We have many enemies in this world. Our greatest enemy, for those without Christ, is death. Death is the enemy of God. God created life; Satan created death, despair, and disease. Suffering is the antithesis to creation. As you read the creation story in Genesis 1 you see death, despair, and disease were not a part of the original plan. In fact when God finished, the Bible tells us:
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31)
Continue reading “No Might Without Thee”
My nephew Michael has made an honest and valid request. My family has faced great tragedy again. My niece Cheryl, Michael’s younger sister, was killed early Sunday morning in a head on collision. She had just turned 34 last Wednesday.
A few hours later, Michael’s uncle, my only brother Stephen, died from a rare pneumatic virus that took his life in less than 72 hours. He was only 52 and leaves behind a wife, children, grandchildren, and three sisters and me his brother.
Continue reading “Living Comforts”
If we were to be perfectly honest, I would guess that 75% of Christians struggle the most with self-control – especially men. Whether it be lusts of the flesh, our tongues, covetousness, whatever the issue, we struggle with self-control. For many of us, we try to get to a level of temperance without first building our faith, integrity, and Biblical wisdom. And it’s not a destination either; we have to maintain those if we are to achieve and sustain self-control.
At times I like to pat myself on the pat if I have “a good week” of walking the straight and narrow, but I really shouldn’t:
Continue reading “Spiritual Growth – Self-Control”
My apologies for taking so long to get to our second characteristic in spiritual growth – knowledge. After virtue comes knowledge, the type of knowledge that we get from learning about God through His holy word. We are students of God.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge…” (2 Peter 1:5)
Continue reading “Spiritual Growth – Knowledge”
In his second epistle, the Apostle Peter gives us seven steps to spiritual growth.
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8)
Continue reading “Spiritual Growth – Virtue”
So how do we keep from backsliding, and once we find ourselves in such a state how do we get back? The answer is simple but the execution is not always easy. It dovetails with trying to figure out God’s will for our lives. I’ve written this before but it bears repeating: so many Christians struggle with trying to figure out God’s will for their lives. Well, do you do what you already know what God wants you to do? If you know what God wants you to do, then do what He wants you to do. Jesus said:
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
Continue reading “Practical Obedience”
We never just walk away. We are prone to wander. That’s why Jesus called us sheep. Without following the sound of our Shepherd, by not remaining with the flock, we wander off. We walk into all types of danger. That’s why Jesus told the Parable of the Lost Sheep in Matthew 18 of the rejoicing of one found, not one saved, but of one found that has returned. (see Luke 15 for one saved).
“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 10-14)
Continue reading “Slip Sliding Away”
Yesterday my pastor, Dr. Dennis Brunet, preached from one of my favorite passages in the Bible. This passage saw me through a very difficult time in my life. When I first came across it, it so soothed my hurting heart that the only piece of paper I could find in my room was an envelope. I wrote this passage on the envelope and carried it with me every where I went. It became very worn from unfolding and folding it dozens of times. It literally brought me the peace of God:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
Continue reading “Comfortable With Handling The Unexpected”