Tag: Truth

The Jesus Life

A bible verse that is very near and dear to my heart is 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” What an amazing truth! When Jesus saved me, this was one of the verses that the pastor shared with me. I remember very clearly my thoughts in this moment. I thought to myself “I am so tired of living this life of drug addiction, if Jesus wants my life and can do something better with it then He can have it.” And Jesus has been true to His Word. My life is a living testimony to this truth. My continual prayer is that Jesus would continue to encounter those struggling with drug addiction and speak the promise of this verse to them. If this is you, then receive this truth. If you have a loved one or friend in bondage to drug addiction then I pray that the Holy Spirit would cultivate a patch of good soil in their heart to receive this truth. And for you who has been faithfully interceding at 4:20, I pray the Lord would speak to you about His great pleasure in your sacrifice and obedience.

the Ways of God

Over this past week, I’ve been reading through the book of Jeremiah (I spent last month in Isaiah) and what the Holy Spirit has been showing me while I’ve been reading is this: “God’s love is always guided by His truth and His truth is always fueled by His love which constitutes God’s ways.” Now, I know that this is a bit simplistic (I mean there’s also grace, mercy, justice, goodness, etc. all of which are also of God and important), but sometimes I feel like we complicate things. For me, when things happen in my life that I don’t understand, it helps to remind myself that God is love and that He is truth (I would also add that He is good). And though I may not understand why this or that is happening in my life or in the lives of the people around me or the things happening in the world I can trust that God knows what He is doing. Being at peace means I start from a position of trust in God’s ways and that His ways are comprised of His truth and His love.

Systematically, I believe that all truth is God’s truth, but that there is a hierarchy to truth. Meaning, there is general revelation which consists of creation which points to a Creator (Romans 1:18-20), basic principles of the world (Romans 12:1; Colossians 2:20; Galatians 4:3) and the knowledge of morality (Romans 2:14, 15) all of which God set into place when He created the universe (Genesis 1, 2). And then there is special revelation which consists of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 2:20, 21) and Jesus (Hebrews 1:1, 2). Naturally, special revelation must always supersede general revelation. Nonetheless, truth will always be truth and hence must come from God who is truth because God cannot lie. “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18a NLT; also cf. Titus 1:2; Numbers 23:19).

Now if this isn’t enough we must also remember that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55:8, 9) which collectively hopefully characterizes God as completely transcendent, all-powerful and down right overwhelmingly Divine which should inspire what the Bible talks about as the fear of the Lord (2 Chronicles 14:14; 17:10; 19:7, 9; Job 28:28; Psalm 19:9; 34:11; 111:10; Proverbs 1:7, 29; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 14:26, 27; 15:33; 16:6; 19:23; 23:17; Isaiah: 11:2, 3; 33:6; Acts 9:31; 2 Corinthians 5:11). Sometimes, (and I include myself here) I feel like the majesty of God and His transcendentness has gotten lost in the midst of friendship with God. Now, hear me on this, I love being friends with God in fact I cherish our friendship. But, there are times where I can get too comfortable and casual with God where I forget that He is also the Creator of the universe, who is omniscient (knows all things), omnipresent (is able to be in all places at the same time) and omnipotent (all-powerful and all-ruling).

It’s not that the children of God (those found in Jesus) should be fearful of God in the sense that we should run and hide from Him, but that while we fully embrace being friends of God we should also stand in awe of His majesty and bow in reverence to His divinity. I know that this may seem complicated or overwhelming at times, but we can take heart because Jesus fully embodies all of this which is why He is able to say: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6 ESV). We must always remember that the only reason that we are friends with God is through Jesus. Without Jesus, we would still be enemies of God because it is only through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross that we have peace with God (Romans 5:1-11). Those found in Jesus need not fear punishment (1 John 4:16-19), we only need to concern ourselves with being disciplined (Hebrews 12:4-11). Biblically speaking there is a difference between punishment and discipline.

Add to all of this that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and what we get is the reality that God’s love, truth and ways are deeply and infinitely unified with one another. I don’t believe we can separate them, nor should we ever try or think of them separately but as always working in relation to one another. The love of God always being guided by His truth and His truth always being fueled by His love which constitutes God’s ways because the ways of God must always been seen as being comprised of His truth and His love. I mean, isn’t this what we find in Jesus?


