A continued look at reasons why many people reject evolution without committing intellectual suicide.
Some people believe that you have to unenlightened to accept creation. This podcast is the first of two that begins a dialogue on how many intelligent people are rejecting the unproven theory of evolution.
This episode looks at flaws that are often ignored by secularists who believe that there are many paths to God, while sharing reasons why the Christian can embrace confidently the truth that salvation is only found in Jesus Christ.
Click to set custom HTML
Hey, it is not uncommon for people to ask me "how can you believe in a God I can't see?" I realize that sometimes those types of questions can be intimidating. However, I believe God has left His fingerprints on creation, and I would like to share some of those fingerprints with you. This podcast is about 14 minutes in length, but it has some wonderful information that may help you as you seek to explain to others why you believe in a God you can't see.
The manuscript can be downloaded in our store for $1
Dealing with temptation can be overwhelming for many of us, especially if you are relatively new follower of Christ. I realize that saying “no” to things that seem natural, comforting, and even pleasurable may seem painful, contrary, and confusing. It may make you question what you’ve signed up for.
However, the silver lining of temptation is it reminds you of just how much you need Jesus to keep rescuing you from yourself and from the evil around you. So here are a few ways to connect with Christ, so He can help you fight the temptations in your life:
1. Nip it, just nip it in the bud. (AS Barney Fife would say)
Temptation starts out innocently enough. It’s just a small, passing thought at first. Then, the more your attention you give that thought, the more it grows into an obsession. Eventually that thought-turned-obsession gains momentum and lures you into action, which then leads to shame, deceit, and more sin. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:15 (NIV)
It’s a vicious pattern and the best way to fight temptation is in its infancy. You’re undoubtedly going to have a tempting thought every so often (maybe very often). The key is not to get discouraged, but to choose to squash it while it’s still a thought.
2. Permeate Yourself With Scripture.
Ephesians 6:17 calls the Bible the “sword of the Spirit,” which means you’ve got access to a new kind of weapon! The lifelong process of learning Scripture will continually transform your mind and arm you for the fight against temptation.
Here are three ways to make sure you’re getting a regular supply:
3. Understand that your strength is in your weakness.
You may think you need to be strong when fighting battles for Christ, but I’d suggest striving for the opposite. You’re always weaker than your weaknesses. You’re weaker than Satan and weaker than the pull of this world. Instead of posturing in strength and making resolutions like, “I will never do that again,” you need to cry out in weakness to the one who can help you. This is the kind of prayer that will help you in temptation. Cry desperately for the one who will do battle on your behalf and deliver you.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. "
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
Have a Blessed Day!
I have been preaching for almost 31 years now so you can see how easy it would be for me to feel comfortable with my approach to preparation and presentation. However, over the past 6 months, I have been feeling the need to make some adjustments. Mainly, I have felt led to work towards preaching without notes. To be honest, it has been a little intimidating for me because I had been using a manuscript for several years. So back in October of 2015, I began my quest to make the transition to preaching without notes.
Before I get to some of the lessons I have learned, let me take a moment to tell explain what was so appealing to me about ditching my notes. There are two things that make preaching without notes attractive to me.
Okay, those were two reasons I felt led to move towards note free preaching, but how would I go about making the transition. Before I delve too much into this section, let me just say that I have not mastered it yet, but I am making progress. But the following are a few things that have helped me on this faith journey!
These are just a few thoughts that I have helped me. Perhaps you have already mastered it! If so, I would love to hear any thoughts you have that helped you make the transition to preaching without notes!
There are dangers that come with the inability to forgive. I realize that forgiveness is often very difficult for us to extend to those who have either hurt us, or those that we love. I certainly know all to well how difficult forgiveness can be. Over the years, I have been the victim of harbored bitterness that hurt only me. And I for one am tired of being in bondage to destructive emotions that benefit nobody and certainly doesn’t reflect well on a forgiving God that I claim to follow.
Over the past few months I have spent a great deal of time trying to learn more about what the Bible teaches about forgiveness. I am grateful for the reminder for what the Bible teaches and I want to share some of those truths in this post.
Why Should We Forgive?
The reason to forgive is not because the person who offended us is worthy of forgiveness or even asked for forgiveness. The reason for forgiveness is because Jesus commanded/not suggested that we forgive.
Matthew 6:14-16 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” So ultimately we forgive out of obedience to Christ and His teachings and what we discover along the way is that His teachings have a positive, practical impact on our lives.
Do We Choose to Forgive?
It is my conviction that forgiveness is a choice we make and it is not dependent on our emotional state of mind. The Bible say’s in Colossians 3:13 “bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
Therefore forgiveness isn’t something we do whenever we feel like it but it is something do in following Christ’s example of how He has forgiven us. In other words, if we have received grace we should gladly and willing choose to extend grace through forgiveness to those who have hurt us.
Forgiveness is one way that we choose to demonstrate the character and nature of Christ to others. By withholding forgiveness, we choose to hide Christ in our lives.
Is It Possible to Forgive Even When We Don’t Feel Like It?
Sometimes we have to act the way that we wish we felt. What I mean by that is we have to simply forgive and trust God to do what needs to be done within us. In essence, we realize that forgiveness is God’s work in us therefore, we take a step in faith to forgive and trust God to finish the work. Don’t forget that it teaches us in Philippians that God will complete (finish) His good works in us.
Is There A Way We Can Know That We Have Actually Forgiven?
I think we will know that we have forgiven whenever we experience the liberty/freedom that comes with true forgiveness. We can’t forget that we are the ones that suffer the most whenever we choose to not extend grace. So whenever we get around to obeying Christ’s command to forgive, the Lord sets our hearts free from the resentment and hurt that previously held us captive.
One thing we all need to keep in mind is that forgiveness typically takes time. This week I was reading Matthew 18 and I was reminded of this truth again. “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21-22 ESV)
The words of Jesus reminds us that forgiveness is not easy and that before we experience true forgiveness we have to make the choice to forgive (out of obedience to Jesus), and then forgive again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again (you get the point) until the matter is finally resolved in our hearts.
Here is a book on forgiveness by Charles Stanley that will help us to appreciate God’s Forgiveness even more. To learn more about this book or to order it just click on the image below.