Christian

Verses for Meditation, 5/19/22

“Every young man who listens to me and obeys my instructions will be given wisdom and good sense. Yes, if you want better insight and discernment, and are searching for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure, then wisdom will be given you and knowledge of God himself; you will soon learn the importance of reverence for the Lord and of trusting him.” Proverbs 2:1-5 TLB

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 5/15/22

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,  so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” Philippians 1:9-10 ESV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

How Can We Know What Is True?

The diversity of beliefs and ideas in our world today is enough to make your head spin! Something may sound good, but is it true? And how do we know?

The news concerning the possible overthrow of Roe v. Wade this week is a good example. Both sides are adamant that their opinion is right, but no two viewpoints could be more different.

And that’s not all. Even within Christianity, we find differences of opinion on matters of great importance. Certainly, everything that is put forth can’t be true. So how do we know what is right and what is wrong?

There is only one way. And that is to read and study the Bible. I’m not talking about studying books about the Bible (although some of them are good). I am talking about reading and studying God’s Word for yourself.

My pastor recommends using a Bible Reading Plan. There are excellent plans to read the entire Bible in one year. In this way, you can ensure that you are reading all of the Bible. This is vitally important to understanding the whole counsel of God’s Word.

I am most thankful that my pastor encourages personal Bible study. Nothing could be more important in the life of anyone who wants to follow Jesus and live by Truth. We have to take personal responsibility for being a discerning and wise Christian. Sitting in church services is not enough. We must personally study God’s Word.

We can only judge between what is wrong and what is right when we know what God says to be true. We can know this only from Scripture.”

TIM CHALLIES, THE DISCIPLINE OF SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT

God has given the Church a great gift: the Bible. It is the only source of pure Truth. We can trust it. And we must.

In a world where accepting new ideas is so popular and widespread, we have to remember to hold it all before the light of God’s Word.

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 NIV

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

“The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.” Psalm 19:7 NIV

“All your words are true;
    all your righteous laws are eternal.” Psalm 119:160 NIV

It is my prayer that we will highly esteem God’s Word and honor it in our lives by obeying Him and trusting His ways as we seek truth in a complicated and diverse world.

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Don’t Follow the Crowd

Are you a Christ-follower or a Crowd-follower?

Today, I want to share what the Bible says about false teachers. I don’t call out anyone by name. You’ll have to make those decisions for yourself. I have not expounded on the Scriptures. I ask only that you consider what God’s Word has to say. Then, in case you think these Scriptures don’t apply to the Church of today, I provide a link in the last section to an excellent study of how New Age thinking has influenced Christianity.

In the following sections, we read the words of Jesus.

The Narrow and Broad Roads

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Matthew 7:15-20

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7:21-23

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practiceis like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

Sheep Among Wolves

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” Matthew 10:16

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. Matthew 24:24

And From the Letters …

Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers ] “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.” 1 Timothy 1:3

“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.” 1 Timothy 6:20,

Dealing With False Teachers ] “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.” 2 Timothy 2:14

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” 2 Peter 2:1

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.” 2 Peter 3:3

“For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15

 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” 1 John 4:1-3

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Hebrews 1:1-3

Jesus said,
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26

New Age thinking has greatly influenced much of Christianity. I encourage you to study this phenomenon for yourself. The following blog post, written by my brother in Christ, Bruce Cooper, contains a wealth of information. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

My prayer is that you know God’s Word and are fully equipped to fight the good fight of the faith. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Blessings!

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Is False Teaching Influencing the Church Today?

As I was walking my dog and listening to the Bible on my phone app, the following verse jumped out at me.

“You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.” Deuteronomy 12:4 NIV

I’ve read Deuteronomy several times, but I didn’t remember reading this verse before. I hurried home to look it up in my Bible.

In Deuteronomy chapter 12, God is warning the Israelites not to be influenced by the religious practices of the pagans in how they worship the Lord.

Reading these verses made me think about how worldly influences have invaded the Church today. Everything from pop psychology to New Age thinking has seeped into our churches.

 “Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.” “You must not worship the Lord your God in their way.“Deuteronomy 12:2-4 NIV Read full chapter

There are a lot of so-called “Bible teachers” that are teaching questionable things. I have been researching some of these teachers to find out their roots. Who do they learn from? Who has influenced their ministry? If a Bible teacher is rooted in New Age beliefs (and many are), don’t we want to know about it? The only way to know is to do a little research. Just because a book is in the Christian bookstore doesn’t mean it’s theologically sound.

I know this post will make some people angry. They will immediately come to the defense of their favorite teachers. The fact is, false teachers also teach a lot of things that are true. Their questionable teachings are often surrounded by good things like the love of Jesus. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul:

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 ESV

But Jesus said we must be careful what we listen to.

And He was saying to them, “Take care what you listen to.” Mark 4:24 NASB Read full chapter

Some argue that the false things they teach can be weeded out. But that isn’t true because everything they teach is rooted in their false beliefs. We must be rooted in Truth.

“…if the root is holy, so are the branches.” Romans 11:16 ESV

If there is a worm in your apple, are you going to eat the apple and spit out the worm? No thanks, I’ll stick to apples without worms!

Paul said, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9 ESV Read full chapter

It’s my prayer that we will hold dear the Truths of the Bible and reject all that is false.

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.  For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” Romans 16:17-18 ESV

It is not those who stand for Truth that causes division. It is the false teacher that causes division!

