Posts Tagged ‘Bible reading’

Three Keys to a Clear Life Vision

January 3rd, 2017 No comments


Each new year brings with it the fresh opportunity for change. I love the fact that every 365 days we put a period on one year and we open a brand new one. It’s like a big “do-over” in life!

Maybe you felt like last year was a test and you bombed the exam. Well, the good news is that we get a re-take for 2017. Brush up on those areas of weakness. Make some adjustments. Raise your grade. Thank God for fresh beginnings!

My favorite teachers always took the time to review before the big, scary final exam. They wanted you to be fully prepared for what was coming. No surprises. No unclear expectations. Good teachers, after all, were committed to your success.

The Apostle Paul was a fabulous teacher. I love the way he reminds his spiritual son, Timothy, what is truly important. He is truly committed to his success. In 2 Timothy 3:10, Paul highlights three keys to a clear life vision.

But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.

Paul wants Timothy to win at life. He wants him to succeed in those areas that really matter. So he highlights three critical areas of focus.

#1. You know what I teach.

In other words, Paul was clear about what he believed.  Do you know what you believe? Do others know what you believe? This is why it is so important to spend time daily in God’s Word. It’s also a reason to be deeply committed to a local church where God’s Word is consistently preached and taught. Like Paul, we should be intentional about sharing the truths of the Bible with others.

#2. You know how I live.

Paul is making reference here to his lifestyle and values. People often claim to “believe” a lot of things. For instance, you may agree that God’s Word matters but never spend time reading and studying the Bible. The best way to tell what someone really believes is to look at the way they live. Your lifestyle is your belief system in action. What you truly value will always find expression through what you do, not what you say you believe. Can people clearly see Jesus by reading your life? Do they know what you value by watching how you live? Do you value your relationship with Christ? Then spend time with Him. Do you value your marriage? Then take time to invest in your spouse.

#3. You know my life purpose.

This refers to our vocation and calling. It’s exciting to begin another year, but you need to ask yourself, “Why am I here?” For what unique purpose has God created you?  If you know your WHY it brings clarity to everything else you do. God has placed within you gifts that are to be developed and used for His glory. In a sense, we are called to steward the purposes of God contained within us by maximizing them for His glory. I love this quote by John Meyers: 

“It is one thing to be right with God and enjoy a measure of personal communion with Him. It is quite another to understand His greater purposes and let our personal experience be properly related to that all-inclusive end.”

I hope these three questions will bring greater clarity to your life in this New Year and in the years to come. Here’s my prayer for you…

May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed! (Psalm 20:4)




People of the Book

January 2nd, 2017 15 comments


I love to start the New Year with a focus on things that are weighty and foundational. After all, if the foundation is correct, you can build something really spectacular.

That’s why I felt the Lord wanted us to kick-off this New Year with a strong pastoral challenge to be “people of the Book.” That phrase is one I heard from John Piper many years ago but it has always stuck with me. He writes:

“We are a people of the Book. We know God through the Book. We meet Christ in the Book. We see the cross in the Book. Our faith and love are kindled by the glorious truths of the Book. We have tasted the divine majesty of the Word and are persuaded that the Book is God’s inspired and infallible written revelation. Therefore, what the Book teaches matters.”

What this BOOK teaches matters. It really matters. Perhaps that is part of the reason the Lord invites us, even woos us, to read His words and promises to us. Consider this amazing promise from the Lord to Joshua.

“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
Joshua 1:8, NLT

What an incredible challenge from the Lord. Who doesn’t want to prosper and succeed in 2017?!

But God gives us conditions. We must become “people of the Book.” Study it. Meditate upon its truth. And most importantly, obey what you have read!

Since what the Bible teaches matters, really matters, we must become people who…

LOVE it!


LIVE it!

Let me ask you a question. Does God’s Word matter to you?

If it does, you’ll have a plan. You won’t approach the Scriptures in a random or casual manner. Because God’s Word matters, we must determine what that really looks like on a practical level.

Here’s a simple, yet practical idea to get you started.

Commit to reading through the entire Bible this year using a Bible Reading Plan. I use the One-Year Bible. You can choose from a variety of translations. What matters is that you have a daily plan for immersing yourself in God’s Word.

Become a person of the BOOK. Why…because it MATTERS!

Parental Advice from a World-changer

September 2nd, 2010 1 comment

John Quincy Adams was an amazing world-changer! As the son of President John and Abigail Adams, he was discipled by his godly parents in the art of Christian statesmanship. When his father was serving as the U.S. Minister in France, he sent for his young son to be with him. Under his father’s loving care and mentoring, he became so skilled and gifted in statesmanship that he received a Congressional appointment at the age of 14 to the Court of Catherine the Great in Russia! (Yes, I said 14)

He went to serve America as a US Senator, US Minister to France, US Minister to Britain and as the sixth President of the United States. He picked up the nickname, “Hell Hound of Slavery” for his tenacious and often single-handed opposition to slavery. When he was asked why he never seemed discouraged or depressed in his unpopular fight against the slave trade, Adams replied, “Duty is ours; results are God’s.”

What is the secret behind his courageous leadership?

Here’s an excerpt from a letter he wrote to “My Dear Son:”

“…so great is my veneration for the Bible, and so strong my belief, that when duly read and meditated on, it is of all books in the world, that which contributes most to make men good, wise and happy – the earlier my children begin to read it, the more steadily they pursue the practice of reading it throughout their lives, the more lively and confident will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens of their country, respectable members of society, and a real blessing to their parents…”

He went on to add, “I have myself, for many years, made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year…”

We see a man mentored by his father, who is now teaching his own son, by example, the importance of being immersed in the Scriptures.

So simple, yet so powerful. What are you teaching your children?