Personal Growth

Christ’s Help in a Self-Help World

April 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Christ’s help for us is different than the assistance available from a “self-help” world. No matter what the world tells you, Jesus has a clear, concise, simple promise for His disciples: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27 The apostle Paul taught: Walk in [live by] the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  Gal. 5:16 Everyone has two options in life: turn to God for help or, turn to the world for help. Of course there are common events in life for helping yourself, but remember, spiritual needs come from God, not self. It’s like determining if you are headed north or south. Those are opposite directions. God’s help, and self help are opposites also. Suppose we call heading Godward “north” and looking to the world heading “south.” What help is there if you are headed south? You can turn to psychologically or psychiatrically trained people for help. These disciplines declare by faith that there is no God. We must help ourselves. There is a good deal of help in the […] Read More

Deception Has Become Ordinary

April 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

Deception is a common act of everyday life. It has become so common, many times people don’t even recognize when they are deceptive. In the courtroom, if a witness fails to reveal accurately what is on his mind while under oath, it is called perjury, or deception. If an action or event that is known to be wrong is in a public forum, a scandal occurs. Many scandals happen every day. There are sports, political, sex, corporate, and Olympic scandals. The Watergate scandal should be a stark reminder of the misery we can cause ourselves by covering up the truth. The men involved brought the wrath of the nation down on themselves. In day-to-day, human relations, we tend to create minor scandals when we misrepresent what is on our minds and hearts. We can give ourselves a variety of reasons for practicing such deception. Some are: • My friend would hate me. • My mother would be upset. • My father would be angry. • My teacher would flunk me. • My boss would fire me. • My friends would be hurt or surprised. • My church would ask me to leave. Deception is when you misrepresent yourself to others. […] Read More

How Does the Truth Affect You?

April 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

When you are faced with the truth, how does truth affect you? Christians who have knowingly committed sin and then are corrected in humility will either become mellow or hard hearted when they hear the truth. If you are the one being corrected, you will face the same choice of response. Your response to truth is not determined by the spirit of the person delivering the message. Your reaction to the truth is determined by your spirit. The safest response to needed correction is to change. To delay change may require increased discipline by God to turn your heart back to Him. Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:16). If you are cold, you know you are cold. If you are hot, you know you are hot. But, if you are lukewarm you hardly know you exist. When a lukewarm person is corrected he/she does not see much need for change. An unrepentant believer is not received well by Jesus. Reproof and correction are helpful but not painless. If you go to the doctor and the exam reveals the […] Read More

Who Do I Love?

March 26, 2018 | 1 Comment

To be in love with somebody is a wonderful experience. I remember the dating experience with  Elaine. I dreamed about that girl! I used to talk about her all the time, and carried her picture in my wallet, and at odd moments, I’d take it out and look at that simple image of her. I had a picture of her in my room (I still have that picture on my iPhone now). Every night that I wasn’t working, I went to see her. I went to see her as often as my parents would let me! I bought gifts for her and did everything I could to show my love for her. While we all enjoy being with our families, we also like to be around various other people. Many times you must pause and ask yourself what comes first, family, time with friends, or to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind? It is difficult to think more about God than about your family. That’s a particularly big order for young people who are in love with each other. Though my focus is on providing for the love […] Read More

Deceit Can Affect Your Health

March 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

Deceit can affect your health. Deceit is the deliberate attempt to mislead someone. Hypocrisy is the pretended possession of those qualities that would make others believe in one’s sincerity, goodness, and devotion. One of the clearest illustrations of deceit was told to me by my friend and mentor Dr. Henry Brandt. I remember him telling me this story and then we included it in one of our books–The Word for the Wise. I think you will enjoy the story of the Stolen Raspberries! When I was a boy, we lived in the suburbs. A neighbor had a fine raspberry patch. My instructions were to stay out of it unless permission was given by my parents and the people who owned the patch. One day when there was was no one around, I slipped into the patch and started eating the ripe, juicy raspberries. What a pleasure! Suddenly, there was a noise behind me. I turned around and was face-to-face with the owner. Instantly, I was a bundle of tensions. My heart pounded wildly, and I began to sweat. Desperately, I pleaded with the lady not to tell my mother. But she wouldn’t promise. Those berries suddenly felt like a rock […] Read More

