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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

So You Are Mad at God?

He did not give you what you wanted, or maybe you are blaming him for taking away something or someone that was dear to your heart. Maybe you have a burden to carry in life that you think is just not fair and you blame God for not treating you right. You prayed and He did not answer your prayer the way you expected or the way you wanted him to. You see others around you that seem far less worthy and yet they seem to prosper and be blessed and spared the painful trials that are your lot in life.

Without a doubt there are a lot of people who can see themselves in the words above. If you are angry with God chances are you are doing wrong things in your life to get even with him. If you aren’t doing that yet, you will. The first thing to consider is that you are going to lose this fight. You may treat your parents this way, or your wife or husband this way, and get away with it, but you will not treat God this way without suffering the consequences. He is God – not just another person! God is the One who is just and you are being unjust by being angry with him.

The basic problem here is that you have decided God is not fair. You have decided what is just and unjust based on your own personal desires and opinions, and then you have laid your homemade measure up to God. You have condemned yourself by doing this, because Jesus said: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Mat 7:2) You will be judged by the same measure with which you judge others – including God. You have judged God according to your idea of justice and so you will have to measure up to the same standard.

Apparently, your idea of justice is that God should do exactly as you please. If He denies you what you want from him then He has not treated you fairly. So here is a question for you: How have you treated God? Have you done exactly as He wanted you to since the day you were born? If you are honest you must admit that you have denied God most of what He has asked of you. In fact, if you are honest at all you will have to acknowledge that you have hurt God and wronged him more times than anyone can count. How did God react when you treated him wrong? Did He react to you the way you are reacting to what you think are His wrongs? Absolutely not! We all know that God forgives! He is not only willing to forgive, but He came to earth and put himself in a body of flesh like ours and allowed himself to be beaten, spit upon, and put to death for the wrongs you have done to him. And you can’t allow him any space? There is no room in your heart to forgive him for the perceived wrong that you think He has dealt to you? Because you cannot have things your way you are going to abandon God forever, defile your body, pollute your mind, and wreck your home to get even with him? What kind of a wretched creature would do that? If you demand your kind of justice then you will be judged by your kind of justice. But it is far better to base your relationship with God on mercy and forgiveness because it works both ways.

And here’s the truth of the matter: God has never done anyone wrong! The injustices, the evil, the bad things that happen in this world are the result of sin – NOT a loving God! It was BECAUSE of all this injustice and misery God was made flesh, suffered, and died. God isn’t about sending trouble to make you miserable, He is about delivering you from trouble if you will turn to him and trust him. Remember, He is the Savior! You have not suffered the injustice or the pain He suffered!

Another thing you must consider is the fact that God knows more than we do. We only see the present and we are blinded by the circumstances, but God sees past all that and has a plan to do something wonderful with you through your trouble. He does make all things work together for good to them that love God. By being angry with God and rebelling against him you are wrecking the plan of God and making the world a more miserable place.

The thing that has made you angry with God is not anything that others haven’t suffered also. All our trials are “common to man.” You are just so full of self-pity and plain-old selfishness that you think you have had to endure something beyond what any other human has ever had to suffer. I wonder what your trial would look like if it were laid alongside some of the trials others have had to endure through the ages? Many have been burned at the stake, or had their children tortured and killed in front of their eyes. Others have lost everything simply because they refused to deny the Christ that redeemed their soul. There is no cruelty, or hardship, or tragedy that has not been done to the people of God through the ages. But you have been wronged so much more than they and therefore you have a right to be mad at God. I’m telling you that you will want to find a place to crawl and hide yourself when we all stand before God. Your trial may be hard and your burden may be heavy, but chances are you are rubbing shoulders with people who are carrying heavier burdens and have endured harder trials that you know nothing about. The hardest trials are those that are endured in secret without the comfort of the prayers and sympathy of others.

Those who are truly right with God will love him with all their heart. If a person truly has a relationship of love with God they will not be able to walk out on him like you are doing. When you love someone and your lives are all tied up together you will find a way to forgive any wrong, or perceived wrong because you cannot face life without them. If you truly love God you would be willing to forgive him even if He did do you wrong. Job said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” It is unjust for you to expect God to forgive you while you refuse Him any grace or mercy at all.

