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Individual v. relative
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 Psalm 19:7-11 reads, "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward," (Psalm 19:7-11 NIV).

 Our modern world is racked with uncertainty. Drunk drivers, road rage, terrorism, violent crimes and the list continues. Many are living in fear. This fear is fueled not only by the sinful acts of sinful men but also by the sinful philosophies of our sinful age. Post-modernism (the defining thought of Western thinking) has removed any sense of certainty. Truth is both relative and individual.

The postmodernist theme is "Whatever." So if you happen to be a moral person, that’s right for you but don’t force your morality on me. If you happen to be an immoral person, that’s all right also. Like Israel of old, each man does what is right in his own eyes. For the post-modernist that’s the way it should be.

In the midst of all this uncertainty and in stark contrast to it stands the certainty of the word of God. Is your life spiraling out of control? "The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together." Do you need direction in your life? Our opening verse in The Message translation reads, "The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road." Are you looking for happiness? Verse 8 in The Message says, "The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy." On and on the list goes…

 You might say, "That’s easy to say, but my reality is different. I’ve tried it and it’s not been that way for me." There is an interesting verse in Proverbs 19:3; in the Living Bible it goes like this: "A man may ruin his chances by his own foolishness and then blame it on the Lord." I have found that the certainty of God’s word is everything it claims to be. I have also found that millions of people who struggle with unfulfilled expectations in this area actually are not being entirely true when they proclaim "I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work."

 Years ago I decided to surprise my wife with a wonderful dinner. I’m your basic meat and potatoes guy, so that’s what I decided to make — grilled steak, broccoli, instant mashed potatoes and brown gravy. I got everything started before I realized I had no milk. No problem, all I have to do is find a can of condensed milk and uncondense it. A trip to the pantry resulted in exactly what I needed (or so I thought). One can of Carnation’s Sweet and Condensed milk. I was in business.

Outwardly everything looked fine. But when we tasted the potatoes, the changed ingredient became immediately recognizable.

 When I talk to people about the security of God’s word and discover that they have not discovered that security, I know one thing: they have messed with the ingredients. Maybe they do 99 percent of things according to God’s word, but it only takes 1 percent to mess up the whole mashed potatoes.

If you are looking for something certain in life, if you need direction, your life put back together again, wisdom, guidance, emotional healing and joy, take God at his word. You will discover a wonderful freedom and joy and peace.


Dr. John Pearrell is pastor of Gateway Community Church. Write him in care of the church at 11677 Brown Bridge Road, Covington, 30016. Or e-mail him at For more information, visit