Saturday, August 29, 2015

Know the Truth

This photo depicts a person who is chained -- a captive -- a person who is enslaved.  No one chooses to be a captive -- or, do they?

Verses in 2 Timothy 3 describe how men and women will behave in the last days - things like being "lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, unholy..." and a host of other ungodly traits.  Then, it goes on to say, "For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Here we have a picture of captive women who fail to learn and know the truth, fail to make truth part of who they are.

On the other hand, Jesus tells us, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" John 8:32.  What does it mean to "know" the truth?  Well, it doesn't say that you shall "hear" the truth and it will make you free, nor does it say you shall "read" the truth and it will make you free.  Rather, Jesus specifically says that you shall "know" the truth and it will make you free.  What does it mean to "know" a thing?

The definition of KNOW is:  to perceive or understand clearly and with certainty.  In scripture, the word is sometimes used to describe an intimate physical act between man and woman.  In other words, to "know" a thing as Jesus describes produces a deep, intimate belief and understanding that is powerful and life-changing.  It's not just head knowledge, but seeps into being heart knowledge.

Knowing the truth will make you free.  Free from what?  Free from whatever lie Satan has been feeding you to keep you chained to him.  Satan is the father of lies and he is a master of persuasion and perversion.  What sort of lies has Satan (or more likely, his minions) been feeding you?  The list of lies he spreads could fill a library of books.

So, what is this truth that will make you free?  The truth is simple -- Jesus loves you.  It's so simple that the well-known children's song is sung by children all over the world.  "Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so...."  Notice, that even children can "know" that Jesus loves them. 

Knowing the truth will make you free indeed.  I choose freedom.

Photo notationI took the photo of a statue of a woman chained to a stake on the Island of Bermuda.  The statue represents Sally Bassett, a slave who was convicted of murder in June 1730.  She was tried on "suspicion of poisoning several persons."  Although Sally maintained her innocence, she was still burned at the stake.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Evil One Scores Again

I think I may have used this photo before, but it seems like the most telling to use for this post.  The subject captured in this marble statue is the ugly head and clinging fingertips of a demon.  Although we can't actually see these evil creatures in the world around us, they are there and they are actively seeking to harm us.  This particular demon appears to be sticking his tongue out as he gazes up to heaven -- perhaps, audaciously taunting the Almighty with the attitude of, "Nanni-nanni-boo-boo, the evil one scores again!"

We've seen in the news this week about a dating website (which I will leave unnamed) whose long list of members' information has been stolen by hackers.  This is no ordinary dating website.  When I saw the logo for the site that is shown on the newscasts, I was shocked and appalled.  My first thought was, "This is an obvious work of the devil!" 

Many of you have already seen this in the news, but for those who haven't, I will describe the picture displayed on their homepage:  it shows the lower half of a woman's face with a finger to her lips as she whispers, "Shhh!"  Below the picture are the words, "Life is short, have an affair."  When I saw that picture and those words on the newscast, I felt a shiver down my back.  To me, it was as if the face of a demon was overlaid across the picture and Satan was whispering those words to the weak, foolish men and women who would take advantage of such an offer. 

The whole idea of the website is so Satan-inspired, I'm amazed that so many people fell for his ploy.  But then, I shouldn't be.  Haven't people fallen for his lies since Eve plucked that fruit from the tree?  It seems that no matter how blatant are his efforts, he always finds suckers who will follow the pied-piper right over the cliff to destruction.  As Jesus so plainly told us about Satan, "...there is no truth in him.  When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it" John 8:44.

The brouhaha that has arisen from supposedly secret information getting into the wrong hands reveals a lot of shame, hurt, destruction and even death that results from following the path of the evil ones.  A verse in Numbers 32 reminds us, "...take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out."

Life is indeed short -- that much is true, but twisting the truth is one of Satan's great skills.  Having an affair because life is short is as far from the truth as Satan's goal is from God's goal.  Even Christians have fallen into this trap.  We should all take note of Paul's letter to the Ephesians and practice his admonition to:  "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."  Life is short -- live it to the fullest in the light of God's grace as you follow His sweet path.

Photo notation:  I took this picture in the garden of a museum-mansion in Palm Beach, Florida.  There were four demon head/torsos clinging to a fountain -- which I thought was a rather strange choice of subjects.