Trouble With the Truth

“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth“? Galatians 5:8

One of my all time favorite country artist is Patty Loveless. A few months ago I was excited to find one of her CD’s at a Yard Sale for .50 cents. I’ve been listening to it in my car ever since. I found myself drawn to one song in particular. I’d skip over track one and back up from track three to hear it’s words over and over. The Lord began to speak to me through it’s words and it is those thoughts that I’d like to share with you.

I think as Christians often times our “trouble” is that we don’t let the truth have it’s way in our lives. Galatians 5:8 says, “You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth“? The answer to that question will always bring you back to sin. 1John 1:6 tells us, “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth“. Practicing the truth involves setting our minds on the things that are above instead of the things that are here on earth. Galatians 5:16 gives us clear direction: …“walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh“.

Scripture tells us the SUM of the word is truth.    God’s Word is inerrant, it’s timeless and it’s complete.  There are warnings throughout that nothing is to be added to it nor taken from it.  We can’t pick and choose what feels right or principles to live by based on our current circumstances.  Scripture speaks with authority.  It speaks definitively.  It speaks decisively.  It calls for absolute conviction.  Time and time again God’s Word gives direction on how we are to walk.  In James 4 we are told to submit to God and resist the Devil.  In 1 John we are urged to have discernment between the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error and that no lie is of the truth.  In 1 Peter we are commanded to turn from evil and do good.  Isaiah 55 informs us that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts nor is His way our way.  Romans chapter 1 warns us not to exchange the truth about God for a lie.

Do you have trouble living by the truth of God’s Word at all times and in every situation?  I think it’s imperative as Christians to remind ourselves that believing something doesn’t make it true.  We have the responsibility to align all our thoughts against the “plumb line” of God’s Word.   The bible should be our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true.

The entire chapter of Psalm 119 is dedicated to God’s truth and it’s role in the believer’s life.  All 176 verses express the Psalmist’s love for God’s truth.  Psalm 119:89 “Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven“.  This is another confirmation of the absolute authority and finality of the Word of God.  God’s Word is eternal and unfailing.  Opinions may change,  but the Word of the Lord is constant.  David’s words are my hearts cry and I pray it will be yours as well.  “Lord, lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation”. (Psalm 25:5)

Amy Jo


The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

I AM SUPERMOM!! Everyday………… my house gets cleaned from top to bottom, I run all my errands (and never forget anything on my list), arrive at least 10 minutes early for all my appointments, play with my kids every time they ask, visit with friends, volunteer at school, workout at the gym, get the kids to and from all their practices and games, put a healthy and delicious meal on the table each night, support my husband, and spend at least an hour in quiet time with God, all while looking like I just came from a cover shoot. And this all happens… …….in my head before I get out of bed.

There are two things I do before I get out of bed each morning. First, I thank God for another day and offer it to Him. I ask Him to help me be a light for Him in a dark world and for Him to guide my decisions and actions for that day. Secondly, I begin to list out in my head all the things I need to accomplish, the places I need to be, and the people I need to talk to for the day. This can be a great way to start the day. So why are there so many nights I go to bed feeling like I have failed God, my family and myself?

A few mornings ago as I was in the middle of my conversation with God and was about to lay out MY plans for the day, God abruptly stopped me. I clearly heard the words of Jeremiah 29:11. In context, these words are not promising us that life is a bed of roses, but rather, even though we have hard days filled with commitments and struggles, if we follow God and the plans He has for us He will guide us to the future He has laid out for us.

When you give your day to God are you giving Him your plans, or are you giving Him your self? Are you letting Him guide you in where He wants you to go? He has shown me that giving my day to Him is more than just a quick prayer in the morning. It is a conscious effort all day long. I am working hard at giving each moment to God, trying to continually ask Him, “what’s next?’ as I go through my day.

I am sure there will still be days when I go to bed with a dirty bathroom, and dinner was from a drive-thru while we are rushing not to be late for a game. But I know that when God is my constant guide, I can look back as I lay down at night and see all the things we have accomplished together instead of all the things I failed to do on my own.



Sunday Morning Hymn

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” (Revelation 22:16)

Lily of the Valley

Text: Charles W. Fry
Music: William S. Hays; adapt Charles W. Fry

I have found a friend in Jesus, He’s ev’rything to me,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
The Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay;
He tells me every care on Him to roll:

He all my grief has taken, and all my sorrows borne;
In temptation He’s my strong and mighty tow’r;
I have all for Him forsaken, and all my idols torn
From my heart, and now He keeps me by His pow’r.
Though all the world forsake me, and Satan tempt me sore,
Through Jesus I shall safely reach the goal:

He will never, never leave me, nor yet forsake me here,
While I live by faith and do His blessed will;
A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,
With His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.
Then sweeping up to glory to see His blessed face,
Where rivers of delight shall ever roll:

He’s the Lily of the Valley,
the Bright and Morning Star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

Saturday Morning Time Out

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:24)

The devout soul rejoices in God as his great Inheritance. When He is always present to our mind, when we are constantly making use of Him, when we find ourselves naturally turning to Him through the hours of the day, then such quiet peace and rest settle down upon us that we cannot be moved by any anxiety of the present or future.

Excerpt from”Our Daily Walk” devotional by FB Meyer

Reconciling With Others

“‘Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent’” (Matthew 5:25–26).

