Christian Living

5 Reasons We Make Bad Choices

Every day is full of decisions. Some are simple and have little effect on what happens next or what happens a year from now. Others are so important they can change the direction of our lives forever.

Bad decisions have a way of setting life on a path of difficulty and pain. When we feel the pain early into the journey we are quick to make changes to get back to safety. We change jobs, end relationships, ask forgiveness from God and others.

But how do we get started down those trails of bad decisions and the scars they leave in and on our lives? Is there a way to avoid these pitfalls on our journey?

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Faith

What if God’s Love is NOT Enough (to save you)?

“Jesus loves me, this I know.” Did you read the words or sing them? Those of us who grew up in church are familiar with the song we learned a long time ago. It was probably the first thing we absorbed in church. Jesus loves me. God loves me.

God’s love is a one of the most central themes of Scripture. Some would say that without the love of God, He would not have created the universe or put humanity within it.

Another staple of early learning in Christianity is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…” The path to true life is founded on Heaven’s love. Imagine what would not exist without the motivation of that love: forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, relationship, purpose, mission, spiritual gifts and fruit, hope, everlasting life.

But is it really enough that God loves us? Is this inexplicable connection which breaks through time and space enough to fill us with the “blessed assurance” that Jesus and His promises are mine? Will God’s love alone save me, or you?

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Faith

Our Free Will Choices and God’s Response

Have you ever heard God described as a “gentleman”? When painting this picture pastors and teachers generally refer to how God is unwilling to force Himself on anyone. He will always allow the individual to choose whether or not to accept Him.

The same is true of God’s hopes for our daily lives. There are ideals He wants us to live by and goals to fulfill. Yet if we choose a different path than what He would have us choose, He allows us to go as far as we dare.

In a previous post I wrote about how God saw all of time before time began, and He recorded, finalized, the outcome of history. We call this predestination. But what does it really mean when God allows us to be creatures of free will, allowing us to choose and then sealing our decisions?

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Faith

How Our Decision Making Processes Were Rewritten

It is a scary thing to realize you have driven on autopilot for an unknown length of time. I’m talking about starting at Point A, and you know you have to pass Points B, C, and D, before arriving at Point E. Autopilot is realizing you left Point A, saw Point B, but suddenly find yourself somewhere between Points D and E.

Yes, that has really happened to me. No, I wasn’t drinking or high. Sometimes I was tired. Other times my mind was occupied on other things and never noticed what was happening around me.

Life is busy and full of demands on our attention. There is so much we do not take the time to think about before doing or saying what the moment seems to require of us. We have preferences and tendencies programmed into our hearts and minds to keep is headed where they take us.

Where did those default settings come from? Is my life running on autopilot with those settings driving the car? Am I sure the default programming will take me where I want to go?

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Faith

Finding Fulfillment in Personal Worship

I have very strong feelings about worship. Worship has opened many doors for me in ministry and gives life to my personal relationship with Jesus. It has been a continual study of mine, and I think it about it so much i even wrote a book about it.

According to one personality profile, music is so important to who I am that not having it in my life for an extended time can actually be harmful to my mental health, and the vast majority of the music in my life is worship related.

Worship is a powerful element of our life in Jesus Christ. It isn’t something new, finding purpose because of the growth of the worship music industry. Quite the opposite, actually. It is because of our inner desire for and benefit from worship that kept lead worshipers going and be able to take advantage of today’s technologies to explode worldwide.

But maybe you go to church and wonder what the big deal is about worship. Maybe you haven’t grabbed hold of what it can mean for you. You are not necessarily opposed to the music at church, it just does not affect you like it does others. You love God, but this worship thing is not really a “need” in your life.

In a previous post I talked about how COVID-19 is giving us an opportunity to rediscover personal worship, to spend time with God, singing to and about Him, all on our own. This post cracks the idea of how it is different from congregational worship and bit of how to make it happen.

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Faith

Are You Willing to Worship Alone?

Church has changed in the past couple of years. COVID-19 will do that. The good news is we are in a slot of this pandemic where in most areas churches are allowed to be open.

We are glad to be able to get together and feel the power of Holy Spirit connection in one room. For a lot of folks this is better than the online church we had before. But it still isn’t the same, is it?

In my slice of the world we still have to wear masks, social distance, and are not supposed to have congregational singing. That last one is hard. Some sing anyway under their masks but most try to open themselves to God’s ministry through the worship team and quietly set their hearts and minds on Heaven.

It seems like an oxymoron, worship without singing. Yet it feels like a good to remind us of a lesson I learned while leading worship teams and writing a book about worship: the importance of being able to worship on our own, away from everyone else.

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