Archive for January, 2006

When to Be Stubborn

Most of us can become indignant and even outraged at the wrong time over the wrong issue. If it is not the wrong issue it could still be the wrong time.

That’s when it looks like self-righteousness.

If you want to be protective of something, here it is: Never let anything keep you from worshipping God.

“Then Pharaoh called for Moses. ‘Go and worship the LORD,’ he said. ‘But let your flocks and herds stay here. You can even take your children with you.’ ‘No,’ Moses said, ‘we must take our flocks and herds for sacrifices and burnt offerings to the LORD our God. All our property must go with us; not a hoof can be left behind. We will have to choose our sacrifices for the LORD our God from among these animals. And we won’t know which sacrifices he will require until we get there.'” (Exodus 10:24-26)

The word that stands out in those verses is Moses’ “no”.

Know when to say, “no.”

When you have spent yourself in God’s presence, you have energy left only for Him, and His purposes.


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Never Forget Them

If there are people who have had a harder life than yours, count every benefit as a blessing from above. Furthermore, count yourself a blessing to the people who are in trouble.

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Don’t forget about those in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrow of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.” (Hebrews 13:2-3)

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If It Was Worth Starting, It’s Worth Finishing

Beginnings are wonderful and filled with energy, but they are not meant to sustain us for the long haul. There must be continuity— so honor the past by building on it.

“So let us stop going over the basics of Christianity again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start all over again with the importance of turning away from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.” (Hebrews 6:1)

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The Unity of the Spirit, the Unity of the Faith

In Ephesians 4:3 we read “…endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

If our families and churches please the Holy Spirit by abiding and growing together, He transforms us into the statuesque image of the glorious Son of God through whom the greatest works are accomplished. These miracles are done only by faith that is grown into together.

Ten verses later we find, “…till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…”

Our personal development cannot be separated from our corporate life. If I want a more robust faith to accomlish greater things, I will do my part to build the body of Christ.

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Your Only Chance

The demands of the culture are screaming at you to give in. The stereophonic blasts calling you to conformity at times even seem to shriek from your own consciousness.

But there is a more powerful voice coming from the One who through this voice gives you strength to stand and move ahead.

You need the Word. You need your Bible. You need preaching. You need teaching. You need the prophetic blessing that comes from corporate prayer and fellowship.

You were made to live richly, but you cannot even survive poorly apart from the Word of God. And with His Word comes the renewal of the Holy Spirit. You have no chance without Spirit-renewal.

“So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live.” (Romans 8:12-13)

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It Is that Bad

The spirit of the culture not only seeks to weaken and seduce you, but it bellows its demand for you to surrender and acquiesce.

Unapologetically, the spirit of this present age expects you comply.

But don’t you buckle.

In Christ you are a good person. God has decreed this status for those who trust in His Son’s atoning death. The indulgence in and practice of sin does not become you.

“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to its lustful desires. Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God. (Romans 6:12-13)

Don’t be intimidated. Be bold! Be strong!

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Alone Amongst Your Own

Consensus. Majority opinion. Popular support.

Sounds reasonable. Makes perfectly good sense.

All of these things can spell the end of a generation’s prospects. What if it seems everyone chooses a lower standard? What if they pressure themselves into selfishness, faintheartedness, and mediocrity?

It is possible for a generation to miss its chance, but don’t you relinquish your hope when it’s your generation. They belong to you; you love them. You dream for them.

There is a way for you to cause a fallen generation to redeem itself. 

While you pray for your own, it may be left to the next generation to benefit from your steadfastness.

“Not one of you from this entire wicked generation will live to see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see this land because he has followed the LORD completely. I will give to him and his descendants some of the land he walked over during his scouting mission.” (Deuteronomy 1:35-36)

Maybe other generations will benefit.

What is certain is that you will avoid living with remorse for fitting in at the cost of what you know to be true.

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