Living a Holy Life
by J. C. Ryle
A right heart before God is not the heart with which a person is born—but another heart put in them by the Holy Spirit. It has always been the possession of all true Christians of every name, nation, people and tongue. All that have had right hearts upon earth, will find that they have one heart when they enter heaven. (read more)
Anger is a universal problem. I have observed it in the primitive cannibals in Irian Jaya, uncivilized Indians in the remote jungles of Brazil, illiterate people in tiny villages deep in the forest of Zaire, my playmates when I was a child, in my parents, church members, pastors, highly educated people, the very rich, people in government, and yes, even in myself. Call it what you will: mad, angry, frustrated, annoyed, perturbed, ticked off–all of these words represent a form of anger. There seems to be universal agreement that anger must be tamed. Yet there is vast disagreement over the cause and the cure. (read more)
by Andrew Murray
In Waiting On God!, Andrew Murray introduces Christians to the concept that we need more of God. We need to “train our people in their worship and to wait on God.” Murray divides this instruction into 31 chapters, which are ideal for daily devotions for any given month. With each of his mediations, Murray provides accompanying scriptural passages.
Like much of Murray's work, Waiting On God! is a book of depth, producing new and important insights every time one reads it. Waiting On God! and the sequel, Working For God, are outstanding devotionals from Andrew Murray that will uplift and challenge the believer who wishes to draw closer to God in both devotion and service. Although these daily lessons are relatively short, they are packed with spiritual insight. (read or download devotional)
In order to address the question of how to live a holy life, we must first understand what holy means. To be holy means to be set apart or separate from sin and evil. God is holy—completely separate from everything that is evil (1 John 1:5). God calls us to be holy, just as He is (1 Peter 1:16, quoting Leviticus 19:2), but it’s vital to understand that apart from God this is impossible. We must have the Holy Spirit indwelling us and filling us with His holiness. (read more)
It doesn’t take long to figure out that we live in an angry world. Read the headlines on any given day and you see anger on display in politics, movies, TV shows, and sports. Spend any amount of time in any family and you’ll see anger expressed almost daily. When a day goes by without conflict, it’s a miracle of God.
Sadly, the church hasn’t exactly been the poster child for pursuing peace and reconciling conflict in a God-glorifying way over the course of church history. Even though Jesus “broke down the dividing wall of hostility… so that we could have peace” (Ephesians 2:14–16), we still quarrel and fight. (read more)
by Chris Russell
Several years ago a friend of mine took his wife and kids to the ocean for a week of R&R. While they were there, they purchased a small, inflatable boat for recreational use on the beach. One day the wife jumped in the boat and launched out into the water to just lie back and soak in some sunshine. After what seemed like a short span of time, she opened her eyes and realized that she was several hundred yards away from the shore. In a panic, she screamed for help. (read more)
by Randy Alcorn
Well, definitely, it should change how we live life here on Earth. In fact, we are directly told that in 2 Peter 3. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, the Earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, we need to look at this Earth as a passing, temporary time where what matters is how we live here and how we invest in eternity. (listen to audio)
by Randy Alcorn
One of my favorite passages is Matthew 6:19-34, where Jesus unveils an investment formula for a secure future and a worry-free present.
In this great sermon, Jesus doesn’t tell us not to store up treasures. On the contrary, he commands us to store up treasures (v. 20). He’s saying, “Stop storing them up in the wrong place (earth), and start storing them up in the right place (Heaven).” He also says “store up treasures for yourselves.” When we follow Jesus, we act not only in His best interests but in ours. No matter how difficult the challenges of the moment, we can be assured that “they are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). (read more)
by Sue Bohlin
Early in my walk with Christ, I learned the life-changing, perspective-changing discipline of giving thanks for everything. EVERYTHING.
Initially, I stumbled over Ephesians 5:20, “always giving thanks for everything,” thinking that surely that must not be an accurate translation, or there was a footnote or asterisk or something that would mitigate the implication of the absolutes of “always” and “everything.” I even bought a Greek-English interlinear New Testament so I could check out the original language.
Yep, that’s what it says.
But it’s awfully hard to embrace this command without an understanding of why God would tell us to give thanks always, much less why this command, like all the others, was given “so it may go well with” us. (read more)
God hates idolatry in any form (Deuteronomy 6:14–15; 32:21; Jeremiah 2:5; Leviticus 26:1). It steals the attention and honor that belong only to God (Deuteronomy 6:5; Luke 10:27). In many nations today, carved gods and goddesses are still an obvious violation of this commandment. However, the sin of idolatry is ultimately a sin of the heart. (read more)
Is our worship a humble response to God’s grace, or is it a self-centered effort to draw attention to us or to curry God’s favor?
Fasting should result in self-denial, not self-indulgence. When believers share with others it serves as a reminder that all they own ultimately belongs to God. (read, listen and study Isaiah 58)
Jesus said that to become a Christian we must be “born again” (John 3:3). That phrase implies that we cannot simply remodel our current lives; we must start over. (read more)
Most people have not learned Scriptural truths about money at home, church, or in school. Others have, but have yet to apply them. As a result, many of us live by the world’s perspective on finances instead of God’s.
God has called us to live a life built on an eternal perspective. When we apply this to our income and possessions, then we can truly be free from the pull of the culture and materialism. He has called us to be transformed in our hearts, minds, and lives. Scripture provides principles we need for wise and faithful money management.
