Independence is a prized attribute in our culture, but biblically, it isn't a worthy aspiration. Nowhere in Scripture will you find the erroneous quote, "God helps those who help themselves." The very fact that the Lord formed the church--a community of believers--should tell us that He did not create people for self-sufficiency or isolation.
When we place faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells us so we can have a fulfilling relationship with the Lord and satisfying friendships with one another. In God's design, a close, committed biblical friendship between two believers serves to build both toward Christlikeness. Look at any of the saints in Scripture, and you will find evidence of reliance upon a close friend or confidante for support. Paul, in particular, spoke freely and often of his dependence upon dear companions and encouraged others to form intimate partnerships as well (2 Tim. 2:22).
It's interesting to me that our modern culture seems to be headed in the opposite direction. The farther our nation drifts from God, the more pervasive our self-sufficient attitude becomes. Neighbors treat each other with suspicion instead of congeniality, and that mindset has invaded the church as well. We're hesitant to give to others, which in turn makes us reluctant to receive.
Scripture tells us to love one another, bear our brothers' burdens, and confess our sins to fellow believers (John 13:34 ; Gal. 6:2; James 5:16). In other words, we're to give ourselves away to others and receive from them in return. That's how church members can stimulate one another to Christlikeness.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
If Bible reading is neglected, a prayer life has usually faded as well.
A faith barrier is made up of attitudes that short-circuit our trust and prevent us from obeying the Lord's will.
Growth is impossible without God, regardless of our efforts.
We cringe at news of vandalism on church buildings. But many of us don't have the same qualms when it comes to harming the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Growing in Christ involves far more than just attending church, tithing, and listening to a sermon.
Waiting on God is an important spiritual discipline in our walk of faith.
In reading through the Scriptures, we see that every time one of God's saints gains a victory, he or she is waiting and trusting in the Lord.
In His Word, God commands us to serve one another.
Followers of Christ should seek a godly response to disappointments they face.
While some rewards will be given in heaven, other blessings can be experienced now.
Jesus commanded that we serve one another, but obeying this mandate in humility is not natural for us.
When Jesus left His home in heaven, He didn't come to earth to be a superstar. He came to serve.
By using weak, inadequate people, God demonstrates what great things He can do.
Feeling inadequate is not a sin, but using it as an excuse is.
What three goals would you set for your life if you knew that you could achieve them?
No one likes criticism, but encountering some is inevitable, so we need to learn how to respond in a godly way.
The United States of America was founded on biblical principles with the intent to guarantee freedom of worship.
The Lord has provided a way for Christians to do the impossible.
Life is full of options. Many decisions involve a choice between following God's way or our own.
To serve others before serving yourself is to practice authentic Christianity.
In giving us children, God places us in a position of both leadership and service.
"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). We can understand why those without Christ are unable to comprehend biblical concepts, but why do those who know Him struggle?
Jesus made it clear that we would endure hardship in this life.
The testing of your faith produces endurance (James 1:3). Think of patience as a muscle that you have to use in order to see it build. To that end, believers should recognize difficulty as an opportunity to flex their patience.
Failure is an excellent learning tool, as Peter could certainly attest.
What do you live for each day?
The crucifixion was the only way to rescue lost humanity.
It’s so easy to get up each morning, do our work, enjoy some relaxation or entertainment, and fall into bed each night without giving any thought to God’s involvement in our lives.
The cross is a place of brokenness, but it's necessary because there's no other way we'll ever bear fruit. But those who willingly die to themselves will produce an abundance of spiritual fruit.
Great faith begins with little steps.
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender (Prov. 22:7). Every dollar you borrow costs you a measure of freedom.
Service is no substitute for an intimate relationship, but modern believers continue to fall into this subtle trap.
Glorifying the Lord is not limited to worshipping in church; praise ought to permeate the believer's life.
His presence within us isn't something we have to earn or acquire. Rather, it is a marvelous privilege.
