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Showing posts from April, 2013

FEARLESS FAITH

It is not always easy to be a Christ-follower these days. The culture we live in often challenges the core foundations of our faith. Often our response to these trials is to run away from the criticisms and the negative influences that surround us, by creating a safe and insulated subculture in the midst of a world filled with anti-Christian values, depravity and sin. This is not what Jesus intended as he states in John 17:15 — “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”

John Fischer writes in his book Fearless Faith that, “Many Christians count too much on the comfort of a Christian environment for the maintenance of their faith. They depend on the familiar surroundings of church, fellowship and Christian activity to help bolster their faith, as if somehow they could get it by osmosis. They don’t interact with the environment as much as they blend in with it. But faith does not seep through the skin. It begins in the heart, and i…

FOLLOW ON

I passed by an elementary school the other day and saw a group of kids, on the playground, playing the game “Follow the Leader.” Do you remember that game? The rules are easy. One person is the leader and the rest of the children follow, doing the same things the leader does. As I watched these kids their leader took the group running, skipping, jumping over obstacles, spinning, rolling down a hill, and at the end they fell into some kind of dog-pile with all the kids laughing. There were grins on their faces revealing the sheer joy of the game.

Jesus has issued an invitation for us to do somewhat the same thing. “Whoever serves me must follow me…”—John 12:26. “Come, follow me,” He says. That’s why I use the title phrase Christ-follower instead of Christian, because it gives a clear and precise picture defining what a believer in Jesus Christ does—follow.

Unfortunately, most adults have lost the love of following the leader. Instead of venturing into the mystery of the unknown, we…

SPIRITUAL FITNESS

Every time you watch TV or listen to the radio you will see or hear advertisements about dieting. Year after year dieting continues to be a hot topic in our country. In fact, the United States appears to be diet-crazy! I know I’ve tried my share of diet programs. Here is a list of names of some of the different diet plans that are available out there today: Alli, Atkins, Advocare, Grapefruit, Cabbage Soup, Hollywood, South Beach, Beverly Hills, Blood Type, Scarsdale, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Fit for Life, Thin for Life, Exchange Plan, Herbalife, Sugar Busters, E-diet, Slim Fast, Dexatrim, 3-Day, 7-Day, Pritikin, Russian Air Force, Richard Simmons, Zone, and on and on. Regardless of the focus on diet and exercise, as a nation and speaking for myself, we still struggle to stay fit. 

We also, as Believers, have a struggle to stay fit spiritually. How’s your spiritual fitness? Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has som…

STOP THE WOBBLE

Today the pressure to compromise our lifestyle as Christ-followers is intensifying from every side. On a daily basis it is one of the greatest battles that we face. No one is immune from peer pressure, no matter what age you are. The pressure to compromise makes a 6-year-old shout out loud a dirty word or a 16-year-old get drunk at a party. The same pressure forces a business executive to cheat on a business deal, and then say, “Everyone does it.”

 A Christ-follower is called to stand firm and not be seduced by peer pressure. Granted, sometimes it is very difficult to stand firm and stand out in the crowd. You will always feel better keeping your principles intact. Many times this action has the potential, to costs you a friendship, a job, or something else you value. Yet Christ-followers are always directed to stand on the side of right, even when it is unpopular to do so.

Well then, since God's grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not…

STANDING WITH YOU

When Elvis Presley died, people all over the world were shocked at the passing of the one they called "the King." Following his death, many young men who idolized Elvis sought to imitate him. One such man was Dennis Wise. He actually had his face surgically lifted and his hair contoured so that he looked exactly like his idol. He had learned to play the guitar and had even made a few dollars by appearing as a Presley impersonator. When he was interviewed by a newspaper concerning his passion to be like Elvis Presley, he said:

“Yes, sir, Presley has been an idol of mine ever since I was five years old. I have every record he ever made — twice over. I have pictures in the thousands. I have books, magazines, pillows — I even have a couple of books in German and Japanese about him. I even have tree leaves from the front of his house. It was embarrassing to me when I was in school for the kids were always teasing me. When Elvis was wearing white boots I went out and bought white b…