Introduction

ATTITUDE
Since it is our thoughts that decide our attitude, control of our thoughts is vital to enjoying the abundant life that Christ came to bring us. No matter how difficult controlling our thoughts may seem, our peace of mind depends on it.

The abundant life is the Christ-centered attitude. It is not based on our circumstances.

BALANCE
Although Scripture does not use the word "balance," we are to be in balance. We are in balance when we are in the perfect will of God. We are not all called to the same work, so no one can judge whether someone else is in balance or not.

BEGGING
There are times that God must foreclose on those things that we have bought into beyond what He has afforded us to pay for. Walking along the brink of bankruptcy on a presumed faith that results in begging for financial support is not stepping out in God's faith. It is ambition. If God ordains something to be done, He may not provide the means up front, but He will never be late in supplying it. God's provision does not require begging. If we find it necessary to beg, we have gotten ahead of God. Having to beg is the evidence that we have stepped out in presumption -- not faith.

BLESSINGS
When God first blesses us in a new way, we may be full of praise and thanksgiving. If we are not careful, we will come to think of what we have received as something we had deserved and take it for granted. It may then be necessary for God to take it away for a time until we get recalibrated.

BUSYNESS
Being retired, I am often asked what I do to keep busy. It is as if our goal in life is to be constantly engaged in some activity. Is it any wonder, then, that so many Christians cannot find time for Bible study, Bible classes, or fellowship with God? One of the devil's most effective weapons is to encourage our worldly busyness. Be reminded that the enemy of the best is something good.

Never should it be necessary for anyone to ask us if we are Christian. If it is, perhaps we should ask ourselves the same question.

CARNALITY
When we constantly give priority to the temporal over the eternal, the material over the spiritual, and time with the world over time with our Lord, we are establishing habits that, the longer they are practiced, the harder they will be to break. In time, they will be unbreakable -- and fatal!

CHILDREN
For parents to expect obedience from their children, they must set an example of their obedience to their Parent -- their Heavenly father. Just as our children must do things they dislike, parents should demonstrate that they are willing to do for their Father some things that they may not like doing. Christian parents who are only doing for God the things they like cannot expect their children to do otherwise.

How often do your children see you doing your homework -- studying your Bible?

If we find it necessary to shout at our children to get their attention, we should ask ourselves if our Heavenly Father has the same problem. Allowing us to experience trials is one way He shouts.

Christ said we must be as little children to enter the kingdom of God. That is to say, we are to have the unquestioning faith of a child. It does not mean we are to be retarded in our spiritual growth. We are to become holy as God is holy.

The reason so many young people are not able to find themselves is because they are looking for the wrong person. And they are looking in the wrong place. If they first find the Lord, He will then show them who they are, what they are, their potential as His children, and why God created them in the first place. In trying to find themselves they are looking for someone who is lost, and when they have found themselves, it will have proven to be a dead end.

If faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God -- and without faith it is impossible to please God -- it must follow that it is impossible to please God if we are not listening to Him. Is not one of the greatest difficulties we have with our children that they do not listen to us?

If we have difficulty giving both God and our children quality time, why not combine some of both? Shouldn't we be training our children to spend quality time listening to God? Shouldn't it be a joint venture?

If we excuse our failure to spend quality time with God because of the needs of a child, how do we justify having another one?

Why do we make commitments to children, friends, and activities, but tell God we will spend more time with Him just as soon as we get caught up?

CHRIST
To be prepared for the coming of our Lord is to be longing for it, to be looking forward to it, and to be living accordingly.

Whether it is the public debt, the population explosion, the pollution of our environment, AIDS, or any other catastrophe facing our society, human effort is limited to merely slowing the trend -- not reversing it. The sin and greed that have caused these things are still present. God is long-suffering but He has foreordained a military coup when Christ returns to rule with a rod of iron.

Following Christ will cost us everything, and a bill comes due each day as we take up our cross and follow Him.

Without Jesus Christ man is damned if he does, and he is damned if does not. He is irrelevant.

