I came across an article entitled, “Bible Tops America’s 10 Favorite Books of All Time”. It stated that “regardless of which demographic group they belong to – male-female, Republican-Democrat or young-old – Americans named the Bible as their favorite book of all time … research puts Bible ownership at an average of four per household.”
This is an average of four per every household in America, not just Christians. With so many Bibles laying around, you’d think American would be an ideal place to live and Christians would be making a difference in American life. The statistics don’t show this to be taking place.
The problem is not access to the Bible, but getting into and practicing it. 9 out of 10 “born again Christians” may read it, but are not filtering their life through it. Life will never be satisfying unless the No. 1 Book is read and used to listen to Jesus by picking up your biblically-based truth filter on a daily basis.
Are you part of the 90% of believers who leave their filter at church on Sunday or the 10% that filters every decision through it? If you’re the former, you’re deceiving yourself like the rest of Americans who have, but don’t use the book (James 1:22). If you’re the latter, practicing the Word of God will keep you free to enjoy the abundant life Jesus promises.
S“E”t Free Nowww
100 mph+ winds came whipping through the Devil’s Postpile section of the Eastern Sierra Mountains last fall. We were told by the Park Rangers that these winds lasted for more than four hours and literally ripped out tall trees by the roots. As I took pictures of these downed trees, I saw healthy green pine trees on the ground while dead pine trees were left standing. You can see this in the picture to the left. The downed tree is green. The brown tree in the center is standing tall.
From my perspective this just didn’t seem fair. Yet, this is exactly how Jesus describes life. The sun shines and the rains fall on both the righteous and wicked alike (Matt. 5:45). Life happens to everyone, especially to believers. We live in enemy territory where storms shouldn’t surprise us, but are to be expected (2 Tim. 3:12). You quite possibly might be saying to yourself, “That’s not fair. I love Jesus and follow Him throughout my day; and yet, I fall down and those who don’t love Him stand tall. What’s fair about that?”
My friend, understand the Bible never says, “Life will be fair.” It simply states that we can experience real living in the midst of life’s unfairness. We don’t have to let life’s storms destroy our peace. We walk with Jesus who calls Himself, “The Resurrection and the Life.” He can take a fallen tree and stand it upright again.
Therefore, you have two choices when life hits. You can continue to look to Jesus and achieve victory despite the strong winds or you can let your attitude go down with the trees and head to your drug of choice where your enemy wins again. Life might not be fair, but Jesus is. He can be strong for you when you’re weak and fallen down.
Set Free No“W”ww
There’s a scene in the movie, Love Comes Softly (yes I watch chick flicks with my wife…and love it!) where the lead character goes to “church.” This movie’s set in the American pioneer days. This meant that people tended to live further apart with fewer services, like going to a church, available to them.
In this particular scene the man sat a log overlooking a beautiful valley, sang a few hymns, read his Bible and talked with God. Throughout the movie, though, he was constantly seen in relationship with Jesus. Though he wanted and needed to be with other believers, his walk with Jesus wasn’t dependent upon it. He had a healthy faith.
The Walk with other believers principle is true. We can’t do church alone on some mountain top. We need other believers to help us become more like Jesus. Having said that, if you had to live as the main character, would you still have a healthy faith? Ask yourself, “Does my faith go up and down with what others do or don’t do or is it dependent simply on loving and being with Jesus throughout my day?” Loving Jesus through a healthy faith does come softly, one choice at a time.
“S”et Free Nowww
My wife and I had a wonderful time viewing the fall colors in the Eastern Sierra Mountains. The aspen trees were turning beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red. These colors were just gorgeous against the green pines and blue skies. This awesome display took place because aspens lose their leaves in order to conserve their moisture in the trunk and branches, rather than drying out and dying. Therefore, life comes through letting something go.
Jesus is asking us to trust Him that true living will result when we surrender our drugs of choice to Him. Yet we fight letting the leaves go and fail to experience true living. Ask yourself, “By holding onto that area, the leaves, are you really experiencing the life you want?” If not, it’s time to live with a Biblical worldview and choose to listen to Jesus by surrendering to Him and the process He set up for life change – Set Free Nowww.
“Set Free Nowww”
Yesterday I climbed a good sized hill I’d never climbed before, one that I could see the entire path that led to the top. As I approached its base, a homeowner came out to warn me about the rattlesnakes and coyotes I could encounter along the way. As I’d encountered them before, I thanked her for the heads up and began to climb. Interestingly enough though, about half way up I could no longer see the entire trail, only the section I was walking along. I wasn’t worried as I saw the entire path before I started. I simply had to trust and stay on the path to get me to the top.
This scenario gives us a picture of the principle Entertain the truth. The Bible describes the hills or challenges in our lives – both the path to follow (Set Free Nowww) and those that would wish us to be afraid to walk or stay on that path. It also tells us that if we follow the Path/Way and the Truth, Jesus, we’ll end up on top of our challenges. We will taste victory and experience joy. There are times, however, when our journey will take us places where we can’t see the victory or the end of the challenge. Jesus is asking us to trust Him enough to stay on the path He laid out for us to follow.
I got to the top and felt the victory of a cool breeze on my face and the joy of seeing the entire valley spread out before my eyes. If we trust Jesus by keep walking with Him, even when we can’t see the top, we too will enjoy the victory of becoming more like Jesus and experiencing more of the joy and peace He has for us.
S“E”t Free Nowww