Whether you are new in the faith or have known the Lord for some time, being in the Word is crucial to the health and growth of your relationship with Jesus Christ. But many men are at a loss as to how to read and study the Bible.
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.
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.
In Jesus’ day as today, many seek happiness and ultimate meaning in life in numerous ways similar to those tried by Solomon. In our pursuit of meaning and happiness we’ve made so much of our careers, our fitness, our possessions, fame, fortune, sex, sports, and entertainments of all kinds. But as with Solomon, we discover in the end that none of that provides ultimate purpose.
At times all our finger-pointing and bickering ends up doing us all in and nothing is accomplished. If we find ourselves constantly amidst controversy and strife, we need to take a good hard look at ourselves. What are we really fighting over? How is God being glorified?
As believers, we know that life is made up of a series of struggles and challenges, all of which help us develop character, patience, and obedience. So, if we know struggles are essential to spiritual maturity, why do we do everything we can to avoid pain? And why do we try to rob others of the opportunity to grow by “rescuing” them?
In this fast-paced, high-tech world some people have forgotten that God is in the business of making miracles. Mankind has explored the depths of the universe and the bottom of the seas. We have modified DNA and created artificial parts for the human body. Through technology, we can supply an endless stream of information and artificial intelligence. We’ve become pretty self-sufficient. But the reality is, we still can’t create miracles. We still get into situations where we’re just stuck.
Why do people like the outdoors so much? What is the real lure of hunting, fishing, and hiking? For many of us, the serenity of an outdoor experience offers precious, and mostly uninterrupted, time to think through our problems — let our minds unwind, get caught up on prayers, and simply listen to God.