I smiled when I heard about a mother who taught her son the difference between the words conscious and conscience. After her explanation, she asked him if he understood the difference.
“Yeah,” he answered. “Conscious is when you’re aware of something, and conscience is when you wish you weren’t.”
That’s better than Jiminy Cricket’s catchy tune that reminded Pinocchio: “Always let your conscience be your guide.” Sounds great, but unfortunately, it’s sloppy theology.
God never intended your conscience as your guide.
It has another purpose.
I’m Writing a New Book, and I’d Like Your Opinion
I’m excited to say my new book releases next year, published by Baker Publishing Group!
The book will look at the life of Joseph, particularly how his life models a person who learned how to wait on God.
(Photo: by Graig Garner)
In the brainstorm session with Baker to finalize a title, three titles made the final cut.
I would love to know which one you like best. Just click below to tell me.
I’ll let you know what the final title will be. Thanks!
Jeremiah used many illustrations which came from the land around him. One of my favorites comes from Ein Parath. The Lord commanded Jeremiah to buy a garment and bury it in the cracks of Parath.
Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks. —Jeremiah 13:4 NIV
Unfortunately, many modern translations render the Hebrew term, prt, in this verse as the “Euphrates River.” That would have required Jeremiah a 700-mile journey (twice) to perform a visual lesson Judah would never see.
There’s a better translation in context that offered a lesson to the Hebrews at a place that was closer to home.
And the lesson hits us close to home as well—reminding us why we should cling to God.
An interest in my stepdad’s guitar at age 15 sparked an interest God has used to guide my life. I’m sure God works in a similar way with you. In fact, I know He does.
(Photo: By Pisethinfo. Own work. CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
More than 30 years ago, I started playing songs on the guitar by John Denver, Jim Croce, Don Francisco, Gordon Lightfoot, and Dan Fogelberg.
I was hooked. I lived and breathed with the instrument. In a few years, I had written more than 100 of my own songs. It seemed this is what God wanted me to do with my life. I decided to pursue the dream of becoming a Christian artist.
- I majored in music (classical guitar) from North Texas State University (now UNT).
- I attended Dallas Theological Seminary so that I could learn to write theologically sound songs.
- I had an influential person with connections in Nashville who promised to introduce me to the right people.
I was ready. Cue the lights. Then God uplugged my guitar.
Playing guitar for all these years has taught me more than music. It has taught me these 3 lessons.
Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.
I recently completed listening to the whole Bible in a year while commuting to work each day. In years past, I had only read the Bible through. But listening was a marvelous experience.
It took longer to listen to it, of course, but the experience helped me connect with the Word of God in a way much closer to the way the original recipients interacted with Scripture.
The Bible tells us, for example:
- “At the end of every seven years . . . you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing.” —Deuteronomy 31:10–11
- “When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea.” —Colossians 4:16
- “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture.” —1 Timothy 4:13
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for reading the Bible. But the biblical authors originally wrote the Scriptures primarily to be heard—not read.
Here are 4 reasons why you should try listening to the Bible for a change.
Flying over the Old City of Jerusalem isn’t allowed, but the father/son team from SourceFlix.com strapped a camera on a remote control helicopter and got special permission to film.
It’s a SLOW video . . . but it’s smooth and gives you time to see the details of this most important piece of real estate in history.
When you think of ancient Israel, it’s likely you don’t think of caves. And yet, the country has literally thousands of them that have played a role in history. They’re still there.
From the caves in Mount Arbel, to those that provide sheepfolds in Bethlehem, to the Qumran caves that preserved the Hebrew text, the land is honeycombed with caves.
(Photo: Exploring the Caves in Bet Guvrin-Maresha National Park. Photo by James Foo)
One area particularly filled with caves is the Shephelah, the low rolling foothills that slope down between the Hill Country of Judea and the Philistine plain. Not all of these subterranean labyrinths allow for spelunking visitors. But let’s look at two that do.
One of these caves men made thousands of years ago.
Another one God made over thousands of years.
Please Take My 2014 Reader Survey!
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If we knew what God knows, we would choose to wait for His timing rather than push Him to act now. God made His creatures to live in dependence on the Creator. As such, we wait for the provision.
(Photo via ooomf.com, by Tyssul Patel)
As much as we hate it, dependence demands waiting. Refusing to wait amounts to independence and even rebellion from the one who created us.
Insisting on instant gratification (even for good things) minimizes and overlooks the infinite worth of God’s sovereignty—a wisdom that sees beyond the next five minutes. Or the next five years.
Are you waiting for God to do something in your life?
If you knew what God knows, here’s what you would do.