People often picture God’s word like it is just one of the many options about understanding who we are, why we are here, and what life is all about. Growing numbers of people don’t even care to know whether the Creator has really made himself known through the words we can read for our benefit every day.
What I love to share with people is that there are only two categories to choose from. One is all the writings, beliefs, philosophies, mindsets, and worldviews, that describe man doing whatever it takes to get it right. The other, found only in the Bible, is the revelation of what God has had to do for us to be right with him.
In this primer of evidence for why the Bible’s uniqueness affirms God as the author, I share a few of the realities that cannot be found anywhere else. It is not only that we must choose between all the man-centered systems that require good works from sinners, and the one message that declares good news of great joy that God has given us a Savior.
It is also about whether we will humble ourselves to admit that we need the Savior who is only revealed to us through God’s word, the Bible. When we know in our hearts that we are helpless sinners, the good news is not only easier to believe, but it does become our “great joy” that God has sent his Son to save us.
Tuesday: "Love: The Creative Difference"
The English language uses the word “love” to describe everything from a husband’s committed love for his wife to someone’s feelings for a new flavor of donut. This means that love must be understood in context. The object and the subject of love determine the quality of love in each case.
Many people miss out on being the focus of God’s love because they believe the world’s lies that he does not exist. Others who say they believe in God do not believe his love applies to them. And still others claim that God’s love is so universal and accepting that it really doesn’t matter what we believe or do, God’s love will scoop us up in the end.
Because knowing God’s love is the highest and greatest experience ever, and because so many are missing out on his love through misunderstandings, doubts, and deceptions, here are some clarifications directly from God’s own word. His grace is at work to reveal his love to our hearts. Those who receive his love by faith come to know the greatest love that exists. And that is an experience we can’t afford to miss.
Wednesday: "The Dominoes of Love"
The metaphor of domino patterns illustrates how one thought about God falls against another until whole arrangements of wisdom and understanding fill our minds and brains. Not only do we benefit from the specific truths we learn, but also from the way the realities of God move through our hearts.
As the world goes from bad to worse, and my time in this earthly life winds down ever so quickly, the one thing I want to encourage everyone to seek is a constantly growing relationship with God our Creator. It is in attachment to our Father in heaven that we gain hope even in this hopeless world. And it is in our connection to Jesus Christ that we have hope about the certainties of life after death.
If these thoughts stir up a sense of wonder at the dominos of truth that reveal God’s love to you, please don’t just enjoy the show and then move on to find another. You are invited to know the love of God in a real and personal way, and Jesus Christ is the door to enter that relationship. Please stop and get to know him today.
Thursday: "Experiencing God in Love"
There are many things I believed about God before I could say I knew them by experience. From a young age, I have known that God was watching out for me. I knew that his word was true, and that it told me how I could know him. I believed his words and knew that they were slowly seeping into the deeper places within me even before I knew what those places were called.
I now can say that I know God’s love by experience rather than just belief. Even this is still growing, but it is a settled thing for me that God wants me to know his love. His word overflows with invitations to experience him in real and personal ways.
When we read about such things as this, it is good to admit it if we can’t say we have any connection to God’s love at all. It is okay to let ourselves feel the sadness of missing out on the Creator’s love because his love will comfort us. It is okay to know that we cannot fix what is broken inside us because it opens our hearts to what God has done to bring us into his love. And, it is okay to admit that we are desperate to know what it feels like to be loved by God because God promises to satisfy that longing.
Friday: "The Pursuit of Knowing God"
Because God can be known, it both delights me to share him with you in every way I can think of, and it grieves me that knowing the Creator is so undesirable to so many people.
Over the course of my six-plus decades, it is a settled issue for me that there is nothing in life greater than knowing God. That includes the things we might be afraid of as much as the things we might desire. Knowing God is greater than whatever good we have found anywhere else, and whatever we are most afraid of in getting to know him.
I say this as personally as I am able, that if you see in yourself that it is fear that holds you back from opening your heart to Jesus Christ, will you let me share my hope with you? I have a been-there-done-that experience with fear and, no matter what I have ever had to face and work through, I have many stories of how the scariest things in life have helped me get to know God better than I have ever known him before.
Whatever time I have left in this earthly life, I want the years to help people bring their fears to God so that faith can flourish. We are in a horrible scary time, but the joy of knowing God is as real and personal as ever, waiting to be received by anyone who admits that this is what their hearts are longing for.
Saturday: "The Unity and Uniqueness of Life"
I love music that presents wonderful harmonies for the enjoyment of both ears and hearts. I love song presentations that sound like groups of people singing their praises to God as one people, but with distinctions of instruments and harmonies that work together to lift our souls to God in the joys of worship.
The world swings between its horrible expressions of unity that are aimed at destroying others and its exaggerated emphasis on the individuality of its players that ruins people with a false sense of independence.
In the plumbline between, God sings his song of life so that people find unity in the Creator while discovering their unique place in the choir of God. We become equally concerned for what matters to us all as to our unique place of interdependence with God’s people.
With the word-pictures of songs and harmonies helping us along, please consider how the Creator is inviting you to hear his invitation into the life of God, and then come to Jesus for the unity and uniqueness of life in Christ.
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)