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How to Cultivate the Best Fruit in the World
A while ago our family went to Costa Rica for an extended mission outreach. We were a young family traveling with a one-year-old who was just learning to walk and talk. Traveling as a family was a logistical challenge, but we also found that our son was one of the …
Keys to Maintaining Christian Unity
We learn from the OT that Israel experienced 120 years of unity before splitting into the Northern and Southern kingdom under the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. King Rehoboam had the opportunity to build and strengthen the community, but he chose to exert his power instead and this ‘family feud’ led to 430 years of ongoing conflict between the people of Israel.
Alive, But Am I Really Living?￼
Do you feel like a thief has been robbing from you? That your life could be so much more? You don’t have to wait till Easter to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and to experience His eternal zoe life. He has come to give an abundance of the life we’ve all been searching for.
Jesus, King of Peace
Jesus is our King, who came to bring peace for our mind, our body, our spirit and our relationships. He would do this by giving up His life for us through His death on the cross, forever dealing with the sin in our lives that brings all types of discord. Jesus would bring us peace by coming back to life for us, defeating the power of sin and making a way for us to experience new life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Why would Jesus do all this? Because of His love for us, God’s beloved creation (John 3:16).
A Legacy Untainted
We have everything we need in order to finish well, but we need to choose to do so. We need to stay firmly planted in God’s word, in His house, and in His family. As followers of Jesus, we can run the race of life with our eyes fixed on Jesus until the very end. Our story doesn’t have to end like Solomon’s. It may be hard to stay on course, to stay obedient, to finish well, but it is more than possible with God’s help.
Establishing Your True Identity
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.
Feeling pressed down? Pray!
At different points in our lives, it is possible to feel overwhelmed by unchangeable circumstances. At the moment, we are trying to make sense of global issues such as the COVID pandemic, Russia-Ukraine conflict, global inflation, food insecurity and climate change, to name a few. At a more personal level, we might be feeling pressed down while waiting for a new turn of events, or the fulfillment of a promise or purpose. Though these circumstances are seemingly out of our control, we rest in the assurance that “God works everything for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:2*). God is sovereign over all, but in all these things He calls us to pray and persevere.
The Story of Ruth
This has been called one of the loveliest stories in Hebrew history. We must remember that this was also the dark ages of Hebrew history. In Judges 17:6 it says “everyone did what was right in his own eyes”. Therefore, it would be dangerous for two women with no protection to be travelling to such a place. But there was at least one man living there who was good and honourable. He did what was right in the eyes of the law of Moses – his name was Boaz. However, he is not the only hero in this story and it is not difficult to realize who is the real hero.
Everyone Did What Was Right in Their Own Eyes
How do we avoid doing what is right in our own eyes? For starters, we need to avoid relying on our own understanding, but instead trust in the Lord with all our heart. We must set our eyes on Jesus and follow His teachings that are spirit and life (John 6:63). We repent of the things that have been filling our hearts and minds that diminish our love for God.
Finding Success After Failure
In Ron Howard’s 1995 Academy Award winning movie Apollo 13, famed NASA flight director Gene Kranz has the iconic line, “Failure is not an option.” This line is quoted in other movies and books, its blasted in sports arenas hyping up their fans before a game and its invoked in countless speeches. Yet for how powerful the quote is, for many, failure is all too real. Whether we look at history, our own experiences, and even the Bible, disappointment is something we will have to walk through.
3 Keys to Become a Better Leader
When it comes to studying leadership from Biblical characters, Moses certainly stood out as one of the great leaders given his monumental task of leading a large group of Israelites out of Egypt. As incredible as his feat of escaping an army of Egyptian chariots was, what was even more overwhelming for Moses was the tedious task of managing a group of hungry and disgruntled people wandering in the desert wilderness.
What Now? Moving Forward in your Spiritual Journey
When we take that first step of faith to follow Jesus and receive Him as our Lord, the Bible says we experience a spiritual birth – we become “born again”. This new birth isn’t physical, it’s spiritual. We come alive and awakened to a whole new world. The power of sin is broken over us and we experience forgiveness along with a new-found freedom and sense that God loves us and has great purpose for our lives.
God Qualifies You for What He Has Called You to Do
Throughout the Bible we see God calling unlikely people to do big things for Him. A significant reason for this is because if they could do it on their own, then there would be no need for God to help them, and instead of bringing glory to God, the credit would stay with the person who was called. God wants His people to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7); they were created to bring Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)!
Evil Into Good
When faced with pain and suffering it’s natural to ask what the purpose of it all is. Paul tells us that we can be absolutely sure that God is working in our lives through it: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Security in Uncertainty
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.
Preparing your Heart for a New Year
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.
Breaking the Pattern of Busyness
The truth is, being busy is often rewarded in our world, because it somehow translates to being productive, successful, and better. And while this may be true at times, it’s not always the case. Busyness can lead to making mistakes, being unsafe, or missing good opportunities. In Pastor Dave and Pastor Cheryl’s message this past weekend titled, “How God Wraps a Present”, they mentioned how we can be wrapped up in our busyness, to the extent that we become “insensitive to what God is doing”. If busyness has been your daily reality and you’re wanting to break this pattern in your life, it’s time to reprioritize, slow down, and develop new patterns.
What You Love Shapes Who You Are
Those who are of God love what God loves. God loves His children and Apostle John in his letter directs Christians to do the same, to love one another. God is delighted when His children obey and live according to His will as revealed in His commandments. Believers do not see God’s commandments as heavy and vexatious. We are a new creation in Christ and therefore we love to follow our master’s decrees. However, we also recognize that loving others or loving what God loves is not an easy task and it requires our daily surrender and dependence upon God. We need the power of God’s Spirit working within us and our daily intentional meditation and application of His Word.