Archives For Walking with Jesus

Today, the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal in all 50 States.  This has sweeping consequences for our society and culture.  It will also put the Church and individual Bible believing people in many uncomfortable positions in the years to come.  The question that must be asked by Christians is… “How do we respond?”

Supreme Court Ruling

Supreme Court Ruling

Biblical Christianity is fundamentally at odds with the ruling of the Court and with the current prevailing view in our culture.  The Scriptures clearly teach of the authority of God, the intention and definition of marriage as being between a man and woman, and of the saving work of Christ for all sinners.

A serious question that will have to be dealt with in the days to come is how this ruling impacts religious liberties for people holding to the biblical view of sexuality and marriage.  The Court included in their ruling a statement affirming the First Amendment rights of citizens to oppose the idea of same-sex marriage in both belief and speech.  It reads…

“Finally it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.  The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.  The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons.  In turn, those who believe allowing same-sex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate.”[1]

It will be interesting to see how this fleshes out in the days and years to come.  This ruling will be tested in many ways and the issue will most likely create issues with Christian owned businesses and religious based institutions and agencies.  There will be some stressful days for many who wish to stand firm on their deeply held religious beliefs.

A sad reality is that Bible believing followers of Christ will find themselves increasingly marginalized for their views in society.  In years past many evangelicals believed themselves to represent a moral majority.  Basic biblical beliefs held by conservative Christians seemed to be largely recognized as noble and right by the society at large.  Perhaps that once was the case, but it has not been the case for a long time.

Those who have held firmly to a biblical worldview have been in the minority for a long time in our nation.  It’s just that we are finally waking up to this cold reality.  And wake up to it we must!  It would be foolish to pretend that we are not out numbered in the realm of public opinion.  We are.  We do not live in Christendom any longer.

To compare our situation with ancient Israel we would find ourselves to no longer be living in Jerusalem (where our views rule the day), but instead we find ourselves in Babylon (where we are outnumbered, surrounded by a culture that wants to assimilate us as it separates us from our faith).

So what are we to do?

Well that is where we need to choose to have faith in a Mighty God who has called us to serve him “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)  Who says that because we are outnumbered that we are defeated?  We are not.  We are instead living at a moment in history when the world most desperately needs to see believers in Jesus standing strong and doing the things God has called us to do.

I like what my dear friend, Dr. Paul Chitwood, Executive Director of Kentucky Baptists, wrote today concerning our calling to continue on in our Christian commitment.  He wrote…

Appealing to the First Amendment, biblically faithful Baptists in Kentucky will continue to preach and teach God’s truth on the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, as well the sinfulness of the homosexual lifestyle.  Should the First Amendment fail to provide protection to the Church, nothing changes.  Like the early disciples, those who love the Lord and live by His Word will continue to do what pleases God rather than men and face whatever consequences Caesar may bring.[2]

Chitwood’s point is clear.  The most important thing believers can do is continue doing what God has called us to do, continue teaching what God has given to us in the Scriptures.

Christians have lived a very comfortable life in America for many years.  To some measure that has been changing, but we must not allow the change to discourage us.  Instead it should be an occasion for us to renew our commitment to living obediently to Christ and His Word.

So here are a few quick things I believe we need to do as the Church and as individual believers…

