How To Know The Truth

My BFF (the best friend that will literally be forever), Jesus, once gave His apprentices an excellent principle of determining what beliefs were from the Father and which were not.

“…every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” (Matt. 7:17)

Let me ask you (and myself) a question based on that wisdom:

What kind of fruit is your tree of beliefs producing in your real-time, practical, daily life?

What we believe determines how we respond…period.  What we believe is critical to the quality of our lives.

Here’s some good news:  (Great news, actually)  It is not as complicated as religion (including ‘Christian’ religious systems) and politics have made it!

As we look earnestly at the Gospels, we see that the primary message and example of Jesus could be summed up in the words love, and forgiveness.

Are you motivated in the core of your being by love and forgiveness?  Is what you believe about God, life, your neighbor, and yourself dripping with the juice of love and forgiveness?

The honesty of what you believe to be truth(s) is revealed by the fruit that is being produced in the garden of your heart.

What you believe about God, your neighbor and yourself is also evidenced by the kind of fruit others are eating from your garden.  How is it affecting them?

Is the fruit of your belief tree producing the ability to love and forgive?

If not…what you believe may need some adjustments.

Open your mind and your heart to Jesus.  Let Him show you the way, truth, and life.  His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. (John 14:6; Matthew 11:30)

Gary

 

 

 

Tin Man Faith by Gary Ellis

I’m all for having a foundation of accurate scripture based beliefs.  I completely support the vital need for accuracy in a Christian’s systems of faith.  What I am troubled by is “Tin Man Theology.”

When I say, “Tin Man Theology,” I mean squeaky clean interpretations of what the scriptures state to be truth…yet without heart.

<That was the issue with the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz.  He was missing a heart>

As Jesus walked this earth, the Word of God states in Hebrews 4:15 that He was, “…touched with the feeling of our infirmities, yet without sin.”

There’s no shortage of people contending for the faith now-a-days.  There’s also no shortage of teachings that are stumbling down some rocky paths.  Contending for biblical accuracy, in how God’s truth is presented, is very high on my list of personal priorities.  It’s crucial because – according to John 8:32 – it’s the truth that sets us truly free.

A fact, however, that we must not forget is that the truth spoken of here is more than academic or doctrinal accuracy.  Jesus declared in His teachings that He was the Truth.  Then we add to that what Jesus told His disciples. He said that the greatest commandment was two fold, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind…AND…your neighbor as yourself.

I am not stating any particular doctrines that are currently under scrutiny.  Take your pick.  There are plenty to go around.

But, I am voicing my concern that an equal error to mishandling the Word of God doctrinally, is falling into the trap of defending doctrine  without the same heart the Prophet Samuel displayed when he knew he had to deliver a serious rebuke.  He wept all night before delivering the strong Word of God.

My heart cries that sometimes we fail to be pierced with heart as we defend the faith of our fathers.  Oh, there is plenty of emotion evident as we prosecute the offenders and protect the innocent.  But displays of emotion are not always the same thing as depth of heart.

When it all “shakes out” my personal opinion is we’ll discover that so many people were discouraged by heartless religion that was long on accuracy and short on empathy.

Gary