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Archive for the 'Ruling Desires' Category

Storm warning for your soul

Posted on September 25th, 2017 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification

Christ’s last words in the Sermon on the Mount are a storm warning! The final four verses (Matthew 7:24-27) teach that these storms will be powerful and that they cannot be avoided. They are on the way. So, the question is not how to avoid the storm, but how to remain secure when the storm strikes. This much is certain: the storms will come. Jesus is talking about more than physical dwellings. He is talking about your life. The same things – the rains, the rising streams, the winds will.. read more

Winning or loving

Posted on September 5th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Music, Ruling Desires, Uncategorized, Wisdom

When you have an argument you have a choice: you can win or you can love. The word “love” in this phrase seems awkward and out of place, doesn’t it? The conventional wording is you can win or you can lose. But as with other things in the Christian life, God’s ways are radically different than our own. The idea that an argument or discussion is about winning or losing is flawed at its core. God has called us to honor him with love and not be focused on winning.. read more

Anger or Joy: Your Choice

Posted on August 9th, 2017 · Posted in Anger, Ruling Desires, Wisdom

Anger and joy are not directly connected to circumstances. They are directly connected to your understanding of God’s faithfulness to you. Joy and anger are choices. Good or bad circumstances by themselves are not reason for joy or anger. If I think a circumstance is bad or unfair, I may become angry. But this is a choice I am making. I could just as easily choose to return good for evil instead of becoming angry. I could also choose to be joyful because I know that evil will not defeat.. read more

People are a poor replacement for God

Posted on July 26th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Ruling Desires

Disappointment, frustration, bitterness, sadness, hurt: these are words that all too frequently describe our relationships, especially with people we love. Why is that? Perhaps the most common reason is that you are asking people to do what only God can do. When people occupy the place in your life that God has reserved for himself, you will find disappointment and frustration. No one can bear the weight of being your God except God. When you place your spouse, your children, your parents, your close friends, anyone in the role of.. read more

I want it! The gateway to abuse

Posted on June 24th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Ruling Desires

The demand for instant gratification is destructive. This pattern, if not stopped, will result in a life dominated by the desire for immediate gratification. Immediate gratification is the gateway to a life of destructive, abusive relationships, pornography, substance abuse, abusive behavior. If you hear your child frequently complain or grumble,  you are hearing a child who is becoming a slave to his own desires. Sin feeds on the desire for immediate happiness. That is why a child can go from seeming bliss to outrage in an eye blink. One moment.. read more

The Cross, the ultimate reality check

Posted on April 12th, 2017 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification

As humans we have an amazing capacity for self-importance. After being with Jesus at the last supper, after having him wash their feet, after hearing that one of them would betray Jesus, the disciples began to discuss an important topic. Actually, it was a dispute. They began to argue about which of them would have the highest public opinion poll! “A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.” Luke 22:24 Amazing. But not really, the disciples are too much like me for.. read more

Physical beauty and biblical sexual attraction

Posted on January 28th, 2017 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires, Teenagers

  There is a difference between physical beauty and biblical sexual attraction. Physical beauty is on display to be admired by all who observe it. The Holy Spirit describes the beauty of Job’s daughters this way: “Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.” Physical beauty can and should be appreciated by many. But sexual attraction is only for one’s marriage partner. Sexual attraction outside of marriage will lead to lust and, eventually,.. read more

Raising children who despise themselves

Posted on January 6th, 2017 · Posted in Authority, Parenting, Ruling Desires, Sanctification

It seems like such a simple thing. You ask your child to do something and in response, he quietly keeps playing with his toy. If the day is laid back and the request seems inconsequential, the negative response might be ignored. But, you decide to press on, so you ask again, this time a little more firmly, and then one more time. Your four-year-old grudgingly, slowly does as he was told. You breathe a sigh of relief, no harm done, at least he obeyed. But actually this little boy has.. read more

Rules: the good and the bad

Posted on October 28th, 2016 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification

Rules make life work. They tell us: how fast to drive, what time to put your children to bed, how many calories to eat, how much to pay in taxes, what is acceptable behavior at school, what time to arrive at work, how to participate in sporting events, what not to do at the swimming pool, and many more things to numerous to count. But there is also a problem with rules. They lack the power to draw you and your children closer to Christ! If your parenting is primarily.. read more

What is love?

Posted on October 17th, 2016 · Posted in Culture, Ruling Desires, World View

“Love is giving willingly of whatever I have to meet someone’s need.” I can almost hear someone reacting, “Wait a minute! That might be a partial definition of love. But what about the deep feelings, the driving emotional mood that is also supposed to accompany love. This definition leaves that part out.” There is an unspoken expectation that is associated with love. This human assumption is that when you love there are huge emotional benefits that make love something good for you. When you say you love someone, your natural.. read more

Asking too much from your children

Posted on October 2nd, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires

Living for your children will ruin your life and theirs. If your hopes and dreams are bound to your children, you will be disappointed, perhaps even bitter. If you expect your children to provide the comfort and support that can only come from God you will be deeply hurt. You will set yourself up to be disappointed and crushed when your family fails you. No spouse, no child can provide comfort that can only be found in God. God will have no other gods before him. Your first loyalty must.. read more

People pleasing – a fatal attraction!

