We are excited to announce some new features to the blogsite. As more and more readers are viewing from foreign countries we have added the translate feature to the site. Our readers can also now choose to have the blog emailed to them, and they can search the blog by keywords on various topics. We hope that this makes the site more manageable for you. God Bless.

Hear current audio messages by Pastor Scott Burr at:

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Developing Godly Character: Holiness (part 7)

(Part 7)

“And they were calling to one another; “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is filled with His glory.”
Isaiah 6:3
Author and Pastor R.C. Sproul made an interesting insight when he began to contemplate God’s Holiness:

“The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love; or mercy, mercy, mercy; or wrath, wrath, wrath, or justice, justice, justice. It does say that He is holy, holy, holy the earth is filled with His glory.”

What does it mean to be holy? One definition states that it is to be distinct, separate, and in a class by oneself. It is to be unique without rival or competition. This aspect of holiness is emphasized for us in Exodus 20:1-7 as God dictates to Moses the first three commandments: You shall have no other gods before me; You shall not worship any graven images or likenesses, and You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain. 

He described Himself through the Prophet Isaiah this way:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9

God establishes Himself, through these passages, as being unlike any other entity. He is above all things in form, in thought, and in existence. This is not to communicate to us an heir of loftiness, but rather to give us proper perspective. Throughout the Scriptures those who considered God’s holiness came away with a very similar perspective:

Moses and Miriam wrote in Exodus 15:11: 

“Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?

The Prophet Samuel’s mother, Hannah, concluded in 1 Samuel 2:2:

“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”

King David declared in Psalm 86:8-10:

“Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.”

Each of these individuals did not see God as lofty and high-minded, rather their encounters with God helped them to understand their relationship to Him! It drove them towards humility and reverence. 

Developing Godly Character: Truthfulness (part 6)

(Part 6)

“Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” 
Psalm 51:6

The key to developing in truthfulness is to get His truth into our spirit! This begins by first having the way of truth opened to us. Jesus said in John 14:6:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

To know truth, we must first come to know Jesus Christ. Scripture tells us that He is truth! Once we have come to put our faith in Him, the scripture tells us that we are then given the Holy Spirit, who will guide us into all truth:

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
 John 16:13

This is one of the Holy Spirit’s primary functions. He has been commissioned to guide us and reveal to us the truth found in God’s Word. We, however, must then live out what has been revealed to us, before it will genuinely become truth to us. 

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 

John 8:31-32

It is important to know that truth alone cannot set you free. It is the truth you “know” that sets you free. 
To “know truth” is more than having a head knowledge or appreciation for what is written in the Bible. To “know truth” is to put into practice the truth that is found there. It is when we seek to live according to God’s Word, that we are able to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for God’s truth and consequently enjoy greater freedom in our lives. Consequently, when we reject the Word of God or fail to live out the Word of God, we are in a very real sense rejecting truth; and the pursuit of anything less than truth is to pursue a lie: 

“Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.” 
                                                                                                         John 8:43-45

God hates lying (Proverbs 6:16-19), because lying is the opposite of truthfulness. This includes all varieties of lying including white lies, half-truths, concealing information, and withholding truth with the intention of deceiving.
 It is the language of the devil, not the language of God the Father. God wants us to learn to speak the language of truth, however when we lie, it is indicative of a lack of truthfulness in our inmost being. 
The presence of lying in the life of an individual communicates a disconnect from truth. You cannot be full of lies and full of truth! 1 John 2:4 tells us that:

“He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Lying silences truth in our lives and halts the transformation process. 

“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.”
 Colossians 3:9-10

As believers, we are being renewed in knowledge day by day according to the image of Him who created us. When we lie, or fail to pursue truth, we derail God’s desire for us to know truth and live in freedom. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Developing Godly Character:Truthfulness" (pt. 5)

(Part 5)

“God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”

                                                                                                Numbers 23:19

In the Book of Numbers, chapter 23, a prophet by the name of Balaam is summoned by Balak, King of the Moabites. Balak attempts to entice Balaam to put a curse on the Israelites. However, instead of speaking a curse over them, Balaam was instructed by God to speak blessing

Even after Balaam explained that he could not speak anything, except what he had heard from God; Balak persisted in trying to get a curse spoken over God’s people. Balak persisted, in hopes, that God would change his mind or break the promised blessing Balaam had just spoken over the Israelites. To this God declared through the prophet that “God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” What God had spoken he would fulfill!

Truthfulness is a pillar of God’s character. To deny the truthfulness of God is to deny God, because it is who He is! Hebrews 6:17-18 tells us:

“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.”

Throughout the Scripture, the writers of God’s Holy Word have documented and proclaimed this to be true about Him. Isaiah the prophet and King David both referred to Him as the God of Truth and the Apostle John declared that God is truthful and full of truth.

Everything about God is bathed in truth. What God does is driven by truth! What God says emerges from truth! What God thinks is rooted in truth! His truthfulness is consistent and unchanging:

“For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever. Praise ye the Lord.” (KJV)

                                                                                                Psalm 117:2

Truth is so much more than a list of morally acceptable practices that we try to conform our lives to keeping. Truth is the expression of God’s thoughts. Jesus said in John 17:17 that God’s Word is truth. God spoke through Isaiah the prophet in Isaiah 55:9-11:

 As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out of my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

God’s desire for us is not a dogmatic adherence to a list of rules and regulations, but that the truth of His Word would be sown deep into our inmost being!


Pastor Scott Burr                                                                    



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Developing Godly Character: Faithfulness (pt. 4)

(Part 4)

“What is some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness?”

                                                                                                            Romans 3:3

The Apostle Paul’s passionate answer to those questions in verse 4 is “Not at all!” A lack of faith on our part usually manifests itself in two forms. It either expresses itself as faithlessness: which is our inability to see God’s faithfulness in our situation. Or it displays itself as unfaithfulness: which is our inability or disinterest in modeling His nature. Typically faithlessness proceeds unfaithfulness.

Both of these expressions highlight that fact that we, apart from Christ, have character flaws. Because of our fallen nature, we truly do not have the ability to model His nature:

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

                                                                                                Galatians 5:19-21

To combat this fallen nature and it’s proclivity towards sin, God gave to us the fruit of the Spirit to help enable us to partakers of His divine nature:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

                                                                                                Galatians 5:22-23

Faithfulness, as part of the fruit of the Spirit, is an important component in our character development. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus referred to faithfulness as one of the more important matters of the law and in Revelation 2:10 admonished the church in Smyrna to remain faithful. He even acknowledged man named Antipas for his faithfulness.

Faithfulness in the life of a believer is more than just a good practice, but it is an indicator of a life being transformed as we partake in the divine nature. Godly character is incomplete without a strong foundation of faithfulness.

Our witness for Christ will be lacking or compromised if we fail to make faithfulness a priority.

 Pastor Scott Burr