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. . .
The author of Hebrews 12:5-11 teaches us not to despise the rigors, the difficulties, that come from God, but to take them as evidence of God's work with us: "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons ..."
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. . .
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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. . .
In Part One, we saw that pressure, hardship, and anguish are not elements of a Christian's life that suddenly disappear because of faith and God's calling. It also became clear that trial ...
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.
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. . .
In the turbulent and uncertain times ahead, we will need extraordinary fortitude and courage. Trials can improving perseverance or active endurance.
Martin Collins encourages us to exercise the same kind of faith displayed by the Apostle Paul when facing tumultuous weather and an impending shipwreck. Paul, having been assured by an angelic message that he would indeed testify before Caesar in Rome, kne. . .
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.
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. . .
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 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 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. . .
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.
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