When Killing Yourself is Permissible

There is a dirt trail right next to our apartment complex that follows a creek. I recently walked the trail alone and sat down on a tree that had fallen across the creek. Let’s just say that I was there because I made a mistake, and I needed some time to refresh my mind.

As I sat, a man and four children rode by on their bikes. As the man rode on ahead, one of the younger boys lost control and crashed into the grass next to him. He was crying and clearly frustrated. When the man came to his aid, he said something that has remained with me. He said, “I know it hurts, it hurts your pride more than anything.”

Wow. I never thought of it that way.

When I make a mistake in my life, I often ignore it. I will explain it away. I will make excuses about what I meant to do. I deny that I did wrong at all costs. In any way I can, I often convince myself that I did not make that mistake at all.

What about you?

Let me suggest to you that you can view your mistakes under a different light. Rather than considering your mistakes as hindrances, consider your mistakes as abilities.  In other words, let your pride take a hit. Let your pride die a little. Here’s what I mean.

As soon as you make a mistake, acknowledge it, and move on. This can be hard because you like to think you are a good person, overall. This can be hard because you want others to think you are, overall, a good person. However, acknowledging the mistake enables you to grow. When your mistakes are seen as opportunities to grow, rather than ensnaring setbacks, you will have a new sense of freedom because you will no longer be in denial.

Won’t you try it? Won’t you make the simple switch? Won’t you set yourself free?

Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling” (NASU).

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Making It Personal

Consider my friend Jack’s advice, and make the simple switch…from passive to personal.

Spare Some Time

What is the Bible to you? Is it a well-worn book on your coffee table, or a book that sits untouched on a bookshelf gathering dust? Is it a book “inspired of God” (2 Timothy 3:16) or just a good book written by average men?

There are many opinions of the Bible today and my goal today is not to examine the evidence concerning what I believe, but to look at a man who believed the Scriptures to be more than just a good book.

In the book of 2 Timothy Paul is writing to the young preacher Timothy. This young preacher appears to not be doing what he was asked to do in the first letter (1 Timothy 1:3-5) because he is fearful and ashamed (2 Timothy 1:7-8).

In charging Timothy to pick himself up and begin the work again Paul shows himself as an example of one who…

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Why I Believe in Today’s Youth

http://bradblog.tumblr.com/post/23668611903/i-had-the-honor-of-watching-this-in-person-live

If you haven’t watched the video by clicking the above link, please make the simple switch, and do so.

Today is my birthday, and this was the cherry on top.

Keep on keeping on.

Who’s Side Are You On?

I spent three months in Indiana serving with a small congregation. While there, I spent a week at a Christian camp as a counselor, eventually learning that their fondest tradition was the tug of war competition. To this day, I will never forget the thrill of seeing the boys faces when they beat the girls for the first time in six years.

Have you ever felt that you were caught in the middle of a battle? You may be surprised to learn that you are not alone in this regard.

The church at Colossae was a tug of war rope. Pressures of being in the religious minority caused many of them to revert either to the pagan or Judaism extremes, and they needed guidance. Paul reminds them that Christ is all they need, referring to Jesus in some way at least 15 times between eight verses (1:13-20). What Paul wants this church to know is crucial–namely, that the nature of God’s church is unified in Christ. This truth significantly implies that the church is not bound to the unpredictable whims or fallible leadership of men. Since Jesus was the firstborn of all creation (1:15), the one by whom all things were created (1:16), and the one by whom all things hold together (1:17), then what better authority would the church have besides Jesus Christ Himself? Paul admonishes Christians to continue in the faith (1:23) by proclaiming the gospel and serving others (1:28) as the body of Christ. Accomplishing this is so they “…may present every man complete in Christ” (1:28). All must remember that the church, by its very nature, is directly connected to Him who has all authority, wisdom, and power.

If the whole world was made complete in Christ, what changes would you see? Would this country close down every liquor store? Would every restaurant be closed on Sunday? Would traffic be backed up for hours just because everyone was trying to get to the same worship location? More importantly, would your life change if Christ, through His church, made you complete?

This week, let us endeavor to minister to those who need the peace and blood of Jesus Christ (1:20,25). Let us endeavor to make a simple switch, and find one opportunity to help one person by our encouragement as he/she endures one struggle. Let us endeavor to be make one person complete in Christ.

Why Jury Duty is Good for You

Imagine yourself on a jury. You are here to determine whether the claims of Jesus are true or not. Among all who could take the witness stand, to whom would you want to listen the most?

In John chapter five, Jesus is telling the Jews that there are at least five witnesses that verify who He claims to be (John 5:30-47, cf. 5:16).

Since the Jews did not believe Jesus was who He said He was (5:18), and since some today do not believe Jesus is who He says He is, He offered these five witnesses as support for His claims. They are:

  1. John the Baptist (5:33)
  2. The works (i.e. the signs) of the Father (5:36)
  3. The Father who sent [Jesus] (5:37)
  4. The Scriptures (5:39)
  5. Moses (5:45b-47)

I would encourage you to take a marking tool, and circle/underline/box all the references to ‘testimony’ and/or ‘bearing witness’ in this section. In my NASB, I have circled about 11 references to either of these two terms.

Considering these testimonies is important for five reasons:

  1. Jesus exercises just judgment (5:30)
  2. His word abides in those who believe in Him (5:38)
  3. You are given a choice to come to Jesus (5:40, cf. 5:25)
  4. You may have life (5:40)
  5. Your belief can be affected by peer pressure (5:44)

If you have not searched the Scriptures or considered the testimonies of Christ, will you not make the simple switch? Will you believe His words (5:47)? Who will you receive (5:43; cf. 1:11-12)?