scriptures

Beyond John 3:16

When we hear something over and over, we tune it out at some level. It becomes too familiar, or we tune it out because we don't want to hear it.

This is what children do with their parents. "Are you listening to what I'm telling you?" Um, that would be no! When we hear an ad or announcement repeated ad nauseam, we tune it out as a means of self-preservation.

Perhaps this is why people are indifferent to the good news of God's redemption. They either tune it out because it's redundant and repetitive, or they just don't want to hear it. Then again, it could be something quite different.

An Indestructible Life

People need and want strong leaders for the most part. Sometimes strong leaders do well, but too often authority and power corrupts a person. Then, corruption breeds more corruption and oppression is unleashed upon those who desire and need strong leadership.

The problem is that no human leader can be supremely benign and powerful in a way that is fair and beneficial to all. Even very good leaders, well-respected and loved leaders, die because they are human. This creates a leadership vacuum in their absence.

Better Things

What's your image of God? Do you envision Him as a kindly grandfather, or do you imagine Him being a strict disciplinarian?

Our family of origin and how we were raised can have a positive or negative effect on our relationship with God. I've seen this to be true in people's lives over and over as a pastor and missionary. 

Impossible But Not Unforgivable

American culture thrives on excuses and justifications, rhetoric, misinformation, and spin. Actually, all cultures do. It's called the human condition.

We say we want to know the truth, but do we? Can we handle it when the truth doesn't fit our expectations or preconceived notions?

Perhaps that's why we're so big on "money-back guarantees" in America. I'm pretty sure we're the only country that sells extended warranties, paying twice or three times the cost of the item, just for peace of mind if it breaks.

When this quest for guaranteed guarantees carries over to spiritual truth and theology, it causes problems. The western mind (including Americans) prize logic and legal wording when it comes to theology. We like iron-clad truth!

A Personal Appearance

If you've hung around Christian believers much, you've probably heard someone say, "the Lord told me..." or "God spoke to me." You might wonder if they're hearing voices no one else hears, or whether it's possible to personally hear God speak.

Our basic guide for hearing God speak is the Bible and the Holy Spirit.

But there is a time in history when God spoke clearly and in person, when He came to earth.