“I Feel It’s So”

Can you give me even one good reason?

“No, I don’t need reasons—I just feel it’s so.”

That short exchange might take place many times a day between Christians. But it never should.

You may be wondering what the subject is that the two parties are discussing. It doesn’t really matter. I left it out for a good reason—to show the bare outlines of the issue.

The issue being, of course, how we know anything about God to be true or false.

There is no biblical precedent for basing the truth or the falsehood of any belief upon how one feels; yet many do so.

Our faith is one that can be objectively set forth—and has been—in a Book from which God expects us to learn what is/isn’t true.

What Jesus told us that Abraham said to the rich man suffering in hell was that people won’t believe even if someone rose from the dead (which, of course, He did). Experience and feelings won’t cut it! Instead, if a person wants to discover the truth he should turn to the Bible: “they have Moses and the prophets; let them listen to them” Jesus said (Luke 16: 29).

It’s the same today-to learn the truth, and benefit from it—one must turn to the Scriptures. Stop listening to feelings; start listening to truth.



Back in the days when the government first began to think that it had a right to think for the states and that it could solve all of the evils of the country by its paternalistic programs, it made a colossal blooper. In the 1930s, it introduced kudzu into the southeastern states as a conservation measure. What it didn’t know, but should have found out before taking action, is that kudzu is a plant which once rooted cannot be routed. In the fifty years since its introduction, it has all but overtaken the South.

Kudzu was brought to the United States from Japan. How they handle it there, I don’t know; but I can tell you from personal experience that it has gone wild in the United States. Kudzu is a vine with giant leaves and a propensity for crawling (not creeping) and climbing. It grows eagerly without the slightest assistance. The saying down here is that, if you stand still for five minutes, it will twine itself up one leg, around your trunk, and climb out your arm looking for new territory to conquer. You can almost see it grow. It covers everything in sight. It climbs to the top of 100-foot trees; it covers hills and fields; it will cover your house and everything you own if you do not continually cut it back. It is the most visible evidence of entropy that I know of.

You can only defeat kudzu temporarily. You can spray it, and it will recede for a time; but after a year or so it will have returned with new vigor and strength. It will not burn, animals will not eat it (I once staked out a goat in a huge patch of kudzu, and it wouldn’t so much as nibble on it, but it ate everything else in sight). It sends down roots every so often so that you would go crazy just trying to uproot it.

Kudzu will ever be the symbol of so many things to me. It is like sinful habits once rooted; it is a perpetual reminder of the ever returning effects of the mistakes we made in the past; it is like the nations Israel did not drive out of the land, which continually caused them grief. So many applications of the kudzu lesson spring to mind!

What is the kudzu in your life? Unlike the Southerner who vainly struggles with kudzu, Christ can root the most stubborn sin out of your life; He can replace sinful patterns with biblical ones (I have often wondered whether there is another plant with which to replace kudzu). He can take those past failures that come back to bother you and turn those liabilities into assets.

Is there a good use for kudzu? A local newspaper said it is edible, something like spinach. I can’t tell you; I haven’t tried munching on it. But there must be some use for the stuff. Whoever learns to harvest and use it will make a fortune. But one thing is for sure, nothing comes into a Christian’s life, even his mistakes and failures, that, handled by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, cannot be turned to good. He loves to make the wrath of man to praise Him. Others may complain and gripe; you, Christian, have the joyous challenge of demonstrating how the grace of Christ can transform the kudzu of your life into a blessing to the honor of His Name.

The Way

The first name by which the church was known before the word “Christian” became attached to it at Antioch, was the “Way.” You can read about it in Acts 9:2; 18:25; 19: 9, 23; 24: 14, 22 (and possibly 2 Peter 2:2).

“What is the meaning of that title?”

Well, no one is quite sure how it came about. The name just appears in Acts without explanation. As you can see, no point is made about it in the passages above. But many think it came from the words of Jesus When He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14: 3).

