Showing posts from August, 2018


You only need to be a Christ-follower about a week before you realize that calling upon the name of the Lord is not a one-time experience. You need God's mercy more than once in your life. The Christ-following life is on-going day-to-day relationship with the God who created you. But a problem arises down the road. You came to the point in your life where you recognized your need for salvation, you acknowledged your guilt, you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins — and he did, of course — and then you say, in effect, "Thanks, Lord, I can take it from here. I can do the rest by myself." That's not how Christ-following works. Christ-following is a process of getting to know God. A mistake that can be made is basing your spiritual ideas not on what you’ve learned but rather on what you’ve been told. Do you see the difference? You're Baptist because your parents were Baptist and you were raised in the Baptist church and that's enough for you. Now, the truth is,


Have you ever played the computer game Sim City? In this game you build your own city. You are in control. You decide where the houses will be, how commerce will be conducted, what amenities will be made available to the public, how the economy will be driven, and so on. It's your game—you make the rules. The “people” you create cannot object—what right would they have? You bought it, you installed it on your computer, and you’re playing it. You can do what you want to do. In the same way, God can do what he wants to do, because he is God. But here is where examples lack a perfect parallel. We are not mere pots of clay. We are not a series of binary ones and zeros. We are humans. And God doesn't treat humans with disregard. The Bible describes how God treats humans; “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) God can do what he wants to do, and he doesn't need anyone's permi

Dress For Kindness

Have you ever been ready to go to work in the morning, and when you opened the door, you're hit by a blast of summer air mixed with humidity, and you realize you won't make it to work without melting? What do you do? You go back inside the house and change to lighter clothing. Your skin is not tolerant toward the heat, so you clothe yourself accordingly. Paul said we're to do the same thing in our personal relationships—“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12) The phrase "clothe yourselves" is used because sometimes you have to cover your feelings by "putting on" the right behavior. Your feelings may be sending you in one direction emotionally, but you can clothe yourself with attitudes and behavior that move you in the right direction. Over the years you've been lied to about your feelings. You've been told if you feel something it must be real. You've been told that if yo


There is a very real and malicious force at work in your life. It's your sinful nature, and it never stops trying to get the best of you. The apostle Paul expresses it in these terms; “But if I do what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:20). That sounds close to, “Don't blame it on me!   The devil made me do it.” But Paul is not saying that. You cannot shift the blame for your actions to anyone or anything else, but you do need to be aware that your sinful nature is a very real, very powerful, very destructive presence in your life. Since the time you accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you have two natures — almost like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. You have a higher nature, a new nature that you received when God's Spirit came to dwell within you. And you have the resident old nature, the sinful nature, whose presence remains with you as long as you are flesh and bones. This nature never gives u