Does someone in your life bring a smile to your face every time you think of him or her? Then you'll identify with Paul's opening to the Philippian Christians.
We all make various acquaintances throughout our lives—people who come into our circle for a season and then move on. With some, we’re content to let them go. But with others, we’re not. Once an acquaintance turns into true friendship, we hold on more tightly to that friend. A friend is a favoured companion for whom we feel affection or esteem. Why is a friend favoured? Most likely, it has much to do with how we feel when we’re with him or her. A friend accepts us as we are and is patient with our faults. A friend points out our strengths and rejoices at our successes. A friend’s presence and listening ear fill a void in us and give our lives a sense of validation and greater depth.
Do you have such a friend? Do you know how to be that friend? These resources can help you recognize the need for friendship and develop the attributes that will make you a treasured friend to others.
A friend is always loyal,
and a brother is born to help in time of need.
(Proverbs 17:17 NLT)
There’s no shortage of preachers who offer a “prosperity gospel” promising health, wealth, and happiness. While those outcomes are wonderful, they’re not guaranteed! Chuck Swindoll reminds us that as followers of Christ, we will face persecution.
If you were to list the basic essentials for life, you would likely include air, water, food, and perhaps shelter. But what about friendship? Chuck Swindoll argues that companionship isn’t a perk, it’s a requirement for life.
Clipping away the dead growth on a grapevine is hard work. But any gardener can tell you, pruning is an essential step if you want the vine to flourish! Chuck Swindoll describes how God prunes His children…so we can be healthy and produce spiritual fruit!
Leadership isn’t for the faint of heart—not because it’s so demanding (though it is) but because it’s so isolating. This was true of Paul. All his life, he was engaged in the nitty-gritty of ministry. But sitting in a dark dungeon awaiting death, loneliness crept into his lap and refused to leave. So Paul took his pen and wrote his friend.
There isn’t a single person reading these words who hasn’t been hurt by someone else. All of us can remember someone who planned something, said something, or did something ugly or unfair to us.
In this message, we will meet a man in Scripture whom you’ve probably never met. Gehazi was once a longtime, trusted servant of the prophet Elisha. One tragic day all that changed…the day he replaced his diligence with deceit.
Is there ever a time when one Christian ought to step in and deal with another Christian who is walking away from God? James 5:19-20 gives us God's counsel on this very serious and significant issue.
In James 4:1-10, there is set forth the reasons for fights among believers as well as their tragic results. But James doesn't leave us without some answers on how to stop those conflicts that have taken their toll within our ranks.
It is virtually impossible to separate truth from the one who teaches it to us. That's why James begins the third chapter with a warning—don't swell the ranks of teachers!