When we get our sexuality right, we bring God glory and put the gospel on display. When we get it wrong, we dishonor Him and fail to tell the story that the world so desperately needs to hear. Watch Mary Kassian talk about the quiet counterrevolution of women who love Jesus and delight in God's design for gender.
Your way to God begins on the day of your conversion, for conversion marks your soul’s initial return to God. From that moment you begin to live and have your being by the means of His grace.
After your conversion, your own spirit—the human spirit (which is deep within your inmost being)—is touched by God and is made alive and functioning. Your spirit—in turn—invites your soul to compose itself and to turn within, there to find the God who has newly come to reside at the center of your being.
Your spirit instructs your soul that, since God is more present deep within you, He cannot be found anywhere else. Henceforth, He must be sought within. And He must be enjoyed there, alone.
When Jesus died on the cross, He opened the way for us to get personal with almighty God.
Ask any believer if spending regular quality time with God is a challenge, and he or she will almost always say yes. We manage to make time for lots of other things—entertainment, work, school and church events—but we find it difficult to spend daily time in fellowship with God by praying, worshipping and reading His Word.
I too experienced this difficulty until God taught me a valuable lesson on crisis management. I used to spend time with God once in a while or when my life was in big trouble. Then the Lord told me to seek Him continuously, or diligently. Eventually I learned that if I ever wanted to stop living from one emergency to the next, I needed to seek God every day as if I were in desperate need of Him—even during times of tremendous prosperity and blessing.
Change is not simply a season in our spiritual journeys; it is a process we undergo for the whole of life.
As her labor pains intensified, I watched in amazement as my typically sweet-natured, mild-mannered wife took on the appearance of Sigourney Weaver in Alien. In one startling moment her peaceful appearance was replaced by a taut jaw, steely eyes and the bark of a drill sergeant preparing young soldiers for the battle of their lives. The thin line of sweat that had formed on her brow began to pulsate in rhythm with her temples.
I wanted to run for my life, to get as far away from this frightening creature as I could. But the next moment she was back to normal—normal, that is, for a pregnant woman about to give birth.
Competition, alienation and loss of affection are only a few of the effects brought on by allowing the "green-eyed monster" to reign in your marriage.
When envy invades a marriage relationship, the results are particularly tragic. Husband and wife, once a union of love and partnership, now compete for recognition and spiritual “one-upmanship.”
Typically, jealousy among spouses masks itself in legalism—creating discord and suspicion. It effectively destroys the potential for teamwork by fostering individual kingdom building rather than cooperation. Jealousy is commonly rooted in insecurity and is defined as that “peculiar uneasiness” we experience when we see others receive the attention we desire for ourselves.
Confusion over the real meaning of "headship" often leads to marital conflict, but the Bible doesn't give husbands the right to be tyrants.
As a Bible-believing Christian, Mike* was the spiritual leader of his home. He believed that in order to be a faithful man of God he must always "be in charge." His wife, Jill*, and their four children graciously submitted to his authority.
Mike insisted on controlling every aspect of home life. Jill was not allowed to handle any aspect of the family finances.
The greatest lesson the soul has to learn is the fact that God, and God alone, is enough for all its needs. This is the lesson that all His dealings with us are meant to teach; and this is the crowning discovery of our whole Christian life. God is enough!
If God is what He would seem to be from our study of Him; if He is our Shepherd; if He is really and truly our Father; if, in short, all the many aspects of His character and His ways as laid out in Scripture are actually true, then we must, it seems to me, come to the positive conviction that He is, in Himself alone, enough for all our possible needs, and that we may safely rest in Him absolutely and forever.
But Christ has not been all we want. We have wanted a great many things besides Him.
You may be knowledgeable in the Scriptures and know God, but is He relevant in your everyday life? Watch as Priscilla Shirer talks about her search for abundant life and how she was able to feel His presence, and discover how you can find your promised land.
Abiding in the Word and allowing it to abide in us gives us more power in our prayer lives.
Most Christians know the importance of reading the Bible, but many do not understand the importance of abiding in the Word and allowing the Word to abide in them. Jesus told His disciples, “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7, AMP).
To abide means “to remain, to continue in, or to dwell in.” When we are diligent to study the Word and hide Scripture verses in our hearts, we have instant access to them whenever we need them, and Jesus promised that we can ask for whatever we need in prayer and receive it.
God is looking for women who are willing to fight to restore the biblical foundations in our country. Are you ready to answer the call?
When I was a child, one of my favorite parts of the school day was when my teacher would open her big black Bible and read us a Scripture verse. After that, we would all fold our hands and bow our heads as she led us in a short prayer. We would pray for our country, teachers, school and generally, anything else that needed prayer. Nobody complained. It was as natural as breathing or standing up to salute the flag.
