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    How Could Someone So Persecute Jesus!

    Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? —Acts 26:14

    Are you determined to have your own way in living for God? We will never be free from this trap until we are brought into the experience of the baptism of “the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). Stubbornness and self-will will always stab Jesus Christ. It may hurt no…

    What My Obedience to God Costs Other People

    If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything— it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it will mean that other people’s plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, “You call this Christianity?” We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.

    Seeking Truth

    As I was overseeing several small groups in my local church, I experienced a painful conflict with another leader, who ultimately left my team. While I needed to face my own failings, I later heard an incomplete version of what had gone wrong between the leader and myself from one of her group members. Truth had been lost in a shadow of accusations.

    The Law of Opposition

    Life without war is impossible in the natural or the supernatural realm. It is a fact that there is a continuing struggle in the physical, mental, moral, and spiritual areas of life.

    Focus on Grace

    A friend once asked me, “You’re never going to stop kicking yourself for that, are you?” He was referencing a relational fallout with a mutual friend that was largely my fault.

    The messy, imperfect life of John Mark

    Besides death and taxes, the only thing we can count on for sure is that life is going to get messy! Today on Discover the Word, we invite you to join the group at the table,  as they dig into the imperfect life of John Mark, the author of the gospel of Mark. Find out how […]

    My Friend Left the Church Because of Me

    “I need a break from church and from y’all to think about what happened,” a good friend wrote in a text message to me one day. And with that one message, Jasmine* never returned to my church again.

    How Can I Love the Church that Hurt Me?

    Seven days after I came into the world, my dad became the pastor of the church that I would grow up in. Unlike my siblings, I never knew a time when my Dad wasn’t a pastor.

    Into His Image

    “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” This sentiment from Anne Lamott often comes back to me in situations of potential conflict. If I find myself assuming God feels exactly the same way I do about most situations, it’s safe to say my view of God is mixed with a good deal of myself! Only one Person has known the mind of God fully; we His followers always understand imperfectly (1 Corinthians 13:12).

    Honor by Example

    Darkness wrapped the jet in a quiet comfort, while a few reading lights remained on. Though it was late in the evening and passengers were trying to sleep, the loud chatter of two young women could be heard above the hum of the plane’s engine. Suddenly, an older woman seated in front of them turned around and sharply exclaimed, “Would you two be quiet!” Taken aback, they looked around to see who had heard and began laughing disrespectfully. Turning to glare once more, the disrupted sleeper settled back in her seat.

    The Lord looks at the heart

    Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. And today on Discover the Word,  we unwrap this truth from the book of Genesis in the story of Leah. Tune in for a story of sibling rivalry, dysfunctional parenting, and the all-surpassing love of God. Listen today to Discover the Word!

    Limited View

    The spot began as a small discoloration on the baseboard adjacent to one of our bedroom doors. Unsure of what caused it, we dismissed it as an unidentified spill. After a lengthy stretch of rainy days, however, the three-inch spot had not only grown, but the baseboard on the opposite side of the door began to yellow as well. The bowing wood and the musty smell of damp carpet hastened our investigation, and we discovered that our original assessment had neglected to capture the full picture. Overflow from the rain had seeped into the doorframe of our back porch, resulting…

    5 Lessons from A Family Feud

    Family disputes are common. In fact, I see them happening in my own family all too often, whether it is over minute or important matters.

    Do It Now!

    In this verse, Jesus Christ laid down a very important principle by saying, “Do what you know you must do— now. Do it quickly. If you don’t, an inevitable process will begin to work ’till you have paid the last penny’ (Matthew 5:26) in pain, agony, and distress.” God’s laws are unchangeable and there is no escape from them. The teachings of Jesus always penetrate right to the heart of our being.

    Beware of Criticizing Others

    Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding.