Posts Tagged ‘Pastor’s Corner’

My dad would say, “Boy! There are two things in life one must always do—work and pay taxes.” Pastor Martin used to say, “One must always be prepared to preach, pray, or die.” That’s how I remember it anyway, maybe I added a little of my own flavor to each. Nevertheless, the point is clear, there are things we must always do; necessary actions of responsible individuals.

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Mankind has clearly grasped through the ages the necessity of work for survival. Which is evidenced by the survival of the species for the past six millennium—if you don’t work you don’t eat, if you don’t eat you don’t live—but there have always been loopholes to such axioms. Of course people don’t actually hafta do anything, like I don’t hafta use right grammar, even if it would be beneficial. Laziness finds loop holes in every circumstance to get by with doing just enough. Man is lazy at heart. Laziness is an affliction common of all mankind. Temptation rings deep in the heart of man as he liess on his bed longing to never leave. The difference between the lazy man and the diligent man is the diligent man overcomes such temptation and gets out of bed.

Even so, mankind has a conscience that leads to the fulfillment of duty. Even the lazy man who constantly tries to abdicate the fulfillment of duty knows from the depths of his heart the error of his ways. The diligent man prevails over laziness and labors as we’ve been created to do.

God’s grace is given freely and potently to the children of the faith. This grace leads us away from the temptation to laziness and into the earnest pursuit of God by patient-endurance in all we do. “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11–12, ESV)

While contemplating truth, along with the manner it is held, an important consideration is humility. Understanding an unmovable conviction regarding truth can be expressly humble. Today however, humility is defined  in a manner befitting of one descriptor—arrogant. GK Chesterton gives a superb explanation of such humility.

“It is only with one aspect of humility that we are concerned. Humility was largely meant as a restraint upon the arrogance and infinity of the appetite of man… But what we suffer to-day is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful of himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert—himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt—the Divine Reason… But the new sceptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. Thus we should be wrong if we had said hastily that there is no humility typical of our time. The truth is that there is practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic…

We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table. we are in danger of seeing philosophers who doubt the law of gravity as being a mere fancy of their own. Scoffers of old time were too proud to be convinced; but these are to humble to be convinced. The meek do inherit the earth; but the modern skeptics are too meek even to claim their inheritance.”

Let’s not confuse the confounded-humility of today. The humility of man today has an insipid lack of genuine meekness and modesty. Man’s intellectual ability to doubt everything is elevated to the level of divine reason. Humility, right ordered, where one thinks less of themselves than they ought, will produce a healthy doubt in their own abilities; all while producing a healthy conviction of the things of God. Humility regarding the truth is not a doubting of the truth, and trusting in ones own ability to determine such truths, rather it is rightly grasping who we are while trusting in God. We can walk in genuine humility holding firmly to truth and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

truthWhat is truth? Well, truth is proclaimed, it is followed, it is argued about, it is disbelieved, and it is often forgotten. Truth is factual information. Yet it is so much more than just information, it is the real and accurate descriptor of life. Life is oft described philosophically, while truth is more than a mere philosophical abstraction. Truth operates in reality, as reality, and not as the fanciful imaginings of the human intellect. Even so, not everyone seeks the truth. A plague on human existent since the deception in the garden. And not all agree upon the nature of truth—yet another blight on human existence. Even in John 18:38 Pilate asked Jesus this very question, “what is truth?” Demonstrating the conflicting ideas regarding truth.

I know, it seems a little too philosophical, nevertheless, as believers in and followers of Jesus Christ we must be be concerned with truth. Why? Because Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is the very essence of reality. He is the one who created everything. He is the one who upholds everything. If we are not thinking about the truth then we are not thinking about Jesus.

Now, this is not a call to dig into old school books and think upon measly information. Nor is it a call to intellectual hardheadedness or philosophic snobbery. Rather, we must dwell upon truth, fixing our minds on Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. If we want to know truth we must know Jesus. If we want to know Jesus we must know the truth. Followers of Christ are sanctified in truth, and as His Word is truth. Imperative for those in Christ is to meditating upon the truth found in the Word. Truth about ourselves, truth about the condition of man, truth about God, truth about reality; these truths about humanity are founded in Jesus. This isn’t a call to some esoteric exercise for the super spiritual, but a simple plea to seek The Truth.

So what? What’s the point? The point is this — Followers of Christ walk in light of God’s Word. A Christian’s life must stand in concert with the truth of God’s Word, and with The Truth who is God. If the concern for truth only extends as far as our own personal eternity, a warmed over version of the American Dream, without a regard for the destiny of others, then we need examine our self and see if we are in the faith. If our concern for the truth exists in regard to being right, while proving others wrong, then we need to examine our faith. Finally, if our concern for truth is content to allow others to wallow in their error, while fatalistically claiming God will work it all out in the end, then we need to learn by faith to speak the truth in love.

Let’s not get caught up in the debates of the age regarding truth. Rather let’s speak the truth in love. In the end followers of Christ must have a concern for the open statement of the truth. “But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:2