Did God Really Say?

The devil never changes his strategy. He loves to put the question to us, “Did God really say?”

Satan started this with Eve in the Garden of Eden. He asked the faith-shattering question again and again in each succeeding generation. From Cain and Abel to Noah, then on to patriarchs and prophets — right down to the time of Jesus.

There were people in the apostle Peter’s day who listened to this lie too. Make no mistake about it — there are plenty of people in today’s world too who wonder, “Did God really say that?”

It’s Thanksgiving time. But here in the United States, fewer and fewer people make God a part of their Thanksgiving anymore. Is “Did God really say?” behind so much of the current ingratitude we see in our culture?

  • Did God really create the heavens and the earth?
  • Does God really sustain our lives and bless us with many blessings?
  • Did God really send his Son to be our Savior from sin?
  • Do I really even need a Savior from sin?
  • Is there really another life — an eternal life that follows this life?
  • Is there really divine help for me? Can I really experience transformation in my life?

Recently, Stephen Colbert interviewed Bill Maher on his late night show. Maher responded to Colbert’s appeal to humble himself and admit there are things in the universe he doesn’t understand. He said this, “I do admit there are things in the universe I don’t understand. But my response to that is not to make up silly stories. Or to believe intellectually embarrassing myths from the bronze age.”

That interview was very recent. But then again, if the lie still works, why would Satan change his tactics? The applause and cheering in the auditorium would indicate that those five words — Did God really say that? — are still pretty effective words.

Which is why Peter says, “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty,” referring to the transfiguration.

He is appealing to his readers, “Believe what we’re telling you. No one is trying to control you or force you to believe it. We respect you. And so does God. He must, because though he is all-powerful (meaning he could force faith on us), he has still permitted you to disbelieve if you want.”

“But know this,” to paraphrase Peter, “we ourselves are completely convinced because we saw it — up close and personal — with our own eyes. We are not making this stuff up.”

Peter is convinced. Jesus really is who he says he is. He is the Son of God. He is the Savior of the world.

Your Lord. And your Redeemer.

For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16, NIV).

Lord, through your word, send me your Spirit, that I may trust that your word is truth, and know the freedom that your truth gives me.

Our Bible reading for Friday, November 27, is Daniel 2:24 – 3:12, 2 Peter 1:1-21 and Psalm 135:1-12.

Header image based on "Jesus Will Set You Free" by Kevin Shorter, CC By 2.0

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pastorjeffgunn

I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “Did God Really Say?”

  1. Our Bible reading for Friday, November 27, is Daniel 2:24 – 3:12, 2 Peter 1:1-21 and Psalm 135:1-12.

    Today I’m thankful for… The warmth of a hug, modern day gladiators, teamwork.

    “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”
    ‭‭2 Peter‬ ‭1:5-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Heavenly Father, you have shown us through your word the characteristics that please you. Please Lord as I walk this earth in faith be with me and those I love. Continue to show goodness with your example of grace. Be with me and I spend time in my bible to grow my knowledge. Lord I fail so often in self control, strengthen me as I fight the noise of the world. Help to persevere in all my trials, help me to bring peace to others when they fall. Lord I so often do not put you first. Fill my heart to remind me that your are God. Most of all Lord, especially in this advent, holiday season help me to serve and love others. You have given your children a simple task that we ignore to often. Help those who struggle to love themselves to find you in their souls. Be with us all, remind us of the love that Christ has shown us so we can in turn love one another.

    ~Paul Montenieri

    Like

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