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A Ministry of Comfort and Joy
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17)
Whose ministry has touched your life most deeply?
A wonderful friend, now more alive in the Lord’s presence, was a man of great peace and joy. Some of my warmest memories are of travelling together, sharing in ministry. We prayed often, talked endlessly, and laughed constantly. I often wondered how he found so much joy in living. No doubt his emotional “thermostat” tended toward a “high” setting, but the real secret was his close walk with Christ in the Holy Spirit.
There is confusion today about the Holy Spirit and much unhealthy fascination with dramatic manifestations. To be sure, he can work powerfully. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you,” said the angel to Mary. The birth of Jesus soon followed. Sometimes the Spirit changes the course of events and even entire lives.(more…)
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. (1 Peter 2:16)
It’s the great paradox of Christian freedom that those who are most free, choose to live as obedient slaves of God. Understanding this is critical to a rich and expanding faith.
We are truly free. We have been released from spiritual ignorance and darkness. All our sins forgiven. All debts to God cancelled. Our future in Christ’s kingdom assured. We have received the Holy Spirt as a sign and seal of that freedom.(more…)
Break Free from Your “List”
Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human
desire is never satisfied. Proverbs 27:20
As a boy, I had a painful longing for a certain baseball glove. When my father gave it to me, I was ecstatic, but a week later I discovered that I wanted a new bat. After that is was a certain pocket knife. And then more. It seemed that taking one thing off the list inevitably meant one more thing—usually several more—were added.
Sometimes shorter, most often longer, the list of things I wanted was never empty. Sixty years later what I want has changed, but my list still is not empty. You have a list too, and it’s not empty. It never will be.
“Human desire is never satisfied,” the Scripture says. Why? The answer may surprise you.
Our desires and longings were never meant to be fully satisfied by things or relationships or anything else within the circle of this earth. We are incomplete. We long for more and always will, because only the joys of heaven will fully and finally satisfy our deepest needs.
Really? Are we inescapably chained to unsatisfied longings that will forever gnaw at us? No!
Full satisfaction of our desires awaits arrival in our forever home. It is a promise for the future and hope for today, but we do not have to trapped in our desires. “Rejoice always,” the Apostle Paul writes, “gives thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16-18).(more…)
What Does It Mean to Be a Disciple?
What does it mean to truly follow Jesus? To be one of His disciples?
Jesus Himself gave us the answer to this question in Luke 14:33.
“. . . those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.”
He affirmed this same truth in another way in Mark 8:34-35.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
for whoever wants to save their live will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”