"You shall know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free"
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When 'Obvious' Isn’t So Obvious

March 29, 2021

Sometimes we struggle to embrace what should be obvious. Here are some original, amusing headlines in respected newspapers and magazines that illustrate this point.

Here's an example from the Los Angeles Times - 'Larger Kangaroos Leap Further, Researchers Find.'
The Hartford Courant reports, 'Alcohol Ads Promote Drinking.'
The Cornell Daily Sun reports: ‘Study Finds Sex, Pregnancy Link.’
Here’s one from the New York Times: ‘Survey Finds Dirtier Subways after Cleaning Jobs Were Cut.’

The Saint Augustine Record headline says: ‘Bible Church’s Focus is on the Bible.’
The Journal of Commerce proclaims: 'Court Rules Boxer Shorts Are Indeed Underwear.'
Finally, The Columbus Dispatch reports: ‘Lack of Brains Hinders Research.’

Obviously, obvious is not always obvious.

Here is some wisdom that should be obvious to most of us. ‘Being rejected because of who you are is better than being accepted because of who you pretend to be.’ Somebody needed that quote today.

How about this thought? "The biggest lie I tell myself is, 'I don’t need to write that down. I’ll remember it.'” Well, yeah!

Here’s another thought for you that should or will be obvious in the future. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

How about this obvious brain twister for you: Take your age and add 5 to it; that will be your age in 5 years.

One final example for you about our trouble with embracing the obvious is by an unknown author. "The other day, I was hanging out with a friend. This friend is a Christian but doesn’t always act like one. Some days she is in line with God's word, and some days, life’s struggles get the best of her. Our eyes meeting, I wanted to say something about this but decided to let the Lord speak to her. I knew nothing I could say would have the same impact as her Father's words. So, I prayed with her. After a few minutes, I winked at her and walked away from the mirror."

It’s interesting to me why some people struggle in believing in God. The Scriptures say God has made it evident that there is the one, true, living God and life after death. How did God make it obvious? God wrote a book about it. Ecclesiastes 3:11 states that God has set eternity into every person’s heart. The thoughts we have all had about God, eternity, and heaven are programmed into us by God to lead us to God.

When people are walking in the dark about the reality of God, God guides them. Paul’s letter to the Romans informs us about three bright 'lights,' given us, that light the way to God. Chapter One talks about the light of nature. Chapter Two talks about the light of conscience. Chapter Three talks about the light of the Gospel.

What does the light of nature mean? Romans Chapter One says, "God's invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that all men are without excuse."

In other words, God has made Himself known by what we can see. Have you ever looked at the multitude of stars on a clear night? Overwhelming, isn't it? Have you ever looked at nature, the ocean, or the fantastic living things God has made? God created nature, the earth, and the heavens to show us the Creator who created the creation. Nature and created things are not God but point the way to God.

What is the light of our conscience in Romans, Chapter Two? Our conscience is that unseen part of us, telling us what is right and wrong. All people instinctively know they should do what is moral and best for everyone. When we don’t listen to our conscience, we feel convicted, even uncomfortable. Conscience is a God thing meant to show us there is a God and lead us to Him. 

What is the light of the Gospel in Roman’s Three? The Bible says that all have broken God's law and fall short of the glory of God. Because God is righteous, He requires righteousness. The light of the Gospel is God giving us His righteousness. How? Jesus came to pay the penalty for our shortcomings and release us from sin’s prison. Our acceptance of what Christ did on the cross made it just as if we had never sinned.

The Gospel means the good news about Jesus, God's Son, coming in the flesh, revealing to us the exact nature of God. In Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, God poured all our badness into Jesus and then poured all of Jesus' goodness into us. When Jesus died, our sin died. When Jesus arose, we arose. That makes us citizens of heaven for eternity. 

Have a glorious Easter/Resurrection Day! Your mirror is talking to you. The three lights are showing you. God made Himself known through nature, through our conscience, and the Gospel. Embrace the obvious. After all, you have eternity in your heart.

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Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
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