4 Reasons To Let Go Of What You Cannot Keep

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Spiritual Growth Comes From Community

~ Osmond Odyssey

Something has dawned on me in the last couple weeks.  And honestly, this realization could be perceived in two ways: a gift or an embarrassment.  Here it is: my spiritual growth over the last 18 years is mostly due to the accountability I have had in the local church rather than my own personal drive to grow.

Being involved in various church activities year after year has been a gift because it has spurred me on.  It’s also a bit of an embarrassment because, truthfully, I would not have grown at the same rate, left to my own motivation.

Mark and I married over 18 years ago and we have been in ministry together ever since.  Because of our role in our local church we didn’t have a choice but to stay plugged in, consistently preparing for the next thing.  We always knew people were going to show up and we needed to be ready.

Left to my own drive and motivation I would have sidelined my Bible study for a better time later in the day, or I would have sat out whole semesters of women’s ministry because it wasn’t a good season, or I would have stayed home from church because I just wasn’t up to it.  But the Lord placed me in positions where people were counting on me.  People expected me to show up.

Looking back, I can honestly say, it was the local church that drove my spiritual growth.  If people had not been relying on me, I would have taken a much slower pace, I would not have pursued my studies with such diligence.  Really, the accountability of the body of Christ is what kept me on track all those years and it still is.

Continue at: https://www.oshmanodyssey.com/jensblog/spiritual-growth-comes-from-community

Know Your Doctrine

~ Tim Challies

“Doctrine divides,” the young man explained. “Of course it’s important, but God cares far more for our deeds than our creeds. Doctrine divides, but love unites.” Could he be right? Is doctrine a force for division meant to bow before the primacy of love?

“I find doctrine boring,” the husband confessed. “I don’t have any interest in hearing about theology. Just tell me what God wants me to do, and I’ll do it. I’m a doer, not a learner.” Could he have it right? Is doctrine a drab discipline fit only for the halls of academia?

As it happens, the Bible has much to say about doctrine and only ever commends it as something that is of great importance to every Christian. In fact, we cannot rightly consider ourselves faithful followers of Jesus Christ unless we thoroughly know our doctrine, staunchly cling to it, and faithfully defend it. Though the Christian faith is far more than knowing doctrine, it is never less. And yet many who profess to be Christians have only the most rudimentary knowledge of Christian doctrine.

Many who claim to love the Bible have only the barest knowledge of the doctrines it contains. Many who have received the sacred deposit of the gospel are unequipped to guard it. And for men, who are called to lead their homes in devotion to God, the pursuit of doctrine often takes a back seat to easier, more comfortable pursuits. With the spare time before and after work, relaxing with television sounds far more appealing than laboring over the doctrine found in Scripture. But there is great cost to neglecting the study of doctrine, just as there is inestimable gain in a deep knowledge of it. To rightly pursue God for a lifetime, we must know who he is and how he calls us to live.

In this series “Run to Win,” we are taking an extended look at the kind of life God calls Christian men to live. Through the Apostle Paul, he challenges you to understand life as a race and pleads with you to run it in such a way that you win. Are you running aimlessly, loping along at a plodding pace? Or are you, like Paul, applying the kind of self-control an athlete needs to train successfully and run victoriously? If you are going to run to win, you must train yourself to know your doctrine.

Continue: https://www.challies.com/articles/know-your-doctrine

3 Strengths Found In Struggles

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Ten Questions Christians Should Ask of Their Entertainment

“But,” says one, “are we not to have amusements?” Yes, such amusements as you can take in the fear of God. Do what Jesus would have done.” —Charles Spurgeon

We live in an unprecedented age of entertainment. The average American spends over ten hours per day in front of a screen.

Go to: http://www.kevinhalloran.net/ten-questions-christians-should-ask-of-their-entertainment/

Are you mature?

By Jonathan Thomas

When I went to junior school, I thought I was really grown up. I would no longer have milk in a little bottle or throw my toys out of the pram. Now I would chew my food and sort out my quarrels and squabbles. Years later, when I went back to visit the school, I realised how small I was back then: I couldn’t even fit into the seats as they were so tiny. I had thought I was mature but I was only a child.

I wonder, are you mature? Spiritually mature?

The answer to that question may be a little more nuanced than you think. You see, the Bible says that all Christians are mature but that sometimes we can also be immature.

All Christians are mature

Continue: https://www.evangelicalmagazine.com/article/are-you-mature/

5 Things You Must Make Time For

http://www.scottslayton.net/2017/04/23/5-things-must-make-time/