Category Archives: Dan’s Blog

Stake Your Life on It!

Scholars recreate historical documents from copies which exist today. Not more than a dozen copies remain for most ancient writings, often more than a thousand years older than the original. Yet we routinely depend on their accuracy.
     So what about the Bible? Is it reliable? Can it really be trusted? The New Testament was written in Greek some two thousand years ago. Think about this: biblical scholars have scads more copies to work from than even the best works of antiquity—more than five thousand, in fact. And they are much closer in age to the original texts. If that were not enough, almost the entire New Testament can be reassembled from other documents quoting from the originals lost to history. In short, there is a virtual storehouse of information available for scholars to crosscheck. This is an uncontested fact among all scholars.
     The Bible trustworthy? You can bet on it!

Prize It Above All Else

Our freedom in Christ is described in the Bible as a prize—a gift to be cherished. The Apostle Paul fought hard to make sure God’s people would not be fraudulently stripped of their prize of freedom. But free for what? Not free to continue in sin, but free to enjoy unbroken relationship with God without having to work for it. Satan himself is behind this fraud—a deception which runs rampant throughout the church today.
      Don’t be fooled into believing you’re not good enough to enjoy God’s goodness—that you must always do better to earn His love. It’s simply not true. “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,” Colossians 2:6 says. Which of us was worthy of Him, in and of ourselves, when He first saved us? Yet God counted us worthy. And if worthy then, let’s live in Him as worthy now.

In Christ!

In Jesus Christ, God’s word is taught, yet Jesus is much more—He is the embodiment of God’s Word itself. He is the cradle and splendor of all beauty, but He is more—He is beauty itself. He is the fount of all truth, yet He is more—He is truth itself. He is the source of all wisdom, but still He is more—He is wisdom itself. Colossians 2:3 says, “in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,”

Jesus our Lord is the giver of all grace. From Him all life springs forth and has meaning, but still He is more—He proclaims, “I AM the life!” He is the fountain of love, but again, He is far more than that—He is love! “In Him!” the Apostle Paul writes over and over again. Without even a hint of apology Paul insists that “Christ is all, and in all.” Col. 3:11. (Inspired by A.W. Tozer)

Opening up to God’s Touch

It’s a bit presumptuous to think that we could be transformed into the image of Christ merely by our own efforts. None of us believe this, of course, but we sure act like it! Under the guise of gathering knowledge and seeking wisdom, we are convinced that we can grow into what God intended. Not so! While attaining wisdom and knowledge is crucial to our growth, it’s not the key element.
     The Apostle prays that we will be “…strengthened with power through the Spirit in the inner man.” True transformation lies with God alone. Our chief responsibility is to open ourselves up to His shaping hand, while screening the windows of our heart to keep out the flies. Sounds easy enough, but in reality the cutting away of our self-life can be very painful. It’s the finished product we’re after—the life of God within. Try laying yourself open to Jesus each day. You won’t be sorry.

It Costs your Life!

In the grand scheme of things there are only a few who will make the decision to receive Jesus as Lord of their life, and then faithfully follow Him throughout the course of their lifetime. Given the reality of our human drives and desires, it takes guts to lay down your life. This is because we instinctively know what total commitment to God costs. Can you see why God is pleased with those who decide to take that leap of faith, and at the same time saddened and indignant with those who try to hedge their bets?
     The Bible is very clear that only those who turn from their sinful ways and invite Christ to be Lord of their lives will ever be allowed to share in all He has prepared for us. In His mercy God helps us to receive Him as Lord. It’s His gift to us, made possible only by His boundless grace.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

God’s Infinite Love

For those seeking God—weak as we are in our humanity—He is immeasurably patient. The love of God is far deeper than anything we can possibly imagine. Yet there remains an eternal purpose to that love. With God there is a line drawn in the sand, so to speak. You’ll find just where that line is when you are truly honest with Him.
     He knows what is going on in your heart, even when you don’t understand it yourself, and will uncover your underlying motives if you are willing to truly seek Him. Through His agonizing death on the cross, Jesus paid the price of forgiveness for each and every one of us. And He is willing to receive us just as we are. It just takes is a first step toward Him. If that step is taken in the sincerity of your heart, Jesus will always be there to meet you.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

A Clear Commitment

Speaking of Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast, the week required for such a celebration is a long time to take out of one’s busy life. And it’s all the more challenging when we don’t understand how special the occasion will actually be. It’s the same way in taking that first step toward God. Maybe we don’t have the full picture. But God promises that His event is one not to be missed, and He’s immensely gratified when we jump at His offer.
But we need to be careful. There’s no “Maybe” on God’s RSVP card. He takes no pleasure in a person who submits his life to Him begrudgingly. With Jesus we’re either all in or all out; there is no middle ground. Saying yes to Christ means receiving Him not only as Savior, but also as Lord of our life. For this reason it’s the toughest decision any of us will ever make.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

An Invitation into Covenant

The Bible says we enter into a covenant with God when we accept His offer of eternal life. A covenant always contains responsibilities to be performed by each of the parties. So we often think of our surrender to God’s will as some sort of deal. God and me—our covenant together. But that’s not at all how the Bible portrays it. God always proclaims it to be “My covenant.” He has put us here for a purpose. God planned this party and we’ve been invited to join in the celebration.
Yet we need to appreciate that those who either respond negatively, or who ignore God’s invitation altogether, are actually making a rational choice. Free will demands that we be given such an option, and people will decide in their own self-interest—even as empty as that self-centeredness always turns out to be. God accepts that. He’s simply separating out His chosen ones.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

Clothed in Christ’s Righteousness

In Jesus’ parable about the Wedding Feast, the host found a man not dressed in formal wedding attire. Given the importance of the event, he flaunted disrespect through this breach of etiquette. In choosing to spurn what was proper, his act of rebellion insulted the family. And it’s interesting that the host didn’t give him the chance to run home and change. No, he knew the rules, or at least should have. Yet he defiantly chose to push the limits of the host’s graciousness by doing just as he pleased. He deserved to be thrown out.
     There’s only one way to heaven. We are welcomed by God because He has clothed us in His own righteousness through Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Faith is the key to our relationship with Him. It’s all about believing what Jesus said about Himself, and then acting on it.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

If I could only be recognized

The desire for recognition is a central to our nature. The alienation that results from a lack of acknowledgement brings about deep emotional hardship. God understands this about us, and He has done something about it. But He goes further than mere recognition. God honors us—He esteems His children.
     Jesus made this apparent in His parable about the Wedding Feast: the guests were being honored simply by being invited. Yet nothing would have come of it without their reply: “Yes, I would love to be there!” Can you see why God would be pleased by such a response? At the same time we can appreciate how grieved He is over those who wouldn’t bother to take the time to attend, or worse yet those who neglected to reply at all. The Bible puts it this way: “Those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.” (1 Samuel 2:30)

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?