Maybe 2016 wasn’t your all-time spiritually high year. Am I right? Perhaps you’re tired. Exhausted might be a better word. You may even feel oppressed, guilty, overused, or underappreciated. The enemy of your soul is feeding you the lie, “You’re through. Finished. Forgotten. You’ve been replaced.” It’s time to listen to a new voice.
In recent days I’ve been challenged to allow myself to believe, really believe, that God loves me deeper and wider than any other person could love me. More than I can comprehend or understand. I need to believe it, because it is by this measure—the measure I believe Jesus loves me—that I will love God.
You don’t have to look far, perhaps no further than your own family, to see Christian parents with prodigal children. I’m referring to children who turn away from their Christian upbringing, embracing beliefs and behaviours contrary to their parents’. The primary struggle for Christian parents in this situation is coming to terms with what happened and how to relate to their child moving forward.
How do you discuss difficult topics in such a way you hear and are heard, maintain your influence in their lives, and avoid alienation? Here are some basic guidelines for having those tough discussions on sensitive topics when your faith and thoughts are fundamentally different.
I’m writing to you because I believe you know Jesus Christ is the Son of God who saves us from our sin and the Bible is God’s Word. You believe teaching this is important.
Once we understand that sin and death have been companions since they entered the world through Adam’s disobedience, we can then begin to see the different destinations of those who believe versus those who do not. At death, bodies of believers and non-believers alike separate for our souls. While our bodies go into the ground until the resurrection, our souls go to dwell in a place of comfort and paradise (for believers) or a place of torment (for non-believers).
Post-Christmas blues are not uncommon. Even Bible greats like Moses, Jonah, Paul, and Elijah faced times of discouragement and despair. We believe the Bible shows us how to rediscover God’s unquenchable hope that withstands even the worst onslaughts of despair.
Let this sink in: our obedience in this life matters now and counts forever. Life in heaven will echo with the consequences of the lives we lived on earth.
The God we love doesn’t change and so our joy and delight in Him shouldn’t either. The people we serve still need to hear God’s Word and apply it to their lives every day of 2017. And the Truth we send out is timeless, always relevant, and powerful.