Enjoying the Journey

This week we sat around the dinner table with our children and had a most interesting conversation about finances. The discussion was not just about our finances but about theirs. Each of our kids are now at the age and stage in life where they are beginning to make serious decisions about saving and spending. I enjoyed sharing with them some lessons that my parents taught me about the vital importance of paying the tithe and being a giver. For a Christian this is where it all begins. Only as we remember where our money comes from and why it is placed in our hands can we make right decisions about what to do with it. The Bible principle at…

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Every believer is to be a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8). In fact, every Christian is a witness – we may be a good one or a poor one, but we all testify to those around us about the reality of Christ in us! Gypsy Smith said that God wrote five gospel records – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the believer. Then he said, “Most people will never read the first four!” Someone is reading your life and what they know about Christ is what they see and hear in you. Has Jesus changed your heart? Then tell someone! “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so” (Psalm 107:2). Our life and our lips should…

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The goal of reading and studying should not be knowing, it is should be living. Many people have a head full of facts but a life empty of truth. In fact, the very educated and learned Apostle declared, “Knowledge puffeth up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Our desire is to grow, not just just know. Through the years the Lord has used a wide range of books to encourage me and challenge me regarding different areas of my Christian life. A book often has its greatest impact because of the timing in which it is read. This is why one person’s “favorite” may not be another’s. It would be impossible to provide you with an exhaustive list of even the books that…

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There is a delicate balance in the daily devotional life: we want to keep both discipline and freshness in our time with God. Very easily routines turn into ruts and delight becomes drudgery. Today’s list is unique because each book must be used. Reading is not enough. Let me begin by clarifying that there is no book like the Bible and no daily devotional time can be what it should be apart from time in God’s Word. It is a very dangerous thing to allow any book, no matter how helpful, to substitute for the faithful reading of Scripture. Begin with the Bible and allow every other resource to drive you deeper into the Word of God. Here are five…

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Every Christian should read biography. Through the years God has used the story of believers in history to both instruct and inspire me. First, let me say that not every biography I read is Christian. There are lessons to be learned from military leaders, businesspeople, athletes, and government figures. Sometimes we learn what to do and sometimes we learn what not to do! However, there are men and women who have faithfully followed the Lord and their lives can lead us to do the same. We follow in the footsteps of those who have gone ahead. It is for this reason that I think we should continue to study the examples who have blazed the trail before us. I have…

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Father’s Day is just around the corner! While it doesn’t get as much press as Mother’s Day it is a reminder that we desperately need godly men to set the pace for another generation coming along behind them. Personally, I am grateful that my dad is a spiritual man, hopeful that my son will follow Christ all of his life, and convicted that I must be the link that continues that heritage. Proverbs 17:6 says, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” The key to faithful husbands and strong fathers is that first we must be godly men. Everything else builds on our relationship with God. I remember when it first…

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It is a great privilege to stand and preach God’s Word to others. In fact, it is a high and holy calling that should never be taken for granted! Preachers who are serious about what God has given them to do will not only work on sermons, they will work on themselves. You cannot separate the message from the messenger. When I had the privilege of teaching homiletics to college young people we used a well known classic, Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson in the undergraduate program. Currently I am helping to facilitate an online graduate level course and we are using Preaching and Preachers by Martin Lloyd-Jones and Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon. All of these are…

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How well do you know the Spirit of God? Though we live in the age of the Spirit, there is so much confusion about Him. Some fall short of really understanding the Holy Ghost, while others go beyond what Scripture reveals about the third person of the Godhead. I love the Holy Spirit. He is the One who first told me about Jesus (John 16:13-14), and the One who continues to teach me God’s truth (John 14:26). He is my prayer partner (Romans 8:26-27), and constant Comforter (John 14:16). Yes, I love the Holy Spirit! If we do not have to be afraid of the truth, then we have nothing to fear about getting better acquainted with the Spirit of…

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This is a hard one. I have so many books that have been a tremendous help to me on the subject of prayer. There are a host of “classics” – such as the writings of E.M. Bounds – that you would expect to find on this list. However, I would like to simply recommend a handful of books that have had the greatest impact on my own prayer life. Perhaps they will help you as well… Secrets of The Secret Place by Bob Sorge (This book provides very specific and practical principles for daily, personal prayer.) With Christ In The School of Prayer by Andrew Murray (This volume gives both inspiration and instruction. His book on The Ministry of Intercessory…

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The wisest man who ever lived said, “There is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). That is because truth is never new – it is eternal. One of the dangers in our world today is the Athenian nature to always “tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). While there are good books still being written on studying and interpreting the Scriptures I have found that very often the most trustworthy ones are older books. They are proven. So please forgive me for only recommending in this list men who have been in heaven for awhile, but these have been the most help to me… How To Master The English Bible by James M. Gray (This classic…

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