As a pastor and fellow student of God’s Word, I have been asked this question countless times, and of course, I have asked it myself. Thousands of books and sermons have attempted to answer this question, but there is really only one book that’s needed—the Bible. The full answer spans from the front cover to the back. In one sense it’s a simple answer, on the other it’s complex.
If I were to challenge you to quickly give me a list of biblical sins, would you include flattery? When we think of the many different kinds of sin noted in scripture, we often overlook the sin of flattery because it’s subtle, sounds positive, and makes the hearer feel good. Yet flattery is indeed a sin. Why?
Life is not meant to be a carnal competition between spiritual siblings. We all serve a unique role in the body of Christ, so let’s not undermine, discourage, or attack each other. Let’s not be jealous of one another’s gifts and ministries, as if we’re adversaries playing on opposing teams.
Our enemy wants to divide and conquer us, but may we never allow him the satisfaction.
The power of kindness demonstrating the love of Christ to another person is available to each one of us because the Holy Spirit dwells within us.
As those who are loved by Christ and have received His grace and mercy, we have the privilege and responsibility of shining that love out to the world!
We are to be conduits for God’s love to the people around us. Why? Because as Second Corinthians 5:14 states, “For the love of Christ compels us.”
Being swayed by the impatience of a “majority” is a dangerous place to be, especially as a Christian.
Often, impatience is simply the fruit of unbelief. We must be careful that we do not become impatient with God’s timing and that we don’t allow ourselves to be affected by the impatience of others.
God does not succumb to the will of the majority and neither should we.
Our God is truly faithful. In fact, He is the very definition of faithfulness.
People may come and go in our lives, but God never leaves us. He is always standing by us in the good times and bad.
The enemy wants us to believe that God has turned His back on us, but God wants us to know that He is standing by us, no matter what.
Many years ago, a friend of mine who is a pastor invited me to his church to visit. He wanted me to be present to listen to a guest speaker who was gifted in prophecy.
I still remember what he prayed over me because everything that he told me would happen has indeed come true.
Yet, even this experience pales in comparison to something far greater!
Have you ever tried grasping for the wind? It’s an exercise in futility because it will leave you empty-handed every single time.
Solomon had done it all, seen it all, had it all and realized in the end that everything temporary that the world offers ultimately leads to disappointment. So is there anything available to us that won’t leave us feeling empty-handed?
Some would say that love is a feeling, an emotion, or perhaps just a chemical reaction in the human brain. Others would say that love is a frame of mind, a commitment that is chosen to be lived out day after day.
Yet, despite an abundance of thoughts and opinions, this is a question that continues to mystify mankind because we all have a sense that love is greater and better than the answers the world presents to us.
What does the Bible say regarding fearing God? It says in Proverbs 1:7 that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” To be wise we must fear God first. It’s the first step toward attaining godly wisdom. And what is godly wisdom? Simply put, it is wisdom that brings us to a deeper knowledge and understanding of who God is and how He wants us to live our lives. But what does fear have to do with it?
Have you ever felt that there was no way God could use someone like you?
You may think that people don’t ever listen to what you have to say, or maybe you don’t have the right background or education; maybe you think you’ve made too many mistakes, are too young or too old; or perhaps you’re a baby Christian.
Do you think your limitations limit God?
Years ago, when Juanita and I were first dating, I was in a rush to deliver the Christmas gifts I had bought for her. Unfortunately, less than a mile out of the driveway my truck began to overheat. I had a tough decision to make, but I knew what I needed to do. I cranked up the heater full blast and drove thirty-five miles to Juanita’s house!
Bitterness leads to hatred, revenge, and even death—the death of joy and relationships.
It can even lead to diminished physical and emotional health, or cause a person to make dangerous decisions that may put their very life at risk. Job 21:25 says a “man dies in the bitterness of his soul.” So how do we deal with bitterness?
Imagine you are a witness to the last meal that Jesus shared with His disciples the night of His betrayal. Not long before, multitudes were praising Him shouting “Hosanna!”
Suddenly, Jesus stands up from supper, picks up a towel, pours water into a basin, and begins to wash their feet. Can you imagine the look of shock on the disciples’ faces when Jesus, their Lord, stoops down to wash and dry their dirty feet?
I think we can all agree that it's easy, even natural, to thank God during seasons of goodness and abundance, but what about during the hard times? Do we only thank God when we "feel" like it, or do we maintain a constant mindset of gratitude?
Life is certainly a combination of positive and negative experiences, the good and the bad, but the secret to maintaining a thankful perspective in difficult circumstances may surprise you!
One of the most remarkable verses in scripture tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Clearly, we can see what a high value God places on faith. So much that not only will God be pleased when we exercise faith, but He will also reward our faith!
Do you ever get discouraged when you observe people who don’t care for anyone other than themselves seemingly experiencing continued success? Then there are the nameless masses who often go unnoticed, whose random acts of kindness appear unrewarded or unrecognized. It gets even more discouraging when it seems that God isn't paying attention either.
Although we can never forgive as completely or as perfectly as God does, we are required to follow the example He has set. In our natural strength we will always fail because such humility and compassion do not come naturally, but we are still expected to extend the same mercy to others that Christ continually extends to us. After all, how can we so willingly receive God's mercy, yet be unmerciful to others? Jesus was very clear that if we want to be forgiven, we must forgive others.