3 Logical Reasons God May Just Exist


10 Ways To Challenge And Stretch Your Faith

Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Still, many of us have a stagnant faith that has not been challenged in years. We don’t know God better, and we don’t trust Him much more than we did years ago. If that’s where you are, maybe these ideas will help you challenge your faith.

  1. Read the Bible, and learn about faith. Let the Word of God itself stretch your belief system. Learn from its lessons, and trust its promises.
  2. Commit your children and grandchildren to the Lord—even if His calling on their lives takes them to the other side of the world. It’s one thing to make this commitment when they’re babies in arms; it’s a different matter when they’re college students making this move (or young adults taking your grandchildren with them).
  3. Send your best leaders and givers to plant a church or assist a struggling congregation. Sending out members you’re unlikely to miss really doesn’t require much faith. Sending your best does.
  4. Give sacrificially until it genuinely hurts your pocketbook. Faith is not a concern when your giving is only out of your excess.

The rest is at: http://chucklawless.com/2019/02/10-ways-to-challenge-and-stretch-your-faith/?utm_source=Blog+List&utm_campaign=a5119f8a1e-Daily_Blog_Emails&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f3938126f-a5119f8a1e-100317513

Fully Living—Fully Loving Part II

“Jesus wept.”1

In this, the second part in this series on “Fully Living—Fully Loving,” we ask the question, how do we remove the barriers in our life that hinder or block our learning how to fully live and fully love?

First, we need to recognize that we have a problem—and admit it. As long as we deny the truth about ourselves, there is no healing or recovery. So I need to admit, “I have a problem. I need help.”

Second, read good books, listen to CDs and tapes, attend classes, seminars and retreats that deal with personal growth and recovery. Learn all you can but, remember, intellectual knowledge doesn’t produce healing or recovery, it just helps to understand our problem and know how and where to look for help.

Third, realize that we get damaged in damaged relationships and get healed in healing relationships. Every one of us—single or married—needs a soul-brother for men or a soul-sister for women. That is, we need someone who won’t judge us, put us down, try to fix us or give us unsolicited advice—someone with whom we feel totally safe so we can be totally open and honest, and feel free to share our deepest emotions (negative as well as positive), as well as our joys, sorrows, successes, sins and failures and thus be known for who we truly are—warts and all.

We all need someone who knows us fully and loves and accepts us exactly as we are. This is what frees us to change and begin to experience healing in the deepest parts of our personality. Furthermore, only to the degree that we are known can we ever feel loved. Nobody can love a mask and nobody can ever feel loved who hides behind a mask. As long as we stay in hiding, we can never experience healing and grow to become a whole and loving person.

Fourth, if we have deeply repressed emotions we may need, as I did, intense skilled therapy. We each need to find the type of therapy that works for us, and a therapist with whom we can work. What works for me may not work for you and vice-versa. Group therapy can also be very helpful.

Fifth, many of us will need help to learn not only how to get in touch with our feelings, but also how to express them in healthy and creative ways. Learn from the life of Jesus. When he was sad, he wept.1 When he was angry, he expressed his feelings. At times he did this verbally and when he found the money changers ripping people off in the temple, he got a whip and drove them out.2 What we need to remember, however, is to always speak and act the truth in love.

Last and most important of all, learn to put God first in your life and seek his guidance and help for every area of your life. Learn how to pray effectively by praying the right prayers.3 Ask God to confront you with the truth about yourself. If you are serious about this, God will show you; but be prepared because it usually takes pain to break through our defenses. For me personally, only when my pain is greater than my fears am I able to get in touch with my inner pain. Remember as God’s Word says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”4  God’s Word also says, “Behold, You [God] desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.”5

If you consistently follow these six principles, you too, will be well on the road to fully living and fully loving.

Suggested prayer: Dear God, please help me to be totally honest with you, with myself, and with at least one trusted friend and/or counselor, with all that is in my inner self. And please help me to get in touch with any and all unresolved guilt and/or repressed negative emotions, and learn how to express (‘get rid of’) these in creative ways so that every barrier in my life that blocks my fully living and fully loving will be removed. So help me God. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus name, amen.”

1. John 11:35.
2. John 2:14-16.
3. See “How to Pray Effectively” at http://tinyurl.com/kb62w.
4. Psalm 145:18.
5. Psalm 51:6 (NKJV).

Note: For further help, see articles on recovery at: www.actsweb.org/articles/Recovery.php

Can the Universe Create Itself?

Have you heard someone say that the universe created itself? Perhaps someone of high profile? Stephen Hawking is among those who’s stated that the universe can create itself. Is this reasonable? Is it logical? Can the universe create itself? Unfortunately, the skilled scientist was a poor logician. The universe cannot create itself.

One of the biggest issues among people who debate such topics is that it is generally debated only from the scientific perspective and hardly ever from the philosophical perspective. Philosophy is important because it gives us our book of rules for how to reason and arrive at sound conclusions. Unfortunately, those who unwittingly sink into the quicksand of scientism, do not seem to understand their descent into nonsense.

