We Are NOT Spiritual Zombies!
Reading: Romans 6:1-
Are we some sort of spiritual zombies, spiritual walking dead? Or are we very much alive? Can we be in Christ and still need to die to sin? Find out the vital answers from Romans 6.
Alive in His Spirit
Reading: Romans 8:1-
What does it mean to walk in the spirit? Is it something we have to do on our own, in order to be in the Spirit? Something we are to condition ourselves to do? Is it something that the law needs to do in us? Or is it something much more and deeper than that?
You Are Light in the Lord
Reading: Ephesians 5:6-
As we are called to live as lights in the Lord, we are also encouraged to no longer partake of the deeds of darkness. Why? Not for the reasons many teach, but so that we can understand and show the perfect will of God: a will to bless you beyond your wildest imagination. God is calling to take astance, to actually be who we are in Christ.
Reading: Exodus 17:1-
What God commanded Moses to do was of great significance not only for Israel, but for us today. The Lord is your Rock of salvation, and how you look at that Rock will affect your future -
Reading: Matthew 17:1-
The meaning of the transfiguration offers great hope and comfort, but it needs to be understood in the light of its background, and in particular of Jesus' statements that call us to deny ourselves and to be willing to pick up our cross in order to follow Him.
The Problem of Worry and Anxiety
Reading: Matthew 6:24-
For decades, anxiety has been recorded to be the number one emotional problem in the US. Regarding worry, a study has revealed that 40% of the people worry about things that never happen, 30% worry about things of the past which are beyond the control of the individual, 12% worry about their health, even though their only illness is in their imagination, and 10% worry about family and friends who are quite capable of taking care of themselves. Only 8% of the people had genuine concerns for things that required their attention. Worry and anxiety, however, are certainly not a new problem, and this passage helps us understand the foundational nature of this common problem, and what can be done about it.
Turning the Other Cheek
Reading: Matthew 5:38-
Very few words have been ridiculed, misunderstood, distorted and misinterpreted more than Jesus' statement to "turn the other cheek." What did Jesus mean with those words? Are we really called to be weak? Have we been commanded to let evil run wild while we just stand by passively? What is a correct understanding of the words of Jesus? The answers are clear and will amaze you!
You Are the Salt of the Earth
Reading: Matthew 5:13-
What is the value of a beautiful cathedral that has no light in it, and is kept in darkness? Through the metaphor of salt and light Jesus points out who we are in Him and what our role in the body of Christ is. We have an amazing calling, and a beautiful opportunity to shine in and for Him. It is a call to reality our reality in Him, that will make a great difference not only for us, but for many others through us as well.
Bearing One Anothers Burdens
Reading: Galatians 6:1-
We can approach religion with the wrong motives, focusing on the physical and seeking appearances rather than the substances and losing heart in doing what is right and good. But as we walk by the Spirit, we can be moved by the love of God, which will manifest itself in gentleness and mutual service, clinging to Christ rather than material and physical things.
The Greatest Commandment
Reading: Mark 12:28-
Why is it that Jesus clearly stated that loving God and our neighbor are the greatest possible commandments? Isn't all this talking about love just sentimentalism? This message will help you understand the love of God as the basis of our conversion and of our entire life, and it will bring a much needed hope and reassurance to our Christian life.
Bread of Heaven
Reading: John 6:24-
Are you spiritually hungry, or thirsty? Do you go through your life dissatisfied, longing for something but not quite knowing what? Do you ever get the feeling that no matter what you do, it is never enough, or never right? If so, then you may want to listen to what Jesus said to the crowds who were seeking Him. Discover the reassuring meaning of His statement that the work of God is to believe in the One whom He has sent.
The Lord Is My Shepherd
Reading: Psalm 23
It is certainly the best known and the most beloved psalm, and it evokes images of beautiful pastoral scenes, but what is the actual meaning of Psalm 23? What does its imagery point to? Most importantly, what does it tell us about our heavenly Shepherd?
Peace Be With You!
Reading: John 20:19-
The Spring season is often a season of trials and tests. Interestingly, it is also the season when we remember the sacrifice of Jesus and His resurrection. Looking at the experience of the disciples as the Lord appeared to them we can learn to appreciate the blessing we have received: His peace, a peace that transcends all things, including the hardships, the sorrow and the pain of life. His peace is truly with us!