The only person whose reputation means anything is Jesus Christ. Even the Holy Spirit has elected to subordinate his reputation to that of Jesus. Then shouldn't we?

CHRISTIANS
A self-sufficient Christian is an oxymoron.

Have we signed over the pink slip to God or are we just taking Him for a spin on Sunday morning?

How many Christians are like a ship riding at anchor with its sails furled? Although the wind of the Holy Spirit may blow, they weather the waves that may rock their boat for a time, but remain anchored in their traditions and preconceptions. God's calling is to raise our anchor, set our sails, and allow the Holy Spirit to drive us before His Wind. As is true with all sailing vessels, when storms arise, the best thing to do is run before the wind.

From the parable of the sower we learn that the Word of God is like a seed. Why are there so many Christians who think it only needs to be watered once a week? And are they even Christians who think it only needs to be watered on Easter and at Christmas?

Being a Christian should be a full-time job. The things of this world can be done during working hours.

Perhaps the greatest evidence of Christian immaturity is the pervasive willingness to forgo heavenly rewards that are eternal to have more time to pursue earthly rewards that are temporal.

A nominal Christian is a dumb Christian. A born-again believer is a show-and-tell blabbermouth.

Scripture is clear that even dabbling in the occult can be dangerous. It is true also that dabbling in Christianity can be dangerous if that is the extent of it. A slight case can immunize us against the real thing. Do not settle for a vaccination!

The evidence of being a Christian is a changed life. If there is no change, then nothing happened. Ongoing change into the likeness of Christ is the confirmation. We cannot change apart from Christ, neither can we become truly His and not change. Unless we remain in Him, we cannot continue to change. A retired Christian is an oxymoron.

Even Christians are attracted to what they want to hear. However, it is what they want to hear that shows what kind of Christians they are.

A mature Christian trusts God in every area of his life based on his experience of what God has already done for him. The immature Christian say, "Yes, Lord, but what have you done for me lately?" What would be our answer to the same question?

CHURCHES
There are churches that see social action as the justification for their existence, and that solving the world's hunger problem is the prerequisite to evangelism. Their supposition is that well-fed people will listen to the gospel, and hungry people will not. If that is true, then the wealthy -- being well fed -- should be the most receptive. Then, shouldn't potluck dinners be followed by an altar call?

Possibly the greatest weakness in the modern church is to be satisfied with just getting to Heaven, and to be told that it is easy.

If a church is not concerned about what the Scriptures say about sin, it need not be concerned about what it says about fornication and adultery.

The modern Laodecian church is allowing Jesus to cool His heels on the doorstep because supping with Him is to serve Him. He is knocking, but it is being drowned out by the things of this world.

The traditional church has created holidays that celebrate Christ's birth and resurrection. Still, it hardly mentions His return. Can it be it does not want Him to come back because it is not ready?

It seems easier for some churches to deny there is a place called hell than heed the warnings that Scriptures give about it.

The further and further away from Scripture that preaching and teaching get, the more errors there are for the Holy Spirit to correct.

A fundamental difference between the Old and New Covenants is the dwelling place of God. Under the Old Covenant, it was in a temple made by hands. Under the New Covenant, the individual child of God is the temple. Under the Old Covenant, access to God was through the priesthood. Under the New Covenant it is direct, intimate, and personal. It is the true church -- the body of Christ -- that has become both the priesthood and the kingship after the order of Melchizedek.

Grapevines, even church grapevines, make up in speed what they lack in accuracy. They work equally well in spreading both gossip and gospel.

The carnal Church may gossip, but does it spread the gospel?

One thing that will surely amaze the church, when it gets to heaven, is the realization of how much the devil had deceived it.

Many modern churches are not being driven before the wind of the Holy Spirit. They have kept their sails furled and elected to operate under their own power. And not going anywhere.

Some, who profess to being Christians, seem to have assumed that God has gotten over His anger about sin.

The present state of denominational Christianity proves how little listening to God is taking place.

