Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Mid-Week Message - Stand Up For the Truth

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work."  2 Timothy 3:16-17  (NLT) 

One of the very first things I remember learning about the Bible was that the Word of God is to be treasured.  I must have been about seven or eight years old.  The place was South Georgia Baptist Church in Amarillo, Texas.  It was an evening class right before the evening service.  I had laid my Bible on the window ledge and put something else on top of it.  My sweet teacher instructed me that the Word of God is precious and to be treated with respect.  She told me never to place other things on top of it.  

Now, I don't necessarily think the Bible must always be on top of a physical stack.  But I do believe it is to be esteemed above any other book or item we have.  It contains our "love letter" from God.  His words, delivered over the ages, preserved through time so that we can hear directly from Him.  He uses them to teach us, to guide us, to comfort us and to assure us that He is intimately involved in our lives.  

Sometime ago as I sat and watched the news, I saw a report about a Bible being burned in the street.  After my shock and anger came incredible sadness and I wept.  In my mind, I saw Jesus on the cross saying, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."  I wondered if, at any time in their lives, these persons involved had ever personally cradled a Bible in their hands, opened it and been exposed to the powerful truths contained therein.  

We are witnessing large groups of individuals who are turning their backs on morality and attempting to rewrite the rules of society.  They want nothing to do with obedience to the law, with patriotism or any other system that directs behavior.  Instead they want to do what feels good to them even if that means destroying the life of another.  God's Word stands as a beacon of truth which directs us to forego our own will and desires and to follow Him.  It stands to reason that they would lash out at it as well.  

It is vitally important that those of us who believe in Almighty God and the Bible as His inerrant Word, be willing to stand up for what we know to be right.  It is time for churches to return to preaching God's Word rather than tickling ears with "feel good" messages.  Some of what God has to say is hard to hear.  We don't want to be confronted about the sin in our lives.  We want to follow the world's excuses and blame our shortcomings on anyone or anything besides ourselves.  But until we encounter Jesus and admit the truth about what we have done we will not find forgiveness. 

We must be willing to speak God's truth.  We are seeing more and more vitriol being directed at Christianity.  It will only continue to worsen.  This is not the time to hide our heads but to boldly stand in the name of Jesus.  Our children need to be raised in true Bible believing and teaching churches and what they learn there needs to be modeled by parents and reinforced at home.  We need to be fully aware of what they are hearing as "truth" at school so that we can make sure they are not deceived and led away.  

I know how difficult it is.  It is frightening to speak out.  We could encounter disapproval, criticism, mocking or even worse.  But in this day of kneeling to lies, we must be careful to kneel only before our Lord.  He left Heaven, came to earth and died a torturous death for us.  What are we willing to do for Him?   

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