Pastor's Corner

25 May
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Mid-Week Challenge

If you grew up in the 1980s, who could forget all those Publishers Clearing House commercials Ed McMahon made? You know the one where he walks up to the person’s home with an oversized check that changed their lives? Sure, you do, right? Well, you might be getting older and your memory fading a little, but no matter what you think you remember, it didn’t happen.  Although McMahon did work as a spokesman for a very similarly named company, American Family Publishing, he never worked for Publishers Clearing House. In fact, he never went to the door with a big check for AFP on camera until Dick Clark joined the team. In a later interview, he did claim he had handed out over $110 million in prizes. 

So why are our memories so fuzzy on this issue? The reason why people might be convinced can be credited to the "Mandela Effect." The "Mandela Effect" is a false memory, like people being convinced Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1980s when in reality he lived until 2013.  Remembering something that never happened happens so often with us that the "Mandela Effect" is the common term used today.

We see and hear something so often our brain just stores it away and calls it back to memory when needed.  After a while, we are convinced that we know exactly what was said, seen or experienced.  Trouble is, what if it is something that really matters? The details of a crime you witnessed, the events that have to do with an important disagreement, what about life and death? 

There are a lot of people who “know for a fact” the Bible says something it really doesn’t say.  Church goers, well-meaning Christians and people of this world use the Bible to support or reject any number of situations we encounter in life.  But the Bible is not like some 1980s TV show or what was served at dinner on that vacation you took 10 years ago.  The Bible is quoted (rightfully so) as an authority with great reverence.  When we quote it, use it and live by it, we need to make sure we know what we are talking about.  

The Bible writers knew that faulty memory and emotional passion could be an issue so we have several verses that remind us to be sure before we “swear by it.”    

Leviticus 19:12 - You shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord. 

Matthew 5:34 - But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 

James 5:12 - But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment. 

Our challenge is to be like the Bereans and know our Bible well enough to use it as an educational, challenging and directional guide to life.  Don’t just take someone’s word for it or rely on your memory only, verify your use of God’s word so that you make proper application in your daily life.  

Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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