  1. Go back to the basics.  Brother’s and sisters in Christ, it is time we all dusted off our Bibles and start feeding from them deeply.  Gone is the day (as if it was ever really here) that we could effectively live out our Christian life with only a surface understanding of scripture.  It is not enough to fuel our spirits on an “out of context feel good bible verse” once in a while.  We need to know what we believe.  We need to have a grasp of the Bible and the doctrines that come from the Bible.  My friends, we need to know what we believe and have our minds full of God’s Word.  Our churches must lead believers into a revived hunger for the knowledge of God.
  2. Choose a broken heart over angry bitterness.  I am concerned that many believers will choose to make angry, snarky, even hateful comments in the coming days to express their indignation over the Supreme Court Ruling.  Facebook, Twitter, and other social media venues will no doubt be the platforms for these statements.  By all means let’s enter the dialog.  But let’s do so with nobility.  Let’s make a case for our views, our faith.  But let’s do so with the love and respectfulness that Christ demands.  Let’s be Spirit-filled in our speech and loving in our approach.  That never means we shrink back from truth, but it does demand that we do so in love.  Let’s be broken over our Nation’s drift from God and loving in our concern for her.
  3. Renew commitment to the gospel.  The gospel is our only hope.  Paul said it best when he wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16, NIV)  It is interesting to note that he wrote these words just prior to his description of how human societies have left God, wandering from His laws in such a way that it resulted in a perversion of God’s sexual plan. (Romans 1:18-32)  Paul lived in a day when the moral culture was dark, as it is for us today.  What was his response to the darkness?  Preach the gospel!  Point people to the one who died for all men’s sins.
  4. Preach and live out the biblical vision for marriage.  We live in a day when the church needs to do two very important things.  We need to teach the biblical doctrines of marriage.  If we don’t, no one else will.  That is more clear now than ever before.  God’s vision for marriage is beautiful.  It is magnificent.  We must teach and preach it in all its beauty.  Secondly we must live it out.  We must be more committed to our Christian marriages than ever before.  We need to celebrate biblical manhood, biblical womanhood, and the beauty of a true marital union.  That means Pastor’s need to preach on marriage, leaders must teach on marriage, and all of us must renew our commitment to marriage.  It is vital to our witness to our culture.
  5. Expect to be characterized negatively, but behave nobly.  Here is the painful truth…people will characterize our views as bigoted, even hateful. We know that God’s Word is anything but bigoted.  We know that the gospel is all about calling people away from the things that separate them from God and calling them to the one who brings them to God.  We know that sharing this is an act of love.  But some who disagree with us will sometimes vilify us.  It will happen.  But it is important for us to behave lovingly and with the highest of character.  Let’s not smear those who oppose our views, but let us always take the high road and treat people with the utmost of respect.
  6. Be hopeful.  Remember that many of your brothers and sisters in Christ over the last 2000 years have been through similar difficult times where being a Christian brought with it various social pressures and pains.  Also remember that God is still on His throne and that as believers we are His servants.  Read the Bible through and through.  What do you find?  God wins in the end.

We have often read of great Christians of the past living out their faith in trying times.  Most of us probably thought that we would never face such difficulties that would test our resolve and commitment to Jesus.

But here we are.  We are in days that will demand that we pay a certain price standing for our Lord.

Here is what I believe.  I believe that the next few decades could be the most challenging years for the church in American history.  That means some of history’s greatest stories of courageous believers will be lived out and written in the years to come.

Will you be a part of those stories?  Will you renew your commitment to Christ, to the truth of His Word?  Will you strive to live out a beautiful life that radiates the truth and love of Christ like a star up against a dark sky? (Philippians 2:15)

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

[1] “Obergefell vs. Hodges”, Supreme Court of the United States, Opinion of the Court, Section IV, page 27.

[2] “Supreme Court shocked no one with same-sex ruling,” Paul Chitwood, Kentucky Today, June 26, 2015,

Did you know that the most popular flavor of ice cream is Vanilla?  It is and there is a lesson we can draw from this fact that can make all the difference in our relationship with God.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream


Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson, in their book Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritual Growth, point out that if your local ice cream establishment could only sell one flavor it would most certainly be vanilla.  Why?  They say it isn’t just because it is the most popular.  They say it is because “it is hugely popular; in fact, it’s twice as popular as the second favorite flavor, which is chocolate.”[1]


Church leaders are always looking for ways to spur their members onto spiritual growth.  And they are looking for that one thing that would have the most impact and make the most difference.  They are looking for the vanilla ice cream of spiritual growth.


Do you know what they found is that vanilla of spiritual growth?  Their research revealed, hands down, that reading and reflecting on how the Scriptures applied to their lives was the single most effective activity to growing in their walk with God.


