Truth is “God’s Perspective”
Jesus taught that God’s word is spectacularly important. He relied on it to overcome temptation in the wilderness (Mat. 4:3-11). He made “continuing in his word” an indicator of true discipleship (John 8:31). He tells his disciples of a direct relationship between hearing his word and him being their Shepherd (John 10:27). He goes on to say that in the last day people will be judged by his words (John 12:48). He takes the matter even further by showing that there is a relationship between doing his word and receiving the life to come (John 8:51, 12:50).
On the other hand, that same Jesus taught that loving our fellows is crucial to keeping his word. He tells his followers that they must love one another, and it is by that that people would know they are his disciples (John 13:35). He presses the matter further when he says that they must love one another as he has loved them (John 13:34). He takes the issue of loving our fellows to perhaps its most challenging level by teaching his followers that they must love even their enemies (Mat. 5:44).
To truly love Jesus Christ, we must love his word and people – at the same time. And, we must balance those two things every day of our lives. Jesus did that – as his disciples we must too. We fail as Christians anytime we neglect either of these matters. Jesus wholly embraced the word of God and wholly loved people at the same time. We can never rightly use doing one as an excuse for ignoring or in any way diminishing the other.
However, there is a hierarchy in these matters. For Jesus, our love for God and his word is our first priority. When Jesus identifies the greatest commandment, it is not to “love your neighbor as yourself’.” The first of all commandments in terms of priority is to recognize that: only one is God, and that you must love that One with “all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:29, 30).” Only after that does Jesus announce that the second commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).” Clearly our first allegiance is forever to God and his word. By that word he has then commanded us to also love one another.
IT IS WRITTEN
We have a wonderful carved wood version of these words on our mantelpiece. They stimulate me and challenge me. They serve as our best defense, our lifeline, our best next step and our only authority. They provide that rock solid foundation which we all seek, the nonnegotiable that truly is. You cannot starve if you are feeding on these words but will grow in grace and knowledge. And not only that, they allow us to “number our days that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). Hazard a guess as to how many times these words appear in Scripture. “It is written” occurs 76 times, 60 in the New Testament and 16 in the Hebrew Bible. [Read More]
EDITOR’S CHOICE – VIDEO
God’s Word Our Plumb Line
Joel Hemphill in his own unique fashion brings us a Scriptural presentation about the importance of God’s word. Joel tells us that the word of God is our “plumb line” without which we are left to hopeless confusion. God’s word is God’s will for humanity. To be successful as a Christian, Joel Hemphill tells us that we must rely on God’s word as our guide. Without it, how can we know what we are believing and doing is what God really desires of us? You will be entertained and challenged by “God’s Word – Our Plumb Line.”[Watch Video]