Guest Views
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Christian Post Guest Voices

Guest authors provide news and commentary.

Posted 7/24/14 at 2:47 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

How can I Stay Motivated in my Relationship With Jesus Christ?

Photo: Flickr/Robert - Creative Commons

By Randy Alcorn

A reader of my blog asked, How does a believer keep his motivation? I understand the motivation of the new believer, but how does one stay motivated in day-to-day living, year after year?

Another way of putting that question, in biblical terms, is, “How do you keep from losing your first love?” (Revelation 2:4). When you come to know Christ and put your faith in Him, Jesus changes your life. You’re excited about Him, and everything in life is a contrast to what it was before. But over the long haul, how do you keep that motivation going? How do you sustain a Christ-centered life?

I think the answer to that is really how you sustain a relationship with any person. When Nanci and I first met and started dating, there was an excitement to our relationship and we had our first love. But you begin to realize that over time certain things will change, and the tendency is to start taking each other for granted. FULL POST

Posted 7/24/14 at 11:36 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Some Things, Pastor, You do Not Want to Know

See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. Eyes, ears and mouth covered.
Photo: Flickr/Geoffrey Fairchild - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“He leadeth me in paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).

Pastor, you do not want to know why that committee turned you down for that position you wanted so badly.

I’m rereading my daily journals for the decade of the 1990s. Much of it I’d long since forgotten, so in many respects, it’s fun. One thing struck me, however, about the year 1992.

I was looking for a way out of this church!

By “this church” I mean the one where I remained as pastor for nearly 14 years and to which I still belong. It had come through a crisis 18 months before I arrived that almost resulted in its self-destruction. The Lord sent me to half a congregation, millions of dollars in debt, a sanctuary that had had major problems from the beginning and needed considerable work, and a dysfunctional leadership team made up of some of the greatest souls in the kingdom as well as some of the strangest birds ever. FULL POST

Posted 7/24/14 at 11:17 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

15 Reasons the Greatest Suffering is Better Than the Smallest Sin

By David Murray

Photo: Pixabay/Nemo - Public Domain

You have a choice.

Option 1: The tiniest sin imaginable, a sin that would bring you tremendous wealth and other material pleasures.

Option 2: The greatest suffering imaginable, for rejecting that one tiny sin.

Your selection, please. Or maybe you want to read this first.

In his sermon on Moses’ choice of Christ’s reproach instead of the pleasures of Egypt (Heb. 11:25), the Puritan Thomas Manton argues that the healthy Christian will choose the greatest affliction before the least sin. He then gives a number of reasons “why the greatest affliction is better than the least sin.”

1. In suffering the offence is done to us, but in sinning the offence is done to God; and what are we to God? FULL POST

Posted 7/23/14 at 1:57 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Awakened Together: The Hope of Resurrection

Photo: Flickr/James Emery - Creative Commons
The Garden Tomb where some people believe Jesus was buried and resurrected.

By Wade Burleson

"We should learn to view our death [as] . . . a fine, sweet and brief sleep, which brings us release from . . . all the misfortunes of this life, and we shall be secure and without care, rest sweetly and gently for a brief moment, as on a sofa, until the time when He shall call and awaken us together with all his dear children to His eternal glory and joy." (A Compendia of Luther's Theology, p. 242).

I lead a men's discipleship group on Tuesday mornings. The only ground rules are there are no ground rules. Come when you can. Leave when you must. Ask questions, make comments, or simply stay quiet. The discussion is free flowing. We've been meeting for twenty-two years at 7:00 am and everyone's welcome, guests invited. Currently we are reading and discussing John's Gospel. FULL POST

Posted 7/23/14 at 10:53 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Courage Greatly Needed in the Pulpit and in the Pews

Photo: Flickr/David Morris - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“The Lord is for me; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6. See also Hebrews 13:5-6)

I read that scripture–especially the Hebrews 13:5-6 incarnation–and smile. Asking “what can man do to me?” is kind of like asking for it, isn’t it? Daring them to “bring it on.” The answer of course is that man can do a great deal to you. But the bottom line–and the point of the scripture–is that ultimately, with God being “for me,” it does not matter.

Nothing matters so much as our being one with the heavenly Father.

Can we talk about courage? This is as rare as plutonium these days, particularly among the very people who should demonstrate it most readily, the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Only two people in the church need courage: the one in the pulpit and the one in the pew. FULL POST

Posted 7/23/14 at 10:24 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

14 Sobering Reminders When Confronting Sin

number 14
Photo: Flickr/Steve Bowbrick - Creative Commons

By David Murray

The last couple of days we’ve been looking at the important, difficult, and oft-avoided duty of confronting or rebuking sin. We looked at the general attitude we should have when approaching someone about their sin and then listed a bank of 30 questions to ask when challenging sin. Today I want to suggest 14 truths to remember throughout this process:

