'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 2)

'Practical Christianity' Tagged Posts (Page 2)

Nine Characteristics of Biblical Prayer

True prayer is not merely a matter of saying the right words. Biblical prayer is characterized and motivated by the right attitude-right thinking about the greatness of God, the beauty of Christ, and our own unworthiness and weakness. Ask yourself if your prayers are characterized by: An Understanding of Your Own Insignificance and Sinfulness When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought…

Beware of Study Bibles

I like resources that help me understand the Bible. My collection of commentaries grows yearly. The amount of books I own addressing various areas of theology numbers in the hundreds. There are a couple of websites that I visit regularly where numerous Bible study tools are offered. I also own four “Study Bibles,” which include not only the biblical text, but introductions and outlines for each book of the Bible, notes that explain verses, maps, articles about major concepts, and…

The Garage Method

A former professor of mine, now a successful author of Christian fiction, used to dismiss his anxieties by repeating this mantra: “Oh well. It doesn’t eternally matter.” For him six words conquered all ills. He slew his worries with a phrase, with a mere wag of his tongue. I’m not sure he was right about things not eternally mattering, but his blood pressure remained low and in many ways, he turned his worries into trust. It is sort of an…

Let Us Pray Without Delay!

They didn’t complain. They didn’t doubt. They didn’t even strategize. Once Peter and John reported their imprisonment and the threats they had received for preaching the gospel, they immediately prayed with a gathering of believers in Jerusalem (see Acts 4:23-31). As I once heard, “Prayer was their first choice, not their last chance.” Here’s what they asked from God: “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,…

Preparing to Be an Amazing Old Man or Woman

Like it or not, if you continue to live, you’ll get old. As you look around at all those ancient people in the grocery store, the golf course, the retirement village and the nursing home, don’t be smug—you’ll be there soon enough. It will do you well to prepare to make those years the best they can be for the glory of God. It’s not uncommon for God to use older people. Take Caleb who fought giants as an octogenarian.…

Providence in Romania

After ministering just a few days in Romania in 1985 when the Iron Curtain was still up, I received a call that my mother was dying in a hospital room in Oklahoma City. “We think she is holding on until you get here,” my brother said.  It took two days to leave. It was hard enough to get into Romania at Oradea a few days earlier. At the checkpoint, the border guards asked if we had “any guns, drugs, pornography…

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…

Don’t Just Tweet Your Proverbs: Lessons from Solomon

I don’t quite understand it. Everyone knows that King Solomon was the wisest man in the Old Testament. Yet, he had the most precipitous moral freefall of all the kings. The early Solomon loved God. “Now Solomon loved the Lord” (1 Kings 3:3). But the later Solomon was out of control morally: “Now Solomon loved many foreign women.” “Solomon held fast to these in love” (1 Kings 11:1,2). What went wrong? In fact, the marital alliances he made with the…

Faith-Sized Requests

Few things are as fixed as mountains. But, on the day after Jesus cursed the fig tree, He declared that they can be moved. "Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him." (Mark 11:23) Did Jesus mean this? The writer of Hebrews thought so.…

Audacious Prayer

Christians must be people who pray with audacity, not because we deserve an answer, but because God will give it. When one of Jesus’ followers requested of Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples,” Jesus’ response was two-fold. He first gave an example of how we ought to pray, and then he told a story about a man who desired bread from a friend. “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to…

Book Hoarding

“Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance of books does his life consist of his library.” A pastor in a small church received his first book allowance, provided by the church. He began to purchase the books he needed to stimulate his thinking, improve his understanding, and jolt his conscience. His library grew. Later, at a larger church the book allowance increased, and he was able to add…

Book Tribalism

A tribe was exposed to the Bible for the first time in its own language. For fifteen to twenty years, this was all they had. If there were questions about practices or beliefs, the Bible alone was studied by the elders until a clear view emerged. The people memorized it, read it aloud to each other, enjoyed its language and encouragement, and heeded its rebukes and challenges. They taught the Bible to their families and in their church as if…