Greatness. In some way, we all seek it. We want to do great things. We want to accomplish greatly. Though the motive for greatness may vary from person to person, the fact remains that we are greatness chasers. The importance and recognizing and understanding this cannot be understated by the simple principle that says what we seek is what we treasure.
5 Essential Habits for Spiritual Growth
1. Abhor What is Evil
Living in the culture that we live in, it can be easy to grow a tolerance for sin. Like a bad smell that’s offensive to the nose, eventually we start to develop a tolerance. We become acclimated to sin and even start accepting it to the point where we let it entertain us. We will even categorize the okay sins from the bad sins – anger is okay but murder is not; a sensual look is okay but adultery is not; a white lie is okay but perjury is not. Jesus says otherwise (Mt. 5:21-37). Continue reading “5 Essential Habits for Spiritual Growth”
Right-Side Up in an Upside Down World
There was an article published in March 2013 about a woman who literally sees the world upside down. Council worker Bojana Danilovic, from Serbia, sees everything upside down because of an extremely rare condition that causes her brain to process images backwards, called “spatial orientation phenomenon.” And so she’s learned to adapt and manipulate her environment as much as is in her control – she uses a special upside down computer screen, reads newspapers upside down, has a TV that’s balanced on its top while the rest of her family watches from another right-side-up TV. What’s amazing is that there’s nothing wrong with her eyes; it’s her brain telling her that things are backwards when they are not.
Be Not Ashamed
“Religion is man-made to assist in controlling the weak-minded individuals because during times of atrocity and despair they feel strength in numbers.” – Benito Mussolini
“This is the true horror of religion: It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions what only lunatics could believe on their own.” – Sam Harris
We hear it all the time. In order to believe in God, we need to be weak-minded, ignorant, or just plain crazy. Continue reading “Be Not Ashamed”
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)
Jesus says that those who love Him will prove it. Simply professing, “I love Jesus,” is not enough because the tongue has a tendency to be fooled. What doesn’t lie is the fruit of our lives. The fruit we produce (our speech and our actions) are a product of what we truly believe.
“This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me.” (Matthew 15:8)
Yet, keeping Jesus’ commandments simply out of duty without love for Him and His will is not enough. This is called trying to work your way into heaven or trying to be saved by works.
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1John 4:8)
The true Christian image involves the right motivation (love) AND the right actions (obedience).
A fruit tree that bears no fruit is useless. “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” (James 2:17). There’s something wrong with a faith that doesn’t produce obedience. Faith is always proven.
Seeing All of God
We can either know God, or we can know what we want to know about God. What we see in the Christian world today is that people only see half of God because they only want to see half of God. Continue reading “Seeing All of God”
Evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker once described faith as “believing in something without good reasons to do so.” Sadly, most Christians today agree with him and advocate blind acceptance by saying, “You’ve just got to believe.” Is this shallow principle really the essence of Christianity? Continue reading “True Faith”
I Have Learned to Be Content
True contentment is not based on our circumstances. It is based on the condition of our hearts, the outcome of our reasoning. True contentment is learned. If our contentment is derived from our environment, then we endanger ourselves when we find too little to live for. But if our contentment is founded on an eternal promise, we will find that we have so much to suffer for – so much to die for.
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to about. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to about and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2Corinthians 4:16-18)
Life, 10%; 90%
The Grasshopper Syndrome
by Kayla Barker
They have almost made it. The children of Israel have arrived right outside of the Promised Land secured for them by the Lord. God instructs Moses to send a man from each tribe to spy out the land before them (Numbers 13:1-2). From the account in Deuteronomy 1:22, it appears that this was originally the people’s idea, implying that they didn’t trust God enough to know if the land was safe to enter. They wanted to send men to spy out the land that God had already spied out for them. The people trusted their own ideas more than God’s wisdom, and they were walking by sight instead of by faith in the Lord. But God, in His steadfast love and long-suffering, goes along with Israel’s request.
Is Anybody Happier Because You Passed His Way?
Is anybody happier because you passed his way?
Does anybody remember that you spoke to him today?
The day is almost over, and its toiling time is through;
Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?
Can you say tonight, in parting with the day that’s slipping fast,
That you helped a single brother of the many that passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said;
Does the man whose hopes were fading, now with courage look ahead?
Did you waste the day, or lose it? Was it well or sorely spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness, or a scar of discontent?
As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say,
“You have earned one more tomorrow by the work you did today”.
The Valuable Soul
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”
Defending the Faith
“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.