Tag Archives: false

False Way of Life

The Psalmist declares hate for every false way of life. Other translations translate this as hating the wrong path or false propaganda. The Hebrew word “sheqer” is used here, meaning falsehood or deception. The complete verse says that the commandments of God result in understanding. When we have this understanding, the result is then hatred towards deception and falsehood.

We can better understand life and move forward living for Jesus by following the commandments of God. As we do this, we grow in our understanding and in our faith. In time, we begin to detest that which is false. God reveals to us His Truth. We aim to live by His Truth. Anything apart from that is no longer acceptable as our eyes are opened.

There are still people today who live the false way of life. Some of these people have always been blind to the Truth, while others have traded the Truth for a lie (see Romans 1:25). Today, pray that God would reveal to you hidden things to grow your understanding. Take some time to pray for those who are still on the wrong path, that eyes may be opened to the deception. Thank God for His commandments who are just, perfect, and true.

“Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.” – Psalm 119:104 [NLT]

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More Than a Story: Humility

[Two Men Who Prayed: Luke 18:9-14]

“Be humble or you’ll stumble.” – Dwight L. Moody

  • I am the least of the apostles – 1 Corinthians 15:9
  • I am the very least of all the saints. – Ephesians 3:8
  • I am the foremost of sinners. – 1 Timothy 1:15

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:14 [ESV]

Humbles HimselfTapeinoó – humiliate, abase, bring low, humble self

Exaltedhupsoó – raise on high, lift up, set on high

“A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor.” – Proverbs 29:23 [HCSB]

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” – 1 Peter 5:6 [NIV]

We all fall short / Through Christ alone we are justified (Romans 3:23-24)

“Though I am righteous, my mouth will condemn me; Though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty.” – Job 9:20 [NASB]

You cannot fake it / God knows your heart

“And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” – Luke 16:15 [NASB]

“I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own power, or hesitation in speaking his opinion. But really great men have a … feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them.” – John Riskin

Bible Study Questions:

1) What are some of the positive attributes of the Pharisee who prayed?

2) What are some of the negative attributes of the Pharisee who prayed?

3) How would you describe the Tax Collector who prayed? What were his good points?

4) What gets in the way of your humility?

5) What are some things you can do to help you live a humble life?

6) Luke 18:14 says, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (ESV).

What does it mean to be justified?

What does it mean that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled?

What does it mean that one who humbles himself will be exalted?

 

more than a story

More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.

Richness
Forgiveness
Persistence
Fruitfulness
Obedience
Humility
Compassion
Responsiveness
Repentance
Readiness
Faithfulness
Kingdom-Focused

The War Cry

We had a great time at the Joyce Meyer Conference but good things much eventually end. We went into the parking lot and we were stuck. It took an hour to just leave the parking lot. With all that time to fill, my sister and were singing some worship songs. But we also decided to remove her worn steering wheel cover. I tried to pull it and it would not budge. My sister helped. With the two of us, it still would not pop off of the steering wheel. Finally I let out a war cry, which I’ll admit sounded like a sad dog growl. Just at that moment there was a group of people passing by and a fellow heard my sad sound. He said, “Don’t worry. I haven’t seen a thing. No one has seen it happen” and kept walking.

I’ll admit I got a bit flushed with embarrassment but then I was reminded of the need for transparency and realness in this world. We spend so much time trying to pretend we don’t make certain noises, we don’t do particular things, we don’t watch “those shows,” we don’t listen to “that music.” We spend a lot of time trying to pretend we are “good Christians” or “good people” or “happy” or that we have it all together.

Guess what?!? I make weird screaming sounds as I remove steering wheel covers. Sometimes I think bad things. Sometimes I don’t make the best choice because I don’t listen and I want what I want. Sometimes I get angry at other drivers. Sometimes I spill coffee on my shirt and don’t change my shirt because it blends in. Stop trying to appear perfect. Stop trying to appear that you have everything together. God sees you when no one else can see you and God can see your heart. Don’t worry about what others think about you or how you appear—ask God to give you eyes for Him. Ask God to help you focus on Him and not on the world. Through your transparency and your desire to please God and God alone, there will be a testimony to others. It will be a much better story than anything you could pretend to tell. It will be the truth and it will point to the Truth.

“Then he said to them, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God.” – Luke 16:15 [NLT]

 

Labeled New

Recently my son had a problem with his gaming system. I decided to reveal my tech geek side and began to look deeper into the issue. I realized that the disc drive was malfunctioning and had another drive ordered. When it arrived, the sticker on the box said, “new.” I quickly learned that it was anything but new. It had a padded wrapper over it but inside told another story. I found things broken and a stripped screw.

The people who sold me the disc drive can easily slap a sticker on a box and say the merchandise is new even though it is anything but new. With us, we can pretend to be a particular way; however, if we have the Spirit, if we accepted Jesus into our lives and were baptized, then there should be a sign of fruit—fruit from our lives.

You cannot fake a relationship with Christ. You cannot slap on a label (ex: “Christian”) and think it makes the reality change. There’s a song that says, “You’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Today, are you a box with a deceptive sticker or are you the real deal? If people look around will they see the fruits of your labor or will they get lost and confused from the image you try to uphold?

“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.” – Matthew 7:16-18 [ESV]

Stuck in Illusion

There are many illusions in the world today. The media is great at producing illusions. Magazines. Newspapers. Television. Just watch a reality television show and you will likely see an illusion. There is a deceptive appearance. You are made to think certain things, to perceive something that is actually false. Sometimes it is hard to know the truth. Because there are so many sources around, it is hard to find the facts. Photoshop. The Internet.

