Joy is a deep inner peace and confidence in the Lord. Happiness on the other hand is fickle, dependent upon our circumstances. Joy recognizes that pain and suffering are part of life and therefore it is not contingent on circumstances. Because joy comes from Him who never changes, joy is ever available no matter what befalls us. It is a fruit of the Spirit. When we are filled with the Spirit and following in His steps, we exude the joy that He freely gives.
In archery, shots go all over the place when our anchor point is inconsistent so our aim is off. As believers, Jesus is our anchor point, if we get away from our anchor point, we flounder and miss the mark. We may be “aiming” at the wrong things. Sometimes the worries of this life and the lure of power, prestige, fame, and fortune can get us off track. Whatever the reason, our anchor point is off. To correct the problem, we must return to Jesus and remain in Him.
We can’t expect to be the “light of the world” or the “salt of the earth” if our character is flawed with hypocrisy. Each day we need to focus upon the ideal model of a Christlike life. As we continue to grow in our faith and obedience to God’s Word our character will be refined and God will be glorified.
It was the day before payday, and the cupboard was bare. Struggling as he walked around the garden praying, a young pastor learns about God’s goodness and tender care through the provision of radishes.
Most children, especially boys, want to be like their daddy. Our children imitate us because they want to be like us. This is a very daunting responsibility to consider! But rather than fear the bad habits they might learn from us, there’s another way to look at this role we play in their young lives.
What is a fisherman? Most people would describe him as a committed person who pursues his sport with dedication and zeal. For some it’s competition, for others it’s relaxation, many use it as a sport to bring together family and friends, and for sure, it is a wonderful way to appreciate God’s great outdoors.
Of all the miracles of Jesus recorded in Scripture, the one that seems most unusual to me is when Jesus walked on water. All His other miracles have intrinsic value—healing the sick, feeding the multitudes, casting out demons, even turning water into wine at a wedding. Forgive me for saying so but walking on the lake to His disciples almost sounds like—well—showing off! But of course, showing off doesn’t sound like Jesus at all. So, what was going on?
Do those words shock you? If we’re honest with ourselves there are probably days when every married man could admit to thinking those words. The true test of a good marriage is not how compatible a couple is, but how compatible or loving they choose to be despite conflict and differences.
As Jesus tells us, “By their fruit you will recognize them.” To be a disciple means to be a follower of Christ, a learner or apprentice of His, and a devoted believer in Him. A close review of Scripture reveals that a disciple must not only accept the promises of Christ by faith but must also be willing to apply those truths to his life.
In Scripture the Lord invites us to call upon Him. Don’t ever think that your issue is too insignificant or trivial for the Lord to address. He wants us to “cast all our cares on Him.” (1 Peter 5:7) And He delights in coming to our rescue.
Astronaut Col. Michael Anderson died in the Columbia space shuttle tragedy. Mike’s death was a great loss to His family, friends, and this nation. His family has not only been comforted, but over the years, they have used this tragedy and their great faith to comfort others. Tragedy is inevitable in our broken, sin-sick world. But God uses tragedy to draw us to Himself and He offers us comfort and encouragement.
On what basis do we live our lives, conduct business, or engage in ministry? Do we live as though we’re confined and limited by our circumstances or by others? Or do we live and work knowing that our Lord possesses all authority and all resources? When I write about “living large,” I’m not writing about a prosperity gospel. I’m writing about trusting a BIG God for BIG results.
Grow old like Caleb— with vision and faith for what God wants to do. Following Jesus and trusting God doesn’t guarantee long life and robust health. But it does guarantee a life worth living, a life of meaning and purpose, a life devoted to serving Christ and others.
Just as a small rock can cause a landslide so applying compromise to our faith in Christ can be deadly. Jesus calls us to remain true to His Word and maintain our integrity in Christ.
We often suffer as a consequence for our disobedience, but to suffer for righteousness is a special blessing. Suffering for good, for obedience to God’s Word, can still be very difficult: we don’t get the promotion, we’re left out of a group gathering, or we’re mocked, simply because we’re trying to live a righteous life as a follower of Christ, but we know our Father loves us, especially when we suffer for doing good.
It is hard to call yourself a fisherman if you are not fishing. In a similar sense, it is hard to call yourself a disciple if you are not fishing for men. When Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” to a group of common fisherman, He ignited a passion for evangelism that still burns in the hearts and minds of His disciples today.