Personal Growth

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

Hindrances To Self-Discovery

March 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

Self-discovery can be a wonderful process to personal peace if you have the right perspective. Two simple steps will begin the process: 1. The first step toward peace is to discover yourself and 2. The second is to square up with the truth you find. You will get fleeting glimpses of your true self (and sometimes a very clear picture) as you interact with other people, as you read the Bible, and as others minister to you. Yet the average person usually resists facing up to his faults. Quite likely he will reject anyone who points out his error. Jesus Christ gave the precise explanation for this reaction when He said, “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:20 We possess a natural dislike for rebuke. We have a built-in resistance to seeing our shortcomings. We react to reproof as we react to pain. The tendency is to shrink away, to protect ourselves from what we wish were not so. Studying the Bible is a sure way to get at the truth about yourself, but it takes some effort, and no one can force you to […] Read More

A Medical Doctor’s Perspective on Sin

March 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Psychosomatic Illness Dr. Henry Brandt shares this story from his life about his medical doctor friend: Dr. S.I. McMillen, a much-respected and loved physician, taught the college Sunday-school class at the church we attended. He gave a series of lectures on how certain thoughts and feelings can cause pain in many parts of the body. Dr. McMillen used some visual aids and pamphlets authored by Dr. O. Spurgeon English of Temple Medical School and sponsored by Sandoz Pharmaceuticals to illustrate his lessons. Up to this time, I had always assumed that pain meant something was wrong with the body and that a physician would know how to fix it. The proper choice of pills or an injection will hopefully do the job. It simply never occurred to me that thoughts and feelings could affect the body. Dr. McMillen introduced me to a new term, “psychosomatic,” which has to do with a physical disorder caused by or noticeably influenced by the emotional state of the patient. In our book, Breaking Free from the Bondage of Sin, Dr. Brandt goes on to share: Dr. S.I. McMillen spent many years studying Jewish and Christian writings in search of biblical principles and directions for living. […] Read More

The Faithfulness of God

March 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

God’s faithfulness is beyond measure, yet, the sad fact is that many miss out on recognizing the faithfulness of God. The faithfulness of God is the most consistent thing on earth! You might have thought the Old Faithful geyser At Yellowstone National Park was the most consistent thing on earth. After all, the geyser was named in 1870 and has been faithfully erupting every 91 minutes since its recorded history. Close to three million people visit Old Faithful each year just to see this most consistent geological happening in the world. How consistent is God’s faithfulness? The Scripture states: I will hear what God the LORD will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Psalm 85:8-11, NKJV God’s faithfulness to the children of Israel is an incredible picture of righteousness. In the first three verses of this Psalm, the Lord had forgiven their sin and taken away the guilt […] Read More

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