God's truth for today's world

Everyone of us is hurt from time to time. Sometimes we are hurt intentionally by others and sometimes unintentionally. Some hurts are little and within a short time we forget about them. What I want to talk about are the times when we are hurt and time doesn’t seem to bring healing. Every time we think of the person who hurt us, the pain and anger wells up inside again. Most people do not know what to do and continue to live with the pain, which often gets worse with time. I believe that there are two things God wants you to do when you are hurt. If you do these two things, God will bring healing into your life.

The first thing to do when you are hurt is the simplest, but often overlooked. Simply pray and ask for God to help you. There is great power in prayer. Life Church has many people attending who are unchurched. They are always so amazed the first time they give a prayer request to our prayer team and God answers the prayer, often very quickly. God is there to help, if we will but ask Him and oftentimes humble ourselves to ask others to pray.

The second thing to do when you are hurt is more difficult, it does not come naturally. When you are hurt, God wants to teach you to forgive the person who hurt you. Many people have trouble with forgiveness, they think that forgiveness is letting the other person off the hook. Forgiveness is really about letting you off the hook, the hook of unforgiveness. An increasing number of scientific studies are now documenting that unforgiveness is a key factor in many sicknesses and that people who forgive are more healthy.

What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is simply yielding your right to get even with the person who hurt you. It is not saying that what they did was right, it is not saying that God will let them off the hook. It is giving up on revenge and praying for them. How can you forgive when the hurt is great? You can forgive as you remember that God has forgiven you. You can forgive when you acknowledge that God is in control. Nothing that anyone will ever do to you can thwart God’s plan for your life. God is able to take even the worst of the hurts and turn it around for good for those who love God.

Recently, I read an amazing story about two men, Tass and Moran, who forgave one another and became lifelong friends. Tass was a Palestinian Arab, trained by the Fatah as a sniper to kill Jews. Moran was a Israeli soldier who had seen many of his friends killed by a suicide bomber. Each man, one a Muslim, one a Jew, became a Christian upon reading the Bible. God allowed them to meet one another and through a process of reconciliation and forgiveness, made possible by God’s grace alone, they became close friends. The answer to broken relationships, the answer to hurts in your life, the answer to problems between nations is found in Jesus. He has forgiven us, so we can forgive others.

TEV Eph. 4:32 Forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.

The number of unchurched adults, that is , people who have not attended a Christian church service in the past six months, has doubled since 1991 (Barna). More and more people do not see the relevancy of going to church. Some people are not interested in spiritual things, others see no need to be part of a church to pursue their own spiritual journey. Yet others find church boring, irrelevant and a waste of time. So, why go to church?

Many churches are boring, irrelevant and a waste of time, so people assume that all churches must be the same. However, all churches are not the same. In fact, churches, whether they claim to be non-denominational or whether they are part of the same denomination, can be radically different. In just about every city, there are unique churches that are exciting, relevant and offer an excellent return on the time spent in participating. In St Louis, Life Church is one of those unique churches.

Why go to a unique church like Life Church? What are the benefits? First of all, you will discover practical thought paradigms, based on the Bible, that will help you make wise decisions and live life with purpose. Rather than wandering through life and accomplishing very little, you will learn how to live life to the max, impacting your world in a positive way for God. Secondly, your children will receive the instruction and peer support that will enable them to also make the right decisions and have a purpose in life. Thirdly, you will find a support network, not just of people, but of people who are connected to God and whose prayers will positively influence your life. Fourth, you will find protection from many of the problems that affect society around you, whether problems that people bring on themselves by unwise decisions or even health problems. Studies show that people who regularly attend church are healthier, happier and live longer. Fifth, you will find a group of people whom you can build relationships with and with whom you can help others. Finally, you will grow in your understanding of and relationship to God, who created you and formed the church as an essential part of every thinking believer’s life.

