Spiritual Life
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How can we guide a church toward spiritual maturity?

Bringing our first child home from the hospital was a joyous event. But after a few days of sleep deprivation, my wife and I were teetering on the edge of insanity. After a particularly difficult night, I called my mother to apologize for my selfish ...

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What should we do with the kids during our home Bible study?

Many churches are enthusiastic about cell group meetings in homes, but parents with younger children face a crunch: Shall they hire a babysitter, or shall they bring their kids along and hope they behave during the adult interaction? Here's how two groups ...

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I'm terrified of sharing my faith. How do I get over that?
I'm terrified of sharing my faith. How do I get over that?

I've discovered that most church folk, whatever their denomination, have a similar reaction to evangelism: "That's just not my cup of tea, thank you." You can almost hear the iron gates clanging shut in their minds.

When I ask people ...

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What does it mean to participate in the kingdom of God?

On earth, the kingdom of God comes into the lives of God's people. When asked by a bunch of teachers of the Law, "Where is this kingdom that you're talking about?" Jesus basically said: You know what? The kingdom is inside of you. The ...

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What kind of qualifications should a small-group leader have?
What kind of qualifications should a small-group leader have?

A great many people seem confused about how small-group leaders should view themselves these days, especially in terms of what they should do in the Bible-study portion of a group gathering. One of the ways this confusion manifests itself is in the variety ...

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What is the best way to grow spiritually?
What is the best way to grow spiritually?

A man I'll call Paul (because that's actually his name) told me he recently started going to church. In his mid-seventies, with no faith background, he woke up one morning with a sudden urge to hear the pope, and that launched him on a journey ...

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How do we assess spiritual growth?
How do we assess spiritual growth?

Many churches are measuring the wrong things. We measure things like attendance and giving, but we should be looking at more fundamental things like anger, contempt, honesty, and the degree to which people are under the thumb of their lusts. Those things ...

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How can I become more passionate in my relationship with God?

A. W. Tozer gives us an answer to that question:

Some people have a knack for making me hungry to know God. I know a few people who when I'm done talking with them make me want to know and love Him more. I treasure those people. They don't try to be religious. ...

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What should I look for to find a healthy church?

In the second and third chapters of John's Revelation, we find the letters dictated to the seven churches. Here, in a uniquely direct way, we have the Lord's assessment of health indicators for local congregations.

What strikes me is that some of the ...

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What can the Western church learn from the church in Africa?

It's Sunday morning in Nigeria. What do I look forward to at church today? A testimony of God's intervention in a life this week, a special number or song, a sermon, a prayer. The testimony challenges me and also helps me know that if I run into a similar ...

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What pitfalls should we avoid when participating in a small-group Bible study?

I firmly believe that small groups can be a positive force for discipleship, spiritual growth, and advancing the kingdom of God through acts of service and love. But, like any human endeavor, that potential for good is balanced by the potential to cause ...

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When people challenge Christianity, what should I say?

Get to the heart of the question before you get to the answer.

One of my colleagues told me the story of a professor, a brilliant man, whose father couldn't support the family. As a boy, this professor listened as the extended family argued over who was ...

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Why do liturgical Christians make the sign of the cross?

Pray continually, Paul urged the Thessalonians. The early church fathers took this one step further: continually make the sign of the cross.

"In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at ...

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When Is It Okay to Leave a Church?
We need to make this decision carefully.

I applaud you for even pondering this question. All too often God's people switch loyalties from one church to another with the same amount of deliberation they give to what kind of fast food they'll eat for lunch! Yet choosing the gathering where we ...

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Do I need to go to church when I can find fellowship online?

Q. Do I need to go to church since I can find fellowship online?

A. What a great question! I've often wondered what the apostle Paul would think of our internet-driven world populated by blogs, chat rooms, and instant messaging. Imagine his letters ...

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The earth is not our home, so should believers actively try to preserve it?

There are some things for which words cannot do justice—sights, smells, and sounds that make the heart come alive, that renew our passions, and that whisper to us of the presence of a good God.

On the southern route into Yosemite National ...

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