Tag Archives: truth

I Believed I Could Fly

When I was a kid I loved to climb trees. I would spend hours hanging out up in the limbs as high as I could go. Heights have never bothered me. 

I remember one period during my youth when I was convinced that if I believed something strongly enough I could make that idea a reality. My faith would create reality. I had no real example for this, but I had watched enough television and movies to know this must be the case.  

I loved being up high. I still do. But when I was younger, the trees weren’t high enough. I wanted to be like a bird and fly. I convinced myself that if I believed hard enough I could jump out of the tree and flap my arms and soar like a bird. 

So one day I spent time up in the tree meditating upon the truth that I could fly. I remembered the cartoons I had watched and how the characters would flap their arms to generate lift. I convinced myself that this would work, and I jumped. 

I think I may have postponed my inevitable landing by maybe a millisecond. But I didn’t fly. 

Faith doesn’t create reality as much as it latches onto an already proven reality that simply can’t be seen yet. 

Saul was a zealot for his religion. He was a Jew of Jews and went around persecuting anyone who claimed that Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. He put people in prison and even to death because he was convinced of his right knowledge and their false allegiance. 

Was he sincere? Yes. Was he convinced he was doing he right thing? Yes. Was what he was doing in contrast to the plan of God for all mankind? Yes!

Who could’ve convinced him?  As we see in Acts, it took an encounter with Jesus to convince him of the error of his ways. 

If sincere faith was more important than the truth underlying that faith then Saul would’ve been commended for his behavior. If zeal for God was all that was needed for salvation regardless of the teachings of Jesus and discipleship in Him then Saul should have been in. But he wasn’t. 

Many people today are convinced that their sincerity will get them into heaven, but their lifestyle doesn’t look like Jesus’ plan for them. Many people feel that their religion is right because it claims Jehovah as God and refers to Jesus, but their religion doesn’t look like the church we read of in the New Testament. 

People for many years have convinced themselves or listened to other charismatic messengers who convinced them that they are following the right way, but they haven’t looked to the source of righteousness, Jesus, to see if their lifestyle truly reflects Jesus’ teachings. 

If the church tells you that some man’s word supersedes the words of Jesus then that is not a Christian church. If the church tells you that Jesus isn’t God even though Jesus himself claimed to be the God who was at the burning bush with Moses, then that is not a Christian church. To follow the teachings and practices of a man above those of Christ is idolatry, and God is a jealous God. 

It is not politically correct for me to say so, but Catholicism teaches that the church can dictate scripture, and where their mandates differ from the teachings of Jesus in the Bible, then the bible takes second place to the church (This is taught in catechism). Mormonism teaches that the Doctrines and Covenants is to be trusted above the Bible even though their teachings stand in stark contrast to the teachings of Jesus. The Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t even believe in the deity of Jesus though Jesus, Thomas and the rest of the New Testament writers testified to this fact. When men stand above other men to dictate a religion that doesn’t look like what Jesus came to establish then this is not from God. God is about equality among genders, races and social classes – especially in the church – not hierarchy and power and control. 

No matter how much we may “feel” something is right, we cannot hold to that understanding if it is in contrast to the teachings of the Son of God. Trying to find salvation in these religions apart from the message of Jesus is like trying to convince yourself you can fly. Trying to find salvation outside of Christ based on some feeling you have about God is the same as these false religions. 

If you’ve been in one of these religions or have been considering them, then please heed this warning and go to the Jesus of the bible to find your salvation and the way you should live. If you have been living a “good life” to try to please God yet don’t know what God says in his word concerning you, then it is time to learn. I would love to talk with you more about following Jesus apart from the teachings of man. I don’t want to give you my teachings. I want to help you see His teachings for what they are, and they’re not difficult to understand. 

Faith is based on the truth of Jesus, the Word of God. It isn’t based on some gut feeling or emotional experience. Emotions come and go, but Jesus has been consistent for thousands of years. 


Huh? Is that really in there?

20120925-094707.jpg

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.


And You Were Wondering Why?

