Archive for November, 2016

Truth Lives

We had a good Thanksgiving. Family, feasting, and football, combined with nice weather made it a special time.

According to the Oxford Dictionary folks, we are living in a “post-truth” time. What does it mean? In short, it means that feelings and opinions are now more important than truth.

The world may see “post-truth”, the Bible presents a different view. At the trial of Jesus, Pilate asked Him, “what is Truth?” Country singer Johnny Cash recorded a song in 1970 entitled “What Is Truth?” It seems to be question that has echoed through the ages.

God is truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth. The truth is found in the Word of God. The lost people of the world are imprisoned by a great lie. The truth will free them from the darkness, and bring them into the light of God’s truth. To restate; the Bible is truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth. God’s Word is true.

Bishop J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) said, “It (the Bible) has left lasting marks wherever it has been received. From the Bible are drawn many of the best laws by which society is kept in order. From the Bible has been obtained the standard of morality about truth, honesty, and the relations of man and wife, which prevails among Christian nation, and which—however feebly respected in many cases—makes so great a difference between Christians and heathen.”

Speaking of the Lord Jesus, John wrote, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

John 18:37-38: “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
“What is truth?” Pilate asked.” The truth was standing right in front of him. Jesus had said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

The Truth is still there. It has not become obsolete. We have not seen the end of truth. We are far from it. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8).

In Truth,
Pastor Jerry

On the Right Path

We have had our first real taste of winter. The snow was wet and was welcome moisture. It’s been awhile since we had measurable rain, so this is good. My enthusiasm for the cooler temperatures is somewhat less than for the moisture. It is a bit of a shock to the system to go from 70 plus degrees to below freezing in less than 48 hours!

In other news, the rifle deer season has ended, and from reports I see, the deer population has rebounded from the disease losses of a few years back. What this means is that there is a better chance of hitting one with your vehicle.

As I watch and read the news lately, I see young people acting like very small children who do not get their way. I believe much of the behavior exhibited by these “protesters” is a direct result of allowing them to make their own choices from an early age. When I was a child (a long time ago), children didn’t order their own food at the restaurant, they ate the food ordered by the parents. Little kids didn’t choose what to wear, they dressed in the clothes laid out by Mom. There were two choices at mealtime, take it or leave it. There was no discussion

Another reason, I believe, we have come to this point, is that more and more people know less and less of what the Bible teaches regarding family structure and respect for parental authority. Here are a few helpful scriptures to make my point.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise” (Ephesians 6:1-2). Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Colossians 3:20-21… Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

The book of Proverbs is filled with instruction concerning the raising of children. “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24). “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death (Prov. 19:18).

Discipline is correcting a path, and the right path is clearly marked.

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry

Win or Lose

It is one of those days when I wonder how I will write a column that makes sense, when I don’t have a clue how to start. I have heard that the hardest part is writing the first word, so here goes.

In recent weeks, we have seen a number of contests, ranging from the World Series, to high school football and volleyball, to the election of a president. We have seen unlikely winners and surprising losers. Some contests were decided early, and others went down to the wire. But no matter which team or candidate you supported, there were winners and losers.

In sports or politics, there are rules of the game. When played by the rules, there is an honest outcome to the contest. One team wins, the other loses. Oh, there will be someone who will claim the rules weren’t followed, or that somewhere in the background there were ‘dirty politics’, or the umpires or referees will be somehow blamed, but in the end, the better team wins.

We’ve all heard the old saying, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. Might I suggest this; although it is not whether you win or lose, it does matter how you respond to losing or winning.

The important thing is how we react to either winning or losing in a given contest. We have seen winning celebrations turn into near riots, and we have seen reaction to losing a contest turn into protests and riots. Neither of these reflect well on those involved.

Here are a few verses that apply to how we win or lose. This is Paul’s advice to the Christians in Rome: “For the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment of yourself” (Romans 12:3). “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes: if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor” Romans 13:7.

Again from Paul: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone: (Colossians 4:6).

Win or lose, we are all made in the image of God. So, whether winning or losing, do it with grace, class, and respect for others.

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry

Heart Change

Well, last week was rather busy. It appears retirement doesn’t leave much time for sitting by the lake, meditating on the scenery. Monday was the church pancake supper, later in the week, I worked on a little project for a friend, and we made two trips to Kearney to visit an old friend in the hospital. Oh, and Saturday we attended a cowboy poets gathering in Comstock. If someone else had written this, I would feel tired, just from reading it. Really though, it was most enjoyable.

Our friend was in the hospital for quadruple by-pass surgery, after suffering a mild heart attack on Monday. We visited him on Wednesday before his operation, and then again Sunday. There was a noticeable difference in his appearance after the surgery, due to the repairs made by the surgeon. You might call it a miraculous change.

This experience brings to mind God’s promise to his people. Because of Israel’s disobedience, the people had been scattered. Now, for the sake of his own holy name, God would bring his people back, and let the nations know that he would restore His relationship with them. Here is the promise he made: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws…You will be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezekiel 36:26-28).

In the New Testament, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ provided the way for sinners to have a restored relationship with God. When we place our faith in Him, God changes our hearts, also.
Just as our friend’s appearance was transformed by the surgeon’s skilled hand, so is the Christian transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit, given by the hand of God.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).

Only by placing our faith in Jesus, can we have our hard hearts transformed. Have you experienced this change? Do your friends see a change in you because of your relationship with the Lord?

In Him,
Pastor Jerry