Herbert Spencer said, "How often misused words generate misleading thoughts." This is especially true when attempting to explain what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The terms which Scripture uses to describe believers say a lot about our new identity, our new life, and our new priorities.
Feeling guilty at times is part of life. Unless of course your conscience is seared. The feelings of guilt are a natural byproduct of bad behavior. After all, that's the way God made us.
In the movie, "Couples Retreat," four couples who are all friends travel to a tropical island resort in order to strengthen their marriages. During a therapy session with his wife, Dave (Vince Vaughn) gets a little defensive and tells their personal counselor, "I know my truth." Interesting, those four words pretty well sum up the dominant mindset in America over the past 50 years.
Perhaps you are someone who says, "I am spiritual, but not religious." OK. What else? What are the core doctrines and principles of your spirituality? And most importantly, what would Jesus say about your spirituality?
Everyone is a stranger in one of two ways. You are either a stranger to God, or a "stranger in the world." But you can't be both.
Pretend for a moment that you believe both God and Satan are real beings. And that God is omnipresent, while Satan is a fallen angel who can only be in one place at one time. God of course being the Creator, and Satan being the created being.
Unfortunately, this passage is often presented to genuine believers in an attempt to get them to "do more." Such badgering is not helpful, and can actually rob those weak in faith of the assurance of salvation. I suspect you have heard this passage used in such a way. But have you stopped to really think about not only what Jesus said, but what the hearers said to Christ? Or better yet, what they didn't say.
Millions of people strive for salvation, while finding no rest in their unending efforts. At the same time, millions of others rest in their salvation, while then earnestly living for the one who died and rose to save them. So what's the difference?
God has never owed man a meeting. Yet throughout history, God has chosen various times and places for such encounters. And the places God chooses to meet man reveal a lot about God's nature and His purposes.
Jesus Christ tended to ask plenty of questions during His time on earth. That's because questions help a person sort out fact from fiction. So why not try these questions on for size as you seek to identify the true religion amidst the various belief systems of the world.
With his career in tatters due to self-inflicted wounds, it seems unlikely that NBC's Brian Williams will bounce back. But while that may be true in terms of his broadcasting career, it's not the whole story.
I don't know your name. I don't know your age or your occupation. And I don't know where you live. But I know this much. Sooner or later, you will bow before Jesus. Seriously. Everyone will do it.
Like many Christians, my family has been blessed over the past 20 years by the music of the Newsboys. Surprisingly, the co-founder of the group renounced Christianity in 2007. And so it is worthwhile to consider a way back home for this disenchanted band member.
No one knows God simply by virtue of being alive. It takes an "aha" moment so to speak. It requires divine revelation, which brings about an understanding of grace and salvation. This is how a person is welcomed into the family of God.
You probably know that "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho." These words from the popular children's song describe a remarkable event when "the walls came tumbling down." But did you know that Joshua's battles point to the victory which every Christian can experience over sin? We glean spiritual insights as we consider the land which God's people came to possess after Jericho.
Was the sacrificial system of the Old Testament merely a misguided attempt to appease man's Creator? And when Jesus arrived on the scene, did His Father have any interest in His Son becoming a "sacrifice" for sins? Or was that concept simply an outdated approach which had no real bearing upon God's love and His acceptance of man?
Since we are living in a day of grace, does God still command people to repent of their sin? Or is that simply a thing of the past? Just how important is repentance in our modern world?
Christians regularly point to scientific evidence in our efforts to encourage people to believe God exists, and ultimately, to believe in Christ as Savior. But not everyone is convinced by the evidence. Not by a long shot. In fact, some unbelievers actually seem to resent it when Christians use science while attempting to lead people to God. So what's really going on here?
What if there was a spring of water right here in the United States which contained supernatural healing power? Some folks seem to think such a spring actually exists, and that it is located in Blackville, South Carolina. In order to reach this fountain of youth, you must drive about an hour south of Columbia, and then enter the woods in your quest to reach these natural springs.
Some people simply refuse to be swayed in the direction of Christianity, even in the face of an obvious miracle. But that really shouldn't surprise us. There were people who personally witnessed the miracles of Christ, and yet still managed to persist in their unbelief. They dug in their heels even in the presence of God's supernatural demonstrations. And if they could cling to their unbelief with the Messiah standing right in front of them, anyone can do it.
G.K. Chesterton wrote, "To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless." And if there is one thing everyone needs, it is genuine hope.
As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is interesting to note that Bethlehem has a rich Messianic significance in Judaism. Not only did the Jewish scribes in Jesus' day understand Bethlehem's destiny, but so did Jewish scholars prior to Christ's birth, and after the Lord's resurrection.
I received a lengthy e-mail recently from a Christian in Wales. Having experienced much personal loss in his life, he wrote, "I rarely have peace." At the same time, he described times of worship when God's peace has filled his soul. So is this normal, and perhaps even to be expected in the life of a believer?
I enjoy listening to Charles Krauthammer. This Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist brilliantly weaves together logic, common sense, and the principles of freedom. Yet for all of his dogmatism in the realm of politics, he doesn't spend much time discussing faith and religion.
The Scottish minister Hugh Blair said, "Gentleness corrects whatever is offensive in our manner." If you doubt that fact, just ask someone who is married. The tone in the home can make or break a marriage. This is why every marriage tune-up requires a communication tone down.