A Tale of Two Young Men

Enter Jake (27) and Tom (28).

It’s come to my attention that this blog and my podcast are helping to identify a growing army of devoted Christians in their mid-20s to mid-40s who want to know the Lord and are dissatisfied with establishment-pop-celebrity-driven Christianity.

While the masses of this age group appear to be content with status quo Christianity, there’s an increasing tribe — to use Seth Godin’s term — that I’ve had the privilege to interact with regularly who are interested in the deeper journey.

This blesses me greatly because when I was in my 20s and early 30s, there was virtually no one who was older who could relate to my quest for more of the Lord.

This brings me to the story of Jake and Tom, both in their late-20s.[Continue Reading…]

Hacking the Victorious Christian Life

The 121st episode of the “Christ is All” podcast has just been published.

It’s called Hacks to the Victorious Christian Life. And I’ve got a discussion partner for this one.

As always, if you enjoy it, pass this post on (using the share buttons below) and be sure to subscribe in iTunes or Beyond Pod below.

Listen to the episode in the following venues:

iTunes Subscribe (for Apple devices)

 

Beyond Pod Signet

Beyond Pod (for non-Apple devices)

If you don’t use a smart phone, then click here to see the complete list of episodes on one page, including this episode

[Continue Reading…]

A New Mentoring Project

5 R (1)

As I enter this season of my life and ministry, the example of Jesus weighs heavy on my mind and heart.

Namely, the fact that He spent most of His time with a group of people who “got” what He was teaching, realizing how unique it was during their time.

And they wanted more.

At bottom, I’m a problem-solver who seeks to add value to the lives of God’s people, especially in those areas which are rarely talked about or addressed.[Continue Reading…]

Some Neglected Aspects of Discipleship

To my readers in their 20s and 30s, if you haven’t taken my super quick survey yet, PLEASE do so here. It will only take you a second.

Now here’s today’s post.

On the day she first met Jesus, Mary of Bethany helped her sister Martha prepare a meal for Jesus and His disciples.

Martha’s initial complaint reveals this. Martha accused Mary of leaving her. That suggests that she did help Martha before she slipped into the public room to hear Jesus teach.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

In the first century, they divided houses into the male space and the female space. The kitchen (the courtyard) became the sphere of the women. The public room (the living area) constituted the sphere of the men. And neither sex was supposed to cross over either barrier.[Continue Reading…]

The Last Enemy

On the cross, Jesus of Nazareth faced what the Bible calls “the last enemy”–God’s greatest foe–death, the child of sin (Rom. 5:12; 2 Tim. 1:10; 1 Cor. 15:26).

And here was the battle of the ages.

Death, the antithesis of God. Death, the archenemy of God, darkened the wood of that cross, ready to take the Son of God into his hopeless domain.

And death won for a time. Behold the body of God’s Son lying in a tomb. Death was victorious.

But the fight wasn’t over. Three days later God the Father stepped in. He got involved.

And the greatest two powers of the universe squared off:

Death vs. Divine Life.[Continue Reading…]

How to Overcome Bitterness

“You must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. You didn’t come to learn Christ that way. You were taught to put away your old self, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor. In your anger do not sin. He who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work. Do not let any unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for the building up of others according to their needs. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ has forgiven you.”

~ Ephesians 4:17, 20–32, Paraphrased

Last week I wrote about what to do when other Christians hurt you.

One of the worst ways to react to hurt is to become bitter, for there are few things that are as toxic to the human spirit as bitterness.

Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick.

It hurts you, not them.

In addition, bitterness not only consumes your mind and spirit, but it always ends up unwittingly destroying other people.

Because of bitterness, many Christians have shipwrecked their faith, deceiving themselves as well as others.

“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

~ Hebrews 12:15, NIV

Bitterness will throttle your spiritual progress and open the door for God’s enemy to both use and abuse you.[Continue Reading…]

What To Do When Other Christians Hurt You – 8 Responses

When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary on His first visit to Bethany, Mary could have chosen to be offended by her sister. But there is no indication that she felt that way. She also could have taken offense when Judas and the disciples protested against her act of extravagant worship. But again, there is no indication that she did.

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the pain that was inflicted upon Mary in both situations. Here was a woman who loved her Lord with all her heart, and she was unfairly criticized for it. Not by her enemies, but once by her sister and another time by some of the Lord’s own disciples.

It reminds me of the old adage, “No good deed shall go unpunished.”

The words of Elbert Hubbard come to mind: “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”[Continue Reading…]

5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Mentor

The 117th episode of the “Christ is All” podcast has just been published.

It’s called “5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Mentor.”

In it, I talk about why having a mentor is beneficial to your spiritual, mental, and emotional development.

I also answer a common question: Am I (Frank Viola) mentoring people?

Here are the links mentioned in the show:

A Word to Mentors and Mentees

A Tale of Two Mentors

MinistryMind 2015

Prolific

Share the Love

Listen to the episode in the following venues:

iTunes Subscribe (for Apple devices)

 

Beyond Pod Signet

Beyond Pod (for non-Apple devices)

If you don’t use a smart phone, then click here to see the complete list of episodes on one page, including this episode

[Continue Reading…]

3 Reasons Why You Need to Make That Apology

My new book The Day I Met Jesus: The Reavling Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels is now in Audiobook as well as a Large Print edition. There’s also The Day I Met Jesus Master Course with 20 audio messages by Mary DeMuth and me, eight bonus eBooks, and a printed workbook.

Recently, I was reading a book that contained a story about those who have been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The story demonstrated that when such people get past the denial phase, they shift their priorities and focus on what really matters most in life.

One of them is relationships.

In 7 Ways to Destroy a Friendship, I talked about the main factors which hinder friendship.

One of the things things which repairs broken relationships is apologies.

I’ve been a Christian for many years, and I can count on one hand the times when a fellow believer made an apology to me.[Continue Reading…]

Easter Continues . . .

My new book The Day I Met Jesus is now in Audiobook as well as a Large Print edition. There’s also The Day I Met Jesus Master Course with 20 audio messages by Mary DeMuth and me, eight bonus eBooks, and a printed workbook.

One of the inspirations of my books on biblical narrative — God’s Favorite Place on Earth (written from the perspective of Lazarus) and The Day I Met Jesus with Mary DeMuth (written from the perspective of five women from the Gospels) — is my friend Don Francisco’s classic song “He’s Alive” told from the perspective of Peter.

Here is a video where Don shares why he chose to tell the story through the lips of Peter followed by the lyrics.

Those of you who are your 20s and 30s (which is the majority of my blog subscribers), please share this post with all your friends in your age group.

Don’s song will be unknown to most of them, yet they will be immensely blessed by it!

[Continue Reading…]