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20Oct
Four essentials that authenticate your Christianity NS

Four essentials that authenticate your Christianity

Four essentials that authenticate your Christianity NS

How do you know you are a Christian?

I mean, apart from when Christ came to you, what are the evidences that you have been born from above (John 3:7)? While praying a prayer is essential to becoming a Christian (Romans 10:9, 13), the greater authentication is by the evidences of a transformed life.

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. – James 2:17 (ESV)

If Christ did take up habitation inside of you, then there should be evidence of Him being there. It is kinda like when a maid comes to your hotel room after you have left. There is evidence you were there.

What evidences can you point to that shows Christ is living with you? These evidences do not make you a Christian, but they do point to that reality (See James 2:14-17).

The Gospel should always grip our hearts and the evidence of its grip is seen in how we live our lives. Jesus was distinctly Christian. He was not another kind of religious person, but the kind we are supposed to be (Ephesians 4:17-24).

There were distinctions that made Him unique. These are the same distinctions that make us unique. To be a Christian is to be like Jesus. To not be transforming into Jesus is contrary to what being a Christian means. Are you transforming?

In order to determine what it means to be a Christian, we must separate the singular acts of the Christians in the Bible from the repeated patterns of those Christians.

Singular events

Singular, non-repeatable actions in the Bible were typically meant for a moment in time, rather than something we are to emulate (Ephesians 5:1). Unique events from historical figures are not generally considered normative, meaning they are not things we should be doing today for the same reasons they did them then.

For example, Moses threw a tree in a pond and the water became drinkable. This is not a recommendation for you to throw a tree in a pond and then drink the water (Exodus 15:22-26). They were healed. You may become sick.

Another example is when Gideon put out a fleece to figure out what to do next. This was a one time special circumstance that was...

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19Oct
A biblical response to Halloween NS

A biblical response to Halloween

Halloween, from a degree of difficulty perspective, is the most challenging of all our holidays. A few days out of each October we are asked to give mental energy to this tradition.

The good news is how this makes Halloween no different from any other thing in our lives. It is just another discipleship opportunity–a privilege the LORD gives us to bring a right response to our annual interruption.

  • The Spirit of God gives us clarity to all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
  • His authoritative and sufficient Word comes alongside us...

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  • 18Oct
    What to do when counseling is not going anywhere NS

    What to do when counseling is not going anywhere

    Member Question: Can you help me with something? As a counselor, I find it difficult to terminate a counseling session because of (1) my harshness toward others in the past, (2) my hope something will eventually get through (even though I do not see much change or even see evidence of a willingness to change), and (3) the fact that at the very least the presence of this kind of counselee reminds me to pray for them.

    At the same time, I cannot help feeling that in a...

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    17Oct
    Any Christian can counsel. Are you counseling NS

    Any Christian can counsel. Are you counseling?

    One of the more significant unintended consequences of the biblical counseling movement is the idea that counseling others is for a select number of Christians.

    God has blessed the biblical counseling movement over the past forty years. One of the problems with the unprecedented growth of biblical counseling is we forgot to tell the church that counseling others is for everyone, not just for the few (Romans 15:14).

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    15Oct
    Every word out of your mouth presents a picture of Christ to others NS

    Every word out of your mouth presents a picture of Christ to others

    Pretend your tongue was a paintbrush and your heart was a bucket full of paint (words). You dip your brush into your bucket so you can paint a picture on a canvas for the world to see. That picture reveals your relationship with God and has an impact on all who experience it.

    My heart overflows with a pleasing theme…my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. – Psalm 45:1 (ESV)

    The ascension of Christ allowed Him to step out of time and space and to sit at the right hand of the Father. He...

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    14Oct
    Do you know how to listen It takes skill to listen to well. NS

    A good listener listens on two levels. Are you a good listener?

    In order to listen effectively you have to listen at two levels. You listen to what is being said and you listen to what is not being said. There are two reasons you want to do this.

  • You want the person who is talking to you to experience your care through active listening.
  • You want to help the person by listening beyond what is being said: you want to hear their presuppositions, motives, and thoughts (Hebrews 4:12-13).
  • Your hope is to discern what the LORD discerns (John...

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    14Oct
    How to take every thought captive NS

    Comment rendre captive toute pensée

  • Avez-vous jamais été accusé de quelque chose qui n’était pas vrai?
  • Vous êtes-vous jamais vous-même accusé de quelque chose qui nétait pas vrai?
  • Dans les deux cas, que ce soit de vous ou d’une autre personne, tout faux argument lancé contre vous peut devenir une forteresse dans votre pensée qui pourrait être spirituellement écrasante.

    Car les armes avec lesquelles nous combattons ne sont pas charnelles; mais elles sont puissantes, par la vertu de Dieu, pour renverser les forteresses.

    Nous renversons...

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    13Oct
    The best reason to marry. The best reason to reconcile. NS

    The best reason to marry. The best reason to reconcile.

    Eric and Vickie are in love. They came to their first pre-marital counseling session. I asked them why they wanted to get married.

    Vickie explained how Eric finished her thoughts. I privately wondered how she would feel five years into the marriage when he stopped talking.

    She said he made her feel special. I wondered how she would feel when he became preoccupied with other things like work.

    Vickie added he was handsome and she could not believe someone as attractive as Eric wanted to marry her. I wondered how she would feel as old...

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