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Month: August 2011

Flirting With the World?

Flirting With the World?

Are you flirting with the world? Are you cheating on God? Sounds like the questions are getting even tougher today. But this is not just about motivation any more. First unthinkable becomes thinkable, then suddenly it’s doable. Slowly worldly things creep up on us. Are you all for God? Or do you still play the field? Do you suppose God doesn’t care? This is a spiritual form of adultery we are talking about here! You wouldn’t think of just asking…

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Do You Want Jesus? Or His Blessings?

Do You Want Jesus? Or His Blessings?

Do you know Jesus? Or do you just pretend to know him? Or do you know about him but not him? Those are two utterly different things. Because if we rationalize faith we start doubting. But if we enter into the presence of God and get to know him we are filled with joyful awe and peaceful certainty. Do you hang around Jesus because you want to be blessed? Or because you want to personally know him and love him?…

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God Does Not Take His Gift Back

God Does Not Take His Gift Back

Yesterday we talked about being saved by grace through faith. I felt a couple of things needed some clarification: 1) It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t save ourselves. God does. All we do is trust him to let him do it. But God does not force salvation upon us, either. He respects us that much. Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and…

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Accepting Salvation by Embracing Grace

Accepting Salvation by Embracing Grace

  The amazing message of Christianity is that God has prepared a way in Jesus for all the people to be made right with him. There’s nothing we can do to earn salvation or anything we can do to put us out of reach of God’s grace. But we are to accept the gift of grace in order to be saved. Faith receives and embraces grace. Unbelief sends the gift right back to the Giver. Our choice. Our decision. Our…

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Beyond Childhood Faith

Beyond Childhood Faith

After years of theoretical preparation for Christian faith formation I have found extremely delightful to experience child rearing myself. To witness firsthand how a child forms his or her world view is a marvelous blessing itself. But I also feel that just seeing how a child constructs his or her view of God has really made all the knowledge come together. More than before I treasure how a child finds trust in God and how he or she collects information…

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The More You Get, The Less You Are

The More You Get, The Less You Are

Often people think that they’d get more out of life if their goal was simply to satisfy all their needs and wants. But the opposite is true! It might first look like that people who pile up most material goods win. But that’s little short-sighted. When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens:    the more you get, the less you are. (Proverbs 1: 19, MSG) Isn’t that the saddest thing? People who want to “create themselves” by buying…

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How to Keep Legalism Out of Christianity, part 3

How to Keep Legalism Out of Christianity, part 3

How do you know whether you are a legalistic or not? Mike Taylor provides us a simple test to check whether you are prone to a legalistic thinking: “ask yourself, “How does God feel about me today?” If the answer is anything other than, “He is passionately in love with me,” then you are falling into the trap of thinking that God’s attitude towards us is determined by our performance rather than by his essential loving character. In other words,…

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How to Keep Legalism Out of Christianity, part 2

How to Keep Legalism Out of Christianity, part 2

We all know it would be good to read the Word of God (or….add any spiritual discipline here). But how come so many Christians go by weeks, month, even years without reading it? The enemy is good in making us believe his lies “you already know all the stories”, “you don’t have time”, it’s boring” etc. But also anything we “ought to do” gets us to rebel. We might even say “I am not legalistic” as an excuse to not…

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Keeping Legalism Out of Christianity, part 1

Keeping Legalism Out of Christianity, part 1

Legalism is one of the worst enemies of grace. It tries to steal the joy of salvation. It tries to make us believe that somehow our salvation is depending on something we should do or leave undone. Legalism tries to tell us that if we follow certain set of rules we will be somehow saved. As human beings we were born sinful; there’s nothing we need to do to stand in need of salvation. There’s nothing we can do to…

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God Is Not a Deceiver!

God Is Not a Deceiver!

Just today I was asked on Twitter “Why does God offer glimmers of hope only to yank them back ???” and felt that this is a question that deserves a little longer answer. I believe this is a real sentiment of many people in today’s tough economic climate. But I assure you: God is not a deceiver. What God says, goes. What God promises to us will be fulfilled. Times change but God doesn’t. God is the same yesterday, today…

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