You only know what you know, but is what you know true?
Someone very wise once said, “We are most blinded not by things we don’t know, but by things we do know.” Our brains have been collecting information for decades. The question that naturally arises is, “Is what’s been stored in the space above our shoulders even true?”
Without an outside source of truth, there simply is no way to know what’s been stored up there is true or not. Yet, even if you were exposed to the truth, would you believe it and the change what’s inside your head with it, which is the basis for all your decisions?
It’s as a philosopher once penned, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
You can go on believing what you want to believe. But is what you believe working for you? If not, you must decontaminate your brain from all the things that you hold to be true, but are not. Let me offer a source of truth – Jesus and His Word. Start by reading The Book, and then listening to and following what you hear Jesus say to you in it. This WILL change your life!

Watch Your Words

Choose Your Words Carefully.
Words are powerful both for destruction and for development. We all know this fact; but in reality, are we careful in the words we choose with others and just as importantly, with ourselves? I was in two situations today that drove this home.
First, a friend and I were having a conversation with a person living on the streets. I asked him, “How can we help you?” By help though, did I mean that he obviously needed our help because of where he was living? Wouldn’t it be a bit arrogant to think that my lifestyle – living in a stick-built home – is somehow better than his tent or car, if that choice fits his way of living in freedom? Depending on how he took the word help, I could have been helping or hurting the situation.
Second, I was talking with a mom who was overwhelmed in the caring for her growing physically, but mentally challenged adult all by herself. Her words, “I’m done,” expressed her exhaustion on so many levels. She was running on fumes; and yet, the words she used to describe herself were only sucking the remaining fumes out of her tank.
Words, choose them carefully in how you talk to others and to yourself. Filter your words through the life giving words found in Scripture, the Source of Truth. They will not only free you from destruction, but change your life for the better as well.

Hero or Hero Maker

Church is not about your needs.
“Are you a hero or a hero maker?” Our society tells us that we have to be the hero in order to make a difference. And yet, heroes will be forgotten in time while a hero maker’s legacy will last for generations to come.
You see, the essence of what it means to be the church is for the Spirit of God to use each believer to produce Christlike character in…others. That is hero makers, whom Jesus, the hero, is looking for more hero makers.
Be the church
by being a disciple who makes more (others coming to faith in Jesus) and healthy disciples (others growing in their faith). As you do, you’ll see Jesus smile on His return because you’re letting Him be the hero as you make more hero makers!

Four Special Words

I’m proud of you.
Rarely, if at all, do we get a glimpse into the heavenly realm, but our failures make the demons howl. The “Gotcha your kid again!” of the demons is ever before our Father (Revelation 12:10). I know this doesn’t bring a smile to our Dad’s face, but our victories sure do!
The hard truth is that this side of heaven, we don’t get to see His smile or hear His words, “I am proud of you,” as Jesus did. As a human being, He needed it. Don’t we?
We do and our Heavenly Father wants to use us to do it! Hebrews 3:13 instructs us to encourage each other on a daily basis to keep us from getting so down that we want to quit walking with Jesus. I find it interesting that the word for encourage comes from the same word used to be church – helping each other move toward Jesus.
We can’t see our Father’s smile, but we can see the one He puts on our faces. We may not verbally hear from Him, “I’m proud of you,” but He can say those same words through you. Stop going to church and be the church!
Take a step of faith empowered by the Spirit to overcome the “I need a smile” to reflect the Father. Let the Spirit use you today to smile your Father’s smile and to tell someone those four special words.
You will not only encouraged them, but their return smile or tears of joy will encourage you as well!

Oh, How I Wish It Were True!

Victory through the pain, not around it.
I was talking with someone who believed they should never have to live in or with pain, which they had for years. Oh, how I wished that were true! Then they asked me, “Why did God cause evil and pain in the world?”
“God didn’t cause evil and pain.”
“What do you mean, God didn’t? If God created everything, then He created evil because I’m experiencing the pain of it right now!”
“I understand,” I replied. “But God didn’t create evil, Adam and Eve brought it into the human experience. They would have never experienced death and all its painful causes, if only they had chosen to live God’s way. Once they chose to live their own way, however, they chose to pass this pain and death onto us.”
Shaking their head, this person said, “That seems so unfair that what someone else did so long ago is still affecting me today.”
“True, it is unfair, really unfair. The reality we live in, however, is that we must live with other people’s choices regardless of whether we believe it’s fair or not. Yet, there is another reality…Jesus. He came to show God’s tremendous love for us, a love that gives us the ability to live both with and/or through that pain, even if caused by other’s or by our choices.”
All the while a friend of mine, who lives in constant pain, was listening. He was able to back up this truth with firsthand experience. Oh, what a sweet Jesus story that was!
Don’t believe the lies that if you experience pain that you somehow deserve it or that you’ll live pain free by living a godly lifestyle. Nope, we all face pain. And it’s our choice as to how we’ll handle it, not whether it comes or not.
Jesus lived victoriously with and through pain caused by others, including ours! Let Jesus help you make good choices despite the pain – physical or otherwise. And when He does, you will be ready for His return.