Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Exposing the 2nd biggest Misquote from the Bible

This past Sunday we continued our NEW SERMON SERIES "YOU PICK" We had a fun fathers day dealing with famous misconceptions and misquotes from the Bible." If you missed the message you can listen to it at or you can listen on iTunes at This Sunday we will continue our series with part 4 "Is the world really ending?"

Before I deal with the 2nd biggest misquote in the Bible, "God only helps them who helps themselves," I wanted to answer a few questions I had asked on Sunday. The Bible does not say Adam and Eve ate an apple. It actually says in Genesis 3:6 that she ate the forbidden fruit. The Bible does not say Jonah was swallowed by a whale. It says in Jonah 1:17 that Jonah was swallowed by a "great fish." Finally, it doesn't say that there were 3 wise men that brought Jesus gifts at his birth. We get that from the 3 gifts that were brought to Jesus.

God only helps those who help themselves has been quoted by people all over the country and even by the White House Press Secretary...check this out!

When White House press secretary Jay Carney was giving the press conference Wednesday touting President Obama's jobs bill, he invoked a popular saying that he said comes from the Bible. President Obama had urged passage of a provision in his job bill by saying, “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work.” A reporter later asked Carney if Obama crossed the line by bringing God into the jobs debate. Carney’s response: “I believe that the phrase from the Bible is, ‘The Lord helps those who help themselves.' ”

So, is that an actual verse or phrase from the Bible? No it is not! If it's not from the Bible, then where did it come from? It actually is attributed to Benjamin Franklin. He wrote that in 1736 in his "Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac.

Yes there is a verse in the Bible that says, "If you don't work you don't eat." It's found in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13...10 Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” 11 Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 13 As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good.
We are also challenged in Proverbs 6:6 to learn a lesson from the Ants and how hard they work. Proverbs 10:4 reminds us that those who are lazy will be poor. Proverbs 13:4 reminds us that those who work hard will prosper. Romans 12:11 commands us to never be lazy but to work hard for the Lord with enthusiasm.

So there is this theme in the Bible of working hard, giving your best and doing everything unto God as worship. However, it doesn't say that God only helps those who helps themselves. This statement seems to promote a self-reliance on one's own power rather than trusting wholly in God. There are plenty of verses that actually show us that our strength comes from complete dependence on Him alone. God delights in helping those who will give Him all of the glory, honor and praise.

Isaiah 40.29.29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
Isaiah 41.10. 10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand Ephesians 3.7. By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. Ephesians 3.16. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Ephesians 3:20
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Psalm 68.35--
God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! Ephesians 1:10—Be strong in the Lord and in HIS mighty power.

The misquote is popular in part because it is a reflection of cherished American values: individual liberty and self-reliance, says Sidnie White Crawford, a religious studies scholar at the University of Nebraska.

So there is this delicate balance. When we takes steps of faith and depend on God, He will be faithful and provide, bless, open doors etc. However, it wasn't our brilliance, strength or stamina that caused or created it. It was God's amazing grace and blessing on our lives that has given us the opportunity and rewards.

Can God move mountains in your life if you don't take a step...NO. However, when you do take a step don't think for one moment that you had the strength to move the mountain. May God always get the glory, honor and praise.

(For further study do some research on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a gift of rest to God's people. It's a reminder that the world revolves around Him and not us. It reminds us that there is only one God and we are not Him :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

How did the Bible form?

This past Sunday we continued our NEW SERMON SERIES "YOU PICK" For the first time in my life I preached without using the Bible as we answered the question, "Can you prove Jesus without the Bible?" If you missed the message you can listen to it at or you can listen on iTunes at This Sunday we will continue our series with part 3 "Misquotes and Misconceptions of the Bible."

Another question people have when it comes to the validity of the Bible is, "How can it be trusted?" "Wasn't it compiled but a group of men?" "Why did some books make the Bible and others didn't?" "What was the deciding factors and how do we know we have what God intended?"

The  Bible has a closed Canon. The definition of Canon comes from the Hebrew word Qaneh which means reed or stock (example: yard stick). It came to be a measuring reed (which was a form of measurement at the time) to be the standard of Scripture. There were many discussions on creating a finalized cannon and most books of the New Testament were embraced by the 3rd century.

