Making a spiritual decision is great. Keeping it is better. Make decisions that don’t fail using these three tips.
As I write this, I am in the chapel before an evening service of New England Baptist Teen Camp. God has been working mightily. Friendships of a lifetime have begun. Happy memories have been made. Powerful sermons have been heard. The altar has been full after every message as tender hearts surrender to God. Several people have been born again. Hundreds of life-changing choices have been made.
I am thankful to God for every decision made this week. Imagine the wave of change that would take place if every decision took root and bore the fruit of righteousness!
However, as an experienced youth worker, I am saddened to know that many of the decisions will not stick. I’m not being cynical. I believe that the decisions were from God. I heard God’s power in the messages. I felt the same Holy Spirit conviction. I saw the tears of repentance.
Nevertheless, the statistics are undeniable. Many decisions will not last past 60 days. Some people will fall into the old sins before they walk in the door to their home.
How can this be? How can God move so powerfully, on a heart with no lasting fruit? (more…)
Suicide is a tragedy that takes place far too often. Don’t let it happen to you or your loved ones.
Every human is created with a desire to live. Self-preservation is the first instinct of mankind. Even satan knows that most people will do anything to save their own skin.
“And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.”
Why then do some people choose to take their own lives?
Years ago we had a young man start coming to church sporadically. He was in and out of jail and had a daughter that would ride our bus occasionally or come with a family member. He stopped interacting with us, and I lost track of him until the day my phone rang with the news that he hung himself in his parent’s garage. The family was devastated. Everyone that knew him was hurting deeply. It was a difficult funeral.
Most people give the quick answers of depression, anxiety, and mental illness. Is it really that simple?
Suicide is too complicated to cover thoroughly in one article. Today, let’s look at a few reasons people take their own lives and learn how to help them before it’s too late. (more…)
We are not in the business of making speeches or giving presentations. We are instruments of God to change eternal destinies!
Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Our mission to preach the Gospel is supernatural. The commission comes from God. We must be empowered by Him to accomplish it. Good organization is not enough. A sound plan is sufficient. We are in God’s business. He must energize our efforts to make the difference. Acts 26:18 gives us a five-point outline of God’s work in individual lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
1. Open their eyes
Unbelievers are blind to the Gospel. They are lost not knowing their way to God. Their lives are filled with sin and their hearts with doubt. Often, they are in bondage to a false religion. They serve phony gods from paganism to atheism and everything in between. But the God of Heaven can open their eyes!! God can (more…)
You don’t want to rob God, but you’re not sure how to handle your tax return. What does the Bible say?
Proverbs 3:9–10 “Honour the LORD with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
Dedicated Christians tithe. We tithe by returning 10% of our increase to the Lord through our local church. This is a straightforward calculation for your regular paycheck. As a pastor, I have been asked many times how to tithe off of a tax return. Here are my thoughts on the subject.
Tithe off of Net Pay
If you have been tithing off of your net pay (this is the amount you receive with taxes removed), you have not tithed from all your income. Even though the government takes tax out before it gets to you, it is still part of your increase. You must tithe off of your entire tax refund.
Tithe off of Gross Pay
I recommend tithing off of your gross pay from each paycheck. This is the amount you are paid before taxes are taken out. Furthermore, I urge that you tithe off of your entire (more…)
Temperance is more than moderation. It is the power of God to do what you know you should do. Learn how to get it here.
We live in an interesting day. We have many more conveniences and comforts than any generation in the history of the world, yet people are more unhappy and unfulfilled than they have ever been.
We have come to expect instant gratification in every area of life. Need a meal? Fast food or a microwave oven will have it for you in a flash. Need a friend? Create an account and start collecting them. Have a thought? Post it online and watch the likes and comments roll in. Someone make you angry? Give them a piece of your mind. Then tell anyone who will listen what they did to you. Want something you can’t afford? Swipe the credit card.
The problem is that any joy from instant gratification is short-lived usually followed by lingering guilt and hardship.
Modern comforts have given us an insatiable craving for pleasure. No need to wait, to work, to hope, to save, to dream, to strive. Many believe happiness and comfort are a birthright. Pleasure at any cost is the cry of the masses. “If it feels good, do it; if it’s not fun, don’t” is the motto of this generation.
We are blessed to live in this era of time with its conveniences and comforts. We should thank the Lord for all the tools and opportunities that are available. However, if we are to serve God and follow Christ, we must be able to sort through the noise cutting out what will hinder our divine relationships and service. Not every opportunity is (more…)