God and my mission
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Have you ever wondered why you’re still here? I mean, if God has saved you, if you are now guaranteed eternal life through Jesus, why doesn’t he just whisk you away to heaven? The reason is that you are far too valuable to his plan. He has a mission for you. Just as other people helped you to hear and understand the Bible’s message, so you are part of the communication network that other people need so that they can... Read More
Control your anger
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“Born to Be Wild” is more than just a song (Steppenwolf, ca. 1968). It is a summary of the basic human state of mind when untouched by the gospel. There is a beast inside each of us, and we love to let him out of his cage. Come on—admit it. Throwing off restraint is exhilarating. So is losing your temper. There was a time when I thought that angry people were unhappy. Actually it’s worse than that. Blowing up and... Read More
Christian funeral confidence
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Poor Martha has gotten a bum rap over the centuries. She is remembered primarily for one weak moment when she snapped at her sister for not helping more in lunch preparation; Mary is remembered forever after as the good girl who attended Bible study with Jesus. But Martha was no spiritual slouch; in fact, her powerful faith and confident testimony at the time of her brother’s funeral and burial is one of the most inspirational speeches in the entire Bible.... Read More
I feel so sad
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As you have figured out by now, life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. And just as our bodies physically don’t bounce back as quickly from exertion or illness as they used to, I think our spirits lose some elasticity as the years roll on too. Persistent disappointments sometimes make people violent or abusive or bitter. Sometimes they just make us sad. They grind down our optimism and cheerfulness to the point where even bits of good news... Read More
Is you is or is you ain't?
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That’s the name of a tune from the swing era by Louis Jordan, who earnestly desired to know if his beloved was interested in a long-term relationship or not. Louis had learned that a relationship cannot be sustained if only one party is putting energy into it. Does it surprise you to know that God has the same question for his believers? He created us, designed and executed a fabulously successful plan of salvation after our rebellion, brought his Word... Read More
I can't seem to control my tongue
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Why do I do it? Lord, I am so sorry for what I said. If only I could put those words back behind my teeth and swallow them back down. But they’re out. Why is my tongue so loose? Why do lies come out when I know I should tell the truth? Why does gossip come out so easily when I know I should be building other people up? Why do I sound bitter so often when I know I... Read More
Am I doomed to become my father?
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The statistics are sobering—children of abusive parents are likely to become abusers themselves. Children from divorced parents are less likely to be able to build a lasting marriage. A woman sighs, “My parents were so critical of me, and now I hear myself talking like that to my children.” Are we doomed to become our parents? Tempted? Yes. Doomed? No. You are not destined to any sort of sinful behaviors. Forgiven by Christ and renewed by the Holy Spirit, you... Read More
Misplaced priorities
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One of my persistent weaknesses is that I want to author my own play, the play of my life, in which I am the star, for which I would like to write the script. I can pretty much do fine on my own for a while, and then when I encounter a problem too big for me, I holler for God to show up on “my” stage, on my cue. He generally does not oblige me at such times. Hmm.... Read More
Making money God's way
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One of the things that everybody knows for sure about money is that it is the root of all evil, right? Well, er, no. The Bible says that it is the love of money that is a root of all kinds of evil. Can you see the difference? Money is just a tool—it’s portable power. It’s a convenient way to turn labor into goods and the need for goods into labor. Money is a far better way to store wealth... Read More
A God of abundance
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Human beings have some pretty ironclad limitations. We can be in only one place at a time. We are locked into one little moving dot on the time line of history; the past is hazy and fuzzy, and the future is completely unknown. And we all know that there are only limited resources for solving big problems. Except when God steps in. When he chooses, God can bust loose from all the restraints of the laws of physics. Whether it... Read More