Creating God in Our Own Image by Robert Ricciardelli

God created us in His image, and we have returned the favor by creating Him in our own image. God designed us to live in His image and ways, while humanistic religion presents a God who is an advocate for their need for power, dominance, and control. Before ego has a chance to start another war, end another relationship, or abuse the defenseless, we must be reminded that the one true God is a God of love, life, and liberty for all. He is the God that advocates, "If you seek to be great, become a … [Read more...]

Belief and Doubt Cannot Coexist in Empowerment by Robert Ricciardelli

Out of the thousands of thoughts that cross your mind each day, you make the choice as to what thoughts you choose to harbor. It is God within you that empowers you to renew your mind daily and conform your thoughts to be aligned with His divine mind. Thoughts lead to action, and thoughts can empower you or disable you from activities of providence and design. Pray or worry, but do not do both as fear will try to subdue your faith filled thoughts and prayers. Believe or doubt, but they cannot … [Read more...]

You Cannot Turn Off the Light by Robert Ricciardelli

Dualism remains a problem for many Christ followers. They compartmentalize their lives and miss the presence and light of God in every moment, breath, and context of life. Here are some scriptural truths on the matter:Matthew 5:14 - You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.Proverbs 4:18 - The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.John 8:12 - When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am t … [Read more...]

Freedom From the Enemy Called Self by Robert Ricciardelli

Being transformed into the image of God is a process of being disenchanted with our deceptive ego, realizing how deficient it really is. The only way people can ever be freed from their fears is to be freed from themselves. There is a direct association between the amount of fear in our lives and the amount of attachment we have to ourselves. The person who is beyond fear has given up the need to control or possess. This person knows who they are in the eyes of God, nothing more and nothing … [Read more...]

Compassion Overcomes Self-Absorption by Robert Ricciardelli

Empathy is the powerful and rare ability to imagine what motivates someone else to act. It is lending emotion towards someone else's experience. Self-absorption kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world gets smaller as our problems become larger. But when we focus on others, our world expands, and our own problems seem smaller as we increase our capacity for connection or compassionate action. The most beautiful people I know are those who have known defeat, … [Read more...]

Beliefs Determine Behavior by James Ryle

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23 GNB).Solomon’s proverbial insight are as relevant today as ever before. “Be careful how you think,” he tells us, “your life is shaped by your thoughts.” In the New Testament we are told by the apostle Paul that our lives are transformed by the “renewing of our minds”(Romans 12:2).In other words, beliefs determine behavior.We are living in historic times – times that require deep conviction and decisive cou … [Read more...]

We are Created to Live in Joy and Peace by Robert Ricciardelli

We have been created for contentment, peace, and joy in whatever condition of life we are experiencing. This can only happen supernaturally through faith in a God who is always with us and who will never leave us. Faith in a God who gives us the ability to accept the things we cannot change, and a God who gives us strength, wisdom, and courage to change the things we can. There are things in life we will never change and we certainly cannot change people. We can however change ourselves through … [Read more...]

Choosing the Beauty of First Love by Graham Cooke

We did not choose God; He chose us and set His love upon us, as a seal over our own heart. We are to be governed by His passion for us in Christ. Choosing love above all else enables our hearts to be captivated by the Father’s very real affection for us. Our relationship with Him is founded on what He has made available to us in Christ.As always, when we are talking relationally about being with God the issues of performance; identity and self-worth are prevalent. You can always tell the C … [Read more...]

Wanted: Energy Gainers For Life by Robert Ricciardelli

Don't you love being with people who give out energy and life rather than drain it from you? You can feel life coming from those who love, are creative, take initiative, and really engage with the world around them. Jesus was this way and people sought Him out and so do we seek to be around others who are wise, whole, and full of life. Their spiritual authority is compelling and yet they do not need a title or role, it just is. These people are far from perfect but submit to the "Perfect One," … [Read more...]

The Blind Leading the Blind by Dudley Hall

He also told them a parable: Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Luke 6:39-40 (ESV)During his life and ministry, Jesus introduced his new kingdom order and offered a life that beyond that which the Jewish leaders had offered. They were content to work the rhythms of well-tried principles that made for a good reputation and a prosperous lifestyle. Jesus … [Read more...]