Showing posts with label truth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truth. Show all posts

Sunday

Sunday Scripture - Proverbs 22 v 17-21


Sunday Scripture is just simply a thought or two on a Bible verse that may have struck me afresh or maybe for the first time or has always been special to me.


Today I am looking at Proverbs  22 v 17-21






Some Bibles will have a heading for this passage which will be something like


The Sayings of the Wise


Firstly let's read through these verses



Proverbs 22 v 17-21
17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your heart to my knowledge;

18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;
Let them all be fixed upon your lips,

19 So that your trust may be in the Lord;
I have instructed you today, even you.

20 Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,

21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth,
That you may answer words of truth
To those who send to you?






Each of those verses gives us good advice


Listen to the knowledge and keep it in your heart really lets us know that this is a serious thing so we should not just listen and then forget, something of which I know I am very guilty.

It is good to keep this knowledge in our hearts, and then have these words ready to speak.  Again it is so important that we need not just keep it to ourselves but be ready to tell others.


Do you know the importance of Listening, Knowledge, Wisdom and Truth?


The Wisdom we have heard is not just for us to have knowledge but for us to know, understand and through this develop trust.

Not just good knowledge but excellent knowledge.

Here we have what is at the heart of it all - we will know what is the truth and we will be able to convey truth to others.
















Monday

Because of a Lie. - 31 Days in Acts



Day 9 of our 31 Days in Acts brings us to ch. 5 v. 1-11

Another very well-known passage about the Apostles.

I think most people would say it is well-known about Ananias & Sapphira but here I would like to look at the role of the Apostles and the work of the Holy Spirit through them.

In the end of ch. 4 in verse 36 you can read about a man who sold some land and gave the money to the Apostles for the use of the believers

36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, 37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

and in the start of ch. 5 we have another story about people selling something and giving the money to the Apostles.
But here in contrast to the end of ch 4 we have a completely different outcome.

A husband and wife bring money to the Apostles.  We are not told that this couple were ordered to sell anything and give all of their money to the Apostles, we are simply told that they did sell a possession as did others which is obvious from the end of ch. 4.

At first Ananias & Sapphira may appear to have done the same thing as Joses until we see the story in detail.

Ananias comes to the Apostles and gives them some of the money v. 1-2

Peter does not ask him him why he has not brought all of the money.
Instead he asks him why he has lied to God v. 3-4

The important part being that he lied.

Here we see the Gift of Knowledge in Peter through the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God and cannot look on sin.   Habakkuk 1 v 13

The death of Ananias is the consequence of his sin.
Not a decision made and carried out by the Apostles but by God. v5-6

Then we have the words of his wife proving they had decided to lie and because she had been in on this agreement to lie to the Apostles she too suffered the same consequences.  v 7-10



3 Things to Note:

  • The couple lie to the Apostles 
  • The Holy Spirit brings the truth through Peter
  • God punishes the couple


First there is a lie but God always knows the truth because God is truth John 17 v 3
"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."

Then there are the words brought by the Holy Spirit but spoken out by Peter & these are the truth because God's word is truth John 17 v 17
"Your word is truth." 

Then there are the consequences of the sin of untruth.




The role of Apostle was very important here not to accept the money and deal with that 
but to know the truth through God's Holy Spirit 
and be a spokesperson for God.



Sin, Truth & Consequences



I'm trying to read and write about the Book of Acts for 31 Days so please come back and join me for some notes & some thoughts each day. 

As the month goes on each Day's Link will be added in 










Sunday

Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 15

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.


Today I'm looking at Psalm 15


This is one of the shorter Psalms in the Bible.






This Psalm falls into only 2 parts:


V. 1
The Question.


V. 2 - 5
The Answer.






The Question.
A very simple direct question from David to the Lord.
There is no doubt about the content.
It only takes one verse.

Who will live with God?

Who will live with God?


The Answer.
Though it is longer than the question, the answer is also simple and direct.
There is also no doubt about the content of it.
It comes from David because God has already laid this in David's heart.
David already knows the mind of God.








It is important to notice that David was able to ask a direct question 
and 
expect a reply.


We can be in that same position 
and 
I hope that we can all be like David and go ahead and ask God directly and simply
about the things that are important to us.

I also hope that we will be like David and have the answer within our being
because
we are walking and talking with God regularly
and 
reading His Word
so that we will know God's intention for this world 
and
His will for us.












Wednesday

The Day I Spoke like an American - A Dose of Encouragement


We lived in America in the lovely State of Delaware for 3 years, 1992 - 95, while our three children were young. 




Wherever I went I was conscious that if I spoke like an American then I would not have strangers come up to me and ask me to "Say Something" just because they just wanted to hear my accent.







Often we heard the differences in our accent and pronunciation compared to the way Americans speak.

Coming from Northern Ireland, UK, we were  I was determined to say the words the proper British way like garage and not ga-raase, tomato and not tomaayto, aluminium and not alummmminum etc.   


I was pretty good about this! 


Truthfully

           I was pretty stubborn about this.



However, you cannot live among Americans for long before you pick up the accent. 

