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Big Truths I Need to Hear Every Day

Eternal TruthI’m a messed up human being. I don’t mean that I’m particularly deranged – just that I was born broken and have reached the plateau of adulthood carrying some flaws with me. The biggest flaw? I believe lies… sometimes.

Here’s a law of life that can’t be avoided or broken… The way I think determines what I believe, which determines how I act, which creates my path and all of its rewards and consequences. Ultimately, life’s trajectory is a result of my beliefs.

When I mess up and sin, it’s always because I’ve believed a lie. I’ll give you some examples…

  • I’ll just do this once.
  • Nobody knows… or cares.
  • Everybody does this.
  • This is just who I am.
  • I’ve gone too far and there is no turning back now.
  • No one could ever really love me.

Any of those ring a bell? Whether whispers from the enemy, or sad chants we’ve accidentally learned to repeat, they are destructive. So today, and tomorrow, and every day thereafter, I need to start my day by ingesting truth. I believe that the only source of absolute truth is in the Bible, the Word of God. So I use Youversion’s reading plans to help me take it in each day. But that’s not all I need. I don’t mean that God’s word is insufficient. I simply mean that I need to personalize what I’ve read so that I can do and live the essence and meaning of it.

As for my particular struggles, there are some truths I am reminding myself of daily these days. The things you need to hear repeatedly in your walk will probably vary from mine, but these are truths I cling to:

The Truth About Me and God

  1. I am not God. I am powerless, helpless, lost, and broken without Him.
  2. God loves me and showed how much He loves and values me by sending Jesus to the cross for me.
  3. I cannot stop God from loving and valuing me because it’s about His character, not my behavior.
  4. In Christ, I have the limitless power that raised Jesus from the dead working in me, so victory is always achievable.
  5. The Holy Spirit wants to do His work in me at all times. I simply must yield at all times.

The Truth About Me and Myself

  1. I cannot control my circumstances, but I am absolutely in control of my responses. Blame nothing.
  2. I am responsible for all of my actions, attitudes, and behaviors. Blame no one.
  3. I am capable of accomplishing anything to which God has called me.
  4. My default is to be defensive and make excuses, which flow from pride and insecurity.
  5. I can always, always choose better.

Recommended Resource: Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris.


The Truth About Me and My Family

  1. My wife is a beautiful gift from God and deserves my attention, my affection, my protection, and my devotion.
  2. My wife is for me, shows me grace and respect when I don’t deserve it, and loves me faithfully.
  3. My kids need a Dad who is stable, strong, safe, and loving.
  4. My kids need a Dad who loves their Mom and proves it.
  5. I am the Dad, the priest, and the Pastor who will be held responsible for my family’s spiritual welfare.

The Truth About Me and My Church

  1. Jesus died for His church. It is His alone, and He values it immeasurably.
  2. God has called me to be an undershepherd of His flock, leading and feeding them on His behalf.
  3. I am not responsible for the choices others make, but I am responsible for equipping people under my care for spiritual maturity.
  4. I am the leader, whether I feel adequate or not, so I need to make the tough decisions and be in front.
  5. I am here to growth spiritually healthy people. People don’t exist to make me successful. I exist to help them be like Jesus.

The Truth About Me and My Culture

  1. The world will squeeze me into its mold unless I fully surrender to God and choose His path.
  2. Cursing the darkness is exhausting, pointless, and ultimately counterproductive to God’s goal for the world.
  3. I need to be light, salt, and a voice of truth within the territory of the deceiver.
  4. Everyone needs Jesus. Everyone belongs in God’s family.
  5. Isolation from culture helps no one. Imitation of culture helps no one. Infiltrating culture is my calling.

I don’t always remember all of these truths. When I forget them, things go badly. When I am reminded of them, I can stand strong and walk confidently. Truth leaks, leaving room for the lies of the enemy. Hearing truth and applying it repetitiously is the only way to win.

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Photo by Chris Nicolson.

Does Rick Warren Endorse Chrislam?

Saddleback ChurchNo.

Period.

It’s a funny thing. Since we’ve announced that we’ll be planting a new church in cooperation with the new Saddleback Network and that Rick Warren has endorsed and sent us, I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the controversy over “chrislam.” I’m not going to link to any articles – Google tells the story, and it’s a sad and frustrating one.

The rumor is that Rick Warren and other prominent religious leaders are promoting a new belief system known as chrislam, which is a kind of twisted entangling of Christianity and Islam. Let me make a few things clear…

1. Rick Warren affirms that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved for eternity. Here’s what Rick says about the issue: “If you can be saved without Christ, missions is a crock. We’re better off not to go.” This is from a recent interview between John Piper and Rick Warren in which Rick had an opportunity to set the record straight on a number of issues.

2. That Saddleback is involved in “chrislam” is crazy. The church hasn’t removed any crosses from the property. They haven’t put Koran’s in the pews (they don’t even have pews). They don’t teach from any Islamic religious traditions. In fact, Rick and the church affirm that we must be more clear than ever before that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven in light of an increasingly pluralistic society.

3. “Mature” Christians should really be more discerning. It’s funny how often I hear Christian leaders encourage believers to be more “discerning” about doctrinal error and how we should be “exposing” false teaching. I agree (and so does Rick Warren), but what’s sad is that there doesn’t seem to be any expectation that mature believers should be equally discerning about malicious, unfounded gossip. If our favorite guy on the radio or television quotes a verse and slams a leader, it must be true. Sadly, plenty of believers continue to quickly latch onto the latest hype over guys like Rick Warren, and I believe it grieves the Holy Spirit and breaks the heart of Jesus who has to watch His own body divide in this way.

If you’ve spread the “chrislam” rumor, or any one of hundreds like it, not only about Rick Warren, but about any other Christian leader, here’s my advice:

  1. Repent.
  2. Apologize to the leader.
  3. Confront the sources of malicious gossip. Ask them if they’ve verified their words, gone to the source, or approached their work of “exposing” in a way that would line up with Jesus’ clear instruction to go to a leader one-on-one first.
  4. Spread the truth.
  5. Talk about Jesus more than your favorite (or least favorite) Christian leader.
  6. Light a candle. It’s much more productive than standing around shouting at the darkness.

You have no idea just how forgiving Rick is, and this is because of his understanding of just how forgiving Jesus is. If you’ve ever watched a depiction of the trials of Jesus, you’ve felt what I’ve felt. Why didn’t He just defend Himself? Why didn’t He set the record straight and beat the dog-snot out of those false accusers? I’ve often felt the same about Rick. But at the end of the day, there’s a greater goal to be accomplished. I’m proud of Pastor Warren for deciding to spend his time and attention on the spreading of the gospel for the redemption of the nations rather than defending himself against every false accusation.

Make no mistake, Rick Warren loves Muslims deeply!! If you don’t, you have a problem with Jesus who loves Muslims even more than Rick does.

If you’ve been the center of unfair criticism, consider yourself blessed to be so identified with Jesus. And if you’ve handed out the criticism? Thank God that Jesus died to fully and completely forgive you and to grant you His smile when you trust Him!