Category Archives for "Inspirational"
inspirational people and stories
inspirational people and stories
Re-posted from: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/no-shortcuts-growth
I’m still amazed whenever I see the bumper sticker that reads, “Visualize world peace.” The idea is that if I, and enough other people, create the right mental picture of peace, it will soon come to pass. It’s astounding that some people actually believe that silly technique will bring about such a desirable goal.
Then, there’s the popular “Coexist” bumper sticker. You may have seen it, the one spelled out with the symbols of different religions—the Islamic crescent forming the C, the Christian cross forming the T, and so on. The idea seems to be that if we religious people would just stop focusing on our differences, we could achieve world harmony. If we understood that our beliefs are all ultimately the same, all of the problems of war and strife would go away.
The funny thing is, we’ll reject such sentiments when they appear on a bumper sticker, but we’ll accept them elsewhere. How many business seminars promise increased profit if we only focus on the positive or visualize a goal? Eastern mysticism, where much of the bumper-sticker theology we’re talking about finds its ultimate origin, dresses it up with more acceptable religious practices. Meditate regularly, repeating a mantra as you visualize the oneness of all things, and the human race will move toward unity. But there’s also a version sold to us as the Christian key for victorious living. Speak your desire, claim it’s yours in Jesus’ name, visualize it will happen, and then it will be yours. Your healing, wealth, relationship success, happy family, improved marriage will come as soon as you name it and claim it or practice the power of positive thinking.
We’re looking for the right technique, the secret that will turn our wishes into reality. We laugh at the world’s spiritual magic, only to baptize it and practice it ourselves. We’ll read Scripture hoping to find the shortcut to spiritual growth while missing the true but non-shortcut answer—the key is not in the Bible; it is the Bible.
One reason we look for spiritual shortcuts is related to our modern age where shortcuts and rapid results abound. We can quickly relieve pain with medicine, find our way to restaurants with our smartphones, and get immediate answers to our questions online. These aren’t inherently bad things, but they tend to foster false expectations. If technology can relieve our illnesses and make our jobs easier, it surely can give rest to our souls, right?
We assume the answer is yes, and there are all too many “experts” out there who’ll encourage that assumption. Just look at the self-help section at your local bookstore, even at your local Christian bookstore. Book after book promises to hold the key to our happiness in twelve steps or less. The fact that none of the promises pan out doesn’t deter people from buying those books or new authors from repackaging old, ineffective answers in fancier dress.
But we can’t ultimately blame our search for shortcuts on modern technology. Our innate desire since the fall for autonomy, to be masters of our own fates, drives us to search out soul-building techniques that will improve us. We see our faith not as an end in itself but as a means to greater fulfillment. Evangelists routinely implore people to come to Christ, saying that He will make them happier, more confident in themselves, and more spiritual. Jesus becomes a means to improve our marriages and finances while releasing us from all manner of compulsions and negative character traits.
Can Christ do all those things? Of course He can. But Jesus is not a means to other ends—He is the end, the goal of our lives. He doesn’t come into our lives to give us special techniques to make our lives better; He works in and through us, changing us for the sake of His glory. He provides believers no mystic secrets to take them to a higher plane of spirituality. There’s no hidden truth available to only a few, no method that guarantees quick maturity in Him as long as we master it.
We’re saved by grace alone and justified by faith alone, but having been saved, we don’t just wait around to die. Christianity is about spiritual growth as well, and spiritual growth involves effort—the hard work of sanctification. We manifestly don’t work for our regeneration or our justification. Both acts are monergistic, accomplished by God alone. Only the Holy Spirit can change our hearts. Only the righteousness of Christ, the righteousness of the Son of God secured by His perfect obedience to the Father, can secure our right standing before God. Sanctification, however, includes our efforts. We say it is synergistic because both God and we are doing something. Yet, we aren’t equal partners. God wills and works in us according to His good pleasure so that we progress in holiness (Phil. 2:12–13). But as God works in us, we work as well, pursuing Him in prayer, relying on the means of grace—the preached Word and the sacraments—seeking to be reconciled to those we have offended. There’s no shortcut for sanctification. It’s a process, and one that all too often seems overly plodding, with progress taking years to discern.
