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?
When my friend John Collins, who is one of our pastors at Harvest Christian Fellowship, met Billy Graham for the first time, he thanked him for his faithfulness to the Lord.
I used to be one of those people who could eat whatever I wanted and never gain weight. When I was in my twenties, I would eat something called a macho combo burrito. It was the size of a sleeping bag, but I could eat it and never gain a pound. Now if I even think about a macho combo burrito, I'll put on weight. I just can't do what I once was able to do.
When it comes to luggage, I'm everyone's worst nightmare. I pack more stuff than I end up using and am always trying to squeeze my bulging carry-ons into the plane's overhead bins. The idea is to travel as lightly as possible, but I seldom manage to do this.
Can a man and a woman fall in love, be married, and live "happily ever after"? Or is that just a fairy tale?
When someone who has made a profession of faith suddenly walks away from it (seemingly out of nowhere), the question is often asked, "Did he lose his salvation?"
During the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s, people came to California from all around the world because they had heard there was "gold in them thar hills." Apparently some people imagined they would arrive and find chunks of gold just lying around in the streets. Well, there was a lot of gold in California back then, but people quickly discovered that the gold wasn't as plentiful as they'd hoped. Yes, a lot of gold was in the mines, but it was necessary to work hard and stay with it in order to find that mother lode.
What on earth is happening in the Middle East? It seems that all we hear about in the news from this region is another outburst of violence—or a threat of one.
I've seen a number of celebrities in person over the years, and they always seem a little smaller or different than what I expected. It's funny how certain people actually look better in pictures than they do in real life—or look better in real life than they do in pictures. It's strange the way the camera reads people.
If we have learned nothing else from our culture telling us what we should do to be happy, we have learned this: It is just not true. We have realized where happiness isn't.