Free Hebrews Study Guide

news-jesus-the-superior-one

Download a free small group study guide on the book of Hebrews.

“It’s all about Jesus,” goes the Christian cliché, and rightly so. Paul put it this way, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Col. 1:16). Nothing here is left out, in case you were wondering. It’s more than a cliché.

Read More

God Before the Beginning

god-before-the-beginning

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

It is appropriate that the first book of the Bible begins with the words, “In the beginning.” Genesis, which means “origin” or “start”, is not only the beginning of the Bible, but the start of God’s story. His story of redemption. “In the beginning, God.”

Rather than recounting God’s birth or childhood, Genesis tells us that God, the main character of the story, already existed. For when the beginning of all things began, God was already there. This is because God has no beginning. But everything else does. So, when everything else begins, God is there.

Read More

Request Your Valley of Vision Design

valley-of-vision-requests

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision …

For many, there are no words to express the usefulness of The Valley of Vision. It is a collection of refreshing Puritan prayers and devotions that, as some would argue, are almost necessary to the Christian’s prayer life. I recommend it to friends quite often. (In fact, if you don’t have a copy yet, grab one here.) Your responses to the wallpapers designs indicate to me that you have a desire to see more of these quotes. Admittedly, so do I.

Read More

Wednesday Wallpaper: Aim to Please God

aim-to-please-god

Our duty and delight is to please Him.

Since the start of the month is set aside to resolve and conquer, we continue with our soldier motif (see Think Like a Soldier and Be Resolved for more like this). Paul’s use of the soldier is quite telling. Christians are to “please the one who enlisted [them],” who is none other than God. It is our duty and delight to live in a way that gratifies the desires of our Lord. Be reminded that you live to please God, not yourself.

“No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Timothy 2:4)

Read More

Stay on Target and Conquer Your Goals

stay-on-target

Gold Five will live forever.

I can’t count how many times I’ve quoted Star Wars, particularly sound bites toward the end of Episode IV when the Rebels are attacking the Death Star. Their goal was to maneuver through a narrow trench and fire torpedoes into the exhaust port. Sounds easy, right? No, the exhaust port was the size of a sewage hole. Beside that, they were flying fast and dodging unwanted enemy fire.

Gold Leader gets in a jam and can’t maneuver. Gold Five urges him, “Stay on target.” Gold Leader, “We’re too close!” He’s panicking. Gold Five again, “Stay on target.” Leader, this time shouting, “Loosen up!” I wanted Gold Five to keep at it, “Stay on target,” but it was over. He didn’t say much more before crashing.

Sometimes, we need some help to stay on target. Not the backseat X-Wing driver kind of help, but practical methods to assist us in conquering our goals. Distractions come in many forms: phone dings, email burps, Facebook notifications, some guy hollering down the hall, TIE fighters. These things cry out for our attention and time. They tempt us to get off target.

If you’re human, you have multiple responsibilities requiring your attention and effort. These are healthy parts of life. If you only had one, you would live on a distant planet somewhere, and even then you might have to creatively find food while fighting off reptilian sleens. Having too many responsibilities is not our problem (although that may be an issue). It’s handling so many of them at once. We need to prioritize.

Read More

Wednesday Wallpaper: Be Resolved (Scripture Only)

be-resolved-soldier-scripture

I will live for God. If no one else does, I still will.

These words have been attributed to Jonathan Edwards as a summary of his 70 Resolutions. As Christians, we should press forward in our opportunities to be productive and give God glory. It requires personal resolve and clear vision. Paul uses the soldier motif to capture this idea when writing to Timothy. Consider it your reminder as well. Be resolved to give God glory in all you do.

“No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Timothy 2:4)

Read More

Wednesday Wallpaper: Be Resolved

be-resolved-soldier

I will live for God. If no one else does, I still will.

These words have been attributed to Jonathan Edwards as a summary of his 70 Resolutions. As Christians, we should press forward in our opportunities to be productive and give God glory. It requires personal resolve and clear vision. Paul uses the soldier motif to capture this idea when writing to Timothy. Consider it your reminder as well. Be resolved to give God glory in all you do.

“No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Timothy 2:4)

Read More

Think Like a Soldier: How Personal Resolve Helps You Conquer Your Goals

how-personal-resolve-helps

Jonathan Edwards has been summarized in two resolutions. Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.

Few people have had the kind of resolve he had. His 70 Resolutions have been a hallmark of Christian living for decades. In a real sense, he comfortably fits the mold of what Paul described when teaching Timothy about determination in ministry: “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him” (2 Tim. 2:4). Yesterday, we saw how this relates to clear vision and how it gives us purpose and motivation. Today, we turn to the second characteristic in this verse.

A soldier has personal resolve.

One dictionary defines resolve as a firm determination to do something. It refers to one’s personal decision to follow something through to completion. It involves strong will power and self-discipline. One who is resolved does exactly what he intended. He doesn’t waver or abandon.

Paul says, “no soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits” (2 Tim. 2:4). By this, he is not suggesting Christians ought to separate that which is sometimes called “spiritual” from “secular” life, since all of life is lived spiritually. Rather, he is speaking of something critical to fulfilling missions. Here are five descriptions of a soldier’s resolve that will help us think more effectively about conquering our goals.

Read More

Think Like a Soldier: How Clear Vision Helps You Conquer Your Goals

think-like-a-soldier-clear-vision

There is a strong sense of resolve in a soldier—focus, determination. Soldiers have an objective. They eagerly put off things that might impede their efforts.

When writing to his young protégé, the apostle Paul used the picture of a soldier to emphasize a certain kind of resolve that all Christian leaders should have: “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him” (2 Tim. 2:4). His resolve is qualified by his aim. Both aspects, his resolve and aim, describe for us key characteristics that will help us think in terms of conquering our goals.

A soldier has clear vision.

First, a soldier has an aim. It is “to please the one who enlisted him” (2 Tim. 2:4). To have an aim is to have a clear fix on something. It is to zero in on a target, draw a bead on a bull’s-eye. It defines an endpoint and clarifies an objective. It gives sight to a mission, meaning to a struggle. A soldier must take aim before he fires.

Repeated often is the phrase: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know when you reach it.” Knowing your destination is critical to getting there. Vision clarity is a step further. It is visualizing where you are going to draw motivation to get there. The clearer your vision, the more motivated you become. Here are seven descriptions of a soldier’s vision that will help us think more effectively about conquering our goals.

Read More

Wallpaper Rollup: 2015

wallpaper-rollup

Did you miss out on any wallpapers in 2015? Fret no more. Here they are, all curated for you to download.

Do you have favorite quotes for this year? Tell me about them. It helps to hear from you.

Read More