Our True North: the Word of God

After our son, Jordan, took his life the earth shifted underneath our feet. Our world was turned upside down.

We soon took scripture printed on copy paper and taped it to every door-jam, every mirror, every cabinet door – you get the idea. (A few of them are in the very spot we placed them 4 years ago.)

So, while the enemy assaulted us with lies: “life for you is over; your marriage is over; your son’s death is your fault; there is no God; etc….”, we made a conscious choice to focus on what we knew to be true: the infallible Word of God.

Both Matthew & Luke record the “showdown in the desert” between Satan and Jesus. Even a cursory reading reveals that, in light of Satan’s lies, Jesus responds with a single, devastatingly powerful weapon: the Word of God. Satan fled in defeat.

The same happened in our home. Oh – I’d be lying if I said it was easy. The spiritual battle was intensely brutal. But, in the end, Satan, the “father of lies”, was rendered impotent when confronted with the Truth.

Throughout this ordeal, my family learned – on a deeper level – what Jesus meant when he proclaimed, “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Psalm 119 is almost entirely devoted to the exaltation of God’s Word. In verse 28, the psalmist prays, “My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.”

Are you confused? Hurting? Afraid? Tired? Lost? Find your “true north” in the powerful Word of God.

Soli Deo Gloria, nick

Racism & the Bible

You’ve no doubt heard about the White Supremacists/KKK Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the violence that ensued resulting in one death and many seriously injured. (Of note, every organization represented in the United States – regardless of how unpopular & hateful their views – has the constitutional right to assemble peacefully and benefit from their right to free speech.  But that is a topic for another article.)

As a youth pastor, I would periodically teach on the topic of racismRacism (which can originate in any race toward another race) is, in my experience, taught/passed down rather than learned inherently. Like a disease (not terminal, mind you, since it can be un-learned), racism infects the right and biblical thinking of individuals.  I use the adjective, biblical, since, tragically, I’ve visited with a few people over the years claiming to be Christians who are angrily racist.

Racism was rampant in the Bible as the biblical writers, for example, record the hatred Jews had for Samaritans (and vice-versa) as well as the Egyptians forcing the Hebrew people into centuries of slavery.  Some erroneously accuse God of endorsing slavery since we read about slavery in the Bible, and Jesus and Paul never openly condemning slavery.  That is a sorely irresponsible interpretation.  Always remember: just because the Bible records something doesn’t necessarily mean the Bible approves of what is being recorded.  There are numerous heinous acts recorded in Scripture.  Why?  Because it’s the story of God’s pursuit of fallen man – and God never sanitizes the depravity of fallen man (us).

When Jesus & Paul commanded us to “love your neighbor as your self” their clear meaning was that “neighbor” represented all humanity.  Addressing the equality of every created human being, Paul writes to the Galatians, There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. In short, racism is sin.

NYT best-selling author/historian, Eric Metaxas, one of my favorite biographers, tweeted:

“Like my heroes Wilberforce & Bonhoeffer, I see racism as the antithesis of the love of Jesus for all. So White Nationalism is satanic.”

Well said, Eric. 

Solo Deo Gloria, Nick 

Doubting God (it’s ok to doubt)

John the Baptist was described by Jesus, himself, as the greatest prophet to have ever lived. (Luke 7:28)

Yet, it’s John, while suffering in prison and awaiting execution, that asks his friends to go find Jesus and ask him, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” (Matthew 11:3)

Author/professor, Andre Resner, rightly stated, “The struggle with God is not a lack of faith; it is faith.”

Does the painful stuff of life sometimes make you wonder about God? If it does – it means you’re perfectly normal. You’re in strong biblical company.

God has no problem shouldering our doubt. Give your doubt to him – every last ounce of it. Peter, an eye-witness and close friend of Jesus, put it this way: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick