Tag Archives: Word Of God

Follow Their Example

I’m always amazed at just how awesome the love of God is.

When we stop focusing on our past mistakes, failures and current fears and turn our eyes towards the Lord, we’ll see just how amazing HE is.

The Creator of the Universe, the ONE the wind and waves OBEY… will come to our rescue.

Choose to trust Him when the raging seas have you trembling.

Choose to trust Him when the day is gorgeous and your heart is at great peace.

Choose to be faithful.

Be like Abraham and simply Go

Be like Joshua and fight for the Lord

Be like Joseph and do what is right…..regardless

Be like Daniel, praying as always so that even when you face the den of hungry lions, you’ll have peace that passes all understanding.

Be like Esther and boldly take your needs before the One that loves and adores you.

Be like Elijah and remember that as long as God is on your side, YOU are the majority.

Be like Noah and be faithful…no matter how long it takes.

Be like Peter and just get out of the boat.

Be like David realizing that when you are facing giants, that God has already equipped you to win.

Be like Nathan and courageously deliver the word of God

Be like Job and wait on the Lord

Be like Barnabas and encourage others in Christ

Be like John the Baptist and proclaim the name of the Lord

Be like Paul and Silas and praise the Lord with singing no matter where you end up.

Be as much like Jesus as possible so that one day you’ll hear the Father say….. Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Keep your eyes on Heaven and Follow Him

 

What OTHER characters should we be like? Please, list them below in the comment section! and thank you!!!

Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved

 

Hebrews 13:5 – Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

 

John 8:12 – Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

 

 

Marie is the founder/President of Spreading Joy Corporation, a Non Profit that is dedicated to reminding others of the simple joy of giving. To find out more about making a difference for others without breaking the bank, more encouraging articles and more about her book Spreading Joy Daily please visit her site at http://www.spreading-joy.org

What Was the Colossian Heresy?

For centuries Bible students have tried to identify the particular form of false teaching opposed by Paul in Colossians. In reality, no one knows. The apostle does not name names or explain particulars, since they would have been well-known to the original recipients of the letter, and his greater concern was teaching the correcting truth.colossians1_18

We can, however, piece together the general shape of the heresy by observing Paul’s counterarguments. Growth in historical studies has also provided more understanding of the cultural and religious background of the first few centuries A.D., and this has helped us make sense of the problem in Colossae.

 

What is a “heresy”?

 

First, a note on the word “heresy.” Heresy has become a loaded and emotional term in our culture. It often conjures up pictures of medieval torture chambers or people burning at the stake. In discussions of the Bible or theological usage it means no such thing. Heresy simply defined means “teaching, doctrine, or practice that is a departure from revealed truth.” Heresies are errors that arise from within, or infiltrate from without, professing Christian ranks.

 

Keep in mind that every disagreement among Christians does not constitute a heresy. The term refers to departures from the truth in regard to the most important foundational truths of the Bible. Some examples would include the nature of God, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the fact and meaning of Christ’s death and resurrection, the Bible as the Word of God, and how salvation is received (by faith alone in Christ). Every cult is labeled as such because it denies most or all the biblical teaching on these major issues. On the other hand, denominations are Christian groups that disagree over relatively minor and debatable issues, while they agree on the fundamentals.

 

Therefore, “the Colossian heresy” refers to the particular brand of serious false teaching that was disturbing the believers in that assembly.

 

I.         Characteristics of the Colossian Heresy

 

False Teaching Regarding Jesus Christ

 

As explained in the introductory article, “Colossians: the ABCs,” a leading characteristic of the false teaching in Colossae is the devaluation of Jesus Christ. This can be seen in the letter in two ways:

 

1.     Paul’s counterarguments about the supremacy of Christ. There is nothing taught in Colossians that can’t be found in Paul’s other letters, but in no other passage is there such a forceful and concentrated emphasis on the deity and supremacy of Christ as in Col. 1:15-22. Then in Col. 2:9 Paul asserts the deity of Christ in unmistakable language:

 

For in Christ all the fullness of the deity dwells in bodily form.

 

Who is Jesus Christ? God, says Paul. And not just “partly” God or a “semi-God.” All that is God can be found now and forever incarnate in the Person of Jesus Christ. Paul is clearly trying to make it impossible to misunderstand that Jesus Christ is God and that He is supreme over all things.