They write, “Reflection on Scripture is the spiritual equivalent of vanilla ice cream because its’ influence on spiritual growth far exceeds the potential impact of other catalysts.”[2]


It’s that simple, my friend.  Reading and reflecting on God’s Word on a regular or daily basis makes all the difference.  Are you doing that?


If not, let me encourage you to start today!


Question:  What are some ways you try to incorporate Bible Study into your day?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

[1] Greg Hawkins & Cally Parkinson, Move: What 1,000 Churches Reveal About Spiritual Growth, p. 167.

[2] Ibid.

Nothing builds your faith like reading Scripture.  Nothing!  So why not commit to read the Bible all the way through this year.  Today is the perfect time to start.

Read The Bible In A Year

Read The Bible In A Year

For years I have encouraged people to read the Bible thru each year.  I have known hundreds who have.  I have known no one who regretted doing so.  Reading God’s Word is powerful.

Consider these reasons why you should read the Bible all the way through in 2015…

Reading the Bible in a year…

  1. Opens your soul to hear from God.  When you read God’s Word, God is speaking to you.  So much of what you study will apply to your life and to specific realities that you are experiencing.
  2. Gives you a view of the greatness of God.  The Scriptures are all about God.  Immersing in God’s Word gives you a front row seat to the greatest works of God in human history.  It is hard to not be awestruck with God’s grandeur.
  3. Provides for your life the world’s greatest mentors.  From Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, to Peter, John, and Paul, you will read of the lives of real people who lived for God.  You will learn from their faith, courage, and yes, even from their failures.
  4. Immerses you in the full council of God.  When you read the whole Bible, you get a comprehensive sense of what God has revealed to men and women through the ages.  You are studying the revealed will of the Lord.
  5. Gives you a keen awareness about how the Lord works in the world.  How does God interact with people, with nations?  After this year of reading you will not view the nightly news the same.
  6. Empowers you to avoid the deception of sin.  Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  God’s Word will help you more effectively identify temptations and see the dangers of sin.
  7. Encourages you when you are down.  Experiencing the promises and assurances of God on a daily basis can give you the encouraging perspective you need to make it through discouraging times.
  8. Comforts you when you are hurt.  This coming year will include times of pain.  The Lord wants to remind you of his care.
  9. Convicts you when you are in sin.  The Word of God will reveal and confront your sin, as well as  your tendency to rationalize it.  If you are daily in the Scriptures, you will continuously be confronted with God’s standards of righteousness.
  10. Etcetera, etcetera!!  There are so many more reasons  that this blog could turn into a book.  The simple truth is, you should seriously consider reading the Bible thru this year.

So how do you get started?

There are all kinds of ways you can read the Bible thru in a year.  You can use plans you will find on a You Version phone app.  But my favorite is reading thru The One Year Bible™.  This is a Bible that is divided into 365 daily readings.  In the course of a year, you will read the entire Old and New Testaments as well as read through the Psalms twice.  Each day you read a portion of the Old Testament, a portion of the New, as well as passages from the Psalms and the book of Proverbs.  You can find this Bible at your Christian book store or purchase online.

I would love to support you on your journey!

Several years ago I set up a website designed to be a continuous encouragement to those of you who want to read thru the Scriptures.  The site is  Here I tell you how you can read through the Bible.  But as a bonus, I provide you 365 days of brief radio style programs of me teaching you lessons from the passages you are reading.  I walk through the entire year with you, helping you go deeper into God’s Word each day.

I hope you will consider reading thru the Scriptures this year.

Why not start today, the first day of 2015?

Question:  Are you planning to read the Bible through this year?  Let us know and tell us what you hope to experience along the way.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The Christmas Holidays can be intense with lots of expectations, family pressures, a materialistic binge, and over eating.  There is mounting excitement, but then it is over.  Many experience the Post Christmas Blues.

