Spiritual Challenges

The earth is the LORD’s, and all it contains, The world, and all those who dwell in it.

-Psalm 24:1

Personal Growth

Spiritual Challenges

Discover a “spiritually healthy love” for the world through articles that will help you to see that material possessions are a means to an end – and not an end in themselves.

  • A Blazing Fire The same material possessions that can produce a destructive outcome both now and for eternity can also produce abundant blessings in this life and the next. If we see material possessions as an end in themselves, they will consume us. If we see them merely as a means to an end—a way to bless others—they will actually greatly enhance our life.
  • A Useful Steward (Part 1) For those of us who wish to be useful stewards to the Owner, there are two essential attitudes that must be part of our spiritual and emotional makeup. The first is humility. True humility can only be acquired in death of self, transforming us from being internally focused to being externally focused.
  • A Useful Steward (Part 2) In Part One, we examined the attitude of humility. The second attitude we will examine is inadequacy, where we see ourselves as being entirely inadequate while God is eminently sufficient. These two attitudes, humility and inadequacy, will radically transform every area of your life.
  • Do You Love the World? The Bible gives us four flashing “caution lights” that warn us we might have gotten into a love affair with the world: when we are never quite satisfied with what we have; when the things we own end up owning us; when worry about losing “things” disrupts our inner peace; and when our longing to be there is diminished by our affection for what we have here.
  • Fear and Uncertainty When wealthy families are fearful and/or uncertain about what to do in regard to stewardship planning, they ultimately end up doing NOTHING. When nothing happens, the families miss the opportunity to experience the indescribable joy of seeing God use them in meaningful and mighty ways with what He has entrusted to them.
  • Getting Directions from the Owner (Part 1) How do we get directions from the Owner? First, by continuously reading His Word. Second, through studying His Word. And third, by memorizing His Word. Most importantly, we need to be equally committed to obeying His Word.
  • Getting Directions from the Owner (Part 2) In this second article, we are going to unpack how God gets His directions to us through other people: from those who are over us (spiritual mentor), beside us (spiritual peer), and under us (a mentee).
  • Getting Directions from the Owner (Part 3) In this final part of the series, we will examine what is no doubt the most subtle and the most subjective of the three ways God communicates His will to us—through our thoughts.
  • How Do You Calculate How Much You Are Worth? As believers, we need to answer this question by utilizing three different types of valuation methods. We need to value our life worth rather than our net worth. We need to value our internal acquisitions rather than our external acquisitions. We need to value our eternal assets rather than our temporal assets.
  • How Does the Love of God Abide in Him? First John 3:17 says, …whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Ouch! Does this mean that unless we use our material possessions to meet people’s needs, John is calling our love of God into question?
  • If Anyone Wishes to Come After Me Jesus was a master of hard sayings. While they are not hard to understand, they are hard to obey. Each one of them strikes at the very core of our self-centered human nature. Jesus’ hard sayings demand one of two outcomes: either we make radical changes in how we live, or we choose to ignore them — justifying our choice by convincing ourselves that they don’t really apply to us.
  • Judas in Me As you read the Bible, do you ever find yourself identifying with the life or behavior of a specific Bible character? Sometimes you may identify with their good qualities and sometimes with their bad ones. It is likely that of all the Bible characters you have identified with, Judas has never been one of them. Yet, it may be that there is more of Judas in us than we would ever like to admit.
  • The Deeper Meaning of Life A biblical approach to life cannot focus simply on maximizing what you will keep for yourself and your family. You must also strive to address the deeper issues of your life’s purpose—what can you do to maximize your blessing to others?
  • The Numbing Effect Have you ever been reading a passage in the Bible about the depravity of unbelievers, when suddenly your own face appeared on the page? It is a fact of human nature that whatever becomes common becomes “invisible.” Our culture offers an abundance of things and experiences that can and will numb our spiritual sensitivities.
  • To Grow or To Die Here’s a provocative statement: The goal of the church should be “not to grow, but to die.” This statement flies in the face of almost everything we hear about church growth today. Yet it is a rock-solid, biblical statement.
  • Trust Matters The Bible repeatedly admonishes us to trust in the Lord. For example, we are told to trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5, NASB). However, because of our fallen and selfish nature, we are inclined to put our trust in anything or anyone but the Lord.
  • What is Your Most Valuable Possession? If you are like most people, you may consider that your home is your most valuable asset, or it might be your business, or your investment portfolio. No matter which asset you may select as your most valuable, you will have picked the wrong one.
  • Where Are All the Wealthy Christians? How is it that we find the overwhelming majority of wealthy Christians routinely disenfranchised from the local church? How is it that these “movers and shakers,” these “make it happen” people, these “empire builders” who have a heart for God have somehow found themselves to be a marginalized group in the church?