“Okay Google!.. Who Is God”

So there is a rising trend that has me concerned. We know that some passages of Scripture are quite straightforward but others are not quite so. Some passages require some effort and research.

I was sitting in a Sabbath School class and the question was, “what is Armageddon?”. One member of the class whipped out their phone and did a Google search.

I was in a church Bible study and we were discussing 1Corinthians 14:34 (let the women keep silent in churches), and while the facilitator was breaking down how we should study and interpret the Bible one member of the church brought forward the answer they found in a Google search.

There was a question raised in a WhatsApp group I am in. The question was about wine (topic for another day) and I had to fight back the thought that someone would just go pick up an explanation from Google and paste it on the group. I even wanted to check some answers on Google.

Should we really be using Google for Bible study? Sola Scriptura and Googlia? Is there a line to draw?

Well… It’s not all so cut and dried but I can definitely tell you some pointers.

Google is a powerful tool. But it must be used right.
It is certainly helpful when looking up definitions of words. Google is also a great place to find out the historical backgrounds and settings, giving more context to Biblical passage. It is also very useful when it comes to bringing forward the popular belief (which is not always a good thing if you are unsure). It is also a great way to bring up a compilation of different theories (again this could be bad) and allows one to see from different perspectives and not just see their own voice echoed.

However.

We must realise its limits. Running a Google search will only retreive what you ask it for and will bring forward the most optimised results first. And first does not always mean best in this case.
Popular does not always mean correct. We don’t know who is writing the articles we read on the net half the time. I mean, what do you think Google would have had to say about Noah if it was back in his day?

So what do we do?
I would suggest:
1. Pray. Pray. Pray – Whenever we are going to study scripture we should imvite the Author of scripture to guide our minds. The Spirit should guide us into all truth (John 16:13) as He is willing to do. Even with straight forward scripture.

2. Bible interprets the Bible – Back to basics. Sola Scriptura. Let the Bible interpret itself. Where there seems to be something that is confusing, there is surely a place in the Bible where the same principle is spelt out more clearly.
Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little (Isaiah 28:10)
To the law and to the testimony, if they speak no according to this word it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20)
We see the New Testament writers use Old Testament Scripture this way. Building their belief on the established Word of God.

3. Get a solid grounded Bible answer – Dont be lazy. God is not trying to hide from us. Actually He longs to bring us into full knowledge (as far as we can) to who He is. So before checking concordances and commentaries, check the passages in and around that same text. Check similar situations of the same principle in the rest of the Bible. Even see where similar words show up in scripture. Study to show yourself approved (2Timothy 2:15)

4. Hold fast – it would be worthless to study and then come away and have no change in your life.
Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)

So Google is not our Bible study enemy but always make sure that it is a tool used correctly if you need to use it at all. Don’t let doctrine be based on “but Google said….”, But on a clear, “It is written.”

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There Are No Winners

Round 1…. Fight!
There are no winners in a break up
No matter the rules we make up
It was all happy once upon
Now the battle lines are drawn
The traits to which we were once drawn
Are now the reason for the gloves we don
The broken hopes shatter deep
Even the initiator just might weep
What has ended was once for keeps
Now let go on the abandoned heap

Round 2…. Fight!
There are no winners in a break up
No matter the rules we make up
Was there someone else better
Was I to your freedom a fetter
Did we not commit to prayer
Was this a game and I the losing player
Was it ‘coz we saved the physical for later
Did I unravel too quickly my layers
Too much Bible, should have just been a dater
Wait on the LORD, made me a hesitator
Forever became see you later
It was probably best because you were a faker
I now see your faults, you were the impersonator

Round 3…. Fight!
Now I see you happy again
As happy now as you were back when
What do they have that I didn’t then
Looks, character, a better friend?
I almost got over faster and then
You went and exposed my pretend
Just like our old arguments
Always quicker as was your trend
And you seem to gain back all our friends
LORD, is this how you will put to me an end?
I was loyal but I feel the offend
I am your child is this how you defend?
Like a stormed tree, I break and bend
Should I follow the rebound trend
At least I will find some comfort then
And in this break up find a win

