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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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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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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Many of God’s people believe that we are on the verge of a revival in our day. There is a disruption of norms, a hunger for God, a deep sense of need. Only the Lord knows – and only He can send a spiritual awakening. In the words of G. Campbell Morgan, “We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind of the Holy Spirit when He blows upon us.” It’s time to get our sails up! As always, begin with your Bible. Read about one of the greatest revivals in history in the book of Jonah. Pray your way through the prophet Habakkuk. Examine the principles of revival in the early New Testament church.…

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What are you currently reading? Do you have any books to recommend? Who are some authors you enjoy? These are questions that I frequently get from friends, but in the last few days it seems everyone is trying to find something good to read! With the current world situation we all have a little more time on our hands, and ceaselessly scrolling through social media loses something after awhile. Reading is more than a good hobby – it is an investment. Especially if you are reading worthwhile books. As I write these words I am sitting in my study surrounded by thousands of volumes. They are like old friends. Occasionally I have to part with some to make room for…

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Bible reading schedules have not been a great help to me. While I can appreciate the discipline they develop, for me they often became a distraction, a duty, a drudgery. Personally I have found it better through the years to take a smaller portion of Scripture each day and meditate on it. Each person has to find what works best for them. There is no clear cut pattern in Scripture for how many chapters to read each day! At different times in life you may vary your reading pattern as well. At the beginning of this year I decided that I was going to do something I had not done before and try to go through the Bible in 90…

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