Monday, July 31, 2006


Why do some Christians succeed spiritually, while others fail? I believe the answer is…because they choose to.

Real success in the Christian life comes down to our willingness and obedience to God and His Word. Do we want to succeed? If so, there are certain faith action steps we need to consistently take in our spiritual lives.

We live in an on-demand world. We want everything on demand, from our news, to our music, to our movies. In our spiritual lives, however, there are certain activities we need to engage in on a daily basis to succeed spiritually. These activities are described as "disciplines."

We don’t like the word “discipline” because today we are always looking for the easy way to do things.

We carry this attitude into our spiritual lives as well. We don't like to wait. Yet the Bible speaks of slowing down and letting our spiritual lives take root. It speaks of studying, denying, obeying . . . and disciplining ourselves. The very word "disciple" comes from the root word "discipline."

So I want to ask you today, this summer, how are you doing in your Christian life? Are you growing spiritually, or have you just been going through the motions? Can others look at your life and tell that you are a follower of Jesus Christ? Bottom line…are you satisfied with your spiritual life?

If you want to grow spiritually and be successful as a follower of Jesus Christ let me assure you, you can. The choice is yours.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last…
John 15:16

I realized something after returning from a couple of weeks in rural Iowa. We live fast-paced lives in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago! Everyone seems crazy busy with home, work, kids, life, etc. We are constantly on the go getting things done.

I’ve also noticed we don’t like to wait. We want instant gratification. Ours is a results oriented world. Too often we fall into the trap of being too busy, looking for instant gratification in our relationship with God. We want to discover a shortcut to getting closer to God.

The problem is there is no short cut. In fact, the opposite is true; there is no substitute for taking time in developing your relationship with God. Each spiritual discipline that deepens our walk with God takes time.

We need to slow down, dig in deep, and take the time necessary to connect with God. It’s worth our personal investment to see His lasting fruit in our lives.

Have you taken the time necessary? Are you close to God? Take this test. Ask yourself if the people closest to you would say that you have qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control active in your life? (Galatians 5:22, 23)

Don’t let the summer pass without drawing closer to God. Take the time you need this week to connect with God.