Round…. No… Stop!
There are no winners in a break up
No matter the rules we make up
There can only be lessons learned
Who is to blame has no points earned
No matter which way it is turned
I will bury your faults as I hope you will mine
Your direction I will leave to the Divine
And in prayer He will draw the line
I hope through this I have helped define
What God will do in yours and mine
Separate ways and that’s just fine
I hope I have not marred the character of the Divine
Because from the start, you were not mine
I will put you back where you I did find
Hopefully in the hands of The Saviour Divine
And I hope the next hand is better than mine
And our friends can gather again given time

There are no winners in a break up
No matter the rules we make up
But in the unfortunate parting of Christians
Should be seen a difference

*When Christians go through courtship, the goal is marriage. This is the intent. To weigh every sentiment and trait of character to see if this will lead heavenward, onward to the character of Christ. And unfortunately this may mean we won’t get to the goal for there may be differences in character we didn’t see. Or God may say, proceed no further. And yes, sometimes sadly, the Devil may succeed in driving in a wedge. But please don’t conform to the world even in such a hard circumstance as a break up. Do not resort to who will win. Because there won’t be any winner in the end except the wily foe who has gotten you to bend or play pretend.

Ask God to let His light shine through you even in the dark time of separation.*

Go Back

Wedding’s day Eve
She can’t believe
It’s being acheived
Blood and tears to look like the dream
It’s like God reached in and retrieved
Her imagination into reality
Then unmistakeably she sees
Jesus is here! It’s time to leave
She don’t mean to but it’s seen
“Not now” is written on her face clearly
She never thought she would be like that
But she wants to say, “Jesus, go back”

The wedding was done so simply
The crowd’s joy was so plain to see
But none was more happy than he
To see the end of all ceremony
And now it was just he and his bride finally
He was excited and nervous, you see
For in their courtship they swore to celibacy
She came out and what a sight to see
Praise God for strength to wait patiently
“Tonight I give you all of me”
Then unmistakeably he sees
Jesus is here! It’s time to leave
He never thought it would be like that
But he wants to say, “Jesus, wait. Go back.”

He had been toiling six days a week
Never by corruption did he seek
Now the breakthrough just beyond the peak
Prayer was his only paddle up this Creek
All the hard work and they called him weak
Now they would see the inheritance of the meek
Nailed the presentation last week
Contracts signed and the cheque made him freak
“You lifted my head when the future was bleek.”
He praised as the bank teller was about to speak
Then unmistakeably he sees
Jesus is here! It’s time to leave
He never thought it would be like that
But for his dream he wants to say, “Jesus, no. Go back.”

Picture if Jesus came back
In a time you didn’t want Him at
When your dreams come face to face like that
With the blessed hope of “Jesus is back”
No. It won’t be like that
Or at least it shouldn’t be like that
Will praise and rejection come back to back?
But if it did could we safely say that
Temporal slowly took over eternal way back

*Don’t worry this may not be the exact scenes from last day events. I am not saying it is bad to have dreams at all. Marriage is oradained of God. Sex in the security of marriage is good. But even good things can cause us to lay aside the reality of eternity. Let us lay all on the altar today, die to self and when we must make a decision for God over ourselves
Jesus’ love should cause us to love Him in return and not wish He would go back.*

Abba Father

“Our Father who art in heaven…”
The famous first line of Jesus’ model prayer for teaching His disciples how to pray. It shows us that we can call God Our Father.
Most people would believe that the concept of God as a Father is a new testament concept. And while the concept is true, it is not based solely on the New Testament.

Let’s start in Isaiah 63:16 – Doubtless thou art our Father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: Thou, O LORD, art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy Name is from everlasting.

Isaiah 64:8 – But now, O LORD, Thou art Our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.

Let’s go back a few centuries from the time of Isaiah and to the Exodus, where we find God giving Moses HIs words to speak when he stands in front of Pharaoh.
Exodus 4:22,23 – And you must say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, even My firstborn.”
and I said to you, ‘Let My son go that he may serve Me,’ but since you have refused to let him go, I will surely kill your son, even your firstborn!”‘”

God calls the nation of Israel His son. (And we are children of Abraham by the promise. Not Jews outwardly but Jews inwardly through Christ and heirs according to the promise of God to Abraham (Galatians 3:22-29) ) And so even then they could call on Him as Father or at least look up to Him that way.