He Is Risen
Reading: Matthew 28:1-
What is the meaning of Easter and of the resurrection of Jesus Christ? What is Christianity all about? These are some of the core questions that are answered as we look at Matthew's brief account of the most important event in human history.
God So Loved the World
Reading: John 3:14-
Are we really under judgment like many people seem to say? Are we afraid of God because of the way we think He is going to judge us? A conversation with Niccodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin, led to the sharing of the gospel by the very One who made it all possible: Jesus. The famous statement that God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that anyone who believes in Him will be saved was also part of that conversation. It was a powerful statement uttered by Jesus about the love of God, but it was also the prelude to His comments about judgment: comments that are vital for us to understand.
I Am Willing
Reading: Mark 1:40-
How do we look at God in our times of need? Do we regard Him as unwilling, needing to be coerced into coming to help us? Do we expect Him to do our bid, and fulfill every desire of ours? Or do we see Him for who He really is, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, who loves us and gives Himself for us, even now? His words, "I am willing" will challenge your perspective of our Lord and of what Christianity really means.
If You Love Me...
Reading: John 14:15-
Jesus clearly stated that if we love Him we keep His commandments. Is this a legalistic statement, implying that we must first keep His commandments in of=rder to demonstrate our love for the Lord? How does this statement reconcile with the two great commandments, upon which rests the whole law? The issue at hand is not merely academic but profoundly practical and important. A correct understanding of this key statement guides us to the depth of God's love, and how His love is at work in us.
Before the Foundation of the World
Reading: Ephesians 1:3-
All too often we hear people questioning the purpose of their lives because what they expected did not happen. Our modern culture seems to have conditioned us to think in terms of material purposes which are destined to disappoint us. What is the real purpose of life? Are we a cosmic accident or the product of a will that has chosen us to share with us an eternal future?
Lying: Do You Really Think You Can Fool God?
Reading: Hebrews 4:13; Ephesians 4:15
We all know what it is like. We are late, so we pick up the phone and find some excuse so we would not come across as being lazy. We want some attention, so we dramatize our situation to buy some pity from others. We really want to make a sale, so we inflate the merits of the product we sell. Our society seems to even reward lying, it regards it as funny, or smart. But is it really? What does it mean to lie? What are the real consequences?
Learning to Control Our Habits
Reading: Luke 16:13; Romans 13:14
Did you now that your habits show what your true character is like? They are the result of repeated decisions and reinforced beliefs. They can be good or sinful, but they can be changed as well. So, how can we be sure we will be able to overcome our bad or sinful habits?
Looking for New Heavens and a New Earth
Reading: 2 Peter 3:3-
Far for providing yet another key to unveil the mysteries of prophecy, 2 Peter 3:3-
Our Pentecost Mission
Reading: Acts 2:1-
The Day of Pentecost just following Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection was an extremely meaningful day. That meaning, however, is far from being historical, as it still echoes through the ages in our calling to carry on the same glorious mission the Lord gave His disciples then.
Our Sure Hope
Reading: 2 Peter 1:2-
Sanctification is a process, not just an event. But in this process God has given us an amazing, reassuring hope: the knowledge that He is in control even of our growth.
Anger Pt 2: Quenching the Fire Within
Reading: 2 Kings 5:10-
Anger is something we all share. It is a powerful emotion all too often unleashed in destructive ways. Now that we understand the nature of anger, we need to learn how to process our anger biblically and constructively, for the glory of God, rather than in sinful and destructive ways. Scripture guides us in this process.
Anger Pt 1: Understanding Anger
Reading: Proverbs 29:22; Ephesians 4:26-
Anger is something we all all familiar with. It is a powerful emotion with a great deal of potential for good as well as for harm. Unfortunately, this powerful emotion is just as misunderstood as it is common. It is vital, then, that we shed light on this important topic, and understand our anger.
Alive in the Light of Christ (Christmas)
Reading: John 1:1-
What is the true meaning of Christmas? What difference does the birth of Jesus make for us and for the world? How should we understand the incarnation of God, and how does that affect the way we live?
Oneness in the Body of Christ (Christmas)
Reading: Ephesians 4:1-
In a season like Christmas, many look for fulfillment in the things of this world. But that peace is elusive and unreal. True peace and fulfillment can only found in Christ, who is calling us to be one with Him and with one another as members of His body, the Church.
