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10 Biblical Warnings You Need to Stop Ignoring

In the gospels, we frequently encounter Jesus warning the crowds about the destructive teachings of the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20, 16:6). Jesus’ disciples following in His footsteps by providing further warnings to believers in the other portions of the New Testament. While warnings might not always provoke positive thoughts or feelings, they often serve to spare us from unnecessary hardships and pain. In fact, the act of warning others is actually a demonstration of familial love and care for our neighbor. If we know that a particular action or practice is harmful, then the most unloving thing that we could do is to fail to warn others about it.Here are 10 warnings from the Bible that we should heed and share with others: Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/ChaiSoda

The 4 Most Powerful Names of God from the Book of Isaiah

Names have meaning.When I was born, my mother put a great deal of thought into my name, Matthew Britton. They mean “gift of God” and “kingly one,” respectively. Since I was a surprise pregnancy, the “gift of God” was particularly interesting and intentional. She envisioned my name on a desk in an office, like a CEO. She realized quickly I was more creative than businessman, so she sees my name on the cover of books.God gives people names in the Bible, speaking purpose and character over these men and women. Therefore, my wife and I prayerfully considered what to call each of our children. Our third, a girl, was also a surprise to us, and even though we had a name picked out, God told us that her name was Hosanna. And the name fits her perfectly.God also names himself. These declare and describe his identity and character. Yahweh came from God’s first self-declaration, a form of the I AM. The book of Isaiah includes many prophecies about the Messiah and an apocalyptic future, so the Lord also shares other names along the way.Here are God’s four most powerful names from the book of Isaiah.Photo Credit:©GettyImages/Marinela Malcheva

5 Great (and 5 Terrible) Reasons to Attend Church Weekly

Being Christians, we hear it all the time: go to church. And we should. But there are great and terrible reasons to attend church weekly.Motive matters to God. Yes, he wants us to obey him for our good, but he also wants us to take right actions with the correct motives. As Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians 9, God doesn’t want us to give money from obligation or force. He desires a cheerful heart that understands sowing and reaping.Looking at God’s character, he makes intentional choices based on his identity. He is love, so his plans and choices are loving. He is perfect, so what he does is righteous. As we are his children, he requires the same integrity and whole-heartedness from us.Therefore, we can do religious acts that count for nothing. We can do all the charity in the world, but it profits us nothing if we do not have the right motivation.Regarding church, the same principles apply. Here are five great and five terrible reasons to attend church weekly.Photo Credit:©Getty Images/Rawpixel

7 Questions to Ask Before You Leave a Church

Being a Christian for any length of time, we have all changed churches. What are the questions to ask before you leave a church?People leave a church for all kinds of reasons. Some are good reasons. Perhaps individuals are called to another ministry position. Or perhaps a family moves to another state.Others are unhealthy reasons. Perhaps people leave because of an offense or conflict. Maybe there’s been betrayal or other serious issues within the leadership. Churches are full of human beings, and we are all still learning to be more Christ-like in our thoughts and actions. We’re not perfect yet, and people can be challenging.If you’re about to exit a local fellowship, here are seven questions to ask before you leave the church.Photo Credit:©GettyImages/People Images

7 Historical Things to Know About the Last Supper

Three of the four Gospels include Jesus’s final meal with his disciples before his death on the cross. This intimate moment recounts the Passover dinner with the men Jesus counted as his closest friends and followers. We call this meal the Last Supper. The Last Supper is a central moment in the Christian narrative of redemption. This moment contains layers of cultural, historical, and theological significance.At the same time, Jesus shares this eternal, complex meaning relationally and personally. Jesus brings the epic to the intimate as he does with his followers today.This Easter, let’s take a few moments to explore some of this complexity with seven historical things to know about the Last Supper.Photo Credit:©Unsplash/JamesColeman

5 Serious Stumbling Blocks That Damage Parent-Adult Child Relationships

Building and maintaining a strong relationship with your adult children can be both rewarding and challenging. As a parent, you naturally want to see your children thrive in life, but sometimes your actions – even with the best intentions – can inadvertently damage the bond you share with them. Let’s explore five serious stumbling blocks that damage your relationship with your adult children, along with ways to repair and strengthen your connection with them.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Fizkes

