What Are You Seeking?

You will find what you are seeking.

What are you seeking?

What you seek will orient the direction of your steps.

This applies in good and bad ways. If you are seeking trials, you will find them. If you are seeking offenses, you will find them. If you are seeking failure, you will find it. If you are seeking arguments to disprove something, you will find it.

On the other hand, if you are seeking God, you will find Him. If you are seeking evidence that He exists, you will find it. If you are seeking acts of kindness, you will find it. If you are seeking reasons for which to be thankful, you will find it. If you are seeking unity, you will find it — at least in your own heart.

What you seek after will also direct where you position yourself in action and attitude.

Body language experts know by watching the direction of a person’s body — especially their feet — they can tell whom that person trusts and/or likes the most. Words can say one thing, but their bodies might dictate another reality.

Want to know the heart of a person? Look at where their feet are headed.

(Thoughts the Lord gave me this past Sunday and that I shared with my kids…)

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A Political Statement…

Areas where there is great contention or disagreement are areas of great importance.

You may disagree strongly with someone on the matter being contended, but never forget that there is more at stake than merely fighting over ketchup versus mustard.

There is always a reason and a major foundational truth being battled over that causes huge differences in opinions.

It is in these matters that we must not disengage, discount, or avoid difficult discussions. It is in these matters that we must know why we believe what we believe and be willing to stand on that critical belief with honor (within and towards others). Learn to disagree and stand for truth without needing to belittle someone else in the process.

If you stand on truth, you don’t need to “strengthen” your position by belittling or disrespecting another.

Learn to just stand on the truth; it’s fully capable of holding you up on its own.

More Lessons To Be Learned In Genesis… Jacob Returns to Bethel

Altar

(FreeImages.com/DianeJabi)

During this school year, I have been doing an in-depth Bible study on the book of Genesis with my CBS group.  Though I have read it many times throughout my life, I never cease to learn new things with each additional reading.  Once again, I was not disappointed.

In Genesis 35, we find the account of Jacob returning back to Bethel.  Returning to Bethel is significant because this is the location where Jacob first encountered God. 

Before Jacob and his family returned to Bethel, he first gave several very specific commands to his family.  Each of these directives has a significant correlating spiritual analogy.

1. First, Jacob tells his children to “Put away the strange gods from among you.”

Surrender your idols.

What “idols” or lies (anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God) do I need to surrender to God in order to move into a place of greater intimacy and encounter with God? 

Idols are anything that agitate my trust in God and divert my devotion from God.  They can be a relationship, a circumstance, a diagnosis, a conflict, a trial, a tragedy, a loss, a goal, an occupation, a comfort, something or someone that I love more than God, etc…

2. Second, Jacob tells his household to purify themselves.

Purify yourselves.

This is speaking of repentance and cleansing.  The Word cleanses us.  Repentance is required though for the cleansing to occur.  Without repentance, it’s like standing next to a shower but not actually getting in and using the soap and shampoo.  Holy Spirit is like the water, and the Word is like the soap and shampoo.  Not perfect analogies, but you get the point.

Ephesians 5:26

26 that He might [a]sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

Hebrews 10:22

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19

19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,

James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

3. Third, Jacob tells his family to change their clothes.

Change your “garments.”

There is so much significance to this!!!  The old garments of sinful behavior, shame, guilt, and condemnation need to be cast aside so you can put on the garments of His righteousness.  

You cannot wear His righteousness when you are trying to wear your own faux imitations.

Isaiah 61:10

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Zechariah 3:4

Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”

Ephesians 6:14

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

 

After Jacob’s household had followed his instructions, they proceeded to Bethel.  Bethel is the place where Jacob had previously encountered God.  See the following passage that speaks of this first encounter:

Genesis 28:10-22

Jacob’s Vow at Bethel

10 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep[a] you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place [b]Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a [c]tenth to You.”

Genesis 31:13

13 am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me. Now arise, get out of this land, and return to the land of your family.’ ”

Before returning to see his father, Jacob traveled to the place of his initial encounter with God.  He moved/positioned himself where God would appear.  Bethel means “House of God.”

The spiritual application is, Are you positioned (do you intentionally put yourself) where God’s Presence is?  Do you regularly spend time in the “house of God”?  Does this “house” have the tangible Presence of God that is welcomed?  Does it reveal Him, and lead you into a deeper, more intimate relationship with God?

Not all houses “house” the Presence of God.  Some are empty tombs, enshrining the past but not bringing His life into your present experience.  Jesus lived thousands of years ago, but He still is very much alive today!