Post Christmas Blues

Post Christmas Blues

So here are a few tips for overcoming this blah post holiday feeling…

  1. Take a walk in the park.  The lights are still up in a lot of the city parks.  Go for a stroll and enjoy them before your city takes them down.
  2. Take your family out to eat.  Many of you received a gift card or some extra cash over Christmas.  Spend some of it by going out.  Go early, like 4:30pm, and beat the crowds.
  3. Go out to see a movie.  It can be a great escape.  My son and I went to see the movie Unbroken last night.  It was an inspiring movie of faith and determination to survive and stand for your country.
  4. Watch a movie at home.  Someone probably got a movie in their stocking.  Get it out, pop some popcorn and watch a movie together at home.
  5. Take down the decorations.  You probably have had them up for awhile.  Pack them up and put them away.  This helps you start thinking about the New Year ahead and gets rid of the clutter in your home.
  6. Throw away the stale treats.  You know those dried out left over cookies, candies, and pies.  You made and received more than you could eat.  They have already begun to get dry.  Save a few things, but throw out the rest.
  7. Start eating better.  Eat less sweets and taper off of the cola drinks.  Start eating more healthy choices and drink more water.  You will be amazed at how much better you will feel.
  8. Begin a reasonable workout routine.  Nothing crazy, unless you like crazy.  Do something to get your body moving.  Start walking, or jogging, or try out that work out DVD your spouse gave you (even if you were a little offended by the gift).
  9. Go to the Library and make a reading list for the New Year.  Perhaps you could make a goal of reading a book a month, or even a book a week.  Nothing expanse your horizons like good books.
  10. Determine to Read the Bible Through in a Year this coming 2015.  Want to learn more on how to do this?  Visit  Here I will show you how to read the Bible in a year using the One Year Bible.  This is a sure way to get your spiritual juices flowing for the next twelve months.
  11. Start thinking about your goals for 2015.  The days before the New Year can be a great time for evaluating your life and dreaming about what you want to strive for next.
  12. Do something to help someone in your community.  It seems that everyone is interested in helping out a charity or an underprivileged person around Christmas.  But such help usually dramatically drops off after the holidays.  Make a plan to help someone, or some charity out this winter when volunteerism and financial support tends to wane.
  13. Spend an hour in private prayer.  Get off somewhere you won’t be bothered and simply spend the hour thanking God for all the blessings in your life.  Maybe even write those blessings down one by one.  You might find this to be the one thing that lifts your spirits the most.  You will find that God has given you so much.
  14. Go to church.  You may have been traveling with family and missed a couple Sundays.  As soon as you are home, get back in church.  Enjoy the people there, savor experiencing the worship of God with others, and praise God that you get to be a part of the Lord’s Family, thanks to Jesus coming into the world.

Question:  What are tips that you have found helpful in battling the Post Holiday Blues?  Share them with us.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Be Ready To Move With God

October 27, 2014 — 5 Comments

Are you ready to be responsive to the promptings of God, to go where he leads and seize opportunities he puts before you?

Be Ready To Move With God

Be Ready To Move With God

In Ephesians the Bible speaks of putting on the armor of God to launch out and advance God’s will and Word in the world.  Paul challenges us to put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and then says to make sure your feet are “fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15)

The thoroughly equipped soldier in Paul’s day wore sandals with thickly studded soles.  Such sandals not only protected the feet of the soldier, they also made it possible for the soldier to move swiftly and surely.  In hand to hand combat, the ability to move quickly and change directions instantly could mean the difference between victory or defeat.

Consider the importance of well-fitted foot ware in sports.  A boxer doesn’t want shoes that are too big for him and cause him to slip or move to slowly in the ring.  Nor will he fail to tightly lace his shoes before a fight.  He needs his shoes to serve him well by equipping him to be ready, ready for any movement he must make.  In order to take advantage of an opening he must be able to shuffle and move on his feet rapidly.

It’s all about readiness:  Being responsive, able to change directions, quick to take advantage of an opportunity, immediate in taking defensive posture.


When you are fitted with readiness…

  1. You recognize God wants to use your life as you make the most of every opportunity.

Stop thinking that you are merely hear sucking air as a spectator.  Start believing what God’s Word teaches, you are here for God’s purpose.  Start believing he has given you this time to do his will in the world.  Start making the most of each opportunity.  Seize your opportunities to, at any time,…

*Make a friend.

