'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts

'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts

Breathing the Air Above: Your Letter from Jim

I don’t watch television often, so for diversion I have become accustomed to reading classical literature. I’m enchanted again with a second read-through of David Copperfield by Dickens, a master at crafting personality types that we in some way identify with. Here, David is with his aged friend who likes to be called “Mr. Dick” instead of Richard. He is something of a project for David’s aunt who has become his rescuer . . . and David’s. Mr. Dick is…

Seven Principles of Finance for the Believer

One of the most recognizable differences in the believer and the world he lives in is his unusual relationship to money and possessions. However, even serious believers sometimes balk at the seeming extremities in the teaching and lifestyle of Christ and the leaders of the New Testament church. Can we duplicate this New Testament lifestyle in our day? This outline provides the diligent believer with some key principles preparing him/her for radical, other-worldly financial behavior. Alone, or if married, with…

The Unrepenting Repenter

The believer in Christ is a lifelong repenter.  He begins with repentance and continues in repentance. (Rom. 8:12-13) David sinned giant sins but fell without a stone at the mere finger of the prophet because he was a repenter at heart (2 Sam. 12:7-13). Peter denied Christ three times but suffered three times the remorse until he repented with bitter tears (Mt. 26:75). Every Christian is called a repenter, but he must be a repenting repenter. The Bible assumes the…

The Pronouns Preach: Lessons on the Glory of the Church

When reading the Bible, parts of speech make a big difference in our understanding. There are many examples, but here is one that demonstrates my point perfectly. It is found in Ephesians. I will be so bold as to say, “If you miss the pronouns, you miss the entire meaning of the epistle,” and you will miss a particularly important lesson we need today. An Illustration Ephesus was a center of pagan worship boasting one of the seven wonders of the…

An Intimate Hour with God

The Lord invites us to know Him better. What a privilege! If the joy of heaven is in knowing the Lord’s presence without any sin to hinder us, surely seeking His presence now must be the greatest possible pursuit. Do you feel your need to pray? A person who has no need to pray cannot be living by faith. Prayerless-ness says, “I am sufficient in myself for everything required of me.” But is that so? And do you not grieve…

Dying with Debt

It is a sad proverb, but so true: “The borrower becomes the lender’s slave” (Prov. 22:7). Tossing and turning through the night, the heavy borrower is a depressed soul. He dresses with striped prison clothes every morning and lugs his shackles to work—that job that offers so little hope for setting him free. He dreads the coming of the mail, and has few waking hours without remorse. Serious debtors crave freedom, but often, sadly, borrow even more in their desperate…

Five Resolves for Personal Revival

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2 (NAS) Do you wish to be an instrument in the hands of God? Do you want to see God’s power at work through you? Do you long for your…

The Abiding Life is the True Christian Life

The abiding life is the true Christian life. Jesus said, “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6) John 15 gives us the pattern for spiritual growth and effectiveness as believers. In the passage, we are called branches, Christ is the vine, and the Father is the vinedresser. What are the characteristics of authentic branches?…

What It Means To Love Christ

Do you love Christ? Let’s start to answer that question by asking another: Is love something you feel, or something you do? Love is undoubtedly seen in action, even when feelings are fugitive. We all believe we should obey the Lord even if our heart is not necessarily warm toward him. Surely we are living in love when we rule against our negative emotions in order to obey. A missionary says he loves Christ as he goes to serve others,…

Losses of a Prayerless Christian

Though God is sovereign over all things, He ordains the means of prayer. There are some things He will not do unless we pray, though He always does all He purposes (Psalm 135:6). The mystery does not change this truth: You do not have because you do not ask (James 4:2). If you do not ask . . . 1. Evangelistic work will be hindered. “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of…

Fiscal Hilarity

It would be difficult to imagine any giver doing so often or generously without joy in doing it. I began to be curious about giving early on. In fact, I can still picture the book on giving that my mother read to me, one of only two children’s books I remember. My first book on George Muller, the man who fed and clothed over 10,000 orphans, made the deepest impression. I was drawn into a lifestyle that was so attractive…

Ten Reasons Why Nursing Homes Are Great Places to Minister

While recently reflecting upon Jesus’ compassion toward those who were “distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36), I determined to find similarly downcast people in my neighborhood so that I might serve them and tell them about Christ. I now find myself regularly in a nursing home, and the ministry opportunities abound. Perhaps you might consider ministering in a nursing home. Maybe there are others in your church who would enjoy such an outreach. I’ve compiled ten…