God’s work is easy for Him. He doesn’t look for shortcuts because He never grows weary. We get tired and frustrated, however. We’re tempted to look for the simple path, the quick answer, the effortless way forward. But there is none. Sanctification requires diligently attending to the means God has given us. The growth may be slow, almost imperceptible at times, but it is sure.
No technique of the devil’s can stop the process of Christ making us into His image. Those whom He calls He sanctifies.
Casually attending to the things of the Lord will not result in our nurture. Visualizing or seeking a secret formula won’t help. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that Christ, by His Spirit, is working in us.
You always try to be the best parent you can be but sometimes still feel like you fall short! Do not despair, every parent feels this way at some point! Use the tips below to learn how to become a better parent and have a stronger sense of communication and effective, fair discipline.
Although it is a widely debated topic, it is highly recommended that your child get all necessary vaccinations. Some of the diseases that your child can get if they do not get vaccinated could make them sick or worse, even kill them. This holds especially true for children who go to school, where diseases are spread more rapidly.
The most important thing to remember while disciplining your children is consistency. Parenting during the terrible-two’s can be challenging, for both little one and adult. At this stage children like to push the limits of what is and is not allowed. Make sure that you set clear boundaries and are consistent with your time-outs so children know what is expected of them.
Being around your children a lot can be very stressful. Make sure you take time out for you. Plan a dinner date with a good friend, go for a long walk to go to the movies by yourself. That little time away will be enough for your to recharge and be the best parent you can be.
As unfortunate an event it may be, divorces happen all of the time. In order for you, a divorced parent, to hold a good relationship with your college aged and older children you must never get them in the middle of your divorce. This will push them away for you and your ex-spouse.
Your child probably is not meaning to frustrate or disobey you. In fact, he or she may be breaking rules in order to draw your attention to a bigger issue. Use the tips above to recognize how you and your child communicate so you can improve it for both of you!
Why you Need God’s Anointing
God desires us to stay in success as well as magnificent blessings at all times, and He is ready to have this done without considering what it will cost Him. This is one of the reasons why He made Adam and Eve to have dominion over all the creatures of his hands, He did this to make sure that nothing will be able to have power or control over them.
God’s purpose for our lives has not changed since He created us, even after Adam and also Eve sinned against Him and He drove them from the Garden of Eden. God still wants them to live as the controller of the earth.
One thing that God had done to ensure and maintain the superiority of man over all other creatures is to make His anointing available to him. The anointing of God is the power of God in man, such power is given to enable him to do extraordinary things in order to fulfill some some of the tasks that God will often use man to fulfill.
Take Samson for example, he was among the Judges in the Old Testimony. He was quite a different individual when compared with all other judges that ruled in the land. He was kind of an one-man army that could defy and destroy the whole army of another nation. He was so powerful that He could killed a full grown lion with his bare hands, he could uproot the gate of a whole city and take it up a hill where they will not find it easy to bring it down.
He was able to do these great things because the anointing of God was upon Samson. For the whole Twenty Years that he reigned as Judge, no adversary nation of Israel dared to wage war against them simply because, they would have Samson to contend with.
Another great example from the bible is King David. He was only a boy when God put him under the spotlight and decided to bless him as King over Israel. He was not very different from any other boy of his age until he was anointed by the Prophet Samuel. After the anointing he was an entirely different person. Under the power of God’s anointing he was able to kill a lion and and a bear to protect the flock which he was looking after.
Remember the story of David and Goliath? The Philistines were taunting the Israelites day after day with Goliath (the giant) and nobody had the courage to challenge him. All the warriors of Israel, including King Saul were afraid of Goliath’s stature.
When David reached the battle and saw what was going on, he rose to the challenge. He was so brave through God’s anointing that he refused the safety armor that was offered to him when he went into battle with Goliath. Armed with only his sling and a few smooth stones which normally could not kill a normal person let alone a giant, he met Goliath head on and was victorious.
God’s anointing allowed both Samson and David to do the seemingly impossible as a way to show us what’s possible when we allow God to work through us. God did the same in the life of His Prophets, Judges, and Kings to make them perform the functions He assigned to them.
In the Old Testimony God only permitted the Holy Ghost to come upon individuals when He them them to perform a certain job. His anointing would come upon them, empower them for the task, and then leave after the job is done. However, in the New Testament things were a little different. By God’s design, the Holy Spirit will not only come upon people, but He will dwell in them and live with them too. Christians these days are to be carriers of the Holy Spirit as well as the anointing of God anywhere they go.
Jesus promised His disciples when He was going that they will receive power after the Holy Ghost might have come upon them, and with that they will be able to witness for Him. That power Jesus was talking about is the anointing.
Going further we see that the Holy Ghost actually came down on the day of Pentecost, and all the disciples present got baptized by fire, fully charged to carry out the tasks God gave them. They performed various miracles, signs, and wonders, in a record that we know as the Acts of the Apostles today.
There are many in the Christendom who believes that what the Apostles experienced in the bible ended with them, and that such are not possible in our time, how wrong can they be? God will give the gift of the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks, and just as Jesus sent them to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, the same way He had sent us forth, why should He give us lesser power to operate with?
Today’s post is brought to us by Ian Coates of Christian Illustrations
The choices we make today are all leading us to someplace. We have to ask ourselves is that ‘someplace’ somewhere we want to go? We must know the road we travel!
Life is a journey. In regard to our physical, mental and financial wellbeing – where we find ourselves today generally depends on roads traveled yesterday. And where we find ourselves tomorrow depends on roads taken today.
Common sense dictates, if we wish to reach certain destinations we must find the roads that lead there. If we travel on paths going in the opposite direction to our destination it should be obvious we will never reach our desired goal.
Every day we make choices: some large – most small. Those choices are steps heading in one direction or another. If we choose to be lazy, self-absorbed, angry or bitter, we shouldn’t be surprised when we reach those miserable towns called: Failure, Loneliness and Depression. No one plans to go to a wretched dead end, but if we are heading in that direction (by bad daily decisions) we shouldn’t be shocked when we end up there.
As Christians, we should desire to become a person of integrity, poise and inner-happiness – a strong, inspirational Christian who leads many people to the Lord. To do this, we must travel on roads directed in God’s Word. We must follow our Lord Jesus Christ. His way leads us to Salvation and the eventual arrival at Spiritual Maturity. His ways lead to a relaxed attitude where we are content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. His ways lead to fulfilling a tailor-made plan that has eternal and glorious repercussions.
Every day we have the option of taking ‘our way’ or ‘God’s way’. Of course we immediately think, ‘I want to head in God’s way’, but we must question if our daily decisions are taking us in the opposite direction. If we realize we are heading the wrong way, it’s time to turn around.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
The road we travel today will lead us to where we go tomorrow.
Making Our Mark – Courtesy of ChristianIllustration.com
It’s natural to want to leave our mark in life, but very few people are remembered past their own lifetime.
When we make a mark in sand, it will last only a few days before being blown or washed away. Carve a mark on a tree and it may last decades, and if we chisel a mark on a rock it could last centuries. In time, however, when the marked object is defaced or destroyed, so too is any evidence of what we did.
Many of us want to leave our mark on the world, be it in business, arts, sports or the military. Even though some are extremely successful and leave behind a giant mark, when the world eventually ends so will all evidence of the things done upon it. (1 John 2:17) If we invest time and effort marking temporal things, when they are destroyed, so too is that investment.
If we really want to leave a lasting impression, we should leave our mark on something permanent – GOD’S ETERNAL PLAN. God has given us all the tools to do this, plus He has given us a role model (Jesus Christ) to show us how. Things our Lord did in His life were in accordance to God’s plan and will be talked about and glorified forever. If we follow Christ’s example and use the resources God provides, it is guaranteed our mark will never be erased, destroyed or fade.
We should always keep in mind: Life is but a drop in the ocean compared to eternity. Personal glory in life is fleeting; however, the glory of God’s plan lasts forever. Making our mark on GOD’S ETERNAL PLAN is something we will always be proud of.
