Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Mid-Week Message - Knowing Truth

"Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!"  Psalm 46:10 (AMPC)

When I was in the ninth grade in Junior High, the English teachers combined classes and presented a program that was meant as an avenue for enlightenment.  They showed videos of the Vietnam War and talked about all the reasons being tossed about as to why the United States was involved.  They also played a myriad of popular songs that were rumored to actually be written about drugs.  One of those songs was "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul and Mary.  What I had always believed to be a wonderful children's song, they said was actually about marijuana.  It bothered me because I had never seen it that way so I did a bit of research.  The writer of the poem, a man named Leonard Lipton, says that he penned the song in 1959 after reading an Ogden Nash poem entitled "Custard the Dragon."  Peter Yarrow of the music group, found the poem and wrote the music for it and published it as a song.  Leonard Lipton said he did not write the poem with any drug ideas in mind and was appalled that people would believe a song would ever be presented to children that touted drug usage. To this day, I wonder how many of my fellow former students still believe what they were taught that day.  If they never took the time to check it out for themselves, then I would suppose they do.  

Each day we are bombarded by multiple types of media and told what to think, and sadly many people take everything in as truth.  Programming that used to be vehicles for the delivery of actual news, has now become a series of commentaries and individual interpretations of the news.  While we are hearing about events that actually happen, we are receiving the information through a haze of someone else's thoughts rather than simply hearing the facts and making up our own minds about what they mean.  Rarely do I talk to others who do their own research to determine whether what they take in that is being presented as fact is actually true.  Because something is written in the a newspaper or aired on television it is blindly accepted.  

I wish I could say that this never happens in other places.  However, schools have also been found to either be selective in what is taught, thereby only presenting one side, or actually teaching what is only conjecture as fact.  Our students aren't being taught the art of investigation wherein they learn to weigh all of the data and form their own beliefs and opinions.  Even more sadly, this also happens in churches.  

A very wise man told me years ago to use wisdom even when listening to preachers and teachers.  I wish I could say that everything said from a pulpit is exactly what the Lord would wish to have said.  My friend's advice was to know the Word of God personally and to check out what is taught to make sure what I heard was solid and true.  His words were, "Eat the fish and spit out the bones."   Over the years, these words have stuck in my soul so that I listen carefully to know whether what is being taught is in line with scripture.  I read the text for myself.  Just as with the song I mentioned above, it is always good to go directly to the author for clarification.  

We serve a very big God.  Somehow, some way, He is able to have a personal relationship with each one of us as if we were His only child.  His desire is that we get as close to Him as possible and the best way to do that is through His Word.  Through the Bible He has revealed Himself and will draw us near.  We all need to be in a good, Bible teaching church.  We need the fellowship and teaching that we can trust to be from the Holy Spirit.  The only way we will know if that is occurring though is by seeking God on our own, through prayer, through the reading of His Word.  We have to get to know Him personally so that we can hear His voice and walk in His truth rather than what the world would have us think.  With great love, God bless you.

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