Showing posts from June, 2017

Prayer — Own It

On more than one occasion I’ve been asked by new believers, “How do you pray to God?” I guess the easy answer is to begin with the Lord’s Prayer. You know, the one that starts with “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matthew 6:9-13) It is an awesome prayer because Jesus gave it to us as an example of the form and substance of an effective and efficient prayer to God. Jesus gave us this prayer to keep us from vain repetitions — God doesn’t answer prayers that are insincere. It is to be used as a pattern not as a substitute. Prayer involves glorifying God’s name and accelerating the coming of God’s kingdom and helping to accomplish God’s will on earth. The important thing about prayer is not simply getting an answer, but being the kind of Christ-follower whom God can trust with an answer. It was in my early twenties while listening to Charles Stanley, on the radio in my pickup during lunch, that I discovered a great way to pray effectively and efficiently using p


Do you look at your life and see only what isn't there. I don't have a husband. I don't have a degree. I don't own a home. I don't have a job title. All you see is what isn't in your life. And then, when you do look at what is there, you don't see it for what it is, you only see it for what it isn't. It's not the house of my dreams. It's not the ideal job. She's not the perfect wife. And on an on. You know how it goes. Focus on what you have, not what you don't have. Enjoy things for what they are instead of only seeing them for what they aren't. This habit will take you a long way in the direction of contentment. Max Lucado tells the story about a man in the midst of financial collapse who went to his pastor for counseling. "I've lost everything," he said. The pastor said, "I'm sorry to hear that you've lost your faith." "No," the man said, "I still have my faith." The pa


Have you ever wanted to desperately make improvements to certain areas of your life? Then did you find yourself tempted to think, "Why am I doing this? I'm not making progress. I'm spinning my wheels and I'm wasting my time. I may as well give up." That's what most people do. They say, "I gave it my best shot," and they quit, and their life stays the same. If you are thinking such things, stop! Refocus your efforts and start proclaiming, "I refuse to give up!" You will eventually see your efforts pay off. Eventually you’ll see the results you’re looking for. Eventually your life will become permanently better. Why? Because you locked in on the right path and the right strategy, and you stayed with it until payday. Paul said to the Galatians, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9). Here's what Paul is saying: If you will do what you ought to


We all know what it is to turn over a new leaf; we’ve each done it a thousand times. The fact is, we need more than just a new leaf. We need to take responsibility for our lives. It begins with coming to grips with who you are and what you do. It begins with, “God, I am a sinner. I hurt people close to me. I do things that are wrong. There are times when I only care about me. I give no thought to the wants and needs of anyone else — it’s just all about me.” Every person who follows Christ has made this admission – and we have each received absolute, total and complete forgiveness. Not because we deserve it, but because God is loving and merciful and forgiving. He wants to forgive your sins, and he wants to help you get over them. He wants to help you get past them, to abandon them, to become a better person, to become more like his Son, Jesus. In order for this to happen, you’ve got to take responsibility for who you are and where you are in life. "Take captive every thou