Posts Tagged ‘Lies

16
May
17

Our Poisonous Tongues

We keep animals in our homes because they have been tamed and domesticated. James says that the tongue is far more dangerous. He writes:

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. – James 3:7-8 (NIV)

Your tongue has the ability to kill with poisonous words. Gossip. Rumors. Insults. Put-downs. Lies. How many wounds have our tongues inflicted? How have we crushed and killed the spirits of those around us by our words? Here’s the thing, your tongue is not the guilty party in all of this. It’s your heart. Jesus said that it is your heart that controls what your tongue says. A poisoned tongue comes from a poisoned heart. A transformed heart leads to a transformed tongue. The tongue can only speak what’s in your heart, so let God work on transforming your heart so that your words will give life and not take it.
09
Mar
17

Speaking Truthfully

Paul reminds the Colossian believers that they have taken off the old self with its old ways. One of the old practices of the old self is lying. Paul says:

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. – Colossians 3:9-10 (NIV)

As followers of Jesus, we need to speak truthfully to one another. We need to be known as people of honesty. Don’t lie to your spouse or your children. Don’t lie to your boss. Don’t lie to your brothers and sisters in church. Paul told the Ephesians to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). The old self tells lies. The new self speaks the truth in love. If you are tempted to lie or to perpetuate lies today, remember that you have been changed and it is time to come clean. Tell the truth and do away with the lies.
28
Mar
16

Know The Truth And Be Free

1 John 4:1-3 (NIV)
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
In John’s day, there were false teachers who were teaching heresies denying that Jesus was a real human being.  They said that He had only come as a spirit.  But if Jesus was only a spirit, then how could He die for our sins?  How could He die a physical death as the perfect human sacrifice if He didn’t have flesh and blood?  The fact is, Jesus Christ came in the flesh as a real human being.  He really lived and He really died and He physically rose from the dead.  Those who deny this are not from God.  The spirits of those who taught such things, John says, were the spirit of the antichrist.
As followers of Jesus, we must be on our guard against false teachings.  We must compare everything we hear with what the Bible says.  The enemy is a master deceiver.  He has been deceiving humanity since the Garden of Eden.  He will sometimes tell outright lies to deceive.  Oftentimes, he will twist, distort and stretch the truth.  Satan even quoted Scripture to Jesus when he was tempting the Lord in the wilderness.  The best defense against the lies and distortions of the enemy is to know the truth of God’s Word.  Listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  Don’t fall prey to the lies of the enemy.  Know the truth because the truth will set you free.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I ask today that You would give me a passion for Your truth.  Give me a desire to read and to know Your Word.  I want to know the truth because I know that it will set me free from lies and deceit.  In Jesus’ name, amen.
13
Jan
16

Lies Versus Truth

Micah 6:9-16 (NIV)
Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—
    and to fear your name is wisdom—
    “Heed the rod and the One who appointed it.
10 Am I still to forget your ill-gotten treasures, you wicked house,
    and the short ephah, which is accursed?
11 Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,
    with a bag of false weights?
12 Your rich people are violent;
    your inhabitants are liars
    and their tongues speak deceitfully.
13 Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,
    to ruin you because of your sins.
14 You will eat but not be satisfied;
    your stomach will still be empty.
You will store up but save nothing,
    because what you save I will give to the sword.
15 You will plant but not harvest;
    you will press olives but not use the oil,
    you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.
16 You have observed the statutes of Omri
    and all the practices of Ahab’s house;
    you have followed their traditions.
Therefore I will give you over to ruin
    and your people to derision;
    you will bear the scorn of the nations.”
 
I’m convinced that God hates lying and cheating.  Take Micah 6 for example.  Micah 6:11-12 describes various ways of cheating people out of their hard-earned wages and crops.  God says in verse 12, “your inhabitants are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully” (Micah 6:12, NIV).  This is one of the charges God brings against His people and for which He was going to punish them.
Proverbs 6:16-19 says that God hates a lying tongue and the lies of a false witness.  God cannot stand dishonesty.  One of the 10 Commandments for His people is “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:7, NIV).  God hates lying.
I think that the reason God hates lies is because God is Truth.  Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the Truth.  Later in John’s Gospel (John 18:38, NIV), Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?”  The Truth was standing right in front of him!  People want to know the truth, whether they can handle it or not.  God’s Word is Truth.  Jesus called God’s Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.
God’s people need to be people of the Truth.  We need to put away lies, dishonesty and falsehood.  We must speak truthfully to one another with love and grace (Ephesians 4:25).  We need to testify to the Truth of Jesus Christ and His amazing grace.  The world is seeking Truth and we know the Truth.  His name is Jesus!  Let’s tell the truth about the Truth in word and deed.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I know that You are the Way, the Truth and the Life.  May my life be lived in such a way that reflects Your Truth revealed by Your Word.  Fill me with the Spirit of Truth today that I may speak truthfully about You.  In Your name I ask these things, amen.

