Personal Growth

Attractive Testimonies

August 19, 2019 | 1 Comment

What do attractive testimonies look like to godly people? …for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Romans 14:17-19, NKJV What kind of Christian do you like to be with? Think for a moment about the Christian who has most influenced your life? What character did they display that attracted you to their life? It was probably the fact that they lived a consistent life for the Lord—or perhaps they never seemed to buckle under a load but stood strong through trials and temptations. It may have been that you were attracted to their constant joy or peace in their life. It may have been that they always had a word to say about what God was doing. Christians are attracted to persons who testify for Christ. One morning at church I was talking to one of the most positive Christians I have ever known. I asked, “How are you?” He said, “I can’t […] Read More

Churches and Truth

August 12, 2019 | 1 Comment

What to Expect? Churches and truth should be what we expect! Yet, when churches present the truth they tend to be criticized because their ministers upset people when they preach about the sinfulness of man and the inflexible standards of the Bible. Once I had a long conversation with a fellow counselor about the value of “deeper life” conferences, in which the details of the ideal Christian life are discussed. He felt very strongly against this type of conference. He believed it did irreparable damage because after such a conference a wave of very upset people came to him. That they could not attain perfection greatly disturbed them. People have often turned to me as a counselor because their pastor has upset them. Having listened to him preach about sin, they feel guilty and inadequate. As they relate the details of their stories, it invariably turns out that they are guilty and inadequate. They were much happier people before they began attending church, studying the Bible, and facing the truth. Therefore, could it not be reasonable to conclude that their problems were caused by what they heard and read? To remove the cause would seem to relieve the person’s anxiety. […] Read More

A Gentle Spirit

July 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

A gentile spirit is not often observed in our day. Many have harsh spirits displayed openly to all. Do you have a long or a short fuse? It is rare that a person remains gentle every hour of every day. When a believer is harsh and disgruntled it is not because the fruit of the Spirit is not available–it is because he/she is walking in the flesh. You can either walk in the Spirit or walk in the flesh, but you cannot do both at the same time. Have you ever been to Disney World? It is proclaimed as the happiest place on earth! My wife and I were visiting there and observed many families. They were supposed to be happy in this happiest place on earth. While watching those families we discovered that not everyone was happy. Many of them had short fuses. Their wonderful environment did not seem to have a positive effect on their negative spirit. Obvious problems in the visiting families of the happiest place on earth needed to be addressed. Yet, to address a problem does not mean it is a painless experience. Suppose I have a splinter in my hand and I ask you […] Read More

What is My Problem?

July 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

What is my problem? I hear this question asked over and over by sincere people looking for solutions to difficulties in life. Most often the issue is about overcoming anxiety, stress, and frustration. Let’s first set the context by considering this passage from Proverbs: Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. (Prov. 3:7-8). One of our responsibilities as Christians is to be witnesses to weary travelers who are trying to use human resources to deal with sin. The collapse of family life and the escalation of dishonesty, stealing, violence, crime, physical and sexual abuse speaks for itself. Our world needs a good dose of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Solutions Many in our day wonder whether their problem can be solved by spending time in the solitude of some peaceful place or whether they must see their doctor for medical help. Christian’s minds are confused by the constant magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and news reports that claim a cure to the monotony of life. They wonder whether their problem is physical, emotional, or spiritual. Where […] Read More

We Need You!

July 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

Needed Whether You Believe It Or Not Maybe you don’t feel needed, but we need you! Christians are a part of the body of Christ–His church! If you are a part of Christ then there are believers who really do need you! Our culture has taught us to be independent. Many who are experiencing success in their lives feel no need for others. But, the Bible reveals that Christians should be interdependent–not independent of one another. Read this: …but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:15-16 I Needed My Friends Final exams just before graduating from college had just been completed. A group of my friends and I rejoiced that we were finally finished with the university experience and were all going into full-time ministry. We went to the gym to play basketball and work off the tension and stress of finals. I discovered there is a way to rebound a basketball […] Read More

Careful on Making that Decision!

July 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

Careful on making that decision! Maybe you need to think that through a little more! Are you really sure that is right? Ever heard this from a friend or family member? They probably had your best interest at heart and just wanted you to make sure of your decision. Simple Choices? There was a time when purchasing a new appliance was a reasonably simple decision. Why? The choice was only between a few models. Today, we research for days to find what color, features, size, and how good the warranty is before making a purchase. There are so many choices. This mind-set attempts to analyze every facet of a decision from a human perspective. Yet, when it comes to our spiritual life, we may not spend the time necessary in the study of God’s Word and prayer to make a godly decision. Take time to say to God, “I don’t know what to do. I need Your insight to show me how to make this decision.” I have made many decisions in my life that were not the best ones, how about you? If you had always made the best decisions, according to your thinking, wouldn’t you be wealthy? What […] Read More

God’s Promises Bring Hope!

July 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

 God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; He [GOD] has blessed, and I cannot reverse it. (Numbers 23:19-20) God is not like man. He never needs to repent and He always does what He says. While God is the great I AM, Satan is the great I am not. God can do anything He says He can do! Numbers 23:19 shares what kind of God we serve. What can God do? Anything He chooses to do. God is constant and consistent. Balak was trying to get Balaam to put a curse on the children of Israel. Balaam just could not do it. Why? Because he realized that God does not speak and then not act. He does not promise and not fulfill. Balaam received a command to bless. When God blesses, there is nothing you can do to change it. When God promises–He will fulfill. God will not lie and He will not change His mind. He does not speak and not act. […] Read More

Solid Foundations for Difficult Times

June 24, 2019 | 1 Comment

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 | 2 Comments

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

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