Pastor's Corner

23 Nov
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Mid-Week Challenge

Have you ever played the Telephone Game? That’s when you take a group of people, line them up, and at the beginning of the line the first person whispers a message to the next person.  The secrete message is then passed along the line until it reaches the last person.  The last person relates the message, out loud, to the group and everyone compares what they think they heard.  It’s amazing how a single message gets changed from person to person.  

A lot of how we remember history has gone through this process.  Remember how when George Washington was a kid, he cut down his father’s cherry tree?  And do you remember how, when he was confronted, could not tell a lie to his father?  Or maybe you remember how Paul Revere rode his horse yelling, “the British are coming, the British are coming!” Surely you remember how William Tell, in defiance of Austrian authority, was forced to shoot an arrow at an apple on his son’s head! If he failed, at least there would be one less arrow for those in power to use against his people!  And who could forget how Thomas Edison invented the light bulb? Where would we be today without his invention?  As you’ve guessed, none of these stories are completely true.  In each case the people and events are somewhat true, but the stories are made up to increase sales! That’s right, the people behind these stories “embellished” the truth to make a profit.

You have to give these salespeople credit for their creativity, but what else have we been led to believe that isn’t true? It’s never been wise to simply take someone’s word for something you didn’t experience, but since we cannot experience everything, who do we trust?  In the day and age that we live in, God has given us the ability to “see for ourselves” better than any generation in history.  Thanks to technology, the ability to read, and the time to put in the effort, we can discover truth for ourselves.  What used to take a lifetime of study and research, walking the stacks in a dusty library, can now be done in a few hours online.  Thanks to modern technology we now have access to tools that used to be reserved only for the wealthy, university or government.  We really have no excuse to simply take someone’s word for something.  Sadly, thanks to the same technology, we have become mentally lazy and spiritually ignorant.  It’s easier to listen to a TED talk than actually read the research behind the subject being presented.  

Listening and telling these Tall Tales of old can be fun, but once you discover the reasoning as to why they originated, it is the same reason people stretch the truth today.  The World is always looking for an angle to separate you from your time, money and thoughts, but don’t be fooled.  If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.  Biblical stories that people tell are no exception.  The only way to know for sure is to go to the Bible yourself and see.  The Apostle John warned of this and gave us a sure-fire way of testing:  Is the credit given to Jesus, if not, don’t believe it.    

In 1 John 4:1-3 we read, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you will know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and which is already in the world at this time”.

 We might not always have a history book in front of us or a Bible to double check a quote, but we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  If something is of God, Jesus will get the glory.  If the glory goes to a person, don’t count on it being true, no matter how many times you have heard the story repeated! 

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan

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