So are you going to throw your life away because you are mad at God? While you are doing that you are going to be throwing away your children’s lives also. Remember that! Add to that list your spouse and your parents and anyone else who has looked to you as an example. But that is all OK, isn’t it, because everyone else needs to suffer because you didn’t get your perfect wish?

Of all the beings in the universe, God is the last One anyone has a right to be angry with. He is the only One that is completely just and right. He is the ONLY One that can be trusted completely. For blind, sinful creatures such as we to charge God with injustice is certainly one of the most abominable things a human can do.

If this little article has described you then you must turn from this evil now. You will see, as multitudes have seen through the ages, that God IS faithful. You just haven’t waited long enough to see what He has in mind. Trust Him! Whatever it is that you are angry with God about is now a part of your life – with God or without Him. If it is that great a burden it will be much easier to bear with God’s help and grace. You need Him, and He will be there for you if you will let him. And one more thing you must know: God will not hold a grudge. He will forgive you of this wicked thing if you will come to Him in repentance and faith. He desires reconciliation because He loves you and He wants you in spite of how you feel about Him right now. Wouldn’t it be better to find the sweetness that the person who wrote the words below found in their trial than to continue in the bitterness that is eating your soul right now?

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

Why don’t you turn back to God and trade your misery for joy and peace?

Mike Miller
Monday, June 15, 2009

Straight Paths Bible Church
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Monday, December 26, 2011

True and False Manliness

My wife gave me a book for Christmas that I have been wanting to get. It is "The Book of Man" by William J. Bennett. He is the man who published "The Book of Virtues" several years ago. This book is a collection of writings through the ages by all different kinds of people on the subject of manhood. This is an excellent article from that book that I think is worth sharing. It is something that is desperately needed by our young people who are rearing children in these confusing times. Please take the time to read it. You will be glad you did. Share it with someone else that it might help. Thanks for being here. - Bro. Mike

James Freeman Clarke was a nineteenth-century American preacher and author. He was a staunch abolitionist and fought against many of the social problems of his day. Back then too, boys had difficulty understanding manliness, so Clarke thought it expedient to describe his view of proper and improper manliness. This excellent essay clearly demarcates true manliness from false manliness.

Manliness means perfect manhood, as womanliness implies perfect womanhood. Manliness is the character of a man as he ought to be, as he was meant to be. It expresses the qualities which go to make a perfect man, - truth, courage, conscience, freedom, energy, self-possession, self-control. But it does not exclude gentleness, tenderness, compassion, modesty. A man is not less manly, but more so, because he is gentle. In fact, our word "gentleman" shows that a typical man must also be a gentle man.

By manly qualities the world is carried forward. The manly spirit shows itself in enterprise, the love of meeting difficulties and overcoming them, - the resolution which will not yield, which patiently perseveres, and does not admit the possibility of defeat. It enjoys hard toil, rejoices in stern labor, is ready to make sacrifice, to suffer and bear disaster patiently. It is generous, giving itself to a good cause not its own; it is public-spirited, devoting itself to the general good with no expectation of reward. It is ready to defend unpopular truth, to stand by those who are wronged, to uphold the weak. Having resolved, it does not go back, but holds on, through good report and evil, sure that the right must win at last. And so it causes truth to prevail, and keeps up the standard of a noble purpose in the world.

But as most good things have their counterfeits, so there is false manliness which imitates these great qualities, though at heart it is without them. Instead of strength of will, it is only willful; in place of courage, it has audacity. True manliness does what it believes right; false manliness, does what it chooses to do. Freedom, to one, means following his own convictions of truth; to the other it means thinking as he pleases, and doing as he likes. The one is reverent, the other rude; one is courteous, the other overbearing; one is brave, the other foolhardy; one is modest, the other self-asserting. False manliness is cynical, contemptuous, and tyrannical to inferiors. The true man has respect for all men, is tender to the sufferer, is modest and kind. The good type uses its strength to maintain good customs, to improve the social condition, to defend order. The other imagines it to be manly to defy law, to be independent of the opinions of the wise, to sneer at moral obligation, to consider itself superior to established principles of mankind.

