There is a decision that can literally change a person's life forever. Easter is the opportunity to consider God's deal offered to us. We must decide to accept it or reject it. God's offer is salvation.
The theme for 2016 is "Greater." It is based upon John 14:12 where Jesus says, "I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father."
The events of Friday, Nov. 13, in Paris, France have rocked the world. The terrorists are spreading terror. They are trying to make us feel afraid. Their goal is to create fear and disrupt normal life. And we must resist it.
The push to allow terminally ill people to take their own life is on in both Washington D.C. and California.
The Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday about whether states can legally choose to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It is a defining moment in our nation's history. Though marriage between a man and a woman has existed since the beginning, this time-honored institution is under fire. For nearly twenty years the debate has raged. Before federal judges began to overturn marriage laws, 30 states had protected normative marriage. Now the High Court is poised to decide for us all.
Jesus chose to accept the unacceptable. The gospel of Matthew 26:37-38 tells us, "He (Jesus) began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.'" In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed to have the unacceptable, his torturous death on a cross, changed so he could avoid such suffering.
If you don't agree with this teaching that is your prerogative but to call it poison is absurd. The poison is the damaged relationships, the poison is the divorce, the poison is the porn addiction. The knife you speak of is not one bringing hurt or death it would be a scalpel doing surgery to bring healing and life. There may be initial pain but ultimately the life is saved. The real lies are sex requires no commitment, sex is just the act and relationship is not necessary for true intimacy.
The uproar over the decision by Duke University to begin a weekly Muslim call to prayer from the campus chapel should have never happened. Never. How such a decision was ever made to begin with is mystifying to say the least. That no one spoke up to say it was a bad idea is just plain irresponsible. I feel strongly about this issue because this is my school we're talking about. I am a proud alumnus of Duke and I hate to see the University hurt by such poor leadership.
The start of a new year is always an opportunity. It is a fresh beginning, a new chapter, another chance to get it right. Why would anyone not take advantage of such a moment? Some will say it is not good to make resolutions because no one ever keeps resolutions. But that is not true.
Ebola, ISIS, UVA student abduction – everywhere we turn there are disturbing events unfolding. All of this can lead to a fear of the future. I believe the number one issue people struggle with in normal circumstances is fear, but it is especially significant now. It would seem that fear has won and we are left to live in insecurity and anxiety. Yet, there is another way. When we tackle our fears head on there is hope for a better life.
There are many Christian leaders today who are calling for a spiritual awakening. Many who believe we need a genuine move of God that powerfully changes lives. There are those who say we must have the basic components of prayer and repentance to bring a renewal to the Church and a revival to the nation. This is certainly true but something else is missing. Looking to the awakenings of the past may hold the key to a move of God today. Each move of God is unique and different but there are lessons we can learn from previous spiritual awakenings.
I do have my concerns or at least reservations about the whole charity selfie phenomenon. I was recently reading about the history of Hawaii. The stories of the sacrifices Christian missionaries made to serve the people of Hawaii were incredible.
These barriers can keep the power we need from being manifested in our lives and country. James 5:16 tells us, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." But is unrighteousness the only barrier to powerful and effective prayer? I am certain there are other barriers as well. Let me identify six.
What identifies you as being part of God's team? Simply going to church occasionally or even regularly is not enough. What identifies you is being a member of a local church. Being a Christ follower makes you part of The Church but membership is what identifies you as a part of a local church. The membership commitment communicates clearly that you represent Jesus Christ through your local church. Here are four reasons why you should be a member of a local church.
As we walked through ancient Jerusalem I was enamored by much of what I saw but I was waiting for the ultimate site. Finally our trip leader brought us to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built on the site where Jesus was crucified, buried and rose again. It was the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday and the place was packed with people. For those who question the impact or future of Christianity you could never doubt it on that day. The numbers of people, of Christian pilgrims simply added to the experience for me.
I do not know of many Christians who have not at some time had a crisis point in their walk with God. How we respond to such a crisis in many ways determines our future maturity as a Christian. Certainly the fact that there are today some who once knew the Lord Jesus and walked away from that relationship with Him, can be directly related to their failure of properly responding to a crisis of their faith in God. If all those who have walked away were to come back to the Lord there may not be an empty seat in our churches.
There is a disturbing trend I am noticing in churches. Maybe it is more in larger, contemporary churches than smaller, traditional churches. But since the majority of all churchgoers now attend larger churches this is of real concern. The trend is the decline in percentage attendance. In other words there are less people attending each church service in comparison with the number of people who call the church their home.
The recent Phil Robertson Duck Dynasty controversy brought it up again. Bill O'Reilly quoted it on Fox News; Don Lemon quoted it on CNN. The favorite verse of the Bible referenced in the public sphere is Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, lest you be judged." The Bible's most misinterpreted, misused and misunderstood scripture verse is once again in the forefront of our public discourse.
As you look toward a new year the hope may be that this could be your year, the year that you have a great comeback. You may have gotten divorced, lost your job, had a health problem, lost a loved one or had another setback. Whatever the case, you can turn your setback into a comeback. In fact, it is possible to get back to where you once were or even do better. Could 2014 be the year of your comeback?
Christmas can be a very stressful time. It is a frenzied season full of expectations and obligations. Decorations need to be put up, baking has to be done, presents have to be purchased and relatives must be visited. It is quite possible that in a season where you should experience peace and joy you may miss out on all of it. Here are ten steps you can take to manage your stress this Christmas season.
The half-truths, lies and myths about Christianity seem to increase at the rate of social media growth. There are falsehoods about science and Christianity, the divinity of Christ and the veracity of the Bible. There are so many half-truths it would take volumes to dispel them. And there are the myths. These are five that warrant examination.
The Supreme Court has ruled on gay marriage, but this highly complex and emotional issue is far from being settled. The attempt to reshape or redefine marriage will be met with fervent and persistent opposition. Just as forty years after Roe v. Wade abortion opponents continue to fight for the pro-life agenda, pro-traditional marriage supporters will fight on as well. The reality is there are many reasoned and logical arguments against gay marriage.