When you hear someone speak or teach, do you consider who they are or just what they say? There can be merit in both approaches. Sometimes it is good to receive a message or an understanding from anyone – the content is critical. At other times it is important to consider the source … Are You Like Goldilocks? Do they know what they are talking about? Do they know how to do what they are teaching? Do they have experience in this area, or is their understanding based solely upon what they have read or heard?
When you really want to make changes or take new steps in life, you usually want to hear from those who have made the change and have walked in the direction you want to go. Their words carry weight.
But, what if their words seem difficult or require more change than you want to make – will you still listen?
Most people I know are like “Goldilocks;” they continue to search for insight until they find instruction that seems to feel just right. In...
Have you “fallen” in love with anyone – I mean really in love? When that thing comes on you, your life changes. Everything else – even important things – seems to wane. Life in many ways gets put on the back burner, and you become practically obsessed. When your mind wanders from your tasks, it generally goes toward the person of your great affection. And, you find yourself willing to pay great prices to be with that person. You are willing to drive/travel long distances and go without much sleep to be with him/her. Almost nothing can hold you back.
This love-behavior is true of our relationship with God, too. "This is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome." (1John 5:3) We ultimately express our love to God through our obedience to Him. Love and lordship are one and the same in relationship with Christ. To love Him is to recognize and relate according to who He actually is, the Lord. We grow through obedience and we...
Do you ever feel like you can’t catch a break – like people and circumstances are constantly raising their hands against you? This is part of what life is like sometimes. Life on earth is difficult. Sometimes, even for long periods of time, life can feel oppressive – and bring suffering. Understanding this reality can be helpful – everyone suffers, and everyone needs to learn to persevere.
Unfortunately, many people of faith are baffled when they hit difficult patches. They subtly or blatantly believe that their lives should be easier because they have faith in God. This is wrong theologically and unhelpful in practice.
Jesus’ life was difficult, and it grew more difficult as He continued in His faithful devotion to the Father. The apostle Paul’s life was also difficult. Yet, rather than being perplexed by his difficulties or feeling sorry for himself, Paul invited his spiritual son and apprentice to “join him in suffering like a good...
One of the great challenges of our day is that hardly any of us are very good at stilling ourselves before the Lord. The good news is that we can all learn to do so.
There is, however, an additional problem that might surface as we learn to be still. As we behold God’s goodness, experience measures of healing in our souls, and get in touch with our true selves, we have the potential to get stuck.
Sometimes, we can so enjoy our time with the Lord that we become passive in our faith.
When we learn to receive, rather than strive, we might (unintentionally) forget the value of purposefully pursuing the Lord, and the importance of obeying His direction.
No one means to become too passive or disobedient, but it can happen if we over-prize our experience of Him, rather than our growing relationship with Him.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
The verse goes on to say, “I wil be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in...