Category Archives: Dan’s Blog

On Discernment

Why do Christians often run to non-biblical sources to gain what they believe to be profound wisdom? Think about it: the Bible contains a wealth of information regarding God’s nature, His purpose for His creation, and His amazing plan to bring us into conformity with His will—all culminating in sharing His glory with us eternally. Yet for many this doesn’t seem to be enough. So they pursue wisdom not only from secular sources but also the teachings of other religions.
       Let’s ask this question: How can anything of enduring relevance be gained from those who believe in many gods—or even those who believe that there is but one God, yet reject Christ’s divinity? The answer clear: NOTHING! These philosophies and belief systems merely result in human wisdom at best, and at worst demonic deception. Get to know your Bible intimately and the urge to seek further enlightenment will disappear.

Thriving in a Sin-riddled World

What Christian doesn’t yearn to be free from the nagging presence of sin? In one degree or another, our humanity traps us in a repetitive cycle of failure—just the grinding reality of a redeemed life pitted against our self-serving flesh in a sin-riddled world. Thankfully, God has made provision for our sin! But what did He provide, really?
        Many argue that in Christ we possess the power to become holy in our walk with God—by choosing obedience over sin. Well, shooting for holiness in this way is a noble pursuit, but the strategy is flawed. Why? Because the purpose of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice is to impart God’s own righteousness to us, in spite of our sinful nature.
       Because we now belong to Him, we don’t need to earn God’s favor. We already have it! God showers His grace on us, and in so doing His righteousness becomes our own. By His grace alone we are given the unbridled capacity for intimacy with God, in spite of the weakness of our flesh.

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

Self-interest: a Gift of God

Self-interest, ugly as it may be, is actually a gift of God. It helps us make our way in this world. Having a healthy sense of self-worth—feeling significant—motivates us to reach toward God’s purpose for our life. It’s rooted in the fact that we truly are valuable.
       God showed me this in an unusual way. Next door to us lived a child with Down Syndrome. He functioned at the level of a three-year-old, though he was much older. But his condition allowed him to speak freely from the heart—totally without pretense. Every time I saw this young man, he asked, “Do you love me?” Now we wouldn’t dare express ourselves like this, but isn’t this need at our very core? “Am I significant to you? Am I deserving of your love?” Self-interest—a gift of God? Yes! Because an inconsequential life is tough to bear, and one that is meaningless is practically a death sentence.

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

God Losing Value in our Eyes

Jesus said His kingdom is like someone who discovers hidden treasure, or a valuable pearl, and immediately recognizes the magnitude of his find. It’s about surrendering everything to gain this amazing salvation, but I think there’s even more to it than that. Why? Because what we first find so precious has the tendency to lose value in our eyes.
       One day I was struck by how oblivious the owner of the treasure was to its true worth. Are we like that? Are we like the owner of the field who neglected to notice what was so easily uncovered by some passerby, or akin to the merchant so lax in his trade that he failed to recognize the true value of the pearl he owned?
       Have we forfeited our treasure in Christ for something less meaningful? In the weakness of our flesh, it’s not uncommon to fall short of a single-minded pursuit of Christ. There are reasons a zealous heart slips into complacency, and understanding them is extremely helpful in trying to rekindle that lost fire.

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

Wisdom Shouts!

“Wisdom shouts in the street…Turn to me and I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.” so says the first chapter of the book of Proverbs. It is God shouting this message. Just imagine it—the Creator of all things calling, calling, not as a whisper, but as a roar! And He continues to cry out today. Yet because God does not threaten immediate judgment on those who ignore Him, His call goes largely ignored, drowned out by the clamor of self-interest.
       The message goes on to say, “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand no one paid attention,” you will be ignored “when distress and anguish come upon you.” God promises blessing for those who respond to Him, and judgment for those who refuse. Which will be your heritage? Choose wisely; choose life—eternal life in Jesus our Lord!

Trouble Saying No to Sin

As I began to learn about God as a new Christian, I saw that sin is a big issue for believers. The Bible has dozens of warnings about sin, most which point to my personal responsibility to say “no” to it. But saying “no” was the very thing I was having trouble with! The more I learned, the more confused I seemed to get. What really baffled me was Paul’s account of his own struggle with sin.
       Yet why not be confused? Regarding human weakness, Paul said, “If I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.” What in the world did he mean by that? Could he actually be shirking off personal responsibility for sin? There’s no question that Paul recognized his duty to wrestle against his flesh in resisting sin. He’s not excusing sin, but rather trying to get to the root of the problem in the believer’s life. Shouldn’t we be doing the same?

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

Does the World Revolve Around Me?

Why are cars called autos? It’s because they’re selfpowered. In the Greek, the word autos means self. God has designed us with the capacity to make our own choices—we’re self-propelled, so to speak. Self is simply me, a personal being given the glorious gift of existence and awareness. But this gift of life has the effect of placing me at the center of my own personal universe. Sure, we deny that the world revolves around us. Yet given the true nature of self, it’s hard to believe otherwise!           

The Bible uses the term heart to convey the idea of self. Think of the heart as the engine that runs our being. Both our mind-set and our behavior are dictated by what is in the heart. Jesus said, “The good man brings forth what is good out of his heart; but the evil man brings forth evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

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

Surrender Your Life!

Jesus wants each and every one of us for His very own. But He wants us to want Him. That’s His plan in a nutshell. And God has provided everything we need to step right into our place as His treasured sons and daughters. The Apostle Peter said it well: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
      We merely need to obey what has been revealed to us. All we have to do is say “yes” to Him. Here’s how: Acknowledge the sin that has separated you from God; turn away from it; surrender control of your life to God; invite Jesus Christ into your heart as your Savior and Lord. It’s that simple!

I’d Bet My Life on It!

Is it really fair on God’s part to allow just a few of us to enjoy life with Him forever? Is God biased; is He unjust? Why not all of us? Why not put together a plan that would ultimately save all mankind? The single most important thing to understand when dealing with the Creator and Sustainer of all things, is that it’s His laws that apply, not ours. This is God’s deal. We don’t make the rules; He does! How do we know this to be true? The Bible says so.
         We’ve all heard the expression, “I’d bet my life on it.” Truth be told, that’s precisely what we are doing throughout the span of our lives here on earth. This is no game! Eternal life or eternal separation from the Giver of life hangs in the balance. Which will it be? You are betting your life on it.

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

Awaiting Judgment

Judgment? God is about to wrap up history by bringing before Him all who have ever lived for a final accounting at the Last Judgment. It’s only natural to experience a sense of fear when we hear that term. It is indeed a terrifying prospect! Yet for those who have become God’s children, judgment will be the most treasured moment of their lives. The majesty of eternal life awaits God’s chosen ones. What He has in store for His people defies imagination.
       Even now we have a chance of glimpsing eternity. A spiritual reality surrounds us—just as real as the physical one we now inhabit. But only those who have been born again into relationship with Jesus can experience it. Those who do not know Christ remain blinded to the presence of this supernatural world. God knows all about this; it has been a part of His plan from the very beginning.

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