Babble

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,
[2 Timothy 2:15‭-‬16 ESV]

There is a lot of babble out there; rhetoric that makes one shake their head and roll their eyes. For me, I am grieved when I hear some of the talk. It’s polluting young minds, transforming experienced minds, threatening those who resist, coercing those who speak otherwise. The babble insists on tolerance but the babblers don’t understand their own babble as they act contrary to their talk.

The babblers call God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-following Christians out of touch, intolerant, bigoted and racist – all because they stand for the truth of God. The babblers pressure them into submission and guilt them into compliance with the babble. And in doing so, God-fearing people have been transformed into man-fearing people and into ungodiness. I just sit here and shake my head.

But as God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-following Christians, you have nothing and no one to fear. Present yourself to this world as approved by God through Jesus Christ. Present yourself as someone who doesn’t need the approval of man. Present yourself as one steeped, not in the babble, but in the Word of God – but be sure you handle the Word in a way that glorifies God and not yourself. And lastly, never be ashamed to stand for the truth of God.

Avoid babbling and don’t be influenced or seduced by the babble. Stand approved by God and God willing, the babblers themselves will be transformed into God-approved, God-fearing witnesses to the Truth.

To God be the glory. Amen.

The Intoxicating Word of God

By a word You created all that there is.
By a lying word the serpent deceives all.
By Your Word of hope You redeemed creation.
By Your Word of promise You sustain my life.

Therefore oh God…

The taste of Your Word is sweetness in my mouth.
The sound of Your Word is music in my ears.
For the power of Your Word defeats evil;
Giving hope, peace and life to a sin-stained soul.

Your Word is a delicacy that’s unmatched;
the value of which that can not be measured.
It is a treasure that is beyond all worth.
A gift in which, “Thank you” is just not enough.

So to consume Your Word is a daily feast;
A feast that my heart can never get enough.
Your Word, oh God, is so intoxicating,
That is keeps me coming back for more and more.

Open My Eyes

Open my eyes, oh Lord, that I may see the beauty of Your Word.
Open my eyes, oh Lord, that I may understand.
Open my eyes, oh Lord, that Your living word may feed me.
Open my eyes.

This is a prayer that every believer ought to pray before engaging the Word. One ought never to engage the Word in a basic, simple, intellectual matter; just seeking information. One ought to approach and engage the Word of God with
reverence
expectation
hope
excitement
wonder
awe and
wide open eyes ready to be blown away by the beauty and majesty of God’s Word. Ready to be fed and nourished. Ready to be transformed and recreated. Ready to be renewed.

God’s Word is living and active. It is sharper than a two-edged sword. It cuts deep. It kills and it gives Life.

Open my eyes, oh Lord, that I may behold wondrous things.
Open my eyes oh Lord, that I may see Jesus.
Ooen my eyes, oh Lord, I want to see wondrous things in Your Word.
Open my eyes.

My Mouth, Your Words

Holy God,
as you touched Jeremiah’s mouth (Jeremiah 1:9)
and put in Your words,
touch my mouth
and give me Your words,
oh God,
that I may speak Your truth.
May I not venture out on my own
but only with Your blessing and guidance.
Touch my mouth and then and only then
with I dare to speak for You.
Amen.

The Pastor -|—

The Word

Oh God,
Your Word is a lamp to my feet.
Your Word is a light to my path.
Your Word is profitable for teaching,
for reproof,
for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
that I may be complete and equipped for every good work.
You Law is perfect,
and sure,
and right,
and pure,
and clean
and true.
Oh God, why would anyone despise the learning of it.
Your Word is much to be desired.
It’s more precious than gold.
Sweeter than honey.
More valuable than anything.
Your Word is salvation.
Your Word is Jesus.
May I desire it more and more.
May I receive it with an open heart.
May I live it each and every day.
May I proclaim it with every breath.
May I not twist or distort it.
May Your Word sustain my life.
Oh God,
teach me and lead me and transform me.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen

The Pastor -|—

God’s Word is God’s Word

The following is an article I submitted to the Tacoma News Tribune. I have had the privilege of submitting articles every other week for a few months now and this my latest one; printed on Saturday, Nov 4. I have received a number of requests to make these more available so here you go…

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. [2 Timothy 3:16-17]

I came across a quote recently that really bothered me and scared me. The quote came from a prominent church leader in a major denomination. The reason it scared me was not just that it came from this leader, but that this leader has and will be again speaking at a national youth gathering. I fear what her ideas and beliefs will do to the next generation. The quote is this, “Preaching hopefully in some way is the word of God, speaking is not. So I thought, I wonder, we can look at (the apostle) Paul that way. You know like sometimes he was just going off on his snotty opinions, he has some authority to speak on it but that’s not necessarily the Word of God.” Just his “snotty opinions”? Wow, that is scary because it is saying that if you don’t like something in the Bible, you can just call it a “snotty opinion” and totally discount it as something not authoritative. The problem is that when you start doing this, then all of scripture becomes suspect. When that happens, then scripture ceases to be authoritative.

The fact of that matter is that ALL of scripture is breathed out by God. ALL of scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, not just the parts you like. C.S. Lewis once said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” Those are very wise words. The Word of God operates the same way. You simply cannot twist and manipulate it to justify a certain way of life, or a certain behavior, or a certain belief system. You simply cannot toss out the verses and/or chapters you do not like or agree with. You cannot rewrite scripture because it makes you uncomfortable. The Word of God is just that, the Words of God almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. You cannot pick and choose like going through some divine a la carte line. The Word kills but brings to life. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [2 Corinthians 5:17]

The Word of God is not outdated or irrelevant as some would want you to believe. It doesn’t need to be updated to fit our culture today. The Word of God does not need to be softened so as not to offend certain people. The Word of God is authoritative, all of it, and thus needs to be listened to, for in it are the words of eternal life and that never goes out of style. Don’t minimize God’s Word but hold it as authoritative and watch it transform you. Cling to God’s Word and trust in its power. Taste and see that it is indeed good.

The Pastor -|—

Prayer for those in Err

O God,
there are many who misuse Your Word;
there are many who devalue the Scriptures.
I see and hear,
I read and peruse,
and my heart is saddened;
anger threatens to rear its ugly head
against those who do not understand.
O God,
may anger not control my actions
but rather compassion for those who are in err.
Grant understanding,
O God,
to those who take Your Word as something
to suit their own desires;
redefining Your Word according to the culture;
according to the masses.

Grant insight,
O God,
to those who do not understand.
Grant ears of faith,
O God,
to those who do not and will not listen.
Grant me patience,
O God,
that I may be a steadfast beacon of light;
for this world needs Your Truth.
May I never back down

and may I never fail to glorify You.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

The Pastor -|—