Monday, July 8, 2013

My Search For Truth

So about 15 years ago I went through something that rocked my world and caused me to search out somethings that I just didn't value enough to really do it before. That search has changed my life and continues to change my life. I want this blog to chronicle that search and how it continues.


  1. What is truth? A question asked by a guy over 2000 years ago who held in his hand the fate of a man who claimed to be the Son of God. I wonder if Pilate had any idea who he was talking to. Here is the exchange that made him ask question;
    "Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate said, “So you are a king?”
    Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. Jn 18:33–38
    What is truth? Is there truth, if there is how can we know it's truth? Good questions, questions I hope to address in this blog. Jesus makes some powerful statements in this passage saying the reason He came was to testify to the truth.
    I don't hear it so much anymore but several years ago there was a big battle against weather there is truth as all. Or truth is what you make it, or everyone can make their own. Think of the logic of that? Does believing something make it true or should we believe something because it is true? And then the question is how do you know it's true? TRUTH is the focus of this blog.

  2. Just sitting here tonight reading and came across this verse in Psalm 16:3,

    "The godly people in the land are my true heroes!
    I take pleasure in them!"

    Friendship has always meant a lot to me, and i hate to say it this way but the older I get the more it means to me. You may or may not know a lot of people but who is your best friend and why are they your best friend? I bet if you took the time to answer those question you would probably say something like they are just been honest with me when others were not, or they showed a deep concern for me and loved me maybe even when didn't love myself. Friendship is expressed in many different but the core of it comes down to loyalty, faithfulness, devotion, commitment. Qualities that describe who God is.
    When I look at the friends I had 15 years ago and i look at the friends I have now I can honestly say as David did "the godly people in the land are my true hero's." Some of them are my friends and for that I am very grateful. Godly, is simply God like. In the Message it says,

    And these God-chosen lives all around—
    what splendid friends they make!

    Solomon said there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother and A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. Jesus is many things but because He became one of us, He is now our brother and friend, that is if we have put our faith in Him. If you haven't why haven't you? He is the way, the Truth and the Life! How I/we need to be more like Him.

    So a few weeks ago I was reading my bible and just hanging out with the creator of the universe and I got thinking about the word focus. I can’t say I am one who does acrostics very often but while thinking about the word focus I saw this, FOCUS, OBEY, COME, UNDERSTAND & SURRENDER. FOCUS(on Me), OBEY(Me), COME(to Me), UNDERSTAND(Me and My ways), & SURRENDER(to Me).
    So lets look at these one at a time: FOCUS on Me. I think most of us would admit focusing is something we often find hard to do. Life has a way of keeping us going in a hundred different directions and the idea of focusing on the Lord can get lost in the shuffle of life. As God’s Children what is our focus? Is Christ really our focus? I use to bow hunt and one of the things I did in preparing myself was shoot my bow for hours. The only way to get accurate shooting a bow is you have to focus on your target. To not focus meant to miss the mark and ultimately to miss your goal. Christ must become our focus if we are hit the target in our lives and succeed in His will for us. If we only focus on Him when we need something we will miss the most important thing, that being loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We must learn to Focus on Him.
    OBEY Me. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Really, it is but simple and easy are not the same thing. I don’t know if you saw the guys who just walked across a part of the grand canyon on a two inch wire? Simple yes, easy no. Doesn’t obeying God feel that way some times? It does for me. It just reminds me of the old hymn, “trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. The Lord would remind us all, just obey Me.
    COME to Me. This sounds pretty simple to doesn’t it but how much do we really do it? Is coming to the Lord the first thing we do? How natural and normal is it for us? The more I get to know the true heart of my Father in heaven the quicker and more naturally I find myself coming to Him. Oh I still carry things, try to figure things out on my own, even make decisions sometimes without even asking Him for His perspective. But I want that to change. If you could counsel with Bill Gates or Donald Trump on business matters or a financial decision you need to make would you? Ah that’s a no brainer! Well let me remind you your Father in heaven is much smarter and wiser than all the rich and powerful put together and you have access to Him anytime, all the time. So the question is will we come to Him?