As soon as they arrived in Bethel, Jacob and his family did something very symbolic.  They built an altar.

Altars speak of sacrifice, yielding, and worship.

The following verses highlight the concept of sacrifice:

Titus 2:14

14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

Romans 6:13

13 And do not present your members as[a]instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Jonah 2:9

But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord.”

Hebrews 9:14

14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without [a]spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Luke 9:23 Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross[a]daily, and follow Me.

(Note: This passage is not talking about a literal cross, typically, but it is referring to the daily ways we must choose to die to our wills and our flesh in order to serve God and others.)

Philippians 3:8

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

John 12:24

24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much[a]grain.

(Note: This is again referring to “dying” to our flesh.)

Matthew 16:24

Take Up the Cross and Follow Him

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

1 John 3:16

The Outworking of Love

16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Philippians 2:17

17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

Philippians 2:5

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

The implication is that yieldedness is the place where God loves to meet us.

He met His people at the altar.  He still does today, except we are called His “temples.”  We are the dwelling place where “altars” or sacrifices to Him are to be made.  This does not mean empty rituals of religious repetition out of obligation.  This is referring to heart-felt yieldedness to God, knowing Who He is and knowing how much He loves us.

Sincere and passionate devotion is what should inspire us rather than religious obligation. 

The question is, “Are our temples merely empty tombs, enshrining the past, or are they a place where God’s Presence is welcomed and where daily sacrifices are being made — sacrifices of yieldedness and allowing Him to purify us?”

 

The place of sacrifice was on the altar within the temple.  We are God’s “temples,” and the altar is the inner “sanctuary” of our hearts.  Our hearts are the place where we yield a pleasing “sacrifice” to God.  This is where we choose to yield to God, to sacrifice our fleshly/sinful desires, and where we pour out our devotion before God.  True, authentic devotion always starts within the heart of a person.

In the Biblical account, we find that as soon as Jacob and his family make their offerings, God’s Presence appears.

As soon as God appears, He does the following actions:

  • He blesses Jacob.
  • He calls Jacob by his new name, Israel, which means “Prince.”
  • He confirms the promises that He had given to Jacob/Israel in the past and to his forefathers.

As we see throughout Genesis, God is always faithful to keep His promises.  He is faithful because He is faithful.  

God’s encounter with Jacob is not fearful, hateful, or condemning.  Instead, it is a time of restoration, blessing, calling Jacob into his true identity, and confirmation of God’s character and His faithfulness to oversee the fulfillment of His promises to His people.

God calling Jacob by his new name is significant.  Names represented a person’s identity and purpose.

What names has God called you in the Bible and personally?  Those names are to reveal your true identity and true calling.  They are your prophetic destiny.

Jacob’s new name means “Prince.”  God also tells us that we shall reign with Him as co-heirs with Christ.

Romans 8:17

17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

1 Peter 1:4

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Revelation 2:26

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Revelation 3:21

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

It is so interesting to note that God calls Jacob/Israel by His prophetic name and into his destiny after Jacob seeks and then encounters God.

If you are needing greater clarity concerning a situation or relationship, there is encouragement in this lesson to seek God, to put aside “idols” and lies in your life, to remove off the old works of the flesh or your own attempts at “righteousness” apart from God, to enter into his House, to yield yourself to God, and to wait on Him.  God responds to those who seek Him and yield to Him.

God then gave Jacob renewed confirmation that clarified Jacob’s identity and purpose and then poured out blessings to provide and protect Jacob on his journey.  Remember, that what God speaks actually begins to happen.  His Words are creative in nature.  God’s blessings were actually speaking the blessings into existence.

In Genesis 1, God spoke, and it happened.  We see this same occurrence throughout Scripture.  When God says something, it isn’t just a “maybe” or “if then…”  It’s a promise that has creative power attached to it.  When the Creator speaks, matter and energy respond to His voice.

 

The Infinite

If you can earn it, you can take credit for it and therefore pride in it. If it is completely unattainable — too lofty for feeble attempts — then we are humbled and full of deep gratitude and overwhelming love for the One Who earned it for us when we were completely unworthy of it.

How attainable is infinite perfection and the infinite God?

A measure of goodness/”perfection” might move us ahead of another human but compared to the infinite, it is as nothing.

He is either a god whose goodness is limited and thus attainable, or He is a God of infinite goodness so that the One cannot compare to anything else.