A false notion of manliness leads boys astray. All boys wish to be manly; but they often try to become so by copying the vices of men rather than their virtues. They see men drinking, smoking, swearing; so these poor little fellows sedulously imitate such bad habits, thinking they are making themselves more like men. They mistake rudeness for strength, disrespect to parents for independence. They read wretched stories about boy brigands and boy detectives, and fancy themselves heroes when they break the laws, and become troublesome and mischievous. Out of such false influences the criminal classes are recruited. Many a little boy who only wishes to be manly, becomes corrupted and debased by the bad apples around him and the bad literature which he reads. The cure for this is to give him good books that show him truly noble examples from life and history, and make him understand how infinitely above this mock-manliness is the true courage which ennobles human nature.

In a recent awful disaster, amid the blackness and darkness and tempest, the implacable sea and the pitiless storm,-when men's hearts were failing them from terror, and women and children had no support but faith in a Divine Providence and a coming immortality,-the dreadful scene was illuminated by the courage and manly devotion of those who risked their own lives to save the lives of others. Such heroism is like a sunbeam breaking through the tempest. It shows us the real worth there is in man. No matter how selfish mankind may seem, whenever hours like these come, which try men's souls, they show that the age of chivalry has not gone; that though "The knights are dust, and their good swords rust," there are as high-hearted heroes now as ever. Firemen rush into a flaming house to save women and children. Sailors take their lives in their hands to rescue their fellow-men from a wreck. They save them at this great risk, not because they are friends or relatives, but because they are fellow-men.

Courage is an element of manliness. It is more than readiness to encounter danger and death, for we are not often called to meet such perils. It is every-day courage which is most needed,-that which shrinks from no duty because it is difficult; which makes one ready to say what he believes, when his opinions are unpopular; which does not allow him to postpone a duty, but makes him ready to encounter it at once; a courage which is not afraid of ridicule when one believes himself right; which not the slave of custom, the fool of fashion. Such courage as this, in man or woman or child, is true manliness. It is infinitely becoming in all persons. It does not seek display, it is often the courage of silence no less than speech; it is modest courage, unpretending though resolute. It holds fast to its convictions and principles, whether men hear or whether they forbear.

True manliness differs also from the false in its attitude to woman. Its knightly feeling makes it wish to defend her rights, to maintain her claims, to be her protector and advocate. False manliness wishes to show its superiority by treating women as inferiors. It flatters them, but it does not respect them. It fears their competition on equal levels, and wishes to keep them confined, not within walls, as in the Mohammedan regions, but behind the more subtle barriers of opinion, prejudice, and supposed feminine aptitudes. True manliness holds out the hand to woman, and says, "Do whatever you are able to do; whatever God meant you to do. Neither you nor I can tell what that is till all artificial barriers are removed, and you have full opportunity to try." Manly strength respects womanly purity, sympathy, and grace of heart. And this is the real chivalry of the present hour.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Contemporary or Eternal?

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: Luke 1:70

Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:21

There is a common thread throughout the Bible that is commonly overlooked. Whenever there is an important event in the interaction between God and man there is always someone who stands and rehearses the entire history of God’s dealings with man from the beginning. They take the present circumstances or happenings and eloquently and powerfully place them in the context of the whole scheme of God’s plan of redemption for mankind. Countless times the history of Israel was rehearsed before the children of Israel in the desert, and after they possessed the promised land. Then throughout all the cycles of revival and apostasy during the judges and kings of Israel and Judah, at every critical juncture there was always a prophet who would stand and present the history of God’s dealings and God’s promises and charge them to turn from their waywardness and get back in accord with God’s plan. In times of revival the same thing would happen to encourage the people to stay true to God and his Word and his ways. We come to the New Testament and we find in the first chapter of Luke the same thing when Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost and was prophesying of John and of Christ. He saw what was happening in the context of God’s whole plan since the beginning of time. Peter did the same thing on the day of Pentecost when he preached to the multitudes. Stephen did exactly the same thing when he preached that day before he was stoned to death. Paul also followed the same pattern when he preached, not only on Mars Hill, but on other occasions as well. On the road to Emmaus that day Jesus "…beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." He went to the beginning and rehearsed it all again for them in order to put the present happenings in the context of God’s whole scheme, and to make them understand.

