What I Like And Don’t Like About Spiritual Gifts Inventories

http://chucklawless.com/2019/03/what-i-like-and-dont-like-about-spiritual-gifts-inventories/

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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

5 Reasons Why a Handwritten “Thank You” Note Can Make a Difference

By Chuck Lawless

I know I’m dating myself here, but I believe many of us need to return to handwriting some thank you notes. I assume that all of us can name somebody who has blessed us, either for a long time or even just today. Here’s why taking the time to write a “thank you” note matters:

  1. It takes time—which shows some depth of gratitude. Think about it – you have to buy the card, write the note, find an address, address the envelope, and mail it. Sure, the card arrives much later than an email would, but the effort behind the “thank you” note is seldom missed.
  2. Few people do it—so it catches the attention of the receiver. An email “thank you” is easier to send, but it’s also easier to miss on the other end. A handwritten note, however, often catches the recipient by surprise. Its very uniqueness in our Internet-based world makes a difference.
  3. It feels much more personal. I know that’s an emotional response, but it’s often true nonetheless. Somehow, seeing the handwriting and signature of an affirming friend or loved one is different than receiving an email.
  4. It provides good memories. I still remember “thank you” notes that arrived at just the right time with just the right words from just the right person. God used those notes to encourage me then, and my memories of them still encourage me today. That’s one reason I’m writing this post today.
  5. It models a good habit for others. I know many people who’ve received gifts and support from others, but who never took the time to say, “thank you.” It is as if we sometimes think we’re entitled to something, so we see no need to express gratitude. We need to learn, though, from others who seldom miss an opportunity to say “thank you” via a handwritten note.

So, I encourage you this week/weekend to write at least five “thank you” notes to people who have blessed your life. Let them hear from you, in the words of the apostle Paul, “in my [your] own handwriting” (Gal. 6:11).

6 Reasons God Allows Thorns in Our Lives

By Chuck Lawless

The apostle Paul had one. That is, he had something he called a “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7). Whatever that thorn was (and I suspect it was a physical ailment), it was a tool of the enemy who surely sought to discourage Paul. God, however, was sovereign over Paul’s life, and He had a purpose for allowing the thorn. Here are some reasons God chooses to leave “thorns” in our lives:

  1. To keep us humble. That’s clearly the case in 2 Corinthians 12. Paul had been taken into the heavens, but God would not allow him to get arrogant about his experiences. In fact, the text says twicethat God intended to keep Paul humble.
  2. To make us weak. Paul learned the lesson God intended him to learn: when Paul was at his weakest, God would be his strength—and He’s all the apostle would need. Many of us are simply too strong today for God to use us.
  3. To make us pray more. We can assume from his writings that Paul had a vibrant prayer life, but he nevertheless prayed multiple times for God to remove his thorn. God did not respond as Paul wanted, but He surely was pleased that the apostle turned to Him in his pain.
  4. To make us a witness to the world. You see, it’s not when we’re rejoicing on the mountaintop that we’re the strongest witness of God’s love and empowerment; rather, it’s when we still rejoice even when we’re in the deepest valley. The world takes note when our thorn is incredibly painful, yet we sing God’s praises anyway.
  5. To teach us the power of His grace. We speak often about grace, but that doesn’t mean we really appreciate it. We don’t know how sweet that grace is until it’s all we have left. When God’s grace is all we have, it’s ever-present, always available, and sufficient for all we need.
  6. To teach others. We’re doing that now. Because of this story in Paul’s life, you and I can learn today to trust God better when we bear our own thorns. When we learn like Paul to rejoice in whatever state we find ourselves, we’ve gone a long way toward breaking the back of the evil one.

5 Reasons Why A Handwritten “Thank You” Note Can Make A Difference

~ Chuck Lawless

I know I’m dating myself here, but I believe many of us need to return to handwriting some thank you notes. I assume that all of us can name somebody who has blessed us, either for a long time or even just today. Here’s why taking the time to write a “thank you” note matters:

  1. It takes time—which shows some depth of gratitude. Think about it – you have to buy the card, write the note, find an address, address the envelope, and mail it. Sure, the card arrives much later than an email would, but the effort behind the “thank you” note is seldom missed.
  2. Few people do it—so it catches the attention of the receiver. An email “thank you” is easier to send, but it’s also easier to miss on the other end. A handwritten note, however, often catches the recipient by surprise. Its very uniqueness in our Internet-based world makes a difference.
  3. It feels much more personal. I know that’s an emotional response, but it’s often true nonetheless. Somehow, seeing the handwriting and signature of an affirming friend or loved one is different than receiving an email.
  4. It provides good memories. I still remember “thank you” notes that arrived at just the right time with just the right words from just the right person. God used those notes to encourage me then, and my memories of them still encourage me today. That’s one reason I’m writing this post today.
  5. It models a good habit for others. I know many people who’ve received gifts and support from others, but who never took the time to say, “thank you.” It is as if we sometimes think we’re entitled to something, so we see no need to express gratitude. We need to learn, though, from others who seldom miss an opportunity to say “thank you” via a handwritten note.

So, I encourage you this week/weekend to write at least five “thank you” notes to people who have blessed your life. Let them hear from you, in the words of the apostle Paul, “in my [your] own handwriting” (Gal. 6:11).

 

6 Implications Of 1 Cor. 12:14 — “Not One Part, But Many”

http://chucklawless.com/2018/11/6-implications-of-1-cor-1214-not-one-part-but-many/

8 Indicators Worship Music Is Not Good

http://chucklawless.com/2018/08/8-indicators-worship-music-is-not-good/