During my days of deepest grief, in all of my shock, sorrow and struggle, I sat at the feet of God. I literally spent hours each day reading God's word, meditating on scripture and praying. I intentionally spent a significant amount of time being still before God.
The first thing that we need to say is that God is grieving, too. Uh, a lot of people try to make it sound like 'well everything that happens is God's will.' That's nonsense. God allows everything, but God does not choose everything.
It is mind-boggling to me that the Almighty power created everything I see; the Bible says that God created the entire universe just so he could create this galaxy just so he could create Earth so he could create human beings so he could create a family.
The greatest gift God gave us is also our greatest curse, which is the free will. We are made in God's image, the Bible says, which means we have the ability to love him or not love him, to reject him or not reject him.
The mission of Tom Peterson and Catholics Come Home to bring souls home to Jesus and the church is critically important during this challenging time in our history. I fully support this New Evangelization project.
Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you.
There is nothing you can do that will make God stop loving you. You could try, but you simply can't do it - because his love for you is based upon his character and not on anything you do or say or feel.
If you are a member of a small group or class, I urge you to make a group covenant that includes the nine characteristics of biblical fellowship: We will share our true feelings (authenticity), forgive each other (mercy), speak the truth in love (honesty), admit our weaknesses (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make group a priority (frequency).
Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test... You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies.
The next sentence is one of the most important spiritual truths you will ever learn: God develops the fruit of the Spirit in your life by allowing you to experience circumstances in which you're tempted to express the exact opposite quality. Character development always involves a choice, and temptation provides that opportunity.
Christmas is the time for celebration, so I'm not against decorating, putting on lights, buying gifts. In fact, the whole reason we give gifts is the wise men gave gifts to Jesus at the first Christmas, and that started the gift-giving process.
Let me tell you how worthwhile you are. You are infinitely valuable to God. First, God created you. Second, Jesus died for you. Third, he puts his Spirit within you. Fourth, he wants you to be with him forever in eternity. That's how valuable you are to God. You are infinitely valuable to God.
It is an incredibly difficult task to lead people from self-centered consumerism to being servant-hearted Christians. It is not a task for fainthearted ministers or those who don't like to get their religious robes wrinkled. But it is what the Great Commission is all about
The more you care about the powerless, the more power you have. The more you serve those with no influence, the more influence God gives you. The more you humble yourself, the more you're honored by others.
Longing for the ideal while criticizing the real is evidence of immaturity. On the other hand, settling for the real without striving for the ideal is complacency. Maturity is living with the tension.
Since God intends to make you like Jesus, he will take you through the same experiences Jesus went through. That includes loneliness, temptation, stress, criticism, rejection, and many other problems.
To make the best use of your life, you must never forget two truths: First, compared with eternity, life is extremely brief. Second, earth is only a temporary residence. You won't be here long, so don't get too attached.
In our competitive world we're taught to never quit trying, never give up, and never give in - so we don't hear much about surrendering. If winning is everything, surrendering is unthinkable. Even Christians would rather talk about winning, succeeding, overcoming, and conquering than yielding, submitting, obeying, and surrendering. But surrendering to God is the heart of worship.
I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God's family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church, with the Anglican church.
Being successful and fulfilling your lifes purpose are not at all the same thing; You can reach all your personal goals, become a raving success by the worlds standard and still miss your purpose in this life.
America was built on rugged individualism, and today that has evolved into a culture of narcissism. But God didn't create you to live for you. If you want to follow Jesus, you have to put aside your selfish ambition.
The way you SEE your life SHAPES your life.How you define life determines your destiny. Your perspective will influence how you invest your time, spend your money, use your talents, and value your relationships.
On Thanksgiving we do just everything except give thanks. We eat, we watch football, we have a good time with family. Almost nobody gives thanks to God at Thanksgiving, unless there's a short prayer before we eat.
Biblical convictions are essential for spiritual growth and maturity. What is ironic today is that people often have strong convictions about weak issues (football, fashion, etc.) while having weak convictions about major issues (what is right and what is wrong).
I believe in the five solas. One hundred percent believe in the five solas. And I am - to those of you who know about this - I'm a monergist [someone that believes in the doctrine that says spiritual renewal is exclusively the activity of the Holy Spirit].
If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity. You can be busy without a purpose, but what's the point?
You must never let your personal life be outpaced by your professional life. If you do, [if] your professional life takes more of your time than your personal life, then that's called stress, okay? And it's called worry and things like that. Worry is a sign that you're trying to be God. The greatest stress reliever to me is this sentence: God is God, and I'm not.
I could imagine God saying to a lot of us, "Hey, I'm God, and you're not. You're not the general manager of the universe." And the greatest stress reliever is take God seriously, but don't take yourself seriously
In God's eyes, the greatest heroes of faith are not those who achieve prosperity, success, and power in this life, but those who treat life as a temporary assignment and serve faithfully, expecting their promised reward in eternity.
Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days - when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when your out of options, when the pain is great - and you turn to God alone.
When a human body is out of balance we call that disease.... Likewise, when the body of Christ becomes unbalanced, disease occurs.... Health will occur only when everything is brought back into balance. The task of church leadership is to discover and remove growth-restricting diseases and barriers so that natural, normal growth can occur.
I developed a long time ago some habits. One of them is what I call "divert daily, withdraw weekly, and abandon annually." Divert daily is everyday you do something that's not work-related. You do something that relaxes you. Then you withdraw weekly. The Bible says every seven days you take a day off. And then abandon annually means you just go out and forget it all.
I'm a pastor of a local church. I'm not a televangelist. I've never had a televised program. I'm a pastor. A pastor's role is to care and comfort, encourage, teach, and everything that I do, even when I meet with world leaders, is from a pastor's heart.