Tag Archives: lies

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]

Right Relationship

The Psalmist speaks about the people with pure hearts, who never worship idols, and never lie. Those people are the blessed ones, the ones with a right relationship with God. When you read this and think about how everyone falls short of the glory of God, it is difficult to swallow. Our hearts aren’t pure. We each have a degree of evil in our hearts. Thought we do not like to admit it, we will often worship something or someone. That’s idolatry. Lies? They usually leave our lips from time to time.

When we consider a “right relationship” with God, we must remember that Jesus Christ came, was crucified, and rose from the grave, so that we could have a right relationship with God. The only way for a right relationship was for Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for all of sin. Because of His sacrifice, we are able to have a right relationship with God through faith alone in Him.

Today, consider where you are at with your relationship status. Do not be living like the veil is still blocking you from a holy God. The veil has been torn. The debt has been paid. Live with the freedom Christ has given you. The greatest relationship is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior.” – Psalm 24:4-5 [NLT]

The Fog

This morning was a foggy one. As we ventured out on our normal walk, it was difficult to see up ahead. This would not be such an issue; however, Max has post-traumatic stress disorder. If he encounters another dog, he sometimes gets very fearful and the situation escalates. This is not normally an issue on morning walks as no one else is crazy enough to walk their dogs so early. However, every so often there is a chance encounter. Being able to see, allows me to prevent Max from having to undergo a stressful situation. It is hard to properly prepare for something you cannot see.

As believers, we are commanded to be prepared. Paul tells us to, “Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers” (Ephesians 6:18). Peter warns us to “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). This coming week, I will be preaching about the devil and his demons. Some people believe it’s unnecessary to discuss this topic. Whether it be fear, disinterest, or something else—the truth is we need to stay alert, and we need to know what we need to stay alert against.

The devil has been defeated. He has already been condemned (John 16:11). Victory is with Jesus. Even so, the devil is the prince of this world and he is still out and about trying to spread his lies, because he is the father of lies (John 14:30, John 8:44). We need to remember our battle is not of this world (Ephesians 6:12). In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray for deliverance from the evil one (Matthew 6:13). Put on your full armor of God and pray continually. Do not let the fog prevent you from knowing what is Truth and what is a lie.

Ant Trap

Every year, there is the annual ant season. I get out the ant baits and liquid gel a friend recommended. In a few days, everything is back to normal. But before this happens, there is a time period when the ants come and take the bait. This morning, as I was checking to be sure things were flowing smoothly, my daughter asked me about how the ant bait works. I explained the process.

As I was explaining everything, I considered the plight of the ants. An ant grabs the stuff from the bait contraption and carries it back to his home. He shares this with his family and friends. Together, they fall. It’s a simple process that works each year during ant season. But it’s also a process that is played out with humans.

We, like the ants, can take the bad bait and carry it to our homes, which results in destruction. It is sad, but it happens often. We carry home our acts of sin. We carry home lies the devil has provided. We carry home false teaching. We carry home a lot of things that can cause problems. Today, take back your house. Consider what’s coming into your house. Is it right? Is it pure? Is it truth? Don’t allow the devil to get a foothold.

“Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.” – 3 John 1:11 [NLT]

Lights Out

Signing your name to something is often known as an endorsement. When you sign a check, you are endorsing it. By signing your name on the check, you are giving your word that there is money in your bank account to cover whatever amount is on the check. In life we endorse more than just checks. We can endorse people by giving them a written or verbal reference, or by slapping a bumper sticker on our car. We can endorse products by writing a review. When an accountant prepares your tax returns, he endorses the returns by signing them. When a person inspects your vehicle, that inspection sticker is an endorsement, stating that the car passed inspection per the state codes.

But what happens when one endorses something but it turns out to not be good? Often when a person’s word was trusted but found to be unworthy of trust, there is a loss of moral authority. This past week, I was on the bad end of a faulty endorsement. My family was blessed with a new van; however, the fellow that sold the vehicle promised to inspect it so it could have a fresh inspection sticker good for another year. I was happy and appreciative of the gesture. I was not happy a few days later; however, when I found myself being pulled over by a police officer for malfunctioning lights. They would have been checked with the inspection. What do you mean a few are out? How could that be? Today a different mechanic looked at the van and said he never saw anything like it. So many bulbs that weren’t working, among other items that would have failed with a state inspection. It was clear that I would never do business with the man that sold the van again. He lost my trust.

Integrity and moral authority are important; however, the world does not pay much attention to these items anymore. It is so often that one can lie and cheat their way to the top. We have accepted some sins as not-so-bad and traded the truth for a lie. We will endorse anything, not caring what it will do to our moral authority. Doing our best for God’s glory is put on the back-burner. Power, pleasure and possessions trump grace and truth. Today, remember God’s word reminds us we are not part of this world. We have a higher calling. Walk with integrity friends. You may be the only gospel a person reads. Point to Jesus.

