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Archive for the 'Sanctification' Category

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

Repentance or regret

Posted on October 20th, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification

One day a man returned home exhausted and famished from a hunting trip. As he neared the camp he caught the smell of a meal that his younger brother was preparing. Convinced he was about to die, he pleaded with his brother for some food. His brother was an enterprising sort, so he offered to exchange the food for the birthright, the blessing which belonged to the first born. Driven by hunger, the older brother greedily accepted the offer. It was a decision he lived to regret. Esau, the older.. 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

Do people frustrate you?

Posted on September 15th, 2016 · Posted in Anger, Sanctification, Worry

The person who is insensitive dominates your thinking. Your ungrateful kids or spouse provides hours of self-pity. The so-called friend who is constantly irritating you keeps you awake at night. The political figure who is against everything you stand for makes you see red. When you reject the Spirit’s control you give all these people control of your life. Is this what you really want? I didn’t think so. All of the above examples mean you are being controlled by your flesh and not the Spirit of God. In Galatians.. 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’m sorry” or “please forgive me”

Posted on August 15th, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification, Shaping Influences

“I’m sorry” or “please forgive me”, does it make a difference? Aren’t they just two different ways of saying the same thing? Not really. “I’m sorry” can lead to regret, which leads to enslavement. “Please forgive me” leads to repentance, which leads to freedom. Saying I’m sorry doesn’t really require a change of heart. For example, one child takes another child’s toy truck without permission. He is caught in the act. He is told to go to his brother, give the toy back and say he is sorry. He does.. read more

Emotions: first responders of your heart

Posted on June 11th, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification, Shaping Influences

In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit has provided you with a guide book for understanding emotions. Biblically, emotions can be thought of as the first responders of the heart. If the heart is good and well-guarded emotions can work for us, not against us. If the heart is left unguarded then emotions can bring much damage. This is why Solomon is adamant that the heart be guarded above all else (Proverbs 4:23). The book of Job tells you right away the value of emotions. Job.. read more

Hypocrisy and behavior

Posted on June 3rd, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification

Hypocrisy is something you cannot avoid. You tell your children not to fight and then your argue with your spouse. You tell your children God is in control and then you become angry or despondent about the presidential election. You tell your children to put God first and not be rowdy, and then you realize what you really wanted was just some peace and quiet. Focusing on outward behavior and hypocrisy go hand-in-hand. Your goal must be much more than outward compliance. Looking for quick results and outward compliance is.. read more

You were made to remember

Posted on May 30th, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification, Shaping Influences

There are times when memories seem as a curse. The pain is strong enough that you bless the minutes, the hours, the days when those memories are absent. Then there are the good memories, the ones you want never to forget. These good ones are etched in your mind. They bring joy. God made you this way, he made you to remember. Why? He made you to remember him. He commands you to remember who he is and what he has accomplished for you. It is the memory of God.. read more

The power of stillness

Posted on May 17th, 2016 · Posted in Current Events, Sanctification, Wisdom

Life is full of drama and upset. Relationships may be filled with tensions and disappointments. The cultural landscape and the world’s political climate are unsettling at best. The noise of life is everywhere. Sometimes hope appears out of sight, other times the relentless drama of life can make it seem as if your mind is about to explode. Where is peace? The Holy Spirit speaks comfort into your life. He uses evocative images to speak to you. In Psalm 46 he says: So we will not fear when earthquakes come.. read more

Interview with Paul Tautges part 2

Posted on May 11th, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification

Author of Counseling One Another Interview by Fred Zaspel of Books at Glance Part 2 (read part 1 here) Books At a Glance (Fred Zaspel): How might churches foster this kind of “counseling one another” atmosphere? Tautges: Pastors need to teach their people that making disciples of Jesus is the primary task of the church, and is a work that necessitates the involvement of every believer. Disciple-making is not only for church leaders; it is for every Christian to one extent or another. Congregations need to understand what it means.. read more

