As honesty and real integrity characterize our lives, there will be no need to manipulate others. We'll come to the place where all the substitutes will turn us off once we cultivate a taste for the genuine, the real.
Insight for Today
Written by Chuck Swindoll, these encouraging devotional thoughts are published seven days per week.
There's something very authentic in Paul's humility. Over and over we read similar words in his writings. I'm convinced that those who were instructed face-to-face by the man became increasingly more impressed with the living Christ and less impressed with Paul.
That's quite a shock. The man didn't have it all together—he wasn't perfect—and (best of all) he didn't attempt to hide it! He admitted to his friends in Corinth that he was weak, fearful, and even trembling when he stood before them. I admire such transparency. Everybody does...if it's the truth.
I'll be honest; I am not very concerned about which form of church government your church may embrace. However, I am immensely interested that everyone involved in that ministry (whether a leader or not) sees herself or himself as one who serves...and one who gives.
Truth be told, even in our churches we tend to get so caught up in a success-and-size race that we lose sight of our primary calling as followers of Christ. The "celebrity syndrome" so present in our Christian thought and activities just doesn't square with the attitudes and messages of Jesus.
Journey back with me for a moment to one of the many scenes that demonstrated just how ordinary Jesus’ disciples were. What makes this account interesting is the presence of a mother of two of the disciples. She’s Mrs. Zebedee, wife of a Galilean fisherman and mother of James and John.
Caught up in the fast-lane treadmill of the 21st century—making mad dashes through airports, meeting deadlines, being responsible for big-time decisions, and coping with the stress of people’s demands mixed with our own high expectations—it’s easy to lose sight of our primary calling as Christians, isn’t it?
Painful though it may be for us to admit, we're losing touch with one another. The motivation to help, to encourage, yes, to serve our fellow human beings is waning. People have even observed crimes in progress but refused to help so as not to be involved!
In my 50 years of ministry, I have never been more committed than I am today to pointing our generation to the Word of God. It remains the single most accurate source of strength and divine direction during these difficult days. I exhort you—wherever God has placed you—to live out the truth of God’s Word before your family and neighbours through evangelism, Bible study, and memorization of God’s Word.
The Christmas story has been so sanitized and romanticized over the centuries that even Hollywood—as jaded a culture as can be found anywhere—fails to capture the gritty pathos that surrounded Jesus’ arrival. Truth be told, even some churches annually idealize the birth of our Saviour. Yet it was anything but ideal.