Random Collection Of Notes

Beach - soft light

(FreeImages.com/GavinMills)

As I was organizing my Bible study bag and journals, I pulled out a stack of random notes I have taken during messages — quotes I liked and thoughts God gave me during the sermons.  There are so many powerful nuggets within these notes that I decided to share them with you in this format.  Enjoy!

Jesus as Jehovah Jireh

  • Gen. 22:14 — Provision of the sacrificial lamb on Mount Moriah — Similar location thousands of years later, Jesus becomes the final sacrificial “lamb” at Calvary.  (Note: Mount Moriah and Calvary are within same territory.)
  • Jesus was the first/final provision — the “first fruits.”  All provision comes from and through Him.
  • Note: Jehovah Jireh means “God, our Provider.”

Joseph’s Integrity

  • Joseph walked in integrity, regardless of his circumstances.  Read Genesis 37-45.
  • Some of us are making excuses for our poor choices because of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.   Contrast this with Joseph:
  • His circumstances did not decree his character.  They revealed it.

The Bride/Church & Marriage

  • Typically, the bride moves towards the groom in the marriage ceremony.  She is entering into a covenant with him.  He has invited her (why he symbolically stands at the front).  She is responding to his invitation and moves towards him.
  • The marriage covenant becomes a commitment to two people to become one.  The key words here are commitment and one.  There is a critical mindset here of choosing to be committed.  There is sacrifice woven into the meaning of commitment.  To be committed means you must sacrifice something of yourself to carry out the “mission” or purposes of the thing to which you are committing.  It means that two people must intentionally choose to make decisions that are for the best of the unit and for each other — rather than just what benefits one partner.
  • Oneness implies two merge into a new unit that is stronger together and operates in unity.  This unit benefits from the strengths of the two and bolsters the weaknesses of the separate individuals.

Mary, The Alabaster Bottle, and Worship

  • Mary poured out her alabaster bottle at the feet of Jesus.  Another Mary pours it on His head.  One shows the recognition of His sacrifice and humanity (feet speaks of service).  The other shows recognition of His authority and “kingship” (the head is what you crown, and in Biblical times, the head of a new king was anointed with oil to recognize his new position/authority).  These Mary’s were prophetically acknowledging Jesus’ earthly sacrifice and ministry, His death to come, and His kingly authority and position.  Some of the ingredients in the Alabaster bottle were also used to embalm the body of a dead person.  The alabaster bottle was symbolically recognizing all of these important aspects of Jesus.
  • Perfume comes from crushing specific herbs and oils to produce a specific fragrance.  This represents how Jesus’ “crushing” on the cross (death/sacrifice) becomes the sweetness that God smells when He smells us.  His “perfume” covers us so that God smells His Son — not our sinful nature.  We are no longer “sinners” but saints.  (In other words, in position and inheritance, we are now sons — full-heirs of the promises of God — and no longer servants to unrighteousness.)

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]homosexuals, nor [b]sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were [c]sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

  • The alabaster bottle was extremely valuable and costly.  By pouring it at the feet of Jesus, Mary was recognizing the value of Jesus to her.
  • The alabaster bottle represents worship.  Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are able to pour back at His feet.  Our worship/praise is to reveal His worth to us.  Within worship and praise is this undeniable meaning of receiving and releasing.  We receive what He poured out on us, and we, in turn, pour it back on Him.

I have stacks of more notes, but here is a good start.  🙂

The Civil War of the Church

Cannon at Antietam 1

(FreeImages.com/Margan Zajdowicz)

I am stepping out here because I realize that someone might misunderstand it, but here goes…

Last night, I was praying and asking God to specifically speak to me about the Church…

I had a dream last night that was very interesting, and I know that I know that I know that God was speaking to me in the dream. Just so no one gets all worried about this, I believe that all dreams need to be taken to the Word of God to make sure that the dreams do not contradict God’s character and Word already established.

So, my dream was about the Civil War. The focus of the dream was not about the Civil War specifically so there were few details. God was using it to teach me a lesson. I had just read about the Civil War so God took something that would make sense to me to point out a truth. Reminds me of what Jesus did all the time when teaching in parables to the crowds and disciples. He used examples and practical analogies to which the people could relate.

In my dream, the Lord spoke to my heart (very clearly and undeniably His voice) that the Church and often our (my) view of the Church is very much like the conflict between the North and the South. Both sides fought for what they considered to be an important issue. The North fought against slavery and to maintain the Union. The South fought for state rights. There were strengths and weaknesses within both sides. Each side was willing to fight against brother and friend and neighbor even for the sake of their beliefs/causes. The nation was divided over differences on what each side thought was important.

