I saw that “Viking Proverb” statement written out across the Direct TV screen in front of me as I was flying back home on an airplane. I had been visiting with family in Virginia for 10 days.
It is a great statement to ponder; and I wondered which type of “wisdom” the Vikings were referring to?
For me, the ultimate wisdom comes from God through His Written Word – the Bible, and His Living Word – Jesus Christ.
Evidence abounds these days that many are ignorant about God’s Word. The sad part is, many who call themselves Christian fall into this unfortunate category. I think it is really a terrible state of affairs to realize that even Christian college students (e.g. BIOLA U.) are being found to be biblically illiterate! There should be no excuse for them, in particular, to be guilty of such a flaw.
Recently, I received an email link to Muddy Streams blog that mentioned an interesting article that compared, contrasted, and explained the differences between religion and spirituality. The entire article can be read at Got Questions.
Question: “What is Christian spirituality?”
Answer: When we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit who seals us for the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would lead us “into all truth” (John 16:13). Part of that truth is taking the things of God and applying them to our lives. When that application is made, the believer then makes a choice to allow the Holy Spirit to control him/her. True Christian spirituality is based upon the extent to which a born-again believer allows the Holy Spirit to lead and control his or her life.
Read it all at the link above. The details and Scripture references are all important regarding the type of “spirituality” that a Christian should follow and adhere to.
The new NBC TV series – A.D. The Bible Continues – had its second episode broadcasted this past Sunday evening (4/12/15). The disciples are now only starting to grasp the true meaning and significance of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. They see Him, in the physical sense, as He appears various times to them (i.e. in the Upper Room, in front of Mary who was weeping inside the tomb wondering “where have they taken my Lord). In the case of Mary, she asked such a question of someone whom she perceived as a “stranger” that appeared to her outside the tomb. It was only when He said her name, “Mary” that she recognized Jesus – her Risen Lord and Savior!
Jesus also appeared on the shore of Galilee where the disciples were fishing, but experiencing another bad day because they were not netting any fish. Jesus called out to them and said, “throw the nets on the right side of the boat.” When they listened and obeyed His directive, their catch was abundant!
Jesus also had a discussion with Peter where he asked his wayward and denying disciple if he loved Him. The Lord asked three times, and Peter replied affirmatively three times. This was a way of restoration for Peter’s previous denials as Jesus was being led to the cross.
Love is sacrifice.
Love is mercy and grace.
Love is forgiveness of sins.
Love is listening and obeying.
Love is worship.
But it ultimately matters in whom one worships! Does the Messiah have worth-ship in order to lead us towards truth?
For our part, we need to believe in Jesus and repent of our sins, allowing the Holy Spirit to enter into our hearts in order to guide us into all truth.
All of this has been gained by Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross!
During my Virginia visit, I made what is likely construed by most as a typical observation regarding all of the violence, hatred, evil, sin and death going on in the world today. Jesus did tell us in Scripture that the “signs of the times” pointing towards His return would be “as in the days of Noah and Lot.”
In the case of Noah, there was so much violence, evil, sin and death that it grieved the Lord God immensely. The only “righteous ones” found were within Noah’s own family! All the others mocked, scorned, laughed at and ignored Noah for his “eccentric behavior” for building an Ark on dry land. The people went on to continue in their sinful lifestyles and evil, deadly ways.
In the case of Lot, the whole place (Sodom and Gomorrah) would have been spared if
50, then 20, then just 10 righteous people could be found in the cities. We know that only Lot, his wife and children made it out (practically dragged out by the angels!); but even then, Lot’s wife looked back longingly (ignoring the angels warnings not to!) and she turned into a pillar of salt.
I always thought that it was interesting that we never knew her name, but Jesus’ admonition to “remember Lot’s wife” was a New Testament and as well as modern-day warning not to go back to our former lives of sin.
Back to my observation.
I mentioned to my brother that the ways of man without the wisdom of God being followed result in all forms of evil…and eventually lead to death. Why wouldn’t God, knowing this then allow a brutal beating, scourging, crucifixion and death of His “Holy One” in order to get through to all that need to be re-born and saved? Doesn’t it make sense to counter what the sinful mindsets of men do throughout the centuries in order to get our attention with the goal of discovering THE WAY out of our predicament?
In the economy of the Godhead – from eternity passed to eternity future – this agreement was made between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that mankind could be reconciled back unto a Holy and Righteous God! While we were yet sinners…Christ died for us!
The Bible tells us that there is no greater love than for a Man to lay His life down for His friends. But the God-Man Jesus Christ followed through to prove who he is and for this reason he was born to save his people from their sins.
So, what are we to do? Accept it…and believe!
Thomas wanted proof that Jesus was actually resurrected from the dead. He stated that he would not believe until he saw Jesus alive again. What’s more, he needed to put his finger into the nail scars in Jesus’ hands and His side.
Jesus said, “Thomas, you believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen me yet believe.”
That is FAITH!
Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the substance of things hoped for.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The next episode of “A.D. The Bible Continues” will show what happens to the disciples when they receive the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Can’t wait for that! These men will be transformed forever – and will carry on through the Book of Acts in the Bible spreading The Way of salvation through Jesus Christ and reiterating man’s need to be born again through the Holy Spirit.
Another excerpt from Got Questions:
Therefore, Christian spirituality involves a choice we make to “know and grow” in our daily relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ by submitting to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This means that, as believers, we make a choice to keep our communication with the Spirit clear through confession (1 John 1:9). When we grieve the Spirit by sin (Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 1:5-8), we erect a barrier between ourselves and God. When we submit to the Spirit’s ministry, our relationship is not interrupted (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Christian spirituality is a consciousness of fellowship with the Spirit of Christ, uninterrupted by carnality and sin. Christian spirituality develops when a born-again believer makes a consistent and ongoing choice to surrender to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
It matters greatly which kind of “spirit” one follows. You don’t want to be trapped under the influence of deceiving spirits! So, how do you know whether or not you are being deceived?
1. Read and study God’s Word – the Bible.
2. Follow God’s Living Word – Jesus Christ
We are told both in the beginning and the end of the book of Revelation that those of us who read and study it – will be blessed!
Yet, many churches and pastors these days ignore that book. Why? Why would they want their congregations to miss out on such blessings?
It must have something to do with knowing (or ignoring) the truth.
In Zechariah’s prophecy where he describes the King “riding on a donkey,” he also states:
“As for you also,
Because of the blood of your covenant,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
No one likes the term “slave.” But the meaning here is a positive one.
And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
Being set free from sin is the greatest achievement of all time! Jesus Christ accomplished this for us on the cross because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission from sin.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Three things that matter within our trust in Jesus and in our desire to be with God:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
P.S. The Vikings Proverb was included in a very long Land Rover commercial via Direct TV. In addition to that saying, the following quote appeared:
“Fifty percent of people in Iceland believe in elves.”
Wow. What does believing in elves get you in this lifetime or in eternity?
I think that staking my life on the historical, spiritual, and biblical proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is light-years more sensible!
Hat tips to all links.