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Guest authors provide news and commentary.
Posted 12/23/14 at 10:42 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Another question a reader asked me on my blog was this: Even though I gave my heart to the Lord a long time ago, I always struggle with thoughts that when I die, I will find I am not saved. That produces a lot of fear. I know the Bible says to believe, but how do you know what is really in your heart, since only God can see and know what is in our hearts?
That’s a good question, and a very heart-felt one that I think plagues a lot of people.
The good news is 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” John goes on to write about the confidence we have in approaching God. We can know we have eternal life.
The promise of God is that if we believe in Him, we are His children—as it says in John 1:12, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." The Greek word translated "right" or “authority” is exousia, a very strong word. It means if we believe in God—if we believe in Christ—we will be saved. FULL POST
Posted 12/22/14 at 3:33 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
“When I worship, I would rather my heart be without words than my words be without heart.”Lamar Boschman
I love music. I love singing. I just love worshipping God through song. It is a great way to express our love for Him, and is very close to my heart. There are so many songs of praise to God in the Bible. I truly believe that He loves to hear us sing his praise. However, worship is so much more than just our songs. Worship is born in our hearts, not on our lips. I believe worship is a life-style, not only a segment of a church service.
In all our songs, in all our actions, in all our “worship,” the ultimate goal is to bring God glory. It is not to make us feel good. It is not to put our love for God on display. In the presence of God, we find forgiveness and healing, we grow and learn and become more like Jesus; however, in all that we say and do in our worship, our focus should be awe before the surpassingly great and gracious God—not our church, our peers, or ourselves. FULL POST
Posted 12/22/14 at 11:24 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Another subtle type of control that wears on ministry leaders is from so-called “friendly fire” which comes from well meaning compliments. This is when the senior minister receives little comments or notes from certain people who will compliment the behavior they want them to display. When they preach hard and with conviction, certain people will praise them for being the prophet they always wished for. When they teach long comprehensive expository sermons, certain people will praise them for being the teacher they always wanted them to be. Then when they are passionately reaching the lost in relevant ways, certain people will praise them for being the fiery evangelist they believe every preacher should be. Then if they visit someone at the hospital, they will praise them for being the pastor they always wanted them to be.
When praise comes from a pure heart, it is beautiful and edifying. But unbeknownst to some believers is the subtle spirit of control they operate in as they try to make their ministry leader into their ministry ideal, instead of accepting them for who God made them to be. Like many things in life, it all seems innocent until you are on the receiving end of it. FULL POST
Posted 12/22/14 at 11:13 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
It’s easy to get caught up in the regrets of our past, our mistakes, and our failures. I’ve met so many people who truly understand God’s forgiveness, but have yet to find the courage and strength to forgive themselves. This is something that can truly interfere with one’s relationship with God, and I think shining some light on this topic could potentially help many who feel the weight of their family name, personal mistakes and failures. The same power that conquered the grave lives within us, and we must remember that the Christian life is about where we are going, not where we came from. Nobody is perfect.
1. You’re not your father.
2. You’re not your mother.
3. You’re not your family.
4 .You’re not your past.
5. You’re not your mistakes.
6. You’re not your failures.
Breathe. You’re not anyone other than who God has called you to be—a son or daughter of the King. Regardless of your last name, what you did last week, or even what you did last year, God’s love for you covers a multitude of sins and there is nothing that can get in the way of that truth. FULL POST
Posted 12/22/14 at 11:02 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
Oh man. When a friend suggested we ask Facebook friends what to do when a pastor or staff-member is not tithing–and not even giving anything to the Lord’s work–I went with it. And the fur flew, far more than I expected. Answers ranged from “Terminate the guy, immediately” (a large contingent said that) to “Tithe? That’s Old Testament law and has no place for New Testament believers!” to “Who are you to judge?” They argued back and forth, and some became rather unChristian in their comments. Then, one group accused the other of Pharisaism and condemned the condemners.
Amazing how this issue arouses the dander of some otherwise reasonably minded people. Even so, ever the one to charge hell with a water pistol, I thought I’d take on the subject. Here goes…. FULL POST
Posted 12/19/14 at 11:57 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
This is the last of my three part post on “Dreams.” We talked about “Daring to Dream,” “Dreams vs Career” and now when “DREAMS DIE.” My brother in law, Noe Salmeron was at the event above the day they demolished the famed Texas Stadium last week. Since 1971, Texas Stadium was the home of the legendary Dallas Cowboys. My wife, Ruth was born in El Salvador but her second home is Irving, Texas (literally just miles from this historic site).