 

2.     Clear warnings against deception and encouragements to stay firmly grounded in Christ. Paul expresses his concern that, while the Colossians have begun well in Christ, some of them may have moved away. In explaining the redeeming work of Christ, Paul says the result is that believers can stand “holy in His sight, without blemish, and free from accusation” (1:22), but then adds a disclaimer:

 

If you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. (1:23)

 

In other words, Paul can confidently state how they stand in the Lord’s eyes providing they haven’t moved on to some other “gospel” than the one Paul teaches.

 

Positively, Paul expresses his hope and prayer that the Colossians

 

may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (2:2-3)

 

As stated in the introductory article, the central warning of the letter is 2:8:

 

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than on Christ.

 

Whatever the false teachers were saying, they were clearly devaluing the person and role of Jesus Christ in their doctrines. Paul will not have it, and this letter is a straightforward defense of the position the Lord should have in believers’ minds and hearts.

 

False Teaching about Religious Practices

 

Besides the false teachers’ errors about Christ Himself, they also were apparently promoting a definition of spiritual living that was leading people astray. Paul therefore issues direct warnings against being deceived in three categories, which can help us understand what the heresy was about.

 

1.         Warnings against legalism.

 

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. (2:16)

 

The essence of legalism is the notion that God’s acceptance is earned and maintained through our behavior; that God’s acceptance is conditional, rather than offered freely through faith in Jesus Christ. The false teachers apparently were telling the Colossians that faith in Christ is not enough, that they must observe the regulations of the Law of Moses. This is an indicator that at least part of the heresy involved Jewish law-keeping. Any form of “Christ-plus” is to be rejected. It doesn’t matter if it’s “Christ plus good works,” or “Christ plus church activities,” or “Christ plus sacraments.” Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone.

 

2.        Warnings against mysticism.

 

Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. (2:18)

 

The false teachers may have claimed to have had “divine visions” as the basis of their authority. Mysticism has been a part of almost all of the world religions, and is basically the attempt to bypass objective truth to gain direct experience of “spiritual reality.” Even in our day many people are impressed by others’ claims of mystical experiences or “inside knowledge.” Don’t be impressed or deceived, Paul says. The truth of God and Jesus Christ have been clearly and publicly proclaimed, and there are no “secret truths” available to some elite group. Such claims only mark the person as arrogant and puffed up with spiritual pride. If you have Christ you have everything you need.

 

3.         Warnings against asceticism.

 

Since you have died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? (2:20-21)

 

Asceticism has also been practiced in almost all world religions. It is severe self-discipline in external matters in the effort to become “spiritual.” Typical practices include extreme fasting and celibacy. When you consider that most of us wrestle to some degree with self-control, it is not surprising that we are often impressed by the rigorous self-denial of people who do these things. But Paul punctures the illusion:

 

Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. (2:23)

 

Paul exposes these practices for what they are — the attempt to attain spirituality from the outside-in. Outside-in spirituality, however, is a sham. It doesn’t work, because it cannot change the heart. Only through the inside-out work of the Holy Spirit (Christ in us) does real spiritual growth and transformation take place. So don’t be deceived by these practitioners. Paul then goes on in Chapter 3 to explain how we actually live out the work of Christ in our lives. It is through knowing who we are in Christ, and choosing to present our minds and bodies to him for his use.

 

 

II.                  Insights from Historical Studies.

 

As has been explained, no one knows for sure who the false teachers were, or what particular heresy was troubling the believers in Colossae. We can, however, approach a general description of it.

 

Religions of all kinds could be found in the Roman Empire of the first century. According to Clinton E. Arnold,

The Christians at Colossae lived in an environment of religious pluralism. They coexisted with people who worshipped Anatolian, Persian, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian deities and with Jews who were devoted to the worship of one god and the observance of Torah. The manner of devotion and religious expression was quite varied among the different groups.

 

Just as in our time, the dominant religious attitude was Syncretism, the selecting and blending of religious ideas into new forms according to one’s wishes. Someone has called these “designer religions.” The Colossian error seems to have mixed Christian, Jewish, Greek, pagan, and mystical elements into its scheme.

