Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.
One of the most difficult things for people to understand is the love of God. Even if you settle on “God loves the world,” when you make it personal it can be a struggle to fully grasp that God loves you. This barrier affects people before they come to faith in Christ, and it can hamper people after they come to faith in Christ. God’s love can seem unrealistic, and the sense of being unworthy of this type of love can cause you to run from it or simply reject it. You can easily fall into the trap of wondering, why would God want to love me?
When you come to the book of Jeremiah, God makes a definitive statement about the nature of his love.
“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness’” (Jeremiah 31:3).
As you continue reading the rest of this article, I want you to ponder this one question. What does it mean that God loved us with an everlasting love? According to God’s own words, this is how he has chosen to love us. But how do you take that truth and make it personal? Without question this is one of the most important truths you must learn from Scripture, because this will affect the rest of your life and your relationship with God.
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In the moment, Peter and the disciples were thinking of a temporary rescue from Jesus being captured. While they were thinking about now, Jesus was thinking about an eternal redemption and the Scriptures being fulfilled. Jesus knew that salvation would not come by sword but by surrender.
The 'rivers of living water' Jesus was referring to is the Spirit of God working in and flowing out of the life of a believer. Up until this time, the Holy Spirit would come upon a believer and then depart. When Jesus makes this statement, he is shifting the paradigm, letting us know the Holy Spirit would no longer just come upon a believer but would dwell within the believer.
When you think about Mary and Martha, we should acknowledge both of these women for their great faith. They were both committed to the cause of Christ; they were both loved by Jesus, and they were both true believers.
It seems for the last two decades, and this could be longer, that church growth has been all the rage. As I look at the various ways and methods people use to grow the church, I am beginning to wonder if we have got this whole thing wrong. Have we fallen victim to a worldly mindset with how we measure the success of a church?
Since we are all going to face grief in this life, the question is when grief comes, where do you go for comfort? Thankfully God knew you would experience grief in this life, and he has provided numerous Scriptures for grief which are able to comfort you as you walk through the challenges of this life.
As we look at church today, is there a place for signs and wonders? Should we still be looking for them?
There is no curse in giving birth to children. While the pain in childbirth is a reminder of the sinful decision made by Adam and Eve, it is not a curse (even though some women may want to curse in the middle of giving birth). We see from the Scriptures that even through the pain in childbirth, it is soon replaced by great joy when that child enters the world.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me’” (Matthew 28:18).
When you think about Jesus, especially after the resurrection, we recognize that he has been given authority. This verse is one that I have quoted many times and I have heard lots of people quote both in and outside of the pulpit. While it is great to recognize the authority Jesus has, what does that really mean for you and me? Does it matter that Christ has all authority and more importantly what are we supposed to be doing with it?
When you look a little closer, Jesus connects some activities to his authority. I want to share with you four things every believer, which means you, should be doing with the authority found in Christ.
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Imagine the difference the church would make if we stopped thinking so highly about ourselves and started putting the interests of others ahead of our own. This may not be popular, but this is what Christ did and this is what we are called to do.