Showing posts from January, 2018


William Barclay tells a great story about the 18th century poet, Samuel Johnson. Dr. Johnson was being shown around a lavish castle estate, and he turned to those with him and said, "These are things that make it difficult to die." Have you ever felt that way? "I love this car so much, I don't ever want to lose it. I want to take it to heaven with me. I want to see what the thing does on streets of gold." Possessions and the desire for more have a way of gripping your soul and distorting your values, even to the point where you think that owning a few toys, or getting a piece of paper in the mail each month with enough numbers on it, is better than spending eternity with Jesus. The lure of money and the desire for more also has a way of giving you a false sense of security. We're often tempted to think, "If I only had a sizable and steady stream of cash coming in, I would be so happy. All my problems would be solved and all my worries would dis


It's fascinating to watch a potter at the wheel, how that lump of clay keeps changing form until it becomes a piece of art, a vase, a pot, a cup, a bowl. It happens because the clay is moldable. Changeable. Shapeable. Malleable. Pliable. Adaptable. “The jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.” (Jeremiah 18:4) How many times have you heard someone say, in reference to one of their faults, "This is just the way I am. I've always been this way and I will always be this way. You'll just have to learn to accept it." Have you heard that? You can't use a "This is the way I am, so take it or leave it" attitude with anything in life that matters. You can't do it with God. You can't do it with success. You can't do it with your health or with your finances. You sure can’t do it with your relationships either, if you want your relationships to thrive. If your attitude is


Many people are convinced: "It's too late for me. I've had this habit too long. I've been this way all my life. I've never had victory in this area, I've failed again and again, and it’s just too late for me." Maybe you have felt that way. I want you to know that it's not too late. It's not a done deal. You can still turn things around. The people of Ninevah are a good example of this. God sent Jonah to preach to them, and when he finally got there, he told them: "You've got 40 days before God's judgment comes to this city." What happened? The people of Nineveh repented, and God relented. There was no judgment. This works for nations and it works for cities and it works for individuals. If you will turn away from sin and turn to Jesus, you can change the course of your life and you can change the outcome of your life. Actually, there's a test you can perform that will determine whether or not it's too late for you. It


Many things Yogi Berra said don't make sense, but in one of his famous sayings, he absolutely nails it. "It ain't over till it's over." It's true. No matter how things look today, it ain't over yet. And it won't be over until it's over. These are words to remember and to live by. A common mistake is to think that the way things are today is the way things will always be. The economy will always be this good, or it will always be this bad. Business will always be this good, or it will always be this bad. This relationship will always be this good, or it will always be this bad. Very few things in life will always be the way they are now. There is an ebb and flow to life. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. Things get better and things get worse. This truth is an encouragement and a warning. Things won't always be like they are now. We should live our lives with this in mind. Don't give up on the future. There's still time on the c


When I get discouraged, there's a Bible verse that I come back to again and again. It's found in the book of First Samuel. I learned it in the King James Version — And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:6) Did you get that? Everyone was out to get him and he was greatly distressed —... but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. There have been many times in my life when I've realized — and I've been just as discouraged as anyone that I know — that for me to get better and for my situation to get better, I must encourage myself in the Lord my God. When you get discouraged you often begin telling yourself: This is the worst thing that could possibly happen. This is the end. I'm such a failure. God is finished with me. Nothing ever works out. In talking this way y