*Meet a need.

*Speak a word of encouragement.

*Share your testimony.

*Tell the gospel.

*Move or change carriers.

*Respond to a call to commit to a volunteer ministry at your church.

*Start a new ministry or Christian group.

*Engage in a foreign or domestic mission project.

  1. You prepare yourself for divine opportunities and challenges.

How?  You stay in God’s Word, maintain constant communion through prayer, undergo training as you take opportunities to learn through your church, as well as maintain Christian disciplines such as a devotion life, church attendance, ministry involvement, giving, as well as developing strong and spiritual Christian relationships.  This makes you sensitive to God and able to discern his promptings.

  1. You predetermine to responsively obey God’s Word and spiritual promptings.

God has called you to be ready to share his gospel and do his will at any moment.  The Lord has appointments and initiatives for you to advance his Kingdom each and every day.  He has plans for you this very day that will advance his will through your life.

  1. You display flexibility as you do the will of God.

If you are going to truly do God’s will you have to be ever ready to change course, change your stance, even change your mind.  You can’t be set in your ways or in control of every circumstance if you are going to be dynamically used of God.

So I encourage you to be ready to move with God anyway he might lead.  Surrender to him now and make yourself available to move quickly to make the most of each opportunity he will place before you.

Question:  How do you make yourself available to God’s daily plan to use your life for his glory?  Share it with us.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Don’t Quit

October 20, 2014 — 10 Comments

Some of you are tired and weary and you are thinking about quitting that which God called you to do.  You feel like what you are doing is too hard or filled with too many problems.  But would you read this short post as I encourage you not to quit.

Don't Quit

Don’t Quit

Last week I was on the campus of Liberty University where I teach in an adjunct capacity.  This school is the largest Christian University in the world and yet it is only 43 years old.  When you walk on the campus you are amazed at the growth.  Literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new construction is going up each year.  The place is enjoying much success.

The founder of Liberty was the late Dr. Jerry Falwell.   The University owes it’s success to Falwell’s tenacity in building the school over the years.  When you study the history of that institution you do not find a story of easy success.  You read of challenges and struggles, many of which could have downed the school in the early days.  Why did those difficulties not down the school?  Simply put Falwell led the organization never to quit.

He regularly preached a message entitled, “Don’t Quit.”  In that message he argued that life is full of problems and you will never get out of having problems.  He stressed that the Bible never promises a life free of challenges, on the contrary the scriptures speak of finding God and Kingdom opportunities in the midst of trials.  He preached that problems are necessary for spiritual growth.

Dr. Falwell used to have a plaque in his study that read, “Life is filled with glorious opportunities, brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”  That is a powerful word and one you should consider.

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

What is it that you are considering quitting?

Could it be your job, your marriage, your volunteer position at church, the pursuit of that dream that you have never been able to shake, a relationship with a friend, that diet or exercise plan, or even your relationship with God?

My friend, if it is something God has placed in your life to do…don’t quit.  Remember the promise of God that says, “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Too many people quit too early.  They quit before they finish, even before God is finished using and growing them in a situation.  Don’t be that person that quits.

Instead, be that person who embraces the challenge and keeps your eyes on the prize.  Be that person who accepts that life is opportunity disguised as monumental problems.  Don’t be weary in doing good, but give your all for God and trust him through the inevitable challenges.

My friend, if the Lord called you to it, DON’T QUIT IT!

Question:  What are scriptures or famous quotes that encourage you not to quit?  Share them with us so that others may likewise be encouraged.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.



An Amazing Wife

September 5, 2014 — 6 Comments

So often our prayers are all about what we don’t have.  But maybe we need to focus instead on thanking God for what we do have.  The times I feel the most blessed are the times when I realize the great things God has already granted.

An Amazing Wife

An Amazing Wife

This morning I had one of those moments.  As I sat next to my wife over a bowl of breakfast cereal, it hit me.  I am married to a wonderful woman.

