The Miracle of Marriage

Every man should share the astonishment of Martin Luther, who wrote to a friend just before getting married:

I am going to get married. God likes to work miracles and to make a fool of the world. You must come to the wedding.

Men, it’s a miracle that you got married. Rejoice in the miracle of your wife today.

Theology: The Authority of the Bible

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What does it mean that the Bible is our authority?

In the words of Wayne Grudem:

All the words in the Bible are God’s words. Therefore, to disbelieve or disobey them is to disbelieve or disobey God. (Christian Beliefs, pg. 13)

The words in the Bible are from God himself. We aren’t allowed to decide if they’re true or to pick and choose which words we will obey. God decides what is true and right. Not us.

In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…

Scripture is breathed out by God himself, and is our final authority for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. The words of scripture don’t conform to some external standard of truth. They are the definition of truth. Those things which conform to scripture are true, and those that don’t are false. In John 17:17, Jesus said:

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

The truthfulness of the scriptures doesn’t mean that the Bible reports all events with precision, scientific detail. It often uses round numbers (e.g. “There were 6,000 men”) or makes general statements (e.g. “He traveled a far distance”), but the general nature of these statements doesn’t make them any less true.

The truthfulness of the Bible does mean that it never affirms something that is false. If it did affirm something false, we couldn’t trust the Bible, and ultimately, we couldn’t trust God. That’s why it’s so crucial for us to affirm that absolute truth and authority of the Bible.

Because the Bible is true, we can place our full trust in it and wholeheartedly obey it.

Adapted from Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

+photo by le vent le cri

Hoarders

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Have you seen “Hoarders?”  Only in America.  A show about people buried under mountains of possessions.

I guess one man’s misery is another man’s entertainment. It’s a sad program. What begins as a collection of say, Pez dispensers, becomes a life-sucking bondage to mountains of knickknacks and knitting needles. One good thing about watching the show is that it makes me want to get rid of stuff. Even good stuff. Like our furniture. Or my David Bowie tee shirt. Or our dogs. No, wait. I always want to get rid of our dogs.

The real problem with hoarding isn’t that we amass stuff; it’s where we amass it – here. Jesus actually commanded us to hoard – but in heaven.

MT 6.19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Jesus says to send our treasures ahead – as many and often as we can.  They’ll be waiting – all brand new and shiny. In heaven there are no moths, rust, or tarnishing.

So start hoarding to your heart’s content. Give to the poor. Share the gospel.  Help the weak. Your heavenly mansion has lots of room.

photo by elgin.jessica

My Daughter Has It Better Than Jesus

One month ago my daughter, Ella, was born. The moment she entered the world she was surrounded by care. Nurses hovered around her, wiping her clean and suctioning out her nostrils.

She was given a gentle sponge bath and placed on a warming bed. Her vital signs were constantly monitored and a pediatrician examined her the day after she was born.

Ella had it much better than Jesus.

“Think, women, there was no one there to bathe the Baby. No warm water, nor even cold. No fire, no light. The mother herself midwife and the maid. The cold manger was the bed and the bathtub. Who showed the poor girl what to do? She had never had a baby before. I am amazed that the little one did not freeze.” Martin Luther, Here I Stand