Friday, October 21, 2016

What was God up to?

I like to learn. I also like to share what I've learned.

In this post, I want to share something I read in a newsletter we receive from the Pensions and Benefits office of the Church of the Nazarene. The article I will quote from is by Daron Brown, a pastor in TN. You can read the full article at but I want to highlight here what stood out to me.

In the article, Pastor Brown suggests that between reading the Word of God and applying it to our lives, ask: "What was God up to?"  He says that "There is nothing more important than seeking the activity of God." "God is not detached, nor is He passive. He is actively involved in our world. The point of the Bible is to illustrate the activity of God. In it, He was creating, calling, moving, blessing, descending, incarnating, healing, serving, saving, renewing, restoring, sanctifying, and empowering. When we begin to discern what God was up to in the settings of these passages, the Holy Spirit leads us to understand what He is up to in our present day. God is consistent, and His seamless story continues to unfold. He is still saving and renewing and healing. His activity is ongoing."

Wow. Yet another confirmation of how important it is to read and meditate on God's Word.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

How to answer the world's questions

When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by asking Him what He thought about divorce (Matthew 19:3), Jesus did not fall into their trap by talking about the evils of divorce, or the evil people who let themselves get divorced, but rather, he responded by saying:
Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (verses 4-6 NASB)
Jesus did not get into an argument. Rather, He responded by quoting the Scriptures in such a way as to show God's original design for His people. In this particular passage above, He said "Have you not read?" because He was talking to the Pharisees, who were well acquainted with what the Scriptures said, but they were wanting to re-define them. Sound familiar?

When Jesus was in the wilderness, Satan tried to tempt Him several times. Each time Jesus would respond with "It is written." (See Matthew 4:4; 6; 7; 10) He could've boasted about Himself being the Son of God or He could've fallen down in despair that His Father was allowing this to happen to Him. Instead, He grabbed the strongest weapon available and won that battle!

As I Christ-follower, I can apply this to my life when non-believers try to "trap" me by asking me questions about homosexuality, divorce, abortion, etc. I need not give my opinion on any of these issues! And I need not get into an argument. If I truly believe in the reliability and authority of the Word of God, then I only need to respond by saying "It is written..."

When my enemy comes to tempt me to be discouraged and give up. Once again, If I truly believe in the reliability and authority of the Word of God, I follow my Master's example and respond with the Sword of the Spirit! But I must ask myself: Do I truly believe in the reliability and authority (and therefore power) of the Word of God?