Posts tagged ‘Gods word’

August 25, 2011

Responding to the Response

by pastortimfowler

Photo copyrights see http://www.flickr.com/photos/capturecreation/5733866534/in/pool-inspiks

Not understanding God is does not mean that He is wrong or what His word, the Bible, says is wrong. In fact, it is confirmation that what the Bible says about God is correct. Isaiah 55:9 “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” I constantly remind myself of this verse. But that does not mean that we can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t try to understand the things that challenge us.
One of my last blogs was responded to more than any other in quite a while. The one about lying. Many agreed with me, which by the way, is the right thing to do, but I was surprised at how many tried to justify that there was a good time to lie. I have to admit and remind you that I too said that it was very difficult and at times it seemed right, but God disagrees. If Jesus is the Way, THE TRUTH, and the Life, then anything not the truth is not the way to go.
Many of you gave scriptural references of people who lied. Abraham, Moses’ family and others were brought to my attention. What you have to realize is that God did not put those in there as an example of what to do, but rather as an example of how He could still use a fallen mankind. In the case of Moses, it is important to remember that the whole reason Israel was in Egypt was because of a lie. Joseph was left for dead, sold as a slave and dad was told that he was in fact dead. Only by God’s grace and favor on Joseph did his family eventually move to Egypt during the famine and eventually ended up as slaves. Lies and sin never go unpunished. God is a just God and cannot allow sin to go unchecked.
Sure, there were always good things that came from the situations but that is not because of man’s sin, it is solely because of God’s grace. His grace is greater than all of our sins. Jesus did not die for the righteous, but for the sinner. It was a lie that convicted Jesus, but God used that lie as part of His plan to redeem fallen man. The only way an innocent man can be convicted is through a lie or the truth being ignored, call it what you want.
In the past several months I have been pounding into the ears of my church and anyone who will listen the fact that God wants us to read the entire Bible starting at Genesis 1:1 and all the way through to Revelation 22:21. Only when we take the entire Bible into account can the whole truth be revealed. Stories, chapters, or verses always build on or compliment the rest of the Bible. It is not a book of one liners to prove our point or children’s stories to teach a fable. It is the living word of God, the Truth, and the story of the redemption of a fallen man.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval. 17 They equip God’s servants so that they are completely prepared to do good things. Our human nature wants us to lie. It wants us to find a reason to justify our actions when they contradict the Bible. But if you are a Christian, your human nature must be replaced with God’s nature and a desire for the truth. Satan is the father of ALL lies, and we are no longer his children but rather Children of God, born into the family by the Truth, Jesus Christ.
Thanks so much for being honest about what you think about my blogs. Thanks for being honest enough to say that you struggle with some things that God says. We all do. In fact, let me leave you with one last scripture to help when you struggle.
Romans 3:2-4
2 There are all kinds of advantages. First of all, God entrusted them with his word.
3 What if some of them were unfaithful? Can their unfaithfulness cancel God’s faithfulness?
4 That would be unthinkable! God is honest, and everyone else is a liar, as Scripture says, “So you hand down justice when you speak, and you win your case in court.”

