The desire to be known, admired, and celebrated can lead people down a path that excludes God and His guidance. In the Bible’s account of the Tower of Babel, we find a powerful cautionary example about the dangers of seeking fame while ignoring God. In our journey of faith, we are going to run into some crossroads. Here we have to decide, are we going to seek our own ways or will we follow God’s higher path. The Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 serves as a powerful reminder that God’s ways are higher than our ways – even when we think we have arrived at the place with our tower of learning that we don’t need God.
Jesus made it clear that in this life we would face opposition and perhaps, even persecution. As the world continues to polarize around divisive issues, we can expect to find others at odds with our belief in God’s word as final authority. So we should not be surprised if we find there are times we have to deal with those who are enemies.
In my search for answers on how our church might not be such a statistic, I was brought back to an old book by Charles Finney called Revivals of Religion written in 1868. When Finney wrote this, the USA had experienced a revival with thousands coming to faith in Christ in a short time. In his book he listed several reasons a work of God can be stopped. This article outlines ten that stood out to me.
In Mark 9:35 we read, “He (Jesus) sat down, called the twelve disciples over to Him, and said, ‘Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.’” Today, in our busy 2022 world, Jesus is calling us over to Himself and giving us the same message. Let’s be willing to serve as He taught us and this all begins with listening.
Our identity determines our destiny. It determines how we act. It determines what we do. How many times have you seen people sacrifice their destiny for a moment of pleasure because they forgot WHO they are? James addresses this important issue in James 1:23,24, For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
How should we deal with uncertainty? One of the greatest examples in the Bible of someone who was secure in the face of uncertainty is Abraham. He was a successful businessman in one of the most prosperous cities of his day. God would ask him to leave the comfort and security of his home and travel to another land, not knowing much about the place or even the exact location. Abraham had plenty to be uncertain about.
There is no shortage of opinions on how to prepare yourself for the upcoming year. Information on how to prepare yourself health-wise. Information on how to prepare yourself financially. But how do we prepare ourselves spiritually? The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches can distract us from preparing the most crucial component for a successful year and that is our heart.
2020 will always be remembered as the year of the global COVID-19 pandemic. During this unprecedented year many dreams where shattered. Restaurants were closed, concerts cancelled, weddings shrunk, and holidays cancelled, just to name a few. Perhaps, you too, had a dream shattered in the last months. So how should the believer respond to a shattered dream?