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” – Proverbs 11:3 [NIV]

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2 [NIV]

Colossians Study: Taking Responsibility

[Colossians 3:5-14]

[V. 5] THEREFORE consider dead…

  • Because you are alive with Christ – seek things above (v. 1-4)
  • Because we died with Christ
    • Put off earthly life / past sin
    • Put on Christ (clothe yourselves)
    • Result – more like Christ

[V. 5] Consider dead to…

  • Immorality – “porneia” – where word pornography comes
    • Includes fornication, adultery, incest
  • Impurity – unclean – someone who refused to clean up act
    • Someone who never repents
  • Passion – “pathos” – inordinate affection or lust to point of suffering for it
  • Evil Desire – longing for that which is forbidden
  • Greed – always wanting more, associated with acts of fraud and extortion

[V. 8-9] But now also put aside…

  • Anger – “orge” – where word orgy comes
    • Passion out of control
  • Wrath – “heavy breathing” – rage / fierceness
  • Malice – attitude of ill will toward a person
  • Slander – “blasphemy” – speech that tears down
    • Opposite of let your speech be grace seasoned with salt
  • Abusive speech – filthy language
  • Lies – working with / cooperating with the father of lies

[V. 12-14] Put on…

  • Compassion – mercy
  • Kindness – form of general moral excellence – person who does right thing – to extend goodwill
  • Gentleness – Christians are most powerful people on earth but power should be clothed in gentleness – obedient, submissiveness to God
  • Humility – modesty
  • Patience – “macro” means you’re going to need a lot – patience that doesn’t give up on other people – handling injustice / difficulty well
  • Bearing with and forgiving each other
  • Love – perfect bond of unity – it’s the binding strap that holds the church together.

Bible Study Questions:

  • The passage mentions that because of the sins listed, the wrath is coming. How does that relate to us? Do we face this wrath? Do these sins have any consequences for us?
  • What are some actions we need to take or things we need to do to take responsibility for our actions?
  • What is the hardest to take responsibility or blame for in your own life? Why is it so hard?
  • Verse 13 mentions bearing with one another and forgiving one another. What does it mean to bear with one another?
  • Verse 14 says that love binds everything together. Explain what that means to you and what that means for the church as a body.
  • Consider the list of sins listed in this passage. What can we put on in place of this sin? How can we go about taking action?

This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:

Gospel Truth
Will of God
Lord of All
Ministry to Maturity
Foolish Philosophies
Men of Rules
Realities of Heaven
Taking Responsibility
Godly Living
Worship Work
Good Words
True Forgiveness

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

As He

As I read through Genesis, I love to read about Abraham and Sarah and the promise God made to them. In Genesis 21, it states that the Lord visited Sarah. In verse 1, we read, “The LORD visited Sarah AS HE HAD SAID.” Then it continues, “And the LORD did to Sarah AS HE HAD PROMISED.”

We live in a world of brokenness, and this includes broken promises. We can so easily name handfuls of people who have let us down. I bet you are thinking of someone who didn’t do what they said they would do or what they promised. Who hasn’t been let down?

But things are different with God. We cannot (though so many try) define Him by our own human limitations and imperfections. He is perfect. He is holy. He is faithful. And He is a promise keeper. So as you are reading your Bible, remember this—that God keeps His promises. He does as He says. He does as He promises. His word is solid as a rock—His Word is Truth.

“The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised.” – Genesis 21:1 [ESV]

The Blame Game

It is very clear that many people today have a problem with accepting blame for their actions. When they make a mistake, they try to cover it up. When they get caught in a lie, they lie some more. When someone is found out, the person tries to pin the blame on someone else. There is a lot of pointing fingers and a lack of integrity in this world.

This was an issue with my kids when they were younger and I’m sure that my sister and I did the same thing when we were young. Rather than accept the consequences, the blame is passed to someone else. I am not sure if it is a fear of punishment or something altogether different, but it happens. It actually has been happening since the very beginning. In Genesis 3, during the Fall, when God speaks with Adam regarding the apple, he points to Eve. When Eve responds to God, she points to the serpent.

If you don’t accept the blame when you are at fault, you become disillusioned. You begin to point to everyone else as the problem when you face consequences for your actions. You never can learn and grow from your mistakes and missteps when you do this, but instead, you will grow bitterness and anger because you think the world is out to get you. To be one of integrity, own up to your mistakes and learn from them. You will make mistakes. You will mess up. Accept this along with the consequences. God has so much more for you. Yes you will be corrected. Yes you will be rebuked. Yes you may pay a price for what you have done. But owning up to something and taking responsibility is important. Don’t play the blame game.

“The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’  Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” – Genesis 3:12-13 [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]

FearNot Logo EDITED FINAL square logo