Category Archives: Spiritual Growth

Two Kinds of Christians

I’ve heard it said that there are two types of people in the world: those who are “saved” and those who are “lost.” To be honest, I believe that is true –either you will spend eternity with the LORD or you won’t, it’s as simple as that.

Usually, those who make this statement are referring to Christians as those who are saved. Having said that, I would like to break it down further; I believe there are two kinds of “Christians.”

The first category of “Christian” is the one who starts with their world view and then purposely interprets Scripture to make it fit. (only the LORD knows if these are really saved or not.)

The second is the Christian who starts with Scripture and insures that their world view conforms to the written Word of God no matter what. I trust, if you are a devoted Christian, that you belong to the second category. If so, you are quite likely to face persecution for your faith at some point. Just remember, Jesus said:

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock”
(Matthew 7:24, 25 NASB).

Finish the Race

“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).

Yesterday my husband tackled one of those organizing tasks that I have been putting off for longer than I care to admit. Although appreciative, I must admit that my gratitude was slightly hampered by a touch of guilt for not having done the job myself. Normally I try to keep up with such things, but life does have a way of getting away from me sometimes, so that all the “insignificant” stuff gets put-off until who knows when.

The truth is, in the long run, some things really aren’t all that important. I’m sure the Apostle Paul felt the same way quite often, as his primary focus was on the task given to him –and to all of us– to testify to the gospel of God’s grace.

Time is short; let’s all keep running the race and sharing God’s grace with new fervor. True, we might have to examine our lives and do a little organizing or re-prioritizing, but there is no better time than right now to do so. And remember, if we are going to run an endurace race, we need to be thouroghly prepared; no one can do this for us. May I encourage you, dear reader, if you don’t already do so, to begin daily Bible readings this year! Did you know that you can read through the whole Bible in one year by reading less than four chapters per day? I can’t think of a better way to start a new year!

The Biggest Little Word

What is the biggest word in the Bible?

The answer may surprise you. The biggest word in the Bible is “IF.” You may ask how I could come to that conclusion? Simple, it is because this tiny word carries enough power in it to move mountains. Even so, this word is probably one of the most overlooked and neglected words in the entire Bible.

For example, notice the first word of II Chronicles 7:14:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Is it possible that there is so much turmoil in our land because we are asking God to heal our land but neglect the “if” part –to humble ourselves, and pray, and  seek God’s face, and  turn from our wicked ways?

God is not a man that He should lie, so obviously, we as a nation are neglecting the prerequisites that God set forth for the healing of our land.

Another example may be found in the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy. Here, we are instructed:

And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth.

Scripture then goes on to promise abundant blessing and prosperity to those who obey all of God’s commandments. I hear much about the blessings, but  seldom do I hear anyone mention the prerequisite “IF.”

The Bible says that God uses the foolish thing of this earth to confound the wise. I guess he uses the smallest things too. Remember, dear reader, the word “if” has enough power in it to move mountains, when we obey the words that “if” preceeds.

Bumps and Spills

He was a tall man, so I couldn’t see the contents of the cup he was holding.  I assumed it was coffee, but I was wrong.  You see, as quickly as his bouncy sidekick bumped into him, orange juice sloshed all over his expensive white dress shirt. No one would have ever known what was in his cup if he hadn’t been bumped.

That made me think; human beings are all “vessels” (Romans 9:21). However, we do not all contain the same thing.  Sometimes, the best way to know  for sure what is inside a person, is to see what spills out when he or she is bumped.

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things (Matthew 12:34,35).

Dear reader, has someone bumped you lately? And if so, what spilled out? As for me I, like King David, pray:

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).

A Canardly

A few years ago we adopted our outdoor dog from a rescue shelter.  She’s a mixed-breed, but I was fairly certain of what those breeds were, based on her color and markings. Still, I asked our veterinarian for his opinion. He told me she was a Canardly.  I’ve never heard of such a creature, I told him.  “There’s really no way to tell what she is,” he explained. With these mixed breeds, one  can ‘ardly tell.” I thought that little play on words was cute, and I’ve used it ever since.

Our beautiful Canardly has turned out to be the most loving and loyal dog of all. Plus, she is an incredibly vigilant watchdog.  Obviously, being a Canardly isn’t such a bad thing for a dog.  I don’t recommend it for Christians, though. How can we teach others about Jesus if they can ‘ardly tell that He is the Lord of our lives?

Jesus warned: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth (Revelation 3:15,16).

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I would rather someone be frustrated by my fervor than confused by my complacency.  After all, if I’m not passionate about my Lord, Jesus Christ, how can I expect others to be?

Today, I leave you with this thought from Charles Spurgeon:

Believe me, brothers and sisters, if you never have sleepless hours, if you never have weeping eyes, if your hearts never swell as if they would burst, you need not anticipate that you will be called zealous; you do not know the beginning of true zeal, for the foundation of Christian zeal lies in the heart. The heart must be heavy with grief and yet must beat high with holy ardour; the heart must be vehement in desire, panting continually for God’s glory, or else we shall never attain to anything like the zeal which God would have us know.

Which Direction?

Many years ago, a friend of mine was interpreting a church service when the whole deaf section busted-out laughing. That certainly got  the congregation’s attention, given the fact that the pastor’s sermon was a very serious one. He was preaching about consecrating oneself to the Lord steadfastly for a season.

“For the next few weeks,” the pastor told his congregants, “I plan to arrive early to pray.” What’s funny about that, you ask? The interpreter didn’t sign “early” to pray. He relayed to the whole deaf section that the pastor was planning to show up at the church “naked” to pray.

Being a sign language interpreter myself, I can assure you that this is a very easy mistake to make. You see the two words are quite similar. The only difference  between the two is in the direction the prominent hand is traveling. For one, the dominant hand slides across the other, and for the second sign, the prominent hand slides downward towards the fingertips.

The moral of today’s humorous, but true, story is simply this: Which direction are you going?

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death  (Proverbs 14:12).

The flip side to the above Scripture is this:

The Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless (Psalm 84:11).

Today would be a great day for each of us to examine our hearts and lives. After all, dear reader, direction is most assuredly important!

God’s “To Do” List

Today I plan to start a new “to do” list. First order of business, find and compile all the other “to do” lists I have lying around, so that I can marvel at how many things I never seem to complete, and hopefully tackle some of them. Of course, the really important things get done, but I have a ton of worthwhile projects that, for one reason or another, got lost in the shuffle, never to be picked up again.

Aren’t you glad that God is not like that? I know I am. Can you just imagine Him starting something wonderful in your life, but stopping somewhere in the middle because He needed to go intervene in some crisis? Worse yet, imagine Him never completing the work?

That won’t happen, of course. Scripture says that He [the Holy Spirit] which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). God is working in the lives of every person on this planet, whether they acknowledge  Him or not; and He will never stop until His glorious return.

I guess you could say that we are all on God’s “to do” list since He is never finished with any of us. We should ask ourselves, then, is God at the top of our list? Last night I was challenged by a preacher who admonished his listeners to develop a personal spiritual growth program and pursue it vigorously. He wasn’t insinuating that his audience was neglecting the things of God, only that we should all strive to give even more of our time and effort to the Lord and His word. If we would do that, he encouraged, we would certainly grow spiritually.

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but that sounds like an excellent idea. If God loves me enough to keep me on His daily “to do” list, I think it only right that He is at the very top of mine! On second thought, forget all the old lists, if those projects haven’t been finished by now, they probably aren’t that important after all. Yes, I still plan to start a new list, but the very first item on the list will be: Start a spiritual growth program, beginning with …

In fact, I’m going to go do that now so I’ll catch you all later.
God bless.