I don’t know about you, but I am an excellent excuse-maker. For example, I am a master at convincing myself why I don’t need to exercise, or why I need another bowl of ice cream, or why I need to watch “this” sporting event, even if I am up late. My personal excuses, in these ways and others, are (to me!) water-tight, air-locked, drop-the-mic conclusive. To be persuaded otherwise, it would take an incredible proof or motivation ……. or just my wife giving me that “look” (and you married guys know what I am saying).
Now, this “master of excuses” I have observed in what many non-believers do when confronted with call to surrender their life to Jesus Christ.… Continue reading
In the first part of this series, we looked at an often-overlooked role of grace: its empowerment for spiritual growth in a believer.
But this is not the only part of God’s grace toward Christians that gets overlooked. The other major work of “grace” in the Christian life is God’s empowerment for ministry.
The foremost example of this is the apostle Paul, who repeatedly cited the grace of God that was give to him for the particular ministry to which he was called: taking the gospel to the nations (Romans 1:5; 15:15-16; 1 Cor. 3:10; 15:10; Galatians 2:9; Ephesians 3:2, 7-8).… Continue reading
Early in my Christian life I obtained Arthur W. Pink’s Gleanings from Paul: The Prayers of the Apostle (Moody 1967). That study of Paul’s prayers in Scripture kindled a spiritual fire in my heart and life. Paul’s example in prayer, especially in the thanks with which he begins most of his epistles, set a pattern for believers throughout the next two millennia and beyond. Paul’s admonition, “in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) certainly challenges each one of us. As we celebrate Thanksgiving Day 2016, let’s immerse ourselves in opportunities for thanksgiving that the apostle exemplifies through his epistles.… Continue reading
God said to Israel, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12 NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. In an earlier blog we covered the first major concept (“I will . . . be your God”) and discovered whom we should serve. Now we turn to the second major concept (“you shall be My people”) and how we should live for Him.
Jesus taught His disciples, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).… Continue reading
Walk with the Lord and you will have opportunities to minister to people.  There are times where this is easy, “Can you give me a ride to the airport? or “Can you pray for me?” Those are fairly easy to do. By easy, I mean, do not require me to break out of a comfort zone or do something unfamiliar. Yet, situations and serving opportunities will come up requiring me to get heavily involved. At some point, a friend struggles or needs more than just a ride. The Lord engages us to struggling people. A friend comes to you with a problem.… Continue reading