Free From the Gold, the Girls, and the Glory

Free From the Gold, the Girls, and the Glory

Man feeling shameI’m not going to name any names here, but you’ve certainly seen the stories. With painful regularity yet another preacher gets caught in a scandal. Donated funds have been diverted to personal use. An inappropriate sexual relationship is discovered. The “ministry” has become focused on someone’s personality rather than God’s work.

One more of God’s servants has fallen to the lure of the gold, the girls, or the glory.

And God’s enemy rejoices.

When you think about it, it’s a wonder God entrusts any of us human beings to be His messengers. We’ve messed things up ever since the days of Adam and Eve. The fact that the gospel is such an enduring and ever-expanding force in this world is a testament to IT’S power, not to that of the very earthen vessels it’s carried in. (See Rom 1:16, 2 Cor 4:7) As Joyce Meyer has said, we’re nothing but cracked pots!

We all sin. But when a person in Christian leadership breaks trust with a “big sin,” the larger damage to the Kingdom of God is the issue. It’s not that one thing is any harder for God to forgive than another: it’s that the impact on so many others becomes important.

Thank God for those who live with integrity over the long haul. Thank God for those who refuse to do anything that would bring dishonor on His church. Thank God that there are those who demonstrate day after day, year after year, that His grace is sufficient to keep one from falling.

No one can deem themselves automatically immune from the pull of financial gain, sexual indulgence, or worldly fame. There are at least three important things any potential leader must do to move through public life with any integrity.

  1. Live in the Sunlight.
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10 Ways You Can Worship God

10 Ways You Can Worship God

Child WorshipingYou worship something or someone. I hope that Someone is God.

As a human being you were made to worship. You can’t NOT worship. Even though most of us get completely self-absorbed far too often, you as an individual human being are not big enough to worship. One day you won’t be here. There are too many things you don’t and can’t understand, know, or do.

And that’s the way it’s supposed to be. As incredibly valuable as you are to God, to others, and to the world, God has left Himself indispensable.

But showing God the worship He is worthy of does not happen in an hour or two each week in some church service, as important as that is. Worship is a lifestyle.

If you want to know who or what someone worships, look at their lifestyle.

Here are 10 ways you can truly worship God:

  1. Show up when people gather to worship Him. Yes, that usually means church. God has this amazing idea that church is about Him! When we gather with others for the express purpose of praising Him it “leaks out” into the rest of our lives.
  2. Take care of your physical body. God lives in your body through His Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19) That thought is almost too big to comprehend. Your physical lifestyle in such areas as diet, rest, refraining from addiction, and sexual integrity is caring for the temple where God lives. (Rom. 12:1)
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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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