We don’t want to be quitters; we want perseverance in our lives. And we desire strong, godly character. We want to be positive men full of hope.
Ephesians urges us, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (6:4) That’s a short verse with a whole lot of life behind it.
The various names of God are designations for His attributes. It is significant that names given to God are most often related to His people’s needs.
We are directed by Scripture to continually look for ways to encourage, assist, inspire, and devote ourselves to others. If we truly love others the way we want to be loved, we are doing the will of our Lord. When we model a Christlike love to others, we testify to the character of God living within us.
Living life by formula is an easy trap to fall into. When life doesn’t turn out like we expect, eventually disappointment and frustration can well up into resentment and disillusionment. What we really create with all our formulas for living is a formula for disaster!
Two weeks ago, we discussed the need for life change. Then last week we talked about how this transformation takes place. But I fear that my short devotionals may leave some with the wrong impression. For you see, our spiritual transformation is not our chief goal, but a byproduct of our true goal.
Last week, we talked about our need to be on a trajectory of life change. That is, we are not to remain static in our relationship with Christ, but to be ever growing and becoming more like Him in His character. We want to put aside sin in our life and take on the character of Christ. The question we want to pose today is, how does this transformation occur?
When we first receive Christ, we feel an amazing sense of relief, joy, and gratitude for His abundant forgiveness in our lives. In the light of Christ, we’ve recognized the awfulness and great extent of our sin, and now having experienced His grace and forgiveness, we are eternally grateful. But Christ does not leave us in our sinful state, He wants to transform us.
Discouragement rears its ugly head for many reasons. It is perhaps heaviest when we realize we’ve failed to properly represent Jesus Christ. Or worse, we may have even made Him look bad! As maturing Christians, we’re on a spiritual journey packed full of lessons in humility.
In the first three chapters of Romans, the apostle Paul names three kinds of broken people: the ungodly, the morally self-righteous, and the religious.
Technology and modern culture seem to elevate efficiency over intimacy. Voicemail, text messages, Facebook, and emails may expedite communications, but in reality they distance us from others. It’s almost like we are avoiding personal contact with people.
The middle linebacker is to the defense what the quarterback is to an offense. The middle linebacker is the playmaker; the one everyone looks to for guidance, inspiration, and advice. He is the coach’s eyes and ears on defense. The linebacker must be one of the most gifted athletes on the field.
That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t You care if we drown?”
There’s something about strolling along a quiet beach that brings calm — an escape from the struggles and challenges of life. With a passion for excellence in any career comes the need to keep balanced as well. Christ regularly took time for solitude with His Heavenly Father. Throughout Scripture we see how God meets man in the “quiet places” of His creation.
Each morning I wake up and begin the process of stretching out the stiff muscles and tendons to the rhythm of bones and joints cracking as they reset for another day of activity. As I make my way to the mirror in our bathroom, I discover more grey hair, another reminder that I’m getting older.