The Lord went on to speak to my heart that what mattered though was unity. I felt very strongly that He was telling me that the same is true with the Church today.

So often, we have churches established around what divides them or sets them apart from other denominations. Believers refuse to give respect or listen to other believers because of where they stand on a doctrinal issue.

We do have a responsibility to “rightly divide the Word of God.” But, we have so often missed the entire message of the Gospel. As Jesus said, “Man isn’t made for the Sabbath but the Sabbath for man.” The Church was not made to serve doctrines, but doctrines are made to serve the Church. Okay, maybe, that is not the best wording, but hopefully, you get my point.

We have forgotten the one thing that endures — the main thing that is a mark of a Christian: love. Christ’s desire is unity. I do not believe this needs to be exclusive of sound doctrine, but you are not going to agree with every Christian on every matter, and you probably do not completely on every issue even with your spouse. So, we can continue to walk around as a divided Church, focusing on what divides us and building churches around our divisions, or we can remember the purpose of the Church. Her purpose is to serve Christ and to establish His kingdom and show forth His righteousness and His love. “They will know us by our love.”

We complain all the time about the state of our nation. We complain about social and moral woes, but we also continue to fight against the rest of the Body. “A House divided against itself cannot stand.”

Please understand that I am not saying that we just link arms with everyone. I would not go into business with a person lacking integrity and moral character. I am just saying that the Body of Christ that is truly desiring to follow Christ, even though they may have a different interpretation of Scripture on some issues, should be able to gather around the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We talk about how we need persecution to purify the Body, but may I also say that persecution helps to unify the Body. Why? Because it separates those who are not there for Christ’s glory, and suddenly, doctrinal differences (for example: Calvinism versus free will or pre-destination versus pre-wrath) no longer seem important. Suddenly, we are so thankful to simply be in the presence of a fellow believer.

What God was speaking to my heart last night was that we have so focused on our causes that we have forgotten that we are the Bride of Christ, and she must walk in unity in order to function to her fullest.

After all, is not our purpose to gather around the work of Christ and not around rules and regulations and doctrinal differences? Should not the focus always be on Christ? Should not He define us and nothing else?

Note: I have strong beliefs on many issues. I search the Scriptures and spend a lot of time really studying the Word to form my beliefs, but ultimately, I am willing to meet, fellowship, and serve alongside other believers who may believe differently on various issues because I understand that we are all the Bride of Christ. I cannot love part of His Bride less than the other part because of a difference in doctrine.

Are Your Preparations Big Enough For The Provision?

Camels in Wadi Rum

(FreeImages.com/ChrisS)

I have been reading in Genesis 24, and today’s reading once again provided a deep truth.

In Genesis 24, we have the account of when Abraham requested that his servant Eleazar would find a wife for his son, Isaac. (You might need to study the culture of the times back then to understand some of the actions taken.)

What drew my attention as I read was the faith and preparations that Eleazar made to fulfill Abraham’s request.  (Eleazar was like Abraham’s Administrative Assistant, and it is obvious that Abraham fully trusted Eleazar and Eleazar likewise.) Eleazar was to travel to the land of Abraham’s kin and to find a wife for Isaac, Abraham’s son, and to bring this wife back. Eleazar departs, leaving with ten camels.

The significance here is that he is prepared to either look the fool or to receive the answer to his faith/mission. Ten camels was an act of faith.  Eleazar left fully prepared to return with a bride for Isaac, her personal servants, and her possessions.  Eleazar’s preparations demonstrate that he is fully expecting to fulfill his master’s request.

What struck me is the following:

Sometimes we don’t believe big so we don’t prepare big. Eleazar either went looking the fool or the believer, depending on your own perspective/faith. He was willing to look the fool in order to receive what God had prepared.

Sometimes, our faith requires us to look the fool in order to receive the results of our belief.

Have you ever had a time in your life when you had to step out, prepare big, and dream big, in order to receive big?

A 10-camel caravan represented Eleazar’s faith in action. He was prepared to return with Isaac’s future bride, her servants, and her personal possessions.

I needed this reminder:

If I want to receive the abundance of God’s supply, my actions and preparations need to be in proportion to what I receive. My actions and preparations need to be in accordance with my request.

There are many events in Scripture where God asked for obedient action before He provided the answers.

It’s impossible though to obey if you don’t believe. It’s impossible to trust if you don’t believe God is a good Father.

The first step today might be to receive the outpouring of His love for you and me.

 

Value To Your Service

Sign

(FreeImages.com/Thad Zajdowicz)

In my study on Genesis today, I was reading in Gen. 23 about the time when Abraham approaches the inhabitants of Hebron to purchase a piece of land to bury his wife, Sarah.