 

1.            Comparisons to Gnosticism

 

For a long time, scholars assumed that the Colossian error was some form of Gnosticism. Today, that idea has been discounted, because it has become clear that fully developed Gnosticism did not come into being until the 2nd and 3rd centuries. But even so, the tendencies that later became Gnosticism were there long before, so it remains a helpful comparison.

The word Gnosticism comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means “knowledge.” A Gnostic, therefore, means “one who knows,” or “someone in-the-know.” The essence of Gnosticism was the pursuit of secret knowledge that could only be revealed to the elite. Typically, this “knowledge” involved the view that only “spirit” is pure good, and that the natural world — creation itself, and especially the human body — is a corruption, an illusion, or positively evil. The Gnostic hoped to escape the prison of the body through his “knowledge” and by mystically climbing the ladder of heavenly realms. Fully developed Gnosticism, like the error in Colossae, combined ideas from Greek philosophy, Eastern religions, Judaism, and Christianity.

These groups often claimed Jesus as the true Teacher of Gnosticism. They distinguished between his public teaching followed by ordinary Christians, and the deeper “secret teaching” revealed only to his disciples, now passed down to the Gnostics. Some Gnostic writings containing these “secret teachings” still exist (the so-called “Gospel of Thomas” is an example). Occasionally these writings make a splash in the media, being presented as “new discoveries about the origins of Christianity.” The media like to play up the sensational aspect of these “discoveries,” but scholars know they are no such thing. They are corruptions of genuine Christianity that arose 100-200 years after Christ.

Like the later Christians felt when confronted by Gnostics, the believers in Colossae likely were intimidated and confused by the heresy they encountered. There is a seductive quality about those who claim “higher knowledge,” especially when it’s backed up by impressive-looking self-discipline. Eugene Peterson writes,

The gnostic line is quite convincing when we first come across it. There is an ascetical earnestness and mystical intensity that catches our attention. Because these people seem to be so deeply concerned about the inner life and to know so much more than anyone else about the graduate levels of spirituality, we are attracted and want to know more.

 

But Paul exposes this illusion, pointing out that while they have “an appearance of wisdom,” these are of “no value” because they are detached from Christ (2:23).

Like the Gnostics, the heretical teachers in Colossae said that the Christian teaching about Christ was false; that there is “secret wisdom and knowledge” you must receive to obtain the “fullness” of spiritual experience. Like a master debater, Paul takes their favorite terms and uses them to assert the truth of his gospel. Notice how he uses those favorite terms of the false system:

 

Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE. (2:3)

 

For God was pleased for all his FULLNESS to dwell in him [Christ]. (1:19)

 

For in Christ all the FULLNESS of the deity dwells in bodily form. (2:9)

 

And you have been given FULLNESS in Christ. (2:10)

 

If you have Christ, you have God’s all; fullness, wisdom, and knowledge are all found in him.

 

2.            A more recent suggestion: Merkabah Mysticism

 

In recent decades, many scholars have investigated an ancient movement called merkabah mysticism, and noticed its similarities to the Colossian heresy. While again we must point out that no one knows for sure, this ancient religious pursuit might be close to what Paul was combating.

“Merkabah” is the Hebrew word for God’s throne. Merkabah mysticism was a movement where people tried to attain the kind of spiritual vision of God on his throne that was seen by the prophets Isaiah (see Isaiah 6:1-8) and Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 1). They blended those visions from the Hebrew Scriptures and added Gnostic-like concepts of heavenly spheres, each guarded by an angel.

The merkabah mystic believed one had to prepare oneself for this ascent by rigorous fasting and other ascetic practices for many days (some said as many as forty days). Then he had to rise through a hazardous spiritual journey, where he could only gain passage by giving the angels the appropriate passwords (the content of the “knowledge”). Eventually he hoped make his way to the highest sphere and see God on his throne. The typical term these mystics used for the total system of heavenly spheres was pleroma, the Greek word translated “fullness.”

Scholar F. F. Bruce comments on this cult:

 

It cannot be proved that the Colossian heresy involved an early form of merkabah mysticism, but the heavenly ascent implied in Col. 2:18 appears to have been of the same character as the experience which the merkabah mystics sought. The Colossian heresy evidently encouraged the claim that the fullness of God could be appreciated only by mystical experiences for which ascetic preparation was necessary.