The time for reconciliation with others is always now, just as it is with salvation. Tomorrow may be too late. No excuse is valid to allow bitterness, anger, hatred, or any other sin to keep us separated from another person. Jesus illustrates here that we should make good on any debt or settle any grievance before it is too late and we’re imprisoned.
In the Roman Empire, two opponents at law could settle an issue on the way to court, but not after a judge became involved. To avoid judgment and imprisonment, the guilty person had to pay “the last cent,” or everything owed in debt.

Being thrown into prison and not being able to get out until a debt is paid is Jesus’ analogy to the Father’s punishment. We can’t miss the Son’s teaching here: we must make every effort possible, with no delay, to mend any broken relationship with a brother before we can avoid divine chastening and have a right relationship with God.

We know that because of sin, none of us is ever completely at peace or perfectly related to another. And since it’s impossible to have perfectly right attitudes toward others or God, no worship is ever fully acceptable. All of Jesus’ teachings in this passage and the rest of the Sermon on the Mount show us again the utterly perfect standard of God’s righteousness and the absolute impossibility of our meeting that standard on our own.

Ask Yourself
There’s no denying the pain of strained and severed relationships. But there’s nothing like knowing you’ve done everything you can to make it right. Can you live in the Lord’s peace even if nothing changes?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610,

Five Ways Christ Is Working in His Ascended State: #5 Jesus Christ prepares a place for us.

Finally, our Lord’s ascended work on our behalf isn’t just to help us in the present but also to prepare an eternal home for all His people:

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:1–3)

How is Jesus doing that, and what does it look like? Well, we can’t be certain, but we at least know that our Lord is readying more than enough rooms for all His children—and one day soon, He will return to gather us to His heavenly mansion.

When we drag ourselves before the ascended Christ’s throne, embarrassed and bedraggled and feeling weak and inadequate, we discover it to be a throne of grace—a throne at which He gives us far better than we deserve.

With Us Evermore

Yes, Jesus left the earth, but the ascension doesn’t mean that He is absent. Quite the opposite! It actually means that Jesus is present. He’s absent from us physically because He’s seated at the right hand of the Father on high, but through the Holy Spirit He sent after His ascension (John 16:7), He is with us now and forever—“always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

And what’s more, from His place in heaven, “he always lives to make intercession for” us (Heb. 7:25). So when we drag ourselves before the ascended Christ’s throne, embarrassed and bedraggled and feeling weak and inadequate, we discover it to be a throne of grace—a throne at which He gives us far better than we deserve.

Adapted from “The Ascension — Part One and Part Two” by Alistair Begg

Five Ways Christ Is Working in His Ascended State: #4 Jesus Christ intercedes for His people.

Jesus is also pleading our case. Romans 8:31 asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Well, if we’re honest, it seems like plenty can be against us! The devil is against us, and he is the great accuser. Our friends sometimes let us down and accuse us. Even our own hearts accuse us. So what do we do? How can Romans 8:31 carry any weight for the believer? Where do we look?

We look up, because we have an “advocate with the Father” (1 John 2:1). We look to Jesus, because He has entered heaven “to appear in the presence of God on our behalf” (Heb 9:24). He “indeed is interceding for us” (Rom. 8:34), which means that He is intervening in our interest—and He’s doing so in a way that guarantees our welfare by ensuring that what He died to secure for us actually becomes ours.

Adapted from “The Ascension — Part One and Part Two” by Alistair Begg

Five Ways Christ Is Working in His Ascended State: #3=Jesus Christ helps the members of His church.

Jesus Christ also actively helps the members of the church that He rules. You find this emphasis all the way through the book of Hebrews. (In fact, Hebrews is probably the best sourcebook on the present work of Christ in His ascended role.)

Hebrews 2:18 says, “Because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” The same truth is applied again in a familiar verse: “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Not only is Jesus powerful enough to help us as ruler of all, but He actually loves to bless His children. In fact, Jesus is far more willing to bless us than we are to even take the time to ask Him to bless us. Recall that according to Luke 24:50, Jesus departed from His disciples with His hands raised in blessing upon them. Is that the picture you have of Christ in your life: able, ready, and willing to bless?

It is of tremendous encouragement to be reminded that “there’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus. No, not one! No, not one!”2Often it takes the times of deep heartache, despair, or difficulty to remind us of just what an important and wonderful reality this is: that Christ is our ultimate help, our perfect guide.

Jesus is far more willing to bless us than we are to even take the time to ask Him to bless us.

Adapted from “The Ascension — Part One and Part Two” by Alistair Begg

Sunday Morning Hymn

“There is none holy like the Lord; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God (1 Samuel 2:2)
Rock of Ages by Augustus M. Toplady

Even when we may feel like we are all alone, remember that God is always by our side and will never abandon us. He is truly our light in the dark and our rock that we can stand upon always. What an amazing feeling to be loved by such a kind Father and to give praise to His name with the beautiful hymn ‘Rock Of Ages.’

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyes shall close in death,
When I rise to worlds unknown,
And behold Thee on Thy throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

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Five Ways Christ Is Working in His Ascended State: #2 Christ is not only governing the universe, but He is also ruling His church:

This week our daily devotions are from a Truth For Life article entitled “Risen and Ascended: 5 Ways Jesus Is Still Working”.

[God] raised [Christ] from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church. (Eph. 1:20–22)

It is the Lord Jesus who is the head of the church. Pastors might be tempted to think that they have some semblance of control over congregations, but when it comes right down to it, every pastor simply serves as an undershepherd in the ministry of “the chief Shepherd,” Christ (1 Peter 5:4

Adapted from “The Ascension — Part One and Part Two” by Alistair Begg