Gospel of your salvation

Religion turned into market, appealing to the lowest passions. People look for churches that allow them to continue in sin or that feed their greed. These churches are not of God and do not lead to salvation.

And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation) — when you believed in Christ — you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1.13 NET Continue reading “Gospel of your salvation”

Noah’s age down to the day

If Genesis 1 is poetry and therefore not historical, where does one stop with the judgments about what is and isn’t true history? Then Adam and Eve were not historical people. So that means Cain and Able must not have been real either? And Lamech? Or Noah?

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day—on that day all the springs of the deep sea erupted, and the windows in the skies opened.
Genesis 7.11 CEB Continue reading “Noah’s age down to the day”

By telling you the truth

People of the world think the truth is too hard to tell others. So they don’t tell a dying person, for example, that he has little time left to live. They deprive the person of taking advantage of his last days on earth and preparing himself for eternity.

So then, have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Galatians 4:16 NET

Telling the truth to one needing to hear it is to be a friend. Paul saw the Galatians abandoning the gospel and losing their salvation. He had to tell them the true situation, so that something worse would not happen to them, the loss of God’s grace.

Ignoring the truth never contributes to a solution.

He who loves, tells the truth.

Truth at the service of wickedness

MotivationsTruth without sincerity is at the mercy of wickedness. Sincerity without truth wanders without direction, driven by personal desires of the moment. In the first case, we have a sad example in the Pharisees’ attack on Jesus.

Then the Pharisees went out and planned together to entrap him with his own words. They sent to him their disciples along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful, and teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You do not court anyone’s favor because you show no partiality.
Matthew 22:15-16 NET

What they said was true, but they lacked sincerity. In this case, truth becomes an instrument of evil. Spiritual motivations are fundamental to the correct use of the truth.

The same abuse of truth is seen today, at times, among God’s people, when someone wants to grab power and wield influence.

In order that the truth might be liberating, a spiritual tool in the kingdom of God, we must repent of our ambitions and place each act and thought under the command of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The truth itself must be set free of our impure motives.

Use it or lose it

GospelYesterday, a pundit wrote that a politician understood something about governmental power: Use it or lose it. Jesus said that the people of the world often are more shrewd than the children of light (Luke 16:8). This use-or-lose principle is forgotten by Christians.

O Timothy, protect what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the profane chatter and absurdities of so-called “knowledge.”
1 Timothy 6:20 NET Continue reading “Use it or lose it”

April 3 Poem: The Gospel Arrow

THE GOSPEL ARROW
by J. Randal Matheny © 2011

The gospel arrow travels true and straight,
It bends for none, will tarry for none nor wait;

Altars, works, and goodness don’t impress
The God who owns it all, who came to bless.

The truth shines no truer in a crowd,
Nor is God better praised when praise is loud,

A bloodied frenzy does not gain his ear,
As if, without it, he’d refuse to hear.

Our Lord dismissed the throngs, held scribes at bay,
They could not see nor would they follow the Way.

He called them one by one and trained a few,
From them the message went, the gospel grew;

But fervor and love grow cold, and passion burns:
Will Christ find faith on earth when he returns?

Cloudburst: Upon the Fickle Tide

Where people think that truth is relative, all coordinates are lost on the moral and religious compass. I’ve been working with a few items lately, around the topics of postmoderism and new age religion. Perhaps those caused this poem to bubble up from the depths. That, and watching some swirling fog seemed to suggest the idea for the poem, “Upon the Fickle Tide.”

The rhyme scheme and meter are different from what I usually do, but it seemed to work for me here. Here’s the first stanza, the whole poem shared only on the closed email list.

Lost in the formless world of turning mist,
Where none go north and muddied waters twist,
No leading lines exist.

Only subscribers to the Cloudburst Poetry email list get the whole pot of beans. If you want today’s poem, let me know below, and I’ll email it to you.

And here’s a freebie in the same style, but different approach, with no title, but if I had to give it one, would be something like, “Any Ill but Mine.” Continue reading “Cloudburst: Upon the Fickle Tide”