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Category Archives: CHRISTIAN LIVING

Time for a Great Cartoon! Religious Principles!

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We’ve spent a number of posts on the issue of SPIRITUAL EXERCISE.  When one asks the question, “What are my religious principles?”, does spiritual growth show up at the top of the list?

We can use “religious principles” as an excuse for not doing anything that we ought to do.

Questions:

1.  What do you do when you find yourself drifting as a believer in Jesus?

2.  What role does the local church play in helping you get back on track?

3.  What friends do you have who will hold you accountable for not moving on as a believer?

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in CHRISTIAN LIVING

 

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Messin’ with God? (time for a great commercial)

Do we “mess” with God? Have we lost the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom? These questions came to me as I watched a recent commercial . . .

Questions:

1.  Where are you “messing” with God, not appropriately fearful of His holiness?

2.  How does a fear of God relate to His love?  (please note:  Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 6.32.25 AMWe are not thinking of a terror of God here).

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in CHRISTIAN LIVING

 

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What about your WILD SIDE? Part 1 (time for a great commercial)


G.K. Chesterton put it this way:  “. . . the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.”

Questions:

1.  Something can be wild without being evil.  What wildness in your life has been domesticated, muted, tamed?

2.  What good things in your life are allowed to “run wild” if you are a believer in Jesus?

 

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2014 in CHRISTIAN LIVING

 

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Ten Steps to Spirituality! (Part 2)

In our course, “The Integration of Theology and Psychology,” Dr. AllanKeynoteScreenSnapz002 McKechnie andI have been discussing the doctrine of salvation and its implications for counselors who are Christians.  One aspect of salvation is the continuing work of God the Holy Spirit in making us like Christ.  This doctrine is called SANCTIFICATION.  The word means “being set apart” or “being made holy.”

I believe I Timothy 4 presents us with ten very specific steps we may take to advance in our becoming like Christ.  Let’s look at that passage and continue investigating those ten steps.

I Timothy 4 says,

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

The FIRST STEP we saw in this text was simply:  PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU AVOID (v. 7)

The SECOND STEP we notice is:  TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN SPIRITUAL LIFE (v. 7)

Verse 7 reads: “rather, train yourself to be godly.”  Self-training is lacking these days in the lives of many followers of Jesus.  Some expect spiritual growth to happen, uh, magically.  Others look for a perfect church or an omni-competent pastor to meet their every spiritual need.  Paul puts the burden of sanctification, of becoming more like Jesus Christ, squarely on the shoulders of the individual believer.

Years ago I read a controversial, but helpful, book entitled The Gospel of Coincidence by John Boykin.  He basically said that most of what happens to us in life is a result of choices we make, choices which come out of the priorities which we set for ourselves.  Are you taking responsibility for your own spiritual life?  How’s the training going?

Questions:

1.  In physical training, there are exercises which must be practiced.  What would be some of those exercises in “spiritual” training?

2.  How do we even know what “godly” looks like?  Why is studying the earthly life of the Lord Jesus so critical here?

 

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Ten Steps to Spirituality!

In our course, “The Integration of Theology and Psychology,”KeynoteScreenSnapz001 Dr. Allan McKechnie andI have been discussing the doctrine of salvation and its implications for counselors who are Christians.  One aspect of salvation is the continuing work of God the Holy Spirit in making us like Christ.  This doctrine is called SANCTIFICATION.  The word means “being set apart” or “being made holy.”

I believe I Timothy 4 presents us with ten very specific steps we may take to advance in our becoming like Christ.  Let’s look at that passage and begin investigating those ten steps.

I Timothy 4 says,

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

The FIRST STEP I see in this text is simply:  PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU AVOID (v. 7)

Verse 7 reads: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales . . .”  Growing in grace and holiness involves choosing what we won’t give our attention to!  Paul challenges TImothy not to give his attention to “godless myths” and “old wives’ tales.”

Now, the few women who might read my blog should not be upset by the 2nd expression.  It is not meant in a misogynistic way.   Paul is not anti-women.  He is simply giving two examples of material that should not dominate the believer’s thinking, concentration, time.  (to be continued)

Questions:

1.  What “godless myths” are you aware of which should be avoided?

2.  Why should we avoid such myths and old wives’ tales?

 

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BEEN DRAGGED RECENTLY?

Been dragged recently? Thank God for His patience in carrying us along in the Christian life.

We read in 2 Peter 1:21 that “. . . prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” That was a special work of the Holy Spirit, protecting the biblical writers from error as they penned Holy Scripture.

But isn’t it true that He carries us along? In what area of your life has God been carrying you recently?

Questions:
1. How do we co-operate with God the Holy Spirit and help to “carry along” other believers?
2. Do you allow other believers to carry you along when life gets tough and you are tempted to live like a practical atheist?

 
 

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GOT HUNGER?

This commercial cracks me up!  Do you sometimes find yourself a slave to your own hunger?  Do your appetites control you?

Our culture teaches us to indulge all our passions, to seek to satisfy all our desires, to assuage our appetites.

Christianity teaches us to be men and women of great passion and appetites, but for those things that honor Him!

Questions:

1.  How’s your hunger level for knowing God?  What are you doing about it?

2.  How can we encourage each other to develop more of a hunger for knowing the Lord?

 
 

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