An Interview with Paul Tautges

Posted on May 10th, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification

Author of Counseling One Another Interview by Fred Zaspel of Books at Glance Part 1 Books At a Glance (Fred Zaspel): The first thing that struck me when I opened the book is that in your title – Counseling One Another – you intend something more than we may catch at first glance. Explain your title for us. What is your book all about? Tautges: This book is about biblical discipleship. It’s that simple. The ministry of counseling has too often been relegated to the professional outside the church because.. 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 2:8… read more

When life hurts

Posted on March 15th, 2016 · Posted in Gospel, Sanctification, Wisdom

Adam left you a legacy of hurt. There is joy because the second Adam, Jesus, has rescued you from Adam’s dark web. But while you remain on earth the tentacles of Adam’s choice cling to your flesh. Hardship and pain are punctuated by pangs of failure, betrayal, guilt and jaded visions of what might have been. But here we meet the power of the gospel! God never abandons you, even in times of deep sadness. The Apostle Paul writes eloquently of this mixture of Adam’s legacy and Christ’s redeeming power… read more

Dangerous love

Posted on March 11th, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification

From God’s perspective, to love is to identify with Christ. In I John 3 we learn what love really means: to love is to follow Christ’s example and lay down our lives for others. Thus to love like Jesus did means at least these things: True love is selfless love. True love means a commitment to die to yourself. True love takes great personal courage. True love is dangerous. It is dangerous to follow Christ in love. Yet, it is even more dangerous to attempt to love without knowing and loving.. read more

Healthy or Holy?

Posted on February 24th, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification

Just to be clear, taking care of your health is a vital obligation you have before God. Having said that, here is a question to consider: Do you care more about being healthy or holy? Let’s think this through. Being as healthy as you can is important! However, problems with your health can take nothing from you that will damage your relationship with God. Sin, on the other hand, will do this and much more. Being sick or injured cannot keep you from God, but sin certainly will. Maintaining good.. read more

Running to repentance

Posted on February 13th, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification, Shaping Influences, Worldview

Sin entangles in despair and hopelessness. Repentance brings freedom. Here is how it happens. Sin is breaking the law of God. Repentance is seeing the rejection of the his law in relational terms and seeking obedience as a response to his goodness So, you don’t just acknowledge that you were angry, but you also repent of the lack of love that produced the anger. Sin is hating what is good and loving what is evil. Repentance is examining the root of the things you are passionate about. What are sometimes.. read more

I’m only human

Posted on February 10th, 2016 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel, Sanctification

A husband says to his wife that he is sorry for being insensitive. He says he has been under a lot of pressure lately. A mom says tells her kids she shouldn’t have yelled at them, but she is just very tired. These “little” sins are justified because of some extenuating circumstance or unfair treatment by someone else. After a while these sins aren’t even seen as sins. They are conveniently placed in the category of being human. Well, that is true as far as it goes. Being human means.. read more

Shepherd Press announces Counseling One Another!

Posted on February 3rd, 2016 · Posted in Sanctification

Dr. Paul Tautges has written a book for every believer. Preorder it for great savings. Order now — Prepublication special 50% Off! Here is an excerpt from the book: Believers in Jesus Christ must be taught and trained to be richly indwelt with the Word of God, to live under the influence of the Holy Spirit, to be driven by the gospel, to express dependence on God through prayer, to be motivated by love for God and neighbor, and to be moved with compassion to help one another make progress.. read more

Your kids, social media and the Glory of God

Posted on December 2nd, 2015 · Posted in Communication, Culture, Sanctification

Want to create some havoc in your home? Try cutting off the flow of social media to your kids. That’s right. Put all iPhones, Android phones, tablets and computers in a safe and lock them away. Then for good measure, disconnect any cable, DSL, satellite or any other internet connections to your home. Next, see what happens. There are many who think this would be the perfect solution to solve the relational issues your children struggle with. But does this really solve anything? Outside influence has always been in issue.. read more