  • Remember the depth of sin: This is not some shallow simple matter. It has deep origins and roots in the unfathomable depths of the human heart.
  • Remember the width of sin: Sin impacts every part of our beings – bodies, minds, emotions, desires, imaginations, personalities, relationships, and so on.
  • Remember the length of sin: Long-term habits are not easy to break – they create default pathways in our brain that we all too easily and automatically travel down.
  • Remember the height of sin: It is against God, the Holy and infinite God of heaven and earth.
  • Remember the power of sin: The person’s whole life may be dominated and consumed by it.
  • Remember the damage of sin: The destructive consequences for the person, his relationship with God, and his relationship with others.
  • Remember the love of sin: He is not doing it because he hates it but because he loves it and gets pleasure from it – no matter how temporary.
  • Remember the confusion of sin: It is illogical and irrational and makes those committing it illogical and irrational. You cannot rely on reasoning to defeat sin.
  • Remember the context of sin: Without absolving a person of responsibility, consider some of the factors that may have contributed to this person’s sin – genetic, social, providential, relationship factors. Other people’s sins may have triggered this sin.
  • Remember the memory of sin: Even when a person is delivered from it, the memory will often remain and continue to tempt.
  • Remember the deceitfulness of sin: We deny, downplay, shift blame, minimize, excuse, etc.
  • Remember the despair of sin: A person be hopelessly overwhelmed with shame and guilt.
  • Remember the ignorance of sin: Through ignorance, custom, context or seared conscience, a person may not realize what they are doing is sinful.
  • Remember the companions of sin: it rarely comes alone but brings lots of “friends” with it.

These reminders keep us serious, humble, and prayerful throughout this process. FULL POST

Posted 7/22/14 at 11:58 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |

1 comment

What Good Does Prayer Do?

Photo: Flickr/John Ragai - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“And He was giving them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not faint” (Luke 18:1).

At all times we ought to pray.

She knew I was praying for a certain family member who seems forever in some kind of predicament. She asked, “Why do you pray? I don’t see it doing any good.”

When I caught my breath–I could not believe a Christian asking such a question–I said, “Ask me why I breathe air. It’s what I do to live.”

She did not let me off that easily. “Do you really think God is going to do what you ask? Is that why you pray?”

By now, I had settled down enough to try to verbalize a reasonable answer.

“That’s not up to me. How He chooses to answer my prayer is His business.” FULL POST

Posted 7/22/14 at 11:53 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Your Brain Is Plastic

Think sign
Photo: Flickr/H. Michael Karshis - Creative Commons

By David Murray

For those of us who are temperamentally and instinctively on the more melancholic side of things, there’s good news. You can change your brain to think more positively and feel more cheerfully.

Until the 1970’s, most scientists believed that our brain structure and emotional makeup was primarily genetic and more or less set in stone, especially after teenage years. More recent research has demonstrated that we can actually change our brain structures and connections, improving our overall mood in the process.

A pill or surgery?
So how do we change our brains? Is there a pill, an operation, or a one-off intervention? No, we retrain our brains by multiple little daily decisions. That’s good news – and bad news.

It’s good news because it means we don’t need to do anything dramatic, expensive, or invasive.

The bad news is that it involves effort – disciplined and determined effort to increase the number of positive experiences in our everyday lives. These multiple, little, daily positives not only give us a quick squirt of happy emotions and improved performance but, as they become a habit, they raise our baseline happiness. Scientists call this neuroplasticity – yes, your brain is plastic and that’s actually a good thing – to convey how adaptable, flexible, and elastic our brains are. FULL POST

Posted 7/21/14 at 11:49 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

When Friendship and Truth Clash

crawfish and corn
Photo: Laity Lodge Youth Camp - Creative Commons

By Joe McKeever

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6).

Around here in Southeast Louisiana you’ll see billboards that say “Friends don’t let friends eat imported crawfish.”

I know people in other parts of the country who would change that to say “Friends don’t let friends eat crawfish, period.”

A friend speaks up when his buddy is in trouble. A friend tells the truth even when doing so is uncomfortable for both parties. A friend rebukes his colleague if he’s doing something dangerous or self-destructive.

I want to be such a friend; I want to have such friends.

A few years back, while in Birmingham, I sought out a few friends whose opinions I treasure and handed them a brief manuscript I had labored over. FULL POST

Posted 7/18/14 at 12:05 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |

54 comments

What do you Think About Linking Current Events to the End Times?

Photo: Flickr/Ben Sutherland - Creative Commons
Repent! Jesus is coming soon.

By Randy Alcorn

What do you think about linking current events to the end times? Is this a good thing for Christians to focus on?

I certainly believe in the return of Christ. But I do not put much faith in prophecy buffs, who have been getting it wrong for so many years. What international conflict in the past century, especially involving the Middle East, has not inspired books and sermons affirming “this is it”? (Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, JFK, and Henry Kissinger are just a few of the “Anti-Christs” who have come and gone.)

Eventually some of the prophecy “experts” will be right about some things. Will it be this time, and will recent events trigger the real end times? It’s possible, of course. But I’ve heard dozens of theories about “men who must be the Anti-Christ”, as well as countless “the sky is falling” and “this is the beginning of the tribulation for sure” predictions, during the forty years since I became a Christian as a teenager. You will pardon me if I don’t have much interest in the latest theories. FULL POST

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