The Chiseling of God

In resurrection, God starts all over with a new creation. But resurrection always follows suffering and death.

Herein lies an important lesson. If you make a home for the Lord Jesus Christ, hard times will come. Crisis will come. Suffering will come. Even death – in some form – will come.

Suffering is worldwide and neck deep. But for the Christian, suffering has a purpose. It’s the chiseling of God designed to transform you into the image of His Son.

A word of encouragement: if your foundations are in Jesus Christ, then you can weather the storm. You can endure the crisis. You can put on your asbestos suit and walk through the fire because you are standing on Him who is the Immovable Rock.

Sometimes God will deliver you from trouble. Oftentimes He will deliver you through it.[Continue Reading…]

A Nicodemus Moment

A number of years ago I was invited to share with a group of pastors, teachers, and leaders for a two-day retreat.

On the last day of the retreat, I was asked to share some snapshots of Christ-centered community from my own experience.

I told the story of one such community. This body of believers discovered Jesus Christ in the depths and learned to love one another through thick or thin.

They also learned how to have New Testament-styled church meetings where every member functioned, sharing the riches of Christ through their various gifts . . . all without a facilitator present.

Their gatherings and their community life was under the headship of Jesus Christ.[Continue Reading…]

5 Shades of Jesus

Sneak Preview: I’m researching my next installment of the “Shocking Beliefs” series . . . and it’s going to be on the shocking beliefs of John Calvin. So stay tuned for it.

In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul calls Jesus Christ the Wisdom of God.

Jesus is the incarnation of wisdom.

In Ephesians 3, Paul uses the phrase, the manifold (which can be translated “many colored”) wisdom of God.

Jesus Christ, the embodiment of wisdom, is multi-colored.

That means that Christ reveals Himself in infinite variety, because His riches are “unsearchable” and His fullness cannot be exhausted.[Continue Reading…]

Honoring Those With Whom You Disagree

On the heels of my recent post, Shocking Beliefs of John Wesley, I came across a fascinating remark from George Whitefield regarding John Wesley.

Whitefield and Wesley were contemporaries who both had massive followings during their time. But they disagreed on a number of key theological points.

Whitefield was much more a Calvinist while Wesley was much more an Arminian.

In light of their doctrinal disagreements, someone once asked Whitefield if he thought he’d see Wesley in heaven. Here is Whitefield’s reply:[Continue Reading…]

The Crisis of Faith

As I explained in Jesus Now, the beginning of the Christian faith is fairly easy. And so is the last part of the journey.

It’s the middle that’s incredibly difficult.

There are usually two points in a believer’s life where they encounter a crisis of faith. This is especially true if God is using the person in powerful ways.

One is when they are around 30 years old. The other is when they are in their 40s.

I’ve watched many people fall away from the Lord during those two periods, some even becoming atheists.

It’s no accident that the writer of Hebrews says,

“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.” Hebrews 10:32.[Continue Reading…]

The Top 10 Shows of All Time!

We’ve recently uploaded two brand new shows on the “Christ is All” podcast.

If you are subscribed to the podcast in iTunes, you should have them downloaded on your phone.

If not, subscribe here.

For those of you without a smart device, you can listen to them directly on computer, tablet, or non-Apple device.

My Interview with Your Favorite Character Caller (the caller from the 100th episode, that is)

Warning: Do not attempt to listen to the above episode unless you have a tremendously subtle sense of humor!

Here’s the other new show we’ve published recently:

How Not to Receive Correction

Finally, here are the top 10 episodes (shows) of all time:[Continue Reading…]

3 Strategies for a Life-Changing 2015

2015 is warming up in the bullpen and it will soon be throwing heat from the mound.

In that regard, here are 3 strategies to make your 2015 the best it can be.

1. Make a quality decision that you are going to invest in improving your life, your business, and your ministry.

A quality decision is a decision that you will stick to come hell or Hiawatha.

Investing in improving your life, business, and ministry would include attending training events, taking courses, and investing in other educational opportunities.

A life-principle I’ve learned – admittedly later than I wish – is that if you’re unwilling to invest in transformative learning opportunities, everything in your life will remain the same. That goes for your ministry, your financial situation, your business, your relationships, etc.

For years, I embraced the philosophy of “I can’t afford that.” But I discovered, eventually thankfully, that I couldn’t afford NOT to invest in learning how to improve my life, my financial situation, and my ministry.

So today, I regard training, seminars, and courses as necessary investments that I can’t afford to let pass.[Continue Reading…]