Let’s start by stating the obvious. Sin is bad. To act in accordance with sin is to act in a way that is not only contrary to the will of God but is also damaging to our standing before God. It is obvious that if we want to be pleasing to God then we need to really focus on managing our misdeeds. So, how do we do that? Are some transgressions worse than others? Can we find solace in the thought that “at least my sins are not as bad as that guy over there!” What do we need to do to reign in our misdoings and to continually clarify our conscience? Should we be focusing on totally avoiding what we think are really big sins or on avoiding all of the little trespasses that never seem to quit?
We read wonderful Bible promises like Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." We appreciate them, love them and insured by them, but do we sometimes question if we have a right to claim these promises for ourselves? Satan has brilliantly put "promise blockers" in our path. Now what?
We all want to be successful at whatever it is we are focusing on. How do we do it? Be single-minded. Have your vision clear and your energy directed. It's not easy. We end up distracted, or we start something but don't finish or we even rationalize our way out of triumph. How do we put habitual double-minded thinking behind us and reach forward towards true, godly achievement?
Loving our enemies is probably one of the most difficult concepts that Jesus gave to his followers, however he is probably one of the GREATEST examples of truly living what he spoke. How did he show his love for those who cursed him and eventually killed him? How did Jesus show devotion to those who were devious and hostile, attachment to those who antagonized him and affection for those who became his adversaries? How can we adopt that same attitude of love in our lives? Listen to this week’s inspiring Christian Questions for the answers.
Think about your life for a moment. Think about those things, people, places, experiences and memories that are most precious to you. The few thoughts that top this list are in all likelihood some of your greatest treasures. Now, think again about your life for another moment. Think about the things, people, places, experiences and memories that you obsess about – the images that you replay again and again in your mind that go ‘round and ‘round on that insatiable loop of conditioned and driven brain activity. The obsessions that top this list are in all likelihood your treasures as well. Kinda disturbing, isn’t it. So, what do we do about it? How do we learn to isolate and diminish those things which we cherish but hurt us? How do we instead focus on and appreciate those items that bring true honor, blessing and joy?
Loss brings grief. Everyone hurts when they suffer loss and many losses are met with grief. The recent Florida school shooting brings the trauma out in the open for all to see. Yet, before and after that singular tragedy there have been and will continue to be countless experiences of deep grief that are not so public. For many of us bereavement acts like a disease. Its symptoms can be deep and debilitating, and its cycle is repetitive and exhausting. Grief stinks and yet is an important and even healthy part of our coping with our traumatic personal losses. So, how do we go about finding the healing part ? How do we know what to hang on to, what to let go of and when any of this should happen? Finally, what can those of us who are not presently experiencing a personal loss do to help those who are in such pain and anguish?
What kind of legacy are you leaving your children, and if you don't have children, what kind of example are you leaving your friends and family? Can you do better? Have you ever thought about what it takes to make a beautiful character that will be remembered for the ages?
It is the Christmas season. It is a time for happiness, giving, receiving and appreciating. There was a time not so very long ago when the main focus of the Christmas season was the birth of Jesus as the world’s Savior. We are past that now, thanks to our political correctness, and Jesus is very much an afterthought of the holidays. Well, here today Jesus is NOT an afterthought. He is NOT a divisive figure who offends people by his mere existence. No, here today Jesus is recognized as the Savior of humanity, the centerpiece of God’s plan and the King of Kings. As we honor the birth and life of Jesus today, we will do so by highlighting some personal conversations he had with various people he encountered throughout his three-and-a-half year ministry. In so doing, we will tell a story that is rarely told. Merry Christmas!