relationship with God

The Slate is Clean

“ ‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’ ” – Isaiah 6:5 Over the next few days, we will catch a glimpse of God’s love through His servant Isaiah. Isaiah, who later becomes a prophet, is in the temple as a faithful and religious man, performing his priestly duties. I imagine up until that point in Isaiah’s life, as found in Chapter 6, he feels like he’s in pretty good standing with God. Most of us subconsciously keep a moral report card. Maybe Isaiah hopes to be a B-minus or higher like most of us. Perhaps you don’t live like a saint full time, but you’re a relatively all-around good person, someone you would have a cup of coffee with or trust

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Two Kinds of Treasures

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19,20 As 2022 comes to a close, we are reminded that each and every year we experience is a beautiful gift from God. In the following series, we will explore what Jesus said in his teachings about treasures. He said there’s not just one kind of treasure, there are two kinds. The first type described in the above Bible verse is earthly treasure. The attitude of some religious people is that earthly treasures don’t matter to God, but they do. They are important to God and He tells us plainly, “Ask for what you need, and I’ll give it to you.”  Various earthly

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Do Your Best and Forget the Rest

“As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’ ” – Romans 10:11 Today I want to talk about the importance of not allowing the feeling of shame into your spiritual life. Shame is not from the Lord, and it’s destructive to our psyche. No matter how many scriptures we read or how many hymns we sing about God taking away our shame, many of us still look in the mirror and blame ourselves incessantly when we’ve messed up. We beat ourselves up mentally by saying, “I’m not patient enough, I’m not strong enough, I’m not compassionate enough.” Yes, it’s important to become self-aware when we mess up, as in we own it, we repent, and we take responsibility for it, but wallowing in shame is not God’s plan and not God’s best for your life. He did not give up His only beloved Son

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Let’s be Filled with the Holy Spirit

“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ ” – John 4:13,14 In a world filled with so many distractions, let’s be filled with the Holy Spirit instead. Let’s stop wondering what’s the next big thing that will make us feel happy or satisfy our personal desires. When my life isn’t going so well, there’s only one thing that’s certain to bring me joy and a smile on my face, and that is my relationship with God. Being filled with the spirit of God means he is living in my bones! He’s breathing in my lungs; working in my hands and feet; and seeing through my eyes. And maybe most importantly, speaking through my mouth.  If you

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A Second Conversion

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:38 “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.” This famous quote is from St. Augustine of Hippo, who is one of the most famous and influential theologians in Christianity, other than the Apostle Paul. Hailing from Africa, St. Augustine was also a philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western philosophy and Western Christianity. St. Augustine and Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician who we focused on yesterday, are separated by 2000 years but both probed and answered the age-old questions regarding the need to connect with God and worship Him.  Both of these theologians came to the Lord through reasoning and mental exercises. Pascal’s reasoning is famously known as Pascal’s Wager, which argues that it is in one’s rational self-interest to act as if God exists. I actually think it’s

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God is Love

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9 On this Valentine’s Day, or the day of love as we often refer to it, I want to encourage you with the thought that you are not only loved by your family and friends, but by God, who is the definition of love — the One who wrote the book! Of all the things our vast Creator could have defined Himself as, He chose to say that He is love. Take a minute to let that sink in. The One who spoke the universe into existence with a word, the One who moves mountains and sets the stars in the

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You are Rewarded in His Likeness

“The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs.” – Proverbs 14:14 What do you want in life? What would you say if we were sitting by a lake together, staring at the water and being contemplative, and I asked you that question? Do you think it’s money? Maybe. Do you think it’s glory? Maybe. Given enough time to think and contemplate, I believe you would say something along the lines of wanting to live a life that matters, wanting to belong, or wanting your friends and family to be healthy and happy. These things are your life and reward in the Kingdom of God, which is the wonderful news I want to share with you right now!  These gifts — purpose, health, peace, and passion — come as a result of the power that comes from exercising specific aspects of our walk with

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The Kingdom of No Labels or Limits

“David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.” – 1 Samuel 17:14,15 One of the things we forget about David is that he was young and almost naively courageous. Since he was the last born and lowest on the family food chain, he was entrusted with caring for the flocks. Unfortunately, being a shepherd in his time was the lowliest of professions, and it was usually reserved for eleven or twelve-year-old boys or fifteen to sixteen-year-old girls. Therefore, for David, being a young 20-something man and tending sheep was far from a badge of honor. Though he was gifted in many ways, it seems he was nearly invisible to his father, and his natural skills and abilities went largely unnoticed by his family. Thankfully, he had a deep and soul-building relationship with God, and

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