“But, if it came from that verse, what about the other two items—truth and life? ”

That’s a good question, but remember, Jesus went on to say, “Nobody comes to the Father except by Me” (6). And these words all occur in a discussion of the “way” to the place that Jesus was preparing for His followers (v.3). So, it’s quite likely that John 14 is the source of the name.

“OK. I can see that. But, then, our faith would be described, fundamentally, as the way to eternal life or something similar.”

Right. And that wouldn’t be inaccurate. Surely the apostles who later on it seems dropped it, didn’t do so because they thought it was inaccurate. Luke, in Acts, freely described the faith by the term. It is a highly expressive title for our faith. Indeed, it might be interesting to revive it at times in certain circles to get people to think more about a prime objective of Christianity.

“Did the church eventually reject it or substitute the name “Christian” for it?”

There’s no record of its being rejected. It seems that the name “Christian,” in time, became the more popular designation, and the earlier designation just faded out.

“Then, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with using it?”

Not so long as you explained what it means. Otherwise, people might think you were describing some cult (there once was one that went by that name).


Quite. I kinda’ like the title. Wish it were more widely known, appreciated, and used.

“Me too.”


Speaking God’s Words

One thing that you ought to know about those petty politicians (and others) who quote the Scriptures out of context, to impress people, or for any sort of personal gain, is what God thinks about it. Here are His Words:

But God says to the wicked: “what right do you have to recite My statutes; and to take My covenant on your lips?”                   Psalm 50:16 (HCSB)

Who is the sort of “wicked “person He has in mind? God goes on to tell us:

You hate instruction and turn your back on My words. When you see a thief, you make friends with him, and you associate with adulterers, you unleash your mouth for evil.

Know anyone like that? I’ll bet you could name quite a few!

But be sure the verse doesn’t also refer to you!


Dirty Faces

James talks about the man who looks into a mirror, sees his face is dirty, but then goes away and forgets all about it—as a result, he still has a dirty face. What was he talking about? People who look into (study) the Bible, find out what is wrong with them, but go away and do nothing about it. Dirt is one thing; for neatniks, possibly everything. But suppose he sees signs of skin cancer, and still walks away? That could be deadly.

Yet, people do what James describes all of the time. They read, they hear a sermon, they remember a Scripture verse—any one of which facts demonstrates the need for change—but no, they go on, unperturbed, just as if they hadn’t seen the spiritual dirt or signs of cancer evident in their lives.

In some ways, it’s more dangerous to hear and neglect (or refuse to obey) than not to have heard at all. The responsibility for continuing in sin is greater. When your preacher holds the Bible mirror to your face in a powerful message, do you immediately go the Lord in repentance for His washing? Or do you go home, have a good meal, turn on your HD wall mounted TV, and forget all about it?

If we Christians were more conscientious about this matter, the impact of the truth upon our lives and our testimony to the community would be greatly extended. How about it? Am I right, or wrong?

Become doers of the Word and not only hearers, fooling yourselves; whoever is a hearer of the Word and not a doer is like a man who sees the face he was born with in a mirror—he sees himself, and goes away and immediately forgets what he looked like. But whoever looks in to the perfect law of freedom and continues to do so, becoming not a hearer who forgets but a doer of deeds, will be made happy in the doing.
James 1:22-25


Left Lanes

If you’ve ever driven in Europe, the first obvious problem is to learn to drive forward on left lanes. It’s so easy to go wrong—and even occasion an accident! How come? Because we Westerners (i.e.., those who drive west of the Atlantic ocean) are used to dong the opposite.

“Used to”—those are interesting words.  I suppose that they come from the idea of doing something regularly enough that it is what you do when you drive in the usual way in the USA.

Now, this “used to-ness” is a capacity that God built into us.  He did so for our benefit—so that every time we do something we would not have to learn the practice all over again. Now that would keep us from getting much accomplished. We’d spend most of the time trying to learn the practice which we would have to learn all over again.

The only problem is that we too often learn to do habitually lots of wrong things instead of righteous ones! It takes conscious effort to learn to do holy actions instead of, and –in addition to—regular practices (just like driving on the right side of the road).