But these activities came to a screeching halt on June 25, 1962, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Engel v. Vitale case that prayer should be taken out of public school. In one fell swoop millions of students and teachers were barred from praying in the classroom.
Even today, some church leaders tell Christian women that God wants them to stay at home. But what does the Bible really say?
In the small town of Berryville, in northwest Arkansas, members of the board at First Baptist Church voted in February 1997 to close their church-run day care center. They made the abrupt decision not because the facility was too expensive to operate or because they didn't have enough children enrolled. The official reason, as stated in a letter that was mailed to parents, was that church leaders felt their day care center was encouraging women to work outside the home.
"God intended for the home to be the center of a mother's world," the letter from First Baptist stated, adding that working moms "neglect their children, damage their marriages and set a bad example." First Baptist's day care center board, under the direction of the pastor, also noted in their letter that families should learn to get by on the husband's single income."
Twenty-nine years ago, I was looking for a creative outlet as a stay-at-home mom. Since then God has turned my hobby into a thriving enterprise.
When I was in high school, I thought I was going to be a rock star, but in 1968 God revealed to me that He had other plans. After graduating from the University of Mississippi, I taught school for a while and then stayed home after my second child was born.
I was happy and fulfilled with my family, but there was something missing—something I longed to do—something creative. I began to look for an outlet.
My search led me to begin "fooling around" with ceramics at my kitchen table. Soon my experimenting became an adventure, and I now have a company that manufactures hand-painted dinnerware and accessories in Ridgeland, Miss.—with hundreds of employees!
People generally are all at sea on this subject, as though insisting that repentance is an arbitrary arrangement on the part of God. I believe God has made human salvation as easy as the almighty, infinite, mind could make it! But there is a necessity that we “repent and turn to God” (Acts 26:20, KJV).
Since repentance is an indispensable condition of salvation, let us glance at it for a moment and try to find out what repentance really is. How full of confusion the world and the church are on this subject!
Doing things to impress people and to be admired are not good motives for serving God.
Are you excited about being a Christian? Do you enjoy being with and worshipping with other believers, and talking about what God is doing in your life and in the lives of others? Or have you become accustomed to the idea that you will live eternally and God is watching over you?
God once spoke to my heart that I should always live amazed and not get blasé about things that once thrilled me. I remember how excited I was when God revealed His love to me. Wow! God loves me—and just because He wants to.
Editor's Note: This article, still applicable today, was originally published in 2000.
Women of God have always been at the center of His purposes. Mothers of faith will play a vital role in establishing the course of Christ's kingdom.
It is the dawn of a new millennium—and the start of a significant new day for women in the church. Speaking as a brother in Christ and a leader in the global prayer movement, I'm convinced there's never been a more interesting, demanding or exciting time to be a Christian woman.
I believe the almighty God will do incredible things in and through the female gender during the next decade. And when He does, society better watch out. A spiritual awakening is on the way!
Of course, all Christian parents like to think they've raised their kids to pursue God's will. But just how easy will it be to let them go when the time comes?
The soap suds rise from the bottom of the tub and cover me like a warm quilt. Oh, if Calgon could really take me away, I'd be curled up on my grandmother's sofa in front of her roaring fireplace as she tucks the corners of one of her tattered-piece quilts around my feet.
But try as I might, I can't get there; I'm still here in my tub, hidden away for just a moment. The water's too hot for a bath, but that's the way I like it.
My eyes are closed, and when I try to open them all I can see is a green light filtered through cucumber slices. So I close them tighter and begin to think about Chera, our 15-year-old daughter—the one who wants to be a missionary.
Simple misunderstandings can foster conflict in your relationship with your child. How do you tear down the walls that hinder effective communication?
John stood at our door arrayed in all his black leather splendor. Safety pins ringed his ear lobes; jewelry pierced his nose and lips. Tattoos covered his arms. Both sides of his head were shaved, the hair on top spiked down the middle.
Our daughter had told me her date was coming, but I wasn’t prepared for what greeted me when I opened the door.
My thoughts raced: Should I let this road warrior in? Is my daughter in danger? What will my congregation think if she brings this guy to church?
There are several steps involved in coming to know the depths of Jesus Christ. The first two are quite simple: praying the Scriptures and just beholding the Lord in quietness and trust. After pursuing this level of experience with the Lord for a considerable length of time, you should be ready to go on to a deeper level of knowing Him.
But in this deeper encounter with the Lord, you must move outside the realm of prayer alone; or, to state it more clearly, you must move away from just the one or two times a day you set apart for prayer with the Lord.
Positive, faith-filled words are full of life, but negative words are full of death.
Many years ago I was an extremely negative person. My whole philosophy was, "Don't expect anything good to happen, and then you won't be disappointed when it doesn't." So many devastating things had happened to me through the years, I was afraid to believe something good might actually happen.
Because my thoughts were all negative, my talk—and my life—were too. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. My life was a reflection of my thoughts and my words.