Many things have attributed to this society of illusion. At times you can feel like you are stuck in an illusion. Today’s passage speaks of being stuck in an illusion, an illusion that was concocted by the “religion experts” of that time. The teachers twisted the law of God making it false; they took the truth and made it a lie. Because of this deception, the Bible says that “they (knew) everything but GOD’s Word.” The people had only lies before them and they accepted it all as truth.

We can each ask ourselves if we are stuck in illusion. We are the proud owners of GOD’s revelation. The question is, are you using it in your life? Are you applying it? Are you even understanding it? Are you actively pursuing it or are you grabbing for the world? Where do you find your truth? What or Who are you knowing?

“How can you say, “We know the score.
We’re the proud owners of God’s revelation”?
Look where it’s gotten you—stuck in illusion.
Your religion experts have taken you for a ride!
Your know-it-alls will be unmasked,
caught and shown up for what they are.
Look at them! They know everything but God’s Word.
Do you call that “knowing”?

-Jeremiah 8:8-9 [MSG]

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Nice Things

I always like to hear about good things. I do not want to hear bad news. I do not want to hear about bad things. I am sure you don’t like to hear anything bad either. In Isaiah we read that the people wanted to hear nice things. Not only nice things, but lies.

Would you rather hear the truth or a lie? What if the truth doesn’t sound so sweet? What if the lie sounds better? What if the lie sounds easier or more fun? Isaiah was referring to the people not wanting to hear about what was right, but what was nice to them. Today we can see evidence of this in our own lives.

Look around. Many people want to hear what is nice, what feels good or right to them. Some of the people are content with lies. The lies are better to them. Easier. Sweeter. Nicer. But the lies aren’t right. The lies aren’t the truth. Today, are you asking for nice things or do you desire the truth? Do you want what is comfortable or what is right?

“They tell the seers, ‘Stop seeing visions!’ They tell the prophets, ‘Don’t tell us what is right. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies.’” – Isaiah 30:10 [NLT]

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I Will Not Ask

The Bible says that we are not to put God to the test. When Jesus is tempted three times, He even responds with the Deuteronomy 6 verse when He is told to throw himself down. In today’s passage, Ahaz responds that he “will not put the LORD to the test.” There is a difference though.

Ahaz was asked by the Lord to ask for a sign or confirmation. God was saying, “Go ahead Ahaz, seek me. Ask me.” Ahaz did not want to know the truth. Ahaz did not want to seek the advice of God. He responds by attempting to make himself look as if he is following the Law. He proclaims that he didn’t want a sign because he didn’t want to test God. But he was simply pretending to have reverence for God, though it was more of a refusal to accept what God had for him.

Jesus and Ahaz had the same response but their hearts were different—their true motives were different. Reverence for God is something we all should have, but there is true reverence, what Jesus displayed, and a false reverence, which is the display put on by Ahaz. Today consider the reverence you show for God. Do you have a deep respect for the Lord?

“Later, the LORD sent this message to King Ahaz: ‘Ask the LORD your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want–as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.’ But Ahaz said, ‘I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.’” – Isaiah 7:10-12 [NLT]

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The Simpletons

I remember when I was younger and I would see people reading the magazines with all of the half-truths or even some stories that made no sense at all. There were some people who would read them and believe everything. It was printed on paper so it has to be true they believed. Today things are much worse. Today we have social media. People can see a lot more information—and some believe everything they are told.

I cannot believe some of the things I see online. What is worse is when I see things that I can easily tell are false, get passed onward to others. Lies are shared so fast on Facebook. Even when people finally realize that it is not true, another wave of people sees it and passes it along because they did not get the memo. This proverb today says that “only simpletons believe everything they’re told.” Others will “carefully consider.” Others will look into things. Others will seek the Truth.

The simpletons can continue to believe and share the lies, but it doesn’t change the truth. The Truth is always the Truth. Today let us not fall into the category of the simpletons. Let us remember that God’s Truth is Truth. Let us “carefully consider (our) steps.” Let us seek out the Truth. Let us seek Him.

“Only simpletons believe everything they’re told! The prudent carefully consider their steps.” – Proverbs 14:15 [NLT]

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Walk Safely

The other morning when I woke up, I could not yet see because it was rather dark. I ended up walking right into the corner of the door (which had slightly closed through the night) and I hurt my toe. This was not the first time this happened, but last time my head took the brunt of the injury. I am always a bit of a klutz.  Sadly, you have to really pay attention when walking in the town I live because there are many pavements that are not smooth and it is easy to trip. I found that out long ago and have some scars for proof.

Today’s verse declares that those people who have integrity “walk safely” while those who do not “slip and fall.” A person with integrity is honest. A person with integrity lives with strong moral principles. Honor. Good character. These things can be said of a person with integrity. If a person is full of lies, or even one big lie, they eventually “slip and fall.” The truth always comes out. But a man with integrity always will “walk safely” because there is no way for him to fall. He’s already living in the truth.

We all can name a person who fell, a person who was found to be involved in a bad situation, a crime, a scandal, etc. We remember how they all fell. We also can remember how we have fallen at times. Thankfully we have a Father who has forgiven us of all the crooked paths we have taken in life. We simply need to believe in Him and walk with Him with integrity. It will be a safe walk—the safest walk!

“People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.” – Proverbs 10:9 [NLT]

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They Say

“They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.” – Jeremiah 6:14 [NLT]

This verse reminds me of a certain type of person, one who offers up assurances that turn out to be false. Here there were people saying that everything was alright when everything was not alright. We can say that something is true, but that does not make it true. We can say that there is peace when there is no peace. We can say that things are one way, when there are quite opposite. We can say a lot of things.

Today let us remember that there are a lot of superficial words being spread in this world and then there is the Word of God. Let us put our trust in Him and His Word and be mindful that when someone says something is alright, it doesn’t mean it is alright. When someone says something is true, it does not make it true. Trust in Him.