Having the right view of the Lord will allow us to approach Him with absolute confidence
Are you letting the Lord use His character-shaping tools in your life?
When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You? (Matt. 25:39). Stop for a moment and consider the purpose of your life. Are you living to pursue your own interests or success?
People are saved when they trust Jesus Christ as Savior and choose to follow Him.
It's probably not possible to fully count all the spiritual seeds that God used to draw you to Him.
It is the Lord's responsibility to equip the chosen for the work He's assigned.
God uses Christians to spread the word that His salvation plan is available to all.
When it comes to serving in the church, people rarely request positions where they will go unnoticed.
If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet (John 13:14). Do you equate success with wealth, acclaim, and power?
Those who reject the Savior are forewarned that they have settled for condemnation.
Obedience to Christ is too difficult for anyone relying on his own strength.
Many people simply can't believe that the Lord loves them.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly (Rom. 5:6). How do you define "love"?
Disunity is found in marriages, churches, and international alliances. Yet there's one relationship that is sure and permanent.
What causes us to be such reluctant servants?
When we choose to cooperate with God and submit to His way, He will do amazing things in and through us.
The Bible clearly instructs us to keep coming to the Lord with our concerns.
What a privilege to be able to approach the King’s throne, knowing He listens, understands, and cares!
If you’re a believer, you are part of the awesome body of Christ!!
All of us have areas of weakness. God wants these character flaws to show us how totally dependent we are upon Him.
One of our highest callings as believers is to tell others about Christ.
The more we understand what Jesus has accomplished on our behalf, the greater will be our passion to share the gospel.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him (Rom. 15:13). Each new generation has high hopes for reconciliation among people and nations but in the end faces disappointment.
Even in an unbelieving society, people can, as individuals, follow Jesus.
At salvation, you become a part of the body, no matter what your local church's membership rules may be.
The Lord's assuring hand at our shoulder can lead us down right paths to good choices.
The world throws confusing messages at us all day long, and we need to check our course frequently.
When Jesus walked this earth, a vast multitude followed Him. They came for all sorts of reasons—some noble, some selfish. The same is true today.
Our true identity is defined not by our past actions but by the Savior's.
Although He gives His peace to every believer as a gift, our experience of it is related to our faith in the following truths...
Jesus desires that we be willing to humble ourselves to serve others.
Talk about Christmas memories: you can be sure that all of the people who experienced the first Christmas never forgot it.
Is there something God has told you to do that seems just too difficult?
Some folks get stuck in spiritual poverty because they refuse to view themselves as adopted children.
On the Christian journey, there will be temptations to stray, falsely promising to satisfy longings. Stay closely connected to Jesus through prayer and Scripture.
The cross is so common in our culture that most people don’t think twice when they see one on a church.
Teaching children to sing of their friendship with Jesus is a wise idea. But I wonder when some grown believers will learn to sing of that special relationship again?
Many Christians know they're saved, but they don't really know what to think about themselves. Let's take a little test.
Anyone who thinks of himself as a pretty good person ought to take a look at God’s assessment of humanity. He says we all come into the world spiritually dead and are ruled by Satan, his world system, and our own sin nature, or flesh.
The Lord speaks to believers so that they will comprehend the truth, conform to the truth, and communicate the truth.
A grateful heart is most precious to God when, humanly speaking, our situations don't warrant giving thanks.
Christian lives are to testify that Jesus is the source of our peace. Does your life communicate this message?
Grace builds our confidence in the sovereign Lord.
"I thought the Christian life was going to be easier than this." Have these words ever entered your mind?
In a world filled with endless sources of information and opinions, believers need to develop a discerning spirit. Otherwise, how will we know what is true?
A bitter and resentful spirit doesn't fit who we are in Christ.
Isaiah 66:1-2 teaches us how to experience the Father’s favor.
God's plan for each one of us has our best interest in mind.
Can you find yourself on the spectrum between fear and devotion? It is my hope that you have committed to obeying God and that you are reading His Word daily to learn how to keep your promise.