 

As Bruce indicates there are remarkable parallels between this ancient cult and the errors attacked by the apostle Paul in Colossians.

 

Conclusion

 

While it can’t be proven that the Colossian error was this particular brand of religious practice, it is still instructive for illustrating the kind of world the Colossian believers lived in. While the names and language are different, it is also remarkably like our own.

We too live in a world of religious syncretism. Every day on television, radio, and movies we can hear people who are certainly religious, but their religion is a do-it-yourself blend of selections from several religions and practices. National bestseller lists regularly include someone’s latest “discoveries” about spiritual truth. Those celebrities and authors sound so sincere and convincing, but rarely are their ideas solidly biblical. Like the false teachers in Colossae, they have “an appearance of wisdom” (2:23).

Paul’s Letter to the Colossians is as relevant to us as it was to his first listeners. The answer is still the same: Christ is God incarnate, supreme Lord over all, and an all-sufficient Savior to anyone who puts their faith in Him. We need go nowhere else.

 

T.L.S.

How To Read The Bible For Yourself

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and yet it remains unread by many who own it.
Bible big

 

There are people who are intimidated by the Bible, fearing that the Scriptures can only be accurately understood by theologians and religious professionals. Others have tried to read some portions of the Bible, but quickly got lost and discouraged. Some have bought into the common view that the Bible is irrelevant to life in today’s world.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke both to the relevance and value of the Scriptures when He said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

 

If the Scriptures do indeed come “from the mouth of God,” then any thinking person will want to know what our Creator has to say. If the Word of God is indeed like bread for our souls, then we should all recognize our need for the spiritual nourishment God supplies.

 

No, the Bible is for everyone: children to adults, beginners to scholars, lay believers to full-time pastors and missionaries. The early Christian leader Gregory made this comment over 1500 years ago: “Holy Scripture is a stream of running water, where alike the elephant may swim, and the lamb walk.”

 

Seminary professor Dr. John Hannah was speaking at a conference when he made a statement that startled everyone. He said, “God can change your life if you will just read the Bible five minutes every day.” The listeners were quite surprised. Anticipating what people were wondering, Dr. Hannah continued, “You’re probably asking how your life can be changed by reading for just five minutes. The answer is that it isn’t the ‘five minutes’ that does it; it’s the ‘every day.’”

 

Of course, the trick in Dr. Hannah’s advice is that when a person gives God five minutes every day, he or she discovers how enjoyable and exciting the Scriptures are and wants more. Soon they want to read for ten minutes … then twenty. They discover what David meant when he wrote, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

 

The Bible is for everyone. The Bible is for you. Open its pages and see what the Lord will do in your life.

 

Tips for personal Bible study

 

1.  Read to pursue a personal relationship with God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In one sense, the Bible is just like any other book. We read according to the ordinary rules of grammar and interpretation, just as we learned in school.

 

In another sense, the Bible is different from any other book. It is the one book we read to pursue a personal relationship with the Author. When we read a book on science, we read to learn science. When we read a book of history, we read to learn about history. But when we read the Scriptures we read to get to know God and listen to Him speak to us through His living Word.

 

Jesus defined eternal life this way: “Now this is eternal life: that they might know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3)

 

When you sit down to open your Bible, do so with the attitude that you are meeting with the Person of God. Humbly open your mind and heart to hear what He has to say. As in any other relationship, a conversation goes two ways. God speaks to you through His Word. When we speak back to Him we call it prayer. Practice both listening and praying when you read. Talk to the Lord about your responses to what you see in the Bible.

 

2.  Read normally.

 

While the Bible is uniquely the Word of God, our method of reading should be normal. If you pick up a novel, you start at the beginning, read the first sentence, then the second, and so on. When you get tired of reading, you probably mark your place with a bookmark, and pick up there next time. You read the Bible the same way.

 

It would never occur to you when reading a novel to open it at random, pick a sentence at random, read it and think, “I wonder what that sentence means?” You know that no sentence exists on its own, that it is part of an immediate context and part of the whole story. And yet, picking sentences at random is what many people do with the Bible, and wonder why the verses they read make little sense.

 

In terms of method, read the Bible normally. Open to the book of the moment, and start at Chapter 1, verse 1. Continue reading at your normal pace.

