James 1:13-15(NASB) Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it...
Do you want your life to count for God? Do you want to be used in the lives of other people? Do you want to be part of the solution? It is simpler than you think — you don’t need seminary, programs, methods, techniques, more knowledge etc. There are hurting people all around you, even in your own family. I don’t care who you are or what you know; God will use you if you do this. It is yet to be seen what the love of Christ can do.
Accept them just the way they are — If you don’t do this it does not make any difference what you do. People don’t care what you know until they know you care. This is everyone’s greatest need.
•To be free from drunkenness and every form of excess
•Exercising self-control by curbing passions
•To be even-tempered in mind and action
•To be reasonable and sensible
Many men and women have found a place of freedom from drug and alcohol abuse… yet they still find themselves hurting. They were so convinced that breaking the bonds of chemical dependency would satisfy all they were looking for… then, when they managed to string together several weeks or months of clean-time, they comment that “things seem to be no better… or getting worse”.
My name is Don Riffle and as I write this, I am 39 years old, married and have two daughters. We currently live in Parkville, Md. I am an electrician and my wife is a home healthcare nurse in the Baltimore area.
I was introduced to alcohol when I was about 10 years old. One of my friends took a few of my stepfather’s beers and we drank them. I didn’t particularly care for the taste and didn’t really want to be like my stepfather, stumbling around and acting like a fool, so I told myself I would never get caught up in that mess. Around this time, my real father was shot and killed. That really shook me, especially since I only got to see him a couple of times. Up to that point, our family consisted of my mom, me, my stepfather and my stepbrother. When I was around 14 years old, I found out that I had two sisters that were living with foster parents.
Of all the blessings and promises I have received from God – I have always cherished most in my heart, the joy I received when I accepted Jesus as my Lord. But what happens when we allow that joy to be taken from us? What do we do when circumstances come our way that troubles our soul so much we lose sight of the joy we cherish?
It is that joy that sustains us and helps us through the troubled times that will inevitably come our way. When we allow problems and worry and anxiety to control us – it is impossible to find peace within our soul. Where do we find our lost joy? How do we get it back?
While reading a book entitled “Encouragement”- by Drs. Larry Crabb and Dan Allender, I was reminded of some very useful reminders of how to maintain “healthy” Christian fellowship.
Here are some excerpts, mixed with my thoughts, from Chapter Four- “Total Openness– The Wrong Solution”:
Reading Jesus’ teachings, particularly in the “Sermon on the Mount”, I am reminded of how much instruction He gives which require having routines and discipline in our lives. The things Jesus taught seem as though they can only be worked out if there is attention given to how we plan for them.
A number of times I have said to my wife, and myself, that I need to work out. I am getting older and my body aches and my weight and stamina are not what they used to be! I bought an exercise machine and a treadmill was given to me… but I did not use them. Why? Because I was unsure what exercises to do and was unconvinced as to the actual benefit they would produce.
In my 10 years of private practice, I became persuaded that the community of God’s people was meant to be the place where the deepest healing takes place. I came to the conclusion that real healing has less to do with technical intervention and more to do with profound relational engagement.
Is there a difference between a believer and a disciple? Many people think that these two terms are synonymous, but some would suggest that they are not. In his fine work “Devotions for the Man in the Mirror,” Patrick Morley writes, “America has been saturated with the Gospel, and countless millions have leaped at the chance to receive Christ without knowing or counting the cost.