Are you kidding?

One of the stories we tell around our family table, and one that always teases out a, “I didn’t know!”, from our second oldest son is about the time he “lost” some of his hair.

When he was about six years old, our son came into the house, and my wife and I both looked at him in astonishment. “What happened to your hair!”, we both exclaimed.” “Nothing,” he murmured. “We need to know what happened, son.”, I said. Mom said, “There is a piece missing from your hair, right in the middle!” Our son said, “I was playing on the swings, and it got my hair caught in the chain and it pulled my hair out.”

I wanted to says, “Are you kidding!” For, there was no way this could have happened as there was a perfectly cut chunk of hair cut out right in front. Our son had lied about what happened. After further grilling on our part, he finally confessed he had tried to cut his hair.

After some admonishment from each of us, we decided to drop the matter as history would record this event; his school pictures was the next day. Sure enough, we have used that his school picture many times, on all our kids, as a lesson to tell the truth, and not try to cut your hair when you’re six years old! 

It was easy for us to see through our son’s attempt at deception and to get to the truth. And, so it was with Jesus when he talked to the Samaritan woman at the well.

The account of the Samaritan woman is well known and has been preached and taught many times, and for a good reason. However, today, I would like us to consider just one facet of this beautiful gem that God placed in His word. As a quick refresher for today’s salient verses, let’s review them:
John 4:11-12. 15-18

“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

The woman attempted to level the playing field when she brought up the shared experience of Jacob’s well; both Jews and Samaritans recognized the exalted position of Jacob. She was trying to establish a common ground between them. When that didn’t work she “fudged” her marital history, but Jesus looked right through all these things and spoke life to her. It blew away all disingenuousness, duplicity, and dismissal that she attempted; and Truth transformed her.

This same Truth still lives and lives in us as Christians. How imprudent it is when we try to sidetrack our Lord when He is intent on leading us to truths about ourselves. We are utterly disarmed and without excuse.

Our feeble attempt to suppress a wrong that we need to right or a new path we need to walk is foolishness to Christ. Nevertheless, His love allows us to go down those roads, for a bit, giving us the opportunity to come to our senses and grab hold of Truth, even as the prophets of old grabbed hold on to the horns of the altar.

Let’s make a pact, right now, that none of us will try to level the playing field with Jesus. When Jesus, the Truth (Jn. 14:6), shows us where we must walk, let us walk that path in faith, confident that the love of God leads us and abides with us, for He is “a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1 KJV). Amen.

Photo by Olivia Bauso on Unsplash

Axioms of God

Photo by Omer Salom on Unsplash

I’ve heard Christians ask, “There’s so much about God, where do I begin to disciple a new convert? What book of the Bible should they read first? What scriptures should they learn first? How do I get them into the Bible without overwhelming them?” Most likely, it’s probably best to start with the axioms of God.

You may remember from your high school math class that an axiom is a statement of truth that does not require a proof. The dictionary definition is, “a statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true.” There are a set of axioms about God every Christian needs to know, for everything in the Bible and everything about your life are predicated on these axioms of God.

The “good news” of Jesus Christ rests on top of these axioms about God. Steven Lawson in his article on Divine Sovereignty does a great job with listing these fundamental truths. Here’s what he wrote:

From its opening verse, the Bible asserts in no uncertain terms that God is and that God reigns. In other words, He is God—not merely in name, but in full reality. God does as He pleases, when He pleases, where He pleases, how He pleases, and with whom He pleases in saving undeserving sinners. All other doctrines of the Christian faith must be brought into alignment with this keystone truth.

Divine Sovereignty from Steven Lawson Jul 06, 2018 Category: Articles

Let me bullet-point Steven Lawson’s statement and back these axioms up with Scriptures from the Bible.

God is – Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

God reigns, not merely in name, but in full reality – Psalms 103:19, “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.”

God does as He pleases – Philippians 2:13 (ESV), “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” 

God does when He pleases – Romans 5:6, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”.

God does how He pleases – Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV), “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God does with whom He pleases – Jeremiah 1:5 (ESV), “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

In saving undeserving sinners – Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

All other doctrines of the Christian faith should align with these keystone truths.

These self-evident truths need to be ingrained within us, so we have God’s most fundamental truths at hand to measure and decide, with the help of the Holy Spirit, what is of God and what is a lie.

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