Of  course, that’s the second factor—discovering which is the right side of the road—so far as God is concerned. Only the Bible can settle that matter. Other ideas are (at best) only guesses.

Cracked Cistern?

Let’s think of two ways in which we can fail the Lord. Jeremiah wrote:

My people have committed a double evil:
They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water,
And dug cisterns for themselves,
Cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.
—Jeremiah 2:13 (HCSB)

Sometimes we think only of one side or the other of our actions—what we did do wrong or what we didn’t do right—and fail to recognize both sides of the equation are considered by the Lord.

As a matter of fact, it is difficult to do one without doing the other. Man must have his satisfactions—his cisterns. He cannot abandon the Lord without digging some hole of his own in the ground. Of course, what he does, at length he discovers never “holds water.”

Why opt for that which does not satisfy when you can have an abundance of crystal clear water to drink? Why keep on searching for water where there is none? Your cistern is cracked!

God offers in Christ the refreshing water of life:

You let them drink from Your refreshing stream,
For in You is life’s fountain.
—Psalm 36:8, 9 (HCSB)

Why not drink and be satisfied?


Perfected Love

Love that has been perfected casts out all fear.

That is to say, all fear except the fear of God!

The fear of God is a fear that involves love. An element in fearing God is the fear that we will displease Him. To have Him look upon us with dismay because of our faithlessness, our succumbing to temptation, our willful stubbornness, is in one sense to fear God.

We also fear His Fatherly discipline and chastisement, as I said in our previous blog. We fear His words of rebuke. We fear His threats to lose our rewards. We fear God because we want to love Him, and we want Him to love us.

So, think of this—all other fears mean a lack of the fear of God. We fear men because we don’t fear God enough—otherwise, we’d follow Him rather than giving in to men. We fear death because we do not have enough of a love and desire to depart and be with Christ. We fear ostracism because we fear losing the approval of others more than we fear losing the favor of God. Turn all of these things around and you can see what the love of God is. And how it casts out all other fears.

So, if we are to fear God, we need to perfect our love for Him and His Son Jesus Christ. Then other fears will not trouble us. Why? Because we will know that we are in the good graces of God Himself—what else could count as much?


What Is Your Heart’s Desire?

Proverbs 13:19 reads as follows:

Desire fulfilled is sweet to the taste, but fools hate to turn from evil   (HCSB)

“It would be nice if . . . but . . .”

That’s the fool’s mantra: “If only that . . .” He wants the prize, but is unwilling to pay the price. The price is, as the Proverb states, to “turn from evil.”


Do you desire peace of heart and soul?

Then turn from evil.

Continue reading


The writer of Hebrews ends his letter to this old, second-generation Hebrew-Christian congregation with encouraging words. They needed exhorting; many were teetering on the brink of turning their backs on the faith and returning to Judaism. A bit of persecution had come their way—not the large sort (torture and death)—but ostracism and the like. “Was it worthwhile?” some were asking. And I suppose, like their ancestors long before them, were sniffing at the onions and garlic of Egypt. Exhortation was due.

But how does he give it? Among other things, he assures them that the “great Shepherd of the sheep,” Who had gathered them into a flock, would “equip” them “with every good thing for doing His will” (Hebrews 13:21).

It’s discouraging when one must face an enemy with no weapons (or knowledge of how to use them, if you do have them). This writer knows that, and goes right to the heart of that problem: God will not send you out to do battle for Him without first equipping and training you. But you must believe this and avail yourself of what He provides.

So, Christian brother or sister—are you weary of fighting the forces that oppose you every time you seek to please Him by doing His will? It is your fault, you know. This passage says so. You can be the kind of person who successfully resists temptation while becoming more like Christ in the process. You can please Him. How? By availing yourself of all of the equipment for doing so, and learning how to use it.

If you don’t know what this equipment is, then you need to talk to your pastor or an elder in your church. After he tells you, ask him how the church has provided opportunities for you to learn to use it effectively. Those two things plainly ought to be matters of such concern that you refuse to put off doing so.  Phone, email, or see someone about them today!