Archives For November 2017

Dorothy Day once said, “The greatest challenge of the day is how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each of us.” This is the challenge for disciples of Jesus. Christ Himself was a revolutionary. The things He taught were unlike anything His listeners had heard before. His compassion dwarfed all who had come before Him. The wisdom of Jesus was unrivaled, and He demanded obedience and devotion to Himself and the good news He brought.

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Fast-forward to today, and we find churches full of so-called Christians content to live their lives in complacency and mediocrity. Instead of committing ourselves to the One who makes all things new, who brings new mercies to bear every morning, we succumb to the philosophy of “there is nothing new under the sun”. We need a revolution of the heart, and we need it today.

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You do know you can talk back to Satan, right? Jesus modeled this for us when the devil was tempting Him in the wilderness. Satan would tempt Jesus, and Jesus would talk back to the devil, reminding him who he was and putting him in his place. Perhaps you think it’s one thing for Jesus to talk back to the devil and another thing for us to do so. On the contrary, Jesus said we would do greater things than He had done (John 14:12).

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As disciples of Jesus, we are to pattern our lives after His. What we see Jesus do, we should do. When Satan comes along flaunting temptation before us, we should not hesitate in saying, “Not today devil!”

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It seems to me in this day and age Christians are content to stop short of holiness. Our churches don’t talk about this very much. We talk about many ways to get along with and in our culture, but little is said about living life in a countercultural way. The vast majority of sermons I hear these days are almost a sort of self-help message wrapped in a Christian cloak.

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When was the last time you left a church service less comfortable than when you entered the building? Today’s typical Christian is content with comfort. This is a travesty disciples of Jesus cannot possibly let stand. The whole point of our lives is to live a holy life looking like Jesus. How can we glorify a holy God with a life so far removed from His holy standard?

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Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” Our entire lives as followers of Christ is based on this hope. The resurrection of Jesus gives us hope there is something beyond this life. Indeed, Paul said if our hope is only in this life, then we should be pitied beyond all men (1 Corinthians 15:19).

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Our hope is not things will get better for us here and now, but all things will be restored to perfection in the future. God created a perfect world and designed everything in it to worship and glorify Him. Our great hope is a return to this state, to live in complete harmony with God and nature. When we have this hope, life becomes worth living.

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In his book, “All Things New”, author John Eldredge writes, “Where we take our fantasies is a helpful way to know what we are doing with our Kingdom heart”. Which begs the question, “What is it about which you are fantasizing?” Said another way, when you daydream, about what are you dreaming? We go in the direction of the things about which we think. Indeed, we grow in the direction of the things about which we think.

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Our fantasies and daydreams reveal the deepest desires of our heart. Far from fancy or whimsy, and regardless of their implausibility, fantasies and daydreams reveal what we would be if we were God. What are your fantasies and daydreams revealing about you? Are they revealing a God-focused, others-centered disciple? Or are they revealing a prideful and self-centered individual?

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When all else has passed away, faith, hope, and love will remain (1 Corinthians 13:13). Faith, hope, and love are the essence of our belief in God. They are the underpinnings of all Christianity is meant to be. On a personal level, they are the glue holding our lives together. Take any one of the three out of the equation, and things begin to unravel. Together, they are the anchor of our soul.

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Without faith, hope, and love it would be impossible to please God or serve others. Without faith, hope, and love we could never know or understand God. While the apostle Paul singles out love as being the most important of the three, I submit without faith and hope, you could never have love in the first place.

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In Philippians 4:8, Paul instructed the church to think beautiful thoughts. He encouraged them to think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, of moral excellence, and worthy of praise. How often are our thoughts centered on things like these? I confess my own mind is not naturally inclined to go to such places. I will also tell you when I do think of such things, my mood improves dramatically.

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Such thoughts are a natural tonic and trigger the endorphin rush we all crave. When we dwell on dreadful things, our mood sours and our hearts darken. The question we must then ask is, why do we not spend our days thinking beautiful thoughts?

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To live a life worth living, you must know Jesus is the truth and Satan is a liar. Until you understand this beyond an intellectual level, you will struggle and continue to live an ineffective life for the Kingdom of God. Every sin, every distraction, every temptation in your life started with you believing what the devil told you. Let me assure you, as the father of lies (John 8:44), everything coming out of his mouth is a lie.

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You never should wonder if it might be true, it isn’t. Conversely, anything Jesus says is an absolute and undeniable truth. You never should wonder about this either. Jesus is the truth and Satan is a liar.

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When attempting to figure out God’s will for your life, it’s helpful to look at who God is. Since we are created in His likeness, it follows His will for us is to look like Him. It’s why both prayer and Bible study are so essential in the life of a disciple. If you want to figure out your purpose in God’s plan, you’ve got to get to know the author of the plan. From the beginning, we see God is relational.

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He created humans for us to not only worship Him but to commune with Him. God was not alone in the very beginning. Jesus was beside Him creating everything that was made (John 1:1-3). Creation didn’t happen in a vacuum, it happened through a collaboration of perfect unity.

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