Unity vs. Discord

Union is the bond that enables the harmonious music called unity. The mindset of our culture, in contrast, is fiercely autonomous and independent. The individual reigns over the corporate, the particular over the whole. The self-styled and differentiated unconventional are championed. That is true even in church culture. Intimacy, on the other hand, is the…

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True Transformation

The moral shock suffered by us through our mighty break with the high will of heaven has left us all with a permanent trauma affecting every part of our nature. There is a disease in both us and our environment.[1] Our pragmatic, bottom-line reaction results in a search for “what, where, when, how” answers. The…

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Freedom Through Obedience

Adam and Eve were created for intimacy with God and one another. The discipline to resist the desirable, but forbidden fruit, was the one condition necessary to sustain intimacy. They had been blessed; but they had also been given the principle of boundaries. Their refusal to observe the boundary, forced the forfeiture of the blessing…

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The Spirit of Reconciliation

We were born into this world at enmity with God due to inherent sin. There can be no resolution of the conflict and no intimacy without reconciliation. There can be no reconciliation without repentance. Scott Peck observed that “the central defect of evil is not the sin but the refusal to acknowledge it.”[1] Repentance must…

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Evidence of the New Inner Life

Intimacy with God is the essential characteristic of a healthy Christian life and community. The disciplines measure our will to experience such intimacy. Without discipline, we squander the opportunity for intimacy or waste its impact. Without intimacy, there is no authentic and transforming context. Intimacy demands an investment of time that expresses the worth-ship, the…

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Defining Intimacy with God

John, the Apostle, proclaimed “God is love!” Many wrongly accept that truth as the definitive and all-inclusive statement on the nature God. It is not. Eastern religious movements do not focus on the person of God, but on the essence, thus for them, “Love is god!” They interchange the descriptive adjective and subject. The declaration…

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Jesus and the Spiritual Disciplines

Jesus encourages three disciplines in Matthew 6:5-18 – prayer, fasting, and giving. Other disciplines orbit around these primary directives. In each case, He warns against ostentatious displays. Each is deeply personal, quietly embraced, but rewarded by God only if offered in a sincere and humble manner. These three disciplines control all of life. They provide…

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Examining Spiritual Disciplines

She was all the rage, rated the most desirable woman in her day – Marilyn Monroe. Secretly, she frequented nightclubs on the prowl and incognito, not as Hollywood’s made-up, blond, bombshell, but as Norma Jean. Every man loved Marilyn, the conjured image, they worshipped at her feet. They loved the image, but would anyone love…

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Restoring the Lost Fear of God

Every seven years, Israel was to celebrate a Sabbath. In that year, the land was to rest, to lay fallow. And something else, quite extraordinary, and under-emphasized, was to take place – The Seventh Year National Education Campaign. According to Deuteronomy 31:10-13, Israel was instructed to gather during this Sabbath year, in a national assembly,…

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Reverence vs. Respect

There has been a recent trend to eliminate kneelers in liturgical churches. Some see the act of kneeling as demeaning. In many Pentecostal churches, the practice of kneeling in prayer has also virtually disappeared, as has the practice of tarrying at an altar, the congregation gathered before God on their knees. “Come, let us bow…

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