What’s Different After Good Friday?

Three CrossesIn a word, EVERYTHING is different!

How well I remember the Good Friday when everything changed for me. I had gone to church all my life, but something was terribly wrong. I knew a lot about God, but I didn’t know HIM. That night it all changed. It happened to be on a Good Friday when I met Jesus. Right then my spirit became alive, and everything else followed.

It took some time for God to “grow me up.” I had a lot of things to learn, and a lot of old stuff to get rid of. Life still happens.

But I’m different. I’m confident in the end of the story, and that God’s work in me and through me will be accomplished.

Paul said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (1 Cor 5:17). That’s the central message of the cross. We sometimes forget that becoming a new creation is still a process. But the only reason we have any hope at all of becoming new is because of Jesus.

Here are some things that are different because of what Jesus did on Good Friday:

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10 Things God Has Put You In Charge Of

10 Things God Has Put You In Charge Of

Try to take charge of what is in God’s hands, and you will become frustrated and anxious. Neglect to take charge of things God has placed in YOUR hands, and you will become depressed.

I’ve gotten confused over the difference many times, and perhaps you have too. Understanding the difference can change everything about your happiness, peace, and success in this world, your relationship with God, and more.

If you need to lose weight, God won’t take the fork out of your hand. If you need to get out of debt, He won’t make your credit cards evaporate. If you need to spend time with your family, He won’t “beam you up” to be with them. There are things that are totally up to you!

The first thing to learn: He’s God, and I’m Not!   (Tweet that)

That foundation is pretty powerful. Your eternal salvation, the running of the universe, the future, your past – God has made provision to deal with all of that. And He has promised to be with you every day, in every small and large aspect of your life, today and forever. (Mat 28:20)

Once you know that, here’s the second thing to learn: Under God, It’s Up To ME!   (Tweet that)

He has given you executive authority over your life and a significant part of His kingdom. He created mankind to govern. (Gen 1:26) He calls us kings and priests, under the supreme King and Priest, Christ Jesus. (Rev 1:6) God expects you to govern the part of His Kingdom that He has put within your care, and He has fitted you to do so.

How freeing it is when you own that idea! You get to decide, under God, so much more than you realize. You get to experience the fulfillment of wrestling with the decisions, and seeing the fruit of your labor. You can’t control everything, but your choices DO have consequences. Big ones.

Here are some things God has put you in charge of:

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How To Deal With Difficult People

How To Deal With Difficult People

Some people are impossibly difficult. At least for you. You can’t stand being around them. Every time you have to deal with them, you have a bad day.

If you’re a Christian, you may wonder what’s wrong with your spirituality when trying to deal with someone you can’t stand. Aren’t you supposed to love them? Isn’t that what Jesus would do?

How about some of these types:

  • Your brother-in-law is always asking you for money, or trying to get you involved in a questionable investment scheme.
  • Your neighbor two doors down consistently points out how much more successful her children are than yours are every time you see her.
  • Your former college roommate has a way of making you feel small and insignificant whenever you get together.
  • Your team leader is consistently inconsistent in what he expects from you, and frequently criticizes you and others in front of the entire team.

Difficult people aren’t just people who are different from you, or don’t happen to like you. They are people who thwart you, bring you down, distract you, and try to impede you on your path toward what God wants you to do.

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“Why Don’t I Feel Like Praying?”

AnxiousSome part of your heart believes you “should” pray. Prayer is a good thing. But you are struggling to find it in you to actually pray.

Does that mean you’re just not “spiritual enough?”

Not necessarily. God made us as whole, integrated human beings. Something that happens in one part of our lives may impact every other area. And that includes your spiritual energy.

Not having a desire to pray may come from many areas. Here are some things that may take your “umph” from praying, and what to do about it:

1. Physical illness. When you are in physical pain, recovering from illness or surgery, or under the influence of some medications, your mind may have a very difficult time formulating prayers to God. A “simple” bad headache may grab your whole mental attention.

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You’re Not Afraid? I Don’t Believe You

No FearYou might say, “Nothing scares me.”

But I don’t believe you.

I don’t mean that in a mean way. The truth is, you and I are human. We have feelings. God made us that way.

The question is not, “Are you afraid?” The real question is, “What are you afraid of?”

And even more importantly, “What are you going to do about it?”

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about fear. Some in Christian circles affirm you should never be afraid of anything. And in heaven that will be true. But down here, it’s a factor we must continually deal with in our finite human existence.

Think of it like sickness. God doesn’t want you sick. If you live a healthy lifestyle you have a better likelihood of not being sick. But you are not a failure as a Christian if your physical human body develops a sickness.

Similarly, God doesn’t want you afraid.

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