 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8 ESV

 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV

 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-8 ESV

Read more verses that warn about false teaching here.

I pray that God’s Word will speak to your heart today and that you will hold fast to the Truth of God’s Holy Word, the Bible.

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Check out my page Who Is Jesus?

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Quote of the Week, 3/2/22

The Bible places great emphasis on spiritual maturity because, like children, immature believers are prone to sample anything. They are attracted to what looks good to their untrained eyes.”

Tim Challies, author of The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

See Hebrews 5:12-13

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Tuesday’s Verse, 3/1/22

“Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
    Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
    the righteous walk in them,
    but the rebellious stumble in them.” Hosea 14:9 NIV Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

How To Be a Discerning Christian

The Bible warns us about false teachers. Yes, they exist today. But how do we know what is true and what is false? This is an important question. The answer is we must be discerning Christians.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about The Skill of Discernment. Since then, I came across an excellent comparison that I want to share with you. In his book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, Tim Challies compares spiritual discernment with identifying counterfeit currency.

Challies writes, “We can best know what is wrong by first knowing what is right. Experts on counterfeit currency know this as well. They train others first to know the traits of genuine currency because such knowledge will make apparent what is fraudulent.”

Experts in counterfeit money study every aspect of their currency including how it feels and every detail of its appearance and color. Only after they do this are they shown counterfeit currency. And guess what? They know immediately what is not real!

In the same way, it is only after we know the Bible well that we will be able to recognize false teaching. A mature Christian is a Christian who knows the Bible well. This is an important point because the Bible says that the immature Christian can be blown here and there by every kind of teaching (meaning false teaching). That makes sense, right? Ephesians 4:12-14 NASB says,

“… for the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the [b]knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature [c]which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 [d]As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness [e]in deceitful scheming;

One thing about children, they’ll believe almost anything. And like children, immature Christians will believe almost anything, especially if it sounds good.

So the question is: How well do you know the Bible? How many times have you read it from cover to cover? How many times have you read the New Testament? Are you reading the Bible for yourself? Or do you rely on books about the Bible?

I challenge you to read the Bible from cover to cover at least twice before you read the Christian Best Sellers. Otherwise, how can you discern if what you are reading is true? Maybe you are thinking, “Oh I just know.” – I wouldn’t be so sure of that. But don’t take my word for it. Consider what the Bible says.

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.  So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” The Apostle Paul (Acts 20:29-31 NIV) Read full chapter

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. …21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Jesus (Matthew 7:15, and 21-24 NIV) Read full chapter

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” The Apostle Peter (2 Peter 2:1-3 NIV) Read full chapter

Remember this: “We can best know what is wrong by first knowing what is right.”

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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Tuesday’s Verse, 2/15/22

 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NIV Read full chapter

Lord, We pray for discernment as we learn your ways. May your Word always guide us and keep us on the narrow path. Thank you for giving us your Word. Your Word is Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

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The Skill of Discernment

I call discernment a “skill” because, like any other skill, it can be developed and improved. This is how you develop discernment: READ AND STUDY THE BIBLE. Understand the Bible as a whole. Read all of it. Don’ pick and choose the verses that you like and that support your belief.

“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 NIV Read full chapter

Spiritual discernment is good for more than just making monumental decisions according to God’s will. It is an essential, day-to-day activity that allows thoughtful Christians to separate the truth of God from error and to distinguish right from wrong in all kinds of settings and situations. It is also a skill – something that any person can develop and improve…”

Tim Challies, Canadian Blogger and Author

As I researched the topic of discernment this week, I found many instances where someone already said what I want to express, and it seemed prudent to quote that person, rather than saying it in my own words. It just couldn’t be improved upon. So you will find several quotes in this post. I hope they will give you something to think about.

Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.”

Charles Spurgeon (19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892)

That’s an interesting quote. Especially when we consider today’s movement to be more ecumenical and to embrace unity in the Church. Yes, God wants us to be in unity, but not at the expense of good theology, and certainly not at the expense of staying true to the Word of God.

You see, almost right sounds really good. It sounds so close to the truth that it can be easy to mistake it for the truth. It might even come packaged with Bible verses and sincere sermons/speeches from the pulpit. It tickles ears because it sounds Christian. And when it comes from a person in authority, such as a pastor or professor, it’s not questioned because, “Hey, he studies the Bible a lot more than I do.”

Jason Foster, Christian Journalist

“For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires…” 2 Timothy 4:3 NASB Read full chapter

The Bible teaches that there are many false gospels out there. They aren’t always obvious because many of them are, yes, almost right.

Jason Foster, Christian Journalist

The first step to developing your discernment is to love the Truth, to love God’s Word and hold it dear. We can’t have discernment if we don’t study the Bible.

 “And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may [a]display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment],10 So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble].” Philippians 1:9-10 AMPC

Spiritual discernment is the great need of our day. Jesus Himself warns us:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

Many books have been written that claim to teach new insights into God’s Word. Some of them are Best-Sellers. Some are written by people with a huge following. But none of that makes them true. Only when the teaching clearly lines up with God’s Word can it benefit you. The need for discernment is paramount. Make sure you are developing yours by being a student of the Bible. Only then can you discern what is false and what is true.

With Love, Cindy

Do you want to know more about Jesus? Click this link to learn more: Who Is Jesus?

100 Bible Verses About False Teachers

Christians Must Be Discerning by Jason Foster

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