I read an interesting article about how narcissistic our culture is today. It said, "A new analysis of the American Freshman Survey, which has accumulated data for the past 47 years from 9 million young adults, reveals that college students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing.
There is a direct connection between a Christian's worship and a Christian's witness. Believers are being watched both inside and outside of the church.
When someone loses a loved one, perhaps a grandparent, a parent, a spouse, or even a child, where does that person usually turn? Many people will turn to the church. Even if they aren't a part of the church, they often will come to the church looking for help. And they find help and solace there.
It has been said that men talk of killing time while time quietly kills them. According to the Bible, we live our lives for a certain period of time—not a moment longer and not a moment shorter.
The cross was the goal of Jesus from the very beginning. His birth was so there would be His death. The incarnation was for our atonement. He was born to die so that we might live. And when He had accomplished the purpose He had come to fulfill, He summed it up with a single word: "finished."
Christ's passionate love for the world is evident in His statements from the Cross:
Easter is not about brightly colored eggs, wearing pastels, or enjoying a big meal, although it could include these. Easter is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
During the days of the early church, thousands lost their lives because they would not say two words: Kaiser Kurios, which means "Caesar is Lord." That's because they understood that words matter.
Have you ever stopped and thought that maybe there are things in your life that haven't happened because you have simply failed to ask God for them?
Did you know the Lord can move the heart of a king? Or a prime minister? Or a president? The Bible says, "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes" (Proverbs 21:1).
I have noticed that many times, the previews for a film are better than the film itself. All of the best bits are in the preview. But people don't go to the movie theater to see a preview; they go to see the movie.
To be a growing Christian, you must have a prayer life. And what is prayer? Simply put, it is communicating with and listening to God.
It is hard for some people to believe, but you can have a happy life without sin. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" (Luke 11:28). There is happiness in hearing, believing, and keeping the Word of God.
It's amazing how the Word of God can revitalize the heart. You can be going into a tailspin of doubt and fear when someone will quote a Scripture verse that suddenly pulls you out of your discouragement. No matter how long you have been a Christian, you need to be reminded of spiritual truths.
Have you ever used GPS? Many cars come equipped with it today, and you can get it on an iPhone or other mobile device. The problem is, sometimes GPS can lead you in the wrong direction!
I love gadgets, but I don't like to read user's manuals. So when I buy some new gadget, I will start pushing buttons and always end up doing the very thing that I wasn't supposed to do. It is always good to consult the user's manual.
Some preachers today have hijacked the words prosper and prosperity. They say that God wants everyone to be wealthy and healthy, and so you are to just speak it out, and God will give it to you. That is their focus. And that is wrong.
Once I had a friend—I'll call him Bill—who worked out every day at the gym. When we got together, he liked to flex his bicep and say, "Greg, feel this!" Bill's muscles were rock hard. Then one day I heard terrible news. Bill had died of a heart attack. Even though he appeared robust and powerful, his heart was diseased. Inwardly, as it turned out, Bill was a weakling.
I fear there are a lot of sermon connoisseurs running around today. You've probably heard them on occasion. They like to compare preachers: "Well, I like this preacher. He's good in this area, but he's weak in this other area. Now this other guy. . . ."
Do you say yes to everything your children ask for? I hope not. If they had their way, kids would eat candy for breakfast and watch cartoons or play video games all day—or do all those things at the same time, while they are texting.
The Bible promises a cheerful heart to the follower of Jesus Christ. Proverbs 15:15 says that "a merry heart has a continual feast," and Psalm 16:11 tells us that "in [His] presence is fullness of joy; at [His] right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Courage seems to be in short supply these days. And what is courage? Courage has been defined as bravery. It also has been defined as fear that has said its prayers. Being courageous is overcoming something. It was Mark Twain who said, "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
Do you remember when you first got behind the wheel of a car? You had to consciously think about everything you did. Okay, let's see . . . key in the ignition, look over your shoulder, and pull out. You had to think about it. It was challenging at first. But after a while, you got it down, and now it comes naturally. You don't even think about driving anymore. You just get in the car and drive. It's a conditioned reflex.
Sometimes I will run into people I knew years ago, and they will say, "Hey, Greg, we remember the old days back at the tent [at Calvary Chapel]. Those were good days, weren't they?"
Why is Jerusalem such a big deal in world news? Why aren't we talking about Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, or some other major capital in another part of the world? Why this little city?