Stefanie and I met back in the Fall of 1986.  It was our freshman year of college and we met at the Christian campus ministry we both frequented.  We fell in love quickly and didn’t wait long before we got engaged.  Fortunately we did wait to graduate from school before we married, but married just weeks after receiving our degrees.

Over the years she has walked with me through the good and the bad. 

There have been some good times…

*Rearing four amazing children.

*Establishing a relationally and financially stable home.

*Doing ministry together.

*Some really cool trips and vacations.

There have been some hard times…

*Periods where we didn’t have much money.

*Issues of health and surgeries.

*Difficult periods of ministry and family stress.

But despite it all she has been my partner through it all.

What makes all that more amazing is that I have not always been easy to live with (on second thought…I’m not sure I have ever been easy to live with).  I have had a continuous tendency to overwork.  All too often I have put my career over my family.  I can’t count the times I didn’t leave work stress at work, but dragged it home.

Through it all she has stuck with me.  I can’t put into words what that has meant to me.  Apart from my relationship to the Lord, it really is the most amazing gift in my life.

What makes me sad is all of the times I have not recognized just how important she is to me.  I should have awakened every day celebrating in my heart and mind how marvelous it is for me to have her.

I love her.  I really do.  I would not be the man I am today without her.  I would not have these wonderful children that mean so much to me.  I would not possess the wisdom that I do (she helped shape my discernment).  I would be very much alone without her.

I have an amazing wife.

Thank you God!  Thank you God!

Question:  Who is it in your life that means so much to you?  Have you expressed to them and to the world how much they mean to you?  Have you thanked God for them?  Why not do so today?  In fact, why not do it here?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Live In The Moment

September 2, 2014 — 1 Comment

Everything changes!  Nothing stays the same.  Life is constantly in motion.  Furthermore, we have no idea what kind of twists and turns await us.  The key to navigating this reality of life is to “live in the moment.”

Everything Changes

Everything Changes

Of course, this has been difficult for me to achieve.  It is challenging to live in the moment without overly thinking out my future or analyzing my past.  I like control and I want all my tomorrows figured out and my future challenges pre-wrestled down.

But life just doesn’t give me that option.  I am not able to have that kind of certainty about my future.

Last night I received a phone call late in the evening.  It was one of my church members in distress.  A private plane had crashed in Colorado and several members of her family were killed.  I am sure no one in this family anticipated that tragedy or the life altering consequences of it.

James said, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.  What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:13-14)

Perhaps you have plans concerning the format of your life in a year.  There is nothing wrong with plans.  In fact, I would encourage you to have them.  Plans give focus to life and sharpen your efforts.  But be sure to leave room for the adventure of God.  He will probably surprise you with things you could never anticipate.

Some of those surprises are exciting.  This past year I received some thrilling opportunities in my job that enabled me to make a difference.  I also received some financial blessings that I didn’t know were coming and helped my family with college expenses.  Yippie!

But of course some surprises are challenging.  I was disappointed in some relationships this year (you probably were too) and some people I dearly loved died.  I miss them fiercely.

These were all things I didn’t know were coming.  But they came.  If I had known all of this ahead of time, I think I would have been a wreck anticipating them.

We need to plan, but we need to live in the moment.  The only time we have is the time we are living now.  We don’t know what is next, not really, not completely.  So it is important that we live today, applying ourselves to God’s will.

After all, God is with us now and he will be with us tomorrow.  We might not know what is coming down the pike, but he does.  In fact he is already there, waiting for us, while at the same time walking with us in this moment.

Are you anxious about what is next?  I have to admit I sort of am.  But the truth is, I shouldn’t be.  I should live with God in the moment and trust him with what is next.  He has a plan for me and he will carry it through.

It makes sense for me to choose to trust in him.

Question:  Do you ever struggle living in the moment?  What helps you trust in God for what is to come?   You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Stop Beating Yourself Up!

