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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Truth

and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 ESV

We live in a time when people claim that there is no absolute truth. This belief or philosophy is interesting in the fact that if you claim there is no such thing as absolute truth then that statement itself is an absolute truth.

If we think about this idea of no absolute truth; we soon realize that rather than setting ourselves free, we make ourselves prisoner to the this one absolute truth. This one absolute truth leaves us wanting more and not being able to satisfy our need for more.

If the only absolute is that there is no absolute truth then we are at a loss for moral guidance. With no truth to pursue, there is nothing to condemn as well. So, we must accept whatever anyone claims to be their particular truth. We cannot presume to enact ethical standards on anyone or we are claiming that there are some absolute truths that don’t exist, except in our minds and therefore they have no bearing on anyone else other than those that believe these truths to be true.

Jesus resolves this situation for us; in that he is the way, the truth and the life. When we study Jesus and His teaching we discover absolute truth. When we apply what we learn to our lives we begin to enact His ethical standards in our lives and are set free from the prison of “No Absolute Truth”.

So today, let’s set our minds free from the prison of post-modern thought and delve into the rich TRUTH of Jesus the Christ.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Monday, July 22, 2013

"A handful of quietness"

Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind. Ecclesiastes 4:6 (ESV) 6

This verse speaks to the value quietness. This is a passage to meditate on when life gets too busy. Because all too often we equate busy with effective. But, Being busy does not mean  we are being truly effective.

We need to value our quiet time just as much as we do our work. We cannot be truly effective if we don't have some quietness in our day. 

Look through the gospels, and see how often Jesus found time for quietness. It was in those times that He was closest to His Father. When He went back to the busyness of life He was ready to serve and be truly effective .

So today, lets make time for quietness and enjoy sometime with our Father preparing to be more effective .

Copyright 2013
J. Woodman

Friday, July 19, 2013

"I thank you that I am not like other men"

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed  thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' Luke 18:11,12 ESV

photo  ©2009  Leland Francisco, Flickr

Today’s post is a follow up on my last post. I’ve been thinking alot lately about the Pharisees and how easy it is to become like them. We must examine ourselves regularly to see if Pharisaical  qualities may be creeping into our lives. Simply put many of the Pharisees were self righteous hypocrites, and none of us is beyond becoming like minded.

The Pharisee in the above passage thought quite highly of himself. He was thankful that he wasn’t like other men, because he was very religious. After all he did just what the scriptures told him to do. He wasn’t like other men that were not as religious or as learned as he was. He even liked to remind God of how religious he was.

Did you notice in the his prayer he didn’t give God credit for his perceived righteousness. He thanked Him that he wasn’t like other men. He believed his attention to religious details made him different than other men.

We too can become like this man if we focus on all that we do right, compared to others. It’s always easy to look at others and see how they don’t measure up to our standard of biblical christianity. We must be careful about such things as judging someone else’s servant. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4 ESV God knows the heart of everyone that serves Him, He is the one to pass judgement on us as well as others.

So today, let’s set our minds and hearts on our service to God on His terms and know our righteousness comes from Him and not from our own religious piety.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"If I have all Faith"

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Cor. 13:2 ESV

Everytime I read this verse I think of the possibility of having a strong faith and an extensive knowledge of God’s word yet not having the love that shows people the way to Christ. There are faithful people like this. They have become so “Heavenly minded, they are no earthly good? They believe God’s word and have a great command of scripture, yet they are so legalistic about their handling of God’s word they forget to impart God’s love.

The Pharisees were like this. They knew the word of God inside and out, yet missed the heart of what God was saying in His word. Jesus made this abundantly clear when He was dealing with the Pharisees; "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Matt. 23:23 ESV As much as the Pharisees tried to live by God’s word and be very religious, they were missing some very important points in God’s teachings. They weren’t practicing justice, mercy and faithfulness.

We too can become Pharisaical in our practices. We can be so wrapped up in being religious and scripturally accurate, we miss out on sharing the weightier matters of God’s word with those we reach out to. Paul finished off his passage with “but have not love, I am nothing.” This tells me that we too must be very careful about pursuing gifts, talents and legalistic religious perfection or we may miss the point of what matters most to God; justice, mercy and faithfulness. Love must be the driving force behind all that we do for the Lord.

photo  ©2010  Camdiluv ♥, Flickr
So today, let’s purpose to serve God on His terms and practice justice, mercy and faithfulness in love.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Walking through the valley"

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely  goodness and mercy  shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:4-6 ESV

photo  ©2011  Waiting For The Word, Flickr

The part of this passage I tend to focus on is “I will fear no evil, for you are with me”. I think it is the heart of the twenty third psalm. Knowing there is nothing to fear if the Lord is with you. David wrote this psalm as one writing with experience. He knew that he could always count on God to be there for him. Therefore he had no fear whatever the circumstances. He knew he was blessed by the presence of God.

We too can claim this in our lives, because as God’s children wherever we may be God is there with us. We have nothing to fear. What a comfort that is, because fear is one of the most crippling things we can experience in life. Fear will stop us in our tracks and we will not move forward.

So today, let’s live a fearless life, because we having nothing to fear. After all through Christ we are more than conquerors. As such we have already overcome the world, there is nothing more be afraid of. Even death has no hold on us. We are victorious. Let’s live like it.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman