If you made a list of the things you want most in life, would a discerning spirit be one of them? The Lord places a high value on this attribute and wants all of us to have it. If we don't, we'll make wrong choices because we won't understand situations clearly.
Guilt over doing something that violates the conscience is a normal emotion. However, living under a cloud of remorse for no discernible reason is not. The Lord designed feelings of culpability and regret to serve as a reminder that a person has done wrong and needs to repent. But Satan twists those emotions to imprison men and women: those living in shame are uncertain of God's love and often lack self-confidence.
One of the most dangerous things a person can do is to hold onto resentment. Clinging to unforgiveness has far-reaching and often unexpected consequences.1 comments
For a sermon I gave several years ago, I jotted down a list and titled it "The Evolution of a Passion to Obey God." That passion doesn't just spring up, full-blown at salvation. We do enter our new life in Christ with a desire to please Him, and that does include obeying Him. But an intensely determined pursuit of His will develops more slowly.
During difficult times, I cling to the Lord's promise that He is in complete control. This comforting truth is a reminder that nothing is left to chance. It also takes away the pressure to try and control life. Yet at the same time, knowing that God has ultimate authority can leave us wondering why He would allow our painful circumstances.
The Christian life rests on a foundation of God's promises for today and for the future. We can trust everything that our heavenly Father has said because His Word shows Him to be...
Jesus assured His disciples that it was to their advantage that He go away so that the Helper could come (John 16:7)--God sends Him to convict people of their sin. Since the Holy Spirit is unlimited by time or space, He can reach out to every individual on the planet. However, His work differs with regard to believers and unbelievers.
Some believers are plagued by feelings of condemnation. Either they think they'll never live up to God's expectations for them or they're nearly drowning in guilt over past sins. These men and women cannot seem to shake the sense that God is displeased with their puny efforts at being Christlike.
How many true friends do you have? At first, a lot of names may come to mind, but the longer you consider the question, the more likely the number is to dwindle. The reality is that we do not have many genuine friends--the ones who remain loyal no matter what circumstances arise.
There's a goal to the Christian life, which God expresses this way: "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom. 8:29). This refining process is called sanctification. And there are several identifiable stages en route to this goal, but sadly, most believers are unfamiliar with them. Let me offer some definitions so you can identify where you are on the journey and understand what to expect.
Scripture teaches us to tell others about Jesus Christ. And while sharing the gospel is awesome, it is simply not enough. We should continue to encourage and invest in new believers. Many don't know where to begin reading in the Bible or how to spend time with their heavenly Father.
Carefully camouflaged landmines are deadly weapons of war. If a soldier unwittingly steps on one, he will suffer serious injury or death. What is true in physical battles is also true in the invisible realm. Deadly spiritual landmines are scattered in the path of every Christian. They cause major damage to unsuspecting believers who tread on them.
There's no such thing as a trouble-free life, but something within us still expects it. There are even those who think that when a person becomes a Christian, God removes the difficulties from his or her life. It's not long before disappointment sets in, as they discover that instead of less trouble, they may have more. This could be because God is in the process of cleansing and changing old attitudes and habits that do not fit in a believer's life.
David was a man who walked through trouble on a regular basis. His psalms express the struggles and disappointments he faced, yet in the end, he always turned his focus back to God. The key to his victorious attitude was his strong faith in the Lord.
In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the younger brother asked to receive his inheritance early so he might live as he chose. Once the father gave him his share, he made many unwise choices that led to hunger and destitution. What happened next illustrates the principles of godly repentance.