August 25, 2014 — 6 Comments

Often times we are the last ones willing to forgive ourselves for sins of the past.  So often I see people beat themselves up for years, even decades, for yesterday’s failures.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Jesus made it possible for you to be free.

Forgive Yourself

Forgive Yourself

I don’t know what it is for you…

*A friend you hurt

*An opportunity you did not take

*A marriage that failed

*Time you didn’t spend with your kids

*An addiction you allowed to consume you

*Or something else…

Maybe you have asked God for forgiveness and you even believe he has forgiven you, but you still beat yourself up over and over again for the failure.  You may have even said to yourself, I know God has forgiven me, but I just can’t forgive myself.

But is that even possible?  How can you accept God’s forgiveness and not forgive yourself?

The forgiveness God has granted us was costly.  Jesus shed his blood and died a sinner’s death to satisfy justice and make pardon possible for you.

To say God has forgiven me, but I cannot forgive myself, is to say I really have not fully accepted the forgiveness of God.  How can anyone look at Christ crucified and then not allow the full impact of that divine act to have its’ ultimate effect in your life?

Instead, I look at what Jesus did…”died for sins once for all”…and I am compelled to say, Jesus paid it all. (1 Peter 3:18)  He took the full punishment for my transgression.  And so, there is no more spiritual penalty to be levied.  I am free!

Which means God does not hold that sin against me any longer.  The Bible says, “therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

Did you get that?  No condemnation.  Jesus was condemned on the cross, so that your sins would be paid in full.  In Christ your guilt is removed.  REMOVED!

So stop beating yourself up!  Accept the grace of God.

Some of you even beat yourself up for sins that were committed against you.  You think like it was your fault, when it was not.

Some examples of this are…

*A person who was sexually molested

*A child whose parents divorced

*A person whose spouse cheated

Sometimes we have been abused or disappointed and we beat ourselves up for allowing it to happen.   Or we feel it was our fault, when it was not.  Or we believe that if we just did things differently, it would not have happened.  But that does not serve us well.  We need to forgive others, yes.  But we must forgive ourselves, knowing that Christ has made such forgiveness possible and freeing in our lives.

I know what some of you are saying, “Greg, you don’t know what I have done.”  Maybe so, but one thing I do know.  Jesus died for your sin, all of it.  And if you accept the mercy of Jesus, you must forgive yourself in response to his forgiveness.

So, today, “Let it go!”  Declare that this is the day where beating yourself up over the past comes to an end.  Determine to let the full impact of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross set you free from self torment.

Question:  How has Christ set you free by the power of forgiveness?  Encourage others by leaving a comment.  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

There is such an excitement in the air when it is time for the kids to go back to school:  new clothes, new shoes, new backpacks and lunch boxes.  It is fun to go to the store and buy fresh erasers, pencils, and folders.  It is a new start to a year of learning and growing.

Back To School, Back To Church

Back To School, Back To Church

We are feeling this excitement at the Faulls house.  Just a few days ago we dropped off our 1st Grader and our 10th Grader at their schools.  Tomorrow I will help my daughter, who is a Junior in college this year, get moved back onto campus.  Next week I send my son to the university for his Freshman year.

But this is not only a thrilling time as people get back to school, it is also a wonderful time to get back into a more regular schedule at church.

In our congregation we are gearing up for a Fall rich with opportunities to grow spiritually, strengthen the family, and make a difference in the world.  Other churches all over our community are doing the same.

That makes me think, are you ready for a new year going to and growing with your local church family?  After a summer of vacations and slower routines, are you committed to get into a devoted routine at church?

I hope you are?  Why?

Because it makes a difference.

How so?

Consider these benefits…

  1. The family gets to do something spiritual together.
  2. You are a part of something bigger than yourself.
  3. Your kids get to grow in their faith through your example and the example of others.
  4. You feel the strength of doing life, spiritual life, with a larger group of people.
  5. You get to partner with others to make a difference in the world.

So let’s not just get back to school.

Let’s, with excitement, get back to church!

Question:  What are things you most love about your local church?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.