The Joy of Giving
Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-
It is said that many today have come to realize that money cannot buy happiness ... so now they are trying credit cards. We live in a society where we are inundated with appeals for donations, flooded with temptations to buy products or services. It can be hard to resist the temptation of losing sight of what is truly important, but it is possible.
Are We a Community of Workers or Just Passive Spectators?
Reading: Acts 26:16-
One of the problems with today's Christianity is that we have traded the urgency of the Gospel of the early church for a hogwash of politics, pleasure and comfort. We have shifted from a community of workers for the Kingdom to a community of passive spectators. In so doing, we have lost sight of our real mission: to continue the work started by the disciples as described in the book of Acts.
Turning Challenges Into Opportunities
Reading: Acts 26:19-
At times, much happens in people's lives that could cause them to question the Lord's faithfulness. Certainly, being under arrest in front of a king, as Paul was, could be one of those situations. Yet, rather than questioning the Lord's faithfulness, Paul saw the opportunity that the Lord had given him and seized it for the sake of the gospel. What could have been misunderstood as a tragedy was seen by Paul for what it turned out to be: a unique opportunity.
Faith Empowers Endurance
Reading: Hebrews 12:1-
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to burn out easily, while others seem to be able to endure all sorts of challenges and difficulties? Of course, there are many reasons, but one principal factor may just be one's faith. Faith can empower our endurance -
Faith Gives Assurance
Reading: Hebrews 11:1-
When we talk about faith, one question is often raised in our hearts: why trust? Who is this God that we should trust Him rather than our own ways and our senses? It is when we understand God better that we see how faith indeed gives us full assurance.
Teaching the Heart
Reading: 2 Timothy 3:16-
Those who challenge Scripture often attempt to make seem boring, uninteresting and irrelevant for us today. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. Scripture is not only relevant, but much more. It is essential, accurate, profitable, interesting, fascinating and quite sufficient for its intended purpose: reaching out to the depths of our hearts to bring healing and purpose.
Is God to Blame When It Hurts?
Reading: Job 1; Jeremiah 32:27
Many are the ways in which we are exposed to pain and trials in life: a serious illness that shatters a family's hopes, financial reversals that take away a family's security, a problem son or daughter who brings sadness and disgrace. All around us we find hearts aching, in need of comfort and understanding. But why does this happen? Why would God allow all this? Is it really fair?
Motives: Why We Act the Way We Do
Reading: Luke 6:43-
Doing the right things is obviously important. But what about doing the "right" things for the wrong reasons? What is the impact and importance of our motives? What difference do our motives make in the eyes of God?
Heirs to the Promise
Reading: Galatians 3:15-
Where do we find our identity? Do we define who we are by what we do, or rather what we do based on who we are? Scripture shows us that we are heirs of the promises of God. We are His children and as such we are called to behave accordingly.
Showing God's Grace
Reading: Ephesians 4:29-
Words are very powerful, and they can grieve the Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches us to set aside all talk that would grieve the Holy Spirit and replace it with words that are like a balm to the heart of the listener. Are we kind, tenderhearted and forgiving in the way we communicate with others?
Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:3-
Like it or not, every one of us is engaged in a war. It is a spiritual war, fought with spiritual weapons. But what is it all about? How should we fight this war? The answers are of vital importance.
Victimism: Stop the Finger Pointing
Reading: Hebrews 12:1-
Jesus is said to have endured much hostility by sinners against Himself. But how? In this world of victims, things have gotten out of hand, and even a statement such as this can be easily misunderstood. Our society seems to promote the attitude of victimism. We are victims, and if so, then someone else needs to be blamed for our responses. But are we really victims? And even if we are, is there anything we can do about our reactions and responses?
Christ Is Worthy to Redeem
Reading: Revelation 5
Jesus is the Lamb of God, but also the Lion of Judah. He is the only one who is worthy to open the scroll of Revelation and to guide us in our understanding of Scripture. But the scene is much more than that. Just imagine it: more than 100 million angels singing with a loud voice the praises of the Lord, and saying "Worthy is the Lamb."
God Is Worthy of Praise
Reading: Revelation 4
We hear so much about Jesus, but who is He really? This passage brings us before the very throne of God, where we meet our Lord and Savior who is worthy to be praised. The vision is glorious and it is all about worship. But is this what we think about as we approach His throne in prayer?
