Love with No Agenda

“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" -Galatians 5:14 How can we best share the gospel with others? There is an art to doing it, for sure. I remember trying to share Jesus with a friend of mine when I was young, and she asked me why she should believe in Jesus. I pleadingly replied, "So you don't go to hell!" Thankfully, there is a much better way to let people know about Jesus' love for them. Leif Hetland's main passion is to go to places where they have never heard the name of Jesus - especially in Muslim countries. Since the inception of his ministry, thousands have come to know Jesus all over the world. Leif has this to say abou

Enjoying Our Work

“And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life - this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past." -Ecclesiastes 5:10&20 Have you ever felt like life was pointless? I know I have... sometimes life seems futile, boring, and useless. We're all going to die one day anyway - what difference does it make if we do good or bad, we are foolish or wise, we spend a lifetime working hard or we spend all of our money? We can't take our money or possessions with us... The writer of Ecclesiastes echoes these exact sentiments. He says, "People leav

Sharpen Your Sword

“Using a dull axe requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed." -Ecclesiastes 10:10 What kind of gifts has God given you? Have people always told you you were "good" or "great" at something? 
 If you've never been told that, no worries! Often, we don't know the gifts we have - but the truth is everyone has a gift and a purpose in the body of Christ. "The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable..." (1 Corinthians 12:21, 22) Conversely, some of us have so many gifts that we find it difficult to

Personal Reprogramming

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” -Romans 12:2 I spent a lot of time in the early years of my life feeling unworthy of anything good. There were many attitudes and feelings that I had about God, myself, and other people that simply were not true. It was only through a revelation of God's love and grace at incremental and pivotal crossroads in my life that my opinions and feelings began to change. And boy did they ever! One of the most monumental crossroads happened when I was 17. I call this my "true" salvation experience. This experience with God felt like a warmth that filled my heart, and something; be it faith, love, peace, or whate

What Comes Out of the Mess

“For God works all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28 Have you ever gotten yourself into a mess? I sure have. Sometimes things don't turn out quite like you plan. Perhaps you made a mistake or did something intentionally, knowing full well it would bring about a catastrophe. But what can we do after the mess has occurred? How can we pick up the pieces and deal with the brokenness we find in front of us? Maybe you were caught doing drugs or cheating on a test. Maybe you were caught lying or stealing, or got involved in a compromising situation. Perhaps it was a little more subtle. Maybe you didn't do what you felt God wanted y

Making Room for God

“Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure." -2 Corinthians 12:21 In a day where we do what "feels right" and tend to look to movie stars and musicians as a compass for what is morally acceptable, we balk at the idea that there may be such thing as a plumb line for morality; that there may be such a thing as absolute truth. "Well, God didn't mean that for today's time," we might say. "That's so old-fashioned." "That may be true for you but not for me." "Do you really expect me to live lik

Do Not Fear

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10 All throughout the Bible, God tells us who love and follow Him not to fear. Contrary to the popular graphic floating around online, “do not fear” is not mentioned 356 times in the Bible, but it is mentioned so often that we should not ignore it. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” -Isaiah 26:3 “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” -Proverbs 31:25 “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell G

Treasures in Heaven

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." -Matthew 6:19 There is a great temptation in our lifetime to only focus on things that are in the here and now - in the physical realm. Money, recognition, achievements, and material things have their own sense of pleasure - and these are the things we see with our physical eyes. But, in reality, they don't last; they never make it to the realm of eternity. And eternity is forever - longer than we can even comprehend! What does last? How can we ma

In Everything

"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father." -Colossians 3:17 Imagine with me for a moment that every Christian on earth had a revelation of the "in everything" principle. What if we asked ourselves, at every moment, "Is what I'm doing now worshipping God? Does what I do glorify Him?" When we see worship as not only the lifting of our hands and voices on Sunday morning, life takes on a whole new meaning. Avodah (Ah-voe-dah) is a Hebrew word used in the Bible that has two distinct yet intertwined meanings: work and worship. Colossians confirms this in chapter 3, verses 23 and 24: "Work willingly at whatever you do,

God's Kids

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalm 68:5 I hope you had a loving mom, or dad, or both. Or perhaps your grandparents or surrogate parents took good care of you. But if you didn't, no worries - there's hope. If your parents were absent or let you down in childhood, then there is no doubt you have an even better opportunity to know God as your perfect Father today. God is a Father who will care and provide for you always, for your every need. He knows us so well He knows the number of hairs on our head! "Even the hairs on your head are numbered." (Matthew 10:30, Luke 12:7) He has the power to fill in the pieces we missed as children, and


"And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." -Hebrews 12:1&2 True commitment is so rare in our culture. It's difficult to find someone who will do what they say - and stick it out until the end. Commitment is hard. You have to be one of those rare people who will truly follow through with pursuing the things they say they want to, whether it's building a business, launching a career, losing weight, or staying married for a lifetime. I believe commitment is the defining factor between someone who will fulfill the desires of their hearts and someone who won't. When you're committed, you work hard. You persevere.

