Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Introducing MarriageMoment.org

On September 1st I launched a new online endeavor:  MarriageMoment.org

MarriageMoment.org is dedicated to sharing information and resources for strengthening marriages. The site is generally updated three times per week (M/W/F) with new concise articles. While the overriding theme of MarriageMoment.org is marriage and family, articles represent a variety of perspectives including biblical principles, practical advice, research findings, statistics, counseling/psychology information, and cultural viewpoints.

Please take a moment to check out the site, join the Facebook and/or Twitter pages or subscribe to the site feed.  I hope this site will help motivate and encourage people to strengthen their marriage.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Fruit Test

“Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit...Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:17-20).

The above statements told by Jesus are very simple to comprehend on a physical level. However, He was presenting the “fruit test” as an analogy to convey spiritual truth. Just as a tree can be positively identified by the product that it yields, so is one’s true nature and character revealed by his attitude and conduct.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Call to Holiness

1 Peter 1:15-16 NIV “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy.”

God’s Word calls followers of Christ to a life of holiness. This is a repetitive theme throughout Scripture. The Bible does not nearly recommend or encourage a holy life, but it expects and demands such. Hebrews 12:14 states, “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (NIV). Here we see the extent to which the Bible upholds the essentiality of a holy life. Just as we must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5), we must also pursue holiness in order to see the Lord.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Blessed are the Peacemakers

The Word of God informs us of three different types of peace. The most obvious is the inner tranquility of mind and heart that gives us confidence and assurance in God. The second is having “peace with God”. The peace offerings of the Old Testament allowed for temporary restoration in the relationship between God and man. The work of Calvary provided for a permanent reconciliation and peace with God for those who obey the gospel.

But there is another type of peace that is often overlooked. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus proclaimed the famous words: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). This refers to a situational or relational peace between individuals. It deals with making peace where there is none or bringing peace to a troubled person or situation.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Whose Report Will You Believe?

We are living at the height of the Information Age. The answer to virtually any question is literally at our fingertips. Not only can one access this endless wealth of knowledge via the Internet from computers at home, in the workplace, and just about everywhere else, but most can also do so from a “smart” device that can be carried in one’s pocket. “Google it” has become the mantra of this generation.

We have become confident in knowing that any information we desire is only a few clicks away. While we can be sure of the abundance of information that is easily available to one and all, we cannot (and should not) be as confident about its veracity. Because literally anyone can disseminate material online, the Internet is replete with erroneous, misleading, and outright false information.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rejoicing in Trials

It may seem strange, but the Bible teaches that believers are to rejoice when we encounter trials, tests, tribulation, struggles, and suffering. To rejoice means to feel great joy and delight. This seems contrary to logic! How can one feel joy and delight in the midst of suffering? From a normal human perspective this is not possible. But when we consider our trials from an eternal spiritual perspective we see the truth much more clearly. We can rejoice in our trials because ultimately they serve to make us stronger and draw us closer to God.

The Apostle James wrote, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4, NIV).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unity and the Church

Scripture declares, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1). Unity is a vital concept in God’s Word. It is the Lord’s intention and expectation that there be unity in the church. Unity is the state of being one. To have unity is to have harmony and peace. It is the absence of rivalry, division, and discord.

Only when the church has unity is it able to experience revival and growth. Indeed, unity is a foundational principle on which the church is built. On the day of Pentecost the believers “were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). The phrase “with one accord” (Greek: hoomthumadon) signifies that the believers were of the same mindset having the same passion. There were no grudges, arguments, murmurings, grumblings, grievances, complaints, criticisms and so forth among the people. There was unity. And this unity – this singleness of mind and passion – resulted in the Holy Spirit falling upon them and revival breaking out in their midst.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What is Temperance?

Temperance is an uncommon and undervalued quality in our society. The Bible lists it as one of the nine fruit of the Spirit – the characteristics that demonstrate the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Therefore, temperance is an imperative and vital attribute.