 When we returned to Northern Ireland our daughter aged 8 was referred to as the "American Girl" by her classmates at school for quite some time as she took longer than the rest of us to drop the accent. 



The Kids & I at the Grand Canyon


On the way home from America we had a layover in London for a few days and while there we headed into a McDonalds for lunch one day.  I'm not a very picky eater but I do not like all the sauces and pickles you get on the burgers & they never get it right in America when you say you don't want certain things in it so I had spent my time there perfecting the way to say the word "plaaain" like I was a real American so that the servers in places like McDonalds would know what I was saying.  

This time in London I reckon they can get my order right as they will understand everything I say so I don't have to think so hard about it.  

So I'm trying to order a bacon cheeseburger with only lettuce and tomato & guess what happens when I get to the tomato bit? 


I say tomayto instead of tomato.

3 years of saying it properly in America and as soon as I get back to the UK out comes the American pronunciation. 


What was wrong with me?

Needless to say, I have told this story numerous times because I can laugh at myself.

     
Then one day in 2012, 17 years since we had returned from living in America I had to revive my American accent.  


Why was this?  

I wasn't speaking to American visitors or even to other foreigners who have learnt their English by listening to American films, TV programmes and pop songs. 
(we met many people like this while we lived in Belgium)

No, I was sitting at home trying out my new iPad.  

I was doing a test on the voice thing to see if it really would write down what I said.

This was the result: 

          I said   
             "So from now on I want to take all my notes by voice"

         It wrote  -  So Canion I want to take all my notes bivoice

          I tried the same phrase again
                         So from now on I want to take all my notes By Voice

          It wrote  -  Abigail.            seriously???????????????
          
Once again .....

       and it worked!

                    So from now on I want to take all my notes by voice


It worked that time because I used an American accent
          
           Conclusion:

                     The iPad works best if I use my American accent"


For a machine to understand me I needed to talk the way it expected me to talk, 
the way it was programmed to understand.


It worked that time because I used an American accent  


All of this made me think about how we speak to people. 
 

Sometimes we just speak out not thinking of how we phrase something or the tone of our voice because we are talking to our family or someone we are very close to.

Other times we are conscious of our voices and words when we are talking to someone new or people we feel we need to be careful with so that they understand exactly what we mean.

We got very good at speaking more clearly and slowly when we lived in America and in Belgium because people from Northern Ireland tend to speak very quickly.

During the past year I took a short course in teaching English as a second language and I am now even more conscious of my pronunciation.







Then there are the times we talk to God.


I am so glad that God hears us 
  • whether we whisper or shout, 
  • whether we can find the right words or not, 
  • whether we even speak something out 


and that God knows 
  • what we are really sorry about, 
  • what we are worried about, 
  • what we are care about 

We can be thankful that our language does not have to be perfect for God to hear and understand and undertake for us. 


He knows, no matter how we try to express ourselves.


However God does wants us to to be truthful from our hearts.


In Psalm 51:6 the Psalmist says 


"Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts:"



How can we have this truth?

The Psalmist goes on to show he knows the answer in the following verses and then acts on this knowledge he has by praying specifically to God. 





     
Oh that we will be like the Psalmist 
and 
know the answer 
but 
also act on it.




The Geese At The Lake? - A Dose of Encouragement



Fred & I enjoy going for some leisurely walks - well his leisurely walk is more like a quick walk for me because he has long legs and as I have mentioned previously "I am Petite".


Walking along one day (around a not so well known lake) I could see some large birds in the distance.

I asked Fred "Are those swans or geese?"

I was a town girl, he was a country boy!

Fred said they were swans.

I said "Are you sure they aren't geese?" and we both laughed.






Now something you need to know about Fred is:

Swans he likes - we often stop to watch them on our walks and take some pictures.

Ducks he likes - we have a lovely memory of Ducks from our life in Belgium


BUT


Geese he does not like!


You see Fred has long since told me and our kids the story of the day he was attacked by the geese on his family's farm and apparently according to Fred geese can be very aggressive and when you are a small boy they can be very frightening if they turn on you en mass and chase you, snapping at you noisily.  He has never liked geese since then.

Now Fred is quite mild-mannered but when it comes to mentioning those geese on the farm you could almost say he becomes stern.  He is also very cautious any time he is around geese because he knows he cannot trust them.


GEESE



SWANS


It's easy to see the difference between Geese and swans in these pictures above, the shape of the heads, beaks and necks but not so easy to see this when they are on the edge of the other side of a lake.

Often it is hard for us to tell the difference between things from a distance.

We need to be closer to objects to tell more clearly what they are like.

We need to be more familiar with certains things to tell them apart.

We need to remember the differences between geese and swans to recognise them.


When it comes to people we need to get to know them well rather than just being acquaintances to know what they truly feel or think or believe.

We need to be in their company in different situations to know by reactions and more casual words just how their minds work and what they really feel about things.

Another thing is we need to listen and hear properly what they say, not just presuming how they will finish the sentence they have just started.


From experience we will learn to know who to trust and who not to trust and from that we can make good decisions about who to spend our time with and who to not allow ourselves to have to be in the presence of too often.