20110628-104709.jpg

I have three children, and as they grow up it is fascinating to watch them learn about the world around them. Sometimes it’s downright hilarious. So many of the things they do as they learn could easily be avoided, but for the sake of learning I allow them to experience certain things.

For example, my son might want to open a certain door in a funny way – again, he’s experimenting with his hands and his body. I warn him that if he does it THAT way he’ll hurt himself. Guess what he does. He does it anyway, and he gets hurt. That part isn’t funny.

The part that is funny is that when he gets hurt, he looks up at me with this bewildered look as if it were my fault that he got hurt. It wasn’t my fault. I tried to warn him. I tried to provide him with the skills he needed to make the right decision and avoid the pain, but he didn’t listen, so he suffered the consequences.

While I may snicker at the experiences of my son or daughter, I have to remember that we are not much better than they are. We still struggle with the same desires and temptations. Or temptations may be bigger and hold greater consequences, but underneath we suffer from the same selfishness.

I know I do it. I want to be in control of my own life. Don’t tell me what to do…I’ll figure it out.

It’s because of this natural reaction in me that I respond to God the way I do.

Do you realize that God has offered the knowledge of how to live in such a way that you have the best life possible? It’s all right there in the bible. We claim to be followers of Christ, but our lives are a mess, and we blame God or question Him about it. We do the same thing my son does to me. We refuse to listen, and then we wonder why God let the bad stuff happen.

The other day, I was listening to Don McLaughlin. He is a great speaker with many wonderful insights into the Christian life. His topic was the section of Ephesians 6 that talks about the armor of God. What he said was totally relevant to all of us.

Basically, he showed us that God has given us this armor in Ephesians 6, but so many times we want to try to live our life our way without putting on the armor. Then, things don’t work out, and we look to God for someone else to blame, when it was our fault all along.

Look at the armor: salvation, righteousness, truth, the good news of peace, faith, the Spirit through the word of God, and prayer. If we have all these things – if we pursue them, then the other things that happen in our lives will work so much better.

We cannot control how other people act, but we can control how we live our lives among those who live theirs.

I want to live with the armor on, because, truly, if you don’t have on the armor, you’ve already been taken a prisoner of war by God’s enemy.

So may you join with me in suiting up. May we begin the fight in our lives, and may the light of God’s presence be evident in us as we vanquish all the flaming arrows of the evil one through the power of God.

If you want to talk more about this armor beginning even with that helmet of salvation, then please contact me at jddobbs@verizon.net or at my office at 245-1611. If you’d like to simply comment on this article, you can do so at www.mrdobbs.org.

God bless you, and may we see victory as we allow God to work in and through us!


Squeemish

love one another

[tweetmeme] Well…no one took the challenge to discuss baptism…that’s cool.

Why, though? Why don’t we want to discuss certain subjects of Christianity? People don’t tend to want to talk about baptism, the church’s role in politics, giving, women’s roles in the church, why we are so different from the way the church was in the first century… The list goes on.

What are your thoughts? Should we be more free to discuss these things? We all claim the same title, “Christian,” yet we don’t want to discuss some of the things that divide us. Perhaps we could one day come to the place where denominational lines are blurred, and churches work closely together to reach communities for Christ instead of competing with each other for those who are already Christians! Remember, Jesus said the world would know we are Christians by our love for one another…

What are your thoughts? I’m curious.

Differences of opinion….part of life on the sharp end.


Preacher Pet Peeve

[tweetmeme]I have one HUGE pet peeve when it comes to some preachers.
I have seen a preacher (at a youth rally a few years back) use the illustration during his sermon – Here’s Your Sign by Bill Engvall.

What he did was take the jokes and change it from “here’s your sign” to “bless your heart.”  It WAS funny…my grandma used that phrase on me alot. The thing that frustrated me was that he told the stories like they were his personal experiences and didn’t give any reference to his source.
I don’t know about you, but this is a big integrity issue for me. If a preacher is going to use a source, he should cite the source. To be sure, I didn’t hear the rest of his message because I was so disgusted at his illustration.

Have you ever experienced this? What are your thoughts? Am I way off base?

Truth … Big part of life on the sharp end.


%d bloggers like this: