Recovering the Departed Glory

“Another cause back of our top-heavy and ugly over-organization is fear. Churches and societies founded by saintly men with courage, faith and sanctified imagination appear unable to propagate themselves on the same spiritual level beyond one or two generations.

The spiritual fathers were not able to sire others with courage and faith equal to their own. The fathers had God and little else, but their descendants lose their vision and look to methods and constitutions for the power their hearts tell them they lack. Then rules and precedents harden into a protective shell where they can take refuge from trouble. It is always easier and safer to pull in our necks than to fight things out on the field of battle.

In all our fallen life there is a strong gravitational pull toward complexity and away from things simple and real. There seems to be a kind of sad inevitability back of our morbid urge toward spiritual suicide. Only by prophetic insight, watchful prayer and hard work can we reverse the trend and recover the departed glory.”

~ A.W. Tozer[Continue Reading...]

Why I Stopped Drinking Coffee

I’ve never been a lover of coffee, but I have enjoyed a few cups each morning for as long as I can remember.

Regarding coffee, I’ve read some of the data that shows its health benefits. Apparently, it’s a great antioxident.

However, I’ve been stressed lately with several projects that have overwhelmed me, and I decided to stop drinking coffee to see if I noticed any differences in my stress levels.

Well, it’s been about a month now without any coffee, and I’m amazed.

Not only am I less stressed, but things that used to irritate me no longer do.

I started researching coffee and stress levels and was astounded to find out that coffee has a negative effect on some people.[Continue Reading...]

Rethinking Hell

To the many who have asked, here are my comments about the subject of hell that I’ve written and tweeted in the past.

* Whatever the nature of eternal punishment is — conscious torment or annihilation — this question has never altered my desire to bring people to Jesus Christ. Jesus is real Life, for the here-and-now, as well as for the future. So my motive for evangelism has never been to give people a fire-insurance policy.

* The greatest Christian minds differ on the NATURE, PURPOSE and SUBJECTS of hell (subjects = who exactly will go there). But whatever we can say about it, the NT is clear on two points:

1) it exists, and 2) it’s undesirable.

* I am not a universalist. I believe that all mortals must repent and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. With respect to those who have never heard the gospel, or those who have only heard a distorted version of it, I’m content to leave such matters into God’s hands. He is righteous, just, and merciful, and I trust Him.

* Add to that, I don’t believe that every mortal automatically receives eternal life upon birth (of the flesh). I can’t speak of what happens immediately after death. The Bible talks about a judgment after death, but it’s not crystal clear on what happens at the moment of death. People can only speculate.

* “Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.” ~ A. W. Tozer

* If there’s life on other planets & they need a Redeemer, Jesus of Nazareth is it.[Continue Reading...]

The Gospel to the Mormons

John Wallace has written a fascinating new book called Starting at the Finish Line: The Gospel of Grace for Mormons.

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Starting at the Finish Line seeks to declare the Good News of the gospel in a way that sounds like “good news” to the Latter-day Saint. It does this by 1) establishing the authority and “correctness” of the Bible, 2) explaining how we are saved by the grace of God when we put our full faith and trust in the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, and in His blood alone, and 3) exposing the dangers of trying to contribute to our own salvation by adding obedience and good works to the finished work of Christ on the cross.

This message, to the devout Latter-day Saint, is overly simplistic and offensive. But to the struggling Mormon or to those who have already left the Mormon faith and find themselves lost in a sea of confusion, it’s music to their ears.

I caught up with John to discuss his new book.[Continue Reading...]

Modern Day Moses

Sometimes music can touch us where printed words cannot.

This is one of my favorite songs of all time . . . it speaks to something deep within my own heart and thus inspires me every time I hear it.

Note: my podcast episode from August 2011 — God’s Dream: What Does It Look Like? — goes along with this song. Give it a listen.

If you like the song, share this post using the “share” buttons below. Most Christians have never heard it, so send them a blessing. :-)[Continue Reading...]

A Practical Word About Your Dreams

Last weekend, I had the privilege of speaking at The Buzz Seminar in Orlando, FL.

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The Buzz is a premium training for authors and bloggers.

The people who attended the event were the salt of the earth . . . some of the most impressive people I’ve ever met. And most all of them were believers.

So there was a lot of spiritual fellowship going on between sessions, and I was greatly edified by it all.

The other speakers — all believers as well — were phenomenal.

In one of my recent blog surveys, some of you said that your dream is to work from home.[Continue Reading...]

The Best Resource on the Gospels

I’m often asked what Biblical tools I use when delving in depth on a particular portion of Scripture.

I’ve listed many of the New Testament commentaries I recommend here.

Another invaluable resource is the IVP Bible Dictionary Series, which I can’t recommend enough for serious students of the Scriptures.

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However, one of the volumes in that series has been updated.

The Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels by Joel B. Green, Jeannine K. Brown & Nicholas Perrin is an incredible new update![Continue Reading...]

Romans 8 Remixed

And you know that I cause everything to work together for your good because you love me and are called according to my purpose.

I knew you in advance, and I chose you to become like my Son, so that my Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen you, I called you to come to my Son.

And having called you, I gave you right standing with me. And having given you right standing with me, I glorified you (even though you haven’t experienced it yet).

What shall you say about such wonderful things? If I am for you, who can ever be against you? Since I did not spare even my own Son but gave him up for you, won’t I also give you everything else?[Continue Reading...]

7 Ways to Destroy a Friendship

For those of you who are reading Jesus Now and want to let your friends know about it, there is now a list of quotes from the book that you can publish on Twitter and Facebook.

Just go to the book landing page – JesusNow.tv – and scroll to the bottom.

Also, we redid the 7 Aspects of Christ’s Present-Day Ministry episode since the original recording was poor. Now the podcast includes a short excerpt from an interview I did for Jesus Now that’s much clearer. The phone call from the distraught man who was kicked out of a lunch buffet still appears at the end.

That said, we’ve just released the 99th episode of the “Christ is All” podcast. The topic — 7 Ways to Destroy a Friendship.

Listen to the episode in the following ways:[Continue Reading...]