Showing posts from May, 2016


Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a sport of high energy, a relentless melee between two opponents in full combat mode. I’ve not been a fan of MMA or boxing for that matter. Maybe that’s because in Middle School I experienced boxing for the first time and quickly discovered I didn’t like getting hit in the face on purpose. When I got punched in the nose that first time I staggered for a moment but my knees didn’t buckle the coach then yelled out—“Fight on!” There is also a combat mode in every Christ-follower’s heart that consists of two opponents in constant struggle with each other. It is the fight between what the apostle Paul calls the old nature and the new nature. “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” (Galatians 5:17) T


For twenty five years, I’ve used with family and fellow Christ-followers this farewell greeting: “Live for Jesus!” Why? Is it to sound religious? No! Is it to part with exhorted encouragement? Maybe. Why should Christ-followers make an effort to imitate Christ? Because, Jesus is our Soul Model. He the Great Physician cured our sin-sick soul with His life-cleansing blood on the Cross placing our souls in a re-birthed healthy state. This action should continually invigorate any believer to enjoy every opportunity to grow in grace while having Jesus as your example for every aspect of life. Miracle of miracles, you have been set apart to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16) . Unfortunately, we diminish this divine decree and defer to being happy as the world defines happiness—prosperity, physical health, success, having more stuff to play with than the other guy. This might make you feel happy but your soul will demand more because those things are in-the-moment-things and th


How are you at waiting? I don’t like waiting at restaurants to be seated. If we dine out, the wife and I either go real-early or real-late for dinner to avoid waiting crowd. For many Christ-followers waiting on God is a difficult habit to develop. By nature we're not patient, and our culture offers little encouragement to develop the habit. We want, we need, we think we deserve everything now. Remember that Sarah waited until she was very old for the son she had always dreamed about. Moses waited 40 years on the backside of the desert for God's call. Joseph languished in prison 13 years before God vindicated him. Even Paul spent 17 years in preparation before he began the ministry that God called him to on the road to Damascus. But you can be sure that each of these heroes of the faith would say it was worth the wait. It always is. No doubt you're waiting for a number of things, too: victory, healing, peace, growth, vindication, success. Today I encoura


There a many Christ-followers who can identify with the song of the famous country singer/songwriter Hank Williams, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Loneliness continues to be one of the leading reasons of pain and sorrow in people’s lives today. Thomas Wolfe wrote — “Loneliness is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.” Loneliness hurts. Loneliness has many causes, but the majority of people experience loneliness after someone they loved is no longer with them. This could be the consequence of having experienced the death of a spouse, or the pain of divorce. But make no mistake, loneliness is painful. You can be surrounded by people and still be lonely. Yet, you can be totally alone, and not experience loneliness. What makes the difference in these two statements? No matter what you’re experiencing in your life’s journey having confident assurance that the Lord God is present with you makes all the difference. Jesus knew when He was arrested that all the disciples wo


The most difficult task of a preacher is to change people’s minds in order for the Spirit to transform their hearts. This requires a bit of spiritual yard work to remove the weeds of false theology and plant in good ripe seeds of God’s Word. “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) The truth of the matter is, most people resent being told about their sins and prefer to hear messages of optimism and not messages of judgment. Regrettably, it happens with the best of Christ-followers. When sin is highlighted and shame is exposed an audacity, an unholy boldness; a hardheartedness erupts against the guilt. How can this happen among believers? How can a Christ-follower go to God’s house and pretend to pray to the Lord and sing praises un