Category Archives: Christianity

The Biggest Battle of the Christian Life Is…

What is the biggest battle of the Christian life?

Is it a search for meaning? The battle between conflicting possibilities?

Is it a battle for relevance? That we make our mark vs being complacent and not getting off the couch…motivation?

The biggest battle isn’t psychological. It isn’t about self-actualization.

The biggest battle of the Christian life is a spiritual battle.

Ephesians 2:1-10 reminds us that apart from Christ, before we put our faith in Christ, we were dead in transgressions and sin. Now, this isn’t a neutral problem. It is both a personal problem and a spiritual problem.

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. “

This is a personal spiritual struggle against personal spiritual forces. The ruler of the kingdom/power of the air is Satan himself. “Himself.” He is personal. Satan is not an impersonal entity just as the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal entity. You call neither Satan nor Spirit – “it” rather “He.”

We see this later in Ephesians, chapter 6, where Paul talks more directly about the battle we are currently in…you and me! We are in this!

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our[b] struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these,[c] take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Satan vs Spirit. The struggle is real. It is personal. It is spiritual. We must be on our guard. This is the greatest battle you will ever fight and God is fighting for us…but we must choose whose side we are on! Read Romans 7-8, the struggle between flesh and Spirit. You can’t sit the fence. You must choose a side. Choose the winning team…it will still be the greatest struggle and battle you have ever engaged in but at least you know how it turns out!

Critical Ministry Shift – From Information & Teaching to Skills & Coaching

There is a shift in my ministry philosophy I wish I had figured out years ago. It is a shift from disseminating information through teaching/lecture and the teaching of skills through coaching. This is so obvious it would seem it doesn’t even need to be said and yet it took me to 40 to comeContinue Reading

Announcing My New Podcast!

Hey everyone! Big news on the blog today. A few weeks ago I launched a new podcast that I thought you might really enjoy. Similar to this site we will be doing a lot of informing, equipping and discussing things about church, faith, ministry, discipleship, and so much more. I would be honored if youContinue Reading

Keys to Christian Unity: How to Find Unity in Diversity

Christian unity is something we know God wants and yet seems elusive if not impossible. How do we find unity among so much diversity? How far from the scriptures can someone go before they are no longer part of the family? What do we do with differences of interpretation by people who all love Jesus?Continue Reading

This is When the Church Grows

The church grows when God’s people become more concerned about the fate of the lost than they are concerned about the comfort of the saved. If we love our traditions more than the salvation of the lost, we will fail to reach them. If we think our goal is perfect worship, we will fail toContinue Reading

What We Look For When We Read the Bible Influences What We Find

I was once in a discussion about women passing communion on Sunday morning. One brother’s “gotcha” verse (that only men can serve the Supper/pass trays) was Acts 6:1-4, “In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews[a among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked inContinue Reading

Is Our Focus on Paul Related to a Lack of Focus on Discipleship?

Here is where the word “disciple” occurs in the New Testament (NIV) Matthew – 78Mark – 59Luke – 50John – 81Acts – 26 Here is where the word “church” occurs in the New Testament (NIV) Matthew – 2Acts – 19Romans – 51 Cor – 222 Cor – 9Gal – 3Eph – 9Phil – 2Col –Continue Reading

5 Reminders to Help You Through Your Day

Negativity sells. It gets eyeballs looking at things…attention. Attention is the greatest metric in our world today for success. Advertisers are looking for it. Celebrities are looking for it. It is easiest to get attention through negativity and drama. Therefore, negativity and drama sell…they get put on the front page. A steady diet of negativityContinue Reading

Leafwood Publishers – 40% off For our Readers

I am thrilled to let you know what Leafwood is offering Wineskins readers 40% off their orders. This came about because I read Don McLaughlin’s book “Love First” and wanted to get the word out about this book. Leafwood came on to advertise with Wineskins this month and offer the 40% off with the codeContinue Reading

Recommended Books on How To Better Read the Bible

I love reading books about how to read the Bible. I guess I love that because I love meta-cognition, thinking about how we think about things. There are so many treasures in the scriptures and, as Bobby Valentine has written in the last two articles, the closer we come to understand things about their worldContinue Reading

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