Personal Growth

Solid Foundations for Difficult Times

June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

A Standard for Life We need solid foundations if we are to survive difficult times. If you are to construct a safe building, you must make sure you have the right materials and the right tools to have a solid foundation. There has never been a time in life in which the people of God needed a more focused attention given to the Word of God so that they have a sound foundation. If you don’t have the right message, a misappropriation of truth can be offered from a range of sincere individuals to outright deceivers–without detection! But, thankfully, there is a standard that helps us hold fast to the Truth. Paul wrote to Timothy about the need for sound doctrine. Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:13) In chapter 1 of 2 Timothy, Paul writes of how one can “hold on to” sound doctrine. In chapter 2 he urges Timothy to “teach sound doctrine.” In chapter 3 he urges Timothy to “abide in sound doctrine” and in chapter 4 he urges Timothy to “preach sound doctrine.” Paul is exhorting a young minister to […] Read More

Controlled by Christ

June 10, 2019 | 1 Comment

How is a person controlled by Christ? It really is rather simple, but not easy as a human being. Exalting Christ in your life means to surrender yourself to the ways of God. Many though, hinder the Spirit of Christ within by relying on self instead of relying on Christ. It is so easy to get out of shape spiritually. All you have to do is decide–I can do this on my own. Jesus is the Vine and we are simply the branches. The branch does not produce the fruit. Christ produces fruit in and through us. He enables us to be who we need to be in Christ. When you encounter a difficulty avoid saying and believing, “I’m going to have to tough this out, but I can handle it.” Handling something on your own will probably make a bigger mess than it was before you started. Discover and remember this truth about Christ living in you–Christ makes no mistakes. But, if you are not in tune with Him, your response to the situation will be led by your own flesh, your own self, your own wisdom, and your own thinking. This will put you in control. Gaining the Spirit’s self […] Read More

Are You Asking The Right Questions?

June 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

Asking the right questions requires you to make sure you are not asking the wrong questions? Maybe you thought you needed the answer to a certain question, but you found out when you received the answer that it was not what you hoped the answer would be. You may have asked legitimate questions but those questions were not relevant to the situation. It is easy to ask the wrong questions. The Psalmist wrote and asked many questions about life. In Psalm 44:1, the writers reflect back on days of old for their source of help. They were headed in the wrong direction as they reflected on the past: “…our fathers have told us, the deeds You did in their days, in days of old.” 1. Looking to the past for your answer may throw you off course. Many Christians look to the past to seek an answer for their present day life. It may sound like this, “God, I made a great commitment to You ten years ago. That was the greatest year of my Christian growth. I am depending on my past experience to get me through today.” It is wonderful you had growth ten years ago, but focusing […] Read More

It Is Positive to Deal with the Negative

May 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

So why is it positive to deal with the negative? Consider the physician. As he diagnoses you, he has only one basic question: “What’s wrong?” This is certainly a “negative” approach! If 99% of your body is in good health, your doctor is interested in only the 1% of your body that is not. If you have an infected fingernail and the rest of your body is healthy, he concentrates on the fingernail. If you have a pain in your abdomen, he does not overlook the abdomen. Instead he examines it thoroughly, even if the examination brings you pain. Why do you put up with such treatment? Because his objective is to restore your health. He eliminates pain and may save you from death by subjecting you to great pain and even the risk of your life on the operating table. It is positive to eliminate the negative. It is healthy to eliminate disease. It is good to eliminate evil. A neighbor in apparent good health went to her physician because she developed a slight pain. Investigation revealed a tumor and abdominal surgery was called for. The doctor’s announcement of what was needed not only upset the woman, but her […] Read More

When God’s Strength Becomes Our Strength

May 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

God’s strength needs to become our strength. But, when do you need that to happen? One of the most common times of seeing your weakness is when you try to love somebody you do not like! It is hard to do. You can try. You can do good things for people you do not like. By doing good things for people you do not like you may confuse your human ability to act with the empowerment of God’s Spirit and think you are loving them. There is no place in Scripture where God says He will empower you to use your human abilities to love people. That is not what God does. He empowers us with His Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 states, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit….” When you were born again, the Holy Spirit came to live in you. Jesus said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit–the Father will send Him in My name–will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you” (Jn. 14:26, HCSB). All the resources of God are available to a repentant heart. Paul states, “But the fruit of the Spirit […] Read More

Openness or Honesty, Are They The Same?

