What is courage? How can we wrap our hands around it and bring it into our own lives? It’s a word many in this world are familiar with, but few really know it by personal experience. There is a particular side of courage that I want to focus on. It is defined: the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery. Simply put, Courage is the… Read more

In Genesis 25:23, God gives the promise concerning Jacob and his older brother, Esau, before they were even born: “The older shall serve the younger.” God’s promise was there from the beginning. But despite that fact, Jacob lived his life trying to fulfill the promise through his own scheming and clever plans. What a man he was! He was bold enough and clever enough to steal his brother’s birthright and trick his father into blessing him instead of Esau. Because… Read more

Courage is essential to every work, and without it no one can fulfill the call of the Lord upon his life. This is the reason why Paul urges Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:8, “Do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” The question is: Will you have the courage to endure through trials and continue to serve the Lord,… Read more

As followers of Christ, we very often forget that we are engaged in a serious spiritual battle all around us. Once I counseled a Christian leader who was deeply discouraged because of the sudden pressures he was facing in his ministry. Some years ago, this man had graduated with top honors from engineering school and was employed in a foreign country. He had plenty of money, a huge house and everything else he could wish for in life. One day… Read more

King David prayed: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23–24). When we think about everlasting life, our minds automatically fast forward to the day we die, enter heaven and live with the Lord forever. David’s request to “lead me in the way everlasting” does not speak about his future life in heaven but the one… Read more

How do you and I become disciplined people? Becoming self-disciplined begins with a conviction from Romans 15:3 that “even Christ did not please himself.” In the same way, we should not seek to please ourselves. This is the foundation. Here are 7 practical suggestions of where to start in living a more disciplined life: 1. Begin with Little Things Don’t try to run or fly; start by walking, and even crawling if need be. Do the little things. A disciplined… Read more

We cannot live in neutral and expect to coast into fulfilling the call of God on our lives. We must put ourselves in gear, allow the Holy Spirit to identify the areas of our lives that need self-discipline and then daily make the choice to take up our cross and follow Him. The nature of discipline is doing the things we don’t exactly feel like doing. Self-discipline is a highway, taking us off the roads full of traffic and frequent… Read more

My wife and I missed church last Sunday! Our exceptional pastor was giving his third sermon in a special series about the Holy Spirit. But our middle of nine grandchildren was graduating from high school, and the Sunday-morning 11:00 high school ceremony made it impossible to be in both places at the same time. I remember back when the family questioned whether Elias, who is autistic, would make it through high school. How proud of him we now were that… Read more

In the early years of my ministry, I spoke according to my own ability and cleverness. Though people were impressed, inside I was drying up. I struggled without any overcoming life in me. I carried a lot of information in my head, but I was like a chandelier with the switch turned off. It looks nice, the bulbs are brand-new, the electrical cord intact, but the power needed to light it is missing. One evening, before I was to speak… Read more

We all have expectations for ourselves. We all have ways we would like to be different. Perhaps we would like to be more patient or less prone to anger. When we do not measure up to the standards we have set for ourselves we become discouraged. But you have to realize that God is not discouraged with you. He never gives up on us. He never stops working with us. Balance is needed between knowing our sins and insufficiency and knowing… Read more

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