Our True Identity

"And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it." -Matthew 16:18 Have you ever found yourself lacking confidence? Have you ever found yourself doubting the call of God on your life? I think all of us go through this, even the most mature Christian. But when we get to this place, we need to go back to God's promises, and go back to remembering our true identity in Christ. (Perhaps we might even need to begin a journey of truly discovering it!) Simon Peter was someone in the Bible who is cited as being impulsive and emotional, as evidenced by his unending questions and rash decisions. His name, Simon, meant reed - wh

Grace vs. Works

"And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.” -Romans 11:6 There are often great dichotomies in our journey with Jesus. There are things that seem as though they are directly contradictory, when in fact a closer examination reveals that they work together in a careful balance. One of these dichotomies is the balance between grace and works. In our world, there's a lot of pressure to be perfect. We strive and try so hard to do the right thing, to make the most money, to gain the most approval from others, to be the most Christ-like. But in reality, we can never prove ourselves wo

In the Details

"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives." -Psalms 37:23 Once my dad took me out to dinner. This was during a time when he and I didn't have a very good relationship. I had perceived him as cold, distant, and excessively authoritarian, and he probably perceived me as a rebellious teenager. We met at a restaurant, and he started talking about an experience he had with a man who had given him a "prophetic" word. I hadn't had any experience with that, (and I totally didn't believe prophets existed today), but I listened to what he had to say. "The man told me that you have a gift of poetry, and that the Lord hears the words you write to Him," he said

K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Sweetie

"You'll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God's master stroke, I didn't try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did - Jesus crucified." -1 Corinthians 2:1 MSG Sometimes we make things so complicated. This philosophy over here, and that way of doing something over there. I am amazed by technical people who understand computers and complex technical systems - that is not me! The good news for me, and the rest of us, is that the message of Jesus is simple. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and was raised from the dead on the third day. A

Walking Out Your Calling

"When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, 'Tell him to come here.' So they called the blind man. 'Cheer up,' they said. 'Come on, he's calling you!'" -Mark 10:49 Imagine spending 100% of your time doing things you were gifted and anointed to do. How awesome this would be! Perhaps this is you already, but if this is you, you are rare indeed. Experts say that just 2% of us walk in our calling - the intersection between our gifts, talents, anointing, and our calling, also called "convergence”. In America today, about 65% of people are unsatisfied or unhappy with their jobs.* I think one of the major reasons people are dissatisfied is that they do not see it as a calling, and they are not us

Being Under the Influence

"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance." -Acts 2:4 What does it mean to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit? "Being under the influence" doesn't have anything to do with drugs or alcohol. It means, in part, that we submit every thought, every action to God. When we get good at this, it happens without us even having to think about it. It means we have open ears, and we seek him continually. It means that we “pray without ceasing,” and we maintain an attitude of prayer. It means we read the word, and live by it. It means that we keep our attitudes in check, and we treat others with love and respec

Fighting Spiritual Battles

"Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle." -Psalm 144:1 "I am just so fed up!" said my friend. "I don't understand why all this negative stuff keeps happening to me. I am so tired of things working out for others and not working out for me. What am I doing wrong?!?" I thought for a moment, and asked the Lord what He thought. "You know what I think?" I said. "What?" she said. "I think He's training you in spiritual warfare." Sometimes we run around in circles, hoping for a different answer to our problems. We try to move forward in our lives only to discover we have come up against the same wall, the same unfulfilled dream, or the same obstacle in

We Are What We Think

"As a man thinks... so is he." -Proverbs 23:7 Have you ever had a hard time with the way you think about yourself? I know I have. Fat, ugly, stupid, never good enough - it seems I've subconsciously called myself everything. Of course, those things couldn't be further from the truth! Many of us think things that are not true about ourselves, resulting in insecurities, fears, and doubts - doubts about how others see us, about our own lives, and about our futures in God. But do you know what this does? It reinforces the lies the enemy tries to make us believe. The verse in Proverbs is so true: "As a man thinks, so is he." How do you think about yourself? How have you thought of other peop

In the Pit

“Then they took him and cast him into a pit." -Genesis 37:24 Joseph was his father's favorite. Because of this, he was despised by the rest of his brothers. Joseph's brothers plotted against him to kill him. Instead of killing him however, they threw him into a pit and then sold him into slavery. But God had a different plan. Joseph did not know that the pit was the door to his destiny. When he was thrown in the cistern by his brothers, he probably didn’t think God had anything to do with it. But after his years of imprisonment in Egypt and his subsequent promotion to second in command in Egypt, Joseph had discovered a lot more in hindsight than he would have known during his time in the pi

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