    UNDERSTAND Me and My ways. This my friends is huge! Gigantic! Monumental! Enormous! Critical! There is no way I can even scratch the surface of this one in this short blog but let me just ask you this question, why do you think the Lord gave us the scriptures? May I suggest that the answer to that is simply so we could understand Him and His ways. Thing about that and ask your self if you really believe that? The longer I am in the Lord the more I love His written Word. If we want to finish our course well we must press on to understand Him and His ways and walk in them
    Last but certainly not least, SURRENDER to Me. I think this comes easier to some of us than others and easier in certain situations than others. My own heart is often been a mystery to me. Why I do some of the things I do and am afraid of certain things and don’t even know why sometimes. Are you under any stress right now? Wondering how your going to pay certain bills you don’t have the money for? Got family relationships that you can’t seem to fix or issues you can’t seem to resolve? It would do us all some good to take a look at 1 Peter 5:7 again. “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
    It’s hysterical to me that the original word in this verse translated casting literally means to throw something. The Lord is saying to us in this verse, throw all your anxiety on Me. All of it! Not some of it or most of it but all. What a deal, we give Him our anxiety and He gives us His peace. Helps us focus! Ok people let’s get throwing!
    In writing this short blog I realize that we are going to have to spend some more time digging a little deeper and learning to FOCUS. To Be Continued.

    1. This is a beautiful blog. Ironically, I will be taking a class this semester that is called "The Pleasure of Finding Thing Out" and its entire focus is on what is fact and what is true. I've actually been wondering to myself; what are the trues the bible talks about?

      I'll definitely be checking back and reading as much as you are willing to post. Great job so far!

  5. :) thanks Amber. Well be trying to blog weekly. It wasn't something I had planned to do but kind of happened spontaneously and I actually really enjoy doing it. Sounds like an interesting class. One of my desires is to help students just like you in your, their, own journey to know God. Life! Truth! All that good stuff. Appreciate your feedback. :-) Love you.

  6. This was so good, so convicting that I figured I would just post this. It's from Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest.

    August 12th

    The theology of rest

    Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Matthew 8:26.

    When we are in fear we can do nothing less than pray to God, but Our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His Name should have an understanding confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the reliable ones. Our trust is in God up to a certain point, then we go back to the elementary panic prayers of those who do not know God. We get to our wits’ end, showing that we have not the slightest confidence in Him and His government of the world; He seems to be asleep, and we see nothing but breakers ahead.
    “O ye of little faith!” What a pang must have shot through the disciples—‘Missed it again!’ And what a pang will go through us when we suddenly realize that we might have produced downright joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, no matter what was ahead.
    There are stages in life when there is no storm, no crisis, when we do our human best; it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely. If we have been learning to worship God and to trust Him, the crisis will reveal that we will go to the breaking point and not break in our confidence in Him.
    We have been talking a great deal about sanctification—what is it all going to amount to? It should work out into rest in God which means oneness with God, a oneness which will make us not only blameless in His sight but a deep joy to Him.

  7. If you have never read through My Utmost For His Highest I highly, highly recommend it.

  8. 9-30-2013

    Here we are into another school year already and having been through a few of these there's always a cool excitement and anticipation of the experiences you will have and the joy of reconnecting with friends. Quite a few years ago I resolved in my heart that I wanted to be able look back on each year and honestly be able to say that I was closer to God now that I was a year ago. Some years I think I have made more progress than others but I am grateful to say that by God’s grace as I have looked back over the last few years I felt closer to Him than the year before. So what about you, where are you going to be in a year from now? Will you just have more knowledge and maybe even be closer to your carrier goals than you are now? As wonderful as that may be what about the most important thing, what about God?
    In the later part of his life Paul wrote the book of Philippians in that book he made a whole list of his accomplishments. Things he saw as valuable and quite frankly in his day gave him some serious bragging rights. Moved by the Holy Spirit Paul penned this about those accomplishments;
    “ I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.” Php 3:7-9
    As we dive into this school year I think what Paul penned a few thousands years ago still speaks loud and clear to our fast paced go for it world. What do I see as more important than “the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord?”

