Monthly Archives: February 2017

Words, words and more words…

Could anyone possibly have missed the ‘war of words’ between POTUS and the News Media?  For well over a year, News Medias of all types have been lambasting President Trump, calling him every vile name that they felt they could viciously publish.  And not to be outdone, President Trump has vilified the ‘Press’  by labeling them as dishonest, ideological partisans who lack a basic commitment to integrity in reporting.  Now, without taking sides and being accused of being ‘political’ ourselves, can we all agree with the Lord when He says, ‘Where words are many, sin is not absent’.   Proverbs 10:19.

Clearly, both sides feel justified in their appraisals.  And without going into detail and considering the rationale both use  for what they say, one claim made by the press intrigues me.  They excuse their vilification of POTUS by saying, ‘We are simply speaking truth to power’.

At first blush, this remark seems to ring true.  One of the pillars of any free society is the freedom of the press.  Our press should be free to speak truth to power without undue concern over acts of intimidation, innuendo, insinuation or even incarceration by the power to whom they speak it.  But ‘press freedom’ is primarily limited to speaking ‘TRUTH’.  No reporter or news media agency should ever feel the liberty to publish anything that is not truth–foisting on unsuspecting readers/listeners/watchers a report that is patently false or insufficiently vetted and incorrectly presented as truth.  But, if those same agents ARE SPEAKING TRUTH, they should have the freedom and even sense an obligation to share that truth publicly, regardless of the consequences.

In a way, we, who claim the Name of Jesus, find ourselves in a place where we, too, should sense the obligation to speak truth to power.  No, I’m not talking about ‘political speech’.  Though, as was the case with Jesus and His disciples, we may be called to speak in a political setting from time to time.  Actually, I’m talking about the daily conversations that we have with people who are in the grasp of ‘the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience’.  Ephesians 2:2.

As children of the light, we are walking in the ‘freedom that only THE truth’ can provide.  John 8:31-32.  As God’s children, ambassadors, on earth, we are called and privileged to provide that truth to anyone who will listen.

Our speaking truth to power is the key for anyone who will by faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ ,for forgiveness of sins–breaking the power of canceled sins–and walking free in Him.  Romans 10:9ff.

Today, there may be in your sphere of influence a person bound in darkness who is ready and waiting to hear someone ‘speak truth to power’.  Will you be THAT SOMEONE who shares the truth?

Devotion on Prayer: Petitioned Power

They say that firewood is a good means of keeping you warm–once when you cut it and again when you burn it in a fireplace or wood burning furnace.  Often, in the 40 years Shirley and I have used wood to supplement our regular heating source, I’ve sweat both times.  There has even been an occasion or two when the house was so warm in winter that we needed to open windows to regulate the heat generated by the wood stove.

I’ve always thought that burning wood was, also, a good way to help with heating costs.  But not all agree.  And I guess they have a point.  By the time you purchase a good wood hauling trailer, a good truck to pull that good trailer, a good chain saw to cut the wood, a good splitter to process the wood and a good insurance policy to help with ‘accidental’ expenses, it probably doesn’t ‘pay’ to burn wood.

Once, before I learned much about ethanol additives in fuel, I was using the regular fuel blend from the car gas pumps to fuel my new chain saw.  Nothing had ever happened before, but one fall morning when I went out to cut, I fired up the chain saw and noticed a large plume of white smoke billow out of the saws exhaust.  Normally, you would see a light blue or blue gray puff of smoke as the engine fired up.  I didn’t make much of it at first, but noticed that the saw continued to smoke after it warmed up and appeared to have less power than normal.  When these symptoms continued, I wrapped up my day and stopped by the dealer where I’d purchased the saw to see if we could discover the problem.  Setting the saw up on a work table, he took off the carburetor cover and noted that the air filter was fine.  He then asked if I had used regular gas out of the gas pump the last time I purchased gas for the saw.  ‘Yes’, I sheepishly relied.  ‘Is that a problem’?  ‘Usually not’, he noted, ‘but in this case it is’.  He continued, ‘You see, the alcohol in the ethanol blend used at gas pumps will, in time, say two or three months, separate from the gas itself and it will remain suspended as straight alcohol.  In engines made for alcohol’s higher burn temperature, this isn’t a problem.  But, in chain saw engines that have a softer cylinder wall, the alcohol burn will score (cut grooves) in the engine walls that will cause the saw to reduce power and smoke because of unburned gas/oil being exhausted from the engine.  In short, you need a new engine for your chain saw’.

As I processed what he said, I wrote a mental note to self–the firewood just got significantly more expensive to burn.

By now you’re saying to yourself, alright pastor, enough of the small engine class, what does all this  have to do with prayer.  Just this…

Jesus taught us to pray…’give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us’.  And at first glance these petitions seem to be unrelated, unless we see them as a sort of ‘spiritual’ fuel we ask for from the Lord.

When our Father in heaven looks as us, He sees ‘redeemed saints’ and ‘redeeming servants’–servants with a need for physical strength and spiritual fortitude to carry out His ‘will on earth’.  Serving as Christ’s ambassadors requires both physical strength and free souls.  So, Jesus taught us to ask Him for the food necessary for proper physical strength and stamina and for the freedom necessary for proper soul strength and stamina.

Therefore, we ask Him to supply enough food for the viability of our bodies and to supply enough freedom for the vitality of our souls.  And as we ask for His supply, we welcome His grace that empowers us to be self-controlled in our bodies and we welcome His mercy that reminds us to imitate His forgiving Spirit in our souls.  Few barriers to vitality in our bodies and souls are more significant than self-indulgence in our bodies and unforgiveness in our souls.

Let’s resolve to humbly approach the throne of grace as we ask Him to ‘give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’.