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Podcast: Sellout or Sold Out? A Fresh Look at the Parable of the Ten Minas and the Talent God Has Given YOU

God’s given you talent – it’s time you MAXIMIZE it. Ten people are each given the same amount of money to make something of their lives. What happens? Who succeeds, who fails – and why? Sellout or Sold Out? will inspire you to maximize your life for the glory of God. Click here to listen It’s podcast 81 in our Life of Christpodcast series through the entire Gospel of Luke. It’s the Parable of the Ten Minas as you never saw it before.

It’s time to use your talent like never before – for the glory of God. 

PS: Don’t forget to get involved in the upcoming National Week of Repentance. Learn more, here.

Have you sold out to something far less than God’s best? 

How To Revive Your Prayer Life

How To Revive Your Prayer Life

Hot things cool down. This is true about our prayer lives. In case you’ve forgotten, being “lukewarm” about God is not good. Apart from our treatment of people, nothing reflects our love (or lack of love) for God more than our prayer lives. But we all struggle with cultivating a vibrant prayer life – and with it, love for God. Does your prayer life need CPR? Here are some suggestions I’ve learned from my own failures. My hope is that in sharing them, you may succeed.

“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” – Jesus, Revelation 3:16

  1. FORGIVE PEOPLE – Nothing screams “I don’t love God!” more than “I don’t care about people!” (Have you read 1 John 2:9-11 lately?). Nothing will hinder your prayer life more than unforgiveness, bitterness and hatred. If you are struggling with these things, resolving them must be the number one priority of your life. If you allow yourself to get stuck here, everything in your life is stuck. Don’t kid yourself. There is a direct correlation between your ability to pray and your love for people.


    “. . . the best translation of the Bible is the one you actually read.”

  2. SHAKE IT UP – Nothing makes praying (which is to walk with God) more boring than being ritualistic about it. While it is great to get into a routine of prayer, make sure your routine does not become your master. It’s a sure prescription for legalism and boredom. Try praying in a different location. Start taking prayer walks. Read the Bible, then immediately go for a walk and pray about what you just read. Read a different Bible translation. There is a lot of debate these days over the “best” translations out there. The truth is, the majority of our English translations are pretty doggone good. The best translation of the Bible is the one you actually read.

    “Prayer doesn’t make you righteous; prayer is a behavior of people who have been forgiven.”

  3. REMEMBER THAT PRAYER DOES NOT MAKE YOU RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD. It’s the grace of God, through faith, that makes you righteous (See Ephesians 2:8-9). As you develop or rediscover prayer, it can be common to start thinking you are hot stuff because of your prayer life. You can begin to think more highly of yourself because you are praying often. Prayer doesn’t make you righteous; prayer is a behavior of people who have simply been forgiven. Prayer is what people do when they are grateful to God for His love, forgiveness and fresh start.
  4. BASE YOUR PRAYERS ON THE BIBLE – Need fuel in your prayer tank? There is plenty within the pages of the Bible. Read passages of the Bible and pray them back to God. They speak about Who God really is and what He is really like, who you really are, how to treat others, how to enjoy life, overcome struggles, walk in victory. If you are going through it – or about to go through it – it’s in the Bible. Base your prayers on the Bible and your prayer tank will get a fresh refill of things to pray about and focus upon.

Does your prayer life need CPR? Which one of the above tips can help you get a fresh start?

Are You This Person?

Eventually, we all meet this person. They say they know Jesus Christ as their Savior – but they never seem to walk in victory, with Jesus as Lord. They are constantly going from one person to the next for counsel, help, encouragement and inspiration – but they never seem to have anything to say that comes directly from the mouth of God. They don’t walk in victory. Why? How can a person who says they know Christ follow everyone but Christ? What about you? Are you this person? Every single one of us needs a counselor. A really, really good counselor. It’s good to read books about the Bible, and to seek godly counsel – but it’s best to go right directly to the source of wisdom – God Himself, and His teachings in the Bible. Secondary sources, while helpful in our spiritual journey, are no substitute for the counsel of God Himself.

“Are you listening, taking God up on His offer? One source of counsel creates a victorious life. All the other sources . . . will leave you wanting.”

When all is said and done, you will have either built your life on the words of Jesus, which come directly from His word, the Bible, or you will have built it upon secondary sources.

DIVINE COUNSEL FOR MERE MORTALS Psalm 119 is my favorite Psalm. It’s a real “magnum opus,” a masterpiece of heavenly insight. Though every verse within is rich, verse 24 is great to consider when it comes to who gives you counsel in the course of life:

“Your testimonies are my delight, they are my counselors.” 

