Spiritual Life
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What Does It Mean to Be Spiritually Mature?
In a nutshell: we must go deeper in every area of our lives.
What Does It Mean to Be Spiritually Mature?

Recently I have been drawn to the word deep as a descriptor when I speak of mature Christians. My earliest appreciation for the term came when I read a comment by Richard Foster, "The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent ...

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Why Are There Different Bible Translations?
No single translation method can possibly convey with complete accuracy the biblical text.
Why Are There Different Bible Translations?

Many Christians seem confused by the availability of so many different translations of the Bible. Christians of the past did not face so many choices. They had to learn the language of the King James, and if they could do it, why can't others? God ...

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How Should I Choose a Bible Translation?
Hint: You don’t need to read the original Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic to understand Scripture.
How Should I Choose a Bible Translation?

From countless pulpits every week we hear an implicit message that has wormed its way into our minds: we lack the key to unlocking the secrets of Scripture because we don't know the original languages they were written in. Sure, we have translations ...

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How can I make reading the Bible a habit?
To hear God’s voice regularly, we might have to give something up.
How can I make reading the Bible a habit?

It can feel like work to read the Bible. Some of us wonder for what reward, but it's difficult to measure the slow, incremental change the Bible effects in the short-term. Our spiritual growth mirrors the development of a child. I rarely notice my ...

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The Bible's story of Joseph resonates with everyday life. When we were young we didn't get everything we thought we deserved. We studied hard, but didn't get the jobs we wanted. We married and raised families, but marriages can grow cold, followed by ...

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How should I incorporate prayer into my Bible study?
Bible study is fundamentally a spiritual activity, not an academic one.

For followers of Jesus, Bible study is fundamentally a spiritual activity, not an academic one. We don't study the Bible to satisfy intellectual fascination but out of a yearning to know God and be transformed by him. Engagement with Scripture ...

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A demanding deadline or an unsympathetic friend—often these situations are seen as obstacles to spiritual growth. As it turns out, God created us to grow in and through tension in our relationships with others. We are meant to grow through adversity, ...

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Betrayal. An abandonment or violation of trust by someone close to you. A husband betrayed by his wife. An employee passed over for a promotion by an employer who had promised it. A secret between friends brought to light for all to see. A promise made ...

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Christianity has been criticized loudly in modern times for being a so-called "pie-in-the-sky" religion. Karl Marx popularized the idea that religion is the opiate of the masses; his thesis was that religion was invented and used by the ruling classes ...

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I often hear people explain the fear of the Lord as a mere respect or reverence. But the Bible uses the word fear at least 300 times in reference to God, so we make a mistake when we downplay it. The subject becomes even more mysterious when we read ...

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What is true worship?

As a child growing up at the Midway Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. in Folsom, LA, under the then leadership of my father and pastor, Bishop Vernon E. Kennebrew, I was introduced to the term worship. My father regularly read Psalm 96:9 in our evening ...

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It's just a little before six in the morning and the alarm on my cell phone is ringing. It's winter, and the air in the room is cold and sharp; I grab a warm sweater as I stumble out of the bedroom and head down the stairs. The house is quiet, the family ...

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We see it everywhere: Younger generations are leaving the church. As a 26-year-old Christian, I regularly witness this exodus and acutely feel its significance. These are my contemporaries, my friends. But here's the elephant in the room: What can we ...

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We can learn about that from Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, who composed his famous Spiritual Exercises in the early 16th century. Ignatius himself was drawn to the world of the Bible in a rather unique way. Born into a wealthy ...

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What Is Biblical Meditation?

The biblical foundation for meditation is discovered in the great reality of God speaking, teaching, and acting that lies at the center of the scriptural witness. God brought the universe crashing into existence by the word of his command. God said, ...

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The hymn, "Come Thou Fount," speaks in the second stanza of raising an Ebenezer. Strange language—language that modern hymnbooks change.

The prophet Samuel set up a stone after the LORD routed the Philistines and Israel won a great victory. This ...

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Nouwen: I'm like many pastors; I commit myself to projects and plans and then wonder how I can get them all done. This is true of the pastor, the teacher, the administrator. Indeed, it's true of our culture, which tells us, "Do as much as you can or ...

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The minister had just returned from a missions trip.

"What did you accomplish?" I asked.

"Well, the most important thing I did with the small churches in difficult situations," he said, "was give them permission to succeed."

That was an interesting thought. ...

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How can we know when God is present in the moments of our lives?

The first time I read Isaiah 42:20 it blew me away. The prophet says, "You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen" (NIV). I read it and immediately took it to heart; Yes, I've seen ...

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As a pastor and therapist, I often encounter people whose lives have been invaded by despair. Usually they approach me, not quite sure what's going on. What's the difference between depression and the dark night? Is there a difference? And what practical ...

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