Envy: A Self-Focused Problem

March 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

  Envy is a self-focused problem. Many people are not satisfied with who they are. When they look into a mirror, they don’t see the real “them,” they see what they want to become. This type of envy is harmful to the soul. Proverbs 14:30 states, “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones.” It has been said by Socrates that, “Envy is the ulcer of the soul.” A Danish proverb states, “Rust consumes iron and envy consumes itself.” Another said, “Envy is the art of counting the other fellows blessings instead of your own.” Another words, envy destroys a person from the inside out. Envy happens in the commonality of life. I am not envious of SuperBowl champion quarterback, Drew Brees. Why? Because it is impossible for me to attain his ability in football. It is easy to refrain from envy toward people who are far beyond what we can achieve. We tend to be envious toward people who are achieving things that we believe we can accomplish. You might be covetous of Drew Brees’ ability, but envy is probably not the issue. So, how do we prepare for dealing with envy? […] Read More

Adjusting to God for Peace

March 5, 2018 | 1 Comment

Adjusting to God for peace can be difficult for us to understand but it is a wonderful resource available from an abiding relationship with Christ. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). The verse above promises the peace that passes understanding will guard our hearts and minds as a by-product of prayer: a peace that is a quiet, still, calm, serene state of heart and mind. Everyone seeks this, but not everyone wants to meet the conditions. Prayer and supplication imply the acceptance of the truth that you must submissively and earnestly relinquish control over the events of your life to Someone else. This proposition is a bit much for “modern” self-sufficient people who may have achieved an education, a position, wealth, power, or authority, without giving God a thought. Why should they turn control of their lives over to anyone, even God? The answer is that sooner or later, a peaceful heart and mind will elude you. Personal attainment, competence, and intelligence are heady stuff, […] Read More

Does Truth Help or Hurt?

February 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

Does truth help or hurt you? I guess it depends on how you respond to the truth! George wanted to clear up the gnawing sense of anxiety and growing unhappiness that plagued him, and hoped to do so before anyone else found out about his condition. So he quietly sought professional counseling. He would rather have died than have his associates learn that he was bored, with church and its activities, dissatisfied with his wife, and annoyed with his fellow employees at work. But the counseling experience was a shattering one. The counselor, who George suspected was a non-Christian, pressed him to share his antagonisms, and George did not like it. He insisted he had no antagonisms. He stoutly maintained that since he was a Christian he loved everyone and was nice to all. Still the counselor probed, and finally George blew his top. Afterward he was ashamed because he had been a poor example of what a Christian ought to be. The counselor pointed out that George was filled with anger and hatred toward people rather than filled with love. Then George came to see me. He was confused. Was he a Christian or wasn’t he? He had asked […] Read More

Is Worry an Issue for You?

February 19, 2018 | 1 Comment

Do you worry? Is worry an issue for you? Does it give you hang-ups? Does it occupy your time and your mind? Does it keep you from having the peace that you need? Does it keep you from resting when you need to rest? Some people are worried that they might get anxious about something! Christians are not exempt from practicing the fine art of worrying. Even though we should walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the desires of the flesh we still tend to worry about things we cannot control. Someone once said, “It ain’t no use puttin’ up your umbrella till it rains.” Another said, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do but it won’t get you anywhere.” Charles Mayo said, “Worry affects the circulation, heart, the glands, and the whole nervous system. I never met a man that died from overwork but many who died from doubt or worry.” It is not when you are busy that worry infiltrates your mind, it is when you slow down that it becomes evident. People give many reasons for worry. One worry that gives us hangups is the one where […] Read More

The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ

February 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2, NKJV The law of sin pulls us downward. We tend to miss the mark that we set for ourselves. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus pulls us upward. The Bible describes the fruit of the Spirit as: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). You cannot pass a law that forces me to love you—or to have a heart filled with joy. You cannot learn to love by reading a book. You cannot order me to be a peaceful man. You can force me to act like I love you. You can determine how a joyful person should look and require everyone to look that way. Neither can you pass a law that orders me to cease being angry, or hateful, or lustful. You can pass a law that limits the way to behave when I am angry, or hateful, or lustful. You cannot legislate the condition of anyone’s heart. There is a vast difference between a cheerful manner and a […] Read More

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