It is a tragedy of the modern church that it finds it can expect so little of the average Christian.

If Scripture reveals anything about the relationship between the Father and His children, it is that it is truly a supernatural one. How is it, then, that there is so little of the supernatural experienced or even sought in many churches today?

The devil has not only persuaded many that they are saved by attending church, but he has established an environment where no one even dares to hint that they may not be. But then he is the great deceiver.

It seems that the contemporary church looks on those who claim they hear God's voice as either super-spiritual -- and therefore suspect -- or imagining things. Yet Scripture teaches that it should be commonplace for every believer.

If we think it is presumptuous to claim we hear from God, we are testifying to its dearth in the institutionalized church.

If the power of the Holy Spirit is being made manifest in those churches with which we find so much fault, how great must be the faults in those churches where the power of the Holy Spirit is not being manifest? If we put down the power that is experienced in these churches because of their faults -- instead of getting rid of our own -- we keep our faults and miss their power.

There is much said in the churches about peace. The cross brought peace between God and those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord. Scripture says it is a peace that passes understanding. However, it brought war between the believer and Satan's kingdom. Jesus said He did not come to bring world peace, but war. The peace on earth that the world talks about only will come when Christ returns, defeats the Antichrist, and is enthroned by God as the sovereign ruler of this planet.

In some churches, healing may only be another item on the menu. Still -- thank God -- it is an available choice.

Those churches who consider all evangelicals and fundamentalists as narrow or bigoted are setting the standard by which they, in turn, will be judged by secular society. The eventual consequence will be the persecution of the church as a whole.

Whereas political correctness may be anathema to a church, this same church can be locked into a philosophy of "liturgical correctness" or "social correctness" that quenches the work of the Holy Spirit.

Many traditional Christians say, Sunday is the Lord's day. The Scriptures say, "This is the day [every day] the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Why settle for less?

The present dichotomy of the denominational churches proves how little they are listening to God.

The abundant life that Christ came to give is not too evident in the modern church. If it were, why then is there so much complaining? Perhaps, the rebel in us does not want to meet God's conditions. There is no abundant life for the rebel. Only total submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ makes the abundant life available to us.

It seems that the charismatic renewal, rather than being a catalyst for the spiritual renewal of the modern churches, has be absorbed and watered down until it has lost its potency.

COMMITMENT
When we say we love God, do we mean business? Expressing our love for God is big business!

CONDUCT
If we want others to listed to our words, we should use less of them.


Those that church-hop, but say they are being led by God, are saying He cannot make up His mind.

Before we can begin to understand why God moves in certain ways, we must understand ourselves. So when the Holy Spirit holds up the mirror, we will recognize who it is.

Fallen man has many gods. They can be leaders, music stars, sports figures, children, grandchildren, or spouses. They can be careers, hobbies, houses, or cars. A god is anyone or anything that we give our time, our treasure, or most of our attention to. Even Christians can be god makers when they have a private definition of what kind of god they worship. Some have both an Old Testament God and a New Testament God -- a God of wrath and a God of love. To say, "My God would never send anyone to hell" is to create a god in our own image. God has already described Himself for us in his Scriptures. He has created us in His image. We are not allowed to return the favor.

Scripture says we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. Our thinking determines our attitudes. Our attitudes determine our decisions. Our decisions determine our actions. Our actions determine our destiny. Thus, how we will spend eternity will depend on what we think.

Blame-shifting is the counterfeit of repentance. Be reminded that Adam and Eve tried it, but God did not buy it.

To be accused of negative thinking about the present world system and its destiny puts us in the company of the wisest man that ever lived. He is the writer of Ecclesiastes. His name is Solomon. He said that everything under the sun is vanity.

Anything that does not serve God's purpose -- long-term -- has no purpose. Although the worldly might not want to go to the lake of fire, they are doing exactly what it takes to get there.

Serving God is not a burden to those who consider it a privilege.

God will bless our minor acts as well as our major ones if we let Him decide which are which.