There is no condemnation for those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.
The rich man in Luke 16 made the tragic choice of living for himself without regard for the Lord. He also made two other mistakes...
Scripture teaches us to tell others about Jesus Christ. And while sharing the gospel is awesome, it is simply not enough. We should continue to encourage and invest in new believers.
Obedience is sometimes hard, but the struggle and sacrifice are worth it.
Time is a gift from God, and He has allotted each of us a measure in which to live and accomplish His purposes.
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever (Ps. 138:8). The key to David's victorious attitude was his strong faith in the Lord.
The heavenly Father calls us to repent and offers us forgiveness when we turn away from our self-centered ways and move toward godliness (1 John 1:9).
One of the reasons that many people—including believers—don't read the Bible is because they can't understand it.
The Holy Spirit, unlike human companions, is perfectly adequate to meet our every need.
The Lord knows what we really desire--and more importantly, what we need--even when cloudy judgment leads us astray
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them (Ps. 145:19). If you could have anything in the world, what would it be? Your answer reveals a lot about who you are.
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (1 John 5:14). When do I pray? Is it only during emergencies or when I need something?
No one can have intimacy with Christ without daily communication.
God isn't looking for impressive people; He wants willing ones who will bow the knee in humble submission.
Our Father may ask us to do something that seems illogical, but press forward regardless of how impractical the request may appear.
At the moment of salvation, we are transferred from the reign of darkness to the bright authority of Jesus.
I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven (Nehemiah 1:4). Fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps us center our attention on the Lord and discover His will so we may act according to it.
The Christian life is not easy, but there is great reward for living righteously when facing temptation or hardship.
No matter how much money you have, if you're a believer in Jesus, you're extremely wealthy!
We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). What we'll be judged on is the quality of our work.
A believer's relationship with the Lord is one of complete unity.
The Father promises that following Him leads to hope and an established future.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Rom. 12:12). Most individuals are not satisfied with their prayer life.
The Lord has a plan for your life. Be wise and ask Him for directions.
No matter what challenges you face, God can help.
Fear hinders us from becoming the people God wants us to be.
As Christians, we know that fear should have no place in our lives, but how can we ignore what's going on around us?
The Father reveals His treasures to us so that we can share them with others.
Job was a man who certainly knew trouble and temptation.
Focusing on Christ is neither a natural reaction nor an easy one.
God loves us, and He gracefully and gently builds our confidence in Him.
Can you see how something as subtle as a lack of confidence can have a debilitating effect on one's life?
Each disobedience to God affects not only the sinner but also countless others in both the present and the future.
God is always at work in our lives.
A trustworthy conscience is programmed with scriptural teaching.
Once the story of Joseph's life was written in full, it was clear that everyone who harmed or neglected the young man contributed to God's plan.
...able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb. 4:12). Since spiritual discernment is the ability to see life from God's perspective, it requires that we know how He thinks and acts.
Every challenging call to obedience is a fork in the road of our lives.
The danger of impatience is that we might miss the Lord’s perfect plan and His blessing.
Reasons Why We Fail Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously (2 Cor. 9:6). Excuses are attempts to shift responsibility to something or someone besides ourselves.
Unshakable Peace Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6). When Satan tells you to worry, God has the opposite in mind.
Adjusting to God's Plan Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Col. 3:2). God is immutable. He's not going to change to suit us.
Meditation in Relationship Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation (2 Samuel 7:17). We need to realize that genuine maturity and effectiveness are tied to our relationship with the Lord.
Can God Reach Those With Closed Minds? We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads' (Acts 26:14).
Facing Death Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). A criminal, in the very process of dying, was rescued by Jesus right in front of the mocking crowd.
Praising in Troubled Times Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah (2 Chronicles 20:3). Self-pity is the natural human response to troubled times. Praise focuses our attention on God instead.
Why Our Needs Remain Unmet But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind (James 1:6). If you cannot see God's work in your life, be sure to critically look at yourself from His perspective.
