What is truth


John 17:16-17

They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

The truth that we believe is not the “truth” of this world. It shouldn’t be surprising to us when our claim of eternal truth from God is rejected by the thinkers of this present age, this present darkness. Let us love them with an other-worldly love, even as we proclaim to them an other-worldly truth. 

Piano improv – Sunday morning July 3, 2016

United Kingdom

Because some asked for this, I’m posting it here. This was my improv during communion this Sunday, July 3. I didn’t have anything planned for this segment, so this is spontaneous worship. The clatter you hear are the platters with the communion bread being distributed and collected.

Listen

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My Faith Has Found a Resting Place

My Faith Has Found - graphic

A few weeks ago, the first line of this old hymn came to mind. I had it wrong, though. I remembered it as saying, “my soul has found a resting place.” When I looked up the words to the hymn, I discovered I got the line wrong, but it was OK. This song expresses so much of the WHY I can rest in God. Originally written in 1890 by E.E. Hewitt, the comforting and strengthening truths of our security in Christ’s finished work are worthy to be sung again and again.

My prayer is that this would be an encouragement to the church. Let me know what you think of it. If you would like a copy of the lead sheet, let me know in the comments or email me, thgmusic(at)gmail(dot)com.

words: E.E. Hewitt
music & additional words: Brad Pearson
Verse 1
My faith has found a resting place,
not in device nor creed;
I trust the Ever-living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

Verse 2
Enough for me that Jesus saves,
this ends my fear and doubt;
a sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.

Chorus
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
it is enough that Jesus died,
and that He died for me.

Verse 3
My heart is leaning on the Word,
the living Word of God,
salvation by my Savior’s name,
salvation through His blood.

Bridge
My great Physician heals the sick,
the lost He came to save;
for me His precious blood He shed,
for me His life He gave.

Verse 4
Now as I walk by faith, not sight,
my hope remains secure.
My Lord, who keeps His faithful word
shall help me to endure.

This arrangement ©2016 by Brad Pearson

Glory, Fame and Independence

120H

“This One who is life itself was revealed to us…” (1 John 1:2*)

Jesus was revealed to me almost twenty years ago in a powerfully dramatic way. I came to the Father through Jesus the Son. I was able to see, maybe for the very first time, just how beautiful, majestic, holy yet loving and compassionate God is through the person and work of Jesus.

From that day forward there has been an ever-growing, ever-deepening “fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn 1:3) Fellowship, relationship, need, dependence, belief, trust– add “-ing” to them all. Whatever expresses this with an ongoing, active, living relationship–that is what has been mine in Christ since 1996.

I still battle every day with my desire for glory, fame, and independence.

My flesh still wants glory for itself–right here, right now glory. Never mind eternity and the glory that will be mine in Christ forever. I want to be exalted in the eyes of others, finding my worth there.

I want fame now. Oh, how I want to be famous! Oh, how I desire that! I want those words of praise and acclamation now, while I can hear them. Then, then, I will know that my life means something, amounts to something. (I want in my flesh to derive my identity from my fame and glory as a musician.) I want to exult in my own fame.

But most of all, above all else, I want to be independent.

  • Nobody tells me what to do
  • Nobody places demands on my time
  • Nobody directs how I spend my money
  • Nobody is needed for my strength or existence

 Oh, how I want to be independent!

But fellowship with God the Father through Jesus His Son–authenticated, validated and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit–destroys all of my fleshly ambitions. They are all supplanted by the blessings of fellowship.

  • I don’t need glory because I exalt God for His glory! For His glorious Name’s sake I do all that I do.
  • I don’t need fame because I exult in God, through Christ. My joy and my identity come through Him. He is all that I am; all that I need.
  • I no longer desire independence because I recognize my need for dependence. And not just dependence on God. No, I also realize that I am depending on the body of Christ, the church, for help, for strength, for the encouragement I need every day.

In this connection to God and to His people I am free and am being freed day by day from my desires for glory, fame and independence.

“What a fellowship, what a joy divine,

Leaning on the everlasting arms…”

*Scripture quote from NLT

Images supplied by Ryan McGuire, http://www.gratisography.com

Three Proclamations

More thoughts from 1 John 1:1-4*

Today I find three proclamations. Two speak of Christ’s person and character and purpose. One speaks of a desire that should be mine if I grasp the first two.

 Proclamation #1

“We proclaim to you the One who existed from the beginning.” “He was with the Father.” (1 Jn. 1:1-2)

If I proclaim that Jesus existed from the beginning, that He was with the Father, then I am proclaiming that God has existed from the beginning. The two are inextricably intertwined.

  • There is no Jesus without God
  • There is no God without Jesus

 Proclamation #2

“We…proclaim to you that He is the one who is eternal life.” “He is the Word of life. This One who is life itself…” (1 Jn. 1:1-2)

If I proclaim that Jesus is life, that He is eternal life, then it is only possible to have eternal life if I know Jesus. And I can know Him because He has been revealed to me (“This One who is life itself was revealed to us…”). John the Apostle saw Jesus, heard Him, and touched Him. Jesus’ physicality was known by John through personal experience. As mentioned in part 2 of this series, I know Jesus through His word, the Scripture. He has been revealed to me through the testimony of the living Word. If I am to know Jesus, I have to know Him through His word revealed to me.

  • There is no Scripture without Jesus
  • There is no Jesus without Scripture

Proclamation #3

“We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us.” “We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.” (1 Jn. 1:3-4)

I have come into fellowship with the living, eternal God through His revelation of Himself through the eternal, living Son, who has revealed Himself to me through His eternal, living word. Among the implications of this glorious fellowship is that I will have a desire to see others know the joy of fellowship with God the Father through Jesus the Son.

If my joy seems incomplete right now, perhaps it’s because I’m not proclaiming Christ to others? My joy is complete as others come to Christ, and not in the least measure because of my participation in that process through proclaiming Him.

  • There is no joy without proclamation
  • There is no proclamation without joy

I’m writing these things “so that you may fully share our joy.”

Previous posts in this series:

“What We Share In Common with John”

“Reflections on Eternity”

 *Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation.