Is your heart breaking? Are you in deep despair? Is depression crushing you? Even when you think you can’t hang on, God will hang on to you. No matter what life is throwing at you, no matter how weak your faith might be right now, God will hold you fast.
How do I know? I know because He has done this for me. It has been over 60 years since I asked Jesus to be my Savior. Through many trials, through many sorrows, through all my many failings, He never let me go.
He never said, “That’s it! I’m done with her. She’s gone too far now. Enough is enough!”
When I doubted, He held me fast. When I rebelled, He held me fast. When I went astray, He held me fast. When I was in deep despair, He held me fast. When my heart was broken, He held me fast. This is why I love Him and why I praise Him unashamedly.
It is when I acknowledged my own shortcomings, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses that I grasped the depth of His great love and forgiveness and understood just how much I really need Him.
If you are searching for love, forgiveness, and mercy, come to Jesus. His love surpasses all understanding. He loves you, yes you.
Scripture for Meditation
“If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there … Your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:10)
“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
“You are not your own;you were bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)
With a broad grin, the young preacher said, “I did it because I knew religious people wouldn’t like it!” And the audience chuckled.
I’ve heard this before many times and in different words – preachers poking fun at their Christian brothers and sisters referring to them as “religious people”. It’s meant as a put-down to Christians in mainstream churches and it assures the audience that they have one up on the “unenlightened”.
I must speak out about about this because it should be a red flag. It has certainly become a red flag to me.
What does being religious really mean? According to Websters Dictionary, it means: scrupulously and conscientiously faithful, fervent, zealous.
That sounds admirable to me, but what these preachers are really saying is “religious” people are not in tune with our superior revelation of the Scripture.
In some churches, being “religious” has taken on a whole new meaning. It has become a put-down that comes from a spirit of pride and self-importance and it serves an important purpose. It labels all those faithful Christians who have walked with God and studied God’s Word for many years as people who don’t understand what weunderstand.
In effect, Christians who might caution you about false teaching are literally disinfranchised from the conversation.
It’s our human nature to want to feel smart. People like to feel like they know more, and have inside information others don’t have. It’s a seduction and it’s the oldest trick in the book.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:1-6 NIV
When I started writing this post today, I really didn’t want to discuss this topic again. (Is that all she thinks about?) So I decided to read for a while, thinking maybe God would lead me in a different direction. Instead, I came across an article that said, “To critics of discernment in general (Oh, discerners are unloving and way too judgmental.), I would say that silence is compliance. ” Pastor Larry Debruyn
If silence is compliance, then I must speak out. If you see a red flag, let it be a warning!
Unsound teaching calls out to anyone with Internet. Hopefully, you’ve never heard these kind of remarks and have no idea what I’m talking about, but if you do – examine carefully what is being taught. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, today. Comments are welcomed and appreciated.
“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:15-16NLT
“But you should never lose sight of this fact, dear friends, that time is not the same with the Lord as it is with us—to him a day may be a thousand years, and a thousand years only a day. It is not that he is dilatory about keeping his own promise as some men seem to think; the fact is that he is very patient towards you. He has no wish that any man should be destroyed. He wishes that all men should come to repent.” 2 Peter3:8-9 PHILLIPS
What you believe will dramatically affect your life forever and those around you, too. As human beings, we like to go along with the crowd and just get along with everyone. We tend to believe what the people around us believe and that can be good, or bad.
Take, for example, a student who is surrounded by highly intelligent professors who are atheists. He might become an atheist, too. Why? Because intelligence is impressive and subconsciously he thinks that to believe in God would make him look less intelligent, so he doesn’t even search out the truth. Instead, he believes what is most comfortable.
In the same way, Christians might believe what those around them believe, even when it isn’t Biblically correct.
Why? Because religious beliefs that conform to cultural norms make life easier. In the Apostle Paul’s day, Judaism pressured Christians to conform to the law. Today, political correctness pressures us to conform to secular thought.
For example, some say, “I believe people of all faiths worship the same God.”
That sounds nice, and is very ecumenical, but it isn’t true. And truth is important because people’s eternity depends on it.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Another example is abortion. Being pro-life is unpopular in many circles. (Just ask a politician.) To say, “I think it’s a woman’s choice” may get you off the hook. It’s the easy way out. But is it true? If we don’t do it, but we condone it, are we still innocent?
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. Psalm 139:13&15 NLT
There are preachers today who teach false doctrines and many people follow them. The Bible warns us over and over about it.( If you don’t believe me, search the Scriptures for yourself.) My intention is not to tell you what is false and what is true, but to highlight the need to carefully and prayerfully examine what we hear to see if it’s true.
The Apostle Paul chided the Church at Corinth:
“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-6
Paul insinuates that these false teachers were trained speakers. (Probably very entertaining and popular!) Are we drawn to a preacher by his charisma and personality?
Loving the truth is vital to living a life that brings glory to God. Therefore the importance of studying God’s Word and knowing it well cannot be overstated. If we serve a “Jesus” that we have designed to fit our wants and needs, one who serves our purposes and selfish ambitions, that is idolatry. That is another “Jesus”, not the one who said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11
If a “Jesus” was preached that appealed to human greed, would I blindly accept it?
If a “Jesus” was preached that appealed to my pride and self-interests, would I blindly accept it?
If a “Jesus” was preached that appealed to my fleshly desires, would I blindly accept it?
Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:13-15
The more I study God’s Word, the more I understand that this life is but a whisper. It’s not about me, it’s about the Savior. My purpose is to bring glory to God. The message is simple. It’s not about new revelations and hidden symbolic meanings to make our life here on Earth free of trials and hardships. Jesus sumed up the message of God’s Word like this:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (and) Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:28-31
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, today. Comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” Ephesians 2:10 MSG
Thank you, Lord, for your great love and grace to do your will.