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Taking Every Thought Captive

King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 23:7, “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is: eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee” (KJV). Another way to read this is, we are what we think about. For anyone who has spent time in the Bible, it’s no surprise that the wisest man to live pointed out this truth.

What we think about captures our attention, and what has our attention determines our action.

Try this exercise for yourself. Write down the two or three things that have your attention in life. What do you think about most these days? As they come to mind, look at how you are spending your time, money, or talents. It’s likely the resources God provides are being used to pursue what has your attention. We move in the direction of our strongest thoughts.

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Choosing Fear (Part 2)

Some hold that fear and love contradict one another–that fear is contrary to love. But in actuality, these go hand in hand. Love and fear are necessarily related.

Below are three points of perspectives on this relationship.

Firstly, that which we cherish and hold dear, we love.

We love that which is precious and hate the thought of losing that which is so important to us. We don’t want to lose that or whom we love or have it or them taken from us.

Thus we fear losing that which we love. And hence, in effort to mitigate the fear of loss, to what extent will we love the beloved? Fear drives us to the action of faith.

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Choosing Fear (Part 1)

We will fear that in which we hope. Fear follows our hope. And behavior (faith) follows our fear. Therefore, our fears and actions reveal that in which we hope for and hope in. What do your actions tell you about your fear and your hope?

Fear has a bad reputation. It is associated with weakness and cowardice. But if placed with the right object (God), it is meant for our protection, for our good, a driver to obedience, and motive of avoidance of sin and pain–and to do what is ultimately in our best interest. It leads to positive changes in our lives, pushes us to love and good deeds, strengthens us, unchains and frees us up. Fear can become our strength!

“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10) and “Conduct yourselves in fear of God while on Earth” (1Peter 1:17).

Fear of God is not only the best beginning but the necessary foundation for in a walk with Jesus Christ.

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Success, Significance, Sufficiency and The Serpent’s Siren Song: Part II

The serpent wants you active in your pursuit of Success, Significance, and Sufficiency on man’s worldly terms (which will not satisfy). And when you have spent your life in the pursuit of wealth, wisdom, and power you will come to the end of your life and conclude (as Solomon did) it was vanity, striving after the wind. In the meantime, you lose opportunity to know God, participate in His plan and model Jesus. To this end, you will suffer appreciable loss:

1Co 3:11-13 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.

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Success, Significance, Sufficiency and The Serpent’s Siren Song: Part I

The serpent and the world sing the siren’s song consistently, loudly, every day and in every way. The song goes like this: “You can make yourself Successful, Significant and Sufficient”. The second stanza: “You don’t need God to realize your best self” (just like Adam/Eve before the fall). Meanwhile, the worldly back-up singers affirm: “You are the man!”. The remaining question, however, is have you prepared your convictions now to avoid wrong pursuits for wrong motives? Developing your convictions today is the act of a reasonable man.

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Do I Want What He Wants?

Romans 7:15-20 (NASB) reads: “For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”

I became a Christian at age 34 at a businessman’s outreach breakfast on May 8, 1992 listening to a talk by Adolph Coors IV. That was almost 30 years ago. How can it be possible that I would still be sinning? I have to acknowledge after years of studying scripture, leading bible studies, teaching at men’s retreats and discipling men that Paul’s words found here describe me perfectly. I say to myself like Nathan said to King David: “You are the man!”

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Fissures in the Soul

Our Friday morning group recently finished a Bible study in the book of 1Samuel and it was a very rich study. I knew there would be many things to learn from reading and studying about David. What surprised me is how much I learned studying Israel’s first king, King Saul.

Saul is a good study of a person that starts well and finishes really bad. One reason why I believe this happened is that he didn’t deal with the cracks in his character and as time went on, they became large fissures in his soul.

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The Glory of Easter

When a person has incredible ability or talent we often say that He or she was born to do such and such a thing. Michael Jordan was born to play basketball. Lionel Messi was born to play soccer. Simone Biles was born to be a gymnast. Luciano Pavarotti was born to sing. During their lifetimes they were regarded as among the greatest in their calling. They achieved fame and wealth.

Jesus was born to die.

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How did you like the book?

Some time ago, I completed a nearly year-long process of review of a book with another brother. It was his first time to read the book whereas I had read it some 25 years ago. We had agreed to read this book together and interact over our impressions of the content due to a mutual interest in the subject matter.

It was an interesting exercise for me to re-read a book I had read so long ago. In my previous reading, I had been impressed by the points made by the author and thought it an accurate, uplifting book. During this current process, however, I was struck by the liberties the author had taken with certain tenets of the faith, his inappropriate application of Christian doctrine, and his inaccurate definition of words used in the Christian life.

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Man After God’s Own Heart

What made David a man after God’s own heart? David was a man just like any other. He too is included in “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 2 Samuel 2:27 states that the thing David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord. So again, I ask myself what made David a man after God’s own heart?

While attempting to answer this question I found it helpful to compare and contrast David to Saul. In 1 Samuel 15 Saul is confronted by the prophet Samuel because he did not utterly destroy the Amalekites like God commanded him. Similarly, David is confronted by the prophet Nathan after committing adultery, failing to cover it up and then ultimately having Uriah killed.

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