Archives For priorities

God’s love and mercy for us comes free of charge. We can’t do anything to deserve it any more or any less. The fact is we don’t deserve it at all. Still, the love of God is such He gives it to us anyway. We cannot work harder to be more deserving or earn more favor. He has already given everything on our behalf. Regardless of what we do or don’t do, He sees us as having unsurpassable worth and loves us unconditionally.

your relationship with God,God relationship,Jesus relationship,love,commitment,priorities,Psalm 139:7-12,where can I hide from God,you are there,Psalm 119:151,God is near,Hebrews 13:5,I will never leave you,Deuteronomy 31:6,never forsake you,Proverbs 18:24,closer than a brother,love,selfishness

image © kieferpix via Fotolia

No matter how much we may want it to be otherwise, none of our efforts will change these facts. However, when it comes to our relationship with Christ, we have a very direct influence on how close we are and how much our lives look like Jesus to those on the outside looking in.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Socrates once said a “life that’s unexamined is not worth living.” While he may not have realized it, his wisdom is wholly applicable and important to would-be disciples of Jesus. It’s much like the advice one receives when travelling on an airplane. In case of a loss of pressure in the cabin, we’re told to secure our own oxygen mask before attempting to assist others.

examine your life,reflection,goals,new years resolutions,discipleship,priorities,discipline,Socrates,an unexamined life

image © WavebreakmediaMicro via Fotolia

If we aren’t living our lives in tune with God’s will, we won’t be able to help others appreciate its beauty. The only way to be certain we’re in step with Christ is to take regular periods where we examine our own walk with Him.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

One of my mentors, Jim Rohn, was known for saying, “For things to change, you have to change.” So many want a closer relationship with Christ, to move beyond Christianity into discipleship, but waste their lives waiting for the transformation to occur. We have a role to play in becoming a disciple. Put simply, discipleship is a choice, and it is up to each of us to decide if it’s worth it.

discipleship is a choice,discipleship,commitment,mission,purpose,you must change,disciple of Christ,sinne's prayer,priorities,Jim Rohn,Matthew 7:22-23,depart from me,I never jnew you,many will say Lord Lord

image © ptnphotof via Fotolia

If we believe in Jesus but aren’t pursuing a life of discipleship, we are valuing the things of this earth more than we value Him. I am troubled by anyone who professes Jesus with their lips but denies Him with their attitudes and actions. Jesus didn’t call us to a life of belief in Him; He called us to a radical abandonment of all things that are not Him.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Disciplining yourself to do what you know is the right thing to do, at the right time, is a key to a flourishing relationship with God. How many times have you been tempted to do the wrong thing and, ignoring the warning bells going off inside, you give into the temptation? Every time we find ourselves at a decision point, we must ask ourselves how Jesus would decide in such a moment.

disciplining yourself,self-discipline,self discipline,discipline,discipleship,disciple,commitment,priorities,God's character,character of God,selfishness,me first,Jesus first,God first,prayer,habit,habits,disciplines

image © Monet via Fotolia

When faced with a moral decision, the spirit of Christ within us informs us which way we should go. The problem is, the choice we know to be consistent with the character of Christ is often the more difficult path to walk. A narrow path is always more problematic to traverse than a wider one.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Being a disciple of Jesus should cost you something. If it isn’t, chances are you aren’t a disciple. It’s easy to assume you are a disciple of Jesus once you say the magic prayer and invite Him into your life. While such an assumption is safe and comfortable, it isn’t reality. Rather than frightening us, we should all be encouraged to pay whatever price necessary for the privilege of following Jesus.

what is discipleship costing you,A.W. Tozer,Tozer,Matthew 10:21-25,brother will betray brother,Luke 9:57-62,foxes have dens,priorities,dciscipleship,disciple,follower of Jesus,commitment,2 Corinthians 4:17,light afflictions

image © tuk69tuk via Fotolia

A.W. Tozer once prayed the Lord would make him “willing to let my Christian experience and Christian standards cost me something right down to the last gasp.” Tozer understood being a disciple of Jesus would cost him something in this life. What is discipleship costing you?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