Our Personal Accountability So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God (Romans 14:12). Godly friends are a rich source of accountability. They can help us discern pure motives and right actions, thoughts, and feelings.
Is it a Need or a Desire? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all -- how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32). There's nothing wrong with a desire, as long as it is within the will of God.
The Gift of Prophecy God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you (Romans 12:6). To employ spiritual gifts properly, we must walk closely with the Spirit.
Our Teacher When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not be presenting His own ideas; He will be telling you what He has heard. He will tell you about the future (John 16:13). One of the Holy Spirit’s roles is to illumine the truths of Scripture to us.
Fellowship with Jesus Martha came to Jesus and said, ''Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me'' (Luke 10:40). To know Christ more intimately, we must spend time with Him.
God Is Our Keeper God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). Is there a trial that you have been facing for a long period of time? Let these words of Charles Spurgeon reassure you that God is truly your keeper...
Death, and the Impact the Cross Had But God did say, "You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die" (Genesis 3:3). We focus on living more than dying, but God wants us to understand some vital spiritual truths.
Wisdom for Good Health I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize (1 Cor. 9:26-27). Separating spiritual life from the physical is not what God intended.
Expressions of God's Goodness Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Imagine someone asking if God has been good to you. What comes to mind?
Defending Against Temptation Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7-8). Satan prefers to attack when believers are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired (H.A.L.T.).
Who Do You Say I Am? "But what about you?" He asked. "Who do you say I am?" (Matthew 16:15). The question hung in the air like a thick morning fog...
Having a Mind and Heart for God The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands (Psalm 19:1). No one is born an atheist or agnostic.
The Practical Helper We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us (1 Corinthians 2:12). After praying, have you eventually had a sense of assurance accompanied by knowledge of what to do?
The Holy Spirit's Presence Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting (Acts 2:2). There had been no 'body of Christ' to which all disciples could belong. On Pentecost, all that changed.
Eternal Life: You Can Be Sure I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13). In Christ, men and women should have no fear of physical death.
Saved by Grace For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). Piling up good works just doesn't get you right with God.
God Desires Your Success But Samuel replied: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22). God's idea of success begins at the Cross.
Sinning After Salvation My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have One who speaks to the Father in our defense -- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One (1 John 2:1). Where are your thoughts taking you today?
Common Areas of Procrastination Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). God has prepared work He wants us to do, and our delays in carrying out His plan constitute disobedience.
Failure: The First Step to Victory I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out (Romans 7:18). Defeat in our lives doesn’t mean we are defeated.
A Healthy Body God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple. For God's temple is holy, and you Christians are that temple (1 Corinthians 3:17). The human form represents the masterpiece of Creation, and God entrusted our bodies to our care.
Blessed Motherhood A woman who fears the Lord shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30). The last few verses of Proverbs 31 offer an encouraging message...
Faith on Trial Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you (1 Peter 4:12). The heavenly Father always has a purpose for testing believers’ faith.
Believing God Is in Every Situation We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them (Romans 8:28). How can God even use our sin for good?
Is God in Every Circumstance? God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people (Genesis 50:20). God is in both the triumphs and tragedies of life, either sending or permitting them.
The Victory of the Resurrection That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day (2 Corinthians 4:16). Although we may try to ignore it, our earthly frames are deteriorating and will eventually cease to function here on earth.
A Question about the Resurrection Since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus comes, God will bring back with Jesus all the Christians who have died (1 Thessalonians 4:14). A resurrected body awaits every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Solving Problems Through Prayer At the moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves (2 Chronicles 20:22). Long before a crisis arises, a wise believer will be consistently seeking God.
Passionate Obedience But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). Imagine receiving a beating as a warning to stop talking about Jesus. Would you quit?
Spiritual Joy Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening (Acts 16:25). Dr. Charles Stanley writes we can lose our gladness for several reasons...
Staying Young All Your Life The godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon (Psalm 92:12). Some people are old before their 40th birthday; others reach 90 and still seem young. What's the difference?
