Why Your Dreams Come True is Actually a Temporary Fix

Life is still just life, no matter where you are.

Okay, so it finally happened. What you’ve waited on for years. Maybe you got the dream job. Better salary. More responsibility. Better fit. Flexible hours. Your dreams come true! But wait.

Why Your Dreams Come True is Actually a Temporary Fix

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Only after taking the job do you discover that more responsibility means you’re managing people, and people bring challenges. Flexible hours mean you never feel like you’re working enough. And along with that salary come more expenses.

Why is it when our dreams come true, it’s a lot like before?

There’s a good reason.

Click to continue reading »

Why You Should Avoid the Path Of Least Resistance

The life we seek isn't found by avoiding pain. It comes another way.

The path of least resistance is a fact of nature. Rivers always flow around a mountain rather than through it. Electricity always moves through a circuit’s “easiest” route. Human nature is no different. Unfortunately.

Why You Should Avoid the Path Of Least Resistance

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

We tend to do that which is easiest, often to the neglect of that which is best.

  • It’s easier to read a magazine than to read your Bible.
  • It’s easier to sit in front of the TV than to spend time with your kids.
  • It’s easier to lose your temper with your spouse than to control it.

Following the path of least resistance can become a habit that guides our lives. We make choices based on what is easiest, most pleasant, or least painful.

But God has a better plan for you.

Click to continue reading »

How Jesus Took Life in the Fast Lane in Stride

The One Thing Jesus Did to Change Activity to Efficiency

Is this true of you? Whenever I find myself with a free moment, I feel compelled to fill it with something productive. Because I hate to waste time, I fill it with activity and justify it as productivity.

How Jesus Took Life in the Fast Lane in Stride

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

But I’m learning that constant movement doesn’t always represent efficiency. It could, moreover, represent just the opposite.

As with every other part of the human experience, Jesus remains our model of efficiency. But His life—even before the cross—was no easy walk:

  • The demands on Him were constant.
  • The needs He faced were overwhelming.
  • The expectations He encountered were unrealistic.

No person was ever more qualified to do it all, and yet Jesus took life in the fast lane in stride.

What was His secret?

Click to continue reading »

How I Cracked a Rib Washing My Hair

And 2 Reality Checks that Can Pull Our Heads Out of the Sand

Panicked, I woke up late for my men’s Bible study. Rather than show up with bedhead, I opted for a quick head rinse in the tub. I had done it a thousand times before. But this time would be the last.

How I Cracked a Rib Washing My Hair

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

I planked on the edge of the tub to wash and rinse. As I leaned to the side, all of my weight rested on my ribs. I felt a give—and then a sharp pain. In that moment, one of two things happened:

  1. I received the gift of speaking in tongues . . .
  2. Or something was very, very wrong.

“You cracked a rib,” the doctor told me a few painful days later. Several of my close friends had another prognosis:

You’re getting old, Wayne.

Really? I have lived all my life like I was still 25. And frankly, that was my problem.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Click to continue reading »

What if Your Busy Life Isn’t Productive?

How to bear fruit for God in a world of distraction.

My old car had a funny way of handling the cold. I would turn on the headlights, heat, rear defrost, and the radio. All was fine until I turned on my blinker. When I did, the radio blinked off and on.

What if Your Busy Life is not Productive

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

The small drain from the blinker was more than the power source could handle. Many mornings I feel like my old car. Every ounce of energy is already being used, and if even one small additional drain is required from me, the overload starts shutting down my system.

We’ve all been there. A busy life means little margin—and often, little productivity. No fruit for God.

Jesus told a story once about our busy lives—and the way to bear fruit to God.

Click to continue reading »

Why You Must Listen to God Rather than to People

Joash's life demands we cultivate our own resolve to follow the Lord.

We all need people to influence us. God made us that way. From the languages we speak to the character we develop—it all begins with those who surround us in our formative years.

Listen to God

(Photo by Noam Armonn via Vivozoom)

It starts with our environment, but it shouldn’t end there. It cannot.

When it does, it’s tragic. That was the case with King Joash.

But it doesn’t have to be that way with us.

Click to continue reading »

How Haggai Shakes the Ho Hum from Our Hearts

Finding balance between building for here and for Heaven.

It always seems easier to find time for home improvements than to make time for building God’s kingdom. Of course, these needn’t be mutually exclusive. The challenge, of course, is balance.

How Haggai Shakes the Ho Hum from Our Hearts

(Photo by Photodune)

The Jewish exiles who returned to the Promised Land began rebuilding the fallen temple of the Lord. But harassment from the locals and the Persians produced apathy toward the project—and the work stopped. After sixteen years without progress, God raised up the prophet Haggai to ignite in God’s people a passion for God’s priorities.

Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate? Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Consider your ways!’ —Haggai 1:4–5

Haggai’s words help us as well when we’re not sure how to keep first-things first.

Click to continue reading »

How Jesus Determined His Priorities

And what we can do when choices toss us a live grenade.

Scripture has always taught God’s people to pursue God’s priorities. But over time, opinions differed on those priorities. No one’s opinion was conclusive. There were no guardrails on truth.

How Jesus Determined His Priorities

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Religious leaders in Jesus’ day debated on the separation of the important commandments from the less-important ones. One day when Jesus was teaching in the temple, a scribe tossed this live grenade in front of Jesus to see where He stood in the debate:

What commandment is the foremost of all? —Mark 12:28

Jesus’ answer did more than weigh in on the longstanding disagreement.

It helped us understand how to balance our priorities.

Click to continue reading »

What to Do When God’s Will is the Other Way

Following God’s will is a wonderful thing. That is, when God leads us the same direction we’re already going. The hard part comes when the Lord changes our course.

What to Do When God’s Will is the Other Way

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

When God leads in a direction that seems exactly the opposite of the way He should lead, we’ll get logical in a hurry.

  • We find statistics to explain why it won’t work.
  • We’ll even quote Scriptures to support our bents.

For example, in an attempt to discredit Jesus, the Pharisees claimed, “no prophet arises out of Galilee” (John 7:52). Oh really? The prophet Jonah came from Gath-hepher, located right beside Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth!

It’s easy to forget about this minor prophet who ran from God. It’s easy because we often do the same.

Here’s how to avoid that.

Click to continue reading »

When Your Life is Wasted for God’s Glory

When I see a life on fire for God snuffed out in its prime, I confess I wonder what goes on in the mind of a sovereign God. So much potential. So much to offer. All that potential—gone.

When Your Life is Wasted for God’s Glory

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com)

Have you ever known a young, gifted individual who loved the Lord but whose life came to a sudden end—with all that potential wasted in an early death?

I have. We are not the first to scratch our heads at God’s grand plan—that includes what seems like life wasted.

Why do you think Jesus invited James into the inner circle of disciples only to allow his execution so soon after the church got its start?

Click to continue reading »