Fourth Lung

Understanding the Word of God is a matter of life and death.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Recently my wife Laurie and I took a five-mile trail hike in a state park in Southwest Virginia. Laurie and youngest dog, two-year-old Harvey, led the way by about 10 yards most of the trek. Of course, I blamed having our oldest dog, a fourteen-year-old miniature Dachshund named Jake, but the truth is, I am out of shape! Every once in a while, one of us would yell to the other, pointing out a nice view, colorful flora, or even some wildlife.

Toward the end of the trip, after marching along for about two hours, Laurie yelled back, “Norse hung.” That made no sense to me, so I yelled back for her to say again, to which she replied, “Fort Mung.” Not wanting to aggravate her by asking for another repeat, I kept my head down and tried to figure it out myself. Finally, I landed on forth lung, figuring she was tired and out of breath like I was and desired another set of lungs to complete the trip. Right, when I was about to yell back, “How about a second heart? Mine’s about to explode”, my left foot sunk in something. Looking down, I realized what my wife had been shouting, horse-dung; she was warning me that horse dung was on the trail so that I would avoid it.  That made a lot more sense than “fourth lung”, and as I picked away the unwanted matter from my shoe, it dawned on me how important clarity and understanding can be.

Soldiers must understand all commands given in the military, as their lives often depend on it. For example, trained as a Radioman in the United States Coast Guard, I was taught to use the phrase “say again” if ever I needed something restated over the radio for clarity instead of the word “repeat.” Why? The term “repeat” can also be interpreted to recommence a firing pattern; therefore, instead of merely saying something again, the recipient of that command might start firing their weapon!

Even more so with the Word of God. This is most evident in the diversity of interpretation with the title “Christian”. According to a 2014 Pew Research study, over 70% of American’s identify as Christian. The problem is highlighted in the diversity of that 70%, consisting of Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and even some New Agers. And while many may identify as Christian, the Bible is very clear, only followers of Jesus; those who surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God are true Christian, and they are in the minority. There are so many interpretations of what Christianity is, how we can approach God, who can access heaven, and must we believe Jesus to be the only way to salvation. Therefore, many remain confused, and some even taking temporal solace in false hope. 

Who is right? With over 4,000 religions in our current world, with almost as many paths of life and answers about death, it is paramount that we all are clear in our understanding; it is a matter of life and death. 

Scripture: “And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.” -Mark 4:11-12, ESV

Question: If you are not 100% sure that your sins are forgiven, and heaven is your home, would you be willing to test your beliefs with the Bible? 

Prayer: Father, I don’t want to blindly trust what others say but want to be sure that I am right in my relationship with you. Please help me to understand the truths in your Word. Please give me eyes to see, ears to hear, an open heart, and the faith to believe what you have to say in your Word. Please reveal any false information I may have been taught and replace them with your Words of truth. Father, may I be willing to cast aside my feelings and emotions so that your Word would penetrate my heart and bring real joy to my life. Please give me the faith to believe your Word over everyone else, and may your Word be all that I seek, desire, long for, and live by. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

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