The (actual) Promises of God

It is impossible for God to speak a promise that He cannot or will not fulfill — and make no mistake, all of His promises are written in Scripture (there are no new promises being made) — whether that be to the Church, to Israel, or to the world. We do not doubt that God is unchanging, nor that His Word is unchanging. So why would we take it upon ourselves to attempt to change the promises written in His Word?

Some cases in point: 1.) God has promised His future wrath to the unbelieving world; telling them that God has no wrath for them is both sinful and deceitful. 2.) God has promised salvation to the Church, to those whom He has directly called to repentance; to claim that all can and/or will be saved is to ignore the Gospel and to usurp God’s authority/sovereignty. 3.) God has promised to return Israel to her land, and to redeem a remnant of Jews; to deny these promises or claim them as belonging to the Church is to rob the Jews of both their identity and their inheritance.

To some, these may seem like insignificant errors. But any error in communicating or teaching the Word of God is not merely a mistake; it is sinful. God requires of us that we handle His Word rightly, that we are advocates of truth, and that we are not deceived. Disobedience to these commands constitutes sin and therefore begs repentance and correction.



Numbers 23:19: “God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?”

Deuteronomy 4:2: “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.”

Proverbs 30:5-6: “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.”

Romans 2:5: “Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.”

John 6:37: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out.”

Ephesians 1:3-5: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.”

Jeremiah 23:3: “Then I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.”

Revelation 7:4: “And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.”

2 Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 Corinthians 14


1 Corinthians 14 is the subject of much misunderstanding within the Church. Most of which comes from our lack of Greek knowledge and historical understanding.

To start with, this chapter addresses prophesying — but it’s important to note that the Greek word for “prophesy” has two primary meanings: most commonly in the Old Testament, it means to “foretell” (i.e., reveal something about the future, usually pointing to Christ). But in the New Testament, it often means to “forthtell” (i.e., to speak forth the truth and counsel of God — in the modern sense, this includes teaching what He has already revealed to us in Scripture). Needless to say, the latter definition is applicable here.

Next, there’s the mention of tongues. People have a tendency to take verse 2 (“For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit”) and separate it from the rest of the passage, while also ignoring the entire historical context. When we read the passage in context, taking into consideration the time period in which it was written, we gather that Paul is very clearly discussing people who spoke in foreign languages (languages other than their native language). He instructed the Church that this gift did have a use, but that use was only applicable in the context of speaking directly to foreigners, who could not understand the language of those native to the land — during that time, God enabled certain people to speak in the languages of other nations to share the Gospel with them. 1 Corinthians 14:2, when read in the context of the letter, simply means something along the lines of this: “When you’re in an English-speaking church, if you try to teach in French, you’d might as well just be speaking to God, because He’s the only one there who understands you.” That’s an extremely modernized paraphrase, but it’s the best way to explain it without getting too deep into history and the Greek language. The rest of the passage sheds more light on this understanding, but people tend to ignore it or pretend it has nothing to do with the first verses.


I was recently (as recently as this morning) faced with a situation in which I had to choose how to react to a wrong that was done to me. With the wound fresh, the last thing I expected to think of was forgiveness. “It’s too soon to forgive! I can’t already forgive the person when they just now committed the wrong! The wound is so fresh. Nobody forgives someone that quickly. It’s normal to work through it, let it stew for awhile, deal with the emotions, tend to the wound, heal, and then, eventually, at some point come around and forgive them.” But those thoughts were all immediately shot down in favor of forgiveness, as in that moment I saw a Tweet my pastor posted about forgiveness, and then (not a minute later) I saw a Facebook post by a popular Christian Apologist about the importance of forgiveness.

So as I decided to forgive, I thought, “What exactly does forgiveness entail, anyway? I can’t just say I forgive the person, and that’s the end of it.” So I went to Scripture and asked for God’s wisdom. I also thought of what it means when God forgives us. And this is what I came up with:

What does forgiveness entail?

Forgiving entails a removal of the desire to punish or retaliate or seek “justice.”

It entails treating the person as if they had done no wrong.

It entails an unchanged love for the person. [“Love keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5)]

It entails showing compassion.

It entails blessing the person as though they have earned it.

Forgiveness entails letting go of whatever the person did to you. Give it to God, be open with Him, get out everything pent up inside of you — every thought, emotion, feeling about it; get it all out, give it to God, and stop thinking about it. It’s important that we let these things out to God, not to the person; if we unleash it on the person, we’ll not only be guilty of unforgiveness (as we’ll be committing an act of retaliation), but we’ll also be guilty of hurting the person, and then we’ll feel even worse. If you absolutely MUST speak with the person about it, only do so after you’ve prayed and let it all out to God, and only speak to the person in love. Be sure that your heart is pure and your motives are pure. NEVER act based on emotion. Seek wisdom from God on the proper way of approaching the person; and remember: wisdom is the application of knowledge — our knowledge is found in Scripture, so search the Scriptures and ask God to teach you how to apply those Scriptures; James 1:5 says that God will give that wisdom to all who ask, so you can be assured that He won’t lead you astray.

Above all, the important thing to remember, perhaps the strongest motivation for forgiveness, is that God forgave us of so much more than whatever we have to forgive a person of. Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.”

With all that being said, the only thing left for me to say is:
“I forgive you.”

