"He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul" (Ps. 23:2-3). You have probably heard this passage countless times. But no matter how often this beloved psalm is recited, we still seem to miss the full impact of its important message: God restores our soul.
Of God's many names in the Bible, one is especially comforting to me in difficult times. What an awesome privilege that we—sinful, created beings—can call Him our heavenly Father.
In our troubled world, injustice, crime, and dishonesty fill the news. The one constant seems to be change.
The word obedience is defined as: compliance to the plan; conformity to the pattern; observance of the rules; adherence to the standard; and submission to another's will. Obedience is the "bottom line" in the Christian life. Basic to every decision we make is the necessity of knowing what Scripture says about the issue, what action God wants us to take, what attitude would please Him, and what steps are required.
Picture a three-year-old who suddenly realizes she's lost sight of her parent. Imagine her sense of fear—a feeling of danger, vulnerability, and an overwhelming need to get out of that situation. Now glance with me into the next room, where her father still has the child in his line of vision. Though the little girl is unable to locate him, he can see her perfectly.
Prayer was a priority in the Savior's life—Jesus continually communed with His Father. Likewise, praying is essential for anyone today who wants to be used mightily by God. In other words, if you desire to walk in the Spirit and live a holy life, time spent with the Lord must be a regular part of your routine.
The phrase "by faith" occurs five times in today's short Scripture reading from Hebrews. In fact, it appears in every full sentence. Essentially, we are told that by faith Moses endured ill treatment, left Egypt, observed the Passover, and passed through the Red Sea.
When difficulties arise, how can you be sure you're responding in a way that would please the Lord? Here is an acrostic, based on the word adversity, that suggests the steps you should take:
When a child hurts, our focus is to restore comfort quickly. We remove obstacles so that a toddler will have a clear path to walk. And many parents seek to minimize frustration for school-age children by helping with homework—sometimes offering more assistance than necessary. While wanting to ease children's discomfort is understandable, we may inadvertently convey a subtle message that obstacles and pain are to be eliminated at all costs. This viewpoint can get carried into adulthood, and unfortunately, it is a harmful one.
Just how necessary is the Holy Spirit for those wishing to live a God-pleasing life? For an answer, let's look at a clear example from the Bible. Jesus had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until their baptism by His Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). This chosen group of men had lived with the Lord and listened to His teachings for more than three years; nevertheless, He knew they couldn't begin their work without the divine partner God had planned for them. The same holds true for us today.
Friendships are among our most valuable assets. Acquiring quality companions—those who will laugh with us in good times and stand by us during trials—requires shared commitment and an investment of time and energy. Healthy relationships thrive on . . .
The disciples were blessed to be in Jesus' inner circle—can you imagine the countless benefits they enjoyed from listening to His teaching and watching Him do supernatural wonders? Perhaps you've wished you, too, could have lived in those days and walked the dusty roads with Him. From our present perspective, we can't conceive of anything greater than seeing Jesus in person.
If you've ever been locked out of your house, you know how important keys are. For believers, goal setting is a key that opens the door to Christlike living and affects us in a number of ways. Let's think about five changes we can look for.
Respecting mothers and fathers is so important to the Lord that one of His Ten Commandments relates to parents. On this Mother's Day weekend, it seems fitting to outline ways to honor Mom.
One of the first things people tend to do in times of hardship is to point a finger, trying to find someone or something to blame for their adversity. If we are hurting in life, certainly it must be someone else's fault, right?