Who counsels you? The Psalmist explains that God, through His Word, provides counsel to anyone willing to listen. Are you listening, taking God up on His offer?  Which would you rather have, unfiltered, pure counsel directly from the throne of God, or counsel that is processed, edited and watered down? One source of counsel creates a victorious life. All the others, if they are the primary places from which you get counsel, will leave you wanting.

I want to encourage you to read Psalm 119 all through this week. Take a month if you’d like. The more time you saturate yourself in it, the more you will be convinced that God is the best counselor you can ever have. He’s the best Counselor available – if only you make His Words the centerpiece of all you are and all you do.

Who is your counselor? Are you living a victorious life? It’s available if you will let God’s Word, the Bible, be your counselor. 

Learn more about revolutionizing your life through the Seven Day Revolution by clicking here.

Our “Prophetic” Looks Pathetic

Whatever happened to loving God for Who He is? The fact that we are motivated by extra-biblical “signs” to “get right with God” is a reflection of how little we read our Bibles – and the anemic state of our love for God. So many Christians are stirring the “prophecy” pot, speaking out of both sides of their mouths in the name of . . . God.
I’m embarrassed, aren’t you? If you’re a Christian, you should be. Our faith is much richer and our God far greater than the way we are representing them with these extra-biblical “motivators.” Lord help us, literally. It’s one thing for someone to reject Jesus for Who He is, but quite another when they reject the Jesus we have refashioned in our own likeness – a likeness based on terribly poor interpretations of Scripture and a skewed worldview based on misguided fear, not love, for God.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18, ESV).

PROPHECY AND WORLD EVENTS REVOLVE AROUND ISRAEL, NOT THE UNITED STATES
Do you realize that Israel, not the United States, is the center of prophecy? Read Genesis, chapters 12, 15, 17 and 22. All of the Bible and all of world history revolve around the Abrahamic Covenant, which is revealed in those chapters.

“Without repentance, we’re stuck. This is true in an individual life, a family, a house of worship and a nation.”

Yes, I absolutely believe America is being judged at this very moment – and maybe you do too. You should. Our nation’s hardships will increase if we don’t repent thoroughly – but not because of the Jewish calendar, the color of the moon or one particular passage of Scripture. America is being judged like any other nation that walks away from God – because allsixty-six books of the Bible teach the same thing about how God operates. Without repentance, we’re stuck. This is true in an individual life, a family, a house of worship and a nation. It’s universally true. Without repentance, no one goes anywhere with God.

“Many of us fear these days because we are losing our comfortable lives, not because we long to love and honor Jesus Christ. The sign of the times is that we Christians seem more concerned with losing our lifestyles than we are in losing our witness.”

Without repentance, judgment can happen at any moment. We don’t need a “sign” to be assured of divine resistance. We just need to read our Bibles. And this is the point: we aren’t reading them. I mean really reading them. This is why we are more fascinated with extra-biblical teaching than we are the teachings of the Bible. We don’t realize how far we’ve drifted.

We don’t seem interested in loving God and leaving it at that. We are more interested in “loving” God for what He gives us apart from Himself. Many of us fear these days because we are losing comfortable lives, not because we long to love and honor Jesus Christ. The sign of the times is that we Christians seem more concerned with losing our lifestyles than we are in losing our witness.

PROPHETIC OR PATHETIC?
When Old Testament prophets had a word from God, their message was specific and certain. Today, our “prophetic” is pathetic. “God is about to shake this nation!” we declare. As “evidence,” we then cite the color of the moon, and a pseudo-historical, pseudo-scientific explanation of events alleged to have coincided or about to coincide with the Jewish calendar (aren’t we supposed to stand for truth?). Still, there is the banter about some ancient “mystery” regarding America’s future, “revealed” in one particular passage of Scripture. Wow. We are a loooooong way from home.

If we were reading our Bibles, it would be obvious what is happening to our nation – and what will continue to happen, unless we repent.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? WHY ARE YOU SERVING GOD? If you are a Christian leader, are you motivating your people to love and serve God for the right reasons? 

Check out the National Week of Repentance, taking place October 11-18, this year. America needs a good, long bath. Get your bar of soap and towel. Everything else can wait – but this cannot.
The National Week of Repentance

The National Week of Repentance

New Podcast: Your Desperation Is Your Greatest Asset

You may be blind, but you can still see. I explain what that means in this, my most recent podcast. Subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. And, we’d appreciate any five-star reviews and words of encouragement you may be able to provide. High reviews help boost our visibility through iTunes, and literally help us spread the Word . . . of God.
What’s the problem you’re facing? Until you begin to see it as an asset, your bigger problem is that you’re wasting your problem.

PS: Don’t forget to get involved in the upcoming National Week of Repentance. Learn more, here.

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