Immanuel Voices
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February 6, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Explore God--Is Christianity too Narrow? 3


Is Christianity too Narrow in Our Culture?

 

John 8:31-32

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

Thought for Today

We need to challenge the premise of the question, “Is Christianity too narrow?” The question implies that narrow is bad. This is not usually the case. We build dams because narrowing the water flow allows us to use it to create hydroelectric power. We narrow our educational focus to make ourselves more knowledgeable and more valuable. We cast clear and compelling visions to focus the energy of people and move our cause forward. The diffusion of many possibilities is rarely a benefit outside of brainstorming. When Jesus declares that He is “the Way and the Truth and the Life,” His statement gives us clarity. How do I get to heaven? Jesus is the way. How can I know what is ultimately true? It is found in Jesus. Where can I find life beyond the grave? Jesus can grant it. The plurality of answers given by the religions of world do not clarify the matter, they confuse. I don’t know anyone who was offered the plurality of answers to these ultimate questions and was able to sort it out for themselves. It has always left them confused and frustrated. We don’t do our friends any favors when, in the name of tolerance and inclusion, we pretend like Jesus claims are one among many. People want clarity. We should be careful not to put down any other claims in the process of lifting up the Truth. We are called to proclaim the Good News, not tear down others. We can be confident in simply speaking the truth of Jesus, because the truth we offer will be the only one empowered by the Holy Spirit. Simply speak the truth and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

 

Prayer

Holy Spirit, help we to winsomely speak the truth of Jesus and allow You to use the words as You desire. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

Truth, according to the Christian faith, is God's love for us in Jesus Christ. Therefore, truth is a relationship. — Pope Francis

 

Quote of the Day

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. ― Mark Twain

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February 5, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Explore God--Is Christianity too Narrow? 2


Is Christianity too Narrow in Our Culture?

 

Luke 13:23-25

And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’

 

Thought for Today

One of the challenges our culture has with any religion is that a religion is based on truth claims. Truth is by definition narrow; it excludes anything contrary to the truth. Modern American culture believes in the oxymoronic “relative-truth.” That is, a truth is only true for those who hold it to be true and those who hold a contradictory position can be equally correct. While logically impossible, relative-truth makes us feel compassionate and inclusive. The narrowness of truth is not bad as our culture supposes. Rather, it clarifies and shines light upon how things really are. When Jesus says, “enter through the narrow door,” He is telling us that the way to heaven is narrow. Many misunderstand this to mean that heaven is only for a select few. However, what Jesus is actually saying is that if you want to enter heaven you have to come before God empty handed. You cannot carry your diplomas, trophies, or resume. Those who demand to prove that they are worthy of God’s respect or love will not be able to get through the narrow opening. Only those whose empty hands are reaching out to Jesus on the other side of the narrow door will make it through. While some may see this truth as exclusionary, it is actually incredibly inclusive. You don’t need the right good works or the requisite amount of hours caring for others to get into heaven. Everyone can come in. You just have to be willing to lay down your trophies and enter heaven on Jesus all sufficient merit.

 

Prayer

Blessed Jesus, thank You for opening heaven to everyone. Help us to understand that it is open on Your terms to all who put their trust in You. Amen

 

Devotional Quote

Only through repentance and faith in Christ can anyone be saved. No religious activity will be sufficient, only true faith in Jesus Christ alone. — Ravi Zacharias

 

Quote of the Day

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence. — Henry David Thoreau



Comments

02-05-2019 at 8:59 AM
Lori Rueffer
"Truth is narrow. But grace is wide. Hold to the narrowness of truth while maintaining the width of grace." That's what we heard last night on the video we watched at the Bible Study at Pal Joey's. This is a powerful way to think about this topic. These words said it all to me.
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February 4, 2019, 6:00 AM

Daily Inspiration: Explore God--Is Christianity too Narrow? 1


Is Christianity too Narrow?

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

Thought for Today

This week’s question is a difficult one because our culture is very sensitive when it comes to questions of tolerance and inclusivity. However, that does not change our response. Jesus made very specific claims about who he is and what he came to do. He was convinced that he was sent by God the Father to reconcile the world to its Creator. He would do this by giving up his life so that the rest of humanity wouldn’t have to. He claimed to be the only way to the Father. His claims were very exclusive. However, as we will discover, they were also the most inclusive claims of all the religions of the world. This paradox of the inclusive exclusivity of Christ is what we will explore this week. Those who already have faith will be built up. Those yet to find faith will be challenged. Both places are healthy places to start the conversation.

 

Prayer

Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself to me and all who read these devotions this week, that in finding You we all might find the truth. Amen.

 

Devotional Quote

I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. ― C.S. Lewis

 

Quote of the Day

Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar. – William Wordsworth

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