The basis for any theology must be grounded in the God man Jesus Christ. If it is not, than you might as well start a new religion based on any deranged egomaniac of your choosing. It is only through Christ’s redeeming finished work of His death, resurrection, ascension, and glorification that any one of us can call ourselves a child of God. As Jesus Himself said, “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. . . . Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” (John 8: 43-45 NIV). Without Him we are truly blinded by sin and lost in total depravity due to the Fall (Genesis 3).

Because of our fallen nature we all have an obsessive and compulsive tendency to do evil and follow the devil. Paul not only confirms the words of Jesus, but he also gives us our hope in Him as well when he so eloquently states, “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:3-5 NIV).

If we are to further God’s Kingdom here on Earth, our very identity must be in Christ (Romans 8:1) and we must go out in His name (Mark 16:15-18), who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 9:16). If we are not grounded in Christ, the Word made man (John 1:14), than our efforts will be purely humanistic, rather than for the Kingdom of God. In the end, we must recognize that we were created by and for Christ (Colossians 1:16) so that we could do good works in Christ (Ephesians 2:10). What else do we have to hang our hats on? If not the promises of God, that have been, are being, and will be fulfilled by Christ Jesus. Thankfully He will be with us always, even until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20b).

What does Jesus say is part of an ideal life?

Right from the get go, let me say that: the way Jesus views the world is very different than the way that an average person does. Everything that Jesus did was redemptive. When He walked the earth, He was more concerned about being about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49), making Him known (John 14:7, 10) and bringing Him glory (John 14:13), than anything else. Now, this meant of course moving in signs, wonders and miracles throughout His life on earth. Jesus always had an eternal view of the world. His encounters with people reveal this as He was constantly proclaiming truth and compassionately healing people and forgiving sins. I believe a major part of an ideal life is making an eternal impact in people’s lives by following Jesus’ exemplar life of redemption (John 14:12). Now we cannot die for sin, but we can do all we can to deny ourselves, in order to follow Jesus (Mark 8:34). What was Jesus’ mission? to preach the good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18, 19). Jesus was a missionary. He came into this world to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 10:19), meaning people. So, when we think about the components of an ideal life, being on mission for Jesus is central.


Now being on mission for Jesus does not necessarily mean going off to some foreign land, though some people are called to overseas missions. Being on mission means impacting those around you, wherever you are with the light of the Gospel. It means looking at the world through a redemptive lens. The more this happens the more you will begin to see the world as Jesus sees it. When Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few (Luke 10:2), He meant it. Jesus is constantly challenging me to press into His Word and Spirit, so that I will be able to more readily see the brokenness, lostness and depravity of this fallen world. It is when I am filled with God’s Word that I will be able to stand more steadfast for Jesus and not be tempted away into sin (John 8:31, 32). And the more filled with God’s Word I am, the better I will be able to discern and understand the voice of the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-15). It is when we are following the leading of Holy Spirit that we will begin to see more readily the underlying brokenness of people which will, only by God’s grace, move us towards compassion rather than pride and judgment.


Bottom line, an ideal life includes: loving God (Matthew 22:37), loving others (Matthew 22:39) and serving the world (Matthew 28:19, 20). These are non-negotiables when it comes to living an ideal life because an ideal life isn’t about accomplishing our own selfish ambitions, but about following in the footsteps of Jesus (John 13:14-17) and making an eternal impact in this world for the glory of God (John 17:4). An ideal life is one of servitude (Matthew 20:26) which will include storing up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20), loving our enemies (5:44), forgiving people and not judging or condemning them (Luke 6:37), giving to those in need (Matthew 6:2-4), trusting in God (Matthew 6:26, 30) and seeking His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33). A good plumb line in gauging an ideal life is the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10), spend some time meditating on these following verses. Let them shake up the very foundations of your value system by replacing them with a kingdom value system.


3Blessed are the poor in spirit,

     for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are those who mourn,

     for they will be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek,

     for they will inherit the earth.

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

     for they will be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful,

     for they will be shown mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart,

     for they will see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers,

     for they will be called sons of God.

10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

     for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


*NOTE: the phrase “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” in verse 3 and 10 form a literary device known as an inclusio which acts like bookends in framing one continual thought. So, how this functions here is that everything listed between verses 3 and 10 describe the values of the kingdom of heaven. Those who are part of the kingdom of heaven will exhibit these traits and characteristics. But, in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven, a person needs to recognize that they are spiritually destitute (v.3) which then culminates with those who are fully committed to God’s cause and are now being persecuted because of this (v.10). The equality of the kingdom of heaven is revealed in these verse bookends (inclusio), for being poor in spirit and being persecuted for righteousness though seemingly at opposite sides of the spectrum have the same reward.