How to Quit a Life of Compromise

If you think about it, King Solomon never started out to build pagan shrines. It was his failure to deal with the tiny spiritual cracks in his heart that produced a life of compromise and dissatisfaction.

You can quit a life of compromise.

(Photo: Design Pics, via Vivozoom)

The backwash from Solomon’s life reminds us how we only kid ourselves when we think we can have a healthy walk with God and still keep our hidden life of compromise on the side.

The good news? We don’t have to.

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What I’ve Learned Since I Became Omniscient

Because God is all-wise, we should be all-trusting.

As a teenager, I knew everything. You could even say I was omniscient. I marveled at the incompetence of adults on the simplest issues. They just didn’t get it. And then I grew up, and something strange happened. I discovered that as an omniscient person, I still had a lot to learn.

What I’ve Learned Since I Became Omniscient

(Photo by Photodune)

So many times I stood so sure of myself only to discover how woefully ignorant I was.

  • I knew a lot about the Bible until I went to seminary. It turns out, the more I learned, the less I knew.
  • I knew everything about marriage until I got married. But matrimony is course in art, not science. I’ll be learning for the rest of my life.
  • I was an expert on parenting until I had kids. Parenting offers a long course of study on your own selfishness.

I’ve learned a lot since I became omniscient. But you know where that omniscient teenager resurfaces the most in my life? The same place it shows itself in your life.

When we’re talking to God.

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Did the Old Testament Offer Only One Way to God?

We can only approach God’s presence God’s way. But are there multiple ways? The New Testament clearly reveals that only through Jesus can anyone come to God the Father (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:23). But what about in the Old Testament?

Did the Old Testament Offer Only One Way to God?

(Photo courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

After King David conquered Jerusalem and secured it as his capital, he desired to bring the Ark of the Covenant up from Kiriath-Jearim into his new City of David. But in his passion to have God’s presence, David neglected to follow God’s principles. That negligence of improperly transporting the Ark cost a man his life (2 Samuel 6).

Three months later, David correctly transported the Ark into Jerusalem and placed it in a tent he pitched for its keeping.

In this experience, David gained a profound respect for God’s holiness.

This principle directly relates to the question: did the Old Testament offer only one way to God?

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Why God Allows Us to Crash and Hurt

I’ll never forget the day when one of my daughters learned to ride her bike without training wheels. (The “fall” was an appropriate season for this event.)

As she sped down a hill toward a huge ravine, I saw written all over her face the message: “I’m not in control!”

Why does God allow us to hurt?

(Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Vivozoom)

As she raced by me, I reached out and lifted her off the bike—saving her from the ravine but causing her to fall. As the bike launched into the abyss, my rescued daughter hopped up hotter than a hornet!

“Why did you do that, Daddy?!” To answer, I simply pointed to the bottomless gorge I saved her from. But that didn’t matter. All she could see was that I caused her to fall.

Years later, I pondered how we can carry this same attitude into our relationship with God.

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The Problem of Evil and a God of Love

In a forgotten corner of the Hebrew Scriptures we find hope.

We live in a world where it seems God turns a deaf ear to pain and evil. Children hunger, immorality runs rampant, injustice occurs in the courts, and our loved ones die of cancer. All under the nose of an all-powerful God of love.

See no evil. Speak no evil. Hear no evil.

(Photo: See no evil. Speak no evil. Hear no evil.)

It feels as if He were a God of love and justice and power, He would and could remove all evil. As it is, evil remains. So do our feelings of confusion.

In a forgotten corner of the Hebrew Scriptures we catch a glimpse of this seeming contradiction with the problem of evil.

We also see its resolution.

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Hurling the Sin We’ve Swallowed

I went to a movie with a friend, and he gorged on popcorn, cokes, and candy. As the movie was about to end, he leaned over and whispered: “I don’t feel good. I’ll wait for you in the back.” As I walked out, I saw him holding his stomach and twisting his face.

Hurling the sin we're swallowed

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“You want me to drive?” I offered.

“No, no, I’ll be okay,” he said.

On the way home, he slammed on the brakes, opened his door, and hurled in the street.

“You sure you don’t want me to drive?” I asked again.

“No, no,” he said, breathing heavy. “I—I feel better now.”

We drove another hundred yards, and he slammed the brakes on again! (The seat belt began to hurt my shoulder.)

Later he told me after he got home he spent some time in the bathroom. I can imagine that point in his ordeal—as he leaned over the commode and begin to experience the candy and popcorn for the second time—that he asked himself: Why in the world did I ever eat this?! Talk about regret!

I can think of no better illustration of sin and temptation in our lives than this true story.

In fact, that’s what happened to a man named Lot.

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A Spiritual Juneteenth Offers You Freedom

Freedom from anything begins by knowing you are free. Juneteenth—a short version of “June 19th”—remains a state holiday in Texas. It remembers the day good news arrived.

you can have freedom

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But before this date in 1865, freedom had been a secret for two and a half years.

For many Christians, spiritual freedom is still a secret.

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Google Maps and Knowing God’s Will for Your Life

Sometimes I wish Google Maps could give me traveling directions for life. You know, sometimes it might help in knowing God’s will for, say, the next thirty years?

God's will isn't on Google Maps.

Image by Google.

Wouldn’t it be nice if knowing God’s will for your life was that easy?

  • Imagine if we could zoom out to see the big picture.
  • Or zoom in to get the details.
  • Turn by turn, where we’re going, and how long it takes to get there.

For many of us, our problem isn’t our eternal destination—heaven. (Though, if you’re not sure about that, you’ll want to firm that up today.) I tried searching for “Heaven” in Google Maps, but it’s not there. But I located “Hell” in Michigan. (I guess it does freeze over after all.)

But God’s will isn’t necessarily a complete mystery.

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The Church Awakening and the 12 Lies DVD

I spent most of last year with the privilege of editing a fine book by Chuck Swindoll, released just last month, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal. The book contains all that we’ve come to love and appreciate about Chuck’s writing—humor, biblical accuracy, practical insights, grace, and balance.

The Church Awakening

In a nutshell, the book looks at how the 21st-century church has drifted away from biblical beliefs and essential truths has produced many local congregations and leadership devoted to entertaining the flock rather than to feeding them.

By examining how God’s Word defines the church’s priorities, Chuck takes us beyond a mere analysis of today’s church to the needed encouragement of how leaders and congregations can play a part in returning to God’s design.

Full of great illustrations, humorous stories, and practical Bible teaching, The Church Awakening is a must-read for pastors and church leaders—as well as any serious-thinking Christian. The chapter on worship alone is worth the price of the book. I am confident you’ll enjoy it!

You can pick up a copy from Amazon or from Insight for Living.

Check out the video below.

I also had the privilege to participate in a brand new documentary project called “The 12 Biggest Lies.” The documentary is extremely well produced and features interviews from “leading minds such as Ravi Zacharias, Alex Jones, Kerby Anderson, and many more!” (I’m part of the “many more” group.) You can see all the contributors here.
What’s it about? The documentary sheds light on 12 common misconceptions:
1. There is no such thing as truth.
2. People are inherently good.
3. No one should be offended.
4. Men and women are equal.
5. A fetus isn’t human.
6. The world is overpopulated.
7. Americans are greedy and self-centered.
8. Islam is a religion of peace.
9. The Jews stole Jerusalem.
10. The earth is billions of years old.
11. There is no God.
12. Jesus was just a good man.
By the way, I don’t make a dime off this project or from my endorsement of it. It was just a privilege to contribute.
You can watch the trailer below and order the DVD from Amazon or from the Cloud Ten Web site.