Archives For I Timothy

As I continue to seek ways to simplify my life, I’m amazed at how complex it continues to grow. There seems to be a never-ending flow of demands on my time, opportunities to pursue, and responsibilities with which to engage. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess your experience is similar. We are a busy generation of humans. As I often tell my team at work, being busy is not synonymous with being productive.

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I fear many of us have allowed our lives to become so busy we cannot be productive for the Kingdom. We’re so consumed with the fleeting things of this world we are missing out on the great eternal work left to be done.

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I once read our excess money is given to us to share with others. This is something I’ve tried to incorporate into my own life because I feel there is good Biblical precedence for it. Early Christ followers shared all they had with each other (Acts 4:32-35). This seems to go even beyond simply giving away our excess. In the Old Testament, God gave laws commanding people to not harvest the edges of their fields so the poor could come and get some food for their families (Leviticus 23:22).

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Jesus told us not to hoard our wealth (Luke 12:16-21). The next question I generally get when discussing this is, “How do I determine how much is excess?” To me, this question is always the result of a scarcity mindset.

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Do you want to know what’s really most important to you? Follow the money. Are you curious how close you are following the Lord? Follow the money. If you are wondering if your priorities are in order, well, you guessed it… follow the money. It’s easy to say we believe in something or hold some value important, but actions never lie. Neither does where we spend the money God has entrusted to our care.

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How we spend our money always tells the truth about who we are. Your bank account has no hidden agenda; it only has the mission you give to it. As pastor Aaron Brockett recently said, “Your heart will follow your money so send your money where you want your heart to be.”

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Clement of Alexandria wrote, “Many will never reach the Kingdom of Heaven for they have fixed their eyes on wealth. They are sick for the things of the world. They live proudly through luxury. But those who are serious about salvation must settle this beforehand in their mind. All we possess is given to us to use for sufficiency, which one may acquire by merely a few things.” For those of us in the West, this should be especially convicting. We live proudly in our luxury.

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We take more for granted than half the world can even imagine possessing. All this extravagance will count for nothing when we stand before God and give an account of our lives. He will ask what we did with what He entrusted to us, and we will only be able to hang our heads and admit we hoarded it for ourselves (Luke 12:16-21).

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We are called to demonstrate the love and character of Jesus in every moment of our lives. We know this because it is what Jesus did. The problem is, if we aren’t intentional about this mission, it won’t happen. How many days have slipped through our fingers without showing more than a cursory amount of love to anyone but ourselves? As I was thinking about this, it occurred to me it would be a good idea to answer four questions each day.

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You can incorporate these into your daily planning. The questions are: How will I show love to my spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend today? How will I show love for a family member today? How will I show love for a friend today? How will I show love for a stranger today?
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No matter who we are or what we do, our primary mission in life is to leverage everything we have to further the Kingdom of God. What this means is none of have any excuse for not serving God in every area of our lives. For too long we’ve made a distinction between those “in the ministry” and those who have traditional or secular jobs.

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In our family life, we look to others to give us spiritual direction while shirking our own responsibilities in that area. How we live our lives at work and at home will be a direct expression of where our hearts are in relation to our Creator. With that in mind, how well are you reflecting Christ? How are you leveraging your relationship with Him to further His kingdom?
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Every now and then, a Bible verse I’ve read a thousand times reaches out and grabs my heart in a fresh way. It’s amazing that after thousands of years, God still speaks through His written Word to those who seek and give their lives to Him. The verses that recently grabbed hold of me were Philippians 2:3-4, which read, “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” As we examine our own lives, how close are we living to this instruction? Are we putting the needs of others before our own or diligently striving to become as comfortable, wealthy, and successful as we can be?

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Christianity,J.C.Penney,Ellen Degeneres,Greg Boyd,AFA,Donald Wildmon,American Family Association,discipleship,Christmas,true meaning of Christmas

Every December there are groups of Christians who protest or boycott companies who do not use the word “Christmas” in their advertising. One group is outraged because J.C. Penney (ironically hailed by the same group for using the word ‘Christmas’ in their ad campaigns) is using Ellen DeGeneres, a homosexual as their spokesperson in their commercials. These are the kind of actions that caused me to abandon Christianity to instead live my life as a follower of Christ. This is why young people are turning away from Christ in record numbers. If this is what it means to be a Christian, who wants to be one? Who would want to identify with an elitist mentality that focuses on the judgment of others?

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One of my favorite Bible passages is Proverbs 30:8-9:

Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me.
Give me neither poverty nor wealth;
feed me with the food I need.
Otherwise, I might have too much
and deny You, saying, “Who is the LORD?”
or I might have nothing and steal,
profaning the name of my God.

In our materialistic Western society, we are encouraged to constantly acquire and consume. If we could sum up our modern culture in one word, I think that word would be “more”. Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Two roads diverging

As you go throughout your days, are you pursuing a life of holiness? Are you consciously striving to be the person God created you to be, a person who is consumed by the love of Jesus? This isn’t a new concept, but it has been brought to my mind in fresh ways through recent teachings by Bill Hybels and David Platt. Not only has God placed a unique combination of passions and skills in each of us in order that we might do the work He created us to do, but He has also charged us to conduct ourselves in a manner that is pleasing to Him (Philippians 1:27).

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