But let’s go even further back by going forward in the Bible
Luke 3:23-38 spells out the lineage of Jesus Christ. Our focus is on the last verse, however. Verse 38 says – (Cainan) Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Adam was the son of God. Not like Jesus is the Son of God. Don’t get it twisted. But Adam was the son of God. Adam could commune with his Father directly.

Imagine what that must have been like on that first Sabbath, after God had created all the earth and everything in it. And He had his two children, Adam and Eve. How they marvelled at all that He showed them. The earth in its perfection, the garden untainted by sin. And they could look to Him as Our Father.

This is the state of affairs God would love to return to. And this is the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. To restore us to have the power to be called sons and daughters of God and He Our Father (by love uncomparable) without shame.

1John3 verse 1 – Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.

So would you choose this day to be His daughter, to be His son? Or will you sel the birthright that is freely given but bought at the cost of all of Heaven in the scarifice of Jesus Christ?

Call on Him today. Abba Father. Lead me gently home. Take me home, Father.

No. That Was

It’s gone away
Just bury me
Time and gravity
Have taken my beauty
No. That was vanity
Yes, a gift to be pretty
But far better to be inwrdly
What can’t be taken away naturally
While handsome fades timely
Seeking a character Godly
Is beauty that time feeds

It keeps changing
I think it needs updating
At least I make my own thing
Best choice for situation
Truth, they’re overrating
No. That was opinion
At best knowledge deprivation
At worst an exaltation
Of our limited education
Truth is not persuasion
It stands firm at its station

It’s overrated this love thing
Your heart does sing
And then before you know the next thing
It’s a done fling
And off for the next victim
No. That was infatuation
Love is a principled decision
Not just a feeling
It includes emotion
But exceeds it by oceans

Oh I am going to die
Have no choice in the situation
I pray in prostration
Can you not see my emaciation
No. That was exaggeration
There is a way out for every temptation
Ice cream is not resuscitation
Delay the gratification
A shortage of candy has never killed a nation
And you’re no different situation

It was needed
No. That was wanted
It was a joke
No. That was truth cloaked
I didn’t know alright!
No. That was a rejection of light
That was just another war, hurricane, sermon, earthquake
No. That was a step closer to seeing God face to face

Remember

Remember, God is able to handle your anger.
He can handle your tears.
He can dispel your fears.

Remember, God is not scared of your problems
He can handle the truth
Prayers don’t need to be child proof
In respect weave words the heart to move

Remember, God does not fear the weight of your world
Entire oceans fit in the span
Of His outstretched nail-peirced hand

Remember, God is not looking for men’s applause
He is, was and ever will be
And will not change for popularity

Remember, God is not slack concerning His promise
A delayed return is not to say
It is time to rise up and play
For the reckoning is sure, there is coming the day

Remember, God is not mocked
Can not by any lie or fib be fooled
He weighs hearts and motives true
In the end the only person lied to was you

Remember, the LORD your God in the days of your youth
For until He sees His promise through
He will not forget you

Remember.

No, Not (Every)one

There are many things I daren’t say
Of those who call upon Your name
Of being followers they claim
They say theirs and Yours are the same
But only a glance shows they don’t walk as they say

There are many things I daren’t say
Of my own shameful turn from grace
For fear of reliving a dark place
Amazing love amazing grace
By faith makes You my hope and stay

There are many things I daren’t say
Of this long road I travel on
The tempts, trickeries, snares and cons
That try to steal the vict’ries won
They surround the light and try darken the day

There are many things I daren’t say
For I know it’s not my duty or aide
To make of their sins excuses made
For me of their sand to have my foundation laid
In the end the floor being lava is not a game

There are many things I daren’t say
But here is what I am able to
I would like everyone to love You
And treat me as You do
For you ask me to
Love them just as You do
But it remains true
They have not chosen to
But don’t let this tear me from You

For there is no God like You
Who shall I instead run to
They may have not made commitments to you
But I do
You are the Only One who makes me able to stay true
They may not know You
But I do
At least what glory I am granted to view
And just for this little bit I love You
By Your grace I try to
But it doesn’t mean they do

So I get disappointed when I am scarred
By these pilgrims marred
Nevertheless, Your will be done
In my tiny life and hope others’ one by one
Because there are few who strive to run
No, not (every) one
No, not (every) one