Don't go it alone
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I don’t have to tell you how many ways people’s lives fall apart. Sometimes the devil hassles and attacks you from the outside, and sometimes you have an amazing capacity to sabotage your own life. God knew this, and that’s one of the reasons why he invented the church—so you would have a spiritual family. We are on a pilgrim journey, and being together is better than being alone. That’s why the Bible tells us, “Let us not give up... Read More
I wish I were rich
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It is human nature to want what you don’t have. The have-nots want to have. Mo’ money is always mo’ better. Materialism’s twin sin is envy of the rich, and envy easily morphs into resentment. Have you ever noticed how soon political discourse every election season degenerates into manipulation of class resentments? There is nothing glamorous or desirable about poverty. The Bible has great wisdom to help people endure it, but it is certainly no one’s life goal. How much... Read More
God will help
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Christians who care about mission work are sad about all the people who have not yet heard about their Savior Jesus. They are even sadder about people who once believed and have now fallen away from their faith. Are you trying to encourage someone back to the faith? You are not alone in your efforts. Remember first of all that God is loving your efforts. Winning hearts and minds and souls of people is God’s number-one agenda item after all.... Read More
The power of one
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In 841 b.c. the kingdom of Judah almost collapsed. With the assassination of the king, the queen mother, Athaliah, seized power and killed off every other member of the royal family, including her grandchildren. But baby Joash was spirited away by his aunt and hidden in the temple. The high priest, Jehoiada, used his authority and leadership to guarantee the toddler’s safety. After six years of Athaliah’s ruinous reign, Jehoiada brought out the boy Joash and had him crowned king.... Read More
Jesus is kindness
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Commerce functions on some basic principles: You get what you pay for. You get paid what you earned. What goes around comes around. It’s not too hard to see how these principles dominate how we treat one another. Give people what they deserve. If they disappoint you, leave them. If they fail you, cut your losses and let them sink or swim on their own. If they hurt you, get your revenge. If they’re “foreign,” fear and suspect them until... Read More
An attitude of service
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I had just finished praying with a seriously ill woman. I stepped out into the hospital corridor to talk with her son for a while. “John,” I said, “you’ll have to take care of the house while your mom is so sick. You’ll have to keep it clean and make her meals.” He shook his head. “That’s not my style,” he said. We all like to be waited on. We all think we deserve to be pampered. Working cheerfully for... Read More
She's a prize
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Dear Lord, I don’t thank you enough for my wife. Come to think of it, I don’t thank her enough either. She brings many unique strengths and values into our family, things I don’t or can’t provide. I have learned a lot about people and relationships from her; she has made me a better man. At the end of the book of Proverbs you describe a fictional woman and all the benefits she brings to her husband and family. Those... Read More
I keep doing the same sins
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I hate having to scold my children repeatedly for the same acts of disobedience. Why do they still track mud through the house? Why do they still throw their clothes all over, “forget” to make their beds, and expect the maid to do all their dishes? I get frustrated when I have to correct them over and over and over. And then it dawns on me, Lord, that you might be letting me experience how you feel about the way... Read More
Will you be mine?
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“It is not good for the man to be alone,” said God on the sixth day of creation. He proceeded to create a second gender, made also in his image and likeness. Eve’s creation day was also her wedding day. Mindful of Satan’s relentless sexual temptations, St. Paul advised that everyone should have a spouse. In the Middle Ages, respect for the blessed virgin Mary grew to such an extent that perpetual chastity was thought to represent a higher form... Read More
Jesus is self-control
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I wish I could say that I am revolted by temptation to sin. I wish I could say that I hate and fear and reject Satan’s tempting voice. I wish I could say that I always see the dangers of sinful rebellion and run in the other direction. But I can’t say any of those things, and I doubt if you can either. I nurse grudges because I like the self-righteous superiority. I snap and bark irritable words, enjoying the... Read More