"Looks Can Be Deceiving!" An article and update.
As I sit in my office today catching up from the weekend, the monthly newsletter article was not getting written very quickly. Why? I was sitting here thinking about all of the things that I could be doing on such a beautiful sunny day. Procrastination. But, not only was procrastination working on me, deception was too!
What do I mean? In our area, we have a monthly ministers luncheon to have some fellowship and share news with each other about local congregations and events, etc. I stepped outside at about 11:45 to make my way to the 12:00 meeting and the sunshine immediately became an enemy! Let’s go back a few minutes before in order to understand why…
As I look out of the window in my office, I see grass that appears to be greening up, trees that are showing new life for the upcoming spring blooms, and even some folks walking around outside with sunglasses. Wow. After a lot of recent rain, and even a few snowflakes, the sunshine was extremely inviting. I love being outdoors. Even if it is just to enjoy a little Vitamin D on a day like today….or maybe not so much today! Why? Deception!
Going back to when I left to drive to the luncheon, I stepped outside and there was total deception. Yes it is true! I was being deceived by the bright sunny light from the sky as it was a chilly 25 degrees outside. That sunlight sure did look warm didn’t it? It sure did appear that there was so much warmth in the air. But in reality…such was not so. It was colder than the nice unseasonable 65 degrees from last week about this time - even in the gloomy cloud-stricken day.
Why do I mention this? Well, let me share another story with you. A couple of weeks ago, I was able to field a call from a sweet lady that called in to our office sort of frantically. She called multiple times overnight and said she really needed to speak to someone and that she needed help finding something in the Bible. I was honored to call her back to try to help her. Here is how the conversation went:
“Can you help me find something in the Bible?”
“Yes ma’am, I will sure try. What is it?”
“Well, I have been told at every church that I have ever been to that Jesus was crucified on a dogwood tree and I can’t find that in my Bible!”
“You can’t find that in your Bible? But, you have looked through a few times, right?”
“Yessir, I just can’t find it.”
“Ma’am, that is because it isn’t there.”
We went on to discuss that some traditions and even some ancient “historical” and folk legends would say that Jesus was crucified on a dogwood tree; yet, there was not significant evidence or writing in God’s Holy Writ to confirm a type of wood, much less the tree. I am sure some historical evidence may indicate this to some extent, but it just is not precise enough to say to any certainty.
Our discussion continued for several minutes, and then I asked her a very important question.
”Ma’am…I have to ask. If you cannot find a subject such as this in the Bible that is being taught at a church, what else is there that might be taught that is not in the Bible…or even worse, what is not taught that is IN the Bible?” After a lengthy discussion on some other things that might have been lacking, she agreed that she had been listening to what someone had said more than what the Bible says.
Deception! That is the only thing that can be said to describe such. Many times it may not appear to be intentional; however, it is done. Sometimes, the Truth is never found, and that is so unfortunate as a soul may be in jeopardy in that case. The Bible is clear on matters of faith, salvation, obedience, doctrine, and eternal life. Sometimes men and women are deceptive in their teaching on these subjects because it pleases men, and certainly pleases Satan. We have to be certain of our calling and election as the Bible says. Some things are truly not revealed as we see in Deuteronomy 29:29, and the type of wood of the crucifixion may just be one of those things. Doctrine, salvation, and obedience are not!
Test what is said and prove all things. Be like the Bereans and study your copy of God’s Word and hold fast to the truth! Don’t let deception - intentional or unintentional - pull you away and change your eternal destination!
Notes from the Media Ministry
Well, lots of changes. We announced that we lost our Dish Network Channel last month. We felt like we had a replacement ready to go, but that fell through. We are excited to say that this is now complete with a brand new network that we will share information with you in the next edition of the newsletter! For now, we can tell you that we will be on Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. CST matching our DirecTV offering.
Some other significant changes:
Oklahoma City - KSBI 52 - our broadcast has moved to 8 a.m. on Sunday mornings due to requests for a time change by multiple viewers
Sherman/Ada/Ardmore (Texoma area) - We are moving to KTEN! Sunday mornings we will be on KTEN (NBC affiliate) beginning March 24 at 6:30 a.m. CST
iOS App - There is a brand new update on the App Store that “hit the shelves” on Friday March 1. Much faster load times and some other improvements. Be sure to update your devices.
From the Field…
This year has been very busy already with the Field Rep program. Visits to OKC area, West and Middle TN, East TN, and North Texas have already been completed and in a few weeks we will be visiting in Louisville, KY. Have we been to see you lately? Let us know where you are and we will try to find a date if it is in an area in which we can feasibly come by soon.