All posts tagged: Paul

How to Excel in Pleasing God


In this first letter to the Thessalonians Paul begins in chapter 1:4 by recounting how the gospel – preached with the Holy Spirit’s power and full conviction – had touched and transformed the lives of many. This transformation was so plain to Paul that he declared in 1 Thess. 2:1 that “our coming to you was not in vain” and how in 1 Thess. 1:9, “they had turned from idols to the living God.” He calls them imitators of God in 1 Thess. 1:6, and boasted about how their testimony had gone forth not only in their immediate surroundings, but also to far away places (1 Thess. 1:8). Paul also called them his hope and joy, the crown of exultation, and glory (1 Thess. 2:19, 20),  and broke out in ecstatic praise when he got news that they were doing great in their walk with the Lord even though he had not visited to impart what he thought they were lacking in their walk with the Lord. Even after hearing how great they were doing – Paul still continued to pray for them to increase and abound in their walk with the Lord. He admonished …

How about a list of Dos and Don’ts?


You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires Romans 13:9-14 I often hear people say, “christianity is not a list of do’s and don’ts – it’s all about one’s relationship with God.” I agree. I agree …

Extra Extra Read All About It


It always starts with one word First, somebody told it, Then the room couldn’t hold it, So the busy tongues rolled it Till they got it outside. Then the crowd came across it, And never once lost it, But tossed it and tossed it, Till it grew long and wide. This lie brought forth others, Dark sisters and brothers, And fathers and mothers– A terrible crew. And while headlong they hurried, The people they flurried, And troubled and worried, As lies always do. And so evil-bodied, This monster lay goaded, Till at last it exploded In smoke and in shame. Then from mud and from mire The pieces flew higher, And hit the sad victim And killed a good name. I am looking forward to the day when people would realize that they should never say anything about anybody behind their back. I hope people will realize that if they can not say something about somebody in their presence, they cannot say it at all to anybody else. By overlooking this simple principle, some people …

Are you willing to Risk being liked for being Extraordinary?


A few hours ago I wrote a post entitled 7 things self-absorbed super-spiritual pastors say in the pulpit. The post was about the Unfortunate behavior of some preachers who relentlessly use their teaching to cut and hurt people. My purpose was to argue that sometimes sensitivity,  tact and cleverness in the way we communicate pays off greatly as we seek to deliver a difficult to swallow kind of message, convey a rebuke, or bring correction to a person who really needs it. For me, sometime our so-called speaking truth to power can come across as vicious, rude and simply disrespectful. However, if not careful, balanced and in tune with the Holy Spirit, we can find ourselves slipping into that place where we are only concern about making people feel comfortable and doing everything not to get them offended. Unfortunately, some churches, preachers and writers have fallen into the trap of being politically correct because of fear that somebody is going to get offended. This is spiritually dangerous not only for the leader, the membership, but also the …

10 things self-absorbed, super-spiritual preachers say in the pulpit


My purpose here is to argue that sometimes sensitivity, tact and cleverness in the way we communicate pays off greatly as we seek to deliver a difficult to swallow kind of message, convey a rebuke, or bring correction to a person who really needs it. For me, sometime our so-called speaking truth to power or motivating others for a greater good can come across as vicious, rude and simply disrespectful. Here are some of those things I think could be better, if not, more effectively communicated: 1. We would like to welcome all of you C&E Folks to our Special Easter/Christmas Service. All our C&E folks? It means those who only show up in church for an Easter or Christmas service. In some circles they are called Christers or Onecers. 2. Back in the day we used to go for hours way past the time for us to dismiss service when the Holy Ghost began to move 3. God is not impress with the one hour you give to him at the Sunday morning service 4. …

Again in travail …


Let me start by asking you a question about what you think it takes to start a church. What do you think it takes to win your friends or lead a community into a vibrant life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ? For some of us the answer to those questions may be simple. Simple as get some good connections, a celebrity preacher to do a spot for you, run it on radio or TV – than get a little social on all the social networks and you are on your way. But it wasn’t that easy for Paul and his companions. For them, it was great labor both physically and spiritually. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you. Galatians 4:19 There is one thing worth mentioning in this verse: Besides the many details mentioned in Acts 13 and Acts 14 about his sorrows and bitter sufferings, there had been an agony of travail (like that of a woman in childbirth) on Paul’s part at the founding of …

10 Bible Characters of Great Faith


…we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses… It is imperative to surround oneself with people who can impact your life for the good and not for the bad. Here is a list of a few great men and women worth hanging out with 24/7. 1. Noah was a man who took God seriously. Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him. Genesis 6:22 2. Nehemiah was a man who silenced the Nay Sayers and did what they said he couldn’t do. Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.” Nehemiah 2:20 3. Job was a man whose life and resolve was tested beyond imagination, yet did not curse God. “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” Job 1:22 4. Joseph was a man who was wholly devoted to the Lord even in times of injustice, betrayal, and temptation. “As for you, you …

Hudson Taylor Part 1 (Compelled by the Spirit)


  I don’t know about you… I love it when God put other people on my heart to pray for them. Sometimes it come to me through a dream, other times it comes it is like a heavy burden or an uneasiness that just drops you to your knees in prayer… especially when you want to sleep and can’t close your eyes because you have this person or thing on your mind. Or you find yourself just thinking about this person and situation incessantly with a strong desire to pray or at least reach out. I humbly report that I have seen vision and heard the audible voice of God concerning these things, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that deep. I am sure you have found yourself thinking about somebody during your day and you called them – so you called them and your call was right on. You found out that it was a marriage under pressure, a kid out of control, a medical report that is devastating, a robbery on the way. God …

Spiritual Gymnastics


Gumnos: throwing off every encumbrance Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness. 1 Tim. 4:7 The word “train” comes from the Greek word Gumnos which means “naked” a word from which we also get our English word gymnasium. It is said that traditional greek athletes trained and competed without clothes. So to “train” literally meant to exercise naked or compete without clothes. The reason behind this practice was to allow the competitor to be free of every encumbrance that would burden and keep him/her from maximum performance. For Paul, connecting this word “train” to godliness will mean that his audience will begin to exercise their faith by training themselves to begin learning how to discard bad habits, evil tendencies, and anything or any lifestyle that impedes godliness. The scripture says it this way… “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before …

Mentor – Mentee


Five things I was reminded of in three days from my mentor: Over the last three day one of my mentors in the Lord came to spend three days with me, my family and church. The following are either things I picked up fresh from him or things I was reminded of in a fresh and brand new way. 1. A steadfast and continued hunger for God… I saw him in the word, in prayer, in worship continual. Now, I realize that some people can fake these things… And I know he was here just for three days, but you can tell that this was a life style. He talked passionately about just being with the Lord… And not using prayer as a tool to get things from God… 2. A high level of compassion… I saw him weep, I saw him go from door to door in the neighborhood, I saw him pray for people, I saw him write names down in a prayer book for continued prayer way after he left. I saw …