Speed Limit Signs Exist

The speed limit sign stated 55 miles per hour. There was no doubt what the standard speed was for that stretch of highway. Although some may complain, the standard is the same for everyone.

When you or I travel at a speed higher than the posted limit, an officer of the law can stop us. He can issue a warning or a ticket.

As the officer walks up to our driver’s window, we all hope for the warning but know we deserve the ticket.

It is a simple tension. We know there is a set standard, we have violated it, yet hope for mercy.

It would seem ridiculous to argue with the officer that no speed limit exists, it is posted in black and white.

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Proverbs 21:21 ESV

According to this verse a simple tension exists for “life” to be a reality. The tension is to pursue BOTH righteousness and kindness. “Righteousness” is the standard of right God has established. “Kindness” is a unique word that could also be translated “loving-kindness.”

God’s righteous standards (speed limits) do exist. Some argue that they don’t exist and we can live any way we want and it should be acceptable.

Yet His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and loving-kindness are available through the sacrifice of His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the a Roman cross in our behalf.

Many today simply deny a standard exists. They want everyone else to accept their behavior as good and normal. They expect only mercy and loving-kindness without acknowledging that a godly standard exists.

If there were no standard set by God, then mercy and grace would not be necessary for all of us who break God’s standard.

God’s standard for sexual expression is one man and one woman in marriage. This is God’s blessed standard and His definition of marriage. Other forms of sexual expression break His standard: pre-marital sex, affairs, pornography, bestiality, child abuse, homosexuality, etc.

Some deny this standard exists. Some seek to muzzle those who want to hold up the standard by saying they are “judgmental.”

Judging is not holding up the truth. Judging is what one does after the truth is held up.

Judging is holding up the truth and then dismissing the guilty person as worthless and beyond help.

It is not judging when one holds up the truth and at the same time offers God’s forgiveness and loving-kindness through Jesus Christ.

Look at this verse one more time:

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life …

Proverbs 21:21 ESV

Real “Life” is pursuing BOTH God’s righteous standard and pursuing His grace and forgiveness at the same time. 

Admitting one has broken God’s standard and  chooses to change (repentance) is necessary before one can receive God’s mercy and grace in Jesus Christ.

Our Father in heaven, help us to live by Your righteousness standard and Your grace in Christ. Fill us with loving-kindness toward everyone we meet.  

Bigots!

It is totally unacceptable in our culture today to be considered a bigot toward any belief or lifestyle except one. Our culture, media, and popular society believe all beliefs must be tolerated except one.

Which one? Bigotry and intolerance are acceptable toward Bible-believing Christians today in America, but unacceptable toward any other lifestyle or behavior?

  • As a Bible-believing Christian I believe in a Creator God who loves us so much that He sent His perfect Son to die for us so we can have a growing relationship with Him.
  • I believe God calls us to good works and righteous living.
  • I believe He created us to live forever with Him in heaven after this short life on earth is over.

So, what is SO bad about that? Why is it acceptable in a world of “tolerance” to be so intolerant toward someone who believes this?

One reason Christians are unacceptable in today’s culture is because we believe the Bible when it says everyone is called to righteousness according to God’s standard. This is offensive!

Why? To say that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) means that not all behavior and lifestyles are acceptable to God. We believe in a God who loves us with an extravagant love but Who does not accept our sins. It is amazing that the offer of total forgiveness is so offensive today.

A second reason Christians are unacceptable today is that we believe the Bible when it says everyone must come through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, in order to know God and be accepted by God. What a wonderful thing it is that God have provided a guaranteed avenue to know Him and live with Him forever in heaven. But, again, this is offensive!

Why? To say that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6)means that all other ways are not valid. This makes Christians narrow-minded bigots in the view of our culture today.

“Everyone is a sinner” and “Jesus is the only way to heaven” are now two of the most offensive, narrow-minded, bigoted statements we can make in our culture today. But it comes straight out of God’s Word which says:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV

Our Father, strengthen us in believing your Word and doing good to those who persecute us.

Astonished

“Amazing” is an overused word in advertising, on Facebook, and the internet. Everyone wants to get our attention.

“My breath was taken away when I saw …” is a phrase often used to pull us into a story or advertisement.

So in the midst of all the hyperbole and superlatives, our senses can become calloused to what really ought to “astonish” us.

But, notice the word “astonished” in this verse.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:13 ESV

The religious authorities had called Peter and John on the carpet. The interrogation insued. Why?

Five thousand people believed in Jesus the day before! That’s right, 5,000! Fifty groups of 100! The average church size in Arkansas is less than 100. Over fifty of these church buildings would be filled with new believers in one day!

God miraculously healed a crippled man. He was standing right there in front of them beside Peter and John.

The authorities must have been in a panic. This new movement around a crucified man was gaining traction. The authorities believed that getting rid of Jesus would have stopped it.

Peter boldly stood and proclaimed that Jesus is alive and he is the only way to know God!

Astonished they were! If we are to get the attention of our culture today, here are three things we can do that Peter and John did.

First, be bold. Be confident in the gospel of Jesus Christ, crucified for our sin, resurrected from the dead, ascended to heaven, living in us by His Spirit, coming back again, and whoever will believe in Him will be saved.

Second, make no excuses. Peter and John were common men of their day without the advanced education the authorities had received. Whatever your background, educational level, or past experiences, being “in Christ” makes all things new! Let nothing hold you back from being a witness.

Third, spend time with Jesus. They had been “with Jesus.” Spend time in prayer and in Scripture. Commune with Him in a daily quiet time. Meditate on His words in Scripture. Walk with Him each moment of each day.

Our Father, fill us with your Spirit to be bold Gospel witnesses.