Love Your Church (Part 1)

“Christ…loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Eph 5:25 NKJV Before you criticize your church, remember “Christ…loved the church and gave Himself for her.” He hasn’t given up on His church, so don’t you give up on it! And stop talking so much about what you don’t like. If your church was perfect, you’d be out of place! Noah didn’t sail on The Queen Mary; he sailed on a glorified cattle boat. Can you imagine the noise, the confusion, and the violent tossing of a ship in a storm big enough … [Read more...]

S.O.S. Prayers

“God is…always ready to help in times of trouble. And so, we won’t be afraid!” Ps 46:1-2 CEV One day a woman was driving through the countryside when she saw a tornado approaching, so she hid behind her car and watched as it demolished a nearby house. Running over to what was now a hole in the ground, she saw a man hunkered down with his eyes closed. “Are you okay? Is there anybody down there with you?” she asked. “No,” he replied. “Just me and God having an urgent conversation!” Nothing fuels … [Read more...]

Life is What You Make It

“For the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” Pr 15:15 NLT The story’s told of a wise old man. Every day he and his granddaughter would sit outside his gas station in rocking chairs, waiting to greet tourists as they passed through their small town. One day a tall man with the appearance of a tourist started looking around like he was checking out the area for a place to live. “So what kind of town is this anyway?” he asked. The old man replied, “Well, what kind of town are you from?” The … [Read more...]

How to Help People (Part 3)

“He gave them his attention, expecting to receive.” Ac 3:5 NKJV You can’t help someone until they’re ready. That calls for knowing the difference between those who are looking for solutions, and those who may just be looking for sympathy. Before the lame man at the temple gate received his healing, “he gave [Peter and John] his attention, expecting to receive something from them.” Note two important words: (1) “Attention.” Have you got the other person’s attention? Are they really hearing what … [Read more...]

How to Help People (Part 2)

“What I do have I give you.” Ac 3:6 NKJV Notice two things in this story. First: It’s important to know what you have and don’t have. “Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you.’” You must become comfortable in your own skin and confident in your calling. Paul writes: “Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without…trying to be something we aren’t. If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you … [Read more...]

How to Help People (Part 1)

“Peter…went up…to the temple at the hour of prayer.” Ac 3:1 NKJV The Bible says: “Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer…And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple…to ask alms from those who entered…who, seeing Peter and John…asked for alms…Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have … [Read more...]

Show Grace, Because You’ll Need It Yourself!

“If a…relationship with God could come by rule-keeping…Christ died unnecessarily.” Gal 2:21 TM While grace doesn’t give anyone a license to live as they please, the judgmentalism that comes from insisting that others live by our standards has caused untold damage. Chuck Swindoll writes: “Legalism spreads a paralyzing venom…blinds our eyes, dulls our edge and arouses pride in our heart…love is overshadowed by a mental clipboard with a long checklist requiring others to measure up…soon friendship … [Read more...]

Obedience Training

“I delight to do Your will.” Ps 40:8 NKJV Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, wrote: “Tonight I sit on the porch, our old German Shepherd dog lying at my feet. Thunder rumbles in the distance. As the storm nears he tears into the front yard to meet it…furiously doing battle. As it passes he returns to the porch, convinced he has driven it away. He’s a German guard dog, carefully trained in search and rescue, attack and obedience. Search and rescue in these mountains can come in handy. I can’t imagine an … [Read more...]

The Cure for Worry

“Offer up your prayers and requests to God.” Php 4:6 CEV The Bible says, “With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then…God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel” (vv. 6-7 CEV). When you pray more, you worry less. That means you have a choice: Either pray about it or worry about it. In prayer you give the problem to God, therefore you experience more peace of mind. Does that mean you won’t … [Read more...]

Break Your Alabaster Jar (Part 3)

“She has done a beautiful thing to me.” Mk 14:6 NIV Most of us are good actors, but it’s difficult to fake a reaction. And when the woman broke the alabaster jar, the reaction of the disciples is telling. “Why this waste?” They thought she was pouring her perfume down the drain by pouring it at Jesus’ feet. They called it a waste, but He called it “a beautiful thing.” Then He went on to say, “Wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of … [Read more...]