Military strategists have long realized the key to success in the training of new recruits is to identify the danger they will encounter—in short, to know their enemy. Recruits to God's spiritual army also need to know their enemy and to make appropr. . .
Entrance into the Kingdom of God will not happen without many tribulations (Acts 14:22). We may need to adjust our expectations of what discipleship entails.
When we were baptized and gave our lives by covenant to God, we committed ourselves to a lifetime of change. This change would be partly internal ...
God narrows in our way because He loves us, just as we hedge our children because we care about their lives. God loves us too much to leave us the way we are.
David Grabbe, assessing the impact of struggles, pressures, and tribulations of our spiritual journey, reveals that Christ's followers will have to endure afflictions and fiery trials as He prepares them for His Kingdom. Some detractors have tried to preac. . .
Even suffering that may not be as a direct result of our faith is part of the trials of this age. It will bear positive fruit if it is approached in faith.
The Parable of the Sower and the Seed exemplifies a number things that can happen to prevent us from having a place in God's spiritual harvest.
Our sins can drag us down, but there are other weights that impede our progress, limit our usefulness to God, hold us back, and hinder us in our race.
Ted Bowling, reflecting on the potter and clay analogy, reminds us that the Master Potter continually molds and shapes His people. Finding different kinds of clay in the riverbed, he weathers it to the point it stinks (like our own sins), and then pounds t. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh acknowledges that although many in God's church have gone through sore trials and tests of sorts, virtually no one has gone through the nightmarish persecutions suffered by the early Christians in Imperial Rome. Because most of us have l. . .
Some have a warped idea of godliness, not pursuing it with a desire to resemble God, but believing that if they are righteous, God will materially bless.
Acts 27 teaches that we must distinguish among several types of suffering. Regardless of the type of suffering, we must remember that God will deliver us.
In the turbulent and uncertain times ahead, we will need extraordinary fortitude and courage. Trials can improving perseverance or active endurance.
Our hope is based on having a living Savior. At times we are discouraged and overwhelmed, but God has not left us—though unseen, He is in the trials with us.
Hope is the ability to expect positive outcomes despite current circumstances. Faith, hope, and love are the three elements of the fuel for our spiritual journey.
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessnes. . .
John Reid, drawing on an example of an exhausted military medic, explores the problem of burnout with the attending symptoms of collapse, callousness, and giving up. The inability of solving mounting cultural and social problems despite advances in technol. . .
John Reid, reflecting on a story of a well-meaning individual who 'rescued' a butterfly from its chrysalis only to discover it could not fly, draws a parallel to our own spiritual development, suggesting if we are 'rescued' from our spiritual tests and tri. . .
Some of us, facing the stress of the times, may simply be going through the motions but losing every vestige of faith. We must strengthen our convictions.
In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus begins a passage, asking, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say?" He finishes His thought with the metaphor of a man building a house ...
As God has designed the physical healing process, God has also designed spiritual healing, requiring that faith, suffering, and healing be part of the same process.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that when God created Adam, He prepared only a foundation for mankind's eventual spiritual creation undertaken by the Second Adam. Spiritual creation requires much intense pressure and continual testing to determine character. Jesus. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the watchman responsibility as defined in Ezekiel 33:2 and Isaiah 62:6, consisting of both physical and spiritual aspects. Part of the pastor's responsibility is to carefully observe economic, social, meteorological, and politi. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates the emotional state of the American people, especially those who understand the seriousness of the times, averring his conviction that they will never see good times again, but will fall more and more into a permanent condition o. . .
The meal offering represents the fulfillment of the second great commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Here is how to understand this offering.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the analogy or metaphor of wilderness wanderings, focuses on the role of suffering or persecution (pressure) in perfecting the saints. God the Father perfected Jesus Christ (our Elder Brother, High Priest, and Mediator) throu. . .
Even loyal servants of God have had to contend with depression and discouragement. Antidotes include rest, refocus, right expectations, and obedient actions.
The group that one fellowships with is less important than the understanding that there is one true church, bound by a spiritual, not a physical unity.
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