“Truth is under attack in our culture,” states David Barton, author of The American Story, in a recent talk available on YouTube. He gave startling statistics especially about moral truth. He noted that 3 out of 5 Americans believe there no such thing as absolute moral truth. Among millennials, the number is 4 out of 5. Even among Christians, 1 of every 2 believe there is no absolute moral truth.
He spoke about 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, particularly about verses 10-12 where Paul talks about people not receiving a “love of the truth.” A continued rejection of truth results in being deluded and believing a lie. People then act on these lies and experience condemnation.
Mr. Barton points out that personal opinion has replaced truth and fact in our society. “My side winning” has become more important than truth.
(The above from the American History II video in a series of 3 at Christ for the Nations Church:)
All 3 videos were truly fascinating with true American history being given in each one, much of which I didn’t know and which is no longer taught in American schools.
How very sad that people in our country have drifted so far! Everyone “doing what is right in their own eyes” must stop. The only way our nation can be restored is for all of us to begin to love and pursue truth in every area so God can bless America again.
“‘All things are ready,’ come to the feast! Come for the table now is spread;
Ye famishing, ye weary come, and [you shall] be richly fed.”
“Hear the invitation, ‘Come whosoever will.’ Praise God for full salvation,
For whosoever will.”
(First verse and chorus of hymn “All Things Are Ready” by Charlotte G. Homer and W. A. Ogden)
I recalled this song from my youth after I’d read Pastor Tom’s sermon on Matthew 22:1-14 (You’re Invited to the Feast! ). The sermon helped me understand the part of the parable in which the man without the proper wedding clothes was thrown out. From the parable and the sermon, I see that even though everyone is invited to God’s wedding feast for His Son Jesus Christ and His bride the church, we can’t come on our own terms. We have to come on His terms.
My own goodness (even if I were “practically perfect in every way,” which I’m not) wouldn’t be proper attire for the feast. I can’t come smeared with the filth of my sin. I must repent and turn from my sin to Christ.
It’s not about saying a prayer and getting a ticket to heaven and living as I please. Accepting the invitation means that daily I lay down my own way (die to self, take up my cross) and go God’s way (follow Jesus, seek God’s kingdom). When I live this way, I will experience real life and joy now. And when I am called to enter the banquet hall, I’ll be properly dressed and ready.
Experiencing Life Together #7. Acts 2:44 – Christian Stewardship
All the believers kept meeting together, and they shared everything with each other. From time to time they sold their property and other possessions and distributed the money to anyone who needed it. (Acts 2:44).
The evidence here and elsewhere seems to indicate however, that this first Christian church shared all their possessions and financial resources. That sounds pretty radical to me. I don’t know that I’m ready for communal finances, and I don’t believe that this verse means we must put everything into a common pot. However, there is…
At salvation, we are declared righteous, i.e. not guilty, in right standing with God. We are headed for heaven as our final destiny.
But we also start the process of righteousness at that point. That process involves being made right from the inside out by God. We begin and continue being transformed by the renewing of our minds, submitting to God’s work as He heals all the brokenness of our lives, little by little.
Unrighteousness is not functioning properly or not doing what something was designed to do. We weren’t designed for sin and failure and being hurt. Those things injure and scar us. Righteousness is God’s coming in and dealing with the bondages and scars in us so they don’t continue to wound and destroy as they have in the past.
To let the process of righteousness continue, we put on the belt of truth—quit hiding and making excuses. We must deal with the truth; then God can fix the broken parts.
Today I thought of my mind as a desktop with my soul as the desk underneath. I can de-clutter my desktop (at least somewhat) by taking care of the obvious things that bother me. As God continues His work of righteousness in me, He asks me to open those overstuffed desk drawers where I’ve hidden my failures, pride, sins, longings, hurts, etc. so He can clean them out. He invites me to face the truth so He can make me righteous, turning my soul “right-side up” so I can love Him and others as He designed me to do.
If we confess, He forgives and cleanses from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
Quick Thought: My soul seems like a tangled ball of miscellaneous yarns. Little by little, God is separating the strands and weaving them into a tapestry pleasing to Him.
Today, our pastor (Randy Huddleston) preached on the topic “Degrees That Matter.” There are college degrees (important in some areas), degrees of temperature (might change the clothes we wear), degrees of tilt (too much can be frightening) and degrees of incline (the steeper the hill, the harder to climb).
But the most important degrees, the ones that matter in eternity, Pastor Huddleston pointed out, are the 180 degrees that we need to turn from our natural human direction so we head in God’s direction. God calls each of us to repent of our own ways, turn to Him, and follow His ways. He has revealed Himself and His way in Jesus Christ.
The Lord God almighty–He alone is God (Deuteronomy 6:4). Even our own hearts will deceive us (Jeremiah 17:9), so we need to trust God and not our hearts. As we grow in following Christ, we increase in the other degrees that matter–degrees of glory. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV)
2 Peter 1:5-8 tells us we can grow by adding these things to our faith in Christ: Integrity, knowledge of God’s character/words/actions, self-control, endurance, godliness (becoming more like Christ), Christian affection (really caring about others), and love. Increase in these traits is evidence that a person is growing in glory (Christ-likeness).
Pastor pointed out how each of us can become more of what God designed for us to be:
Stop multiple spiritual personalities (Love God with all we are; keep Him above everything)
Receive God’s truth.
Reject the ways of the world, the impulses in us that turn from God.
Accept His love.
Act in accordance with God’s ways.
Wow! That’s a lot of truth that will keep me thinking and feed my spirit this week.