“4 Ways to Make a Difference in Someone’s Life” October 31

 

4 Ways to Make a Difference in Someone's Life - The world is full of people who are caught in patterns of sin, who are without hope, who have been hurt or disappointed by others, or who are spiritually deluded. How can we make a difference in the lives of others? Our New Testament passage show us 4 ways.The world is full of people who are caught in patterns of sin, who are without hope, who have been hurt or disappointed by others, or who are spiritually deluded. How can we make a difference in their lives? Our New Testament passage shows us four ways.

Today many call evil good and good evil. So many things that are advocated today would have seemed impossible 10 years ago. It makes us wonder how people can be so blinded to the truth.

But it’s not just unbelievers who can become deluded. How can we avoid spiritual delusion in our own lives?

Also read about overcoming evil and the only One who is “hope-worthy.”  Continue reading

“Are We Headed for Egypt?” October 30

 

Are we headed for Egypt? - Is our nation doing exactly what God told the Israelites not to do, heading for Egypt? Egypt represents the world and its systems. It refers to the world, the government, and man's wisdom. Are we looking to those things to care for us, feed us, protect us, and get us out of this mess. Sadly, that is a recipe for disaster. What will our nation do as a whole? And if our nation continues headlong toward Egypt, will we be like Jeremiah and Baruch who obeyed God or like the leaders of Israel who rejected God's warnings? Whose side will we be on … in our hearts, in our personal lives, in the public arena, and in the voting booth?

Is our nation doing exactly what God told the Israelites not to do, heading for Egypt?

Egypt represents the world and its systems. It refers to the world, the government, and man’s wisdom. Are we looking to those things to care for us, feed us, protect us, and get us out of this mess. Sadly, that is a recipe for disaster.

As a nation what will we do? And if our nation continues headlong toward Egypt, will we be like Jeremiah and Baruch who obeyed God or like the leaders of Israel who rejected God’s warnings? Whose side will we be on … in our hearts, in our personal lives, and in the public arena?  Continue reading

“10 Principles for Effective Bible Study” October 29

 

10 Principles for Bible Study - What do tent-making, sewing and Bible study have in common? They all require an understanding of one important principle. So much in our Christian walk hinges on our understanding of God’s Word. To “rightly divide” the Scriptures means to “cut it straight.” When a seamstress cuts out the pieces of a pattern, she must do so accurately or the pieces won’t fit together properly. As a tent-maker, Paul understood this principle and how it carried over into our study of God's Word. We must be students of Scripture, able to cut it straight, so the pieces fit together and we can understand the full council of God. What are some important principles to help us do that?Tent-making, sewing and Bible study have one thing in common. They all require an understanding of this one important truth.

When a seamstress cuts out the pieces of a pattern, she must do so accurately or the pieces won’t fit together properly. As a tent-maker, Paul understood this principle because it also applied to his trade. He used similar language to explain the importance of accuracy in our study of God’s Word. Today we’ll look at ten important principles that will help us “cut it straight.”
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“Are You Under God’s Umbrella of Protection?” October 28

 

Are you under God's umbrella of protection? - What is God’s "umbrella of protection" and how do we stay under it? How, also, do we put ourselves outside His protective authority? And how does the Church itself act as an umbrella of protection for its members?What is God’s “umbrella of protection” and how do we stay under it in the home, in the workplace, and in other areas of life? How, also, do we put ourselves outside His protective authority? And how does the Church itself act as an umbrella of protection for its members?  Continue reading

“Could Guilt Lead to Paranoia?” October 27

 

Could Guilt Lead to Paranoia?Could guilt lead to paranoia? Could those feelings of guilt and anxiety be God’s early warning system to keep us from experiencing deeper emotional issues? And what happens when we ignore those warnings?

Also read about God’s faithfulness in hard times and a biblical view of authority.  Continue reading

“Widows, Laziness & the State of Your Flocks” October 26

 

Widows, Laziness & the State of Your Flocks - Paul said the body of Christ should help provide for those who are "really widows." Who are they and what should that look like? How do the government and the church play a part in their care?

This chapter gives instructions for the church’s care of widows (vss. 3, 5-7, 9-16), the responsibility for families to care for their own members (vv. 4,8), and continues Paul’s instructions to Timothy about not being “hasty” to put someone in leadership (vss. 22-25).

Paul said the body of Christ should help provide for those who are “really widows.” Who are they and what might that look like? How do both the government and the church play a part in their care?

Also, read about the cost of obedience, what it has cost others, and what Jesus said about the cost of not standing up for the truth.