A Well Anchored Love
Reading: 1 John 5:1-
Think of a buoy in the sea. Currents pull it, and waves slap it, yet it stays in place as it was intended. Why? Because it is securely anchored on the rock. Just like a buoy, we also need to be anchored on the solid Rock (Jesus Christ) if we are, then the love of God will be manifest in us through our obedience to His commandments.
The Source of Love
Reading: 1 John 4:7-
There are many ways of expressing love, some even quite bizarre. The fact, however, is that any love generated by us has problems. Although we may come close, in some cases, to what love really is, it seems as if our nature continues to be tainted by that mixture of good and evil that began in Eden. True love, actually, is not something we can generate on our own. It comes from God, for He is love.
The Test of Love
Reading: 1 John 3:11-
How often do you say that you love someone? What do you mean with it? Do you demonstrate that love with your actions? How? Too many people say they love something or someone, just to express their feelings, but that is not really love! Love, as John points out in this passage, is action, and is manifested not in good intentions, but in loving and selfless deeds.
The Good Shepherd
Reading: John 10:1-
What does a shepherd do? What is the nature of sheep? Many people in our modern society don't know much about sheep or shepherds, and consequently they don't quite understand what Scripture means with these metaphors -
The Light of the World
Reading: John 8:12-
Light is vital to sustain life. No vegetable, animal or human life could be possible without light. Jesus, in one of His great "I Am" statements tells us that He is the Light of the world. Just as vital to our spiritual life as light is to our physical existence.
Authority to Execute Judgment
Reading: John 5:19-
Oh, how ready we are to judge others. We have "do" lists and "don't" lists that seem to apply more to our neighbor than to us. We seem to judge first, often from appearances, and ask later. But judgment is not ours. It belongs to our Lord, who is truly God, and who alone has authority to judge all.
The Light That Conquers All
Reading: 1 John 1:1-
Too many people are far too hasty in stating that they know Jesus Christ. In reality, they know of Him or about Him, but this is not quite the same as knowing Him. In this passage the apostle John is inspired to write about Jesus from the perspective of experience, not hearsay, of who He really is. They knew Him, personally ... and you can, too.
Is Your Church Dead?
Reading: Hebrews 1:1-
As shocking as it may sound, we cannot experience growth unless as a church we are first dead. Is your church crucified with Christ, and no longer living to itself? It must, if it is to be alive in Christ. But who is this Christ in whom we must be alive? How do we get to know Him and be at one with Him?
The Service of the Church
Reading: Matthew 25:31-
What is the church? Is it still necessary today? What is its role in our life and in our communities? And most importantly, what is our role in it? The answer may surprise you!
A Time for Rededication
Reading: Joshua 24:1, 14-
It was a very special and meaningful time, a time of choices, a milestone in life. It was a time to value and treasure, and to remember. For us, it is a time to renew our allegiances, to rededicate ourselves to our true God, and to chose life in Christ.
Reading: Genesis 17:1-
We hear them every day: outlandish promises that are too good to be true, and indeed they are not true. So, we learn to raise our shields and filter all these "marketing" claims as false or at least suspicious. And we do well, for when something sounds too good to be true, it really is ... except for God's promises. We can see that in the covenant God made with Abraham. It was against all odds, but it came true. God's promises to us today are just as true....
The Privilege of Giving
Reading: 1 Corinthians 16:1-
Most of Scripture deals with giving in one way or another. We concentrate on this brief passage in 1 Corinthians because it presents several universal principles that are essential to our understanding of giving. We will see that giving has always been a way of life, and it has profound spiritual implications that transcend its physical act.
Restoring Broken Relationships
Reading: Romans 12:9-
We are created for relationships: yet, since the very beginning of human history we find that our relationships are broken or altered by sin. It is sin, ultimately, that is the enemy of every relationship. But what happens when a relationship is disturbed or broken by our sinful nature? Where do we go from there? Although the entire Bible can be said to be a book about relationships, this passage gives us important clues into what it takes to restore relationships that have been distorted or altered.
I Can Do All Things
Reading: Acts 28:16-
When something does not seem to be going right in our life, especially if we are serving God in ministry, we seem to be prone to complain and ask ourselves "Why God?" or "Why Me?" Although we may not quite say it out loud, the implication of these questions is a statement of our faith which proclaims what we think about God. The example the apostle Paul once again offers, while in chains in Rome, calls us instead to recognize the opportunities the Holy Spirit gives us through our twists and turns in life.
