You Are Made to Work!

“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” – Genesis 1:28 We talked a few days ago about how the norm in our society seems to be to worship the idea of doing nothing. We are always rushing to get through the next project or the next day of work, or the next class so we can reach a place of simply being idle. However, the truth is that we were made to do things and when we do, we find our greatest satisfaction!  Did you know that part of the blessing of the Garden of Eden was the work that God gave Adam and Eve to do?  As opposed to being drudgery, they were designed

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Give it all to God

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 2 Corinthians 10:31 When I think about my life before going into ministry and the job that I loved the most versus the one I hated, it’s interesting how pay and prestige had absolutely nothing to do with my level of satisfaction!  When I was a 17 year-old young man, I was employed as a handyman on my Dad’s ranch. I worked for a guy named Tim and he would coach me and teach me how to do things like build staircases and make master keys (because he was a locksmith). Even though I was only getting paid minimum wage and had to be up every day at the crack of dawn, the work that I did there was totally fulfilling and exciting to me. I contrast that with the job

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Failure = Success

“‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” – Matthew 14:28-30 When Peter saw Jesus standing on the water, his first inclination was to imitate Him. After all, because he was a disciple of the Rabbi, he knew He was supposed to be able to do anything that He did. Therefore, when His Master told the zealous disciple to come to Him, he readily jumped up and started walking. However, when he took a moment to think about what he was attempting to do, doubts assailed him and he sank. And while many condemn him for not keeping his eyes fixed on Jesus, to me, the

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Born Again

“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:23 One of the most amazing things that ever happened on Hour of Power was when Evel Knievel shared his testimony and got baptized. In case you’re too young to remember, he was a daredevil who did all kinds of crazy motorcycle stunts and performances in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. He was super famous and uber wealthy, and he had everything a person could want from a worldly standpoint. Well, he called my Grandpa Schuller up one day in 2007 and asked if he could come on the show to share his story. Turns out he had become a Christian, and he was eager to let everyone know how his life had changed. Though he revealed many powerful things during his 20-minute-long interview that morning,

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Welcoming Jesus

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” – Revelation 3:20 If you’ve been listening to me for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about hospitality. In fact, I believe that offering an open and safe place for people’s hearts is one of the most effective ways to expand the Kingdom of God. And while the human manner of welcoming happens primarily in person-to-person relationships, there’s another type that’s important to our spiritual lives, and that is creating a warm and inviting home for God Himself. You see, when we said yes to Jesus Christ, the Lord of all Creation came to live inside of us, and now, we’re called to make His stay as fruitful as possible. This doesn’t mean we should

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Cast Down Idols

“When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together.” – Acts 19:28,29 Today, I want to continue looking at the church in Ephesus, which we began discussing yesterday. The first major act of persecution against the Ephesian believers happened at the hand of a silversmith named Demetrius. He made a good living crafting images of the goddess Artemis, and because he saw that Christians posed a threat to his business, he gathered a group of his fellow craftsmen together to incite a riot against the Apostle Paul and his traveling companions. At this, the whole region was thrown into an uproar, and a mob forced the believers into a 25,000-seat Roman theater where they tried

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Heavenly Happiness

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3 As Christians, we hear the word “blessed” a lot, but we tend to lose sight of its actual meaning. When we read things like “blessed are the poor in spirit,” we imagine that the term denotes goodness, righteousness, or holiness when in reality, it refers to something that seems far less spiritual. In Hebrew, the word most often translated “blessed” is asher, and in Greek, it’s makarios. Both of these can be defined as “happy,” and they infer that blessed people are living the good life. Unfortunately, long-faced religion has taught that true discipleship is not synonymous with happiness…yet perhaps this is because our view of the latter is inaccurate. When we think of being happy, we often associate it with worldly pleasures — stuff, sensuality, wealth, and achievement — rather than the state

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Enjoying Eden

“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” – Genesis 2:8 Today, I want to share some interesting information about the Garden of Eden. At the beginning of time, Adam and Eve were put in this very specific place where they could have unhindered fellowship with God. Eden itself was a location — possibly a water spring or a building — somewhere near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and the garden was the space that surrounded it. While we don’t know this for sure, in reading Scripture, it seems that not all of Creation at the time was part of Eden. It’s quite possible that outside the entrance to this lush and Spirit-inhabited space there was a world that was barren and not nearly as abundant and beautiful. That said, what made Eden so special is

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