 

08
Oct
15

Honest To God?

James 5:12 (NIV)
Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
James was the brother of Jesus and he echoes his brother’s words that He spoke in the Sermon on the Mount:

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.​ – Matthew 5:33-37 (NIV)​

What is the big deal about swearing oaths?  Is it really a big deal to say, “I swear it’s true!”  Will I be condemned for saying, “I swear on a stack of Bibles ten feet tall!”?  What about marriage vows or swearing an oath in court?  Am I in trouble for promising to God that I will be faithful to my spouse until death do us part?  The answer is no.
In Jesus’ and James’ day, people casually swore many oaths to indicate that they were being honest.  If someone swore an oath in the Lord’s name, it became binding because they were making God a partner in the oath.  Other than that, many oaths were not binding and people would worm their way out of them.  The issue here is honesty.  Rather than swearing up and down that what we’re saying is true, we should live lives marked by honesty.  People should be able to take you at your word.  Are you an honest person?  Or do you make up stories to make yourself look good?  Are you a truthful person?  Or do you have to remember every lie you’ve told to avoid getting caught?  Do you live with good character and integrity?  Or do you try to get away with things when no one is watching?  As followers of Jesus, we need to do better when it comes to honesty and integrity and that’s the truth.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are the very definition of Truth.  Help me today to live with honesty and integrity.  I am sorry for the lies I’ve told.  Help me to be truthful and honest.  I need Your forgiveness and ask that You would convict me of the need to be truthful in every circumstance.  Thank You for Your Truth.  In Your name I pray, amen.
27
Jan
15

Truth Doesn’t Sell Well

What does Paul mean by “some will abandon the faith” (1 Timothy 4:1, NIV)?  I believe that as we move closer and closer to the return of Jesus Christ, we will see more and more people who claim to be Christians leaving the orthodox teachings of Christianity for half-truths and lies.  In Ephesus, people were abstaining from marriage and from certain foods because it was believed that doing so would make them more spiritual.  Paul says that these teachings came from “demons” (verse 1) and “hypocritical liars” (verse 2).  There are a couple of inherent dangers in this line of thinking.  First, false teachers lead people away from following Jesus in order to follow them.  That is never good!  Second, false spirituality leads to pride.  “I’m better than you because I don’t do this, that or the other thing.”  When we start comparing ourselves to other Christians, we are missing the point.  We are to keep our eyes on Jesus, not on other believers.  We should not be pointing out the dust in the eyes of others while ignoring the 2 X 4s in our own eyes.  We need to be on guard against the false teachers of our day as well.  There are those who gather huge crowds to themselves as they spread lies and false teachings.  They ignore the traditional teachings of the Gospel in order to get rich selling feel-good lies that scratch itching ears.  They offer discount Christianity – all the benefits at only half the cost!  Truthfully, Jesus calls us to a life of self-denial and self-sacrifice.  He does not call us to the wide, easy road.  We are called to take up that cross and carry it through the narrow gate.  Fully-surrendered, fully-devoted, sacrificial living doesn’t sell well on TV or on the internet.  Read your Bible and know the Truth.  You’ll be able to sniff out a fake every time.
1 Timothy 4:1-5 (NIV)
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
22
Feb
12

Who Are You Listening To?

One of the scariest parts of my job as a preacher is handling God’s Word.  I know (and tremble at this thought) that people listen to what I say.  They read what I write.  They watch to see if I practice what I preach.  I believe that the Bible is God’s Word and I preach and teach it every week in messages and Bible studies and blog posts.  I am terrified that I may misuse it or mishandle the Word of God.  I try to remember this as I study the Scriptures and as I present them in various means.  I know that if I misrepresent God’s Word, there is a possibility that someone’s faith could be damaged.  I know that the Holy Spirit is bigger than my potential for errors.  I know that God, by His grace, can overcome any mistake that I may make.  I also know that the Bible has some harsh words for those who teach heresies for their own gain.

But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them.  In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality.  And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.  In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money.  But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed. – 2 Peter 2:1-3 (NLT)

I think that we always need to be on our guard for those who may teach false doctrines and heresies.  We need to beware of those who teach lies for their own gain.  We need to make sure we are reading and studying God’s Word and are searching the Scriptures so that we know the Truth.  The Bereans were commended in the book of Acts because they searched the Scriptures to verify Paul’s teachings (Acts 17).

So ask yourself today, “Who am I listening to?  Are they teaching and preaching the Truth of God’s Word?  Do I know God’s Word well enough that I can differentiate between the Truth of God and the lies of the enemy?”  Always be on your guard because the enemy is a deceiver.  He will twist the Truth and will use people who claim to be men and women of God to do it.  Spend time in the Word often so you can discern God’s voice from the voice of the enemy.  Listen and follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit as you grow in your faith so that you will know the voice of the Good Shepherd.




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