Sometimes we literally have to ask ourselves, “Where does my dependence lie? The Christian answer, of course, is to say, “My dependence is on God,” but is it really? Continue reading
For a lot of years instead of my personal walk with God being like a river growing deeper and wider with each passing day, it was more like a stagnant pond that was gradually drying up under the heat of the sun. Thankfully, the goodness of God leads us all to repentance and by His grace I learned again what it is to truly walk with Him. Continue reading
Conflict is a fact of life. You don’t even have to leave your house to find it. You can find conflict in the convenience of your own home! You can even take it on the go. Conflict is anywhere you can find sinners – and they’re everywhere. Thankfully, the solution to conflict is as easy to find as conflict itself. Scripture is full of counsel and examples on how to deal with it. Not surprisingly, biblical conflict resolution is a lot like God Himself: It’s about winning hearts, not winning arguments. Continue reading
The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all. (Proverbs 22:2)
We are to be stewards, not victims, of our circumstances. Because our lot in life is ordained of God. That we are not necessarily foreordained to remain in our current state is clear from the lives of people like Paul and Joseph. Paul said: “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:12). He’d personally experienced both feast and famine and learned to be content in either circumstance. As for Joseph, he went from second-in-command in his own household, to prisoner in Egypt, to second-in-command of Egypt. The key in the lives of both these men was how they stewarded their circumstances. Who they were was not defined by their current socio-economic status. They were defined by whom they worshiped and honored with their lives. Their God was unchanging, so regardless of where and how they found themselves, they also were unchanging.
(1) Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
(2) Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
(3) But Jonah rose up to flee…
Jonah had a problem. God had a vision for the people of Nineveh and Jonah turned a blind eye to it. This vision problem of Jonah’s wasn’t a handicap. It wasn’t a misunderstanding. It wasn’t even that Jonah could not see God’s point of view. It was that he would not see it. He had an “I” problem: “I want vengeance. I want the Ninevites destroyed. I want my prayers answered my way.”
Paul told the Philippian church: “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:12). It might seem odd to hear Paul say that he had learned how to deal with plenty. We wouldn’t consider a place of blessing to be dangerous, and while no one wants to suffer need, being blessed with plenty is often the greatest danger of all.
That proved true for the church of Laodicea, because their blessings led to their downfall. Continue reading
Most of the miracles of Christ were public affairs. Some were actually performed in private, like the healing of Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:40-41; 49-54), but all of them were requested publicly in some way. When Mary spoke to Jesus about providing more wine for the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-12), it was in earshot of some of the guests. When the blind man asked to be healed of his blindness, he was not shy at all: “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me!” he shouted (Luke 18:35-43). Even the lepers who were considered unclean and could not be in public places without declaring themselves unclean were very public about their request for healing: “They lifted up their voices, and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us’” (Luke 17:11).
Such was not the case when it came to the woman with the issue of blood. Continue reading
Brackish water is no good for drinking. A church with a brackish testimony is good for even less. A church like that actually makes the Lord sick. Continue reading
Left to myself, I cannot truly know God. Even the consciousness of a supreme being comes from the hand of God, put there in the heart of every human being by the Creator Himself (John 1:4). The only way I can hope to grow and nurture that spark of understanding is to seek God out in His word.
Living for Christ is not an event. It is a way of life — and it is a way of life with sure reward. All God requires of us is faithfulness founded in trust. Continue reading