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Showing posts from June, 2019

The Simplicity of Trust and the Straight Path

When we become believers in Jesus Christ we begin an eternal relationship with the God of creation and redemption.  Just thinking of that is almost overwhelming!  However, there is something that is core to that relationship that is really at the center of every important relationship in life.  It's called trust.  Without trust, relationship is  impossible.  Without trust, friendships cannot be established.  Without trust, marriage will never become what God intends, and without trust, our relationship with God will always be bereft of blessing and joy.

Soloman, in his landmark work of Proverbs gave us the key to establishing trust on an unshakable basis in our walk with God, and it stands as the foundation of how all our relationships must be built.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths.

There are two uses of the little world all in this text tha…

Grow Spiritually This Summer!

Growing is not normally something we give alot of thought to....most of the time.  After all, everything God has created appears to grow naturally, especially weeds!  However, in the Christian life there are growing conditions which need to be understood in order for maximum spiritual growth to happen without the weeds.   I've known Christians in my life who have grown almost exponentially from the moment they believed on Christ.  Sometimes they grew so fast it was hard to keep up with them.  Then I have known other believers who appeared to have restraints on their spiritual growth.  What's the difference?  Usually it has to do with the type of person the Spirit of God is working on.

One good way to explain this is by using Jesus' parable of the sower and the seed.  In thi parable there are four soils; the pathway, the rocky soil, the thorny soil, and finally the good soil.  In the Lord's interpretation of the parable, the only soil which produces fruit is in the &qu…

Break the Sin Pattern!

Many believers struggle with sin in their lives that is more than just temptation or cultural provocations to sin against the moral standards of God.  These struggles involve rooted habits of behavior that have become part of the personality and, therefore, the practical lifestyle that marks a person's life.  I believe that it is these kinds of spiritual issues that most of us fight against each day that we get out bed.

I remember when I was a new believer in Christ, I had my own set of struggles with sin which seemed to be winning more battles than I was winning in my Christian walk.  I didn't know or immediately understand the kinds of spiritual strategies that God outlined in the Word.  Therefore I had little victory and a lot of defeat early on.  But as I encountered key passages in Scripture that dealt with some of my ingrained lifestyle, victory became more common than defeat.  Let me share one of those with you today.

In Colossians 3:5-9, Paul laid out for this local ch…

Growing This Summer?

Growing is not normally something we give alot of thought to....most of the time.  But growth, just like anything else, needs our focus from time to time.  Let me explain.  When seasons change we are immediately award to it.  When autumn comes, we easily recognize the changes, cooler nights, falling leaves, and that silent preparation for the coming winter months.   When old man winter arrives the days shorten, the trees are barren, and the skys are often grey.  When Spring comes we immediately see the new growth, flowers bloom, and the days slowly get extended.  When summer arrives we welcome the longer, hot days of joyful summer.  But summer as it arrives this year, we need to be reminded of one other steady feature of summer, and that is that everything is constantly growing!  The trees, our shrubbery, grass, and yes, weeds!

Let me remind us as believers that the summer season of growth should also be reflected in the spiritual patterns of your summer.  Do you plan on growing spir…

Why No Honor for the Prophet?

If you have been a Christian for any length of time you have read the verse in Mark 6:4 which reads,

And Jesus said to them, A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.

I want to talk about this issue today because I believe it provides a great insight into who we really are as children of God.  Everyone of us can identify with what Jesus is talking about here in relation to being believers in Christ.  As a young man who spent several years growing up in my own hometown, there were several of my acquaintances who simply could not accept the fact that I had become a Christian.  For weeks after accepting Christ, they seemed to simply be waiting for me to return to the person I once was......at least in their sight.  Of course, the longer time went on and that didn't happen, they became more convinced that the old Bruce they had once known was not coming back!

Maybe you can identify with this exact thing in your own lif…

Unplugging

One of the most important things we can do to be useful is to work hard.  We are commanded to work so we can eat!  But one of the most important things we can do to make our work effective is to rest before we commence the work!  Any woodsman will tell you that a dull axe is his worst enemy.  In order to keep our lives sharp we have to learn how to take time off and recuperate.

In Mark 4:35-40, Jesus, leaving his disciples above, went down in the hold of a ship and took a nap.  During this time, a storm arose on the sea and his disciples were incredulous that Jesus was sleeping during the storm!

In Mark 6:30-32, Jesus  told his disciple to come away with him to get some rest.  They had been totally immersed in ministry demands for days on end.  The Lord knew that continuing at that break neck pace was not possible for either Himself or His disciples.  Human bodies need food and rest to be able to function normally.

In Matt 14:22-23, Jesus went up into a mountain to pray.  Imagine, th…

What is the Fear of God? Does it Matter?

Have you ever asked yourself that question before?  I certainly have.  Before becoming a Christian I never thought very long and deeply about it.  In fact, that describes the vast majority of people who do not claim to know Jesus Christ as their Savior.  The Scripture tells us that

There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Rom 3:18)

Now that doesn't necessarily mean that they don't ever think about their life and what God is going to say to them after they die.  Many give it some thought, but they don't allow those those thoughts to govern how they live.   Furthermore, most unbelievers do not worry about judgement because they believe that in the end the only thing that matters will be whether their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds.  They simply believe it is all going to work out ok.  It won't.  But that is where the real truth about the fear of God comes in.

The wisdom writer of Proverbs said,

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10)

This m…

Christian Conversion: Part 3

In the final segment on Christian conversion, I wanted to move from the internal changes to privileges God gives us when we become His children.  Last time we talked about the hunger for the Word of God that resides in the heart of every believer.  By acting on that hunger we read the Word and grow by application of Scripture.  That is how God talks to us.   In our final segment we're going to talk about the privilege of prayer.  What is prayer?  Prayer is basically asking and receiving from God.  However, prayer is not just seeing God as a means to an end.  It is our means of communicating with our Father in heaven.  Prayer allows us to spend actual, and intimate, time with our Father.

When we were born again, God became our Father, and we became His children.  John 1:12-13 says,

But to all who received Him, who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

That means…