Tag Archives: lie

Better Never Than Late

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I’d like to take some time and tell you a little about my parents. They have been married for 37 years and are still going strong. I’m very proud of them for that, but it’s really not something special for them. You see, they have a bit of a different perspective on life.

They aren’t quitters. Actually, I think it’s deeper than that they aren’t quitters. They do everything to the best of their ability. It’s a part of who they are. If you know my parents you know how dependable they are. I used to get frustrated because my mom would volunteer to do all sorts of things, but now that I am older I realize that she did it because she loves other people and wants to glorify God with her life.

If you ask my dad to do a job I can personally guarantee you that the job will be done to perfection if absolutely possible. The same goes with my mom. She doesn’t just do things to get by, she goes all out so that whatever she does is excellent. If either of them say they’ll do something or be somewhere, then unless there is an emergency they can’t avoid, you can count with assurance that they will follow through.

They won’t even be late. My mom used to say “better never than late”. If I ever came in late without calling I was in deep trouble.

They don’t do this for the accolades. Sure, people thank them, but that is not their purpose. They do this because that is who they are. It glorifies God for them to live like this. I’m proud of my parents, and I’m proud to be their son.

There is a famine of this kind of character in our world today. It is not uncommon today for people to sign up for a task and then fail to follow through. It is common for people to say they’ll be somewhere and never show up. They’ll even go so far as to avoid texts and calls to keep from having to lie about why they didn’t show. I’ve baptized so many people who never came back to church or even showed Christianity by their lives yet claim constantly that they are Christians. People all over the place claim one thing and live another. It is hypocrisy and deception.

The strange thing is some of these very people will turn around and say that they don’t like church because of all the hypocrites there.

It’s time to stop. When you became a Christian, you confessed that you wanted to make Jesus The Lord of your life. If you didn’t make that confession, then you aren’t a Christian. That’s what being a Christian is – being a Christ-follower – one who allows Jesus to make the character calls in your life. He is Lord. Jesus said “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.(Matthew 7:21)”

Jesus wasn’t flaky. He didn’t lie to people and let them down. He didn’t avoid people to keep from having to make excuses for them. He wasn’t wishy-washy in His dedication to make sure you were saved from your sins.

I know this sounds pretty harsh. I guess the lie that did it for me was the countless Christians who said “I’ll see you at church” but continually never showed.

They aren’t letting me down. They weren’t holding me up. But it does hurt my heart for people to so blatantly lie about their Christianity. People constantly say they believe in Jesus. “Jesus is Lord.” But their lives show otherwise.

Your actions show your allegiance. If you are living a lie, then it is time to stop. Stop living a lie and start living for Jesus the way you claim. He forgives. He’s waiting to take you in, but as long as you allow the lies to flow freely – as long as you don’t allow Him to control your life then someone else is in control. Jesus said it like this, “You belong to your father, the devil, … When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)”

I know that’s hard to hear, but I’m hoping that if you see the severity of what you may think is “no big deal” you’ll begin to think differently. If this has been you, then there is forgiveness and grace in Jesus. Come back to him. Confess your sins. Repent and turn back to God. Then live with dedication remembering that everything you do should glorify God. Christians should outshine everyone in dependability and work ethic and trustworthiness because of their desire to glorify the Almighty with all they are.

Jesus still loves you. The church still needs you. It’s not too late to change.

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Huh? Is that really in there?

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When I was a young man, my grandfather would tell me a story from when he was a youth worker and my parents were teenagers. My grandfather has always been active in the church, so when my parents were teens, he saw a need to step in to facilitate classes and activities for the teens.

One Sunday morning he saw two young men walking down the aisle, and he decided to have some fun with them. Bear in mind that this was probably the early 1970’s. Both of these teen boys had mustaches, so my grandfather asked them,
“Do you boys read your bible?”
“Oh yes sir,” was their reply.
“Well, then you can quote Hezekiah 14:26.” My grandpa was trying to hold back his grin.
“Um, can you remind us how it goes?” The boys were back pedaling quickly.
“Thou shalt not grow tame upon thine upper lip what groweth wild upon thine leg.”

The two hairy-lipped boys thanked him and went their merry way. The next time Grandpa saw them they had shaved their lips. Obviously they hadn’t bothered to look up the verse, because if they had they wouldn’t have found it. Hezekiah was a king, it isn’t a book in the bible. There is no verse that says men shouldn’t grow mustaches. I cracked up every time I heard that story.

Do you know your bible? Let’s take a test today. I’m going to list some common phrases, and see if you can figure out which ones came from the bible and which ones didn’t.

Is this from the bible or not?
1. Cleanliness is next to godliness
2. The apple of my eye
3. The golden rule: “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you”
4. Once saved, always saved
5. Spare the rod, spoil the child
6. God helps those who helps themselves
7. The sinner’s prayer
8. The lion will lay down with the lamb
9. Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned
10. The writing on the wall
11. Wolf in sheep’s clothing
12. You reap what you sow
13. This too shall pass
14. A fool and his money are soon parted

Well, how did you do? The only ones that are actually in the bible are numbers 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, and 13.

We believe a lot of things that just aren’t true. Not being willing to check out the facts through any form of research is a high form of self-deception. We are given a brain to use, but many of us just accept everything at face value.

When Luke wrote the book of Acts, he said that the Bereans were of “more noble character” than those around them because they heard Paul’s message and went home and searched the scriptures to see if it was true.

