[This revamped sparkythejesusfreak blog is dedicated to a wonderful, sweet lady, Nancy Moucha, from my former church, First Baptist of East Stroudsburg, PA. Years ago after I preached my once to twice-a-year sermon at our church, Nancy came up to me and essentially said, “Tim, you are easy to understand. Your message is clear. You should start a blog.” Well Nancy, today, April 29, 2022 is the day. The blog I started many years ago is finally ready to deliver the truth in as much clarity as this fallen but redeemed self-proclaimed “Jesus Freak” – (all human credit to D.C. Talk – Michael Tait, Kevin Max, and TobyMac – for being faithful to listen to the voice of the Spirit [God gets the real credit :)] and write the lyrics to “Jesus Freak” all those years ago. Rock on Freaks!!) – that this Jesus Freak is capable of delivering. By myself I can deliver nothing of eternal value; fully submitted to the will of God and being filled consistently on an ongoing basis with the Spirit of Jesus Christ . . . CLARITY will NOT be an issue.
Thank you, Nancy Moucha, for your wise words of counsel those many years ago. You have NO idea the impact you have had on my life and will continue to have not only in my life but Lord-willing in countless thousands of lives because of those handful of words well-chosen and faithfully spoken. Well done Nancy!]
Volume MMXXII:IV-XXIX (2022:4-29 or April 29, 2022 for Roman Numerals 101 preschool flunkies)
I believe in . . . What? I want to believe in whatever is true. It seems logical, practical, wise. To not believe in the truth to me seems illogical, impractical, and unwise, a.k.a. foolish. You may feel differently. Knock yourself out, i.e. you are free to believe what you want to believe.
Veritas = Truth. “What is Truth?” Pontius Pilate wasn’t asking a question in all likelihood. He just didn’t think truth could be figured out and known except for his “truth” that his life stunk. He was stuck in Israel tasked with keeping the Jews from rebelling and rioting. He needed to keep order or his emperor would have his head. His “truth” = “I’m stuck in this lousy land tasked with keeping order when I would rather be soaking my bones in a Roman bath!”
Veritas = Truth. What is THE Truth?
THE TRUTH Is . . .
John 14:6: “Jesus answered, ‘I am The Way and The Truth and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ “
In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, three servants are given various amounts of money/possessions/”talents”. One receives five talents and doubles it. One receives two talents and doubles it. The third servant receives one talent and buries it in the ground. Two servants have a holy ambition to increase their master’s possessions. One servant has an unholy lack of ambition to protect him or herself from failure, from difficulty, from the real possibility that he/she would have to do difficult things in order to add to the talent he/she was given.
“AND I WAS AFRAID”
I am that servant.
I have lived much of my life afraid, paralyzed by the wrong kind of fear of the master, fear of failure, fear of the “what ifs” of decision-making, fear of “what will people think of me if I do something different or wrong?????!!!!!” What a dope I am.
Why does God have to say in the Bible so many times, over and over again: DON’T BE AFRAID?
Because I am afraid.
Fear paralyzes. It causes me and perhaps you also to not do difficult things, to procrastinate on loving my neighbor if it is slightly difficult or uncomfortable, to not make that decision that needs to be made because I might get it wrong or I might be criticized by somebody for my decision.
Talk about gutless.
My conclusion: FEAR STINKS!
Fear is a choice. Trust in God is also a choice. As for me and my house, we will choose to trust God and fear Him, not everything else under the sun!!
“But My people did not listen to Me; Israel did not obey Me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own plans. If only My people would listen to Me and Israel would follow My ways, I would quickly subdue their enemies and turn My hand against their foes.”
Psalm 81:11-14 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Psalm%2081:11-14&version=HCSB
Sometimes I’m just like Israel was: stubborn, selfish, disobedient. I need to listen and follow.
God, hear my cry; pay attention to my prayer. I call to You from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me, for You have been a refuge for me, a strong tower in the face of the enemy. I will live in Your tent forever and take refuge under the shelter of Your wings. Selah
Psalm 61:1-4 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Psalm%2061:1-4&version=HCSB
Who do you cry out to when your “heart is without strength”? Cry out to God. He is your refuge and strong tower.