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As Stand to Reason closes out it’s 20th anniversary year, I think of the multitudes of ordinary folk in STR’s ranks who’ve been standing faithfully where God has placed them. In the long view, an organization’s success is not ultimately measured by its flashy triumphs—packed out venues, best-selling books, world-class web stats—but rather by the quiet victories of individual lives transformed through its faithful service.
Whatever difficulties you face, it's safe to say there is something else going on than what meets the eye. In what way is God working all things for good? According to Romans 8:28, God is conforming us to the image of his Son. Jesus Himself was brought to maturity through suffering. Hebrews 2:10 says, "For it was fitting for God, for Whom and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the Author of their salvation through sufferings."
Are you giving a bit of Heaven to everyone you meet? Especially the people closest to you? Greg sets out a strategy to do just that. “Give ‘em Heaven.” That’s the way I close every broadcast. It’s good advice; that’s why I give it. Every time I do, though, I feel a tinge of guilt. Is this something I do, I think to myself, or is it just a catchy slogan? Would others say this was true of me?
A suggestion to be intentional and vigilant about being an attractive ambassador in everyday life Yesterday on the freeway my moments of tender intercession were interrupted by outbursts of unkind words tumbling from the same lips previously dedicated to prayer. Yes, fresh and bitter water from the same spring (James 3). The problem? Drivers who tailgate. They drive me nuts. California freeways are full of them and one was close at my heels.
Think about this. A smart person is smart enough to know he’s smart. A dumb person is often too dumb to know he’s dumb, so he thinks he’s smart, but he’s not. So both of them think they’re smart, but only one is really smart and the other is dumb. So here’s my question: Do you think you’re smart? If you do, is it because you are smart and you know it, or because you’re actually too dumb to know how dumb you are?
It’s a good thing before trials come to put our thoughts in proper order about how to deal with difficulties and tragedies that God allows in our lives, and not to let them shake us from what the Truth is, if we are in possession of it.
Followers of Jesus Christ face two extremes in the discussion of Christianity and citizenship. Do we aggressively invade culture, offering political solutions, or divorce from culture, trusting the Spirit to change hearts? The biblical approach is not one or the other; Christians must do both. Followers of Jesus Christ face two extremes in the discussion of Christianity and citizenship.
I want to talk about a principle that relates to this broader discussion of politics. In fact, I want to talk about two things that are related and are especially important ideas during an election season. The first is the question, Does God take sides? And the second is on the issue of partisanship, in other words, arguing for and defending your own view. Here are my two basic convictions regarding these two questions. First, God does take sides. Second, partisanship is not only good, I think it is morally required precisely because God does take sides.
Unpleasant, hostile, conniving, catty, arrogant, complainer, gossip-- Christians with traits like these bring discredit not just on themselves, but also the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of my callers had a valid question. He asked if there is such a thing as mean-spirited Christians. My answer was, yes, Christians do all kinds of bad things, unfortunately.
I heard very, very sad news this last week, and many of you are aware of this. A very well known evangelical leader in southern California has stepped down from ministry because of sexual indiscretion. He has offered his resignation and it was accepted in his church. I'm not going to mention his name right now because it's not really that important. Those of you who know, know; and those of you who don't, don't need to know. But you need to know this....