One day, Cathe was driving with our youngest son, Jonathan, who was then age 3. She was talking about the Rapture and how we would be caught up to heaven. The more she talked, the quieter Jonathan got. Finally, he blurted out, "Mom, I don't want to go to heaven! I don't want to leave this beautiful world that God made!" It's hard for a 3-year-old to wrap his mind around heaven.
Where is one of the easiest places to get a hardened heart? Any place where God's people gather. It isn't in a bar or around a bunch of people who are doing wicked things. No, the easiest place to get a hardened heart is where you hear the Word of God being taught. Knowledge brings responsibility. And the same sun that softens the wax hardens the clay. The same message that transforms one life can cause another to say, "I don't believe."
Christians should be aware that the Devil is an imitator. When he cannot stop a work of God, he will offer his cheap imitation. That way he minimizes the power and glory of God.
Happy Father's Day! For Dad (or Mom), here is a prayer list you can use to pray for your kids!
It has been said that conversion has made our hearts a battlefield. It is true. When you believe in Jesus Christ, a battle begins in your heart. It is a battle between God and Satan. When you take that step and make a commitment to Lord, the Devil will want to pull you away from the commitment you have made.
As far as we know, Moses hadn't heard from God for 40 years. Then God spoke to him and called him. And how did He do it? Through a burning bush. It was not uncommon for a bush to catch fire. A bolt of lightning could have caused that. But Moses had never seen a bush that perpetually burned. God was doing something out of the ordinary that got Moses' attention. And then He spoke.
My granddaughter Allie is a little homebody. She will come to visit Cathe and me, and will be so excited (we have lots of toys and fun things for the grandkids to do), but without warning, Allie will just say "home" and walk out the door!
Underneath Moses' robes of royalty beat the heart of an Israelite. He believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Moses saw how his people were being mistreated as slaves. He could have said, "That is tough for them, but I have it made in the shade right now. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize my position."
When we think of Moses, a lot of things come to mind. We might think of Charlton Heston's portrayal of Moses in The Ten Commandments. We may think of Moses as the great lawgiver or as the man whose personal integrity and godliness kept three million-plus people from full-tilt idolatry. But probably the best thing we could say about him is that he was Moses, the man of God.
The same goes for you. Your "value" in God's eyes has nothing to do with your own merit, or talents, or resources. Your worth comes from the fact that Jesus Christ is living inside you, which makes you infinitely more valuable than an Aston Martin!
Aren't you glad the word oops is not in God's vocabulary? God is sovereign, which simply means that God is in control. He doesn't make mistakes. He does what He wants when He wants with whom He wants in any way He wants.
Joseph had been doted on by his father, sold by his brothers into slavery, bought by Potiphar, and eventually promoted to manage Potiphar's entire household. He was doing a great job. Then he was falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison.
Sometimes after we have had a little success, after we have come through the adversity, after we have climbed the social ladder, we are more vulnerable than we were before. There was a time we trusted in God because we had to. We trusted in God because if He didn't come through, we weren't eating that night. We trusted in God because if He didn't come through, the rent wouldn't get paid. If God didn't come through, we weren't going to make it through the week.
The 12 men that Jesus called were a rough-cut crew. But these are men we call saints today. Over time, we have venerated them. Forever enshrined in stained glass, they are like superheroes from the Bible—no flaws, shortcomings, imperfections; they are the spiritual elite.
Lot's point of reference was Egypt. Genesis 13:10 tells us, "Lot took a long look at the fertile plains of the Jordan Valley in the direction of Zoar. The whole area was well watered everywhere, like the garden of the Lord or the beautiful land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)"
Sometimes people who have less are more materialistic than those who have a lot. I have met people who have a lot and are very generous. They don't let everyone know all the things they do for others; they just do them quietly. They are thankful for what God has blessed them with. They help others.
When I'm around nonbelievers, I don't expect them to behave like believers. I don't hold them to the standards of Christians. But sometimes Christians will get really uptight around nonbelievers. They used a cuss word. They said something that is contrary to my faith.
Jonathan Edwards is best known for his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and his role in one of the great spiritual awakenings in the United States. He also was the third president of Princeton University.
What you decide to eat for lunch and what you decide to wear don't have long-lasting repercussions in life. But there are other decisions that are very important, like whom you will marry and what career path you take. And the most important choice of all is whether you will follow Jesus Christ.
The way some people behave, you would think that the Bible says, "If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should first gloat about it and make sure that you condemn him or her for it. Then proceed to tell as many people as possible."
When I take my wife out for lunch, I'm usually hungry, so I'll decide what I want in the first minute. But even if it's the same restaurant we've been to before, she has to read the menu. Then she needs to ask the waiter a bunch of questions. Then she usually ends up ordering what she ordered last time.
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).