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August 3, 2011

Read It All

by pastortimfowler

Today I am reading the last few chapters of the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. I love this book. Every time I read it I get encouraged. As someone who has been a pastor for over 15 years, I usually hear the opposite from people who read Revelation. It usually brings on confusion and fears and that right there tells me that God is not leading them through it, but rather Satan is. After all God’s word is one of Satan’s most used tools. He used it in the beginning with Adam and Eve and he even tried to use it against Jesus, what makes us think he has stopped trying to use it on us? Here is wisdom; any time you get confusion and fear from God’s word, it is not because God doesn’t want you to understand it. Revelation ends with this blessing:Revelation 22:7 ~ I’m coming soon! Blessed is the one who follows the words of the prophecy in this book.” God would never offer a blessing and then make it confusing and scary.
So why does this happen?
Currently I teach a class to the men of our church and have offered it and will offer it to everyone who wants to attend, called, How to Study the Bible. Most people, even seasoned Christians have little practical knowledge of how to properly interpret scripture. For some reason the church teaches bits and pieces of the Bible and not the whole Bible. Most people want to know where to find their problem solving verse rather than live the life that solves their problems as described in the complete Bible. What I teach is that in order to know what God is really saying to His people, we must read the complete Bible, starting in Genesis and ending with Revelation. But instead we read a few verse here and a few there or we read only the New Testament and skip the Old Testament. What we don’t realize is that the New Testament was written not to void the old but to complete the Old Testament. This makes it impossible to understand much of the New Testament and correctly interpret what God wants us to know and be blessed by.
We do not read any other book like we read the Bible. I hear people get all excited about the latest greatest book by the latest greatest author and never hear them say that they are only going to read a few select lines or chapters or that they will read the last chapter and understand the whole book. We do not build a new shopping mall by skipping to the last page of the blue prints, yet we try to build new lives that way.
It is impossible to understand the book of Revelation without reading the entire Bible, so stop trying. I know that I have read the entire Bible at least 20 times and I still don’t understand it all, but every time I do it again, I get more understanding and closer to knowing that blessing that God promised. I have been through 7, almost 8 years of seminary and still learn something new each time I read it. There is not a quick way to understand an infinite God. The Bible is not everything that God knows, it is, however, everything that He wants us to know. God wrote us a love letter and we call it the Bible.
I challenge you to read your Bible from Genesis 1:1 and not stop until you reach Revelation 22:21. Let me rephrase that. Read it again and again and again from start to finish, then you will begin to understand and look forward to reading and seeing the encouragement and blessings of Revelation.
One final note. It is properly titled The Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, for short, Revelation. There is only one. It is not Revelations. Just thought you should know.
So read your Bible and read it all.

March 17, 2011

Air Conditioner Tune-up

by pastortimfowler

Well, well, well, it is that time of year when the temps here in the south can range from 32 degrees in the morning to 82 degrees in the afternoon. All winter we have our air conditioners off and don’t even think about using them until months have passed and all of a sudden opening a window is not enough. We turn on the AC and…nothing happens. How can this be?
Let me stop right here and say that I do not own an AC business nor do I have stock in one. It is just a great analogy of our lives as Christians.
I have a friend in the AC business who told me a few things and that is where I get my info. Most AC systems have two parts; the compressor unit and the blower unit, usually the one in the furnace. The blower works year round for the most part. It has to circulate the warm air in your house during the cold of winter and the cool air during the heat of summer. This unit is not the one the people usually find broken when they turn on the AC for the first time.
Most machinery does not like sitting idle. There are lubricants that if things are moving don’t do what they are designed to do. Sometimes that causes things to get stuck and not function like they are supposed to. There are other liquids and chemicals that will settle if the machinery is not used regularly. This will often have a negative side effect. Then there is that stuff called dust and dirt. It builds up and always seems to find that one place that you don’t or can’t clean. Put all this together and when you start a piece of machinery, like your AC unit, for this first time in a while, things will often go wrong.
There is nothing worse than being hot, knowing or thinking that you have cool air at the touch of a button, touching the button, and getting nothing.
That is what happens to a lot of Christians. We sit idle for long periods of time and things get locked up inside us. The fluids, like the Living Water, pools into one place or leaks out because of a crack, and when someone needs the cool breeze of God’s word, we aren’t able to turn the system on. Sure the blower, our mouth, works, we use it all the time But the part that sits idle may need a tune up.
A tune up can be done at any time, even if you run your system all the time. But when something is run all the time, you kind of expect a break every now and then. We don’t think about that thing that was working five months ago and we haven’t used in a while. And if it doesn’t start-up, we panic.
Christians need to remember that God wants us to constantly cool the heat of Hell by keeping our mouths pumping out the refreshing words of Jesus in truth and in love. That heat never goes out, never takes a break for the winter or the summer. But our activity as Christians will soon be turned off for the summer as we go on vacation, the lake, or just chilling in our nice air-conditioned homes.
Think about tuning up your AC before it gets really hot. Think about running your mouth for Jesus and keeping it tuned up to cool the heat from Hell. Don’t turn your eternal cooling system off this summer, but rather keep it tuned up with regular visits to your church.