Repentance

What’s Down In The Well Comes Up In The Bucket!

July 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

I remember my grandmother saying, “What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket! If the well has muddy water, then that is what you get, if it is clean spring water, then that is what comes up in the bucket.” What’s down in your inner self is what comes out when you are in conflict. When your values or beliefs are challenged or affirmed, you will discover what is “down in the bucket.” Your first response shows the condition of your heart, mind, and attitude at the time. There is much social pressure that requires you to look happy, to act as if you were happy, to be polite, and to do the acceptable thing. The Christian is concerned, not only with his tone of voice, but with what is in the inner self as well; not only with how he acts, but with how he feels. Jesus said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mark 7:20-23 To illustrate, […] Read More

Repentance and Memory Lane

July 16, 2018 | 1 Comment

A spirit of repentance will encourage you to remember where you have come from in your spiritual life. While our memory is not always accurate, when you want to change from where you are to where God wants you to be, He will enable your memory to remember “from where you have fallen” (Rev. 2:5). Do you remember when… You were in the first grade? You had a first best friend? You were given your first tricycle, big wheel, or bike? Do you remember… Subjects you studied in 3rd grade? The color of your classroom? The name of your elementary school? Some of us remember more details than others about our childhood. My wife remembers many details about her childhood, while I struggle with the details. Though I have trouble with the small stuff, important events stick with me. Remembering a crisis, a happy event, a new job, marriage, or a new relationship seems to come easy. Minor details tend to slip away. I remember talking with my granddad about his childhood and it seemed he could remember more about his childhood than I could about mine. The medical profession tells us that the older we get, the better our long-term memory […] Read More

The Joy of Repentance Brings Peace!

June 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Peace Doesn’t Come from Places or People Shortly after completing my university education, I began my first experience serving as a full-time associate pastor. Little did I know that I would need to experience the joy of repentance that brings peace in my first assignment. Excitement permeated my life as God had allowed me to serve Him in such a role. While serving at the church, I was given the privilege of attending seminary. And if that was not enough to keep my schedule full, I was also married and had a young child. Would the stress of all these new life adventures bring me peace? Christian education was my major assignment at the church. I had been trained for years to be a good minister of Christian education. All the resources and tools available to a leader were in my library. While I was thankful that this assignment was mine, those people just did not realize how helpful I could be to them. Immaturity was present in my life, but only recognized by others; not me! Assignments in seminary, church, and at home were in abundance, but I was a hard worker and enjoyed doing the things I had been […] 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

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

Spiritual Inventory #3—The Struggle with Self

January 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

Do you struggle with self? The answer for us all? Yes! Over the past years God has spoken strongly to me about a matter in which everyone (including me!) has a struggle at some time(s) in their life. Some struggle more than others in this area of life. What is it? SELFISH AMBITION! While reading through the book of Genesis, God impacted me in the eleventh chapter. The Scripture states: Now the whole earth had one language and one speech…and they said, “Come let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” Genesis 11: 1, 4-5, 7, NKJV Notice, that the intent of the […] Read More

Spiritual Inventory #2—Temptations Trials

January 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

Temptation is one of the great trials of life. Taking spiritual inventory of this issue is absolutely imperative! Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. James 1:13-16 NKJV What is temptation? Smiley Blanton, noted psychiatrist, offers a good definition: Every day of your life, no matter how sheltered you are, you face some choice in which the wrong action is so seductive, so plausible, so pleasurable that it takes a conscious effort of will to reject it. Temptation is universal, as old as the Garden of Eden. Much of your happiness or unhappiness depends on your ability to handle it—instead of letting it handle you. As a Christian, you are committed to give of your income to the Lord, but the furniture is shabby and the sales are on. You are tempted to withhold your tithe “just this one […] Read More

It’s Time for A Spiritual Inventory! (part 1)

January 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

A new year calls for a spiritual inventory! When was the last time you had a spiritual checkup? Maybe this week, or has it been a month or more? A spiritual checkup allows you opportunity to check your relationship with God. Need improvements? There is no better time to begin the process than right now. I pray this article will give you the needed motivation to examine any area in that needs a little work to help you grow closer to God! In 1973, Dr. Carl Meninger wrote a book entitled Whatever Became of Sin? In it he noted that in 1953 (20 years before he wrote the book) President Eisenhower quoted Lincoln as part of his declaration of a day of prayer: It is the duty of nations, as well as of men to own their independence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble, sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon. Dr. Meninger emphasizes that for the next 20 years presidential declarations have eliminated reference to sin. As a nation, he said, we officially stopped sinning twenty, now forty, years ago. Now, in 2014 there is a […] Read More

Normal Reactions To Correction

November 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

What is your normal reaction to correction? When a friend confides, “I’m going to be very frank with you.” Do you grasp his hand and pull him to a chair so he can sit down and tell you your shortcoming? Do you shout for joy that another glimpse of your true nature is about to be discovered? Do you get a knot in your stomach and begin to think defensively, “Oh, what is he going to say and how am I going to respond? Do you remember this Bible passage: And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, (2 Timothy 2:24-25 NKJV). If your friend has a compliment, you are only too glad to have him/her say it; and you don’t even get away from a crowd in order for him/her to say it. Many methods have been given to approach a person: such as, start with a praise about a person in order to soften the criticism that follows. The truth is, we usually resist facing up […] Read More

Victory!

July 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

Victory comes in many forms. Some people simple want to win a battle so they can be known as the victor. Others want victory that relieves the tensions of life. But, the real key to victory is for God to be known to others through what He does in your life. Are you slow to anger? Are you quick to respond in defiance? Is there any Godly discretion in your life? Are you looking for recognition? Are you looking for approval or are you satisfied to walk in service to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be approved by Him? Let the following be a challenge to personal renewal. The following was printed and handed out during Boston’s Awakening of 1909 under guidance of Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman: original–source unknown. Given to me by Devin Bell during our doctoral residency at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you smile inwardly, glorying in the insult or the oversight–That is Victory! —(John 13:26-30; 2 Timothy 4:16-18) When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your taste offended, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you take it all in […] Read More

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