Month: July 2015

3 Things You Should Know About the Bible

This July 4 weekend, we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In addition to declaring our independence from England, and sparking the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence set forth America’s core values. Its text has been quoted for more than 200 years to restore and maintain our country’s founding principles, and to effect social change to bring us closer to achieving those principles.

The Declaration of Independence not only acknowledged the existence of God, but declared that God Himself endowed us with the three unalienable rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and that it is the role of government to protect those rights.

As great as the Declaration of Independence is, it is a document that was written by man. Nonetheless, it has guided our nation for a little more than two centuries. Still, having our core values in writing have helped us stay true to the course as long as we have.

On a higher level, God put His core values in writing centuries ago when the Bible was completed. In the Bible, you read about God’s personality, His likes and dislikes, His law, and His plan of salvation. It is all in writing, so that we can know for sure whether or not we are saved, or whether or not we are in His will.

There are three things we should remember about the Bible, and they are all captured in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

1. The Bible is God’s written Word. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” The word “inspiration” means “God-breathed.” All scripture is God-breathed, which means that God spoke all scripture. This means that the entire Bible is God’s Word… every book, chapter, verse and word. Thus, the entire Bible is the final word on any issue, discussion, or doctrine.

God is all-powerful, ever-present, and all-knowing. God knew the future, and He knew what changes would happen in society. Yet, He still breathed the words written in the Bible. This means that no passage of the Bible can be discounted or ignored on cultural or historical grounds. If God was against adultery 5,000 years ago, He is still against adultery now. He is unchanging.

2. The Bible can change our lives. 2 Timothy 3:16 goes on to say that all scripture “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Profitable means helpful, useful, or advantageous. Scripture is where we get our doctrine, which not only means our system of teaching, but also the creed by which we live our lives. Scripture is also profitable for reproof and correction, that is, showing what is wrong in our lives, and showing us how to correct it. Furthermore, All scripture is profitable for instruction in righteousness, in other words, instructions in how God wants us to live. If you use the Bible to develop your beliefs (doctrine), change your life and your views to conform to its standard (reproof and correction,) and follow it’s direction in life, then you will see your life changed for the better.

3. The Bible completes us. 2 Timothy 3:17 says, “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” The word “perfect” means complete. If a believer applies the word of God to their lives, they will be complete, and have all they need to do the great things God has called them to.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were the foundational documents on which we based our country. Let’s make the Bible the foundational document on which we base our lives.

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6 Truths that will Revolutionize the Way You Live Life

What separates greatness from mediocrity?

What separates a man who lives life boldly, pursuing his dreams, and achieving great things from someone who merely tries to survive? One lives by faith, the other by fear.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., achieved greatness through living by faith. Dr. King spoke of this faith during his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech given at the Jobs and Freedom March on Washington in 1963. He stated:

I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; ‘and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.’This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

Dr. King’s faith was not only that his dream of racial harmony and national healing would come true, but that one day, the Lord would return and set everything as it should be. Knowing that this result was inevitable, he boldly marched forward, speaking out on racial injustice, national healing, and ethnic harmony. He challenged America to live up to its founding creed, that “All men are created equal,” and are endued, by God, the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. On the eve of his assassination, Dr. King told supporters that he was confident that he had done God’s will.

What a way to live life… to live confident that your life meant something, and to leave this life with no regrets.

How can we live that life? We may not be able to lead marches on Washington, and notably change our nation the way Dr. King did, but we can still make a huge impact in our own spheres of life. In order to live a life that mattered, a life where you achieve greatness, there are six truths you must embrace.

1. God exists, and He created all things. The very existence of God is proven through the creation. (Romans 1:20, Hebrews 11:3). He created the Heavens, the Earth, land, water, oceans, animal and plant life, and man king. Being the Creator of all things, it follows that God is in control of all things, which should give you the faith to trust Him with the details over which you have no control.

2. If God created all things, it follows that He created all things with a purpose. 

3. If God created all things with a purpose, then He created us with a purpose. Your life is not an accident, and you are not just drifting in this world, left to survive the best you know how until you die. Your life has meaning. Your life is valuable. Your life has purpose. Your life matters. The question then becomes, “What is my purpose?”