 

3.  When in doubt, keep reading.

 

The Bible is a very large book. It covers thousands of years of history. Its books were written over a span of 1500 years in ancient languages. The events described occurred in cultures far from our own, and there’s a world of history involved in understanding them. The Bible is a lifetime study. Naturally, there will be people, places, events, and background that will be unfamiliar to you.

 

That’s normal. Don’t assume you have to understand every detail to benefit from reading. A helpful practice is to keep a notepad handy where you can write down questions as they arise. If you don’t understand something, write it down:

“What’s a Pharisee?”

            “Who is this Herod guy?”

            “What do they mean by the Passover?”

You can find out the answers to your list of questions quickly by sitting down for lunch or coffee with an experienced Bible teacher. But don’t let your questions shut down your study.

 

One of the best practical rules of Bible study you can apply is, “When in doubt, keep reading.” It has been well said that “the Bible is the greatest interpreter of the Bible.”  If you’ll keep reading, you’ll often discover the answers to your questions a few chapters down the line, or in the next Bible book you read.

 

4.  If you are reading the Bible for the first time, emphasize the New Testament in your reading.

 

The whole Bible is the Word of God, but new students will do better by studying the New Testament for a while. There are a few reasons for this recommendation.

 

We live in the New Testament age since Jesus died on the cross and rose again. The Old Testament is a wonderful study in itself, but it mainly deals with the Old Covenant (the Law of Moses) and God’s relationship with the nation of Israel, a covenant that is no longer in effect. That accounts for the strange feelings and confusion of many new students who dove directly into the Old Testament. The New Testament deals with the fully revealed work and teaching of Jesus Christ which is where we live historically.

 

The Old Testament was largely written to prepare for the Person and work of Christ, but it is incomplete in that regard; it is like a mystery story without the last chapter explaining the solution. Knowing Christ is the goal of existence, and the New Testament is where we can learn directly about Him. Then, as you grow in your familiarity with the New Testament, add some Old Testament reading to your habits, and you’ll find it easier to put the whole puzzle together.

 

Try it!

 

Try opening the Bible and let the Lord teach you. Whether you are a complete beginner or a long-time diligent student of the Scriptures, you can be sure the Lord has great things to show you and lead you to experience! And most of, he wants to reveal himself to you. Open your heart to know him.

 

Sowing Seed, Seeing Fruit

There is an interesting parable that Jesus told about a farmer and his field. It was really a story about the word of God and our lives. Here’s the story explained to the disciples,

Mark 4:13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.  Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Any farmer worth his pay will know that if you don’t put seed in the ground you will never see a harvest. Somehow, in our day, many Christians I meet don’t believe this is true. They have the strange idea that somehow God should just make fruit grow in their lives without any attempt on their part to, 1. put some seed in the ground or, 2. to be a field that can grow something.

The story Jesus told speaks to an interesting reality- it’s easy to get distracted and end up without any fruit in your life. There’s a lot that catches a life and makes it unproductive. If you know that you will realize how important this sowing seed thing really is.

Here’s another thing to note- all this soil, these different kinds of soil, are all in the same field….in the same life. I have times when nothing grows and other times and places in my life that are wonderfully fruitful. It’s all part of a life lived with distractions. A life lived in a fallen world.

But the key for me is this- I have to throw some seed in my field! If I don’t do that then nothing can grow. In other words I have to get into God’s word and read it! If I don’t put his word in my mind, in my heart then the world will put it’s seeds there. My life is like that field, ready to grow whatever I throw on the soil. It doesn’t care what kind of seed it is, it’s job is to produce fruit. And so, each life will see a harvest. Some rich with produce and other lives full of thorns and loss.