Now think about it for a minute, what benefits do you get from sleeping in on Sunday morning? Are the benefits of taking your kids to the Sunday morning Little League game better than the ones above? Do you think that sports will give your children the moral framework to make the right decisions in life? Not a chance. Why not prove for yourself that God knew what He was doing when He created the church? Come and visit a unique church like Life Church, not just once, but come for a month and see if your life and the lives of your family don’t change for the better. People’s lives are being radically transformed for the good at Life Church, don’t miss out!

NIV Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.

Anna Grace Walker, born May 5, 2004

Children are a wonderful gift from God and our family has been blessed with the recent arrival of Anna Grace. Unfortunately, many people have been deceived about the blessing of children. A common belief is that two or three children are a blessing, but any more than that are a burden. Many children are thought to be a burden on the family and a burden on the resources of the world. We have heard over and over again that the world cannot support it’s population, so we must do our part in not having too many children. This is simply not true and this belief is having frightening consequences across the world.

In Europe, the low birth rate has led to massive immigration from the Muslim Middle East to supply workers for industry. Europe has gone from Christian to post-Christian and now is becoming increasingly Muslim. The Muslim religion understands the importance of children. It is time for Christians to wake up and realize that children are the future. Raising as many Christian children as God wants will have an enormous positive impact on the world even when you are gone.

Yes, children take time, money and energy to raise. However, they give back far more than they consume in the long run. Children are a blessing, both for the Christian family that raises them and for the world. It is time for more Christian families to once again have the faith to raise large families to change the world for God. Anna Grace is our seventh child.

NLT Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.

When I was a child, I used to play the game of follow the leader. One of the children would be the leader and all the other children would follow. Sometimes following the leader was great fun, but sometimes it got us in trouble because the leader led us to do things that were not right. As adults, we’re not a whole lot different from children. We all follow leaders in our lives. Your leader might be a person that you look up to or it might be that you are your own leader. The problem is that if you’re following a fallible human being, you are going to get in trouble. Only those who follow Jesus, the perfect leader, will never go wrong. Only those who follow Jesus both in private and in public will fulfill their purpose in life.

Now some leaders today claim that their own private beliefs have no bearing on their public actions. They say that we shouldn’t criticize them when what they say they believe in private and what they do in public doesn’t add up. Jesus had a word for those kinds of leaders, “Hypocrites.” A hypocrite is someone who flip flops between a private and a public image. Hypocrites cannot be trusted and if you follow one, he will lead you and all those who follow him into trouble. The private beliefs of a leader who can be trusted and his public actions are one and the same. Jesus came to bring the truth for every person to believe and act on. That truth will produce good in the lives of individuals and nations that live by it.

NLT John 18:37 Jesus said, “… I came to bring truth to the world. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”

Ninety two percent of households in America own at least one copy of the Bible. The average number of Bibles per household is three, yet in any given week only 42% of Americans read their Bible at all. (Barna) Many people think the Bible is full of myths and errors, like any other book of antiquity.

How wrong they are! The Bible is absolutely unique among books on the face of the planet. It was written over 1500 years by more than 40 authors in three languages and addresses hundreds of controversial subjects. Yet, it has an incredible unity, as it tells one story from beginning to end. It is the continuing all-time bestseller, yet too few people read it or even know what books are in the Old or New Testaments.

If you consider yourself a thinking person, you owe it to yourself to read the Bible, not a dab here or there but the whole thing. Unfortunately, the majority of Bibles people have are of the King James Version translated in 1611. Now it was a fine translation in 1611, but the English language has evolved since then, so most people find it hard to understand. Read the Bible in a modern translation, I suggest the New International Version or the New Living Translation. Your comprehension will go up an order of magnitude. Begin in the New Testament and when you complete that, then go back and read the Old Testament. In the near future, we will begin a discussion group on this website, where you will be able to discuss what you have read, ask questions and get answers.

The Bible is not just a book, not just ink on paper or even pixels on a screen, it is full of living power. If you read it, you come in contact with the awesome spiritual power of God. Don’t read it if you are satisfied with your life. But if you want change, if you want to experience God, if you want to understand the all-time bestseller, dive in. You won’t regret it.

NLT Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.