The Place of Fasting in Prayer And when you fast, don't make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, who try to look pale and disheveled so people will admire them... (Matthew 6:16). As we place our body’s physical desires under the Spirit’s control, we let go of our grip on the material world.
Troubled Friendships Who may worship in Your sanctuary, LORD? Those who refuse to slander others or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends (Psalm 15:1,3). Second to God, friends are a believer’s most valuable assets.
Learning Spiritual Discernment A person who is living on milk isn't very far along in the Christian life and doesn't know much about doing what is right (Hebrews 5:13). The Lord does not simply pour knowledge into our heads; we must daily seek His will and study to understand Him better.
Acquiring Spiritual Discernment But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, and His Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God's deep secrets (1 Corinthians 2:10). Sadly, some Christians go through life without realizing two important facts about God...
Passing Down Faith to Others I know that you sincerely trust the Lord, for you have the faith of your mother, Eunice, and your grandmother, Lois (2 Timothy 1:5). A faith worth passing down is based on biblical truth and the confident conviction that God is who He says and will do all He promises.
Favor in Work Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people (Colossians 3:23). God expects that our work, whether driving a truck, sweeping floors, or managing investments, will be carried out with excellence.
Strengthening God's Church Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. And everything you do must be done with love (1 Corinthians 16:13-14). Dr. Charles Stanley says Paul reveals three simple ways to strengthen the Church.
Finding Favor with God The LORD said, ''I will completely wipe out this human race that I have created... I am sorry I ever made them.'' But Noah found favor with the LORD (Genesis 6:7-8). Unfortunately, in our cynical culture, we often overlook the most basic examples of the Lord’s kindness.
Recognizing the Voice of God Jesus replied, ''You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being'' (Matthew 16:17) To recognize God’s voice, we first set our minds on His interests rather than our own.
God’s Goal In Communicating If you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law – the law that sets you free – and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it (James 1:25). Comprehending God’s Word will help you become a doer of God’s Word.
Shutting Our Ears to God For if you just listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance (James 1:23). When we fail to listen to the Lord, we pay attention to wrong voices, fall prey to deception, and refuse to submit to His will.
When We Cry Out to God I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me (Psalm 57:2). Whether we are sinking in a sea of pain or anxiously seeking a taste of God’s living water, the Lord hears our cries.
A Compass for Life's Journey Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Biblically speaking, to walk due north is to follow the path of righteousness.
A Passion to Know Him We put no confidence in human effort. Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us (Philippians 3:3). Paul had more reasons than any of us today to glory in his accomplishments, and yet he made it clear that his resumé meant nothing to him.
God's Goal for My Life And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And He gave them right standing with Himself, and He promised them His glory (Romans 8:30). Heartache and failure play just as important part in our lives as do great accomplishments.
Listening Carefully to God For if you just listen and don't obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance (James 1:23) There are two types of listeners — passive and assertive. Both appear to be concentrating, but their mindsets are quite different.
What It Means to Follow Christ Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father (John 15:4,8). The greatest hindrance to our peace and victory is the flesh.
Avoiding Enslavement to Sin Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by any evil. Rescue me from the oppression of evil people; then I can obey your commandments (Psalm 119:133-134). Ensnarement happens slowly, beginning with a thought. Over time, unless the thought is eradicated, contemplation turns to action.
The God Who Speaks In these days, God has spoken to us through his Son. He promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He made the universe and everything in it (Hebrews 1:2). The Lord still speaks today. The written Word of God is our primary source for hearing from Him.
Fulfillment of the Empty Life Jesus replied, ''People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life'' (John 4:13-14).
How to Listen to God The Sovereign LORD has spoken to me, and I have listened. I do not rebel or turn away (Isaiah 50:5). Communicating with the Lord involves both speaking and listening. Most of us are better at talking. But God intends for His children to hear His voice.
Blessing Our Enemies But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:27-28). We may never face a beating for our faith, but we will run across people who hate us. The easy response is to dislike them.
