There are moments and seasons in life that cause us to lose focus - or just utterly freak out! Whether it is through crisis and loss - if you are anything like me - there is a tendency to respond initially with anxiety and worry. The question on my mind this week has been, “What would it take for me to respond with anticipation, rather than anxiety?” I think it comes down to one simple thing…
There are two subjects presented in these verses: the virgin birth of Jesus Christ and His incarnation. The virgin birth is the miraculous act of God whereby Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The incarnation is the divine act of God whereby God in Christ Jesus was revealed to mankind in human flesh.
The last few weeks we have discussed the continual challenge we all face of balancing our relationships, work, and finding time to recharge the batteries and rest. We've been building up to this week. I want to look at our work and how we can become more effective in the time that we invest in our work.
Researching the stories behind the Christian hymns of our faith for this month’s blogs has been a particular joy for me. Learning about the experiences that others came through that brought them to a closer walk with God is very uplifting. It is amazing how the Lord inspired them to put their experiences into musical form to inspire and encourage so many. The one that lifts me more than any other when I feel depressed, discouraged, or pondering some unwanted news is “Because He Lives,” by Bill and Gloria Gaither.
It was after a severe storm that Carl Gustof Boberg, a Swedish pastor, editor, and member of the Swedish parliament, was inspired to write a poem. As he looked over the clear bay he heard a church bell in the distance, and the words “How Great Thou Art,” began to ring in his mind.
Music has power to communicate, inspire, and to change. According to Don Campbell (founder of Institute for Music, Health and Education) music can communicate to us even when we’re not influenced by the words of a song. He says, “Music impacts physiology on a deep, basic level. The human heartbeat is especially attuned to sound-changes in tempo and volume act as natural pacemakers. Breathing slows down or speeds up along with the music.”
Upon graduation from college my wife’s first job was working as a music therapist at a state hospital in Tennessee. Along with the medications given to patients to help them to be as normal as possible, music that she would play for them also played a part in keeping them calm.
As I travel the Southwest City area I see large signs nailed to fence post with Bible scripture references on them. One of these is John 3:16. Often we see someone in the bleachers at a baseball or football games holding up a sign bearing that Bible verse. Children who attend church, especially the Sunday School hour, are taught and encouraged to memorize John 3:16...
The story of David in the Bible is one that we are drawn to because we can relate to so many things he goes through. At one point in his story, David is sad; he is lonely; he feels so empty. And in his emptiness, he understands what it feels like to not walk with God. He has experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; He has experienced the joy of salvation, and now he feels alone...
For many years the Twenty-third Psalm has been one of the most loved and treasured passages in the Bible. It is among the most familiar even among those who are not “religious” nor very knowledgeable about Scripture. They recognize these words.
Maybe one of the reasons we humans in general and we Christians included have such a hard time dealing with the tragedies of our lives is that we feel like God owes us something. I reread something recently and did a double take to see if someone had added a phrase to my Bible. It is found at the end of Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter...
Just think what a different world our world would be today, the home, the workplace, and our society if everyone would start the day off with a simple prayer as this, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord my strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
There has been a verse that has been a theme for my life for the past two years. Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The brevity of life gives some hope and it incites fear in others.
As I look back on the last year, two things stand out in my mind. Those two things are mercy and grace. One Christian writer says that mercy and grace are merely two sides of the same coin. Another writer says that mercy and grace are often confused and while related, they are not the same...
It’s that time of the year! It’s time to sing: “Joy to the World! The Lord is come; Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing…” But, some don’t feel that way...
Are religion and health connected miraculously? The miracles of the Bible say yes. Experiences of many say yes.Is religion a magic wand to keep us healthy? If we always had our health restored by simply asking God for it, would we follow Him for the wrong reason? Everybody wants to go to heaven, but who is willing to die to get there?
One of the advantages of the division of time into cycles is that of enabling us to regard the commencement of each day as a time of new beginning. The opportunity of a fresh start is made available even to the most disheartened. Happy is the person who echoes the words of the Psalmist with the resolve to begin each day, “in the strength of the Lord.”
This constant flow of water gives us a picture of how God wants us to live our lives as Christians. Consistent living is hard to maintain. Jesus describes it as not a well to which we have to keep dipping, but a “spring of water.”
In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart . . .” The Bible considers the heart of man, as used in this passage, to be something much more complex than a bodily organ. It is referred to as the seat of the emotions. Fear, love, courage, anger, joy, sorrow, and hatred are ascribed to the heart...
Twenty times in the New Testament, Jesus Christ issued a compelling and challenging invitation: "Follow Me." Jesus is not interested in mere fans. He doesn't want enthusiastic admirers. He wants completely committed followers. Build around the engaging approach of Kyle Idleman, Teaching Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, this one of kind small group study, sermon series, movie, and book examines what it means to deny one's self and truly follow Jesus.
Very rarely in the Bible does God command someone to “stay.” He opens a door, and then he invites us to walk through it—into the unknown. And how we choose to respond will ultimately determine the lives we will lead and the people we will become. In this six-session video curriculum, bestselling author John Ortberg opens our eyes to the countless open doors God places before us every day, teaches us how to recognize them, and gives us the encouragement to step out in faith and embrace all of the extraordinary opportunities that await.
It's crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts—it's falling in love with God. The Crazy Love Study Resource helps you and your small group to dive deeper into God's love.
"Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." | 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded." | 2 Chronicles 15:7 (NIV)
"The LORD demands fairness in every business deal; he sets the standard." | Proverbs 16:11 (NLT)
"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands." | Psalm 90:17 (NIV)
"Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed." | Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
"I believe in businesses where you engage in creative thinking, and where you form some of your deepest relationships. If it isn't about the production of the human spirit, we are in big trouble." | Anita Roddick
"Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better." | Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The essence of our work as humans must be that it is done in conscious reliance on God's power, and in conscious quest of God's pattern of excellence, and in deliberate aim to reflect God's glory." | John Piper
"To risk reputation and affection for the truth's sake is so demanding that to do it constantly you will need a degree of moral principle that only the Spirit of God can work in you. Do not turn your back like a coward, but play the man. Follow boldly in your Master's steps, for He has made this rough journey before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest than false peace and everlasting torment." | Alistair Begg
"Faith is the power to stand up to the madness and chaos of the physical world while holding the position that nothing external has any authority over what heaven has in mind for you." | Caroline Myss
"Have thy tools ready. God will find thee work." | Charles Kingsley
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