Dying in the Daylight

There is a saying in the entrepreneurial industry that ideas die in the daylight. What that means is someone will conceptually come up with a great product idea, but tactically they never implement it. The same can be said for the Christian walk.

As believers, we often make resolutions to study our Bibles, spend more time in our prayer closets, or share the gospel with a loved one, and yet the intention dies in the daylight. The reason that happens is we saturate our plan with human effort instead of heavenly grace:

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Falling Apart

Imagine your worst day ever, or perhaps you don’t have to imagine it. You’ve already faced your worst day. It was a day that you did not think you would survive. Perhaps the death of a loved one unexpectedly visited your home. Or maybe financial ruin crumbled life as you knew it. It could be that you are facing such a time right now.

To where do you turn in times of trial? For me, it is always helpful to have people in my life who have been through the same or similar fire to give me counsel. When my son Eddie was killed in Iraq nearly nine years ago, a woman named Debbie Lee came into Karen and my lives. She was a Gold Star Mom who lost her son Marc a year prior. She is like a sister to us. She has been a solid rock to lean on in trying times.

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Rendering Evil for Evil

Fear is a great motivator; however rarely does it turn out great when we react to fear. Actual fear for our physical safety is a healthy fear; imagined fear of our future usually leads to poor decisions. Oftentimes we set out on our own to cast away or deal with those imagined fears. We abandon what we know about God and His faithfulness.

A believer who puts his or her faith in God into action can face any fear that comes our way. We can know that God holds us in His secure hands. How can we know that? We can know it because we are His children, adopted into His family through the precious blood of Christ.

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Confidence in God

Our nation is facing some difficult issues, from the threat of Islam to the growing national debt; America is at a crossroads in history. In the fifty years that I’ve been paying attention to our nation’s history and current events, truly “these are the times that try men’s souls.”

We should always turn to God and His word to determine the appropriate actions to take when facing untested waters. The Old Testament gives us a great example of a nation and its king facing a truly dangerous moment and the Biblical solution to a problem.

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God’s Own Son

The timeless 19th Century Christmas carol written by William Chatterton Dix asks, “What Child Is This?” The carol goes on to say, “This, this is Christ the King.” We all know that song, and we all know that Christmas is about the Baby Jesus. But we don’t know much about Jesus if that is all we know.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “This Baby” by Steven Curtis Chapman. The song describes the life of a baby that could represent any baby’s life. However, the difference in “This Baby” is found in the chorus:

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Answering For Our Own Behavior

judgmentseatDuring my book signing this past weekend, I was sharing with some friends about the spiritual breakthrough I had a couple of years ago when it came to making decisions. While I cannot recall the day, I do remember coming to the realization that I would actually be held accountable by God for the decisions I make and the words I speak. I now take serious what Paul wrote:

    “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)

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A Divine Coming

20 days old baby sleeping in a christmas nativity cribTo be Christlike is my greatest challenge. To balance grace and truth towards a lost world is a constant battle. With family members where I want to avoid conflict, I can rely too much on grace while avoiding Biblical truth. When I’m angry and in a battle, I can use the truth like a sledgehammer and purposely shun grace. That is what humans do. That is why we need a Savior.

    “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

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Balancing Truth and Grace

Phil RobertsonI wanted to share with all you what I posted to my social sites since many of you do not follow me on Facebook or Twitter:

While we must show Christian love to homosexuals, we cannot allow them to control the debate. Phil Robertson’s comments were not anti-gay. And I find it ironic that anatomically describing heterosexual and homosexual sex is considered crude, while the vileness of open homosexuality is considered an alternative lifestyle.

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Doing What We Can To Just Believe

I awoke this morning with a song from Third Day in my mind; particularly the first chorus kept playing in my mind. It’s from the song “Ready” and the first stanza goes like this:

    I’m ready for the winds to change
    I’m ready for a brighter day
    I’m ready for the sun to shine down on me
    I’m waiting for a song to sing
    I’m looking for a brand new thing
    I’m ready now to live a life that I believe

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Fulfill His Desires Without Fear Of Judgment

Whenever I’m asked, be it on radio or through social media and email, what is America’s number one problem, I always have the same answer: moral relativism. Moral relativism says that what is right for you is not necessarily right for me. Your standards do not have to become my standards. There is no right and wrong, no black and white, no absolute truth.

This is absolute baloney and is the destruction of any society:

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The Word Makes Belief Possible

How often do you read your Bible? And when you do, are you doing it out of a sense of responsibility (which I endorse if that’s is all that motivates you), or do you go to God’s Word seeking to increase your faith. We can go to God’s Word based on what the Apostle Paul taught:

    “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

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Suffering For Christ

Suffering comes with the territory of being a Christian. That’s how we ended yesterday. In today’s NTFV gospel (New Touchy-Feely Version), suffering is not high on the topics of finding your best life now. But hey, don’t get upset with me, your beef is with the Apostle Paul and the Holy Spirit.

    “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.” (Philippians 1:29-30)

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Striving For Christ

My pastor likes to you the term “stickability.” It’s a clever term for steadfastness. The Random House Dictionary defines steadfastness as “fixed in direction; steadily directed; firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment; unwavering; firmly established. If you say someone is steady it means that is a person on which you can be depend. When it comes to our faith being steady, it means we do not veer to the left or the right but we remain on the straight and narrow. Easier said than done!

So how do we remain steadfast? How do we attain “stickability”? Consider it a target and like any target you have to aim at it. Paul encouraged the Philippian church to aim for the target of steadfastness:

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Living Like Paul (Part 2)

It is at times very tempting to give up and say, “Now Lord, come now.” But we are not given that option. We can long for heaven all the while preparing for it. And not only preparing for ourselves, but also and more importantly, reaping many souls for Jesus. This is the joy of the Christian life here on earth. That is what Paul is saying in today’s passage:

    “For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again.” (Philippians 1:23-26)

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Living Like Paul (Part 1)

When we go through tough times, are there some things we can know for sure? Of course there are many things we cannot know in the midst of trials and tribulations. The Apostle Paul answers our question, “yes.”

    “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.” (Philippians 1:19-22)

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Preaching Like Paul (Part 2)

As Christians what should we do about the peddlers and shysters preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ? Well, what did the Apostle Paul do? He rejoiced…

    “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.” (Philippians 1:15-18)

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