It works. This is the way we really get understanding. This is a very important thing for us to get our minds around and apply to our own lives. Does your faith fit into God’s whole scheme of things? Do you know where you came from, where you are now, and where you are going? Is the faith you have really a part of what has been going on since the beginning of time? Would you feel a kindred spirit with Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, and others? Or would you soon find yourself in some sort of conflict with them?

It appears that there is a lot of religion that is just contemporary. It is isolated from the past, not very concerned with the future, and focused almost entirely on the present. This is contemporary Christianity and it is not the "faith once delivered to the saints." There is "one faith, one Lord, and one baptism." God has one plan for all of mankind. It is the same for all cultures, races, nationalities, and tongues. We are told that the great multitude in heaven will be made up of all nations, and kindreds, and tongues, and people. They were all part of the same work and plan of God. So the modern reasoning for adopting contemporary music and methods is invalid. What God has been doing since the beginning works across all boundaries of culture, race, language, and nationality. We are not to modify the message or the methods of God in order to get people to become Christians. The message of God changes people, and the method God has chosen is the preaching of the Word of God. We must be a part of what God is doing. If our faith is focused primarily on our present needs, problems, or even our present victories and successes, it is not the kind of faith we need. Faith that must accommodate changing fads, changing morals, and other opinions is not even close to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Saving faith embraces all God has done since the beginning and all that He will do in the future. Saving faith sees itself in that context, and not simply the present.

Seeing yourself as part of the family of God from the beginning to the end will carry you through some impossibly difficult things. It enlarges your vision and your understanding, and strengthens your soul and your faith in God. So few of us have the opportunity to be around strong and salty Christians who are firmly established and who inspire others to attempt great things for God. Weakness and instability are by far the more common example that most people have before them. With our view enlarged we can look to Abraham, Moses, David, all the prophets, Jesus himself, the Apostles, and all those who have also been a part of the kingdom of God through all the centuries. Many Christians today have to survive spiritually without much help from their local church or fellow Christians. But even those in the worst situations can encourage themselves in the Lord by seeing themselves as part of a much bigger scheme of things than their present circumstances.

So, like anyone who is sailing on a long journey, let us all stop often and take our bearings by looking back and then forward in God’s great plan, and realize that we are part of it.

Mike Miller
December 22, 2011
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Monday, December 12, 2011

It Is Not How Much You Give But How Much You Keep

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. Mark 12:42-44

It isn’t how much you give that counts – it is how much you keep. Nothing tells more about you than what you keep. Many look upon tithing as being a real sacrifice. Giving God 10 percent is something only the most sanctified people do! Look at it this way: you sit down with your money and you start two piles – one for God and one for you. You put one in God’s pile and 9 in yours. “Then one more for God and nine more for me.” When you think of it like that it makes us look very selfish, doesn't it? Not exactly the kind of neighbor everyone would love to have!

The rich may give a lot, but in God’s eyes it isn’t as much as the little that is given ...when it is all that you have. Nothing pleases God more than when you give Him your ALL. The person who does this is saying with their actions that they believe God’s cause to be much more important than their own. They are saying that they trust God to be generous with them and take care of them. After all, He said He would, didn’t He? They are proving that their heart loves God more than their “stuff” or their riches. No wonder God is pleased! It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. The issue is, does God have it all? How tightly are you holding on to what is yours?

It is not only our increase that is at issue here. God states clearly in the Bible that He wants our heart. He wants our life, energy, and strength to be spent in reaching others and being the light of the world. How much of your heart does He have? How much have you kept for yourself? Have you really given him ALL that you have? Are you really willing to do whatever God asks you to do? Go wherever He might ask you to go? How deep are your tent pegs driven?

