God’s Word of Truth: Believing, Understanding, and Responding to the Biible

God’s Word of Truth is available in the Russian language. It has not been published in English. Below is a comment about the book by Sergei Golovin who encouraged me to finish the work and was in charge of getting it published in Russian..

“Being deeply rooted in the God’s word, books by Dr. Lynn Gardner in Russian translation became very effective instruments for spreading the teaching of Christ in post-communist context of former Soviet Union countries. Those nations were deprived of the biblical truth for several generations and comprehension of it is pretty fragmented and incomplete there quite often. Shortage of proper Apologetics often results superficial and easy shakable beliefs, shortage of Exegetics produces unclear understanding of the Scripture, shortage of guidance in its application to one’s life restrains growth in Christ. That is why I was very glad to find out several years ago about the book God’s Word of Truth Dr. Gardner plan to write with an integral approach to all three aspects of learning the Bible: why, how and what for.”

Grateful Response–A Communion Meditation

Doctors told me that I would die of my lung disease if I did not get a lung transplant. Nine years ago I received a double lung transplant and have been blessed with living these nine years. Do you think I am grateful for this gift? Receiving new lungs saved me from death and gave me a new lease of life. I try to thank God every day for this gift of life.

As sinners, we faced the prospect of death without hope and eternal death in the afterlife. When we accept Christ as our savior, he saves us by his grace. We must not foolishly feel we deserve salvation. None of us deserve it. We must never take our salvation for granted.

Worship is a grateful response to God who has revealed himself to us. We express our appreciation to him personally and for what he has done. In our observance of the Lord’s Supper, we offer our grateful response to God for our salvation in Christ.

How often during this last week did you thank God for your salvation? How often should I thank Barbara for the meals she prepares?  Every time! Some people think it would get old having the Lord’s Supper every week. Gathering around the Lord’s Table every week is a check-point reminding us to express our gratitude to God. It never gets old expressing thanks to God for our salvation.

Do you feel grateful to God for forgiveness of your sins, your new life in Christ, your hope of heaven? We don’t want to go through the motions of partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine as unthinking bumps on pews. We want to be heartfelt grateful worshipers.

Read Paul’s words in Romans 5:1-10. Meditate on these thoughts and express your gratitude to God.

 

“Keep Yourselves from Idols”

People are incurably religious. When they exclude God from their lives, they will make a substitute god out of something. They find something within creation which they inflate so it functions as their god. It can be a person, an object, a property, an activity, an institution, an idea, an image, a hope, a pleasure, change, status, fitness, etc. Idols are not just in pagan temples. They control the hearts and lives of people today.

Three authors have recently warned us of the present danger of idolatry. Selections will be quoted from their works.

Timothy Keller, in Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters, defines an idol as “anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give. . . . Anything can serve as a counterfeit god, especially the very best things in life”

“God was saying that the human heart takes good things like a successful career, love, material possessions, even family, and turns them into ultimate things. Our hearts deify them as the center of our lives, because, we think, they can give us significance and security, safety and fulfillment, if we attain them.”

“A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. An idol has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought. It can be family and children, or career and making money, or achievement and critical acclaim, or saving ‘face’ and social standing. It can be a romantic relationship, peer approval, competence and skill, secure and comfortable circumstances, your beauty or your brains, a great political or social cause, your morality and virtue, or even success in the Christian ministry. . . . An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, than I’ll feel significant and secure.’ There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something, but perhaps the best one is worship.

Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters (New York: Dutton, 2009). Continue reading