Category Archives: Dan’s Blog

Faith Comes from Hearing

“Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ,” says Romans 10. People need to hear the Gospel. Words we speak about Jesus may seem inconsequential but in reality are very influential, because God takes that opportunity to drop the promise of eternal life into people’s hearts. This in turn produces a glimmer of hope which motivates them to believe.
       “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved,” the Bible states. But it also says, “How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?” We must avoid being pompous, but we also need to speak. Our words become much more powerful when coupled with a humble lifestyle glorifying God. Sometimes God plants the seed of truth through us, sometimes we water, and other times we reap the harvest. What greater privilege is there than to play even a small part in someone’s salvation.

Our Flesh: Body, Mind and Soul

The Bible often uses the term flesh to illustrate what Jesus strongly warned against: “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Here the term flesh is used to describe that part of our nature which stands in contrast to our spirit. It is the carnal nature of man, the root of our sinful passions.
       Our flesh encompasses body, mind and soul—that part of us which is able to function without ever submitting to God. It’s very important to understand that the flesh follows us into our new life in God. It continues to have a life of its own, even as our spirit made alive.
       Regardless of the fact that we’re now focused on the desire of the Spirit, we find ourselves constantly embroiled in a battle with the desires of our flesh, as Paul so emphatically states in Galatians 5:17. Thank God there’s help!

From Free from the Power of Sin: the Keys to Growing in God in Spite of Yourself

One Giant Step

The step of faith is one of immense proportions. It bridges the superficial nod of the intellect to the true belief of the heart. I was once seated next to a guy who had not asked Christ into His life yet accepted the fact that God did indeed exist. We got into a prolonged discussion about Jesus but came to no conclusion as to what he might do about taking that big step.
        Finally I asked the critical question: “Are you willing to ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you? And if He does, would you be willing to give your life to Him? His answer? “No!” I appreciated his brutal honesty. He knew something really significant was required on his part. That’s why his answer had to be “no.” It was the price he was unwilling to pay. It was the fear of giving up control of his life.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

Obedience of Surrender

Surrendering your life is a step of profound obedience. Since God is well aware of every detail of your life, He knows what a huge commitment this is on your part. Take comfort in the fact that God designed it this way and therefore has made every provision for becoming reunited with Him—in spite of the inborn weakness of your humanity. There’s no need to worry. Being “born again” into this new life in Christ can happen in an instant of time for the heart that’s ready to receive Him.
       At the same time the Bible instructs those who have already taken that step to: “Test yourselves, to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Do you recognize that Jesus Christ is in you—or do you fail the test?” You’ll find this practice useful in judging your spiritual condition no matter where you are along life’s path.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

Faith is the Key

Just how does a person receive the grace God has so generously provided through Jesus? It involves faith. God deals with your heart as well as your intellect. Faith comes through an act of your will; believing God’s promise is a decision on your part. But faith comes with a price. Jesus gave all He had and He asks you to do the same—the surrender of your entire being to Him.
       Yet how can we make a decision of such magnitude? It’s here that God’s gift of grace comes alive. Faith is not only action, it’s also a gift. Without God Himself instilling within you the faith needed to receive Him the whole thing is simply impossible. So ask Jesus to do in you what you obviously are not capable of yourself. He will, and you will receive a life you never dreamed possible. It merely takes willingness on your part.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

Why Be Alienated?

Sin has separated us from God. We are spiritually dead because of it. But God has solved this problem by bridging that gap through the suffering and death of His very own Son. Jesus took upon Himself the punishment we deserved by paying an outrageous price for our sin. It’s a free gift! The Bible calls it grace; the favor of God which none of us is able to earn, but all can freely receive. It’s God’s promise.
       Receiving His promise takes repentance on our part. Repent is an idea that has been lost in our culture. The word itself seems a bit scary, but it really isn’t. Repentance is merely a change of mind. It means turning away—that is, turning around and going the opposite direction. It means turning away from your old life by rejecting sin, and turning to God as the new direction for your life.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

The Root of Sin

Becoming a child of God involves surrendering your life to Jesus. Surrender first means acknowledging that you have been in rebellion against God—ignoring Him and His purpose for your life, no matter how subtle that disregard for Him might be. You have been running the show, having installed yourself on the throne of your life instead of yielding to Jesus as ruler.
       The Bible calls it sin. Sin is commonly thought of as specific acts we commit. But these failings are merely a symptom of a much deeper disease. Disregard for God is the underlying problem. All sin is rooted in rebellion. Often people don’t think of themselves as sinners: “I’ve always been a pretty good person.” Regardless, the Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” When first approaching God, it always comes down to this: “Lord, I know I have sinned against you.”

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?

Our Heart-shaped Cavity

In each of us, within the deep recesses of our inner being, lies a void. It could be called a spiritual vacuum of sorts. Think of it as a heart-shaped cavity that nothing but the love of God can truly fill. Oh, we try to fill it, by every other means possible! The world around us has become very clever in creating distraction, always diverting our attention to substitutes promising to fulfill that spiritual hunger.
       Yet there is no solution but God alone. Only by becoming His child do we find contentment replacing the spiritual poverty we often don’t even realize is there. Somehow we instinctively know this to be true. It’s the reason people run to various religions in their attempt to ease the deep-seated distress of the human condition. And it’s also why those who stubbornly hold no belief system at all rebel so intensely against Christ’s message of salvation.

Ideas are Powerful

Ideas are powerful. There is no greater force for social transformation than ideas. Nations have been birthed by them. Ideas form the foundation of entire cultures. Most people live according to ideas nurtured by the world around us. More often than not the media establishment directs and rules our lives.
      So if ideas really are that influential, wouldn’t it make sense that God’s ideas are the most dynamic of all? Who but God alone totally understands the fabric of our being? God alone knows what brings true fulfillment. His truth is there to be uncovered throughout the pages of the Bible. Yet it’s impossible to discover those ideas without first gaining a solid understanding of what it contains. It stands to reason, then, that we need to study the Bible. In it you will not only direction find for your life, but also the peace which surpasses all worldly understanding.

Born Again?

Belief in God is so much more than a mental acceptance of His truth. Real faith results in transformation, and this is impossible to accomplish on our own. The Apostle Paul described it this way: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” Our encounter with God is governed by an entirely new framework. Jesus explained that one must be “born again.” Our spiritual nature must come alive to Him.
       Meeting Jesus personally can’t help but transform a person. It all begins with a first step. As we take that step toward believing Jesus for His promise of eternal life, we find Him stepping toward us as well. God will make it absolutely clear where you stand with Him. His stamp of approval is found on those who have become His children, His chosen ones. It’s God’s gift to us.

From: The Path through the Maze—Answering Life’s Ultimate Question: What Happens After We Die?