I have to confess that when I am ready to blow my diet I love to go to the buffet line. I am careful however, to choose properly because you can only eat so much and you want to be sure to choose the tastiest of the offerings on the menu. Don’t report me to the food police but I tend to overdo it on the meat and the sweet. Choosing only what is tasty on the buffet line may be perfectly fine but having a pick and choose attitude toward scripture is dangerous.
I have noticed a trend among people today who choose to believe only the truths in the Bible that appeal to their tastes or have a positive sound. Things like the love of God, joyful living, and heaven are some of the appetizing truths that people choose to accept. But when it comes to subjects like eternal punishment, holy living, and the biblical definition of marriage, people tend to move along the buffet line. The problem is that God does not allow us to treat the Bible like a smorgasbord. We must accept the whole counsel of God. Jesus told us in John 10:35: “…the scripture cannot be broken”. Paul told Timothy: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2Tim. 3:16). God has not left us the option of choosing to believe only those portions of the Bible that are appealing to us, or those verses that have met society’s politically correct test. As a matter of fact it is spiritually dangerous to add to or take away from the teachings of scripture. John closes out the Bible with this warning: “…If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life…” (Rev. 22:18,19).
There are many things in the Bible I do not fully understand. However we as God’s children do not have the right to pick and choose what parts to believe. If God said it, we should believe it, and that should settle it.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is such an important fact for Christians that special celebrations for that historical event are a vital part of the church’s calendar. We have Easter cantatas and other musical venues to celebrate the truth. We have Good Friday services, sunrise services, and drama presentations. Easter is the high point of the church year and the calendar is crammed with activities. Houses of worship all across the world are filled on Resurrection Sunday. But Easter is over and those special observances with their added
spiritual emphasis have concluded. So how do we live when Easter is over and nothing special is going on?
Easter may be over but the truth of Christ’s resurrection lives on. He not only rose but He still lives. Because He lives our sins are still forgiven, our future is still secure, and our lives are still worth the living.
Easter is over but its joy still continues. The joy that was experienced by those early disciples stayed with them through the difficult days of persecution. Jesus said in John 15:11:“These
things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”.
Our joy at this time of year is not about the special events and uplifting music. It is rooted in the person of our Lord who is still with us after the holiday is over.
Easter may be over but the job remains unfinished. Jesus told Mary not to cling to Him but to go and tell His disciples. Likewise we cannot cling only to our celebrations no matter how wonderful they are. We have a task to tell the whole world the good news that Jesus Christ is
Today is the Monday after Easter. Easter is over but we as followers of Christ still have the truth that never fades away. We still have a joy that remains with us no matter what circumstance we go through. And we have a job to continue sharing the gospel with those who have never heard.
On that first Resurrection morning the disciples began to get excited upon hearing that Jesus was alive. They started an investigation to give them proof of life. Hearing news about His resurrection was great, but they wanted proof. The first proof of life came when they saw the empty tomb. The tomb had been sealed and guarded. The disciples knew that Rome certainly would not have removed the body and they knew that none of them had taken it. The next bit of evidence for the resurrection of Christ was the grave clothes. The heavy wrappings of linen clothes which Joseph and Nicodemus had wound around the body were still there, but Jesus was gone. He had vanished out of them and the grave clothes seemed to have collapsed inward on themselves. Peter and John investigated the site and as John viewed the clothes, he believed.
Another proof of the resurrection would be the testimony of the angel. He told the women that Jesus indeed had risen from the grave and would meet the disciples personally in Galilee. However an even greater proof of life was the eyewitness appearances of the resurrected Christ. The disciples actually saw their Lord on at least ten separate occasions after He left the tomb. On one of the occasions in John 20, Thomas would not believe the words of the other disciples that He was alive unless he saw for himself and examined the wounds. Jesus appeared and invited Thomas to: "…Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God"(John 20:27,28).
The resurrection of Christ is one of the most well-attested events in human history. There is solid proof of life for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For those who claim to believe in Christ and His resurrection, a question needs to be asked of us. When people examine us, is there proof of Christ being alive in our heart?
Can you believe it? Just when you thought you have seen everything, heard everything, the marketing gurus have come up with a new product to sell: “water”. Several years ago now the advertisers somehow convinced us that the bottled water on the shelf is a little more pure, or a little more healthy than the free kind that comes out of our tap. Just walk down the aisle of your local supermarket and you will read an assortment of labels- Aquafina, Crystal Geyser, Evian, Dasani, Arrowhead, Danon, and the list goes on.
Paying for water probably is here to stay, but I’m so glad that in the Bible we are offered free water. In John 7:37-39 Jesus uses the symbol of water to show how coming to Him can quench our thirsty souls. The Bible tells us that, “On the last day, that great day of the feast. Jesus stood and cried out, saying if anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”. Jesus invites all to come to Him and drink freely. He is offering us free water.
The free water of salvation is the first thing He calls us to. He offers Himself as a payment for our sins. He did all the work and He is the one who paid the price. Our part is to simply come to Him and drink, to take Him as our personal Savior. Have you had the drink of salvation? If you have you will find it is not only free but also fulfilling. One drink of this life-giving water and you will never thirst again.
The free water of the Spirit is also offered in these verses. John 7:38 tells us that we can have rivers of living water flowing from us. This refers to the filling of the Holy Spirit that is made available to us after Jesus ascended into heaven. We desperately need this refreshing river of living water to fill us daily with His love, His joy, His peace and His power.
Are you thirsty today? Has the bottled water of this world left you empty and unsatisfied? Come to Jesus, He will give you living water.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation