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Do You Have All You Need?

Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Or do you feel life would be better if only you could get (fill in the blank)? If we’re really honest with ourselves, most of the time, what we think we need isn’t really a need at all. Most likely it’s just a desire. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a sinful desire, but it isn’t a real need.

“I've found that three significant things happen inside of us when we name something as a need: 1) We feel entitled to what we have named as a need. 2) We feel we have the right to demand what we need. 3) We judge the love of another by their willingness to deliver what we say we need. The danger is when we have determined in our heart that we "need" something in life when it's actually only a desire. Then over time, we begin to demand it, and if God doesn't deliver it to us in the manner and timeframe that we demand, we judge Him to be unloving.” (From Do You Actually Need It by Paul David Tripp)

Do you agree with that? Have you ever felt God was unloving by not answering your requests for what you felt was necessary? Do we need to reassess whether we really believe this verse?

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need." (Luke 12:30)

I know the Lord has provided me with countless things that I need and numerous other things I didn’t really need but He kindly gave me anyway. But it’s important to avoid being demanding or feeling entitled because our God is loving and generous. You and I need to settle something. It’s this: we need to believe He may not give us all we desire, but trust that He definitely, most certainly will absolutely give us all we really need.

"And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Ultimately it comes down to this: what God promises does not involve more possessions, better situations, or even more money. Even the man who was once the richest person in the world realized more money isn’t what satisfies our real need.

“Nothing that can satisfy but Christ.” (John D. Rockefeller)

What we need, and what He has already given through Christ, is Himself. And if there’s anything we really need more of in this life, that’s it.

"…may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen." (Hebrews 13:21)

Ron

Now What?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 by Matt Bowen

Ok, so you have decided to take a step in a mentoring relationship, now what? 

Maybe you are second guessing this choice. Maybe you are well traveled on the road of walking alongside someone in their journey with Jesus. Either way, the point is that you are not alone. 

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Are You Just Existing?

Thursday, September 7, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Have you ever given your life a tough examination? If so, what have you discovered? There have been seasons of my life where I honestly had to admit that I was just going through the motions, just trying to pass the time, just existing. During those times, I had to pray and ask the Lord to take my situation from merely existing to living.

"For to me, living means living for Christ." (Philippians 1:21)

Pastor Erwin McManus wrote about a time in Beirut where he was asked to fill out an unusual form.

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Do You Measure Success By Your Accomplishments Or Relationships?

Thursday, August 31, 2017 by Ron Carlson

My career as a tv sportscaster existed primarily in a world where accomplishment was king. The ones who received the most praise and attention were those who scored the most touchdowns, had the highest batting average or won the most championships. I wouldn’t have lasted long by filling my sportscasts with stories about the most loving player or a coach with the most lasting relationships. Yet if the apostle Paul had been a sportscaster (that conjures up an interesting image, doesn’t it?), I’m thinking he would have highlighted the athletes who were all stars at building a track record of love.

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Have You Ever Witnessed A Miracle?

Thursday, August 24, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Before Jesus healed the paralytic, who was lowered through the roof by his four friends, he asked an interesting question.

"Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up you pallet and walk'?" (Mark 2:9)

It was easier to say the man’s sins were forgiven because no one could really see whether that had occurred, but to prove His words were truthful Jesus also healed the man physically. 

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Do You Have All You Need?

Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Ron Carlson

Or do you feel life would be better if only you could get (fill in the blank)? If we’re really honest with ourselves, most of the time, what we think we need isn’t really a need at all. Most likely it’s just a desire. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a sinful desire, but it isn’t a real need.

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Are you Kind To God?

Thursday, August 10, 2017 by Ron Carlson

We shouldn’t need to be convinced about how kind our living God is to you and me.

"He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins." (Ephesians 1:7)

I can get so focused on wanting God to continually be kind to me that I don’t focus on the importance of how to be kind to Him. 

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Do You Laugh Much?

Thursday, August 3, 2017 by Ron Carlson

I recently received an email from one of my favorite schoolmates. What made him a favorite? We laughed a lot together. I would often bring my Dad’s huge joke book to school and during lunch breaks, we’d read jokes out loud. My friend’s email reminded me how we knew the best jokes by number. So when we’d see each other in the halls instead of repeating the whole joke we’d make each other laugh just by saying number 563 or 1782. The resulting quizzical looks from those around us just added to the fun. All this to say, when was the last time you had a good laugh?

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Do You Confess Your Sins?

Thursday, July 27, 2017 by Ron Carlson

If you are still reading, I applaud you. Confessing sins isn’t a popular topic. So, let me confess: I’m not very good at it. Why is that? Am I foolish enough to think there isn’t much to confess, or do I not want to face the reality of how far I fall short? Whatever the reason, there are no excuses. I am a sinner and that means there are sins to confess.

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Can Your Word Be Trusted?

Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Ron Carlson

I’ve been dealing with a client over the last few years who has really challenged me. When he says a payment is on its way, it usually isn’t. Amazingly, while I was writing this to you, I had a phone call from him. The payment he promised to give me tonight, is being delayed again…for the third straight time. At first, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt; I believed his excuses. But by now, the pattern of broken promises is commonplace. He’s earned a bad reputation. His word means nothing.

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Are You A Part Of A Relay Team?

Thursday, July 13, 2017 by Ron Carlson

When I attended my kids' track meets some of my favorite events were the relay races. I got a big kick out of watching the most crucial part of the event: the passing of the baton. Your team could have incredibly fast individual sprinters, but if they mistimed or fumbled the baton pass, the race was usually lost. To me, being a follower of Jesus includes an element of a relay race. First Jesus has welcomed you to the team. He has called you, saved you, loved you, forgiven you and given you eternal life. With all those blessings, you start running a different race.

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