What is My Problem?

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, … [Read more...]

God’s Promises Bring Hope!

 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 … [Read more...]

Controlled by Christ

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 … [Read more...]

Openness or Honesty, Are They The Same?

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 … [Read more...]

The Beginning of Marriage

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Philippians 2:3 “I want to be a better partner.” You say this, thinking back over a multitude of incidents that make up the history of your family. Some of them were funny when they happened; others are funny only as we look back on them. Still others were gravely serious. Some were puzzling. There are months on end when husband and wife get along beautifully; and then, out of the clear blue sky, there are frequent disagreements. Then, just as mysteriously, things clear up. This is the ebb and flow, the fascination, the never-ending variety, the multitude of moods that make up family living. How can we do our part better? Seldom, if ever, do the … [Read more...]

Peace and Satisfaction In This World?

Why are Christians not in the least embarrassed over the absence of peace and rest in their lives? Jesus clearly tells us that it is His intention for us to move through this world peacefully and cheerfully, untroubled and unafraid as long as we look to Him to enable us. With such a resource readily available, I am overwhelmed by the absence of personal peace and by the level of misery under which Christians are willing to live. They don’t seem the least bit embarrassed or hesitant to declare: • “I’m under stress.” • “I’m worried.” • “I’m so unhappy.” • “I’m afraid.” • “I’m pretty anxious.” • “I’m angry!” • “I can’t get along with him (her).” Yet, Jesus gives clear direction when it comes to the issue of peace. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not … [Read more...]

Basic Obedience: What’s the Issue?

Basic obedience is at the heartbeat of basic Christianity. Matthew 7:21 (Skinner paraphrase: “Not everyone that calls Jesus Lord really means it. Only those who do what Jesus says really mean it.”) Did you know that spiritually, as a Christian, you are created to obey? Spiritually, you are built to obey–not command. Humanly, how are you built? To command. It is not your first nature to obey everyone. It is not your nature to do everything people tell you to do. Human nature is rather to take command or do things your way. For the Christian, spiritually, you are built in such a way that you want to obey and not command. Now if a Christian says, “that is not the way I function,”  we know where to find the problem. The problem is lack of obedience. If you’re tired of obeying, you … [Read more...]

Who Should Correct?

If correction is needed, what kind of person would you prefer to deliver the message? Would you rather it be a humble or arrogant person? Of course we want the humble person, don’t we? It is very difficult to respond positively to an arrogant person. A humble person is a much better choice for delivering a corrective message, but correction is still the issue. Think of a person you deeply respect. Maybe it is a parent, grandparent, teacher, former pastor, current pastor, a Bible study teacher, or maybe it is Billy Graham. Think about their walk with God. You trust they have a deep relationship with Christ. If that person should observe you doing something wrong this week and they approached you and said, “I heard what you said the other day and that wasn’t appropriate. You need to make … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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