Finding Peace In Christ
Reading: Philippians 4:1-
In a world riddled with anxiety we can find true peace. It is a peace that transcends even our own understanding.
Living Into the Future
Reading: Philippians 3:1-
Using a terminology that was typical of the Greek Olympics, Paul was inspired to warn us against anyone who teaches that the sacrifice of Jesus is not sufficient for salvation, and that you need to qualify for it through religious practices (in his days circumcision). He reminds us that the righteousness God wants is not our own, derived from the Law, but rather the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of Christ's faith in us. We are encouraged to not be passive in the process, however, but rather to forget the past and all that lies behind, and reach forward with all our being to what lies ahead, pressing on toward our inheritance in Christ.
Facing Pain and Joy in Christ
Reading: John 16:16-
Just like the apostles were exposed to the sorrow and grief of Jesus' death before they found their joy in Christ's resurrection, so today we often experience sorrow and grief. But even for us today there is a promise of gladness and joy, a promise that transcends all the pain we are exposed to.
It is simply a fact of life: sooner or later you and I will experience failure. However, having failed at something does not have to mean that we are failures. Find out what the Word of God has to say about it, and how it tells us about turning our failures into the greatest success of all.
The Five Great Triggers of Temptation
Reading: Proverbs 7:1-
It's like sweet honey, glittering, inviting, promising, and appealing, but as soon as you welcome it in, it will kill you! That is the nature of temptation, a nature that Scripture does not ignore but warns us about, giving us important clues to come out of temptation's deadly grip and resist it. Embedded in the ageless wisdom of Proverbs we can find exposed the five great triggers of temptation, as well as tips to effectively defuse them.
Motives of the Heart
Reading: Matthew 4:1-
Why do we do the things we do? What are our deepest motives? These questions are just as important as they are difficult to answer, because we tend to have a distorted view of ourselves. A look at Jesus' temptations will reveal much about His motives and His heart, and through Him we can learn a great deal about our own hearts and our deepest motives. Are you willing to take a look?
Remember God in Your Youth
Reading: Ecclesiastes 11:9-
Many people spend a life searching for meaning and fulfillment, only to find themselves disappointed. Young people are more and more disillusioned with life ... a tough life, which some times does not seem to be worth the trouble. Here, the man who conducted the greatest experiment of all times gives us some answers: they are answers about the true meaning of life.
Reading: Matthew 25:14-
Everything we have and are is given to us by God. He has entrusted it to us for a purpose. But do we know what that purpose is? Are we good stewards of His resources? What does God expect of us?
God's Peace on Earth
Reading: Luke 2:1-
Christmas is a busy season in a very busy world. But can we pause long enough, this year, to think about the true importance of Christmas? Can we slow down enough to be able to find that peace that we all long for? Can we look beyond the glimmering lights enough to see what this time is really all about?
The Lord, Our Shepherd
Reading: Psalm 23
Psalm 23 is one of the most favorite passages of the Bible. As we journey through our Christian life, from the cross to green pastures, from green pastures to the paths of righteousness, from the paths of righteousness through our darkest hours, and through all our battles against the enemy, we can always rest in the comfort of Christ's protection and guidance, and the hope of glory in the Father's house.
Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:2-
Why is it that so often, together with our blessings, we find challenges and pain? Why is it that God at times answers our prayers in glorious ways, and at other times He just seems to say "no"? It has been said that you cannot tell a Christian's character by how many things go well in his/her life, but by the way he/she reacts to the painful events in life. This is a lesson the apostle Paul had to learn the hard way, leaving an important message for all of us today about the sufficiency of God's grace.
Love in Action
Reading: 1 John 3:10-
Do you love God? Many say so, but then they proceed to despise and even hate one another. How can that be? What kind of love moves you? Is it a love that points to yourself? Is it love for those who share some of your views or likes, or also for those who may so different or even unpleasant at first? What is the real source of true love? How is it manifested?
Marriage: As It Was Intended
Reading: Genesis 2:18, 21-
Marriage is used in Scripture as an illustration of what our relationship with Christ is like. However, marriage itself has been redefined, attacked, and distorted by sin. So we now need to look at our relationship with Jesus to regain the meaning of what marriage was intended to be like.
Reading: Ephesians 6:1-
In a world where many do not even know who their father is, and some wish they did not know, how do we understand what it means to be an honorable father? More specifically, what does it mean to bring up our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord?