This practice should apply to every area of our lives. There is an election coming up. Do you believe the hype, or have you done the research so that you have an educated opinion upon which you will cast your vote? Do you accept what the preacher says just because he is the preacher? Do you accept what your school says because the teacher proclaims a message that sounds good?

“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book.” Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Please don’t be a person who hears something and accepts it without verifying the facts. There are plenty of people who will lie to you with lies that sound too much like truth. Even some religions will expect you to take what they say at face value without verification. One very popular religion has even made it their rule that what they say is more important than what the bible says. Thus there is no way to be a Berean in that system of religion.

The bible is full of wonderful information that feeds your need for truth. Preachers, pastors, and teachers are flawed, erring human beings, so it is important that you verify what they say. Don’t do it because you’re just a skeptic. Don’t do it because you think they’re bad people. They aren’t, I’m sure! In fact, I try very hard to tell the truth all the time, but sometimes I get my facts confused. It is important, then, that you have the ability to discern truth on your own.

You can be noble like a Berean as well.

If you know any other common phrases thought to be in the bible but aren’t, then I’d love to hear them. Many of these are truths that can be verified in scripture, but the wording isn’t there. Shoot me a message at mrjdobbs@gmail.com or comment on this article at my blog at http://www.mrdobbs.org. God bless you as you seek His truth every day.


The Voices Inside My Head

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I’m exhausted. My family and I just got back from a 3,000 mile round-trip excursion to Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, back to Tennessee, then Missouri, back to Arkansas, then finally back to Texas. We got to see family and friends we haven’t gotten to see in a while. We got to visit with a couple of my former students – one of whom got back in January from Afghanistan. I also got to go to a marvelous Youth Ministry Conference while in Louisville. It was a time of refreshing as I gathered with 3,000 other youth ministers from around the country to get refueled for ministry.

As I was there breathing out the stressors and worries of life and breathing in the words of God I recognized just how many voices speak into our lives.

What voices speak to you each day? Someone this weekend said that the four hardest jobs in the world are politicians, coaches, teachers, and ministers. They are the jobs where everyone else thinks they can do a better job than you can, and they frequently tell you so in no uncertain terms. What voices speak to you?

Maybe your voices come from outside influences. Maybe your family tells you something about yourself. Maybe it’s your friends or co-workers. Maybe it’s media that are significant sources of the voices that convince you of certain “truths” about yourself and the world around you.

I heard a news piece just last night talking about how even the continual images of the “perfect” women in all the visible roles in media influence our young women to think that they must also look that way. There was one story of the little girl in the beauty pageant, and when she didn’t win, she asked her mom “does this mean I’m not pretty?”

These outside voices can be brutal. Perhaps they tell you that you aren’t pretty enough or smart enough or that you don’t work hard enough. Maybe they tell you that you don’t fit in.

These voices, however, are not as potent as the voices in our own heads. I’m not talking about the schizophrenic voices where we talk to ourselves out loud. I’m talking about the subtle whispers in our minds that try to define us.

“You’re a failure as a mother or father.” “You may as well give up.” “No one really cares about you.” “You have nothing of value to contribute to society.” “You’ll never be the spouse you need to be.” “It’s ok if you do that; no one will be affected by your actions.”

As we go on in our lives these voices can easily morph from whispers to shouts as we feed in to their influence on our lives. When we start believing these things they cripple our ability for forward momentum.

I’ve seen the skits where a person stands in front of the mirror and says out loud to him or herself “Because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” In every skit they say it with enthusiasm, but their eyes reveal the truth that they don’t really believe what they are saying.

Many of these voices keep the dark places of our lives close by so that we don’t allow God to take over those places and eradicate the darkness. The voices keep us captive. They cripple us in our potential.

God is desperately desiring to speak a different message into your life. He wants to remind you that you are His MASTERPIECE (Ephesians 2:10). He wants you to know that when you listen to Him he will help you have the best life possible (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28). He wants you to know that you are totally worth it.

Worth what? Worth His sacrifice on the cross. God thought and still thinks that you are totally worth sacrificing Himself so that you can live eternally with Him.

We listen to these voices because we desperately want to be accepted and liked by society around us. We are constantly trying to impress the world – the created world – while the whole time the God who created that world, the Master of all existence, is trying to tell us that we are His favorite, and he already likes us. He even loves us. I once heard Jon Acuff say that “God follows our Facebook, and he likes, likes, likes!”

That’s pretty good news isn’t it? Let me challenge you. Spend more time listening to what God says about you in His word than what society said about you or even than what Satan whispers in your head. If you do this it will be much easier to combat those voices. I propose that you will even have a much brighter outlook on life. “You are more than a conqueror through Christ.” “You have been given a spirit of power, love, and self discipline.” “God will never leave you nor forsake you.” These and so many other promises are found in scripture. And when we read these promises, we also need to remember that God cannot lie.

You are awesome! God made you the way you are, and he doesn’t make junk. Satan has been trying to remold you into his likeness since you were born. It’s time to allow God to reshape you back into the masterpiece he created you to be. That reshaping can only happen when we let the voice of God be more influential than the voices of this world.

I’m on this journey with you. External voices are constantly trying to tear me down. Join with me in becoming more dependent on the voice of God than the voices of all the “haters” – even the ones inside our heads. And may our lives change for the greater because of it.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to call me at 245-1611 or via email at jddobbs@verizon.net. God bless you!


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