Financial Faithfulness covers the important topics of debt, saving, giving, and developing your spending plan. This study series will help you to be smart about money. Then you can maximize your ministry, work, and financial life goals. This will give you peace of mind with money throughout your lifetime. (read more)
There are two issues involved in this question, the things that the Bible specifically mentions and declares to be sin and those the Bible does not directly address. The more difficult issue is in determining what is sinful in areas that the Bible does not directly address. When the Bible does not cover a certain subject, we have some general principles in His Word to guide us. (read more)
The Bible talks about “spiritual maturity” and “growing up” into Christ. What does this mean? What Bible verses speak of a believer’s spiritual maturity and how can we get it? (read more)
I think it’s important for us to realize that sin alienates us from God. It separates us from Him. It skews our view of the world. It skews our view of truth. It skews our view even of the very nature of God. And when we walk in sin and when we live in sin, we are living contrary to the will of God. We are living contrary to the Word of God. And as a result, when we’re not living a fully God-aligned life, we leave ourselves susceptible to doubts, because what we'll want to do, or what we’ll be tempted to do when we’re living in sin, and perhaps even enjoying sin for a season, is we’ll want to make God’s Word accommodate our lifestyle. (watch video)
The Bible repeatedly stresses the importance of giving thanks. Giving thanks is too often demoted to a secondary place in the prayers of Christ’s people. Our attitude in approaching God is often reminiscent of the leech’s daughters: “Give, Give” (Prov. 30:15). We are quick to make our requests and slow to thank God for His answers. Because God so often answers our prayers, we come to expect it. We forget that it is only by His grace that we receive anything from Him. (read more)
The Bible never commands or exhorts Christians to pray for persecution. But the Bible very definitely tells the growing Christian to expect persecution. 1 Peter 4:12 emphatically states that "we are not to be surprised" when persecution comes, or think that "some strange thing" is happening to us when we are persecuted as Christians. (See also Acts 14:22; Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 John 3:13.) Persecution is "part of the package" of our salvation! (read more)
Humankind is not naturally honest (Psalm 116:11). Dishonesty has worldly rewards–lying can often bring financial gain, power, or temporary satisfaction. But the rewards come at a price. Dishonesty leads to more and more wickedness (Proverbs 17:4). Lying to fulfill worldly desires ultimately results in the loss of everything a person has, including his life. Hell’s inhabitants will include “all liars” (Revelation 21:8). “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). (read more)
It is very clear in the teachings of the Scripture that no Christian is sinless (1 John 1:8-10), but it is also clear that God expects the true believer to not sin habitually. “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in Him, and he cannot practice sin because he is born of God” (3:9). J. C. Ryle in his book on holiness gave eight reasons why holiness is necessary in the Christian’s life. (read more)
by John MacArthur
There is a distinct line drawn between those who are true believers and those who are not. The false deny their sin, the true confess it. (read article)
"The Apostle Paul gives us his own definition of the Christian life in Galatians 2:20. It is 'no longer I, but Christ'. Here he is not stating something special or peculiar--a high level of Christianity. He is, we believe, presenting God's normal for a Christian, which can be summarized in the words: I live no longer, but Christ lives His life in me."
Read Watchman Nee's classic book on a life of "knowing," "reckoning," "presenting," and "walking in the Spirit." (read book online)
by Charles R. Swindoll
We all know what the absence of integrity looks like. We see it daily in the news, whether it’s in greedy, dishonest executives, pork-happy politicians, or athletes on steroids. Chuck Swindoll issues a challenge for the Christian to stand apart from the crowd by knowing the lines that can’t be crossed in order to maintain a spotless reputation as a follower of the God of righteousness. (read article)
by Charles R. Swindoll
This is an article for those who have a past that they’re having trouble moving on from, whether it’s because of failures, unjust treatment, or painful loss. Chuck Swindoll states that God has promised to give us the ability to forgive others and ourselves as He fills our lives and our thoughts with His presence and power instead. (read article)
by J.C. Ryle
Love is a grace which all people profess to admire. Thousands, I suspect, would not be ashamed to tell you that they knew nothing about justification or regeneration, about the work of Christ or the Holy Spirit. But nobody, I believe, would like to say that he knew nothing about "love!" If men possess nothing else in religion, they always flatter themselves that they possess "love."
In nothing does the fallen condition of man show itself so strongly, as in the scarcity of Christian love. There is little faith on earth, little hope, little knowledge of Divine things. But nothing, after all, is so scarce as real love! (read more)
The Apostle Paul described true worship perfectly in Romans 12:1-2: “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, or well pleasing and perfect.” This passage contains all the elements of true worship. (read more)
by Keith Krell
It’s been said, “Only two things in this world are eternal—the Bible and people.” If this is true (and it is), it only makes sense to build your life around those things that will last forever. Think about it: God’s Word will last forever…people last forever…everything else disappears. In light of this sobering reality, how should we live? We should live our life backwards from the judgment seat of Christ and ask, “What difference will my life make in 10,000 years?” (read more)
by Chris Good
There are a lot of accusations going around in Christian circles about people "judging" other people and not being "tolerant". Often Matthew 7:1-3 is cited to support those bringing new teachings and practices into the church. Indeed, postmodernists assert that the greatest sin is "intolerance" and it seems this is also increasingly the case in many churches. Anyone who wants to critique something is instantly dismissed as 'judgemental' (so much for tolerance then!).
When we turn to Scripture, many people at first glance are confused. Scripture seems to assert very clearly that we are not to judge. However in other places it seems to equally clearly assert the opposite. What are we to do? (read more)
If you live a godly life, you will be persecuted. You can count on this. It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when and how much.
We love to claim the promises of God. We love to claim His promises of provision and protection. But how many of us have claimed this promise: "Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12)? I haven't. Who likes to be persecuted? (read more)
God is sovereign, meaning that He is completely independent. He did not need to create us. He does not need us for anything. Based on this we might come to the conclusion that we are not important to God... that we are not needed and we have no purpose. But, that's not the end of the story. God tells us in Scripture that we were created to glorify Him. That's our purpose and that means we are important to Him personally. (read more)