  9. Had this burst of thanksgiving gratefulness! Give thank to the Lord for He is good!
    Thanksgiving day 2013.

    God thanks or just being so awesome! Thanks for my amazing family; Melissa, Jeffrey & Joseph. For my Father and Mother who served you there whole life and still praise You and thank You for Your blessing and goodness in their lives. Thank You for my amazing Siblings, Cher, Marla, Mariam & Donna, who are all so amazing and unique. Who all love You and express You in so many ways. Who You have given such wonderful hearts and gifts that continue to bless me and so many others. Thanks for connecting me with so many amazing people who love You so much they inspire me and give me hope and courage to keep pressing on in You! Who's lives show that You are alive and well and that no matter how crazy this world gets You have a people who will love You and serve You no matter what! Thanks for not giving up on me when I had long sense given up on myself. Thanks for holding me when I cry and get discouraged when I see how far I/we have fallen from Your ways and heart! Thank You for being THE friend who sticks closer than a brother and loves us no matter what because that's who You are! Thanks for continually and consistently changing my heart and mind and giving me Your perspective and the awareness of Your presence and peace. Thanks for working in my heart the desire to know You and seek first Your kingdom which will NEVER END, but is increasing and will continue to! Thank You for never leaving me or forsaking me, help me to be more aware of You as David was even in the valley of the shadow of death. Thank You for being so committed to me when I am often so weak and frail and my heart looses courage so easily. Help me to learn to be strong in You and in the power of You might. Please continue to train my hands for war and yet bring healing to those who need it. Give me ears to hear You and Eyes that can see You and what Your doing. Give me a heart like Yours and a mind that understand You and Your ways. Give us feet that are swift to run at Your command! Lord thank You even for the hard things, the trials that show me where I need to grow in trusting You. Forgive me for being nearsighted and at times complaining about them. Help me to know that perseverance and greater faith in You are more valuable than gold, stocks, or a bank full of money! Thank You Lord for being such a master and perfector, help me to see that my faith perfected brings You more glory no matter what I have to go through to get it! I could go on and on in counting all You have done! Father thank You, thank You, thank You! All praise to You from who all blessings flow! Know that Your son in little old Venice Center is eternally grateful!

  10. IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME AGAIN! I pray this year will be the best yet! Just wanted to wish you and yours and very merry Christmas and a hope filled new year!

    Understanding What God’s Up To
    Even In My Own Heart,
    Then I Can Learn To Understanding The Times!

    I know were half way through February but I am just realizing this is my first post of the year. I am actually home sick at the moment and was just studying and thinking about some things and wanted explain my title. Understanding what God is up to? How many of us would like to understand that? And let me be the first to say after being a Christian for 40 years now I don’t profess to have that one figured out but I am open, hungry and learning. More importantly though since 1998 I have earnestly sought to know God and understand His ways. That of course doesn’t guarantee that I do but He is a rewarder of those “who earnestly seek Him” and I know my life is so much richer knowing what He has taught me.
    I was a pretty nominal Christian for most of my Christian life but as I shared at the inception of this blog it was 15 years ago I came to a real crossroads in my life and began to make some very hard decisions. When I realized how halfhearted I have been in my pursuit of God I knew I needed a radical heart change. Thankfully God is good at radically changing hearts, but in case your waiting for some magic zap from the sky God won't violate your will. Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find. I will say more about this in later blogs.
    So for the next season I want to explore this statement and I pose it as two questions; Is it possible to understand what God is up to, even in my own heart? And secondly do I/we understand the times in which we live in? I want you to know the second question is a question I have been asking myself and my honest answer to that question right now is no, so we can search this out together. I invite you to take personally what Jesus said in Luke 12:54-57;
    Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, “When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right. 55 When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is. 56 You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.
    “Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right?

    What a question? Jesus always has a way of cutting right to the heart of the matter doesn’t He. I have felt in my heart 2014 is going to be one of my best years yet but I know that is going to take me being focused and my whole heart devoted to Him. Is your heart fully devoted to knowing Him? Are there areas of your heart you need Him to change? Me to. Lets live out lives this year on purpose not just hanging out waiting for something to happen. If your hungry for more come and join me for this journey!

