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Was Jesus Human or Divine?

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My Weather

These days it has become popular to attach a possessive adjective to the word truth. One says,   You’ve just got to live your truth , while another says,   That may be right for you to believe, but this is my truth.   Your  truth?  My  truth? What ever happened to  the  truth? How I miss the indefinite article rather than the possessive adjective!    In his wonderful book  The Thrill of Orthodoxy,  Trevin Wax compared this way of thinking to the weather. “You may love the plentiful sunshine of a cloudless morning in late spring, or the gentle fall of snowflakes on a winter night. You may have your preferences, but you don't say  my  weather and  your  weather, because you're not in control. It's something that's there, something that happens, to which you must adapt.”   If we want sunshine and are dealt rain, we fool ourselves if we simply declare, “Well,  my  weather is sunshine!” That person would not be taken seriously. No one would be asked to play along, pretending

Undetected Idolatry

What is idolatry? We see the word  idol  at the outset of the word, tipping us off to the idea that idolatry involves idols. Webster defined idolatry as “the religious worship of idols.” Fair enough, but what are idols? Let’s ask Webster again. He says it is “an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.” The dictionary goes on to say an idol may be a figment of the imagination, or any person or thing regarded with blind devotion. We often think about a thing in relation to idolatry, such as the Baals in the Old Testament or the kachinas of the Native Americans. But idolatry can also exist in the mind.  In the classic theological work  The Knowledge of the Holy,  A.W. Tozer wrote, “The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him. It begins in the mind and may be present where no overt act of worship has taken place.”   We see this played out in Romans 1, where Paul noted, “For although they kn

A Great Multitude

  Dr. King famously dreamed of a world in which people were judged by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin. But never did he dream that we would become a colorblind society. The goal is not to pretend that there are no differences in skin color, but simply not to treat people differently because of those differences.    John the Apostle also had a dream, and he recorded it for us as the last book of the Bible. Revelation 7:9 says in part, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…”   In his book titled  Advocates,  Pastor Dhati Lewis wrote about that passage, noting, “Even at the heavenly worship service, God still recognizes different ethnicities.  John didn’t see a multitude ‘who  used to be  from every nation, tribe, people, and language…’”  (emphasis added)   We are not going to lose our identity in heaven,

Headless Turtles

  Pastor Steve Gaines once repeated a story he heard from his friend. This man was by himself doing some bass fishing when he suddenly had a sharp tug on his line. He became excited and began to reel in his catch.    After some struggle, he was finally able to discover what it was that bit his hook—not a bass, but a turtle. He laid the reptile on its back in the grass and tried to remove the hook. He even tried giving the back of its head a little thump, hoping to jar the hook loose. He soon realized his efforts were futile, and there was only one option left.   I apologize for the rest of this sentence, but the man took out his knife and removed the head of the turtle, putting it out of its misery. Within minutes he had a new hook on his line and had recast. But then he heard some rustling in the grass behind him, which was alarming since he was by himself. He turned around to see that turtle—headless—trying to walk. Like a snake that refuses to die, this turtle’s nerve endings were c

How Jesus Handled Criticism

  If you haven’t figured it out by now, Christian, you are being watched. The world keeps an investigative eye on us, looking for any molehill they can make into a mountain. This isn’t new. When Jesus was on earth He was endlessly scrutinized by His critics, the religious leaders that were always on the hunt for dirt to use against Him.    One such example of this is seen in Luke 6. On a Sabbath Day, Jesus and the disciples were walking through a wheat field, and His followers were hungry. To satisfy their craving, they picked some wheat and ate a few handfuls as they walked. The Pharisees were incensed. No, this was not an act of theft, as the Mosaic Law allowed for the poor or hungry to do this very thing; the only restriction was they could not fill a container.   The Pharisees were not mad that the disciples ate someone else’s grain, but that they did so on the Sabbath. This was not against the law, but was against their manmade tradition. The outraged Pharisees demanded to know wh

Peace and Quiet

Do you want peace and quiet? That is probably something that most of us desire, and yet it remains so elusive. My brother and I are only eleven months apart, so you can imagine how much noise we made growing up. When we were young I know we had to have driven my poor mother crazy at times. She would tell us she was going to go into her room and shut the door because she just wanted "five minutes of peace and quiet." I had no conception of time when I was little because my mom would disappear for an hour and call it five minutes. I was a teenager before I realized how short five minutes actually is. Now that I am a parent myself I understand that desire for just five minutes of peace. But we can certainly do so much better than just five minutes, or even an hour. How would you like to have perfect peace?  In Isaiah 26 the prophet said these words to the Lord: "You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever,