Understanding The Inner Person

Understanding our inner person can be quite complicated for us. However, God’s invitation is to believe, receive, abide, come, and take of His resources so that we will have a greater understanding of the inner person. Frequently, an individual will protest that he has no will power, that he is weak, or that his case is special. He pleads for understanding, implying that if he were understood, he would be accepted as he is. Of course it is true that all people are weak, unrighteous, and sinful. It is also true that a disturbed individual needs to be understood by others but also by him or herself. But understanding the inner person and his/her problems does not change him/her, it only makes his/her need clear. He needs someone to reassure, instruct, and guide him to Christ who can … [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...]

Who Is Fighting Your Battle?

Have you ever tried to solve your problems when you knew that you really couldn’t solve them even with your greatest effort? Our tendency is to find a way to cause everything to work out the way we want it to be resolved with all of our personal human resources. Maybe your spirit knew that only God could solve this but your mind wouldn’t let it go still attempting to work it out on your own. King Jehoshaphat could have relied on his powerful army and all of his resources to go into battle. Everyone would believe that was the right thing to do. But, the Spirit of the Lord came upon the son of Zechariah--Jahaziel and delivered a message to all of Jerusalem and the King. “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s “(2 Chronicles … [Read more...]

Christ’s Help in a Self-Help World

Christ's help for us is different than the assistance available from a "self-help" world. No matter what the world tells you, Jesus has a clear, concise, simple promise for His disciples: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27 The apostle Paul taught: Walk in [live by] the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  Gal. 5:16 Everyone has two options in life: turn to God for help or, turn to the world for help. Of course there are common events in life for helping yourself, but remember, spiritual needs come from God, not self. It’s like determining if you are headed north or south. Those are opposite directions. God's help, and self help are … [Read more...]

Deception Has Become Ordinary

Deception is a common act of everyday life. It has become so common, many times people don't even recognize when they are deceptive. In the courtroom, if a witness fails to reveal accurately what is on his mind while under oath, it is called perjury, or deception. If an action or event that is known to be wrong is in a public forum, a scandal occurs. Many scandals happen every day. There are sports, political, sex, corporate, and Olympic scandals. The Watergate scandal should be a stark reminder of the misery we can cause ourselves by covering up the truth. The men involved brought the wrath of the nation down on themselves. In day-to-day, human relations, we tend to create minor scandals when we misrepresent what is on our minds and hearts. We can give ourselves a variety of reasons … [Read more...]

Controlling Yourself — Can I Really?

Do you have trouble controlling yourself? Is it even possible to control yourself? How can we control ourselves? I understand wanting to control other people. We all have a desire at some level to control those problem people at work, home, or church. Who would you control if you had that ability? People have difficulty with self-control for all kinds of things in life. A bag of peanut M&M’s, a shopping spree, a gun show, golf, an obsession for physical fitness, or an incredible dinner can dominate your thinking and time. There are all kinds of things in this world that demand our time, efforts, and our love. When you read Galatians 5:22-23, it is understandable that the fruit of the Spirit is love, not human love–God’s love. It is not human joy. It is God’s joy. It is peace, not … [Read more...]

How Does the Truth Affect You?

When you are faced with the truth, how does truth affect you? Christians who have knowingly committed sin and then are corrected in humility will either become mellow or hard hearted when they hear the truth. If you are the one being corrected, you will face the same choice of response. Your response to truth is not determined by the spirit of the person delivering the message. Your reaction to the truth is determined by your spirit. The safest response to needed correction is to change. To delay change may require increased discipline by God to turn your heart back to Him. Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:16). If you are cold, you know you are cold. If you are hot, you know you … [Read more...]

Who Do I Love?

To be in love with somebody is a wonderful experience. I remember the dating experience with  Elaine. I dreamed about that girl! I used to talk about her all the time, and carried her picture in my wallet, and at odd moments, I’d take it out and look at that simple image of her. I had a picture of her in my room (I still have that picture on my iPhone now). Every night that I wasn’t working, I went to see her. I went to see her as often as my parents would let me! I bought gifts for her and did everything I could to show my love for her. While we all enjoy being with our families, we also like to be around various other people. Many times you must pause and ask yourself what comes first, family, time with friends, or to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and … [Read more...]

Deceit Can Affect Your Health

Deceit can affect your health. Deceit is the deliberate attempt to mislead someone. Hypocrisy is the pretended possession of those qualities that would make others believe in one’s sincerity, goodness, and devotion. One of the clearest illustrations of deceit was told to me by my friend and mentor Dr. Henry Brandt. I remember him telling me this story and then we included it in one of our books–The Word for the Wise. I think you will enjoy the story of the Stolen Raspberries! When I was a boy, we lived in the suburbs. A neighbor had a fine raspberry patch. My instructions were to stay out of it unless permission was given by my parents and the people who owned the patch. One day when there was was no one around, I slipped into the patch and started eating the ripe, juicy … [Read more...]

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