The key for me is this- that I get God’s word into my life, my field. If I do that then God can make something grow….there’s a harvest coming. There will be a harvest IF I plant good seed.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

I Believe

“I believe”….these are words filled with content. They imply that I have made some choices about faith, life and eternity. It’s easy for the skeptic to jeer from the bleachers at those of us of faith, but to be a person of faith gives me a great place to rest and view the world around me. “I believe” means I have made some choices….I have chosen to trust someone or something. Here are a few of the things I believe-

I believe there is one God in three persons- Father, Son and Holy Spirit, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe the Bible is the word of God, inspired and preserved by God, and without errors, conflicts or defects.
I believe Jesus Christ is God, come in flesh to provide salvation for the human race.
I believe there is salvation in no one else other than Christ…there is no other name in heaven or earth that will provide salvation for mankind.
I believe he really did die on a cross to pay my sin debt, and faith in him and his sacrifice will provide eternal salvation.
I really do believe in heaven and hell.
I believe that God actually did make the heavens and earth in 6 days.
I believe in Noah and the ark, Jonah and the whale, and all the other stories of the bible…I believe these people really existed and I look forward to meeting them some day.
I believe that God is who he says he is…he is sovereign, Lord of heaven and earth, the only God.
I believe that God loves the human race, and desires that all men be saved.
I believe there are angels, demons and the devil just because the bible says so.
I believe……

There is so much more, but let me stop here. What I want to say clearly is that I have made some choices….I believe the Bible. I believe it’s all true. I have staked my eternity on it, and do it with great joy. I have a sure hope, and look forward to seeing God face to face.

Now, I know that when any of us takes a position of faith we become a target for those who disagree. But to make a stand is so important, to know what you believe and why is vital for each of us….where do you stand? Do you have a list of “I believe” for your life? Are you bold enough to share them? Are they important enough to change your life and eternity?

What do you believe?

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Radio Ministries We Love

Somebody Loves You Radio Online

This radio program with Raul Ries airs Monday through Friday and is designed to equip listeners with the necessary tools to live out their faith. Somebody Loves You broadcast is available online anytime.

Thru The Bible Radio

The weekday Thru the Bible program takes the listener through the entire Bible in just five years, threading back and forth between the Old and New Testaments. You can “get aboard the Bible bus” at any time!

Truth For Life Radio

Led by Alistair Begg, Truth For Life is a Bible-teaching ministry seeking to faithfully proclaim the Word of God. A new Bible-teaching message is available daily via website and daily podcast.

In Touch Radio Broadcast

Listen daily to the Spirit filled wisdom of Dr. Charles Stanley as he continues his mission to lead people worldwide into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and to strengthen the local church.

Love Worth Finding Radio Broadcast

Join the Love Worth Finding Ministries in running the race and in broadcasting the Good News that Jesus Christ is truly the greatest Love worth finding.

Power Point Radio Broadcast

Join Dr. Jack Graham as he shares the power of God through His Gospel message over radio broadcasts in over 600 cities and streaming online, anytime.

Let My People Think

Listen to the weekly radio program with famed apologist Ravi Zacharias as he goes to both the heart and the intellect of thinkers and opinion-makers in today’s society to shape the ideas of a culture with the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Key Life with Steve Brown 

Key Life

Key Life is the radio teaching ministry home of Steve Brown, dedicated to getting you, and those you love, Home with radical freedom, infectious joy, and surprising faithfulness to Christ as your crowning achievement.

 

 

Jay Sekulow Live

Listen to this nationally syndicated daily radio show hosted by Attorney Jay Sekulow who focuses on legal, legislative, and national security battles as they are happening in the U.S. and around the world.

 

 

Decisions

Our lives are the result of a myriad of decisions we make each day. Decisions based on decisions we have made in the past. Each decision builds on the last one and charts a course for our lives that finds us where we are today. I’m fascinated with my own decisions and the fact that they are so different from those of others. We each chart our own course, and that course finds each of us at a different place in our lives. How did I get here? One choice at a time. It happens over a lifetime as we make little turns, small choices that make us who we are and move us to where we are. What do you base your decisions upon? What map are you using? How do you chart your course? All of those questions are important because they determine your direction and course. One man made a series of decisions, a series of course choices that affected his life. I like the choices he made. Here are one man’s choices:
………………
Psalm 101:1 – A Psalm of David. I will sing of lovingkindness and justice, To You, O LORD, I will sing praises.
Psalm 101:2  – I will give heed to the blameless way. When will You come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.
Psalm 101:3 – I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.
Psalm 101:4 –  A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.
………….
Where have you choices taken you? Are you where you want to be? If your map is the word of God then you have the perfect guide to steer your life to the right destination. If you follow this map you will never regret your course or the harbor at the end of your journey. All of our lives demand decisions and we are making them each day…..if you aren’t where you want to be then change course, get the map that will guide you to the right port. Each day gives us the opportunity to make decisions that will change our course, that will change our lives. Each day our decisions are taking us somewhere. May I encourage you to chart a course that others have followed to a wonderful destination. It’s all a matter of decisions.
……………
Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

Thankful a little longer

 

May I take the Thanksgiving theme a little further? One day is simply not enough for me to say thanks for God’s love, goodness and faithfulness to us. I can’t help myself, but must talk about it a little more. Will you indulge me for a moment longer?

