Our diligence in searching for that which is lost is usually determined by its worth, either to ourselves or to others. The reason God shows us our worth is so that we can help Him diligently seek and save that which is priceless to Him, the soul. Knowing the value of the soul not only affects how we care for our own soul, it also motivates us to care for the souls of others. A failure to realize the worth of every soul to God not only causes us to sell our souls at a bargain, but it blinds us to the mystery behind loving our enemies.
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 15:24-26)
Rivers will always run the course of least resistance as they make their way down into the sea. Going around obstacles, they leave behind their crooked trails that are easily visible from a high point of view. Rivers are beautiful. If one is careful to observe, they also offer warning. Continue reading “Rivers”
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame” (1Peter 3:15-16).
At the University of Texas at San Antonio, there’s a student organization called the Atheist Agenda that has been known to challenge faith every now and then. One of their events that they regularly host is called “Smut for Smut,” and the idea behind this is if you give them your Bible, or any other religious book like the Quran, then they will give you a free pornographic magazine.
Continue reading “Defending the Faith”
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
One main theme in the book of James is that knowing and doing are two separate acts. It’s important to know the right thing to do, but if you never do it you “miss the mark” (James 4:17). That’s what sin is – missing the intended target of righteous living. Simply put, knowledge of the right thing to do without doing it is worthless, vain, and empty. As Jesus said to the lawyer who answered His question rightly, “Go and do” (Luke 10:37). To never “do” is to prove that you never believed the truth enough to actually do it.
“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)
“When mean things happen to you, don’t get angry, just pray for him, then go off and live so your prayers will be answered. Live so your friends won’t believe it, and your enemies can’t prove it.” – Marshall Keeble
To me, one of the scariest words that I come across in the Bible is “deceive” and all its variations and synonyms. We understand this word to mean being tricked or fooled into doing or believing something. The more unaware and unprepared the mind is, the easier it is to be deceived. Continue reading “Deception”
A while back, a student shared his frustrations with me about wanting to teach and preach to those he cared about the most, but the problem was that he simply lacked the ability to communicate effectively, no matter how hard he tried. On top of that, he lacked biblical knowledge considering he was new to being a Christian and was still learning himself about God’s Word. So he didn’t have much confidence in himself to be able to teach others, but he definitely wanted to teach. After I encouraged him to be patient with himself, I shared with him the greatest teaching tool that I have ever received: The greatest sermon that we can ever give is the lesson of our lives. In other words, be before people what you want them to become.
“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (1Timothy 4:12)
All the water in the world, however hard it tried,
Could never, never sink a ship, unless it got inside.
All the evil in the world,the blackest kind of sin,
Can never hurt you one least bit – unless YOU let it in.
“You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive” (Matthew 13:14).
I ready an article the other day about how more and more atheists were making an effort to study the Bible. In fact, in a survey done in 2010 on religious knowledge, atheists and agnostics scored higher than anyone else, leaving Christians in the spiritual dust. That disparity has only increased with time. I’ve even seen atheists quote chapters, not verses, but chapters of the Bible at a time! So if atheists are diligently studying the Bible, why haven’t they been converted to Jesus? Why aren’t they Christians? Continue reading “Deaf Ears”
The worth of a commodity is usually determined by what we would be willing to give in order to obtain it. Let’s be honest with ourselves, what would a relationship with God be worth if it were so easy that it cost us nothing?
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)