  12. Blog 8-21-2014

    Did you ever drop the ball on something important or maybe even something that may not have been life or death but needed to be done? I played football in High school and I was a pretty good catch even if I do say so myself. I was big at 16 probably 6” 2’ at least 200lbs so my coach usually put me on the line just because I was bigger than most of the team. My coach was kind of a hard A as they say but finally I mustered up the nerve to tell him I really wanted to play tight end. Being the tough guy that he was he said “oh really, well lets see what you got.” So in front of the whole team he made me run some plays and patterns while he played quarterback. I have no way of proving it but I’m convinced some of the passes he threw, he threw then really bad on purpose, but as God is my witness I caught every one of them. The worst part of that whole deal is even after doing that in front of the whole team he still didn’t play me at tight end. I’m ashamed to say I never had the courage to ask him why, it didn’t really matter I quite after that year anyways, I realized I didn’t really have a passion for football.
    I didn’t know it at the time but what I was really looking for was myself and my true identity. I was trying to find something I was good at and ultimately who I was. Unfortunately it would take many mistakes, pains and heart aches, many dropped balls if you will, before I would find my true self and identity.
    I want this blog to simply tell my story and the journey of my search and the discovery’s I have made. I have much more to discover but can honestly say I know who I am what I’m called to do and where I’m going. Can you? Do you really know who you are, what your purpose in life is and where you are going? If not, I invite you to talk this journey with me. Nothing would make me happier than to know that in telling my story it would help others find theirs true identity and calling.
    I was reading the passage below in The Message bible today and it brought me to tears. I’ll tell you why in my next blog. To do that, I want to take a fresh look at one of the most incredible books in the bible, Ephesians. If you have never read it I invite you to, if you have I invite you to read it in The Message. I can almost guarantee you’ll see something’s you’ve never seen before. See you next time.

    Ephesians 4:1-6
    The Message
    4 In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
    4–6 You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

  13. Blog 10
    Just two days left till Christmas 2014, amazing! I don’t know how the holidays are like for you but over the last few years I have found myself intentionally making an effort to make sure the significance of this holiday doesn’t slip away. When I was kid I loved Christmas for the obvious reasons, PRESENTS, New video games, trucks, I even got a new bike one year which is a big deal for every young boy. But as I have gotten older things have changed but not in the way you might think. I don’t know a kid on the planet that doesn’t like to get presents. Or an adult for that matter, but have you considered what Christmas PRESENTS to us? Presents are great to receive but God the Son being born as a child PRESENTS us something amazing. Presents are an obvious part of Christmas why, because God gave His best gift to the world, His Son. But because of that gift Christmas PRESENTS us a PRESENT of immeasurable value.
    Hebrews says The gift, Christ, “is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.” Heb 1:3. Years ago my wife and I installed a pellet stove because it was costing us thousands of dollars to heat our home. Once we installed it we really came to love it I didn’t think about it at first but in the place we live now it just had a regular heating system that I’m sure would have work fine but I realized I was going to miss having our pellet stove. It worked out we were able to install another stove in the house we live in now for cost reasons but once we got it in here there’s just something about it that’s goes beyond a unit that simply heats our home. It radiates heat yes that’s why we installed it but it’s much more than that. You can think I’m a sap if you want to but its true just ask anyone who has had a fire place or wood stove or even one of those fake fire places, yes it radiates heat but it’s more than that. There’s a presence, an atmosphere, an attitude it invokes. It makes somehow makes me feel at home. It appeals to something deep in me that is way more than something that radiated heat. You can’t come into our home and not be effected by what radiates from our wood stove.
    Shouldn’t it be the same with Christ in our lives? Christ radiated His Fathers Glory, His goodness, love, power, majesty, everything that God is. He demonstrated His very nature obviously because He was, is, God! But don’t you and I have the same Spirit and nature in us? Hebrews 10:5 says “BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;” these were the words of God the Son to God the Father. Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of God the Son, presents us again with the amazing truth that Emanuel, God the Son is not just with us but in us. My stove radiates heat because there fire in it. (Wow, you didn’t know was so smart did you.) In the same way Christ should radiate out from us. Is His presence evident in my life? Do I radiate with the one who is in me? If not why not? As we approach this Christmas I refuse to let it be just another Christmas without remembering the greatest PRESENT I have ever been given and what that present PRESENTS to me, the very presence of the one who’s birth we celebrate. May Christ radiate from you this Christmas, may we “arise and shine,” realizing that our light has come and the very glory of the Lord is risen upon us!” Isaiah 60:1-2
    Wishing you and you’re a Christ filled Christmas.