What it Means to Follow Christ Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you (Psalm 37:5). God has chosen you as His beloved. He will not leave you without hope, even if it feels as though you are trapped in the furnace of affliction.
Joining the Right Church I know full well that false teachers, like vicious wolves, will come in among you after I leave, not sparing the flock. Even some of you will distort the truth in order to draw a following (Acts 20:29-30). Here are three criteria to help you determine if your place of worship is up to biblical standards.
The Cost of Compromise The LORD had clearly instructed his people not to intermarry with those nations, because the women they married would lead them to worship their gods. Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway (1 Kings 11:2). Should Christians just relax their worldview and forget the Lord's commands? Solomon's example suggests not.
An Invitation to Intimacy Then the LORD told Abram, ''Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you'' (Genesis 12:1). God does not play favorites, but in order to accomplish His perfect will, He makes divine choices based on certain factors.
You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called today, so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God (Hebrews 3:13). A heart that steels itself against God’s voice can become progressively resistant and calloused until it can no longer hear.
Time Well Spent I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. I think how much you have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of your protecting wings (Psalm 63:6-7). Communicating with God is always a benefit and a blessing. The believer who spends time alone with his Father can expect rich rewards.
The Pathway to Peace Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done (Philippians 4:6). When our natural cares get out of balance, the result is anxiety. The apostle Paul faced an inordinate number of trials, and yet he was able to say, ''Be anxious for nothing.''
How To Save a Nation Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14) We must remember that whoever is in authority over us is placed there by God.
A God We Can Trust They have already turned from the way I commanded them to live. They have made an idol shaped like a calf, and they have worshiped and sacrificed to it, saying, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of Egypt' (Exodus 32:8). Our trust in God is based upon His unchanging character. He loves us, forgives us, and provides for our needs.
Our Casual View of Sin Should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more kindness and forgiveness? (Romans 6:1) Believers recognize the depravity of sin but many continue to have a careless attitude about it. If we are honest with ourselves about the nature of disobedience, we know the issue is not so simple.
Facing Challenges Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings. Protect me from wicked people who attack me, from murderous enemies who surround me (Psalm 17:8-9). We all struggle through some hardship in our lives. Our first instinct should be to pray, but the manner in which we pray is also important.
Handing Down Our Faith You must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today (Deuteronomy 6:6). The idea of leaving an inheritance prompts people to think of possessions, property, and money to be divided among family members. As believers, we need to contemplate the spiritual heritage we leave behind.
How the Truth Can Set You Free Should we continue in sin in order that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Your position in Christ has nothing to do with your feelings. Are you going to trust your feelings, the past, or what the Word of God says?
A God We Can Trust Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act (Psalm 37:4-5). We must be careful whom we trust in this world, but there is someone who keeps every promise, never lies, and refuses to break a confidence.
Keeping Grace Flowing James 4:1-6. While you can never lose your salvation, you can dam up the grace of God in your life by your attitudes and behavior. Proverbs 6:16-17 states that God hates pride.
Family Influence: Good or Bad? 1 Kings 15, 16. In these two chapters, we see the result of careless parenting — most of the sons emulated the evil deeds of their fathers. As believers, we certainly try to ensure our children do not inherit sinful ways from us, but we must be equally committed to modeling right behavior.
The Struggle of the Flesh Ephesians 2:1-10 The goal of the flesh is to elevate the self. The reason we call it the flesh is because it has to do with our fallen nature, which is in direct opposition to the things of God.
The Holy Spirit's Presence John 16:7-15 Although Jesus had spent three years teaching the disciples, He knew that human understanding and strength would not be enough for the tasks ahead. They would need a divine companion to guide them. So do we.
A God You Can Count On Hebrews 10:19-23 We serve a God whose character is flawless, whose actions are perfect, and who keeps every promise. He is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Praying in the Name of Jesus John 14:7-27 Jesus made an awesome promise that whatever you ask in His name, He is committed to accomplishing. But what does this really mean?