I also relate this to people who are well known preachers.


Just because they are

well known 
or have a large church 
or sound entertaining 
or are talked about by many other people we know;

they may not be actually saying 
what we would expect them to say,

they may not actually be leading or pointing
 to Jesus,

they may not actually be preaching 
the truth of the Word of God
 but instead
 be preaching their own ideas. 


We need to get familiar with the differences between the men and women who are out there truly promoting Jesus 
and the ones who are really out there promoting themselves.



We need to get familiar with the differences between those promoting Jesus and those promoting themselves


Just because there may be crowds of others who live and breathe by everything that a well known preaching might say, does not mean we have to do the same.





What we have to do is 

make sure we keep ourselves grounded in the true Word of God,

keep our eyes fixed on Jesus,

and ask the Holy Spirit to be that still small voice within us that cautions us away from the falsehoods and towards the truth.
  

The Bible tells us we need to be alert to those who do not speak truly in the Name of Jesus.



We need to be alert to those who do not speak truly in the Name of Jesus

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will guide us to know the truth.




The Bible is the Word of God so let's get familiar with Jesus through the Bible so that we can know the differences between true men of God and those who are only of themselves.



Sunday

I Love the Bible - It's God's Love #14


This is just a simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.





                                                           


 I Love the Bible



Why?


Because 

It is God's Word

and God's Word is POWERFUL!






Because

It is Truth

and Truth sets me FREE!



Because 

God's Word is full of love,

God's LOVE!








Nothing


No One


No Place


No Situation


No Separation




WHY?



Because

The Love of God

is in

JESUS



















Wednesday

Do we really need this quote? - A Dose of Encouragement


Everywhere I am these days I see quotes.


Some are by famous writers - often ones whose work I have read.






Some are by famous people like Einstein or other people from recent history.

Some are by singers or songwriters

Some are by people who are in the news frequently.

Some are by people I have never heard of before.



But more and more my question is:





You see I find these quotes on my Facebook newsfeed or on GooglePlus posts.

Some are very artistically written in various fonts and colours and some are on beautiful backgrounds of mountains, rivers or lighthouses.


But again my question is:





My friends on facebook like these quotes and share these posts as do so many other people on facebook.

Acquaintances on GooglePlus  +1 these posts and share them and no-one needs to write anything themselves because it is just a quote.


But again my question is:





Then I see all the likes and shares and comments written on these quote posts and I realize that some of the posts that are shared the most throughout all Social Media are quotes.


People everywhere just seem to love quotes.


Now as I blogger I have even been instructed (by blogging experts and in blogging tips) that I should share quotes on various places because people love quotes.


But again my question is:




If we like them, +1 them, share them, even some of us make our own graphics with these quotes does that suddenly mean that they are the absolute truth?

Are we actually reading them and thinking about what they mean or do we just say


 "that sounds nice" 


and then pass it on for others to see without wondering what the meaning behind it is?

Now I like quotes and actually started my Friday Series off with my favourite quote and also wrote a previous post based on my favourite quote and enjoyed making a graphic for it


so I am not against all quotes.


But a quote is just a quote (or rather the correct word is quotation)

It is simply something that has already been written or said by someone else.

Because to quote is




One of the main concerns I have is that in some cases I see a picture with a nice sounding quote shared for everyone to see but the person sharing it has not realised that they are not just sharing a picture with a quote but actually a link to a website or blog post that is not so wholesome.


We need to actually click on these links ourselves 
and see all that is contained 
before we pass them on to others.


When we like or share something we are in a way endorsing it and that means endorsing all of it.

So we need to see what is under the tip of the iceberg - what does that person making the quote represent?


Today I want to make you think about what we are passing around for everyone to see and read.

Because I think we have a responsibility toward others that we do not pass on things that just sound nice but instead


 we should pass on good uplifting and encouraging words 
that do mean something substantial.


I look after a facebook page for our church and I made the decision that the only quotes we would have on that page would be from our Pastor and the sermons we hear in church.

Why?

Because our church has a responsibility not to lead others astray or to misquote others
 (which is another problem sometimes in the passing of quotes - they are not always accurately copied or not always written by the person they are claimed to be from).

So the main things that we actually share on the page are Bible verses.

Bible verses are the word of God so we can trust them and learn from them and we can say


Because this is a Bible Verse it is TRUTH!


And





much more than I need a quote.


So be encouraged when you see a Bible verse shared by a sound organisation or someone you trust, and know that it is spreading God's word.

And then be helpful towards others and share that verse to encourage them and direct them to the truth.


Let's be enthusiastic to share more Bible Verses 
within Social Media.


There is nothing so truthful, beautiful, enriching and uplifting as the Word of God







And if you want more Bible Verses to be able to share with others on Facebook then you might be interested in following my Blog Facebook Page where I share a bible verse each day and you can easily share that on your feed too.

Or for sharing on Twitter then follow me on Twitter  for verses I share there too.

Or follow me for verse on Instagram too.



Let's spread the truth - because we all need the truth.