If we are ruled by inflexible preconceptions, we are like the beasts of the field that are ruled by their instincts. The Bible says we are to be like little children -- have an open mind and a childlike faith.

Working for God provides excellent wages, long-term health care, disaster insurance, protection, a body guard, a live-in Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Standby. And a retirement that is out of this world. There is no risk of ever being laid off or fired. And our Employer has a storehouse full of perks that are beyond anything we can imagine.

Our primary source for guidance is not our conscience. Conscience is like a gyrocompass. It is a reliable guide when it is kept calibrated. The Holy Spirit is our calibrator. Otherwise, it will drift. Scripture speaks of both an evil conscience and a conscience that has been seared.

(1 Tim. 4:2) (Heb. 10:22)

Following Jesus is going the straight way. Going our own way is to travel in circles because we are lost. It may make us feel like a big wheel but we will never reach our divine destination.

Paul describes our pilgrimage as a race. There are three other competitors that are trying to trip us up: The world, the flesh, and the devil. There will be only one winner and coming in second will be no better than coming in last.

Feeding the hungry is a Scriptural admonition, but it should not be the only thing we hang our hats on before God. Especially if we are not supplying them with the Bread of Life also.

If we are always in a hurry to do something, it is not of God. He plans.

We think of those who are always late as disorganized. Truthfully, regularly to be just a little late requires careful planning. Otherwise, they would accidentally be early part of the time and miss the attention. It may make us feel important to keep others waiting, but is that behaving like a Christian?

Good practices become good habits, and good habits become good gifts. On the other hand, by the exercise of our will, we break bad habits by ceasing their practice. In so doing, we frustrate the powers of darkness that induce them. No longer being able to exercise their proclivities through us, these evil spirits will leave.

It has been said that the enemy of the best is something good. This is not saying that what we call good is worthless. It is when it is used as an excuse for not doing God's best that it becomes an enemy.

It is strange that those who never seem able to take time out from their daily activities to spend time with God can somehow find time to take a vacation.

CONFESSION
Admitting we are wrong may be difficult, but it is possible. If we do the difficult, God will do the impossible.

CONFUSION
Listening to God will never bring confusion. Confusion comes from listening to those who do not listen to God.

CONVICTION
The more we argue with our conscience, the less likely it will continue the argument.

CREATION
If there is anything that should boggle our minds, it is to observe the heavens as only a small window looking out on a universe that was created to be inhabited and ruled by Christ and all those who belong to Him.

If God, our Creator, is never too busy for us, how in the world are we ever too busy for Him? Alas, we are more interested in the world. Evolution's appeal may be in the fact that if there is no Creator there is no one to whom there is an obligation for human existence. A Creator would have had a purpose. Such a purpose would have required specific responses from the created beings that they must be conscious of and responsive to. All of which would be anathema to a rebel. Given how much we should be obligated to Someone to whom we owe our very existence, is it not to be expected that a theory that relieves mankind of any accountability is bound to be popular?

Becoming a son of God through the new birth also must presume that He is our Creator and our Heavenly Father.

THE CROSS
Because God is fair, Jesus had to die on the cross. Also, it made it possible for God to be merciful to sinners.

The cross makes citizenship in the Kingdom of God possible. Still, you must know the password -- "Jesus is Lord."

Salvation is totally dependent on the finished work of the cross. If Jesus did not do enough, there is nothing we can do to make up the deficit. If Jesus did enough -- and He did -- there is absolutely nothing we need to do in addition. However, to be saved we must individually appropriate Jesus' work to make it effective for us.

DEATH
If our circumstances cause us to exclaim, "It is great to be alive," remember it is only temporary, if we are not in Christ.

The human race is on Death Row. But any inmate can have his sentence commuted if he meets God's condition -- admit he deserves to be there.

Jesus came to deliver us from death by dying in our place. It was His death that saved us from a destiny of death.

The definition of a martyr is a Christian who is dying to be with Jesus.

DESIRE
We will know when we have met the qualification for receiving from God the desires of our heart. We will only desire what God desires.

CONTINUE

 

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