Hindrances To Self-Discovery

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 … [Read more...]

A Medical Doctor’s Perspective on Sin

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 … [Read more...]

Those Annoying People!

"Those annoying people did it to me again!" Have you said that lately? There is not doubt there are many annoying people in this world. But why is it that we have to run into them so often? God's Word gives us some insight in Galatians 5:20-21 stating, “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy,” are works of the lower nature. Other words that we could use would be quarreling, debate, disunion, and anger. I am going to lump all of these together and call them “annoyance.” Feelings of Annoyance Feelings of annoyance can range all the way from very slight annoyance that you hardly notice to intense annoyance that breaks through our shells and causes our faces to flush, our hearts to pound, and causes our bodies to break into a sweat. … [Read more...]

Trouble, Perplexity, and Rejection

Trouble, perplexity, persecution, and rejection are all difficult to face. The Apostle Paul had all of these but understood that there is a power that will enable a person to face such treatment without distress, despair, self-pity, or ruin. It is the power of God. The end products of distress can definitely be bodily changes. Your blood pressure, respiration, and digestion can be affected. If you have a grudge against someone, who are you hurting? Who is affected when you are seething over a person who isn’t even in your presence? Yourself, of course. The other person may not even know you are having trouble thinking about them in a positive way. There is a power that will enable you to face your circumstances without distress. It is the power of God, made available to you through … [Read more...]

Maintaining Good Marital Communication

The secret of good marital communication in marriage lies in two people applying the principle embodied in this verse: And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. Luke 6:31 Here is a workable formula. And amazingly, it is easier to carry out than to try to figure out the other person and treat him accordingly. Scott and Ann found this out. Like practically everyone, each longed to be appreciated and have their viewpoint respected. They discovered that the rule Jesus gave is just as effective today as when He spoke it. Scott sought counsel because he was puzzled over his unhappy marriage. He and Ann, his wife, never exchanged harsh words. He kept his complaints against her to himself. He had looked at her personality and her idiosyncrasies from all angles … [Read more...]

The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ

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 … [Read more...]

Spiritual Inventory #3—The Struggle with Self

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, … [Read more...]

Spiritual Inventory #2—Temptations Trials

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 … [Read more...]

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

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 … [Read more...]

Normal Reactions To Correction

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 … [Read more...]

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