How often we call upon the Lord in our hour of need. But then when He answers our prayer, we all too often forget about Him.
George Smith thought his ministry was a failure. He felt called to Africa, but he was only there for a short time as a missionary when he was driven from the country. He left behind one convert, a woman. Not long after that, George Smith died on his knees, praying for Africa.
God takes no pleasure in bringing judgment. In the New Testament we find Jesus grieving over the city of Jerusalem and weeping over her: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Luke 13:34).
I have a little game I play with my granddaughters. When we are out and about, I ask them the question, "Do you want to go the regular way or do you want to go the secret way?"
I don't know why people become perplexed as to why they fall into sin when they hang around places where they are vulnerable. Let's say that someone is struggling with drinking and then suddenly falls off the wagon, so to speak. So a friend asks, "Where were you?"
It was a glorious day of victory for Israel and the Lord. Elijah had faced off with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, where God sent a stream of fire from Heaven and consumed Elijah's sacrifice. At God's command, Baal's prophets had been slain, and Jezebel, the wife of wicked King Ahab, wanted Elijah dead.
As much as we may miss our loved ones who have gone before us to heaven, we need to know that they are in pure bliss. The apostle Paul died and went to heaven and was brought back to life. Paul said he longed to go there—because it is "far better" (Philippians 1:23).
If you happen to hear a dirty joke and don't get it, way to go. All too often, we know more about this wicked world than we need to know. And we know far too less about God's Word, which we need to grow. Writing to the believers in Rome, the apostle Paul said, "I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil" (Romans 16:19).
When I was a kid, I collected snakes. I am not really sure why, but I used to be fascinated by them. I had all kinds. I would read books about snakes. I would go out looking for them and bring them home. And I was bitten by snakes many times. I discovered that you never really know what a snake is thinking. Snakes aren't expressive creatures; they are cold-blooded reptiles.
Martin Luther said, "The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me."
One thing I have found in life is that it is full of surprises. Many of them are unexpected pleasures and blessings that come our way. Others are tragic and sad. I have been greatly surprised by the way some people's lives have turned out.
Somewhere along the line, we have separated evangelism from discipleship. We preach the gospel, but we don't disciple. We don't get people on their feet spiritually. But the two go together.
Some may think the Christian life is restrictive, but actually it is the very opposite. Out there in the world where there are no restrictions, people will start reaping the consequences of their foolish actions. But those who are following Christ will find life at its fullest. Yes, there are boundaries and parameters, but they are there for our own protection.
Thus, there were quite a few last names I could have chosen to take. But there was only one of those men who treated me as a father should treat a son: Oscar Felix Laurie. So I chose that name. When looking at the other options, it was the "name above all other names." Though he was not my biological father, he was in every other way my dad.
To be growing Christians, we must be disciples of Jesus Christ. Why? Because Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples. It takes one to make one. So first we have to know what a disciple is so that we can then go and make other disciples.
Some believers have known the Lord for years, yet they think it is all about everyone catering to them. But my question is this: When are they going to grow up and start serving other people?
There are times when I have gone into the pulpit with a prepared message and have ended up saying things that I never planned on saying. I believe that is because God will speak through the person who is teaching His Word. Something supernatural takes place when we hear God's Word being taught in person.
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.