    May 9th 2015

    I just wanted to throw out a quick thought for you to consider this morning. Life can be complicated for many different reasons. Sometimes life just brings you stuff you weren’t planning on and certainly there are things we just can’t control try though we might. I know in my life though much of the complications have come from my own foolish actions and or trying to do things my way and often asking God to make things better. There’s a passage in Matthew 22 that has really simplified my life, Jesus was asked by religious people what was the most important commandment in the law and I have often wondered what they thought He was going to say? But here was His reply:
    Jesus replied, “ ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
    The whole law and all the demands of the prophets? That's amazing! In all the complications you may be facing today I invite you to consider these two things Jesus said were most important things to Him and if they are most important to Him shouldn’t they be most important to us? I know in my own life this passage has become a great check point that brings me back to what's really important, I hope it will do the same for you. Have a God day!

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. (THIS IS PART TWO OF THE BELOW POST) Read part one below first. :)
    Will is really set us free?
    Part 2

    If you look up the greek word used most in the New Testament the word repent or repentance is metanoeō or metanoia and here are several definitions
    repent, to change one’s life, based on complete change of attitude and thought concerning sin and righteousness.
    repentance, a change of mind which results in a change of life(style)

    Strongs defines it as
    1. to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent.
    2 to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.
    To change one’s life, based on complete change of attitude and thought concerning sin and righteousness. A change of mind which results in a change of life? To change ones mind? Notice all of these definitions have to do with the way that we think. If you teach repentance simply means to turn and go the other way, which I actually did a long time ago, you actually bypass the whole process that allows the Holy Spirit to actually change us. Let me be real honest with you for years I tried to turn away from things I knew were wrong and for years I failed to stay away from them because I did not realize I was not really repenting, allowing the Holy Spirit to change the way I think. I wanted to stop doing them I even felt guilty knowing what I was doing was wrong but what I didn’t realize was simply trying to turn and go the other way didn’t allow true repentance to change me. You may say well isn’t it a good thing to turn away from things you know are wrong? Of course it is but if we are honest unless we change the way we thing about them and change our attitude about whatever sin we are struggling with through the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, were just exerting our will and not truly being changed as God desires. Think about it if I have a drinking problem I with the best of intentions can with all my will try to turn away from that but has anything really changed in me other than I’m trying to not drink anymore? I want to spend more time on this in the next few posts, but let me quickly answer the question in the title of this post and then we’ll pick up next time from here. The Truth will it really set us free? The answer is yes but only if you understand what Jesus really said and then understanding it we actually do it. So here’s the whole of what Jesus John 8:31&32;

    So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

    So let me invite you to do a few things, first read this blog again I’m not saying that because I wrote it but because the truth in it really can set you free “if we hold to it”. If anything touches you or speaks to you I invite you willing to give that some deeper thought? I’d love to hear your thoughts or comments on what you think. Well pick up right here next time.

    Will it really set you free?
    Part 1.

    I started this blog a few years ago almost as a personal journal not really because I thought a lot of people would read it. If that happens great if not that’s ok to, I’m not doing it for that reason. I wanted to tell my story and some of the life changing things that have happened to me over the last 15 plus years. If in the process of doing that it could help or even inspire some fellow travelers well that would be a plus. Were all on a journey the question is where are we going? Some of you may say I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere, other of you may not really be thinking about where you’re going at all. But I believe our choices take us somewhere, they have consequences knowingly or unknowingly. Our choices lead us in certain directions that are heading somewhere weather we realize that or not.

    I want to answer the question in my title of this blog, will the truth set you free but first were going to take a little trip back in time. Tonight I sat down to watch the movie “Luther”, it about Martin Luther a man responsible for possibly the greatest reformation in church history. If you have never seen it I highly recommend it. While watching it I realized I have never read Martin Luther’s 95 theses that got him in so much trouble and it’s probably safe to say that most of us have never read them either. So out of curiosity I looked them up and I was so stunned by the first one I never got to the other 94. Here is the first of his 95 theses that sparked the Protestant reformation;

    1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.
    Really? Is that true? The whole life of believers should be repentance? I thought repentance was something you do once to get saved? Why would Luther say something like that? Just fyi Poenitentiam agite is latin and translated into english means repentance (according to wikipidia). It appears Martin Luther the great reformer understood what repentance really was. And just in case you have never studied this out for yourself I urge you to do so. Understanding this one process, repentance, has literally changed my life and continues to change it. If you were taught that repentance means to turn and go the other way as I was you were taught wrong. If you look up the greek word used most in the New Testament the word repent or repentance is metanoeō or metanoia and here are several definitions

  19. THE SECOND PART OF THIS IS ABOVE. Sorry it wouldn't let me post the whole thing at once. You know me making a long story longer. :) It's good stuff will set you free if you believe it and hold to it.

