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When Desire Overtakes Discipline

Discipline isn’t a bad thing but it’s not everything. There’s nothing wrong with having set times where we meet with God or in having a Bible reading plan. But let’s not think spiritual disciplines are an end in themselves. Jesus didn’t say the greatest commandment was to pray 30 minutes a day or to read two chapters a day. No, he said it was to love God and love others with all our heart. God’s desire is that we become laid down lovers. Meaning that we lay down our lives in love. When this happens we will want to be with God. We will want to read the Bible. We will want to worship and adore Him. Our have to’s will become want to’s. But what if you don’t want to spend time with God? How do you get from practicing spiritual disciplines to the place where you crave the presence of God more than anything else? I’m not about to give you some pat answer but I will submit an idea to you. There’s Something About Worship The more we are around God’s presence the more we desire Him. I don’t think the reason we lack desire is because God is not desirable – it’s because we don’t know (experientially) how good He actually is. We’ve heard and we confess that He is good but until we taste and see for ourselves we will not want more of Him. When I talk about worship I’m talking about drawing near to God in our spirits. Remember Jesus said that true worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth. Our...

The Fear of Being Called a Crazy Christian

A few days ago a co-worker who sits next to me was telling a story to another co-worker about a wedding she went to over the weekend. She said that the groom’s family were “crazy Christians” because they would shout things like, “praise Jesus!” She also said they are weird because they “have church in a garage.” Later I thought, I wonder what she will think when she finds out that we used to have church in a barn and that our services were filled with divine healings, demon possessed people being delivered, words of knowledge being spoke, people rolling on the ground laughing and oh yeah, that one time gold appeared out of thin air and covered the floor and the preacher? That last miracle, the gold appearing, was pretty crazy. Sometimes God does things that don’t make sense to the natural man and they can seem strange and weird. And when you talk about them to others you run the risk of being labeled a crazy Christian. Should I Stop Being Crazy So People Like Me? You can choose to stop all the crazy talk in order to be accepted by others or you can push the envelope. Remember when Jesus said that the bread of heaven was His flesh? People thought He was crazy. But how did He respond? Did he clarify to his audience and tell them He was only metaphorically speaking? No, He pushed the envelope and said in John 6:53 “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” Guess what…people walked...

Making Decisions and Godly Counsel

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly…But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalms 1:1, 2 Making major life decisions is something we all do. Whether it’s what job to take or who to marry, we all face important decisions. So the topic of counsel and where to obtain it is critical if we wish to live a full and godly life. As the above scripture states, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly.” counsel: advice; opinion, or instruction, given upon request or otherwise, for directing the judgment or conduct of another; opinion given upon deliberation or consultation (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary). It’s important that we learn the difference between godly and ungodly counsel, especially when it comes to major decisions. Today there is an unlimited amount of ungodly counsel at our fingertips. If we have a question what do we do?…Google it! Opposing Viewpoints When we Google something we are instantly presented with choices and many times different types of counsel. Some of it is godly and some is ungodly. The same is true when we talk to people who feel compelled to share their two cents with us, sometimes it is in line with the Word of God and other times it isn’t. And when you read a book rest assured that there is also an author out there with an opposing viewpoint. So with all this information flooding our minds how do we decide who to listen to? The Jesus Badge Myth: If...

Always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth

When you face a problem in your life a natural response may be to educate yourself about it. It makes sense to think that the more we learn about an issue, the greater our odds our in finding the answer. But I want to submit an idea to you…it is possible to always be learning about something and yet still remain ignorant of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:7 teaches that it is possible to be “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I’m an expert. Now where’s my freedom?” There was a time in my life when I wanted to be free from my addiction to drugs and alcohol. I completed an intense 28 day inpatient treatment program (which had a price tag of $17,000), transitioned to an outpatient group, attended AA meetings every night, devoured self-help books, and even enrolled in an addiction counselor program at college. During this time (about 9 months) I was “always learning” about addiction and could easily explain the psychological and biological components of it. I could quote statistics and had a wealth of knowledge related to addiction. But one night during one of my classes at college I had an interesting experience. The teacher was talking, in great detail,  about cocaine (my drug of choice) use which triggered a craving. I started to sweat and feel very awkward. As this was happening a classmate leaned over and asked if I was OK. I was not OK and was actually very angry about it! I had invested so much time and money in learning about this stupid...