Uproot the Root!

"And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, 'The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.'" -Exodus 34:6-7 Have you ever had a problem that you simply could not get rid of? Have you ever had something, whether it was an emotion, a habit, or a particular thought pattern, that no matter how hard you tried, you could rid yourself of it -- even after confession and repentance? After we become a Christian a

Overcoming Discouragement

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." -Deuteronomy 31:8 The Israelites were discouraged. After Moses had sent Joshua and 11 other men to explore the Promised Land for forty days, ten of them came back with a bad report, and the people were upset. "All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, 'If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?'" -Numbers 14:2-4 Joshua an

Pulling Away from the Crowd

"After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone..." -Matthew 14:23 Life really does get crazy sometimes. TV, radio, text messaging, phone calls, Twitter, Facebook, the Internet — there is so much to keep up with in our post-modern society! But, every now and again, we need to have time to be "away from the crowd." Jesus had just finished feeding the crowd of five thousand with only five loaves and two fish. After everybody was fed, Jesus insisted that His disciples get into the boat they were using to head home as He sent away the multitude of five thousand. It was then that He went up on a mountainside by Himself to

Pure Vessels

"And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in Him." -1 John 3:5 Are you a pure vessel? Being a committed Christian involves a continual process of sanctification, and even more so if you are a teacher of God's word. (John 17:19, James 3:1) Although Jesus has paid the price for our sins and we continually receive His forgiveness, there are still things He will require of us so that we become complete and more like Him. (James 1:4) This most often has to do with issues of our hearts. "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." -Proverbs 4:23 Recently my husband and I went to a marriage conference and one of the sessions was a

A Lesson in Chores

Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. -2 Corinthians 12:9 "I'd like for you to load the dishes in this way. This is how the instruction manual says to do it!" "Oh my gosh, do I seriously have to put the dishes in the dishwasher that way?" I thought. My 19 year old self was fighting what appeared to be pointless detail for something that really was not all that important, in my opinion: dishwasher loading. "If you put them in this way, you can fit more in!" said my step-mom. "Ok," I said, trying to keep a cheerful attitude. After all, they were lettin

Getting Results

"Jesus told them, 'Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.'" -Matthew 11:4,5 Jesus was a "results" kind of person. He wasn't into fooling around. He came for His purpose, to save the souls of men, out of His love for mankind, and the rest is history. I find the way he answered John the Baptist's question about if He was the real Messiah so fascinating. "Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is

Living by Faith Versus Living by Emotion

"A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones." -Proverbs 14:30 (The Message) We tend to live by emotion in our culture. "Just do what feels right," seems to be the general norm. Many of our thoughts about right and wrong are based on our emotions -- on what we perceive is right, or wrong. When someone hurts us, we stand on the perceived reality that they "hurt our feelings." Sometimes we imply a motive behind others' actions which causes us to wrongfully judge them instead of asking about their intentions. We fail to use discernment to see if the wound had a deeper root from something from our own past or even theirs. And then, we often do not do the even d

Discovering the Source of Anger

"'Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath..." -Ephesians 4:6 Things happen in life that are bound to provoke us to anger. There are parts of life that are not fair, and there are people who may drive us crazy. Consequently, at some point of time we will be dealing with anger. Anger is not wrong; anger is a part of life. Jesus was angry. He was angry that the Pharisees began selling in the temple. His anger was righteous anger (some may call it jealousy) that the priests turned a house of worship into a house of greed. (John 2:13-17) When we are angry a lot, or when we become angry in the same type of situation, we'll know there's something more to our anger, so

Use Your Gifts!

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ." -1 Peter 4:9-11 What is your gift? The Bible calls us to use the gifts that God has given us to serve others and to minister to Him. The Bible also says His gifts and His call are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29) Through the discovery of our gifts, we can bless others through the "various forms of grace" that God has given to us. " in Christ we, though m

Waiting on God

"Be still and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world." -Psalm 46:10 We humans don't like to wait on God. We are naturally impatient. We want everything to happen -- right now! But sometimes our walk of faith requires patience. In fact, most of the time, it does. You might have already noticed God's timing is very different than ours. He doesn't work by our standards. Did you know it took 15 years for Sarah to have a baby after God's promise to Abraham? When God told Abraham the first time he would have a son he was 86 years old. But when Sarah actually had Isaac Abraham was 100! God's timing is definitely different than ours. When

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