above passage means when it says Jesus "has not come to abolish the Law or Prophets, but to fulfill them"?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Inherently Evil or Good?

"Never again will I curse the ground because of human beings, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood."    Genesis 8:21 (TNIV)

For most of my life I have heard the argument about whether man is inherently evil or good.  Is a child born good and then corrupted by their experiences in this world?  Or is a child born inherently evil and will remain so until they accept Jesus as LORD and follow Him?  Well, it would seem to me that the above verse answers that pretty clearly.  If we believe that the Bible is truth--which it is--this verse clearly answers that question.  Man is inherently evil and needs God to change His nature.  Seems pretty clear to me.