“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” (Matthew 25:21)
A Helen Keller quote – “The best and the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”
From time to time, there come some people in the world who ignore even the most impossible barriers life places in front of them. Helen Keller was one of these persons. Deaf and blind since when she was only 19 months old, she was the author of several published books.
When the Lord Jesus was tempted of the Devil in the wilderness for 40 days and nights, part of the major temptations that Satan used against Him was;
“The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:3-4)
You can see here how the Lord Jesus placed life’s priority on the “soul” than the “body.” Of course, this does not mean that He’s disregarding the body, but He’s just simply telling us that in the sight of God, our existence and reason for living are not based on material and physical aspects. Of course, they’re important, but in matters of priority and eternal perspective, the condition of the soul is the most important. Therefore, by process of comparison, we should place a high value on the condition of our soul for it is the life of the body and a sacred part of our person and being that determines our eternal destiny.Continue reading
We all need help at one point or the other in our lives, as a matter of fact, no one can successfully live through this life without getting help from at least one other person. God had so much designed life in such a way that we are interdependent on ourselves, just as you would need help from others, you too will be a channel of help to some other people.
You can help others with what you have that they do not have. If you look around you critically you will see at least one person that needs your help, sometimes you will have to really look into what is happening to others before you can realize the type of help they need.Continue reading
The “Fruit of the Spirit” is made up of nine visible attributes of a true Christian’s life. These fruits, or traits, are spoken about in Galatians 5:22-23 and include: Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness and Temperance. They are collectively, not individually, the qualities or “fruits” that Christians should be manifesting in their lives. When followers of Christ live their life by these qualities, the world sees the result. That result is someone walking in the Holy Spirit – hence the name “Fruit of the Spirit.”
Christians will mature in their walk by studying and then applying each of these characteristics in their lives. It is important to understand that these nine qualities come directly from God Himself and every Christian’s goal should be to incorporate them into their own personality. This is not done through willpower or human strength, but by the incredible workings of the Holy Spirit in that person’s heart and life.
Made in His Image
God wants to transmit His own divine qualities into His people to enable them to be the reflection of Himself to the rest of the world. He realizes that due to the faulty human nature, it is only by His Spirit that Christians can actually live out these qualities on a daily basis. He literally infuses the believer with fresh doses of His godly characteristics to then pour out to those around them.
It Only Takes One Thing to Receive the Fruits of the Holy Spirit
In order to possess all nine fruits, one must first die to self and allow Christ to dwell in and show through them. What a relief to know as believers all that must be done is for one to surrender their fleshly personalities to the work of the Spirit in them. Easier said than done, yes, but rewarding beyond words once it has been completed. Once a person completely hands over themself then, and only then, can they can watch as His mighty provision of these qualities flows through their own lives and into others around them.
There’s No Room for Anything Less than Complete Humbleness
This takes a fully humbled and surrendered heart to the Holy Spirit and an awareness of the believer’s intense need for the Spirit’s power at work in their lives. Then the “Fruit of the Spirit” will truly be seen by the world for what it is – a living proof of God’s nature in His people.
For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. ~Psalm 100:5
We are called not only to believe in God, but ‘to believe’ God; to believe and stand upon ‘His word’. When He says what He is going to do, trust that He will indeed do it. ‘Therefore have I hope, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are consumed, because His compassion fails not. They are new every morning and great is thy faithfulness’. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Too often we fail to experience His faithfulness because we do not trust. We fail to capture the wonderful works within His word because we do not have faith. We must see the Lord in all we do, and all that we are. The whole earth is full with His unfailing love and His faithfulness; everything He has ever done is a revelation and testament to it. We must long to taste of His goodness and ask Him to teach us to depend and wait upon Him no matter what happens.
We have to trust and believe His faithfulness. We learn to trust in the Lord the more we become acquainted with Him; the more we seek after Him to demonstrate His faithfulness. “Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
It should not be surprising to us that Faith in the Lord is the pathway to experiencing His goodness and all the wonders of His work. Faith is one of the relational realities that allow a child of God to live by His grace. ‘Faith accesses grace.’ (Romans 5:2)
Just keep remembering that no matter what happens – He will never change. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
‘For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does’. (Hebrews 10:3)
Point to Ponder: God does not change!