4 Essential Aspects of the Gospel That All Christians Should Know

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).In the New Testament, the word Gospel is translated from the Greek word euangelion, meaning good tidings, glad tidings, a good message.Blue Letter Bible writes that the gospel is “the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus the Messiah, the founder of this kingdom.” After the resurrection, the term “gospel” includes preaching about Jesus’ suffering on the cross to obtain eternal salvation of all mankind. After his death, Jesus was restored to life and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven. One day he will return in majesty to make all things new.Photo credit: Unsplash/Aaron Owens

7 Sneaky Ways Satan Stops You from Praying

We start our morning with good intentions to have our devotional or quiet time with the Lord, and then somehow, the day slips away before we ever get around to it. We promise ourselves we’ll make time to pray before bed, but then exhaustion or sleepiness overtakes us, and soon we’re sound asleep.Satan doesn’t want us praying and listening to our Father in Heaven, so he will use his emissaries to intervene, interfere, or interrupt our conversations with the Lord. Really, prayer is just that, a simple conversation with God. Talking to Him about praises, requests, concerns, feelings, hopes, dreams... and then listening for His still small voice answering us through the Holy Spirit.The more aware we become of Satan’s sneaky tactics to stop us from praying, the better prepared we’ll be to combat and conquer them. See if any of the following satanic ruses have happened to you, and consider trying some of the solutions offered to victory in praying with your Lord and Savior.You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of his godly people and rescues them from the power of the wicked. Ps. 97:10 NLTPhoto Credit: ©GettyImages/tommaso79

9 Powerful Prayers for Your Marriage

Do you pray for your spouse? Specifically and with purpose and intent? Or are your prayers more of a "help ______ today be the person I need them to be"? Hmm. How often do we, without paying attention, customize our prayers for our spouse to benefit ourselves? Or how often do we pray for our spouse and their weaknesses in order to get them repaired to a place where we can love them more easily?What constitutes powerful prayer for your marriage? Considering prayer is as powerful as a two-edged sword, it's probably wise to step back and carefully choose our words, investigate the intent of our heart, and consider how we can pray for the health and well-being of this sanctified relationship into which we entered.There are nine specific attitudes of prayer you can pray for your marriage and your spouse. All of them are based on the fruits of the spirit. If we foster these in prayer and our lives, it will be curious to see how they improve our marriages.Let's check them out:
Photo credit: ©Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

5 Simple Ways to Stop People from Sucking the Life Out of You

All of us have been there–we are spending time with someone who is overly talkative, needy, and selfish, and without them knowing it, are frankly just sucking all of the life out of us. It can feel at times that they are a vampire, draining all of our energy away.If you have found yourself in this position before, know that you are not alone. Most of us know at least one person in our life who does this.The best way one could imagine ending this would be to stop talking with the person, but most times, it is not that simple. Sometimes the people who drain us the most are the people we have to encounter every day, such as coworkers, a difficult family member, or the judgmental lady neighbor you see all the time at the grocery store.All of these people are unavoidable, therefore, we have no option but to have to interact with them. If you have many people in your life who drain you, know that there are many things you can do to prevent them from draining your energy any longer.Through going to therapy and studying the Bible, I have learned that there will be people who will be unintentionally toxic and burdensome, but it doesn't mean that we have to let them rule our lives. Instead of allowing them to drain every ounce of hope out of our bones, we can take our stand and do things to help ourselves.These things can take time and work, but they are worth it. Anything good is worth working for, and this is no exception.The individuals who are draining you probably aren't just doing it to you. They are probably fatiguing many other people and causing them to feel overwhelmed. And while this doesn't solve your problem, it can help you feel less alone.Many of the people we encounter every day deplete us with just a simple word, remark, or facial expression, but we don't need to give them that much power in our lives. If you are tired of people sucking the life out of you, here are five ways to keep people from doing it.Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/MarioGuti

8 Unnoticed Ways God Is Blessing Your Life

When we think of God’s blessings, our minds often conjure up happy relationships, being financially secure, enjoying vacations, or gaining favor with people in power. We might even tend to think of only those “it’s good to be alive” moments.But God can often be blessing our lives in ways we don’t even notice, like when we’re dealing with a disappointment, an unexpected diagnosis, or a financial setback.I’ve learned by now that some of God’s best gifts to us are the things He withholds. And some of our most precious blessings come in the form of suffering. We often don’t realize it immediately, but in hindsight, we find we have much to be grateful for.So that you can live out God’s will for you and be thankful in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18), here are eight ways God is blessing your life that might otherwise go unnoticed:Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Daniel de la Hoz