From Pride to Love

One of the biggest problems in the world is that everyone wants to be a critic. People watch intently, just waiting for anything they can snatch, twist, and blow out of proportion to drag a person to the ground. You say one word wrong? It’s instantly destroyed your reputation — “I KNEW that person was a fraud!” they say. You hit one wrong note in a song? They instantly label you as having no talent. You stumble over your words in a sentence? You’re instantly assumed to be an idiot.

Man was not created to judge. None of us are perfect, and as a good friend of mine told me: even if you WERE perfect, people would still find a reason to insult you or drag you down. Look at Jesus — He WAS perfect, and people made Him out to be a criminal, attempted to tarnish His spotless reputation, and literally spit in His face.

People seem to have this ingrained doctrine that everyone else not only is lesser than them, but must be proven to be lesser and then brought even lower. And that is a doctrine of pride, woven through our DNA like a toxic strand of poison.

We need to put our lives on pause for a moment, truly examine our hearts, and allow God to rewrite our DNA — without that strand of pride. We cannot truly love others until this happens. Pride inhibits and prohibits love.

How can our DNA be rewritten? Through prayer — true, honest, devoted, consistent, passionate prayer — and filling our minds with the Word of God rather than the acidic words and actions of Hollywood. What we allow into our minds flows into our hearts, taking up residence and influencing our actions, becoming part of us. Don’t allow evil to be part of who you are! You were created to be a child of God, with His DNA, not the DNA of this world. Let Christ define you. Be the definition of love. Be different.

Apathy is Weakness

The story of Amanda Todd has gone viral. The above video explains it all. This poor girl was harassed and bullied constantly. Nobody was willing to step up and help her. Nobody would accept her. She took her life.

Stories like this happen every day. In our own lives, there are people who have been ostracized, ridiculed, shunned, and tormented. There are people who have nobody. People who are alone. People who just need someone to care. Honestly, why can’t that someone be you? What will it really hurt to walk up to the person and treat them like a human being? Will it really inconvenience you that much to have a conversation with them? It could save their life.

But instead of being bold and stepping away from the crowd, we mask our fear, apathy, and conformity with pointed fingers and humor. We laugh at the misfortune of others, we say it’s all their fault, we make jokes to make ourselves feel better.

Dare to be different. Have a heart. Break down the walls that have made you so insensitive. Compassion is not a weakness. Sympathy is not a weakness. Love is not a weakness. They are valid emotions that have a vital place in the human heart, and need to be expressed. Apathy is the real sign of weakness.

Be bold and let your heart be opened to experience a wider scope of emotions; let your eyes be opened to see a world beyond yourself; and let your world be opened to let someone unexpected into it.


If a man preaches that we will always desire sin and that by our hard work and devotion we can resist that sin and be saved from it, he’s not preaching the Gospel; he’s preaching to justify his own sin.

As Christians, our desire is for God, not for sin; we are raised to walk in newness of life, not raised to walk in the same old life with fancy new clothes that just make us “look” different. We will truly *be* different. Yes, there will be temptation, but our heart’s desire will be to honor God, and we’ll fight at all costs to do so. We’ll rely on His strength, and we’ll instinctively seek Him rather than sin.

And if we are truly saved, we are saved by the GRACE of God, not by our works or actions. The only action we can do that effects our salvation is to surrender. And it is only by God’s amazing grace that we are allowed this. True surrender and acceptance of Christ will always result in transformation, a complete rebirth of who we are, including (and especially) our heart’s desire.

Evaluate your heart, and if you see something there other than God, ask Him to make you willing to surrender it to Him. You’ll be glad you did!

“Here We Go Again” Lyrics and Chords

“Here We Go Again”
Music and Lyrics by Katie Woodward
(Capo 4, standard tuning)

G                      Cadd9
Here I am at the ocean’s edge,
G                                     Cadd9
Ready to run through the crashing waves,
D/F#                Am7
On the horizon, to the sun [Son].

G                                     Cadd9
You say the word, here we go again,
D/F#                          Am7                 C       Am7
One more turn on the narrow road we walk.
G                                     Cadd9
You say the word, here we go again,
D/F#                          Am7                 C       Am7
One more turn on the narrow road we walk.

G                                 Cadd9
Stepping swiftly on the battlefield,
G                                            Cadd9
Landmines surround me, but I won’t turn back,
D/F#               Am7
I’ll carry on…guide my steps.

G                                     Cadd9
You say the word, here we go again,
D/F#                          Am7                 C       Am7
One more turn on the narrow road we walk.

G                                     Cadd9
You say the word, here we go again,
D/F#                          Am7                 C       Am7
One more turn on the narrow road we walk.

Sometimes the road seems long,
I wonder where we’re going.
Sometimes I hear You wrong,
G6add11                                  C  G6add11
Get turned around and lose my way.

G                                     Cadd9
You say the word, here we go again,
D/F#                          Am7                 C       Am7
One more turn on the narrow road we walk.

G                                     Cadd9
You say the word, here we go again,
D/F#                          Am7                 C       Am7
One more turn on the narrow road we walk.

G                                     Cadd9
You say the word, here we go again,
D/F#                          Am7                 C       Am7
One more turn on the narrow road we walk.

© 2012

Chord guide:
G             – 320033
Cadd9     – 032033
D/F#        – 200232
Am7        – 002010
G6add11 – 320010