Loving the Less than Honorable Parent
Reading: Ephesians 5:1-
For too many in our society days like Mother's Day or Father's Day are not as much of a blessing at they should be. God tells us to honor our parents. But how can we honor a person who has so deeply wounded us? How can we deal with parents who are a constant source of stress, anxiety and bitterness?
Come to Me!
Reading: Exodus 25:1-
Discover the beautiful meaning of the ancient Tabernacle of God, as it was inspired to be built by God. Unveil the message that is hidden in its various layers as they outline your destiny in Christ Jesus. He is the way.
God's Transforming Grace
Reading: Romans 5:1-
As the old hymn goes, God's grace is truly amazing. It is amazing because it brings forgiveness and salvation, and offers what would otherwise be impossible for us. But it is also a deeply transforming grace which changes us in every aspect of our nature.
Reading: John 20:24-
It had been a very difficult time for the disciples: from the triumphant entry into Jerusalem to the crucifixion and now there was word of the resurrection of Jesus. Thomas was particularly affected, and like many of us today, he just did not feel like going on without knowing for sure. What was his problem? How was it resolved? How does that apply to us today, especially when we feel discouraged and in doubt?
Finding Our Rest in Christ
Reading: Genesis 1:26 to 2:3
From the very beginning, God introduced the concept of rest to picture our relationship with Him. Human sin, however, has broken that rest and separates us from God. We tend to feel burdened, heavy, restless and hopeless. But there is good news! Jesus said, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-
The Sin of Self-
Reading: Psalm 50:14-
Time and time again, in the Old Testament, we read of people who cried out to the Lord in their distress, and He brought them out. God is in the business of teaching us to rely on Him, rather than on ourselves.
Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
Reading: 1 Peter 4:8-
Now that we understand what spiritual gifts are and how they are to be used, the next logical question is how can we come to know what gifts we have received? And what is the relationship between our purpose or calling in life and the gifts God has bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit?
Understanding Spiritual Gifts 2
Reading: 1 Corinthians 12
Just like an orchestra, the body of Christ needs all members (God's instruments) to be playing in harmony, each according to his own intended characteristics. But just like an orchestra, we too can find ourselves playing our role out of sync, or out of tune. As we continue our journey, it is important for us to understand and avoid some of the most common pitfalls about spiritual gifts.
Understanding Spiritual Gifts 1
Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-
What is a gift? How should we regard the fact that Scripture states that the Holy Spirit gives gifts to all believers? In ancient middle eastern culture, a gift was a sign of good will, and to refuse it or use it selfishly could be interpreted as a serious evidence of enmity. But what about our spiritual gifts? What are they? Are we honoring God with them? It behooves us to know, since as Jesus stated, we will be asked to give account for the use we make of them.
Discovering Your Purpose in Life
Reading: Matthew 5:13-
We all have a purpose in life. Not just any purpose, but a God-
True Wisdom or Human Foolishness?
Reading: Romans 1:18-
You would certainly not want for a surgeon who does not understand the human body to operate on you! How much more should we be careful about those who shape our minds? Are the books we read, and the people we listen to a true source of wisdom, or are we getting our fill of human foolishness? And how can we tell the difference?
Disciplines for Your Spiritual Fitness
Reading: Luke 5:12-
So much attention is often given to being physically fit. Gyms, trainers, equipment, instructional videos and more keep reminding us that being fit is very important. But what about our spiritual fitness? Are we really fit for the work that God has called us to do? Discover the disciplines that our Creator has called us to practice to become and keep ourselves spiritually fit.
Is Your Church Alive and Well?
Reading: Mark 4:30-
In a society that values size and numbers, how can we truly evaluate if a church is alive and well? Can a small church still be an effective tool in God's hands? What are some of the keys that the Word of God gives us to evaluate if a church is well or not? How does your church measure up?
The Power of the Tongue -
Reading: Ephesians 4:25-
We live in an amazing paradox: in an age of communication explosion, most people are unsatisfied with their interpersonal communication. What is the origin of communication problems? What kinds of problems are most typical, and what does the Word of God tell us about it? How can we use sound communication to establish God honoring relationships?