God is good to us in all things, and in this matter He is good, also. You must admit that God is good NOT to require a certain amount from us. He doesn’t require a certain amount of money or a certain amount of ability or achievement. That would exclude most people from the blessings of God. He simply asks us to do what we can, and we all can do that. Trust Him enough to give Him ALL that we have – that’s all! “She hath done what she could,” Jesus said of the woman who broke the alabaster box of very precious ointment and anointed him with it. It wasn’t the cost of the ointment, but the fact that she did what she could. Notice the “ALLS” in the greatest and first commandment, according to Jesus:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with ALL thy heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy mind, and with ALL thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mark 12:30

What God expects of us is very clear and yet almost everyone thinks that token offerings and service is good enough to please God. Just barely show up for church two or three times a month. Just drop your dollar bill in the offering plate when it passes and you’ve done enough to keep God appeased for a while. Everyone reads the story of the poor widow’s mite and they condemn the rich man in their heart and praise the widow, but they are in fact just like the rich man themselves. They only give to God out of their abundance. They only give Him token service and offerings and keep all the rest for themselves.

What about you? How much of your time do you spend for God and his cause, and how much do you spend taking care of your own cares? How much of your thought is given to the things of God, and how much do you spend thinking about your own causes, problems, and pleasures? How much of your money goes to God’s work and to help others, and then how much do you spend on yourself and your own desires? You might look pretty good if you compare yourself with other people, but that is not the measure God uses.

Skeptics scoff at the idea of giving all you have to God. They have said that such people are “so heavenly minded that they are of no earthly good.” Giving your all to God doesn’t mean that you totally abandon the things that pertain to this life. We must live in this world and take care of our business, but our instructions are clear:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matt. 6:33

So go ahead and just cast it ALL in. Don’t give God only token service and offerings. You can trust Him with your all and you can count on the fact that He will take care of you when you do.

Mike Miller
December 12, 2011
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Friday, December 9, 2011

The Human Race Has Cancer

Cancer is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream. (Wikipedia)

Cell division is a complex process that is normally tightly regulated. There is a proper order and sequence for a cell to reproduce itself. Cancer develops when the cell ceases to be governed by this order. Each individual cell has its instructions for life and reproduction programmed into its genetic code, but for some reason cells sometimes simply stop paying attention to what they know to be right and healthy and strike out on their own. They begin to reproduce and live their lives without any regard for the laws that govern normal healthy cells. They become malignant, which means they become dangerous to other cells and even threaten the life of the body. These malignant (evil) cells then catch a ride in the bloodstream, or the lymph nodes and travel to other parts of the body and there spread their evil influence, So cancer always starts with the discarding of the laws and order that God established for the life and health of a single cell.

If we look around us we can see the same thing has happened in the human race as a whole. Man was made in the image and likeness of his Creator. Man is a moral being who knows good and evil. The basic moral law of God is written on the heart of every man. Then God gave man a Book, and a Savior, and 6000 years of history to prove to man that he is God’s Creation, and to instruct him on how to live in harmony with others here on earth and then live in eternal peace with God after he dies. But a large part of humanity has decided to defy and ignore all divine order and cast off all restraints in every area of life. Sure, there have always been those who have refused to regard or obey God, but anyone who is watching what is happening to our world now must acknowledge that society, worldwide, is destroying itself. No matter where we live we can look around us and see many good people who are living their lives and trying to raise their children, or trying to make a difference for good in the lives of others. There are people who treat their neighbors and others with respect and benevolence, and live their lives in an orderly fashion. Occasionally, we read or hear about people who are doing some extraordinary kindness or making some great sacrifice for others. But we cannot help but see the great malignant mass that is growing among the human race that is threatening to destroy the whole. We see them when we go to the stores and shopping centers. The degraded, immoral, and depraved. The drug addicts, and the drug dealers, the pornographers and those who feed on it, the perverts and the violent murderers. We can see the first stages of mass violence about to break out in our cities everywhere. We read in the news daily of the awful things people do to their own children and spouses, and others. We can see that it has spread throughout humanity around the world, and now we are watching it spread even among those who want to identify themselves as Christians.

