The United States of America has never seemed more divided. There’s no nuance in conversation when it comes to the national dialogue. Either I’m completely right or you’re totally wrong! Debates are less focused on the argument and more focused on ad hominin attacks against the person making the argument.
Jesus’s resurrection from the dead proves God’s love. If Jesus is the second person of the Godhead, if he is God in human flesh, then he must conquer sin, death, and Satan. He must be raised from the dead.
Love must win!
If Jesus is raised from the dead, then you will be as well. The moment you received Jesus, he abides in you and you in him. Your life is coupled with his. Like train cars attached to the engine, wherever the engine goes, so go the cars. Similarly, if Jesus is raised from the dead, so must those who are attached to him. You must go to where he is.
And he is in heaven. Therefore, heaven is your home.
I could have chosen all the national and international dignitaries who gathered to celebrate Dr. Graham’s life and ministry. Noted televangelists and authors were there. Government officials were everywhere. And how can I ever forget President Trump, Vice President Pence, and their wives entering right before the service began?
But none of these will be my best memory. What was it?
Dr. Graham lived for people to know Jesus. His death reinvigorated my passion for the gospel. The call to take the gospel to all the nations has not been completed. There are still numbers of people worldwide who have never heard the good news of Jesus’s redeeming love.
Each new school shooting poses a keen question for every parent: How do we talk about the shootings with our kids? What do we say to them? How do we explain what happened to them? What can we say that may fight their fears and foster faith?
No child should ever have to fear going to school lest a shooting might occur. But it’s the day in which we live.
The Parkland community is in shock. The nation convulses in agony. And fear once again knocks on the door of many hearts.
It doesn’t appear that these tragedies will abate anytime soon. From Columbine, to Sandy Hook, to Orlando, to Las Vegas, to Sutherland, Texas, they keep happening.
How do we fight fear amid another horrific shooting?
I’ve often shared with parents how important it is for them to choose wisely those who will mentor their kids in their athletic pursuits.
My daughter played high school basketball and volleyball. My older son was a Division 1 basketball player. My younger son swam collegiately. My wife Marilynn and I know that sports can help mold character like nothing else.
That’s why as early as middle school, Marilynn and I tried to find coaches who reflected our values. We weren’t always successful, but we did the best we could. One bad choice could have negatively impacted our children’s lives forever.
I had a seminary professor who would continually say to us, his students, “Whenever you see a therefore in the Bible, you need to know what it’s there for.” He was making the point that the therefore in the text was connecting what was said before to what was about to be said.
When you understand this truth, it helps you know one of the chief causes of worry.
Maybe that’s what happened with the Eagles. So many players became better husbands, fathers, and people through their relationship with Jesus. Their character improved. Their work ethic increased. Their ability to work together as a team grew. Their love for one another expanded. All these things then enabled them to play better together as a team, overcoming adversity, even when they lost their star quarterback, Carson Wentz.
I’m presently reading through the book of Deuteronomy for my daily quiet time. I take a chapter per day, read and ponder its meaning. I then write out my prayers. This not only allows me to better focus on my prayer life, but I can go back to what I wrote months later and see how God responded to my prayers.
A few days ago, I read through chapter 22. I was amazed at how a good number of verses dealt with laws concerning sexual immorality. More specifically, the laws addressed inappropriate infringements on proper sexual conduct (verses 13-30).
Perhaps it would be wise to reflect on the words of G.K. Chesterton. He said that before we remove boundaries that have guided civilization for centuries, perhaps we should consider why they were placed there to begin with.
Women today are losing wars we should be winning. Families are hurting. Children lack direction. Marriages have a 50% fail rate. Communities grow more fragile by the day. Our culture groans. Who is this woman of valor and what can we learn from her? Surely we’ve never needed her more than now.
Does Satan prowl around the world looking for a weak, disturbed loner? He is not omnipresent. He can’t be everywhere. Only God can. Satan is a creature. God is the Creator.
But, as with Judas, the devil searches for a vulnerable person to be his instrument for destruction. When he finds such a person, he pounces and enters his heart.
And the greater the destruction, the happier he is.
In many ways, there is no stronger nation in the world than the United States of America. In spite of its blemishes, it has historically been a continual force for freedom and good in the world.
But America will become inept if divided. That’s why I’m convinced that the dark spiritual force behind this present division is the evil one. He doesn’t want us to forgive injustice and racism and work toward a common good. He doesn’t want leaders who will speak words of life and blessing to motivate our nation to come together.
No, the devil wants division. That’s his goal.
Please know that I believe Jesus will return one day. He said so. It will happen. Also, I realize that Jesus’ followers do need to observe the times and seasons, as he commanded (Matthew 16:3). Yes, there are hints Jesus has given us about his return---especially in the increasing intensity of disasters, wars, and rumors of wars (Matthew 24:6). I do acknowledge that John began the book of Revelation by stating that people are blessed when they try to understand the end times (Revelation 1:3).
However, call me skeptical when confronted with this specific prophecy. Why do I feel like this?
hillingly, Jesus said that people who experience tragedy are no worse sinners than those who don’t. He defused the common misconception teaching that disaster is God’s recompense for sinning. Then he continued to his most important point.
Jesus exposed the eternal reality that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). No one but God is good (Luke 18:19). All will one day face the judgment seat of God. And unless there is repentance, Jesus said, you too will perish.
Hope exists because the sun came up. Hope flourishes in the hearts of heroes---as evidenced in Houston, Florida, and Mexico. Will you ever forget the numbers of people in Houston driving their boats and rescuing people standing on roofs, waving desperately for help?
You will never discover true, internal, and eternal identity in your work. It will only be found in believing in Jesus’ invaluable gift of grace and eternal life. When you receive him as Lord and Savior, you hear his loving and priceless words, “You are my beloved son or daughter, in whom I am well-pleased.” You know you are loved no matter how hard your work or how much you accomplish. It stifles coveting. It guards against greed.
Why did I write From Superficial to Significant? It’s because I wanted to try to define true greatness in God’s eyes. I wanted to give people an opportunity to understand what God desires of them. In the book I share ten fundamentals of greatness from God’s perspective. When they are rightly practiced, I believe God’s heavenly applause grows.