Who, Me? A Liar?
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Why do people lie? You know why. Because it’s easy. Because we’re lazy and want to avoid work and responsibility. Because we feel guilty and don’t want to admit our wrong. Because we’re afraid, afraid of the consequences of our actions. We lie because we are all born liars. No one has to take Beginning Lying or Advanced Lying in school because we get good at it all by ourselves. Truth telling is learned behavior. When you became a Christian,... Read More
The Doxology
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Did you ever notice that the conclusion to the Lord’s Prayer as we speak it in church is not found in the Bible? Protestants almost universally end it by saying, “The kingdom and the power and the glory are yours, now and forever” (or “For thine is the kingdom . . .” if you still use the King James Version). Even though that doxology (a short statement of praise to the Trinity) is not in the Bible’s prayer, it still... Read More
Good Drugs
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Drugs are everywhere in our country. EMTs arriving on accident scenes use drugs to stabilize people in injury traumas or health crises. Good. Sad and desperate people buy crack and crystal meth to ease the pain of their lives and to get numb. Bad. Hospitals have thousands of drugs on hand, ready for any health emergency. Good. The best drug of all, however, is not a chemical at all. It does not need a doctor’s prescription, and there is no... Read More
Where You Need to Be
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The great heroes of the Bible, whose lives are held up for us to imitate, whose writings we study and read, were superheroes of faith. But they could also be super-criminals, super-fools, super-idiots. They sometimes embarrassed themselves and brought shame to the Lord. Samson, Gideon, and Jacob, for instance, were deeply flawed individuals. But get this—God used them anyway! One of the coolest things about the way God works is that he gets his best work done by some of... Read More
Pride Makes You Deaf
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It’s not too hard to spot pride in other people. Pride makes people full of themselves, contemptuous of other people, totally into their own agendas, no empathy for the struggles of others, quick to brag, quick to take credit, and quick to blame. Pride makes you deaf to opinions and suggestions other than your own. God hates it too. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility... Read More
Restore One Another
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When Adam and Eve committed that first sin against God, they hid when they heard him coming. If you could have seen them crouching in the bushes, would you have laughed at them? Probably not. You know exactly what they were feeling, because you’ve been there—shame, fear, rationalization, and mutual blaming. When you know someone in your family or church has been rebelling, does that make you despise them? I hope not. You’ve rebelled enough yourself. Don’t judge other sinners.... Read More
I Oughtta Get More, Right?
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One of the hardest tasks in running any business is determining salaries and benefits. Human resource committees and officials do a lot of research to figure out what the market is paying. Larger firms hire expensive consultants to help them get their compensation and benefit packages just right. Generally, seniority with the company gets rewarded, right? Not in God’s heavenly HR scheme. Read Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard. “‘These men who were hired last worked only one... Read More
Get Rich Slow
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There will always be people who want to get rich quick, and they will always be followed closely by people ready, willing, and able to take advantage of that craving. Gambling casinos, lotteries, carnival games of chance, “can’t miss” investment deals, and “insider” stock tips will separate the get-rich-quick crowd from what money they do have. As you may know, there’s only one winner in the gambling business—the house. The godly alternative is not joyful poverty but to seek to... Read More
The Holy Spirit
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I know this may sound a little crazy, but one of my prayer heroes is the Holy Spirit. Yes—there is actually a lot of praying that has gone on within the Holy Trinity itself. Seriously! You recall, of course, how often Jesus prayed to his heavenly Father during his time on earth. Now at the Father’s right hand, Jesus pleads for the believers on the basis of his saving work. Did you know that the Spirit is a terrific pray-er... Read More
Is Alcohol My Friend or Foe?
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Wine is one of God’s gifts to the human race. It eases stress and brings a smile—Psalm 104:15 says that it “gladdens the heart of man” (women seem to like it too). Jesus created 120 gallons of it to bless a wedding reception and even chose it as part of his holy meal of love and forgiveness. But our sinful minds and damaged willpower are vulnerable to Satan’s temptations. Careless alcohol use can make us act crazy or become its... Read More