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A Different View of God and the Bible

 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father
will send in my name, will teach you all things
and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 14:26


I have a friend whom I have known for many years who is not a believer. I have talked with him numerous times about Jesus, explaining that eternal life comes through personal belief in Jesus. I have encouraged him to read scripture. I have given him books written by people of faith. I well remember his comment after reading one book. He said, “This book has holes.” I asked him to explain his statement, and he responded that he could not connect some of the ideas stated in the book. In summary, the book did not make sense to him.

I was not surprised to hear about his lack of understanding. Paul speaks of a ‘secret wisdom’ that is revealed to us by the Spirit of God. No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God…The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Corinthians 2:11,14). Apart from the work of the Holy Spirit, man cannot understand the things of God. He even considers the things of God to be foolishness.

All of us have some things in the Bible that we don’t fully understand. Yet, through the work of the Holy Spirit, as we believers read scripture, God opens our understanding to those things we need to understand right now. As we continue to seek God, He gives us more understanding.

Yet, the Bible says this about those who are not believers: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4). Do you know someone who cannot understand scripture or someone who considers scripture foolishness? Then pray for them, asking God to open their eyes to see Jesus for Who He truly is. Ask God to open their minds to understand His truth.

Thank You, God, for the Holy Spirit, who gives us light and understanding.


Jan Burkhart

A Different View of Death

 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away
from the body and at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8


As I write this, I am sitting beside the bed of my uncle, whose time left on earth is very brief. This sweet, kind-hearted man has faced many difficulties throughout his life. Because of an injury at birth, he has never walked. Other physical complications have resulted in increased paralysis and the inability to communicate. It is difficult to see the impact injury and disease have had upon this man; yet, I do not view his impending death with resignation, hopelessness or fear. Instead, I am filled with confidence, hope, and even joy.

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him (I Thessalonians 4:13-14).

Years ago my uncle openly and wholeheartedly confessed his belief in Jesus Christ. I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life (John 5:24). Notice the tense used by Jesus—he has crossed over. It’s already done.

So when my uncle closes his eyes for the last time on earth, he will open them to a new life in the presence of Jesus. I rejoice that he will soon be healed. He will walk, run, dance and use his voice to praise His Savior and Lord.

What is your view of death? Have you resigned to think about death another day? None of us is assured that we have tomorrow. Do you fear death or look upon death as merely an end of existence?

To Mary Jesus said, I am the resurrection and life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…Do you believe this? (John 11:26). Mary answered, “Yes.” What would be your answer?

Thank You, Father, that we have victory over death through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord!


Jan Burkhart

A Different View of Myself

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:6


What if I took a glass of the purest drinking water and put one drop of arsenic in it. Would you drink it? Of course not! That drop of poison would contaminate the entire glass of water, making it harmful to you.

Numerous times I have asked people the question, “Do you believe you will go to heaven when you die?” If they respond, “Yes,” then I ask, “Why?” Quite frequently I’ve heard the response, “Because I’ve been a good person.” Do you think you are a good person? Do you think your ‘good deeds’ have earned you a ticket to heaven? When you or I compare ourselves to other people, it is easy to find someone who is worse than we are. We can then conclude that we are good.

What does the Bible say about man being good? There is no one righteous, not even one…there is no one who does good, not even one (Romans 3:10, 12). All men are like that glass of water. All have sinned (Romans 3:23). Even one sin contaminates the whole being. If I took that glass of water and poured it into a larger container and continued adding pure water, the poison would still be present. No amount of good deeds can make us pure. Our sin has separated us from God.

Salvation is based not upon what you or I do, but upon what God has already done through Jesus Christ. He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior (Titus 3:5-6).

What is your view about yourself? Do you see yourself as good enough to go to heaven based on your own merit? How you see yourself is not important. What matters is how God sees you. Are you contaminated because of sin, or are you cleansed through faith in Jesus Christ?

Thank You, God, that complete cleansing comes through faith in Jesus!


Jan Burkhart

A Different View of my Past, Present, and Future

 Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Isaiah 43:18-19


I remember the first time I put on 3D glasses. Our family was in Disney World at the presentation of “It’s a Bugs Life.” Those glasses made the bugs on the screen come to life and appear to be coming straight toward me! The glasses gave me a different perspective.

Now that I’m a believer, I have a different perspective about many things. I have a different view about my past. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’ve done many things of which I am ashamed. What about you? Are you burdened by something in your past?

Well, believer, what does God say regarding our past sin? For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34). What a liberating truth! My sins are forgiven! God has chosen to remember them no more! If God, who is holy, has forgiven and forgotten my sin, then certainly I should also. Believer, it is time to put those shovels down. Stop digging up past sins and letting them hinder you from effectively serving God today!

As a believer, I have a different view about my present. My purpose in life isn’t to pursue happiness or worldly success. My purpose is described in Isaiah: …everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made…the people I formed for Myself that they may proclaim My praise (Isaiah 43:7, 21). So, what is your pursuit in life? Are you pursuing earthly happiness or possessions? Fulfillment comes only through accomplishing that for which we were created—glorifying and praising God!

As a believer, I also have a different view about my future. To those who trust in Him, Jesus promised that He is preparing a place for us to live with Him (John 14:1-3), a place where there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4). Now that is a glorious future!

Father, help us learn from our past but not live in it. As we face difficulties today, give us glimpses of our glorious future with You.


Jan Burkhart

God’s Hugs

 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him.
Matthew 7:11


We all like to receive beautifully wrapped gifts don’t we? I enjoy buying gifts for those I love and appreciate. I really like to get hugs. There’s nothing like a hug from a little child. Hugs make us feel loved and appreciated.

God’s storeroom in heaven is loaded with hugs for us. My friend, Gaye, taught me to call the many blessings God has for us hugs. These hugs (blessings) are the things God gives us and does for us which make our lives more pleasant. Just think of the good gifts God has for us.

This morning a friend called to tell me that a situation which she and I had been praying about had been solved. That’s a hug from God. Answered prayers are a great blessing from God.

Just look at the blessings God has given us in nature-- beautiful sunrises and sunsets, snow-capped mountains, friends, blooming flowers, and on and on we could go. Our problem is that we don’t often stop long enough for God to give us a hug.

Do you ever take time to stop during your hectic day and think about the blessings you receive daily from God? When you do this, you will feel calmness and a peace come over you. God doesn’t want us to live frustrated lives. Seeking His blessings and thanking Him makes us move from our desires to His desires for us.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him
(Psalm 34:8).

Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17).  


Georgia Andrus