Every Word of God Proves True

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I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Every word of God proves true…Proverbs 30:5 NLT

God’s Word said “if you eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil you will die.” The serpent said, “You won’t die!” insinuating God is a liar. The serpent was talking so it appeared defiance to God actually gave him special powers. Eve believed in what she heard and saw from the serpent instead of believing God’s Word. Turns out God’s Word was true. She died.

God told us through the prophet Daniel that Europe would never be reunited into a one-world empire after Rome fell. In World War 2 Arthur Maxwell’s superiors were so afraid Hitler would take over Europe that they asked him not to publish his article claiming, according to Daniel 2, that there was no way Hitler could win and take over Europe. Maxwell published his article anyways. Good thing he did, because it turned out God’s Word was true. Hitler lost. Europe has never been reunited into a one-world empire.

In the wilderness Satan wanted to tempt Jesus and make Him doubt He was the Son of God. After all He probably did not look the best after 40 days of fasting. Jesus said He did not need any signs, like turning stones to bread to prove He was God’s Son. He had already heard God call Him “Son” at His baptism. Jesus put His faith in God’s Word instead of appearances. Turns out God’s Word is true. Even the centurion knew Jesus was God’s Son.

A boy told a story about dying and going to heaven. The Bible says when you die you remain in your grave, unconscious until Jesus comes and resurrects us. Like Eve, many people put their faith in what they saw and heard instead of God’s Word. The boy later recanted his story. Turns out the Bible is true. Those who die sleep until Jesus comes.

The moral of my story is, whenever appearances, sight, sound and feeling all contradict God’s Word, God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures will prove true every time. Trust God. Trust His Word above anything you see, feel, or hear.

You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here. 

Who Has Your Back?

I’m writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay Area.

n the movie Black Hawk Down, the U.S. colonel was trying to rescue his men who who had been ambushed by gun fire while trying to intervene in the civil war in Somalia. He had Humvees picking up the dead and wounded all around. After loading a Humvee with several wounded soldiers, he told a private to drive the Humvee. “But I have been shot,” the private replied. “Everyone has been shot!” The colonel sternly replied.

Sometimes when we are treated wrongly and wounded, we are tempted to think we are the only one such a thing has happened to when, in reality, everyone has been wounded. In my last post I talked about the fact that Daniel was able to make friends in pagan Babylon, but that did not mean he did not have enemies, and even though he had friends, they let him down. Down into a den of lions!

The other administrators were jealous of Daniel so to get rid of him they buttered up Darius, who was supposed to be a friend of Daniel. 

So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius!  We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions.  And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.”  So King Darius signed the law. Daniel 6:6-9 NLT 

They knew Daniel would pray to God, and they knew Darius liked Daniel, so they made a law that could not be reversed once Daniel prayed. And of course Daniel prayed. 

But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10 NLT 

Today many are protective of their privacy and worry if a third party could be spying and listening in on their phone conversations or reading their emails. Daniel knew good and well people were spying on him, but he kept doing what he always did. He prayed right in front of the window. If you knew people were spying on you, would you change your behavior or routine at all? Daniel didn’t. So the other administrators reported him to King Darius and reminded him that the law about being thrown in the lion’s den could not be changed. But Darius  could have thought of his friend Daniel before he even made the rule. He did none of that. He let his friend down … into the lions den. By the way have you ever wondered where Daniel was in Daniel 3 when the three Hebrews were thrown in the fiery furnace? One theory is that Nebuchadnezzar knew good and well Daniel would not bow to the idol, so sent Daniel on a business trip to avoid the embarrassment of having Daniel defy his order. If that theory is so, Darius failed to calculate Daniel’s integrity, which embarrassed Darius himself. 

I remember a while back working with someone who was not treating her co-workers right. She bragged how she was friends with the boss so she could get a way with whatever she wanted. Just a few months later her boss lost his job, and she lost her job right after he lost his. Sometimes people feel confident knowing someone “powerful” has their back, but all humans are just mortal dust in the wind. You can’t trust them. They can only do so much. Darius, as powerful as he was, could not save Daniel. Thankfully Daniel trusted God who could save him. 

A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel.  Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. Daniel 6:17-18 NLT 

Darius could not sleep that night, but I am sure Daniel could. He probably used a lion for a pillow. Funny how a clear conscience allows you to sleep.

Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den.  When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?”  Daniel answered, “Long live the king!  My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.”  The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God. Daniel 6:19-23 NLT 

Darius in his human sphere could not save Daniel though he tried. Fact is the only one who can save us is God. Daniel had no hard feelings towards Darius, because he knew Darius was only human. Daniel knew to trust no one but God. 

Years later Pilate tried to rescue Jesus and failed. On the third day the Father raised Him from the grave. Both Daniel and Jesus stood for what was right. Both Daniel and Jesus had people who tried to save them but could not. Both Daniel and Jesus were saved by God alone. Likewise in the last days we need to stand for what is right knowing full well no man will be able to save us. God will. We all have been wounded and let down by people. Praise God He alone can save us all!

What Happens When You Change Seats on a Plane

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I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

When my flight from Tulsa to Tampa stopped briefly in Houston last night, I decided to stay on the plane to save my window seat. The plane would be taking off again quickly anyway. Since the turbulence did not allow for any kind of service to Houston, I asked the stewardess for a drink.

As people started boarding, a small family was trying to get seated near me. The father was telling his kids where to sit as there was no room for them all to sit together. I was the only one in my row, so after spotting another available window seat, I offered the father my seat so he could sit with his kids. He graciously accepted the offer. As I got up to move, my earphones I was holding along with my drink got caught on the seat belt causing me to jerk and spill my drink across the seats. The stewardess quickly came to dry off the seats, while a passenger across the isle held my cup so I could free myself from my tangled web.

I was apologizing for making a mess but everyone was so friendly, and thanked me for changing seats. I thought to myself how cool that instead of berating me for being a klutz everyone just expressed their gratitude for me making what they thought was a nice gesture. They only saw the good in me instead of the klutz in me. I told myself I need to be that way with others. I need to see only good in others instead of their mistakes.

I made my way over to the window seat on the other side. A gentleman was sitting in the isle seat, and he quickly let me in. Turns out he was on his way home to the Plant City area. I told him I work with a church in Plant City. He asked me which one and I told him the Plant City Seventh-day Adventist Church and where it was located. He then began asking me about the Bible and how to know the truth. We had a very interesting talk for the remainder of the flight. He told me he did not agree with me about everything but my Adventist perspective was much more logical than what he had been hearing elsewhere. I told him that was fine, the Holy Spirit would lead him. I did point out through the course of conversation that 2 Peter 1:21 tells us that the Holy Spirit moved the men of God to write, and the Holy Spirit would not contradict what He moved them to write.  I told him I did not think it was just coincidence that I changed seats and ended up next to him and he enthusiastically agreed.

Though there was still much we disagreed on, when we landed and parted ways we both agreed that we really enjoyed our visit and were glad to meet each other. Without being too pushy I made sure he knew where my church was and where he could find me again.

I firmly believe and so does he, that the Holy Spirit caused me to change seats. The Holy Spirit probably did not cause me to spill my drink everywhere in the process, but even tough I made a total mess of things the Holy Spirit turned into something meaningful. As I exited the plane everyone was all smiles and saw me as a nice guy who helped out a family instead of a klutz that made a mess. In 2020 instead of seeing the mess in people I want to see the good in them too.