TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• You want to know one of my biggest pet peeves? Cryptic messages. They drive me crazy. They make me want to scream, “Stop beating around the bush! Just say what you mean!”
My husband knows this very well so when I shared a Facebook post on Monday, and he texted me and asked, “What’s up with the cryptic post?,” I was a little offended (it had been a couple of hours and I wasn’t thinking about what I posted). But after I read it again, I understood why he asked. It said, “She knew she couldn’t and she was right. So she stopped and prayed to God for strength and guidance. And once again, He picked her up, dried her tears, and turned her brokenness into something beautiful.” But I wasn’t being cryptic. I just thought it was a good message and reminder that we need to lean on God and let Him work things out according to His good purpose.
Yet (and we all know what I’m talking about), our social media is covered with cryptic messages. COV. ERED. Those passive aggressive attempts to send a subliminal message out, hoping that the people it’s meant for will see it. Ugh! Makes me nuts.
The thing is, a lot of people think Scripture is cryptic. They think there’s a hidden message in there and they try to take a straightforward passage and find the cryptic message. And while I will agree that 1) there are some confusing passages that require spiritual maturity to understand and 2) God will often reveal richer meaning as we study His word, the Bible is pretty straightforward.
Let’s look at an example. John 14:6 ESV says, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
In other words—want to know God and go to heaven? Then, get to know Jesus. He’s the way. The only way. There’s no ambiguity in that passage. There’s nothing about being a good person or a demand to meet a quota of kindness. Those things are a byproduct of getting to know Jesus and are a part of the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). But they aren’t going to earn you a place in Heaven!
And yet, how often do people talk about heaven and trying to earn their spot by being good? They bend over backward to be labeled good, but there’s no attempt to know Jesus! And all the good works in the world won’t save us. My favorite verses speak of that—Ephesians 2:8-9 remind us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (ESV).
God’s Word is timeless (Isaiah 40:8) and it’s still relevant (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It’s not for us to add or subtract from it (Deuteronomy 12:32). We have to decide—are we going to take God at His word and accept His book for the timeless masterpiece it is? Because here’s the truth as plain as I can make it—we aren’t qualified to cherry-pick which parts of the Bible we want to believe in or agree with. God’s ways aren’t ours (Isaiah 55:8-9) and as His name implies—He’s God. Therefore, He calls the shots.
There is nothing cryptic about that.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for being straightforward. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you take the Bible as it is, without trying to add or subtract, especially when there are clear and definitive statements made.
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