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)
Today is here. I will begin with a smile and resolve to be agreeable. I will not criticize. I refuse to waste the valuable time God has given me.
Today has one thing in which I am equal with others – time. All of us draw the same salary in seconds, minutes and hours.
Today I will not waste time because the minutes I wasted yesterday are as a vanished thought.
Today I refuse to waste time worrying about what might happen. I am going to spend my time making things happen.
Today I am determined to study to improve myself, for tomorrow I may be needed, and I must not be found lacking.
Today I begin by doing, and not wasting my time. In one week I will be miles beyond the person I am today.
Today I will not imagine what I would do if things were different. I will make a success with what I have.
Today I will act toward other people as though this will be my last day on earth. I will not wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes.
To me, one of the most remarkable things about the physical body is how it reacts to adversity. If there is something physically lacking, or if there is some obstacle in the way, our bodies can be trained to overcome that obstacle. If I feel myself getting winded just by going up and down some stairs, I can essentially train my body, with proper nutrition and exercise, to increase my conditioning. I can get faster, stronger, increase my energy, increase my endurance, and increase my overall health simply by putting my body through a little adversity. Continue reading “Spiritual Strength”
“Is it not ironic that every man in the whole world pays tribute every day to the existence of Jesus Christ and His supremacy among men by the very acknowledgment of the date we live by! Except by the power of God, how could it be that the One who claimed so much, and was hated so passionately for His claims that He was crucified two thousand years ago, has today conquered the world to the point that everything we do is dated from His birth?” – Betty B Choate
I cannot count the times where I’ve heard people speaking on things that God did not make known to them. This often happens on the subject of pain, suffering, and evilness found in this world. “Why did God allow this to happen?” “How can God allow good families to suffer?” “How can God allow children to die such horrific deaths?” In fact, the idea of suffering, pain, and death is one of the main “tools” in the belts of atheists trying to disprove God. Continue reading “Speaking What We Don’t Understand”
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis
I used to be much more serious about my workout routine and especially my nutrition program. I even shared what I had learned with those who wanted to live healthier lifestyles. Though I stopped short of receiving my strength and conditioning certification, I was always quick to offer my “expertise” to those who were simply confused by all the workout fads and diets that were popular at the moment. Before I started someone on a program, I would usually ask “Why?” Continue reading “What Motivates Us?”
“For I proclaim the name of the Lord: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:3, 4).
It is a mistake to consider God’s love without considering His justice. In fact, of all the attributes of God, His just nature is likely the most overlooked. This is because when justice is on the table, so must we consider punishment, and that is a subject nobody is comfortable discussing. Continue reading “Justice”
In this life here on earth, there will always be good things and better things, simple and difficult circumstances, hard and harder difficulties. If life stood still, then perhaps complacency would be an attractive virtue. But our reality is a life of constant change and we must constantly adapt if we are to survive. Continue reading “Growth”