Archive | The Magnificent Christian Life

The Power of Personal Prayer

Image of Magnificent Prayer Book Cover

One of the advantages for Christians on Facebook is the opportunity to have someone to pray for your needs as they arise, just as you pray for theirs. Daily we all seem to have friends who need prayer for an illness, financial stress, or on behalf of a loved one. I’m happy to oblige, realizing my own need of prayer. But recently it occurred to me how often we turn to prayer as a result of some difficult circumstance that has just happened or is happening now. What if, in addition to praying as a result of difficult circumstances, we prayed in such a way that our future circumstances would be the result of our present-day prayers? That is, why don’t we more often pray vigorously about our future days and years? I believe prayer is the solid foundation on which a successful and happy future is built. That’s one reason […]

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Faith, Not Fear

Like many of you I’ve been concerned about some of the current events shaping our world and how they might affect us in the future. As a Christian, I’m not worried about what’s to come, but I do want to be prepared. So today’s blog post is written to me, but you’re free to eavesdrop if you think it might speak to you as well. Some of us are old enough to remember when Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth was a mega-seller back in the 1970s. One of the benefits of its popularity was that it gave readers a chance to see current events in the light of Biblical prophecy. Several decades have passed since the book was published and we’re all still here. No rapture yet. To be honest, I’m not a prophecy scholar. I don’t know how the future is going to play out. I don’t […]

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A Christian’s Memories

As a Christian who is now in Act III of the play that is his life, I find myself recalling some of the many highlights of my almost 50-year walk with God. Scenes, if you will, from Acts I and II. Two recent events have shown me that I’m not the only aging Christian buoyed by “precious memories” as the hymn has it. The first event occurred a few weeks ago when Bev and I attended a birthday party for another aging Boomer who also recalls the early years of her walk with Christ and how glorious they were. At her party, we sang songs only Boomer Christians will remember. For example: “Pass It On,” and “He’s Everything to Me” (see video below and sing along…if you remember). Every song we sang took me back to those early years and the joys I’ve known through the decades. (Odd that we didn’t […]

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The Answer to Spiritual Malnutrition

I’m at the age where I’m taking my physical health more seriously than I used to. I’m taking several beneficial supplements, exercising daily, and trying to eat better. Paying closer attention to my physical self has caused me to consider the care—or lack of care—that I give my spiritual self. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that being busy has often caused me to neglect the health of my spiritual nature. I realize many people deny the existence of a spiritual nature within themselves and so for all intents and purposes they remain spiritually dead. They live for the joys they can find in this present physical world. But denying their spiritual nature has no more validity than a person who denies they have a physical or psychological nature. It’s there whether we realize it or not. Others may have realized their spiritual nature and tried to feed it with the […]

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Present Faith!

Many Christians continue to struggle with temptations, painful memories, and past adversities that should have been left behind years ago. Why is this? I think the reason is, in part, their faith is not a present faith, it’s a future faith, even though they may not describe it as such. Their faith is that “someday” in the future God will remove this temptation, painful memory, or troubling issue. And they go on to think this year after year. The reality is that faith takes hold of God’s promises now. At the point of conversion, we have all the tools and gifts and “victory” that we need for the rest of our lives. True, for most of us it takes time to walk out the promises of God in our daily life. But we should never imagine that we will overcome “someday.” We must realize that we presently have what we need (the promises of […]

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Fulfill Your Destiny!

“We are made for larger ends than Earth can encompass. Oh let us be true to our eternal destiny.” Catherine Booth This is the sixth and final blog post in a series wherein we look at six areas of concentration to focus on in 2016. This final area is perhaps the most important of all: Living out our destiny in Christ. As I age, I’ve become more and more dismayed by two tragedies. One is when young twenty- and thirty-somethings who were raised as Christians either depart from the faith entirely, or put Christ on the back burner of their life. The second tragedy is when I reconnect with friends from the past who are my age and who, like the young ones just mentioned, have also walked away from their destiny or set it aside for lesser things. What a waste. Really, a waste of happiness–the true happiness that […]

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Resist the Enemy!

“The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy.” Corrie Ten Boom The fifth of six areas I’m paying more attention to in 2016 is recognizing and dealing quickly with distractions from the enemy of my soul. As Corrie says, it’s the first step to victory in my life…and yours. Therefore my “don’t” for the new year is: Don’t allow Satan even a foothold in 2016. A foothold such as a temptation to sin, a bad attitude, a root of bitterness, an evil imagination are all effective wedges Satan uses to open the door to wider engagement. None of us need that. It only stifles our spiritual life and can lead us back to the slavery we once knew before we were Christians. To engage effectively, we need to be aware of Satan’s designs. As Paul wrote: …we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we […]

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Out with the Flesh in 2016, In with the Spirit

“The flesh is a worse enemy than the devil himself.” Isaac Ambrose (1604-1664) This is the fourth in my series of six areas of life we (I) need to be mindful of as we enter 2016. If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you know what I mean by “the flesh.” Let’s call it that part of us that refuses to submit to God, but wants to indulge itself, no matter what the consequences (and they are often severe consequences). As brother Isaac Ambrose said centuries ago, “the flesh is a worse enemy than the devil himself.” The apostle Paul put it this way: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (Romans 7:18 ESV). Sound familiar? We want to do right, but […]

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Face the Future with Faith, Not Fear

This is the third in a series of six blogs for the new year in which we consider some challenges we all face as we live out our faith in 2106. First, we talked about not dragging guilt or shame into the new year, but embracing grace and forgiveness (including to ourselves). We next talked about believing prayer as opposed to living under the cloud of doubt. This time I want to continue talking about faith, but not as it relates to prayer. Instead, I want us to see faith as a better response than fear to the challenges of 2016 and beyond. Let’s face it. Most believing Christians are discerning of the times in which we live. We have some idea of what’s coming in the years ahead. We watch the news in amazement that so many people can’t seem to connect the dots with what’s happening and Bible […]

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Being Faith-full in 2016

“Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation” (Andrew Murray). This is the second of a six-part series identifying some areas most of us need to address as we begin the new year. My first admonition was: don’t drag guilt and shame into 2016

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