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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

 

September 20, 2012 - Balanced Truth

By Mark Smith

I see examples of God’s balance throughout nature. Our earth is perfectly placed between the gravitational pull of the sun, moon, and all of outer space. A little closer to the sun and the planet could not sustain life in the heat; a little further away, it would be too cold and life would most likely be nonexistent. Our atmosphere is balanced with the perfect blend of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide and several lesser gases. You can see God’s balance in our DNA. You see it in nature with interacting species of wildlife. You see it in our weather patterns. I could go on and on. God’s creative hand is clearly visible in all of His creation and brings about perfection in the midst of extremes.

Have you ever noticed the balance in God’s truth and laws?

In the Sermon on the Mount, for example, Jesus tells us not to hide our light from the world. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, NIV).

But in the very next chapter, Jesus tells us not to do our alms or charitable deeds before men to be seen by them: “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:1-4).

What initially seems like a contradiction is, in reality, just the opposite. Jesus is showing us clearly two different truths that must both be embraced to find the greater truth. Our lives and lights must shine to bring glory to God, and not be hidden. But if we are shining our light to bring glory to ourselves, we nullify the light. Within the tension of these two truths we find the clear path God desires us to take!

Jesus shared many passages where He set up a contrast between two extremes, often both being the truth; but the path to spiritual victory is found many times walking down the middle of God’s awesome truths!

Perhaps the biggest example of this is the tension found between God’s grace and God’s justice. God’s holiness demands a penalty for the sinfulness of man. God’s love for mankind cries out for mercy and a way to reconcile man back to God! Both truths are expressed in the Cross.

God’s Word can be trusted! Whenever you discover a tension between two teachings in God’s Word, trust the Holy Spirit’s inspiration of those passages. Careful, prayerful study will always guide you back to the center of God’s perfect will.

— Mark Smith is lead pastor at Cornerstone Assembly of God in Hillsboro, Ohio.

 

 

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