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Showing posts with the label Common Sense Christianity

God's Plan

God has a plan that he will accomplish, and he wants to use us. He’s led us through struggles and has given us experience and gifts to use in partnership with him, but his plan is not dependent on us! Many Christians are frozen in fear about tomorrow. They are afraid to move, make decisions, or take a step in any direction for fear of doing the wrong thing. They mistakenly think God’s will is a perfectly scripted life that can’t be varied from by a single step! This is a self-centered view of God’s will. It assumes that God’s plan is about me. It’s not! It’s about him. The question isn’t whether God’s plan for me will work, but whether or not we will partner with him in his plan. He’s already equipped and invited us to do the work  - will you accept his invitation? We see this clearly illustrated in the life of Esther. The Jewish people are under attack; their future looks bleak. Esther’s cousin Mordeccai comes to her and asks her to use her unique position to intervene and save their

When in Doubt: Keep Going!

The Apostle Paul was constantly in motion for God, but he didn’t have constant clarity. Paul did things he thought were God’s will but weren’t, yet he constantly pursued Jesus. For example, in Acts 16:7 Paul intended to go to the region of Bithynia but the “Spirit of Jesus” prevented him from doing this. The next verse states that during the night Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia who called Paul to come to him. Paul responded to the call and as a result planted the Philippian church.  This short account should give every Christian great courage. Here was an incident where Paul took two steps forward and God made him take one step back. Paul got it wrong and had to be corrected. He was still a great success because he served and in serving saw many people come to salvation through his ministry. Paul’s life reminds us we can pursue God’s will, get it wrong, and still accomplish God’s will! Paul got some of the specifics of God’s will wrong, like where he should travel to next, b

Paul Misunderstood God's Will

 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” - Acts 9:1-6 (NRSV) Saul thought he was doing God’s will, until Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. This divine encounter revealed to him that he had failed in a spectacular way. Have you ever had a realization like that? I have. We had moved to a different town, in a different state, because we believed God wanted us there. We thought God was going to do amazin

Common Sense Christianity

“God has a specific will for my life” is a teaching that has wreaked havoc on countless Christians! It has left believers paralyzed, afraid to make a single decision without a divine sign from heaven. It has led others to quit after failing in what they thought was God’s will. It has even led some to walk away from a God who they think led them down a path to heartache, bankruptcy, and brokenness. When these broken people come into our offices or our churches we pastors have told them, “Pray harder. Listen better. God has a message for you.” I think this is spiritual malpractice and I’m sorry for the times I’ve done it.  I’m tired of fatalistic faith and poster platitudes. If God is in control, why are there so many choices to make? If it “must have been God’s will” when I failed, why should I even try? If “I can do all things through Christ,” then why can’t I fly? We live in a world that is so real and demands so much from us. Yet, when we come to church we’re told, “Don’t worry - God