4. God revealed His purpose for us in His written word, the Bible.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

These verses tell us that everything we need to know about God, and His expectation from us, is found in the scriptures, the Bible. The Bible is all God’s Word (given by inspiration), and is profitable for doctrine (a system of teaching, or a creed by which life is lived), for reproof (confrontation), for correction, for instruction in righteousness (what God wants us to do.) The idea is that we would be perfect (complete), thoroughly furnished (equipped) unto all good works.

5. To reject God’s purpose for our lives is to rebel against God Himself. That is the definition of sin. Sin is not defined as breaking God’s law. Sin is not defined as doing something bad, immoral, or evil. Sin is defined as rebelling against God. Now, breaking God’s law, immorality, and evil are all forms of rebelling against God, but even things that you and I don’t see as bad, or evil, also qualify as rebelling against God. When we reject God’s design for life, His purpose for our lives, and His will, we are rebelling against Him, and are sinning.

Think about it. What was so bad about Adam and Eve eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why was their disobedience of God’s command to not eat the fruit a sin? It was a sin, because they were trying to be as gods. They were seeking to elevate themselves to God’s level, so that they would not be subject to Him anymore. They rebelled. They sinned, and we have been cursed ever since.

6. We are all guilty of #5. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” This truth, while keeping us humble, also reminds us that the onus is not on us when it comes to greatness. Our greatness is bestowed upon us by God as we trust Him throughout our lives. It also reminds us that our salvation, and our entrance into Heaven is not based on our accomplishments, but our faith in the Lord. Mainly, this is key to knowing that we can be redeemed.

Now, let’s look at how you can revolutionize your life by embracing these six truths.

1. Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. The fact that all of us have sinned, and thus all of us stand guilty before God prompted Jesus Christ to take our sin upon Himself when He went to the cross. He took our punishment, so that we could stand before God with our debt paid, and thus be welcomed into Heaven. That salvation is accessed whenever a person turns from their sin, and trusts Jesus Christ to save them. Believe in Jesus. Pray to the Lord. Ask Him to save you. Without faith in Christ, nothing else matters.

2. Follow your purpose. In the movie, “Moms Night Out,” Trace Adkins played a biker who had strayed from the Lord. During the movie, he discussed watching an internet video of a mother eagle with all of her babies. He said it was awe-inspiring to watch one of God’s creatures simply do what it was created to do.

Finding your purpose doesn’t mean you have to go on this Easter egg hunt for a secret mission God has planted for you. It simply means to do what God designed you to do. All of us were designed to live the human experience: To grow up, follow a career, to get married, have kids, raise those kids, and then retire and teach the younger generations. There are some variations, not everyone gets married, not everyone can have kids, but as a norm, that’s what God designed us to do. (Those who are unable to marry, or have kids have different callings in life). Furthermore, all of us were designed to worship God.

So, living your purpose means worshiping God. This means going to church on Sundays, but it also means having a time of personal, and family worship, which consists of Bible study or devotional, and prayer.

Finding your purpose in your career involves discovering your talent, using that in your career to the best of your ability, but more importantly, honoring and glorifying God with that talent. In my particular case, I host a radio talk show. While the format of my station will not allow me to preach sermons or give devotionals during my 3-hour daily talk show, I can approach the topics from God’s perspective, and give Spiritual insight into the news of the day.

In your case, it might be building your reputation for workmanship, work ethic, and integrity. In whatever you do, you are called to show the world how God would work through that profession.

Finding your purpose in your personal life involves applying scripture to your family responsibilities… from a man’s responsibility to provide for his family and teach his children about God, to a man’s responsibility to love his wife. A woman’s responsibility is to respect and help her husband, though Proverbs 31 tells us that women are also endued with talent that is to be used to glorify Him, and provide for her family.

We can (and probably will) explore how these truths can apply to certain situations in your life. In the meantime, if you will keep them at the top of your mind, and think about how you can apply them to your situation, you will notice changes. God exists. He has a purpose for our lives. Are we willing to live it?