What is temperance? Simply put, temperance means self-control, self-restraint, self-moderation, and self-discipline. It is the ability to exercise control or power over one’s own thoughts, speech, emotions, desires, actions, attitude, and conduct.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Daily Blessing

God commanded Moses to instruct the High Priest to speak a blessing over His people. History tells us that this special blessing was recited every evening at the conclusion of the daily sacrifices. In ancient times, a blessing was the primary method of asking God’s divine favor to rest upon others. The words of the daily blessing, selected by God Himself, are a beautiful reminder to us today of what He desires to do in our lives each and every day.

Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV) The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

God desires to: (1) bless and keep us—give us favor and protection, (2) shine His face upon us—give us the spiritual light of truth to direct and guide us, (3) be gracious to us—show us His mercy and compassion, (4) lift His countenance upon us—look cheerfully, pleasingly and approvingly upon our righteousness, and (5) give us peace—both internal peace of mind and peace with Him.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seek the Old Paths

Recently, archeologists found a 1,500 year-old Jerusalem road that was once a bustling thoroughfare used by numerous Christian pilgrims to enter the Holy Land. Although the road had been “missing” for centuries, experts have long believed they knew its location from ancient maps. The road lay nearly fifteen feet below the current surface beneath several layers of archeological strata. Because the ancient road lay under a very busy modern street it was not excavated until city officials authorized the dig as part of an infrastructure rehabilitation project.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What is the Gospel?

The word “gospel” (Greek: euaggelizō) literally means “to announce good news”. The term “evangelize” comes from the same root word. From a biblical perspective, the gospel is God’s message to mankind. In this way, Abraham and Moses with the Jews of the exodus heard “the gospel” (Gal 3:8; Heb 4:2). Jesus also preached “the gospel” from the beginning of His earthly ministry (Mat 4:23; Mar 1:14). It appears, then, that the gospel is God’s message of “good news” to the people for that particular time.

Therefore, in the New Testament era (in which we are still living) the essence of the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4). This is the “good news” of God’s grace and power. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, humanity can be saved from the curse of sin, have peace with God, and inherit eternal life.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Free Marriage Booklets from Focus on the Family

A while back I discovered three ebooklets available for free from Focus on the Family.  All three are available via PDF download (and can be printed) and two of them are available for online reading.  These booklets are brief, but have good, basic information.  These are good resources for ministers and counselors to recommend to others.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Living Epistles

“Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men. Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God… “ (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)

In the early church, ministers of the Gospel often carried letters (or epistles) of recommendation so that they would be received by the various communities to which they traveled. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthian Christians that they were living epistles known and read by all. In other words, their reputation and lifestyle was a powerful example to all of the Spirit of the living God. No literal letter of recommendation was necessary because their lives were a testimony that gave honor to God, the ministry, and the church.

For good or for bad, you are a living epistle known and read by your friends, acquaintances, family, colleagues, and even by strangers. By your words, actions and attitudes others form an opinion not only about you, but about your church, your faith, and your God. Whether you realize it or not, people are “reading” you every where you go and in everything you do.

What kind of message does your life convey?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

One Year Bible Free Audio

Our church, River of Life, is participating in the One Year Bible daily reading plan this year.  A few people have asked me if I was aware of any options for listening to the daily reading selections.  I have already posted about Free Audio Bible MP3 Downloads, but some are interested in audio options that specifically correspond to the One Year Bible daily selections.  After a little looking, I found a couple of free options.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Classic Quote on the Bible

THE BIBLE contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy.

It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you.

It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword and the Christian's charter.

Here paradise is restored, heaven opened and the gates of hell disclosed.

Christ is its grand object, our good is its design and the glory of God its end.

It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.

It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure.

It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgment, and will be remembered forever.

It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.

Pray it in, read it through, live it out, and pass it on.

-- Author Unknown --