In his book, “The End of Religion”, Pastor Bruxy Cavey writes, “If Jesus is God coming to us, and becoming one of us, then religion is redundant. Religion uses rules to force our steps, guilt to keep us in line, and rituals to remind us of our failure to live up to those rules. In doing this, religion adds more weight to those who are already burdened with life’s hardships.”

we don't need religion,Matthew 23:33,brood of vipers,Matthew 23:25,hypocrites,Matthew 23:27,white washed tombs,spiritual disciplines,read the Bible,discipline,religion,bruxey cavey,the meeting house,greg boyd,myth of religion,end of religion

image © Allen Penton via Fotolia

But Jesus said his burden was easy and light (Matthew 11:30). He didn’t come to add a bunch of rules to our lives. He came to simplify what man had overcomplicated. Jesus came to show we don’t need religion; all we need is God.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

I’ve got a problem and no idea how to solve it. I’m bored with everything but Jesus. As my relationship with Him has developed, I increasingly find myself growing out of other interests. When I’m spending time talking with Him, studying Him, or simply reflecting on Him, I am content. Nothing else satisfies any more.

bored with everything but Jesus,boredom,commitment,discipleship,generosity,compassion,devotion,mission,passion,priorities

image © vladimirfloyd via Fotolia

Now, a quick disclaimer: I am not in any way saying I spend all my time focused on Jesus or implying I have transcended sin and temptation. I still fall. A lot. It’s a frustrating, but true, dichotomy in my life. Having said that, the fact remains I’ve become bored with everything but Jesus.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

I was recently wondering what it would look like if I reoriented my life around the rhythms of the calendar. If you’re anything like me, you don’t take much time to celebrate or even breathe. In the Old Testament, God gave His people festivals and Sabbaths to observe. I don’t believe God does anything on a whim or without purpose, so I know He had a reason for these events. Could it be, as our Creator, He understood we need these times to refocus and re-center?

reorienting your life,reorient,calendar,holidays,Christmas,Thanksgiving,Easter,independence day,labor day,memorial day,life rhythms,priorities,purpose,discipline

image © Kwangmoo via Fotolia

Working with this knowledge, it makes sense to orient our lives today around similar rhythms. I’m not advocating we observe each of the Jewish holiday’s if you aren’t Jewish. They won’t have the same beauty or effect without being immersed in the tradition and history. But we can all build an effective and even joyful cadence for our lives based on the calendar of our own culture.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Complacency is a killer disease for would-be disciples. As soon as you think you are in a great place with your disciplines and in your relationship with God, you are in trouble. Unfortunately, I have learned this (more than once) the hard way. Each time I think I’ve grown so close to Christ I could never fall away, I’ve quickly found myself spiraling downward. It’s not as if you wake up one day and decide to walk the opposite direction.

complacency,dilligence,re;ecntless,commitment,disciplines,discipline,habits,spiritual disciplines,spiritual habits,distractions,priorities,disciple,discipleship

image © Alex F via Fotolia

It always happens subtlety and slowly. You won’t even recognize it’s happening. You skip your morning prayer time, “just today”, because of something else going on in your life. Then you find yourself putting your needs ahead of others. The next morning you skip prayer time again. And so, the spiral begins…

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

As I was getting ready for bed, a question crossed my mind: “What if I woke up tomorrow and hit it hard to live as a man after God’s own heart?” What would that look like? What if, once and for all, everything in my life reflected the love of Christ, and everything I did was for His glory? Perhaps it’s an impossible task. We’re human and not capable of perfection. I know I’ll fail. My life will never be the image of God I want it to be. But what if I never try?

after God's own heart,commitment,discipleship,mission,passion,priorities

image © Mele Avery via Fotolia

What if I reach the end of my life and realize I never took my commitment to Christ as seriously as I should have? I don’t want to die knowing I could have done more. I don’t want to face Jesus having lived a life half done. I want to pour it all out at his feet right here and right now.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…