Continue reading

“Do You ‘Cut & Paste’ the Bible?” October 25

 

Do You "Cut & Paste" the Bible? - Many today want to throw the Bible out completely. They try to discredit God's people by saying we're intolerant and mean-spirited when we call for a biblical standard. Attempting to destroy God's Word is nothing new, but God will preserve it and one day judge those who try to destroy it just as He did in Jeremiah's time. While we can rejoice that God will deal with evil men who reject His Word, we may need to examine our attitudes toward Scripture, as well. How do we view the Bible? Do we see it as a cafeteria line where we can pick and choose what we like? Do we cut and paste it at will? Do we view it as merely a book of nice suggestions for living? Or do we view it as God's Word and allow it to direct every area of our lives? Many today want to throw the Bible out completely. They try to discredit God’s people by saying we’re intolerant and mean-spirited when we call for a biblical standard. Attempting to destroy God’s Word is nothing new, but God will preserve it and one day judge those who try to destroy it just as He did in Jeremiah’s time.

While we can rejoice that God will deal with evil men who reject His Word, we may need to examine our attitudes toward Scripture, as well.

How do we view the Bible? Do we see it as a cafeteria line where we can pick and choose what we like? Do we cut and paste it at will? Do we view it as merely a book of nice suggestions for living? Or do we view it as God’s Word and allow it to direct every area of our lives?  Continue reading

“Are You Disappointed or Angry at God?” October 24

 

Are You Disappointed or Angry at God? - Do you know someone who used to come to church, but somewhere along the line they became discouraged, even angry at God? Maybe He didn't answer their prayers or work the way they thought He should. Maybe that's you! If you have walked away from God because of something He has allowed in your life or because you’ve been hurt or disillusioned by someone or something in the church, could it be you had a wrong understanding of who God is or  how He works?  Also read about prayer, obedience, godly friends, requirements for church leadership and the importance of good doctrine. Do you know someone who used to come to church, but somewhere along the line they became discouraged, even angry at God? Maybe He didn’t answer their prayers or work the way they thought He should.

Maybe that’s you! If you have walked away from God because of something He has allowed in your life or because you’ve been hurt or disillusioned by someone or something in the church, could it be you had a wrong understanding of who God is or  how He works?

Also read about prayer, obedience, godly friends, requirements for church leadership and the importance of good doctrine.  Continue reading

“Chafing Against the Bible’s Teaching on Women?” October 23

 

Chafing Against the Bible's Teaching on Women? - "If you've got it, flaunt it!" We've all heard that saying, but this time it came from a sister in Christ sitting in my counseling office. As we continued to talk about the role of women, this time about submission, she said, "I'm an educated woman! Why should I submit to him?" Since then I've heard many such comments, but I've never forgotten how saddened I was by her statement and the awareness of how much feminism has infiltrated the church of the Living God. But the truth is, many of us, though we want to live godly lives, chafe against some of the Bible's teaching on women or passages on modesty or authority. We're too often tempted to think, "That's not fair!" or question why God would give us certain commands. So how are we to understand these things? “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” We’ve all heard that saying, but this time it came from a sister in Christ sitting in my counseling office. As we continued to talk about the role of women, this time about submission, she said, “I’m an educated woman! Why should I submit to him?” Since then I’ve heard many such comments, but I’ve never forgotten how saddened I was by her statement and the awareness of how much feminism has infiltrated the church of the Living God.

But the truth is, many of us, though we want to live godly lives, chafe against some of the Bible’s teaching on women or passages on modesty or authority. We’re too often tempted to think, “That’s not fair!” or question why God would give us certain commands. So how are we to understand these things?  Continue reading

“How Do We Grow & Change?” + LINKUP

 

How Do We Grow & Change? - A couple of weeks ago I wrote about prayer and Bible study and how they are "The 2 Essential Means of Christian Growth." This week I want to talk more about how those two means work themselves out on a practical level.A couple of weeks ago I wrote about prayer and Bible study and how they are “The 2 Essential Means of Christian Growth.” This week I want to talk more about how those two means work themselves out on a practical level.

 

Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival

 

How Do We Grow & Change?

 

The Goal

 

The goal for a believer is to become conformed to the image of Christ. In fact, He has predestined us to do so (Rom. 8.29). Though we won’t reach that perfectly in this life, God is at work in us here and now.

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1.6).

While we tend to believe it’s things outside of us (our family of origin, other people’s sins, our financial situation, other circumstances, etc.) that cause us to sin or hold us back, those are the things God wants to use to propel us forward, to grow us into the character of His Son (Jas. 1.2-5).

But this won’t happen without the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit working in our lives. Philippians 1.6 is a promise for believers. And, while God will get us there if we belong to Him, we can choose to co-operate with His work or grieve the Holy Spirit and hinder His work (Eph. 4.30; 1 Thess. 5.19). When we do, we shouldn’t be surprised if God turns up the heat (Heb. 12.6).  Continue reading