Christianity is Simple, Complex, and Mysterious

Christianity is Simple, Complex, and Mysterious

Some things about Christian faith are simple to understand. A child can come to Jesus (Matthew 19:14). It doesn’t take great intellect or in-depth study.

Christianity is Simple, Complex, and Mysterious
Some things about Christian faith are complex and deep, requiring study and prayer to understand (James 1:5; Psalm 119:11).

Some things about Christian faith are mysteries not understood here on earth (Deuteronomy 29:29).

So we come to Christ as a little child, trusting things we don’t understand (Matthew 18:1-4).

We are comfortable with mystery. We don't insist on having all the answers here on earth (1 Corinthians 13:12).

We study so we can correctly handle God’s Word, understanding the deeper truths (Timothy 2:15).

God doesn't give us all the answers, but He gives us everything we need to live godly lives (2 Peter 1:3).

Christians are comfortable with simplicity, complexity and mystery. We don’t have all the answers, but we serve a God Who does!

Murphy Ain't Got Nothin' on Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 Overcomes Murphy's Law

"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." ~Murphy’s Law

Sometimes it’s true.

Joseph’s life, for example:
1898 BC: Sold into slavery by jealous brothers.
1889 BC: Thrown in prison for his integrity toward Potiphar’s wife.
1887 BC: Forgotten in prison by the wine taster.
1886 BC: Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream and is placed over the kingdom.

Romans 8:28 Overcomes Murphy's LawYes, Joseph’s life looked like Murphy’s law for years.

From age seventeen to age twenty-nine, his life seemed to go from bad to worse.

But God has a law that always overrides Murphy’s law:
"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

Joseph explained the Romans 8:28 principle to his brothers in Genesis 50:20:
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

Is Murphy winning in your life right now? 

Hang in there. Romans 8:28 is coming!

Do Good Christians Live Sinful Lifestyles?

Why Good Christians Live and Promote Healthy Lifestyles

When immorality is approved by culture, Christians struggle to maintain Biblical values. 

That's why some Christians now suggest that practicing homosexuals or unmarried couples living together can be good Christians. They point out that we're all sinners.

But this argument breaks down quickly:

Why Good Christians Live and Promote Healthy Lifestyles
1. Scripture says we're "deceived" if we think homosexuality or sexual immorality are appropriate for Christians (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).(1) 

2. Repentance is a key to salvation.(2)

We don't become sinless when we follow Christ, but neither do we justify sinful lifestyles. 

We work wholeheartedly to overcome our sins (Philippians 2:13-13).

3. Culture approves what's politically correct at the moment.

No one claims practicing pornographers, pimps, prostitutes, or pedophiles can be good Christians because these lifestyles aren't accepted by culture (at least not yet).

4. Culture defines love many ways, but God is love and all of His commands are loving (1 John 4:8). 

5. Good Christians love people enough to warn them of sins that damage their hearts and souls (Ezekiel 3:20-21; Matthew 18:15; James 5:19-20). 
(1) 1 Cor. 6:11 explains that people are saved out of these sinful lifestyles. If genuine believers fall into one of these sins, it will bring him/her genuine sorrow and genuine repentance. No true believer would continue in the sins listed in this passage (1 John 3:7-10).  See also "Lies Some Christians Believe" and "All Sins Are Not the Same." 
(2)  See Mark 1:15; Acts 26:20; Philippians 2:12-13; 1 John 3:6.  "Unashamed of God's Word" includes Scriptures about homosexuality, and these devotions include Scriptures about premarital sex: "Sexual Purity Matters to God" and "What Scripture Says About Sex Outside Marriage."

Preserved, Printed, Precious - God's Word

Did you know that books were once hand-copied? It took several years to complete a single Bible.

Then in 1440, Gutenberg invented the printing press and it revolutionized the world. 

Even though each metal letter had to be arranged by hand, the Gutenberg press could produce hundreds of books in a year. 

The first book Gutenberg printed was the Bible. Eventually, the Bible became affordable and available to the common man.

I often take the availability of Bibles for granted. I don’t think about the historic events that placed this sacred book into my hands so I can pick it up whenever I want to hear God speak. 

If I'm not careful, I can begin to view Bible reading as a duty instead of a privilege. 

Do you ever feel that way?

If so, Psalm 119:18 is a good prayer:
“Open my eyes, so that I may see the wonderful truths in your law.”

This devotion based on a Bible Love Note from 2012 called “How Precious to You?”

The picture to the right is my copy of a page from the 1455 Gutenberg Bible. When my husband was in the Army, we were stationed in Mainz, Germany where Gutenberg invented his printing press. After they printed the pages, scribes still hand-embellished them with calligraphy and small pictures. This is a copy of one of those pages.

Misunderstandings About The Stripes of Jesus

Misunderstandings About Isaiah 53:5

The phrase “with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5) is often used to claim that all Christians should experience earthly physical healing.

The context of this verse is usually sin and redemption (Isaiah 531 Peter 2:24). But Matthew 8:16-17 does link it to demon-possession and physical sickness.(1)

And it's true: our redemption - body, soul, and spirit - is fully accomplished in the spiritual realm.

But our redemption is not fully realized here on earth (1 Corinthians 15:22-25; Hebrews 2:5-9).

By Christ's stripes, sin, Satan, trouble, death, and sickness were defeated when Christ said, "It is finished" (John 19:30).

Yet, sin, Satan, trouble, death, and sickness still exist here on earth (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). No matter how much faith we have, they exist (John 16:33).

We are in the process of renewal in Christ and sometimes God's plan includes supernatural healing here on earth,(2) but perfect spiritual, emotional, and physical health will not be available until eternity when we're completely transformed (1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2).(3) 

Our faith is built on that unseen reality (Hebrews 11:1). 

Misunderstandings About Isaiah 53:5 (1) Matthew actually refers to Isaiah 53:4 which is in the context of Isaiah 53:5.
(2) There are many reasons for sickness and for healing. Sometimes sickness is related to sin or unbelief, but not always. Sometimes healing is credited to faith or repentance, but not always. If we create formulas for healing that blame the sick person, we are no different than Job's friends whom God rebuked. Just as we are saved, are being saved, and will be saved - we are healed, are being healed, and will be healed.

(3) See also 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 which explains that Christ's mission won't be complete until His second coming and Hebrews 2:5-9 which explains that not all things are subject to Christ-followers here on earth.

To do a short Bible study on this devotion, see today's Bite Size Bible Study.
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