Christian Living Archives

Rise Above the Rut

How many young men have ever asked the question: “Is there something more I could be doing with my life? You say, “I have a good career, a great family, and my spiritual journey is going well, so what do you mean?”

Or, if you are still single or going to college, you might add, “I have goals and I know what I want to do, so what are you talking about?”

If a conservative minded, biblically-focused person entered into this discussion, he might further propel it forward by seeking to follow God’s will for his life.

What am I getting at? My point is this: Each young man has particular spiritual gifts, abilities, talents, and something that makes you, uniquely you. Are you planning your life in accordance with these things, so as to maximize yourself and make your life count to the fullest?
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What Everyone Needs to Know about Their Salvation 3 of 3

Ephesians 1:12-14:

“In order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit [earnest payment] guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory” (NIV).

How do we know we are not only saved but safe? How do we know we are not only saved but secure? Because not only are we saved, but we are also sealed. We are saved and safe, saved and secure, because we are saved and sealed.
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Why do People Manipulate Each Other? Part 2

One reason that people struggle with manipulation is that they have a personal agenda they are determined to fulfill. “It must get done at all costs.” Even when an agenda has “good intentions,” a person may still employ manipulation in order to accomplish his goals. While goal setting in of itself can be a good thing, the way the goals are met will determine if they are truly worthy. That is to say, methodology will expose the heart of the individual.

As believers, we need to realize that God is more concerned with our ways than our acts (see Matthew 7:17-27). Generally, our acts will be the result our ways found in the heart. A person may have a “ good” agenda or goal, but if it is based upon hypocrisy, it will be of no eternal value to him. By definition, a hypocrite is an actor pretending to be someone he is not. There is a difference between having shortcomings from time to time in our walk as believers, and one pretending to be a believer. A worthy goal is faith-based, glorifies God, and is rooted in love (Galatians 5:6). That means we should be concerned with the will of the Father, and let Him determine our goals and the way they are carried out. Secondly, our desire should be to glorify our King out of love for Him. That same love should dictate the way we interact with others. Our agenda is simple: love and obey the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit. When we determine our own agenda on our terms, we will be heading for trouble. Manipulation will be nipping at our heals.
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What Everyone Needs to Know about Their Salvation 2 of 3

The first reason to believe in eternal security is because Salvation is of the Lord. We looked at that in the previous article and, with an open mind, discussed asking God to change our thinking on the issue if needed. The goal for any teacher, or preacher, should not be trying to make sure they’ve always been right, but instead to make sure they presently are right. So, again, I ask you to hear me out before you pass judgment on me or this doctrine. Don’t be like a programmed machine, investigate Scripture and decide for yourself.

A second reason to believe in eternal security is the language found in the following passage:
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What Everyone Needs to Know about Their Salvation 1 of 3

Let’s pretend for a minute that all of us have just boarded an airplane for a non-stop trip overseas. All of us get on the airplane, take our seats, and fasten our seat belts. Then, we go to reach for a magazine and when we do we notice something near our feet that concerns us…it’s a set of bicycle pedals. Connected to those pedals is a large sprocket with a chain going down through the floor and to the engines.

So, you call for a flight attendant, and you ask, “What’s going on with these bicycle pedals?” She says, “Look all around.” You look and notice that everybody has them. “Why do we all have these pedals?” you ask. “Well, the pilot has agreed to get us in the air, but it’s up to us to keep it in the air. He’ll get us up to 30,000 feet, but then all of you will have to pedal really hard to keep it up there.”
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Worship Gone Wild

Are emotions involved in worship? Yes, they are, or at least they often can be. Can we trust our emotions in worship? No, we cannot, nor can we trust them regarding anything else for that matter. Emotions are subjective, God’s ways are not. Our emotions can deceive us, God’s Word will not. We cannot rely on our emotions when we come before God with our praise and worship. Instead, we must rely on the truth of His Word.

If we confuse worshiping and praising God with our emotions, consciously or subconsciously, then our relationship with God is going to constantly be in flux. When we feel down, we are going to question our relationship with God. When we feel happy, or upbeat, we are going to feel great in our relationship with God. This results in you and I measuring our relationship with the One True God by our highs and lows instead of by His promises. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live my life on that kind of unreliable roller coaster.
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