His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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Mom, Dad, God

Are you a parent? Tricky business, that. Not for the faint of heart, they say—that’s a classic understatement.

I’m a father of two sons, who thankfully have survived to be respectable, honorable adults, despite all the mistakes I made in trying to help get them there. But looking back on that journey, though sometimes painful, can also be really interesting.

With only a few minutes of thought, here are some of the traits I think are important to being a parent:

  • Knowing when to let them fall down and skin their knee.
  • Knowing when to let the child lose. Falsely giving a child the impression they can always be a winner by making sure everyone gets a soccer trophy is just setting them up for major problems later, when the truth of life smacks them in the face.
  • Knowing when to hold back and let the child make a mistake. Cliché warning: we learn from our mistakes, hopefully.
  • Knowing when to let the child get a bad grade in a class by not doing their homework for them. That is, knowing when to let the child learn about the consequences of their action, or inaction.
  • Knowing when to keep your mouth shut.
  • And the list goes on.

Few of us parents have all these skills, and the others I can’t think of. But there is one, the only one, who is the perfect parent.

Well, yah, sure … I mean God. But I now ask you to take a look at God with these questions in mind:

  • Is life sometimes really hard for you?
  • Do you wonder why some of your prayers go unanswered?
  • Do you wonder why good people, even God-loving people, die young?
  • Do you wonder, if there is a God, how can he allow all the evil and mayhem that’s consuming the world?

Maybe the answer is partly because God is the perfect parent. He knows when to hold back and not step into our lives, allowing us to make our own mistakes. He knows not to butt in where He’s not invited.

And why would He do this, anyway? Maybe because He’s hoping we will finally realize we just can’t handle this mortal life on our own, and the only way we can cope is to give up trying and turn to Him to help us … turn to Him to love us.

What do you think?


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The Manmade Church – a Prison?

The manmade church; a building, the establishment,

rules, traditions, obligations, deceptions, false ideas about Christianity.

A prison?

Many are prisoners of a manmade church,

fastened to the church by a heavy chain of lies.

Picture in your mind… the church, the prisoner, and the heavy chain,

shackled to her ankle, holding her fast to the manmade church.

Now here comes Jesus,

with His love, and grace, and forgiveness, and truth.

And with His sword of truth Jesus shatters the chain, and sets the prisoners free.

His truth will set you free!


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Same-sex Marriage – Allowed by God

Supreme court gay marriage

My opinion about same-sex marriage has no meaning and doesn’t matter. But since I’ve posted some thoughts that attracted a little attention (see it here), I feel the need to add some clarification about my beliefs and opinion.

First: God’s opinion is what counts in my life, far more than my opinion. And God’s opinion is that same-sex marriage, and homosexuality, is wrong. Just like all sins. In God’s eyes, the only difference between a homosexual and me is the nature of our sins.

Second: no matter what God thinks about homosexuality as a life style, He still loves homosexuals as people. Just like all sinners.

Third: just because God loves homosexuals, doesn’t mean that God will save homosexuals and bring them to heaven in the end. Like all us sinners, salvation requires we have true faith in God and Jesus and that we repent of our sins (i.e., express sincere sorrow for our sins and ask for forgiveness). And homosexuals have the same ability to have faith and repent as I do. For just because we believe and repent does not mean that we magically stop sinning. My life is proof of that.

Finally: regarding the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage, though I don’t think it is the Supreme Court’s responsibility to make such decisions, I also don’t think it’s any of our responsibilities to deny freedom of choice. God has given us all the freedom to make our own decisions about how we will live our lives. If someone decides that they are in their heart a homosexual, and they fall in love with someone of the same sex and, like most people truly in love, they want to get married – well, I don’t think any of us other sinners have the right to take that freedom of choice away from them.

Yet again, though God gives us freedom of choice, allowing for things like same-sex marriage, He still does not condone such acts. This tells us a lot about God – our compassionate and understanding parent.


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God Loves Homosexuals

Supreme court gay marriage

The Bible makes it clear what God thinks of homosexuality as a life style – God despises all sins, including homosexuality. Yet the Bible also makes it abundantly clear what God thinks of sinners. Though God despises sin, He loves sinners… as His children. Though God despises homosexuality as a life style, God loves homosexuals… as His children.

Look, I’m a sinner. I happen not to be homosexual, but I have plenty of other sins that I seem to daily re-visit. These sins are just part of who I am as a person. But my sinful personal nature does not affect God’s love for me. Even in the midst of my sinning, God loves me just as I am.

Are you homosexual? God loves you just as you are. The pain comes from too many of us focusing all our attention on the sin, and forgetting about the love. Let’s all hold onto God’s love, a love that heals all pain.

 

(First posted 4/1/15, but I felt like posting it again)


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What is God’s purpose in His relationship with you?

I never understood the sadness until my own children were grown and out on their own. Yet my mom gave me a preview of coming emotions. She showed me how sad she could get every time I left her after a weekend visit. I thought she was being overly emotional. But I now share her feelings whenever my sons leave after a weekend home.

My purpose in my relationship with my sons has evolved as they’ve grown from babies into men. But one thing that never changes is my overwhelming desire to be with them and to show my love for them. God shares this desire in His relationship with you.

God’s’ singular purpose is unconditional love. Love is why He sent His Son to fulfill justice, while rescuing you from your own mistakes, yet forgiving you when you fall and helping you get back on your feet again. Love is why God helps you stand in the face of life’s storms. God’s purpose is to be your loving Father and for you to be His child. God’s purpose is to be your ultimate parent and to fill your hungry soul.


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What Should I Believe?

confusion

A dear friend once said to me, “I see so many different Christian churches, which I’m okay with, but they all have different messages. What should I believe?”

What we see as Christianity today looks like a bicycle wheel. Jesus is the hub, the center. Each church is like a spoke, and by the time Jesus’ original message gets to the outside end of the spoke, it’s filled with manmade modifications. Traveling around the outside of this wheel called Christianity can be a bumpy ride, as my friend discovered.

I don’t want to criticize churches who customize Jesus’ message. I think it’s natural, given our pride-filled human nature. Pride drives people to put their personal mark on things. My purpose with this post is to point to the truth, which you will find only at the center of the wheel, at Jesus.

And Jesus is easy to find. You will find His truth in the bible, in your prayers, and in your heart – for that is where the Holy Spirit of God lives.


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The Churchless

churchless

I was reading some results from a Barna Group study of “churchless” in the USA. In the past decade, the number of churchless people has increased 30%. About 75% of the churchless attended church at one time… Barna calls them “de-churched.”

I have a theory: people are leaving churches because of a lack of truth. Many churches replace Jesus’ truth with their own ideas. Yet manmade theology does not have the power to affect people’s lives in a positive way. Only the truth of Jesus and the presence of His Spirit can do that. Without the truth and Holy Spirit, people give up and leave.

It’s just my theory… what do you think?