One of the most difficult aspects of becoming a Christian, and then living a dedicated Christian life, is being willing to completely turn your life over to God. Total surrender! This is a concept that is pretty much foreign to our typical philosophy of life. We believe in taking control of our own life, taking the bull by the horns, taking charge, making things happen. And, to some extent such a philosophy is valid. But when we understand the real purpose and focus of life, we will also understand that we cannot maintain control all by ourselves. We must trust God with our life if we hope to gain the most for our life.
Would you like to change the world? How would you go about it? Well, you certainly would not be able to change the world’s physical characteristics, at least not on any significant scale. So, you would obviously focus on changing the people who inhabit the world. How would you change them? You would seek to change the way they act. But how would you do that? Since people act based upon what they think, you would seek to change the way they think, their values, their mindset, their direction in life.
There is a great deal of emphasis on love in our society today. Some of the emphasis is good, some not so good. Some is more surface level feel good rhetoric than substantive action. Many are quick to judge someone as being unloving, even hateful, if he does not conform to some superficial standard of their own choosing. Love should be long suffering. To some extent it is subjective. But even Godly love is not without limits. When it comes to teaching the gospel to lost souls, just what does love demand?
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). This verse was not written just for the people of Israel and their neighbors in Old Testament times. It was written for all generations of people, of all nations, for all time, until the Lord returns. It was written for us in our nation, right now. The message of this verse is profound. It speaks God’s wisdom, and we need to take great care to understand and live by what it says.
What does the word “freedom” really mean? Ask ten different individuals, and you may get ten different answers. In general, the concept of freedom is that of being out from under the control of something, or someone. Thus, freedom is generally qualified according to what frame of reference is being used.
Gary L. Hutchens