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
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
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.
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
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
Never should it be
necessary for anyone to ask us if we are Christian. If
it is, perhaps we should ask ourselves the same
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 --
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
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
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?
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
will cost us everything, and a bill comes due each day
as we take up our cross and follow Him.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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
When we say we
love God, do we mean business? Expressing our love for
God is big business!
If we want
others to listed to our words, we should use less of
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.
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
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.
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
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
If we are always
in a hurry to do something, it is not of God. He
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?
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
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.
Admitting we are
wrong may be difficult, but it is possible. If we do
the difficult, God will do the impossible.
Listening to God
will never bring confusion. Confusion comes from
listening to those who do not listen to God.
The more we argue
with our conscience, the less likely it will continue
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.
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."
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.
circumstances cause us to exclaim, "It is great to be
alive," remember it is only temporary, if we are not
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.
We will know when
we have met the qualification for receiving from God
the desires of our heart. We will only desire what God