Enjoying the Journey

These are unusual days for everyone and unique days to serve in a church. Over the last few weeks I have spent a great deal of time talking and praying with pastors who are doing their best, under God, to lead their churches through this crisis time. While these faithful pastors are working to help God’s people, we should also be thinking about how God’s people can help God’s pastors. Remember, we are all in this together! Be prayerful. The most effective use of our words is always in talking to the One who can do something about it! In Hebrews 13 we are encouraged to “remember…follow…obey…and submit” to spiritual leaders (Hebrews 13:7, 17). However, one of the most overlooked…

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We live by lists! Grocery lists, to do lists, lists to keep up with our lists. At this particular time in our world people are more reflective. God has providentially allowed us to have time to meditate and ponder what is truly important. The question is: will we remember what we are learning? Someone said that a short pencil is better than a long memory. It is so easy to forget what God is impressing on our minds. I learned as a student in college that if I intended to take action on something or share it with others then first I had to write it down. After our Lord’s miracle of feeding the five thousand He had the disciples…

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Yes, that’s what I said. Stop it. Stop reading the Bible. It is not that the Bible should not be read, rather, it is that too often we substitute Bible reading for the greater work. Reading Scripture passages is just the entry point! Our communication with God must be much more than that. American Christianity has too often portrayed that following a system of Bible reading is the essence of walking with God. This easily creates “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5). Merely reading the Bible will not take you beyond a surface understanding, and it will not allow the truth to get beneath the surface of your life. We must go more deeply…

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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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Did you know that the word “quarantine” actually comes from an Italian word that has biblical roots? It means 40 days – a reference to the 40 days of purification and the 40 day testings found throughout the Scriptures. While the immediate purpose is medical and physical in nature, I believe that God is using this quarantine to both test and purify His people. This extended period will prove to be a time of purging both for churches corporately and Christians personally. Some will fall away, but, God willing, many will draw nearer to Christ. What will this quarantine do for you? “Redeeming the time” is not a matter of busyness or activity – it is a matter of emphasis…

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The term has been lost with the passing of time – and so has the use. Few people today think much about a “family altar.” Yet in days of revival in our nation the principle of families praying and worshiping together was vital. True revival does not start at the church house, it starts at our house! The family altar does not mean that we build a physical altar in our homes. It means that we build into our schedules and routines the priority of praying with the family and talking about the Lord. The home altar is greater than the church altar in this way: it can be accessed every day! Matthew Henry wrote, “Wherever man has a tent,…

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Many of us are spending a little more time at home these days! The worldwide pandemic and resulting restrictions have cut down on travel, meetings, school, and a host of other “normal” activities. Most are suffering some degree of withdrawal from the lack of sporting events and simultaneous overexposure to news media. Now we are to keep six feet away from one another! Like many things in life, every negative can be a positive. After terrible circumstances Joseph declared, “…ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” (Genesis 50:20). Paul explained it this way: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to…

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The world is shaking…but God is not! These are uncertain days but the people of God have a certain future. He has not failed us, forgotten us, or forsaken us – and He never will! How can you live with confidence in uncertain times? Rest in what you know for sure. When there are questions that cannot be answered always go back to unchanging truth: God is good. Rehearse His goodness in your own conversations. Recognize that the same good God is at work now. None of this has taken Him by surprise and we may be surprised how the Lord uses this for His own glory. Stay hopeful. Do not allow the news media to set your tone. Stay…

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I rarely post on the Lord’s day, but this Sunday is an unusual day for many churches and church members. Social media has been filled this week with updates, instructions, and explanations from pastors and Christian leaders about the current pandemic and the varied responses. These are challenging days for those who have been called to guide God’s people in a church, school, or ministry. They are challenging days for us all! Perhaps your church is not meeting this week as normal – or perhaps it is. Either way there are a few things all of God’s people can do for the work of God where they are… Pray for your pastor. All who lead need divine wisdom. This is…

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What is ahead? As I write these words the news is filled with stories related to the Coronavirus that is sweeping the globe and the downturn of financial markets. Mix in the political climate and uncertainty about the future and you have a recipe for anxiety! Perhaps your fears are more connected to personal issues, but we all deal with fear at times. Remember this: God is not the author of fear and never puts unnecessary anxious care in the hearts of His children. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Fears may be rooted in circumstances, others, the devil, or your own…

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