It is interesting to note that the first area in which a cell breaks rank and starts to defy the rules has to do with the way it reproduces. That is the same area that man begins his rebellion against God’s order. God’s order is one man and one woman for life, bound together by vows of faithfulness and love to each other until death. Our malignant world says none of that matters anymore and sex is just a recreational activity with no consequences and no responsibilities. No need for vows and commitments, just do like the animals do and everything will continue just like it always has. Nobody will get hurt. But our prisons and insane asylums are full of the results of broken homes, immorality, and unfaithfulness - guilty souls who have lost all dignity and all hope of ever being right again. Sexual sin is the first domino in the line and when it is knocked down all other morals fall in sequence. Untie that knot and you have guaranteed the collapse of that society. It will end in anarchy, violence, confusion, depravity, and hopelessness.

God is looking on mankind the way we look at someone we love who has cancer. He does not want to destroy the whole race because of the malignancy, any more than we want to destroy our loved one because he or she has cancer. We want our loved one rid of the cancer and we will insist on treatment or surgery, or whatever it takes to cure them, even if it disfigures them or nearly kills them in the process. God wants humanity rid of the malignancy of sin. God has done all He can do to cure mankind of this terminal illness called sin, short of divine judgment. He has given his Son, who gave his life, and rose from the dead, conquering sin and death. He has sent his Holy Spirit to convince men of sin and judgment to come. He has given us a Book that is the revelation of God on ink and paper. He has kept witnesses on this earth for 6000 years warning men of the wrath to come and holding forth the promises of God and the offer of forgiveness and cleansing from sin. He designed the whole Creation from the most minute to the vastness of the universe so that no one can miss the fact that there is a God in Heaven. "The heavens declare the glory of God." (Psalm 19:1) His signature is on everything that exists. Some have responded and availed themselves of the Atonement provided by God through Christ’s death. They have returned to the Shepherd to live under his guidance and instruction, and stopped trying to live without any moral guide or authority in their life. Even so, the cancer continues to grow and the whole body is now very ill.

Sometimes radical surgery is required in order for the cancer patient to survive. The surgeon must sometimes remove large parts of the body in order to get rid of all the cancer. Sometimes it is necessary to remove parts or members that we think we cannot live without, but it is our only chance to survive. God’s judgment is like radical surgery for cancer. When men in general will not respond to God’s cure and the malignancy reaches a certain threshold God takes radical measures to save mankind by removing a large portion of them. He removed Sodom and Gomorrah from the face of the earth. He removed the entire human race except Noah and his family. Be assured, God WILL take action before humanity destroys itself.

How "controlled" are you by the will of God, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit of God? Are you one of the many that are living without any guide or authority except what you approve for yourself? If you are, you are a part of the cancer. Or are you a normal cell that lives within the boundaries of God’s divine order? Do you know what God’s order is? Really? Think about it …

Mike Miller
December 8, 2011
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Saturday, December 3, 2011


How many lies have you been told? How many of them have you believed? Do you think you know every time you have been lied to? Are you aware of how much your life has been affected by lies? We have been lied to so much, and we have believed so many of them, that we do not begin to comprehend the effect on our life, on our thinking, and on our values. Certainly each one of us has taken many wrong turns in life because we believed something that was not true. The great majority of people live in a lie continually. Their very life and all they are about is a lie. They have been lied to and have lied so much themselves that they have lost sight of the truth, and have actually turned things around in their minds so that lies are true and the truth is a lie. It is a striking testimony to the depravity of man that most people seem eager to believe anything that is kooky and far-fetched, but refuse to believe the simple truths that have stood the test of time. Bigfoot, UFO’s, psychics, evolutionists, and National Enquirer will never cease to have their followers because most people are so eager to believe a lie, and so stubborn to believe the truth. The same people who will cling to their belief in these things without any evidence or proof will deny the truth when it is standing right in front of them. Jesus said, "And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." (John 8:45) Paul experienced the same thing when he said, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Gal. 4:16)

