Hope

Worrier to Warrior

“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.’” – Judges 6:12 I implore you to transform from a worrier to a warrior! “I don’t want to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death,” Tony Campolo famously declared. I don’t believe God wants this for any of His precious children. I once heard the story of Eli, a young boy. Eli was terrified of anything sharp or pokey as a child, including scissors, needles, splinters, bee stings, and other similar objects. His parents shielded him from sharp objects because they wanted to help him. They stopped going to movies because of the scary scenes, they let his hair grow out because he was frightened of scissors, and they avoided looking at flowers since bees live in flowers. Eli eventually became fearful of leaving the house or doing anything because

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Life With No Limits

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20,21 One time when my Grandpa Schuller was on a plane, he met a mathematician who told him an incredible story. He told him how he was late for class one day in graduate school and arrived just as the class was about to end. Because of his tardiness, the young student missed the lecture on a math problem that was written on the board. He copied down the problem, assuming it was a homework assignment, and the teacher told him it was due on Friday. When he returned to his room, he began working on the problem, only to discover that it

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He is On Your Side

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 Hannah and I were sitting in LAX waiting to fly to Israel when I was in seminary. I started talking to a few of Orthodox Jewish Rabbis who were also waiting for the flight. They asked about my occupation, to which I replied that I am a pastor, after which they inquired, “Are you evangelical?” They told me that they admire evangelicals because they support Israel. I explained to them that I am an evangelical, but that I am a Calvinist, or a member of the “frozen chosen,” a rare breed. One of the men asked what that meant, so I explained that we’re really obsessed with God’s sovereignty and His careful planning of everything. I then turned the tables and asked

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History’s Cornerstone

“For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.’” – 1 Peter 2:6 Today I have some excellent news for you: things may be becoming darker, but you’re becoming brighter. Even if the days are becoming colder, you’re getting warmer, because I think God works His greatest miracles in our lives when we’re at our lowest. Because of One Man, who changed the path of history from the moment of His birth, redemption is attainable. Everything changed in year zero, as you can see. The two epochs of human history, BC and AD, center around one thing: Christmas. Although BC stands for “Before Christ,” we can refer to it as “Before Christmas” for our purposes because it essentially implies the same thing. Year one corresponds to the birth of Jesus,

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Winter is a Gift

“He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.” – Psalm 104:19 If you’re anything like me, you are now completely immersed in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, which is (hopefully) filled with time with family and friends, the warmth of excellent food, the glow of decorations, and the shine of lights. It is, however, winter, which is naturally the coldest and darkest season of the year. As a result, the warmth of Christmas counters the chill of winter. The question I pose to you today is which one will you embrace? As we enter this season, there is a natural tendency to be negative. You might even hear that suicides are at an all-time high in December, but did you know that isn’t the case? It’s an old myth because the biggest rates of suicide occur in the spring.

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The Possibilities in God

“Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.’” – Luke 18:27 Today, I want to persuade you that if you work with God, anything is possible in your life. Above all, I want you to believe one simple truth: if you live your life with Jesus, He can accomplish anything. That is something I firmly believe. God enjoys doing impossible things with unlikely people and using imperfect people to accomplish incredible exploits for His Kingdom. I am confident that if you live your life by faith, He will do amazing things in your life. Although it’s easy to fall into a pit of despair and believe that God has abandoned you, that God is angry with you, that your life is finished, or that your future is bleak, I want to encourage you to believe that with the Lord, something better is always on the horizon! His

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Planning for the Storm

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27 We discussed yesterday how the ability to thrive in turmoil is an indication that we are living in the fullness of God’s Kingdom. Today, we’ll look at how Jesus teaches us a similar lesson in the parable of the wise man who built his

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Jesus Yields All Power

“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” – Proverbs 15:3 We discussed yesterday how we have an enemy that is fixated on destroying believers before his eventual demise. Today, I want to provide another perspective on this: the devil may have his eye on you because God has chosen you to accomplish great things. My grandfather, Robert H. Schuller, is well-known to most of you. He was a magnificent man of God, and while he didn’t typically speak about Satan, he talked about spiritual battle, the Holy Spirit, and angels all the time behind the scenes. I recall one particular conversation I had with him about this issue. It was in college, and I was completely devoted to God. He was becoming older and required assistance from time to time, so I walked after him carrying his baggage. We were driving somewhere

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Grace and Truth

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14 Do you like things that are salty and sweet? I sure do. There’s something about kettle corn, salted caramel, and french fries with milkshakes that creates the perfect balance of flavors. Interestingly, I believe this is how grace and truth function in the life of a believer. The Bible says that Christ — the Living Word — came to earth full of these important, and seemingly opposite, characteristics. You see, whereas grace is unmerited favor, or getting what we don’t deserve, truth calls out reality and reminds us of what we do deserve. So how do these two coexist and complement each other? The answer is simple, and it’s found in the salvation we

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One Moment Is All it Takes

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5 To everyone who is feeling down or disheartened today, I want to declare that one moment is all it takes for things to turn around, and I believe your moment is coming! As dark and stagnant as your situation may look right now, in the blink of an eye, God can step in and change your circumstances, and I’m certain He will. He is not slow in keeping His promises — it’s just that He exists on a timetable that’s much different than ours. Knowing this, He beckons us to continue confessing His goodness with the assurance that He will make His presence known at just the right time and in just the right place. In fact, the suddenness with which He

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