Enjoying the Journey

Several years ago I had the joy of speaking to a large group of children on the subject of thanksgiving. In preparation I learned how to say thank you in several languages. While I am quite sure that my pronunciation was not perfect, we had fun teaching the kids to say thanks in Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, German, French, and Russian. To this day it is the only word I know in most of those languages! Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is learn to say thank you in our own language. As a small child I remember my parents giving me something and quickly asking, “What do you say?” The longer I live I am convinced…

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Today a precious friend, a faithful preacher, a man of prayer went home to be with Jesus. He walked with God and, in the last few hours, like Enoch, “he was not, for God took him.” I imagine that at this moment he is rejoicing at the throne, and while I grieve for his loved ones, I rejoice for him. With the social distancing in recent weeks we have all been worshipping at a distance from one another. (Thank God, we don’t have to be at a distance from the Lord!) It has caused me to consider that when Christians die they are immediately transported into the most amazing worship service. They are simply worshipping the same God in a…

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I don’t know when the word devotions started to mean the daily meeting with God in prayer and the Word. The only two times the word is used in our English Bible is in the negative. The Apostle Paul beheld the devotions of the idolatrous people in Athens. In his own words, “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23). The same word that Paul uses in Athens he uses to describe the anti-christ in 2 Thessalonians 2:4. The word means “the object of worship or admiration.” Just because you “have devotions” doesn’t mean that God is…

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This week I had the joy of hearing a couple of reports that were overwhelming. In a world of bad news it is encouraging to hear of definite answers to prayer, spiritual victories being won. As a family we rejoiced in the way God is at work in the lives of people for whom we have prayed. As I shared the good news with others I found myself saying, “Did you hear what the Lord did?” Oh, how that must please Him! We speak all to frequently about what we have done or about what others are doing. When was the last time you spoke of some definite thing that the Lord did? This must have been the passion of…

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1801-16 Enjoying the Journey Guest Articles Slide

Dr. Johnny Pope is the pastor of Christchurch Baptist Fellowship in Houston, Texas. His Spirit-filled preaching has always been a tremendous help to me. It is full of Scriptural substance that makes you think and stirs your heart. Brother Johnny has been a friend and encourager. I believe you will be helped by his writing. Music is important. Far more important than we realize. All music takes us somewhere. When I hear orchestras play, my mind goes to The Chicago Symphony led by the late Sir George Solti. This is where my wife and I spent delightful evenings in our courtship and early marriage. I would also say, my mind also goes to the days when our kids played in…

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Some things must be done every day to sustain life. This is as true in the spiritual realm as it is in the physical. The Christian life cannot be lived on Sunday alone any more than the body could feed or rest only one day a week. It must be daily. Over the next few weeks I plan to share a series of articles on the daily disciplines of the Christian life. (Read the introductory post here.) I begin this new series of posts with one of the daily truths that God has deeply impressed on me in recent days – the necessity of Daily Worship. Worship is a most misunderstood thing in our world. Perhaps it has always been. Man…

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Amen.  It is usually the last word. It is the last word in the model prayer.  It is the last word of the Bible.  It is found about 30 times in the Old Testament, and at least 50 times in the New Testament.  It is a word that should be used by believers who know the truth. I grew up in country churches where the sound of people saying, “Amen” was well-known.  I have visited in churches where people were very quiet and subdued.  In both, I have heard the Word of God and sensed the Voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me.  There is nothing more spiritual about a boisterous personality, but there is something wonderfully encouraging about…

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On Friday, January 24, 2014 the USA Today ran an article on a Texas politician.  It opened with these words: “We don’t need a hero.” Perhaps.  But there is something in all of us that desperately wants one.  Even more, there is a tendency in many of us to think we have to be one. Children make heroes out of fictional characters.  Teenagers make heroes out of equally fictional athletic super stars.  And then there are the adults.  We do it too, you know.  Enamored with success.  Overwhelmed with oratorical skills.  Intrigued by the mystique of someone in authority. This is one of the devil’s devices.  It is closely akin to idolatry because it places the emphasis on man instead…

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“I will get married in a few months.  What advice do you have for me?”  Working with hundreds of college students these are words I have heard many times.  As I heard them again recently my mind filled with so many truths that others have passed on to me and my wife.  Too many to remember.  Too many to relay in one conversation.  But there was one… One truth that seemed to rise above all of the rest.  One lesson that I have had to learn over and over again: families must pray together. Isn’t it funny that we seem to do everything – eat, sleep, play, drive, talk – together.  Everything, except pray.  Yet this is the one thing…

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