Posted on September 30th, 2016 · Posted in Fear of the Lord, Ruling Desires, Shaping Influences

Luke recounts a story in Acts about how the early Christians were caring for each other’s needs. He specifically mentions a Cypriot Levite named Joseph who sold a field and brought the money from the sale to the apostles. Joseph was such a blessing that the apostles called him Barnabas, which means son of encouragement. This was a good thing. There was a married couple who apparently observed Barnabas’ good deed and the appreciation he received for it. So they sold some property that they owned. But something happened to.. read more

Do you enjoy being duped?

Posted on September 20th, 2016 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification

The answer is, of course you don’t! Yet, if you are like most people, you find yourself frequently saying something like, “I know better than that, why do I keep doing it?” So why do you keep repeating the things that trouble you — it is the deceptiveness of sin. You were born with a spiritual heart that is defective, it does not operate as intended. If there is a problem with your physical heart, it tends to immediately demand whatever attention is necessary in order to solve the problem… read more

Excuses or repentance

Posted on August 26th, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires, Sanctification, Shaping Influences

Excuses keep us from trusting God, erode human relationships and weaken character. The default mode for the excuse maker is to shift blame instead of looking to God in repentance. Repentance brings hope. Excuses result in frustration and blame-shifting. This how the Holy Spirit describes the difference. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 Concealing sins—making excuses—destroys trust in God. But repentance yields mercy and the blessing of God. Listen to yourself. Listen to your children. If you hear.. read more

I want it now!

Posted on July 19th, 2016 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Immediate gratification is the gateway to enslavement. This desire for the immediate is based on two lies. The first is that having what I want will be satisfying and the second is nothing bad will happen if I get what I want. This is the way sin works. If your children believe the lie that getting instant relief from their discomfort or discontent is ultimate, they have been entrapped by sin’s deceitfulness. This pattern, if not stopped, will result in a life dominated by the desire for immediate gratification. Pornography,.. read more

Dangerous rules

Posted on April 21st, 2016 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires, Sanctification

Following rules will not make you a better person. Rules will not build your character. Rules will not produce spiritual maturity. What rules may do is keep you safe and keep you from breaking laws. The question to ask is this, is there more to life than being safe and legal? Relying primarily on a set of rules to govern your family can be toxic. Paul warns you about being taken captive by human traditions and spiritual forces of this world. Here is his exact warning found in Colossians two:.. read more

Whining children, broken lives

Posted on March 29th, 2016 · Posted in Discipline, Ruling Desires, Shaping Influences

Your six-year-old has become so obsessed with wanting his brother’s radio controlled car that he has made himself sick whining and complaining about it. There is a reason the Holy Spirit warns against grumbling and complaining. This familiar scenario does not seem as shocking as the story of a teenager obsessed with pornography. However, the attitudes that fuel the teenager’s lust and obsession are the same ones that control your six-year old. This point must not be missed. You must connect the dots of self-pity in your young children with.. read more

Love is God’s idea

Posted on October 27th, 2015 · Posted in Midlife, Ruling Desires, Sanctification

Love is a personal thing or so we are told. Problems come when love is too personal. When love is all about me, bad things happen. Love must be defined by God, specifically by the work of his son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit tells us that we know what love is by how Jesus loved (1 John 3:16). By looking at Christ we see that love is other-centered, not me-centered. This takes some radical rethinking. Love is not about what makes you feel good or happy. Love is dying to.. read more

The problem with rules

Posted on October 26th, 2015 · Posted in Ruling Desires

Rules are an essential part of life. They tell us: how fast to drive, what time to put your children to bed, how many calories to eat, how much money to pay in taxes, what is acceptable behavior at school, what time to arrive at work, how to participate in sporting events, what not to do at the swimming pool, many more things to numerous to count. There is just one problem with rules. They lack the power to draw you and your children closer to Christ and to stop.. read more

Love: What’s in it for God?

Posted on October 23rd, 2015 · Posted in Ruling Desires, Sanctification

The unspoken question most asked about love is, “What’s in it for me?” We are born with this compelling motive regarding love. We are born self-centered and self-consumed. So, if we love something or someone there must be a benefit to be gained. Young children love what makes them happy. Unfortunately, this is a pattern that we never outgrow apart from the saving work of Christ. We were made to love, just as we were made to worship. But, because of sin, we love ourselves and we worship what is.. read more