Monday, October 27, 2014

Thorny Soil

Thorns are anything that distracts us from God. When we want God and a bunch of other stuff, then that means we have thorns in our soil.  A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it." ~ Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Monday, October 20, 2014

I Want To Know Christ

Are you satisfied being "godly enough" to get yourself to heaven, or to look good in comparison to others?  Or can you say with Paul that you "want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (Phil. 3:10)? ~ Francis Chan, Crazy Love

Monday, September 29, 2014

Don't Dilute the Truth

I think the sad tendency of well-meaning Christians who want to share their faith is to water down both.  They say we're not so bad (you actually can clean up your act), and God doesn't really mean it when he says that the unconverted are enemies of God (tut, tut, boys will be boys).  ~ J. Mack Stiles, Marks of the Messenger

Monday, September 22, 2014

Loving the Church Is Witnessing for Christ

John 13:35 quotes Jesus as saying that "all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another."  Proof of Christ, proof of Christianity, is the love that Christians have for one another.  

Jesus said that if you do not love the church of Christ you are in danger of proving to the world that Jesus is not the Son of God.  ~ J. Mack Stiles, Marks of the Messenger

Monday, September 15, 2014

Are You Nice, Or Compassionate?

Jesus calls us to be compassionate and loving, and that's not the same as just being "nice."

Sentimental love bleeds into the Christian mind in a form of niceness.  It's easy to confuse nice with compassion, kindness or love.  But nice is not a biblical word.  Jesus was extremely un-nice at times, because he wanted to go deeply into people's lives, into their sin with the truth, and that's never nice.  ~ J. Mack Stiles, Marks of the Messenger

Monday, September 8, 2014

What Does It Mean To Be Bold?

Sharing our faith and proclaiming Christ with our lives may sometimes seem a daunting task, yet we are urged to be bold.

Boldness is not a lack of fear.  It is faith in something bigger than our fears to that we appear fearless.  Confidence in something bigger than our fears gives us the strength to do the right thing in spite of opposition or persecution.  ~ J. Mack Stiles, Marks of the Messenger

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Importance of Understanding Sin

If we don't understand the problem, we won't understand how badly we need an answer. For people to recognize their need for Jesus, they must recognize the problem of sin.

We want people to see their sin in all its horror, not so they are motivated to "clean up their act," but so they fall at the feet of Jesus knowing that he is their only hope.  People need to see the depth of their sin so that they come to a fuller understanding of the depth of God's grace.  ~ J. Mack Stiles, Marks of the Messenger