It was interesting to read how the people responded to Abraham’s request. They immediately told him that he could have his choice among their lands for a burial spot and expressed their deep respect for him. They were eager for him to choose their land! So simple, but I was struck with the profound lesson here:

Depending on your view of the one who needs your service will transform the way you see your service. You will either see service to them as an indignity and burden or as a privilege and honor.

The “Hebronites” respected Abraham so service to him was an honor and privilege.

It’s like being asked to mow the White House lawn versus being asked to mow a little plot down the street in a run-down neighborhood. Our humanness might naturally cause us to see one service as an honor and another service as a chore and sacrifice. The work itself doesn’t change. In fact, the White House lawn is quite extensive compared to the small, plot down the street. The difference is how you view the worth of the one you are serving.

What if we all saw every single opportunity of service as being done unto the Lord? I know it sounds so “spiritual” and “religious,” and reality is so much harder… But really?!!! What if we did the dishes and cleaned the bathrooms for the countless time with joy because we saw the value of serving another being with infinite worth?!!!

What if we saw every single person as having inherent worth?

Wouldn’t it change the way we view need and service?

Seeking Supernatural Powers?

Cap

(FreeImages.com/BerkeleyRobinson)

Drawn To the Supernatural?

Within every human is the awareness of the supernatural. This is why there are many books and movies that copy this concept. Not all of these concepts are correct nor wholesome, but they express an awareness that within each of us, there is the subconscious reality that there is another “realm” not limited to our natural senses.  Why else would there be such a thriving industry of Marvel Super Heroes?  Just browsing the aisles at the library reveals that what the majority of readers are interested in is everything having to do with magic, spells, and wizards.

The reality is that we all know there are forces at work that we cannot control or fully understand. We also see and experience situations and circumstances that we cannot control. We are drawn to super powers because we like the idea of tapping into a power that makes us no longer powerless (or so we imagine).

There is truth and also cautions with the reality of the supernatural world. As we see in the example of Lord of the Rings, the power of the ring had potential for great danger. Eventually, the ring had to be destroyed before it destroyed all that still remained good. In other words, tapping into a force of power can make us feel powerful, but the reality is that these outside powers actually control us more than we can control them.

There is a supernatural world that operates within and outside of our natural world. As our subconscious validates, there are good and evil sides to this supernatural world, and not all of it can easily be discerned. Evil can masquerade as good, and sometimes good is not immediately received or seen as good.

What if though we connect to a Supernatural God who isn’t just all-powerful but who is also good and righteous? This means in His righteousness, He might limit those things that appear as freedom, attractive, and pleasurable if He knows the reality of the inherent dangers within.

I would also suggest that not only does God describe Himself as good, but the nature of goodness and love is that it will always trump evil and lies. The very nature of goodness and love insures that eventually it will triumph over all of evil. Love is the greater force. Truth is the greater force. In the end, they will always prevail.

To Learn About Something, What Do We Study?

The Truth Shall Make You Free

(FreeImages.com/yournewven)

1.  If you want to learn about something, what do you study?

  • You learn about the thing (person, place, thing, or idea) by studying the thing.

2.  If you want to learn about something, is it reliable to solely study how it is used?

  • Sometimes, we may gain insight by watching how that thing is used, but there is great potential risk to this method of interpretation.  We may gain a false concept of the thing because of the potential false usage of that thing.  

3.  If you want to learn about something, do you study those using the thing or study the source of the thing?

  • Another way to ask that question is, “Should those using the thing determine its authenticity or should the source of the thing determine its authenticity?”
  • What’s the best way to learn about an Apple iPhone?  Do you learn about it best through your friend, Johnny, who owns a phone and may or may not know how to use yours or through a manual that was created specifically for your exact model of iPhone?
  • If we continually look to human practice to determine the authenticity of something, we are looking to a flawed source.  Therefore, there is potential for a flawed result in our understanding.

4. What does our focus tell us in regards to our motives?

  • Focusing on the abuses or false can become an excuse for avoiding truth that is uncomfortable.
  • If we focus on the misapplication of a truth, it is easy for us to dismiss the reality of the truth and justify our avoidance of it. 
  • We think that by finding how the truth is falsely applied, we can somehow avoid the reality of the truth.

In summary:

  • Truth is truth, regardless of how it is potentially misunderstood or misapplied.
  • There will be abuses of the authentic in the practices of flawed humans, but the abuses never change the reality of the truth.