Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why is it important to read the Bible?

Regularly seen on the bestseller list are “How to” and self-improvement books. Why is this? Because people want to learn, grow, and have more success in life. People are searching for a better life and hope the information in these books will help them achieve this. Another book that is regularly a best seller is the Bible. The Bible is full of wonderful stories, information, and guidance. But even more, we are told in 2 Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."
            One of the problems that people can fall into is thinking they don’t need to learn and grow. The only way that this would be true is if a person was perfect. It is pretty clear that no one is perfect in our world. In fact, God, our creator, has clearly stated that: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Since we are not perfect, then it follows that we can always be improving. The best way to seek how growth is needed, and can come about, is to read the Bible. In reading the Bible we will be taught the word of God, we will be able to train ourselves to be the person God created us to be, and we can be corrected from our errors.
            When I met my wife Tami I found out she was a professional golfer. I was reluctant to tell her that I played golf, because I’m not sure I would call what I played golf. I swung a golf club, but there were many errors to my game. When I decided to finally play with Tami, she was able to “instruct me” in how to play correctly; she corrected my errors. The Bible is an important tool in correcting our errors and helping us to live more righteously.
            Along with this, the Bible helps us to get to know the creator Himself. The Bible is full of stories that help us to see the character and love of God. The life of Jesus is a direct picture into the nature of God. The overall story of the Bible leads us to understand who God is, why God created us, and the purpose we have in this world. The Bible also instructs us in how we can receive eternal life (through faith in Jesus Christ), and how Jesus’ death enables us to be forgiven from our sins.
            The Bible is the most important instructional book that has ever been in print. The more you know and understand the Bible the fuller and richer your life will be. The Bible will give you direction and clarity to life. As Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” You can’t live according to God’s word if you don’t know God’s word.  I highly encourage you to read the Bible often. Blessings.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Proof That God Exists

It does not surprise me that there are many people who do not believe that God exists. By our nature, we tend to doubt what we cannot prove; what we cannot see. Since God is not visibly present in our world, people will doubt that God is real. There are many who lean toward the idea that only that which can be quantitatively proven is real.
                        So, I ask, is there proof that God exists?
I would answer, “Yes, there is proof.” When Jesus came to this earth, He gave proof of God’s existence. As John 1:14 tells us, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In Jesus we behold the glory of God. Just His existence shows us proof.
            But there is more, as Jesus performed many miracles that showed He was God in the flesh. Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead after He had been dead for 3 days! (John 11:1-44) Jesus was seen alive, risen from the dead, 3 days after it had been verified that He was dead.
            Even more, the existence of God is proven in the miracle of life. If you analyze the human body, you can see that it is intricate and complex. The way our body functions together is not an accident, and did not come together through some evolutionary process. When you see the way each part of the body supports the rest of the body it is clear that our body has been put together by a creator who carefully structured it!
            I also know that through my faith and living by my faith God is alive and real. Christians will tell you that they experience a deep communion with God. God has changed me from the sinful, selfish person I was before I knew Him, to a caring, loving, compassionate person. I am transformed because He is alive and at work in me! My God, who is real, gives me forgiveness for my wrongs, purpose for my life, and strength to live each day.
            I am confident that God is real, and that there is strong proof that He exists. Blessings.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Is faith compatible with logic and reason?

One of the definitions for faith in the dictionary is: “Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” In Hebrews 11:1 it says: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” On the other side you have logic and reason. A definition of logic says, “A particular system or codification of the principles of proof and inference.”

Faith is something we believe even though there is no proof. Logic is a principle that comes from proof. The question is then; can logic and faith be compatible? Can you have faith in God, and yet seek to apply logic to your faith? Is spiritual practice to only be about faith, or does logic fit in somewhere?

I believe logic and faith actually can co-exist. Since God made us beings with the capability for both, it stands to reason that we are to use both in our lives, including our faith in God. However, belief must come first. The scriptures teach us that when we are filled with God’s Spirit, through the Spirit we begin to understand spiritual truths. Without the Spirit of God these spiritual truths elude us. Our physical minds cannot comprehend the things of God. As God said through the prophet Isaiah, 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Yet, if we were to live our lives on faith alone, then we would struggle to make even the simplest decision. It is like the story of the woman who would wake up each day and pray to God to see if she should get out of bed. If she felt God was leading her to get out of bed, she would then pray to see what God wanted her to wear. Some days she would only wear one shoe, some days no shoes! This story is a bit ridiculous, and rightly so. This woman sought to use only faith and no logic.

Even more, in our faith walk we must use logic. We have to make decisions all the time how we will “love our neighbor as ourselves.” We are called to eat well and stay healthy. These are all choices that come from knowledge, reason, and logic.

After I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, there have been many occasions where I have seen the logic of a loving, and personal God. I have experienced and seen many miracles that have come from prayer and faith. I have learned through study how Jesus fulfilled many prophecies foretold hundreds of years before He came to the earth. Our logical minds help to affirm the faith we place in God.

So, give yourself to God through faith, and then let God impart to you the reason and logic needed to live this life well and to understand spiritual truths. Blessings.