  20. 8-11-2015
    Will it really set you free?
    Part 3
    I was a very shy kid growing up and after going to a private Christian school up through 9th grade my parents put me in public school. It was a big change as I went from a school of 100 to probably almost 2000. One of the reasons my parents did this was so if we wanted to play organized sports we could. So my first year in public school I tried out for the football team. I had never played on a real football team before and at 16 I was a pretty big kid. I don’t remember exactly how big I was but I was at least 6 foot probably 210 pounds plus which made me one of the biggest guys on the team. That of course meant I ended up on the front line which I hated. I really wanted to be a tight end not a lineman. It took me a few months but I finally mustered up enough courage to ask my coach, who was not a very nice guy I should say, if there was any chance he would play me at tight end. So in front of the whole team made me run some plays and see if I could catch and hold to the ball which is kind of important for a tight end. I felt like my future in football was at stake in the next few minutes, now I’m nervous being watched by the whole team my first time playing football for real, you get the picture. So he makes me run a few routes and threw me some seriously bad passes. I was highly motivated to catch and hold onto these passes no matter how bad he threw them. I have no way of knowing if he did it on purpose but the amazing thing is I was able to catch and hold on to every one of them. You can imagine my joy and celebration in that moment. It’s common sense that holding on the football is kind of necessary to get points and win games. My ability to hold onto the ball was critical to being a good tight end. With that picture in mind let’s look again at what Jesus said about the truth making us free;
    So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

  21. Sorry apparently I'm to long winded for a blog. This is part 4 of this blog if you don't read then in order it probably wont' make sense.

    Will it really set you free?
    Part 4

    It’s important to take a very careful look at the first word Jesus said, “If”. “If you continue in My word” because this “if” means it’s not automatic. It’s not like some pill we take and the effect just happens. The NIV says “If you hold to my teaching,” the ESV says “If you abide in my word,”. Continue, hold and abide, are the greek word menṓ, in short it means to remain or abide, dwell, or live. Continue, hold and abide are all ok translations but let me give you a very simple illustration to drive home what Jesus was really saying. Think about any plant, when you plant a seed in dirt the seed begins to germinate then sprout then grow. If at any point you remove the plant from the dirt the process of growth stops. Why? The plant can’t live apart from the dirt it must “abide in” the dirt. The life for the plant comes to it from the dirt. I do not understand the science of that but come on man any honest scientist has to admit it’s true. James said it this way, “For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” James 1:23-25.
    Again Jesus said “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” I hope by now it’s obvious that the 26 words that Jesus said here must be taken together. In other words if you are not holding onto His Word which mean you believe it in your heart and your seeking understand it more and more by the revelation His Spirit, you’re not doing what Jesus said makes us one of His disciples. A disciple is a biblical word for student or follower. I work at a college and students who spend little of no time doing what a student is suppose to do fail. It’s amazing to me we will spend thousands of dollars to learn from someone we don’t even know to gain knowledge that we might use in a carrier but when it comes to our eternity, our identity, the very freedom of our soul God is often the last one we turn to. Please don’t misunderstand me I’m not knocking higher education, much of my calling is to college students I’m simply trying to challenge us to grasp what Jesus was really saying here. A Doctorate degree will not make you free. It may get you a good job even lots of money but if I can steal part of a Beatles line “money can’t buy you freedom” or love for hat matter. I want to finish this with a quote that knocked me for a loop a few months ago. I was walking through the mall in my home town and in that mall there’s a banner honoring Harriet Tubman and her devotion to freeing slaves in her day. I almost fell over when I read something she said and I quote, “I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” What? Really? You mean to tell me there were a thousand more slaves she could have freed but they didn’t know they were salves? How can that be? I’ve been a Christian for 42 years and honestly it’s only been in the last 12 years or so I have truly come to know the freedom Jesus said He wanted us all to know. And I am the only one to blame for that. That is part of my testimony and this I know, it was only as I was honest about the places in my life I was a slave to sin and in my heart began to hold onto God’s Word that freedom increase in my life. Next time we're going to look at the rest of what Jesus said in John 8. I have no way of proving it but I can almost guarantee you Miss Tubman understood what Jesus taught in John chapter 8. Would love to hear from you leave me a comment. See you next time.