The Power of the Tongue -
Reading: James 3:1-
Imagine having a razor sharp sword in your hands. Would you wield it wildly, blindly, everywhere around you? Of course not! Such a sword is dangerous, potentially lethal, and its use requires serious thought and consideration. Whether it is used for good or for harm will largely depend on the state of the heart of the individual using it. Now, take the "S" out of the "SWORD" ... what do you have? Our words are potentially just as dangerous, and need to be used with the same care and thoughtfulness as a very sharp tool.
What Is Your Approval Rating?
Reading: 2 Corinthians 10:12-
Why is it that we are so concerned about approval, to the point of boasting our merits and comparing ourselves with others? What about our inner desire to be liked by others, and to be better than the others at what we do? What is the proper source of approval, and how can we be sure we have it?
The True Christmas Story
Reading: Matthew 1:18-
You can hardly understand a movie by just walking in the middle of it and watching but one scene. Nor can you open a book to a middle chapter, read only that chapter and expect to understand its meaning as it was intended in the context of the entire book. Likewise, we cannot look at Christmas as just the celebration of the birth of Jesus and expect to understand it properly. There is much more to it than it meets the eyes, and it must be understood in the context of the awesome plan of God. The true story of Christmas begins in eternity's past and goes on to include eternity's future.
Reading: Luke 2:1-
Loneliness is a very difficult aspect of human suffering, and makes coping with the challenges and pain of life all the more difficult. Yet, even loneliness has solutions. Jesus Christ, who enjoyed perfect fellowship and companionship for all eternity, came to this world in a lonely night and died a lonely death to redeem us and give us freedom even from loneliness.
Freedom from Financial Bondage
Reading: Matthew 6:19-
Worried about your finances? Struggling to keep your payments current? You may be in financial bondage, regardless of how much money you make. Financial bondage is a very current problem in our society. In the year 2000 more than one million bankruptcies were filed, 97.17% of which from private consumers. It may surprise you, however, how much Scripture has to say about financial bondage, and the freedom we can experience in Christ. This message presents a biblical foundation from which you can start in your journey to avoid or come out of financial bondage.
The Greatest Gift
Reading: Isaiah 9:6-
A child is born. A new life. A blessing from God resulting from an act of love. But a much greater act of love was displayed when God Himself, the Creator of all things, entered into His creation to reach out to you and lead you to an eternity of glory with Him. His is the greatest gift ever.
Fear: Taming the Enemy Within
Reading: 2 Timothy 1:3-
We have all experienced some fear, and in fact there is a fear that is quite good to have. But what about the fear that cripples and enslaves us? Scripture tells us that God has not given us a spirit of cowardice and fear, but of power and love and discipline. God has given us the resources we need, and Scripture can indeed help us understand the nature of our fears and what we can do to tame this enemy that attacks us from within.We have all experienced some fear, and in fact there is a fear that is quite good to have. But what about the fear that cripples and enslaves us? Scripture tells us that God has not given us a spirit of cowardice and fear, but of power and love and discipline. God has given us the resources we need, and Scripture can indeed help us understand the nature of our fears and what we can do to tame this enemy that attacks us from within.
Dealing with Difficult People
Reading: Matthew 5:43-
What do you do if someone always rubs you the wrong way? Is there anything in the Bible that tells us how we should handle difficult people? How should we respond? Should we be assertive, defensive, avoiding? Jesus gave us some very simple, yet profound instructions which are general enough to embrace just about every situation.
Winning Your Loved Ones to Christ
Reading: 1 Peter 3:1-
How do we approach a loved one who is a non-
Faith: Is God Letting You Down?
Reading: Hebrews 11
It's a matter of faith, you are told. So you try to increase it, to be convinced that what you asked for will be granted to you just as you asked. Time goes by and you keep praying and believing you will get the answer you seek. Yet, you see no sign of God's response. Is your faith enough to move God? Is He letting you down?
Bring the Children to Jesus
Reading: Mark 10:13-
Good parents today have become and endangered species. Children, that used to be regarded as a blessing from God, are all to often considered a burden, an unwanted trouble, a distraction from the "real" goals parents have in life. How does Jesus look at this? What do you suppose He would say to our generation? What makes us good parents in His eyes?
Lessons From a Samaritan Woman
Reading: John 4:1-
It's unmistakably familiar: we are tired, drained, desperately looking for something that may satisfy. It's like being in the middle of a desert, begging for something that may quench our thirst. Then, someone comes to us, and offers us crystal, clean, fresh and life-