The devil was the first one to utter a lie. Jesus said so in John 8 when he said the devil was the father of lies.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. John 8:44-45

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Gen. 3:4-5

The devil just bold-faced lied to Eve and it worked. It has always worked well for him. All his followers use his same classic method. It is the best way to take advantage of others and to get them to hand over to you whatever it is you are wanting from them. Men lie to women and women lie to men. Children lie to their parents and sadly, many parents lie to their children. Politicians use lies to get elected and it works well for them because people are more apt to believe a lie than the truth. People like Hitler have used the power of lies to rise to power and carry out their evil plans many, many times throughout history.

Lies are always the beginning of broken homes and broken hearts. Lies are always the first step into a trap from which you cannot escape, whether you are the liar or the one being lied to. The telling of a lie, or deceit in any way, is the beginning of a never-ending game of cover up; you will have to tell more lies to keep from being found out, and it will almost surely end up in other sins as well. Many have went as far as murder to keep from being found out. A lie always has an immoral design and is always intended to deceive. In fact, every sin begins with a lie. Therefore, every person who goes to hell will be there forever because they believed a lie, and ultimately, it was their own heart that deceived them. It is very wicked and selfish to lie to another, but to lie to oneself is nothing but depravity of heart. It is no wonder that God hates a lying tongue, and you can be sure that God never approves of a lie, or uses a lie to accomplish his will.

In light of all these facts it is imperative that we be extremely careful about what we accept as truth. Once we accept something as true we begin to base other things upon it and we are soon lost and confused and completely wrong, without even knowing that we are wrong. We must face the fact that we are easily deceived. God warned the children of Israel in Deuteronomy:11:16:

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;

Jesus also tried to warn us about this vulnerability of ours. His first words in response to questions about the end times were repeatedly, "Take heed that no man deceive you," "Take heed what ye hear."

We live in a world dominated by evil, and the devil, who is the father of lies. The only truth there is can be found in the Word of God. (Thy word is truth…John 17:17) It must be your anchor and your foundation for life and eternity. In this degenerate generation most people will experience what it is like to be lied to and deceived by their dearest and most trusted loved ones at one time or another in their life. It is one of the most hurtful and damaging things that can happen to a person. This is because you do not normally become aware of the fact that you have been lied to until much later, and a lot of water is under the bridge, and many of the important decisions of your life have been made under the influence of deception. The lie has changed the course of your life and quite possibly cost you dearly. When it happens it can shipwreck your entire life unless you have a familiar place of truth to run to for refuge, and there is only one such place, that is God and his Word.

We must be honest in our hearts always, with others and with ourselves. We must quit trying to rationalize and excuse lies because of circumstances. We must quit making light of lies as if it does not matter that much. We must make it a major priority in rearing our children to stop them from lying. They should be made to perceive it as the greatest transgression they could commit. Remember, it is the beginning of the road to hell. A child that is not purged of his lying tongue will perish, and on his way he will leave a trail of destruction and misery behind him with his life. It must be rooted out of him while he is very young or it will be there forever.

We are far too careless about this matter. We allow ourselves to be entertained by liars. We allow ourselves to be informed by lying newscasters. We deliberately fill our minds and hearts with things that are not true. Why do novels, TV, movies, and games capture the attention and give so much pleasure and entertainment, while thoughts of God’s promises, eternity in heaven or hell, and a Savior who died and gave himself for our sins bores us? Charity (love) rejoices in the TRUTH - not in lies. It is a serious matter that calls for self examination and determination. Get your Bible and start noticing how often lying is mentioned and referred to. If we are going to walk in the truth then we must reject anything that is not true. Pretty simple, is it not? Think about it, and start taking notice of what you allow yourself to accept as true.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest… think on these things. Phil. 4:8

 …yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; Rom. 3:4

…all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Rev. 21:8