In 400AD Jerome translated the Jewish Scriptures that were written in Greek into Latin. He had all of the same Scriptures from the Jewish Bible but also included a few extra books but noted that they were not on the same level of Scripture but informative. Some of these extra books were embraced by some and rejected by others.

By the 5th Century most New Testament books were widely embraced and accepted by Church Leadership. However, the Protestant Bible did not include the extra books.

Here is the 4 criteria they used for the Protestant Bible.

  1. Inspiration & Authority— There had to be a sense of inspiration from God. Recognition of writings that were divinely written by the hand of God.
  2. Authorship--Attributed to and based upon the preaching/teaching of the first-generation apostles (or their close companions).
  3. Universal Acceptance & Use — Acknowledged by all major Christian communities in the ancient world (by the end of the 4th century) as well as accepted canon by Jewish authorities (for the Old Testament).
  4. Consistent Message — Were the writings consistent with the other writings that have already been embraced as Scripture?
As they went through this test, they came up with the Canon of Scripture. For example, some wonder why the Protestant Bible doesn't include the Apocrypha? When the books were ran through the above test, there was always 1 or 2 that it couldn't pass. For example the concept of Purgatory, a limbo or in between place, between heaven and hell. This theology cannot be found in other writings in the Bible. Therefore it failed the Consistent Message test #4. It also didn't have universal acceptance and use so it failed #3. Some of the authorship of the Apocrypha was highly debated and wasn't agreed upon, so it never fully passed #2 as well.

The ones that passed through the test created what we have today as the Bible. 27 New Testament Books and 39 books in the Old Testament.

Hope this helps bring clarity :) Also here are some great resources to follow up with and continue to study...

#1—Eternity in their hearts by Don Richardson (can find on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle)

#2—The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (can find on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle)

#3—The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (can find on Amazon: Hardcover)

#4—Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (can find on Amazon: paperback)

#5—Basic Christianity by John Stott (can find on Amazon: paperback)

#6—The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren (can find on Amazon: Hardcover & Kindle)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Things you don't need to pray about!

This past Sunday we kicked off our NEW SERMON SERIES "YOU PICK" We dealt with the #1 voted question, "How do you know God is speaking?" We discussed 4 common ways God speaks to us!. If you missed the message you can listen to it at or you can listen on iTunes at This Sunday we will continue our series with part 2 "Prove Jesus without the Bible."

I think it's funny when I hear Christians talk about praying about certain things in their lives. They say they want to pray because they are not sure if they are supposed to do something and they want to make sure its what God really wants. I think if we could get to the root desire and get people to be honest, we say we are going to pray about it because we actually don't want to do it.

There are some things we don't even need to pray about. WHY? Because God's Word (The Bible) already tells us what God's will is. We already know what He wants us to do. We don't need to ask Him. If you are a parent, imagine writing a note for your children before you leave for work. The note has chores, and a few other items of clear direction on them. However, you return to find nothing on it done. When you question your children they say, "We didn't know, you didn't tell us.." What do you mean I didn't tell you, I wrote it down as simple and easy to follow as possible. But they reply, "But you didn't say anything about it. We prayed about it and felt like we needed to play video games instead.

That seems ridiculous but that is how we often treat God. He has told us in His word how He wants to us live and what He desires. We don't need to wonder, guess or hope. So here are some common things Christians pray about but they really shouldn't.

   #1--God, should I forgive that person?? He has already answered in Matthew 6:15
   #2--God, should I really give or tithe?? He has already answered in Malachi 3:10,
          Luke 11:42, 2 Corinthians 8:7
   #3--God, should I share my faith? He has already answered in Mark 16:15
   #4--God, should I truly help the poor, hurting and broken? He has already answered in
          Matthew 25:31-40, James 1:27
   #5--God, should I really go to church? Is it that important? God has already answered in
          Hebrews 10:25

Should we pray? YES! It's a very important and powerful spiritual discipline. However, when God's word shows us what to do, we are only stalling if we pray about it. :)