5 Comforting Reminders Moms of Teens Need to Hear Today

Parenting teens in today's world can feel beyond overwhelming - kind of like trying to stay cool when you're a piece of dry wood tossed into a dumpster fire. Many of us elder Millennials and Gen X'ers have parented teens through the evolution of smartphones, Snap Chat, and X-box Live. We have no earthly idea what we're doing. Yet, we're meant to serve as master-class-level digital police, culture war moderators, and spiritual warfare ninjas in an increasingly ludicrous world. Deep. Breaths.It's so difficult to keep the faith and remain optimistic while dealing with teenage mood swings, unforeseen drama, evolving personalities, and all the other magic that keeps our therapists equally horrified and entertained on the regular. However, just today, I had a God thought. It happened while spacing out at the kitchen sink, listening to my 14 and 16-year-old boys roam through the house, chattering away on their Air pods, leaving a trail of snack wrappers in their wake. The voice simply said, "They're both amazing. and they're both going to be okay." Admittedly, I was pretty caffeinated and high off a fresh Maverick City worship set, but my mind was heavily flooded with some assurances and truths I wanted to share with every mom of teens because, frankly, we never (ever) hear enough edification or comfort. We probably need to remind ourselves of these truths daily, but I hope this helps, even for today.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Galina Zhigalova

5 Unique Easter Traditions to Incorporate in Your Family’s Celebration This Year

Easter is the most important Christian holiday. Christmas has become the most popular over the past century due to consumer and media push, but before the early 1900s, Easter dominated the Christian calendar.Through this holiday, we celebrate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus offered forgiveness of all sin, beat death once and for all, and opened the path through repentance and faith to full reconciliation with the Father. This event changed everything, a revolution of love, mercy, and hope covering the world. Even though academics today call it BCE and CE, modern dating still uses the existence of Christ as the hinge for all of history.Along with the holiday, traditions have emerged over the years. Whether big dinners, egg hunts, or passion plays, different cultures and families have their favorite ways to celebrate Easter week. However, as with all traditions, we can go through the motions, and those religious celebrations can lose meaning.Perhaps we could get creative and come up with some new ways to engage with the Easter holiday. Other traditions were new ideas once. What if we developed other options?Here are five unique Easter traditions to incorporate into your family’s celebration.Photo Credit:©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Anna Usova

7 Ways Your Clothes Speak Louder Than Your Words

Since the days of Adam and Eve, when they took a bite of that forbidden fruit, and God made coverings made of fur to hide their nakedness, people have been wearing clothes, at least in public.Through thousands of years and across a thousand cultures, there have been different styles and choices for clothing. Yet, as with most activities of the human race, like food and language, we have invested meaning within clothing.We say more through what we do than what we say. John 3:16 doesn’t say, “For God so loved the world he said he loved us.” God gave his son, who sacrificed himself for our eternal good. That action declared the depth of love God has for us.It’s important to remember, however, that we are speaking of first impressions or outward appearance. What we communicate on the outside might not be the best representation of our inward character. God is more concerned with the heart. At the same time, we know at least 70% of communication is nonverbal, so it’s wise for us to consider what our dress says about us to others.So what do we say about what we wear? Here are seven ways your clothes speak louder than your words.Photo Credit: ©Pexels/Ylanite Koppens

10 Reasons God Might Not Be Blessing Your Life

Are you looking around at other believers’ lives and feeling “skipped over” when it comes to God’s blessings? I’ve received emails from several people in the last month asking why God isn’t blessing their lives? Some of those emails recount all the things they are supposedly doing right and others complained that God wasn’t keeping His part of the bargain. We know from Scripture that God is a good God who loves to bless His children (Matt. 7:11). At the same time, God knows our hearts, our capabilities, and what’s around the corner for us, so if He choose not to bless in a certain area, that might even be a blessing in itself. Based on three decades of ministering to others as a pastor’s wife and Bible teacher, and seeing the blessings of God come and go in my life and in the lives of others, here are 10 Reasons God Might Not Be Blessing Your Life: Photo Credit: Unsplash/Benedict Tahjar

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