Tag Archives: truth

Grace and Truth

Don’t mistreat any foreigners who live in your land.  Instead, treat them as well as you treat citizens and love them as much as you love yourself. Remember, you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:33-34 (CEV)

I don’t typically post about political subjects, even though I have a strong interest in what is going on in our country and have been very active in past years. And this post will not be political. But we are confronted daily on television, radio, social media, print media, and wherever you may get your news with what is going on at the border. Living in southern Arizona, just 76 miles from that border, we must deal with the consequences of the huge influx of legal and illegal immigrants daily.

From a Biblical perspective, borders have been encouraged from the beginning of civilization. God had given the children of Israel land that they conquered and inhabit to this day. Their neighbors regularly fought them to retake it which required wars, walls and maps to delineate to whom it belonged. All was necessary to preserve the sovereignty of the nation.

The Hebrew people also dealt with legal and illegal inhabitants. God was specific on their treatment. All were accorded the same measure of dignity as image bearers of God, however, they didn’t have the same privileges,

So what is the answer to this problem? Grace and truth. Jesus was the perfect example for us to follow:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 (ESV)

There is a tension between those words that challenge us as we develop policies and attitudes towards those who seek to come to America. Do we want legalism or grace to flow from the Christian community? The guard rail is the love of Jesus. If we ask the hard questions about what is right and how do the rules need to be applied, love is the salve that smooths the rough edges.

May our hearts be soft and our words generous even as we look to truth for the roadmap to solve this thorny issue.



He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction. Malachi 4:6 (NIV)

Our church is starting a new sermon series entitled, “ALIENS: Helping Christians Navigate Todays World.” Today’s sermon focused on what is truth. 

Some years ago our small group watched the video series, The Truth Project, where we explored many of the areas that were discussed today. But the word post-truth was new to me. Oxford Dictionaries selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year. The dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

It’s not surprising that 2016 was the year it was chosen since the race for President was so contentious. I am part of the baby boomer generation and truth was never subjective but always objective: one truth that’s the same for all people. I am also a conservative Christian and the basis for all truth is the Bible. But that standard seems to be changing in this day and age.

I read with interest a post on Facebook this morning, “A Letter to our Conservative Parents.” It was challenging for me to read as my children are in the age group of the author. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold similar beliefs. We talk all around the edges of these subjects when we get together…I know better than to ask directly. It’s not that I totally disagree, but rather I wonder if the changes have been helpful or hurtful to the Gospel. Sometimes it feels like we are speaking a different language, one that I thought we all knew. But now, I don’t know.

I do know that the church needs to change to meet the needs of those coming up — from style of worship, music, dress, commitment, and sermon presentation. We can readily find surveys of church attendance and it’s dismal. But who is going to stand in the gap of leadership and forge new ways to meet the very real needs of the next generations? I feel like I come from the horse and buggy days only to find the parking lot filled with Teslas. 

So what is my role in this new generation of church? The author of the letter ends it with: Please don’t quit on us! No, you can count on it. I have too much invested to walk away. I want you to succeed. I want Jesus to be the most important person in your life. I want your children and my grandchildren to grow up to be available for “such a time as this.” 

I will be in the cheering section. I can’t do the acrobatics that my granddaughter does at her football game. I don’t even really know the rules of the current game. But I love you. God loves you. And I hope you can make it work.


Shiny Clay Pot

Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware
    are fervent lips with an evil heart.

Proverbs 26:23 (NIV)


I stopped and paused while reading Proverbs the other day. I know what silver is and I like silver (other than I hate to polish it), but what is silver dross? The dictionary tells me it is the scum formed, usually by oxidation, on the surfaces of molten metals; worthless matter; waste.

I also know that earthenware chips easily and breaks to smithereens when dropped. (I’ve done both.) So why would you coat or glaze a clay pot with something shiny but worthless?

To hide the fact that it is a fake. It looks pretty but underneath it is weak, and in some ways false. You think it looks like long-lasting stoneware but it has not gone through the fire to harden and strengthen it, one of the main differences between the two.

A fast-talking salesman or sleazy politician may come to mind, or maybe the neighborhood gossip that likes to pass along juicy tidbits so that they look better in comparison. Hollywood is classic for the smooth and shiny until the their sordid lives comes to light for all to see in the latest scandal.

But God is not finished with this lesson and offers an alternative to that smooth talk. He wants us to be strong and speak truth so as a result, He may use the refiner’s fire to accomplish His purpose.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (NLT)

Aren’t you glad God promises that these trials are only for a little while? And, in the process, we grow, our faith remains strong, and one day we will be honored along with Jesus. We have endured the fire and been strengthened in the process. Now our words bring truth and life to those we meet each day.