That is often our idea, — that we must reform somebody else; but if we could bring ourselves to feel that weeding our own garden, and watering our own plants, and fulfilling our own vocation is what God requires of us, how much better it would be for the entire Church of Christ.—Spurgeon

Christian Living

in Christian Living & Spiritual Disciplines

Guilt and Conviction Works for Good

A Means by which God Inclines Our Hearts to Him

When other people make you feel guilty about something you lack and some area of improvement; consider that they may have done you a favor. As we identify an area of our life as embarrassing, as we look at the ugliness of the shadows of our characters, our hearts become acutely aware of those areas we dislike and we are moved with desire to do something–make a change in our lives. This is one of the means by which God uses to sanctify us.

If you get mad, or desire to put distance between you and every person that upsets you, consider that you may be resisting the sanctifying work of God and that part of your path for growth includes coming to grips with the means that God uses to bring you close to Him.

in Christian Living & Evangelism

How Can Jesus Save You From Alligators?

A Creative Contextualization of the Gospel with Humor

The History Channel has a show called “Ax Men”, showing the lives of men who are logging in different areas of the country. In Florida’s Swanee river, there’s millions of dollars worth of cypress and pine that sunk to the bottom of the river 85 years ago when it was on the way to the mill. Swamp logging involves what amounts to treasure hunting for these logs in swampland that is infested with poisonous snakes and alligators.

in Christian Living & Spiritual Disciplines

Total Immersion

The Depth of Chrisitan Living

I’ve been a person who has been known to totally immerse myself in things when I get interested in something. I became interested in mountain biking and learned about all the different bike manufactures. I decided to buy an Ellsworth Dare bike frame and purchased all the components carefully, even building the wheels spoke by spoke. I was dedicated to daily rides, at the nearby hills, early in the morning; and weekend rides at more distant and special places.

Later I became interested in road bikes and had a bike frame custom tailored by Seven cycles. This bike was perfectly fitted to my body dimensions. A typical weekend ride would be 100 miles or more, consuming the entire day. I was totally immersed. Later, I did the same thing with photography, and then again with coffee. Now, thank God, I’ve turned my attention to Christianity. Am I totally immersed in it? When I look at the Scripture and compare to my life, I have to be totally honest that I am not immersed to the same degree that I once had with bikes, and other stuff.

in Christian Living & Evangelism

Practically Speaking the Word

How Can I Battle Discouragement?

In my previous article I talked about the Bible’s call on every Christian to speak the word. That all sounds high and lofty, like something only super zealous, extremely disciplined people do. But how do we do this practically in every day life? Today I want to look at discouragement that can come from speaking about Scripture with friends and family or strangers, and how to overcome it. Or perhaps you are discouraged due to some great trial and tribulation. There is much more that can be said to apply directly to you (and I would like to write about that sometime), but these same ways of encouragement can be valuable for you too.

in Christian Living & Discipleship

All Speak the Word

Gospel Growth Involves Every Christian Speaking the Word

Sit in church on Sunday, hear the word of God preached; wake up in the morning, read the Word of God written; go to bible study, hear the Word of God taught. All of these things are a good part of the Christian’s life, but the Bible exemplifies that the Christian life also includes speaking the word of God to a watching world with boldness.

in Christian Living & Discipleship

Reformation Starts At Home

Taking the Log Out of Our Own Eye First

People easily express their dissatisfaction with the way the government handles education, or poverty. I’ve had many lunch room conversations where this sentiment is expressed with conviction and vigor. Yet, it is equally common that these same people do nothing about the situation. Charles Spurgeon, a famous preacher from the 19th century, once said it this way in one of his sermons.

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