In his 2010 book co-authored by Leonard Mlodinow, Hawking claimed the following:

Continue at: https://www.cltruth.com/2019/can-universe-create-itself/

Being Connected

“If we claim to have fellowship with him [God] yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

For a number of years Ken was a capable professional man, a dedicated church worker, and a leader in his community. Outwardly he functioned very well. However, people had difficulty getting close to Ken because he seemed aloof. His family relationships were not good and he had ulcers. Vaguely sensing an inner emptiness, Ken joined a recovery group where he discovered that he was repressing many of his emotions.

Ken is still in the process of rediscovering his repressed self. Fortunately, however, since learning to recognize and express many of his true feelings (many of which were repressed and denied) in healthy ways, his ulcers have cleared up, and his family relationships have improved dramatically.

Unfortunately, many people are taught to ignore their negative emotions. As John T. Raffa wrote inPsychology for Living magazine: “They believe you should hide such feelings—deny, deny, deny—and become nothing but a robot instead of what God made us, beings with feelings.”

Obviously, the early Christians didn’t act this way otherwise they never would have been known for their love one for another. Peter, James, John and Paul all emphasized the need to be honest, to be open-faced, to walk in the light, to openly confess sins and faults, and to love one another. Repressed people are closed people and are unable to fully love and fully live. Neither can they have any kind of emotional intimacy in marriage and close relationships.

Only as we walk in the light, that is, in honesty and openness, are we able to have true fellowship and connection with both God and others. Furthermore, only then are we able to be open channels through which God’s love can flow to others, and in so doing will we be able to fully live and fully love.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please reveal to me any and every barrier in my life that blocks my feeling close to you and to others so that I can know true intimacy with you and the ones I love the most—and be a vibrant channel through which your love to others can flow. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully­­­, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

Comment: http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=1211

10 Reasons We Don’t Want to Confront Sin

By Chuck Lawless 

The Bible assumes that we will help each other walk in faithfulness (e.g., 1 Thess. 5:12-22). That process includes confronting others when necessary (Matt. 18:15-20). Many of us, though, aren’t very willing to confront a brother or sister in sin. Read these reasons for this reticence, and consider what you’d do to overcome them:

  1. We’ve never seen confrontation handled well. Maybe, in fact, we’ve never seen it handled at all. If we have, it may have been done so poorly that we don’t want any part of the task.
  2. We misunderstand what “Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged” (Matt. 7:1) means.  If we assume it means we are never to help a Christian check his or her heart, we misread the text. Righteous, humble confrontation is quite different from arrogant judgmentalism.
  3. We have sin in our own lives. We all do—and we don’t usually want anyone to confront us, so we choose not to confront others. We don’t deal with the log in our own eye or the speck in others’ eyes (Matt. 7:3). That way, everyone maintains some kind of “peace.”
  4. We’ve heard “grace” unintentionally defined as “live as you wish, then ask God’s forgiveness.” That kind of grace avoids confrontation, for no one is calling anyone to godliness. Grace makes sense only when we understand God’s holiness and His perfect standards.

Read more: https://us10.campaign-archive.com/?e=e8a5edc6f6&u=1f66ea30867c3c2882f0eae77&id=abb9fd330b

How to Deal with Doubts about Your Faith

When doubt hit me

As I grew up in the church, I thought I knew the bible well.

I stopped thinking critically about it and no longer asked many questions. Then, from friends and the internet, I started hearing questions I didn’t know how to answer like:

“If God is all good, why does he allow so much evil in the world?”

“Why does God allowed our loved ones to die?”

Initially, instead of seeking answers for the questions, I tried to “have faith” and pushed them to the back of my mind.

But that didn’t work.

Doubts left unanswered can cripple a Christian’s faith.

They must be dealt with.

Read more at: https://allendalebaptist.org/doubts-faith-how-to

Two Common Myths about the Spirit-Filled Life

Many Christians believe the myth that ‘Spirit-filled’ or even ‘spiritual’ must indicate something or someone a little strange. Depending on how much exposure people have had to the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement, they might associate the words ‘Spirit-filled’ with people who claim to be inspired by the Spirit to bark like dogs, scream, or roll around on the floor. Such people exist—I’ve seen them!

Eccentric Prophets

Some people try to justify their conclusion that it is spiritual to act strange by pointing to the eccentric behavior of prophets in the Old Testament. For example, Isaiah walked around naked (Isaiah 20:1–4)—some scholars say, wearing only an undergarment—and Ezekiel lay on his side for 430 days (Ezekiel 4:4–6). Some also point to Saul, who “changed into a different person” when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him and he prophesied (1 Samuel 10:6, 10).

These examples, however, don’t prove that one should expect to act strangely if one is to be truly spiritual. First of all, Saul might have just “changed into a different person” in the sense that “God changed Saul’s heart” before he prophesied (v. 9).

The Frantic Prophets of Baal

Read more:

James as “Wisdom Literature”


What Research Says About How Self-centeredness Grows in Us