This post will have two points. It has been said: “ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END.” Honestly, as a lifelong Washington Redskins fan I always admired this stadium. For one, it is arguably the most recognized field in the National Football League but also one of the most recognized venues in all of sports (including the Boston Garden, Yankees Stadium and Madison Square Garden). It always impressed me and the endless joke I heard since elementary school from all my Cowboys friends: “The reason the roof of Cowboys stadium had a hole at the top was so God could watch His favorite team play!” Cute joke – but God sees through steel. Go God!! FULL POST
Posted 12/19/14 at 10:47 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
By Joe McKeever
Pastors must learn to live with loose ends. Unfinished tasks. Dangling threads that need to be tied up.
When they lay their heads on the pillow at night, God’s shepherds can think of 38 things left undone and needing attention tomorrow….
Someone needs a call returned, a member needs a visit, a sermon needs more preparation, a program needs planning, a colleague needs encouragement, an employee needs to be held accountable, the pastor’s child needs some dad-time, his wife has been wanting to talk about several issues, he had hoped to begin his physical fitness program this week, the nursing home has invited him to hold a service, the seminary wants him to speak, the denominational committee needs to meet and hear his report, and he should have prayed more today. The family that buried their father last month needs a follow-up visit. The postponed dental appointment should be rescheduled and his CPA has a question about his taxes. FULL POST
Posted 12/19/14 at 10:24 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
“You’re a sinner.”
“You’re not good enough.”
“You’re too far gone.”
“You’re too damaged.”
“God can’t forgive you.”
“Remember that one time?”
These little reminders wear us down every day. They keep us discouraged. They keep us “broken.” They keep us from serving God, and taking the victory in our Christian walk. They keep our focus on ourselves and our failures. This is not how it’s supposed to be.
Our heavenly father doesn’t keep lists. Once we have confessed and received forgiveness, God does not even remember our sin, let alone remind us of it. Any voice that reminds you of your past sins is not a voice of God. It is the voice of Satan. Any person who reminds you of your past sins after they have been repented, forgiven, and turned away from is acting as a tool of Satan.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12 FULL POST
Posted 12/19/14 at 10:07 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Even though I believe we’ll live in time in Heaven, God is certainly capable of bending time and opening doors in time’s fabric for us. Perhaps we’ll be able to travel back and stand alongside angels in the invisible realm, seeing events as they happened on Earth. Maybe we’ll learn the lessons of God’s providence through direct observation. Can you imagine being there as Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount? Perhaps you will be.
Want to see the crossing of theRed Sea? Want to be there when Daniel’s three friends emerge from the fiery furnace? It would be simple for God to open the door to the past.
Because God is not limited by time, He may choose to show us past events as if they were presently happening. We may be able to study history from a front-row seat. Perhaps we’ll have opportunity to see the lives of our spiritual and physical ancestors lived out on Earth.
Usually we’re not able to see God’s immediate responses to our prayers, but in Heaven God may permit us to see what happened in the spiritual realm as a result of His answers to our prayers. In the Old Testament an angel comes to the prophet Daniel and tells him what happened as the result of his prayers: “As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you” (Daniel 9:23). FULL POST
Posted 12/18/14 at 11:09 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Christian leaders must be willing to take off their masks and the Sunday-morning professionalism and share the real needs of the ministry and its leadership. More Christians need to be trained how to support ministry leaders. That’s the reason for the book, “What In Hell…Is Going On?” – it will help your ministry know the truth about what’s going on behind the scenes, even if your leaders are hesitant to talk about the spiritual attacks he or she is experiencing.
Admittedly, this is difficult to do. One leader noted that when he began to open up and let his ministry team know what he was really battling, he was criticized. The naïve members of his ministry didn’t want to hear that they were a burden to him. They effectively said, “We don’t want to know you are human”. (Kids don’t usually like to acknowledge their parents are people too until they have children of their own.) Yet this is absolutely necessary if we are going to bring God’s people to maturity. FULL POST