Despite the efforts of many to ignore bad behaviour by suppressing or explaining away guilt, it is important for us to be asking questions like, “why am I feeling guilty” or “why am I filled with shame?” By asking such questions we are attempting to get to the source of problems rather than simply shifting the blame and thus ignoring the problem. Continue reading Concerning the Conscience
Excerpted from the Focus on the Family broadcast “Friendship or Flirtation: Danger Signs for Couples” featuring the Rev. Dave Carder.
19 Dangerous Behaviors
- Saving topics of conversation for your “special friend.”
- Sharing spousal difficulties with your friend (e.g., “My husband (or wife) never … “).
- Allowing the friend to share their relationship difficulties with you (e.g., “My boy/girlfriend always … “).
- Anticipating seeing this person more than your spouse.
- Comparing the friend and your spouse (“If only my spouse was nicer to me like s/he is … “). Continue reading What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage
My parents divorced when I was one year old. I grew up without my father. My wife’s parents divorced when she was eleven. We have both been damaged greatly by divorce. We hate divorce!
But I have to admit it: I must be a wimp; I have never preached on divorce. In every congregation I have been in there have been people who are divorced. And I fear I would upset them if I preached on the topic. I’m not avoiding the topic, but I’m glad that it hasn’t come up so far in the books I have preached on.
“Convictions and legal qualms of the conscience are not repentance: for they do not qualify the subject for it, and that in part only. These are very necessary things I have spoken of under this head; but they are like the unripe fruit which must be ripened by the work of the gospel on the heart, and brought into a perfection by the warm sun of gospel-influences, before he that has them can be accounted a penitent indeed.”
– Thomas Boston, Repentance: Turning from sin to God: What it means and why it’s necessary, pp. 41-42.
This is a wise saying, is it not? Convictions (i.e. ‘feeling bad’) and legal qualms are not equivalent to repentance. They must be present in order to reach a state of repentance, but only the gospel can bring someone to Christ fully repentant.
Is happiness our goal in the Christian life?
We often hear the comment, ‘I just want to be happy’.
We place a lot of value on being happy… and why not? To experience happiness is a God-given emotion that reflects that we are enjoying life. However is happiness something we should focus on attaining? In my experience, happiness is an emotion that comes and goes, but it should not be a barometer to measure how blessed our lives are or whether or not we’re necessarily on the ‘right path’. One of the more blessed times in my life came during a period where happiness seemed a very distant emotion. Continue reading We Are Called to be Holy, Not Happy
9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
How do we discover the specific will of God in our lives? Here are some practical suggestion adapted and extracted from an article by Emery Nester in his Book C: Beginning Your Ministry.
It is important that all these factors work together and that none be used in isolation.
- Consider what you think you would like to do. This could involve teaching, witnessing, or perhaps doing some physical activity on behalf of the church. We might refer to this as an inward impulse. Caution: This is not valid in every case, however. Jonah is an example listening to a wrong inner impulse. His inward impulse was to flee. (Jonah 1:3) Continue reading 6 Ways to Know God’s Will in Your Life
- Today is the day of romance.
Men have faced an uphill challenge attracting a suitable mate in the pursuit of which they often resort to the corniest one-liners any could imagine. But don’t worry men, this is a problem as old as history itself.
One can only guess what pickup lines Adam tried on Eve. Here’s a few suggestions.
10. “You know you’re the only one for me!”
9. “Do you come here often?”
8. “Trust me, this was meant to be!” Continue reading Top Ten Pickup Lines Used By Adam
The heart is the emotional core that beats within us. It is like a spring of water within, revealing the image of who we are to others. No wonder it will be the primary attack of Satan. He loves using our emotions against us. We must protect our heart above all else, otherwise we will find ourselves spiralling down a path of lies and emotional turmoil!
The Bible – Not Our Emotions
I have always worn my heart on my sleeve. I am not afraid to show my emotional side. It’s a part of my personality, for which I am very grateful to God. However as a result I have realised that I must pay particular attention to guarding my heart. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in our emotions, we very quickly start to walk a path polarised by feelings and not primarily on truth. This is extremely dangerous! We must never use our emotions as our primary guide, otherwise we will be led astray, and the pain associated with that can be excruciating! Whilst emotions help us to discern what is going on within our hearts and contribute to many blessing in our lives, our primary guide in our lives is God’s truth in the Bible. We are not Christians based on what we feel, but Continue reading Guarding our Hearts
23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
At face value it doesn’t even seem possible that God could be offended when people study Scripture. But the real issue isn’t that God would be offended that people were practicing the spiritual discipline of Bible Study, the real issue is if God is offended by HOW we study Scripture.
We’ve all seen this scenario: As Christians gather together for a Bible study, often what happens is that the leader reads a verse or short passage of Scripture, and then he turns to each member of the group, asking Continue reading Is God Offended When People Study Scripture?