I’m thankful to God for who he is, who he shows himself to be- good, loving and faithful. Those attributes show up in our world in three ways, 1. what he has done, 2. what he’s doing now, and 3. what he will do in the future. All three declare to a watching world that God is good, loving and faithful to his creation. Here are a few of the things I have noted in these thoughts. There are many more, but this will be enough for this post. Continue reading Thankful a little longer

No More Sorrow, No More Pain

I was leading a Tworship Service (Twitter Worship Service) along with my friend Richard Mayhan and one of the tweets I sent out from the song sparked a conversation.  The song was I will Rise from Chris Tomlin and the tweet is below:

After the thank you’s were done, I went back through my feed and found a question from Slavik G. Was that actually possible here on earth….”no more sorrow, no more pain? I sent back a reply that said it was a good question and answered as best as I could in a few tweets.  After giving it more thought, I wanted to go into it a little more here and see what discussion we can drum up for Slavik.

The Bible says we are going to suffer, it’s clearly a matter of when.  We know it’s coming and when we are suffering we are supposed to be giving glory to the Lord Jesus Christ 1 Peter 4:13 & 16.  We are also reminded that even though there will be tribulations in this world, that HE has covercome the world! (John 16:33)

Isaiah 40:31 says But They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles: they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Our sufferings is not a surprise to the Lord.  He tell us over and over to “wait”, to “be still”, to “fear not.”  God tells us over and over again that HE is our strength.  He will carry us.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says that we will not face more than we can handle.  But our hearts get fearful, the load we carry weighs us down and the sorrow and pain become overwhelming and we feel like we can’t take a single step forward.

The JOY of the Lord is our strength.  Nehemiah 8:10

So, the question is – what do you do to move beyond the things that weigh us down, that burden our hearts so deeply.  Is there a fail safe recipe for success, a one size fits all answer?  No. There is not.

You have to dive deep into the Word of God and get your faith sure and steadfast.  Surround yourself with verses like Psalms chapter 46, 91 and even 23.  Look up every verse on strength or fear not and remind yourself that you are not alone and allow your faith to grow during times of hardships and trouble.

Another thing I do is fill my heart with song.  I literally praise the hurt away.  Sometimes when the “hurt” just won’t ease up, I just sing anyway.  What are your favorite songs? What songs remind you to keep going, that God is in control?  Play them.  Wrap your heart in them.

Also, surrounding yourself with people that will encourage you, inspire you and lift you up in prayer is another way to work through the hardships. This is a priceless gift.  Friends that will pray with me at 2am.  Friends that will ask what can I do to help and then be there, be available.  Friends that will just sit and cry with you when the words won’t come to help calm you.  I want to be THAT kind of friend.

Looking at this from another view, my friend flux613 asked – “and if possible here, would we hunger for heaven?”  and the answer is no, we wouldn’t.  Our trials and tribulations help our hearts to hunger for heaven.  We are to thirst for His coming.  Revelation 22:20 – “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

What do you think?  What is your take?  Do you have faith that you’ll rise and soar on wings as eagles?  Are you enjoying a season free of pain and sorrow right now?  If so, are you encouraging those around you?

Are you longing for heaven?  Is your prayer that of  “even so Lord come quickly?”

Tell me – what do you do to make it through the difficulites of pain and sorrow?

As stated earlier I lead an online Music Worship Service on Twitter–  Tworship (Twitter Nightly Worship) along with my partner and Co-Creator Richard Mayhan each week night at 9pm EST. You can follow Richard on Twitter at @mcProdigal and on twitter I am @spreadingJOY.  Hope you’ll join us. (Click the above link for more info on how we started Tworship and what to do to join in!)  Click here for More about Tworship Leader Richard Mayhan and Here for more about Tworship Leader Marie Wikle