Can we talk ourselves into being happy about an unsavory task? Maybe. But those situations really highlight our attitude at the moment, don’t they? I’m reminded of the great quote by Chuck Swindoll when he said:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
Yes, asking the right question is very important in life! If we followers of Jesus lived our lives with a kind of contagious curiosity, we just might make others curious about spiritual things. And when they ask the right questions, we can be there with the answer!
Many people look for loopholes when it comes to the gospel and the need of redemption in Christ! We don’t create our own words or definitions. We come to God’s Word as discoverers, not creators. And there are no loopholes to the gospel!
There are a lot of answers that we fathers don’t have! But we don’t have to make things up. If we are following our Heavenly Father, He will give us the answers in His Word to the most important questions. And we don’t have to drive big trucks over bridges to find out if they are good, solid answers!
The Bible teaches that we are made in the image and likeness of God. The Creator. So, of course, we want to create! But in all our creations, we need to be super vigilant that WE don’t receive the credit or think that WE should be praised and admired. HE gives us the ability to imitate Him in His creativeness. And the Triune God wanted to invite human beings into His circle of love which has always existed between Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Moral relativism is a dead end. Are all systems of belief equally valid? This is precisely why we need biblical revelation. We need GOD to tell us of His character and to define right and wrong for us. In our fallen state, we often call good bad and bad good. I love the G.K. Chesterton quote when he says, —
“But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. . . . We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.” (G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, pp. 31-32).
When you come right down to it, isn’t that a great explanation of the gospel? UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER? We have no claim on God’s grace — and should have no expectation that we somehow deserve His mercy. We are enemies of God until we trust Christ! And GOD is the last One we should ever have as an ENEMY! Any ideas how we help others unconditionally surrender to Christ?
We need good role models, don’t we? And we won’t usually get solid role models from the entertainment world! It’s one of the many reasons why we need God’s Word, the Bible. And we need real life, godly, consistent human examples before us. And that’s you . . . and me!
History — and education — are important! A growing understanding of history is critical if we are to (1) avoid the mistakes of the past; (2) learn from the mistakes of our predecessors; (3) trust God to lead us in our NOW. As a theologian, I would argue that we should care deeply about what is called “historical theology.” Historical theology is the study of how Christian doctrines were understood by believers in the past. We should be grateful for how Tertullian coined the term “Trinity” to account for the teaching of God’s Word. We should thank God for Athanasius’ battle for the full deity of the Lord Jesus. We should praise the efforts of Martin Luther to stand against the Catholic practice of selling indulgences (thereby compromising salvation by grace alone through faith alone). We must grow in our understanding of history and many other subjects — and not see such learning as hopeless!
The term “mystery” is used in the Bible several times, isn’t it? We have that great passage in I Timothy 3:16- “Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”
We read in 1 Corinthians 2:7– “No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.” Paul speaks about our being gathered to Christ in1 Corinthians 15:51 – “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—”
The term “mystery” is used seven times in the book of Ephesians and four times in the book of Colossians. In Ephesians Paul writes, “he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ . . . (1:9). In Ephesians 6:19 Paul speaks of his desire to make this mystery known: “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel . . . “
Unlike Calvin in the cartoon above, Christians are to make known the mysteries of God, the most important being salvation in Jesus Christ — for both Jews and Gentiles — who believe!
Our latest book, Unlike Jesus: Let’s Stop Unfriending the World, has just been released. This is a call to becoming a friend of sinners like the Lord Jesus was! You can order this through Amazon or directly from me (send $10 [which includes shipping] to my address).
Dr. Larry Dixon
117 Norse Way
Columbia, SC 29229 Cell: 803-201-9745