May 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

The Best Policy Openness or honesty, which is the best! That may be determined by the situation and the timing of the information. Openness is not necessarily the same as honesty. Others believe that honesty is the best policy, but I think God would rather us be honest, not because it is the best policy, but because we are honest people! Some people believe if they know something they must reveal it to everyone in order to be honest. Thinking about the truth in your heart is not the same as telling everyone everything you know! Just because you know something in your mind, does not mean it is public information. Some live as though they are not honest if they do not tell everything they know. Personally, I am glad that everyone does not know what everyone else is thinking! Can you imagine walking around all week with a video screen attached to your brain that showed everyone what you were thinking? I don’t think too many people would leave their home! If everyone saw everything God sees, there would be a much higher crime rate! If you walk in the Spirit with honesty, integrity of heart, uprightness, and truthfulness–what […] Read More

Reactions to Correction

April 29, 2019 | 1 Comment

Reaction: Good or Bad Reactions to correction are obvious–good or bad, the reaction will come when corrected. What is your reaction when a person says, to you, “I’m going to be very frank with you.” It is doubtful that your response is to say, “Let me pull up a chair–I can’t wait to hear this!” Most likely, we shout for joy when they leave, yet what they said may have troubled our Spirit. All the joy seems to drain from us after those kinds of conversations. A word of correction or disagreement can seemingly rob us of anything positive that will happen the rest of the day, week, or month! Generally, if your spirit is negative, your reaction will be defensive. Much like your physical body wants to fight or flee a dangerous situation, your spirit will tend to also either fight or flee. Your flesh riles up ready to receive a blow when someone says, “Let me be frank with you,” even though you do not know what they are about to say. Compliments however, bring a positive response. Your spirit responds cheerfully when someone says something to compliment your appearance, words, actions, or achievements. In fact, if they […] Read More

Worldly vs. Godly Sorrow

April 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

Worldly sorrow is unmistakably different than godly sorrow. Is it possible for you to say, “I am sorry,” but not mean it? Yes. What kind of sorrow is that? It is worldly sorrow, not godly sorrow. This type of sorrow has no intention of producing change, it is simply sorry that a situation exists, or sorry that the situation is bringing grief to life. Worldly Sorrow If you get into an argument with your boss and say some things you should not say, you know that the situation must be made right. When you get home after work and cool off, your thinking becomes clearer and you realize that you must apologize when you go back to work. An apology is needed to save your job. Apologizing to your boss and your boss accepting your apology is necessary but you do not have to mean what you say, you just have to say it. People are accustomed to saying, “I am sorry” yet not have any seriousness behind their apology. This is not godly sorrow but rather deception. It is absolutely possible to say, “I am sorry” and not mean it. Paul taught the Corinthian believers to distinguish the difference […] Read More

Right Choices: Discretion

April 8, 2019 | 1 Comment

Developing Discretion Right choices begin with right thinking! It is not enough to hope that you are making the right choice, you must base your decisions on right information. And most of all, your timing must be right! When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you;  Understanding will keep you… Proverbs 2:10-11 Discretion is not something you can determine that you will develop just because you think you can act intelligent and all knowing. Godly discretion comes from God, not from human ingenuity. You cannot in and of yourself determine to be discreet in everything you do. Your human wisdom will not sustain you through an entire week of life without making an error in judgment. Timing is often more important than time! As you walk in the Spirit and you are filled with the fruit of His Spirit, then you are able by God’s Spirit to communicate from a sincere heart the right thing at the right time. Guiding Thoughts First, discretion is the ability to know the right action for each occasion. But, how would you know the right action to take every time? You won’t! God, however, is not confused about […] Read More

Kindness Refreshes the Soul

April 2, 2019 | 1 Comment

Kindness refreshes the soul, unkindness poisons the spirit. How’s your Spirit? Is it sweet or sour? How’s your temper? Do you have a temper? Do you quickly respond to things around you with a sourness? Do situations like, heavy traffic, try your spirit? You know what I mean, when somebody does the wrong thing and you start steaming within? You’re wanting to honk your horn at those people and you can’t find it on the steering wheel? You nearly beat that steering wheel to death trying to find the horn. And things just fly off the handle quickly with you. Or how about, going to Walmart or Target. Maybe you are in a hurry and you grab two items. You go up to the check out and get in the line that says 10 items or less. You know that you’re not in the right spirit when you start counting the items in everybody’s basket that are in front of you. Sure enough there’s someone, they have 15! If they’re in this line they’re only supposed to have 10! And you’re thinking, I wonder if I could have them arrested for this. Just that little wrong action of those people breaking […] Read More

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