Mike Ditka was an NFL legend whose fame was magnified by numerous Saturday Night Live sketches that played off his sway over devout fans.  After being fired as the coach of the Chicago Bears Ditka decided to lean into a famous quote.
"Scripture tells you that all things shall pass," a choked-up Ditka said after finishing a dismal season. "This, too, shall pass."

I have always found it encouraging when celebrities quote scripture.   It makes me feel like we share a connection.  The only problem with Ditka's reference? It's not in the Bible.  It is likely a old Persian saying.

2020 has been a particularly challenging year.  On more than one occasion I've had a person tell me, "This too shall pass", thinking they were quoting God's word.    It may seem a harmless thing. In many cases it probably is benign.

But there are other cases that can be more damaging.  How many of you have ever been told, "God will never give you more than you can handle"? This is a misreading of 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Most of us, over the course of a lifetime experience multiple circumstances that are too big for us to deal with.  This slight, seemingly minor misreading of God's word can cause us to question the very nature of God and his love for us.  It can damage faith.

This week I'm starting a new series called IS THAT REALLY IN THERE?  We're going to look at some famous phrases and teachings.  Some are in the Bible, but taken out of context.  Others are attributed to scripture, but aren't really in there.  Some are good ideas from pop culture that do find their root in God's word.  Some are just bad ideas.  

My goal is to increase Biblical literacy, and more importantly, connect people to the real character of a God who changes lives.  

I also want help to elevate scripture as the source of truth in the life of our church.  In these divided times I am concerned that Christians are looking more and more  to sources apart from scripture to reveal truth.  CNN or Fox New cannot be our primary sources to understand what is going on around us.  Christian bookstores are full of resources that interpret scripture; some good, some bad.  There is lots of terrible "christian" teaching on the internet.  We need to be a people who start with God's very word and learn how to understand it through the guiding power of His Holy Spirit.

Let me leave you with a challenge that Paul made to his young protégé, Timothy.  It's our challenge as we begin this series:

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15  ESV

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