Two Kinds of Regret, One Kind Of Hope

The following is a post by John Bloom of Desiring God, a ministry of John Piper (www.desiringgod.org):

What do you regret? That question can trigger some vivid memories. I don’t like to think about them. I wince as I remember things I wish I had never done—terrible, wounding words I spoke, confidences I betrayed, dark lusts I indulged.

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We’re supposed to feel regret (feel sorry) for evil things we do. But not all regret is godly.

Judas and Peter both committed heinous sins on the same night. Judas led the guard to Jesus in Gethsemane. Peter publicly disowned Jesus in the courtyard. Both were betrayals. Both men regretted what they had done.

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The “Heart” of Hearing

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear is a familiar phrase often used by the Lord.  And certainly when He said it, He was not simply speaking of the physical ears on the sides of our heads.  Jesus was referring to our intellect.

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As the very Creator of the human mind, Christ knows full well how each of our hearts operate.  He knows that no matter how clearly something is communicated to us, it is the condition of our hearts that will determine our response to what we hear.  You see, the heart of each individual is affected by many variables and factors gained through heredity and plain old life experience. And because we are fallen creatures with deceitful hearts, we are often led to perceive things in ways they were never intended (e.g., Jer. 17:9).

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Let’s Face It, Sin Often Feels Good… At First

Let’s be real about it; all sin has some kind of pleasure.  If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be tempted to indulge it would we? And often if we are hurting or heartbroken long enough, we just get to the point where all that matters to us is that somehow, someway, we get to feel good or happy again, right?

And often that is where the problem begins.  You see, Scripture clearly tells us that we are drawn away by our longings and enticed by the world, the flesh and the devil to sin.  Some people desperately long for happiness and so they try to drown their sorrows in alcohol, while others so long for relief from some despair that they seek to dampen the pain with drugs.

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You’ve Got A Garden!

Why do we admire gardens?  Well, because if they are well-kept, they can be places of beauty, of peace, as well as sanctuaries that can calm our spirits and offer us an escape from our crazy schedules and fast-paced lives.

A vegetable garden that is large and fruitful enough can feed and provide for a family and for others the owners might choose to bless with some of their bounty. Well-tended gardens can be beautiful, fruitful and beneficial.

So why was it that after creating this glorious globe we call Earth, God then prepared a garden in Eden for Adam to tend and keep?  Why not just tell Adam to travel around and take care of the whole Earth?  I submit to you that it was for at least two reasons.

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Dare To Dance?

No, it’s not a new TV dancing competition… just a word about dancing. I am not sure where it all started or who it was who deemed dancing as a form of worship forbidden. There are no Scriptures to support that idea, yet more than a few “Christians” speak of dancing as if it is a sin.

And that is the farthest thing from the truth. Now of course, like any other good thing, there are more than enough perversions of dancing out there.  So Christians should not be involved in dancing which is sexually tempting in nature.  Yet even that prohibition has its exceptions.

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You Are Eternally Loved

LOVE DEFINED: What is the supreme definition of love?  It is love that is absolutely sacrificial—agape.  And there is no love more sacrificial than a love that would completely commit to giving itself to, and for, someone who had not even yet existed, even while knowing that the object of that love would do everything imaginable to become unworthy of it.

But that is precisely what God did for us in sending us His Son.  You see, the family of God, made up of Christ and all who will believe on Him were a reality in the mind of an omniscient God before He ever made the world.  And this world is essentially a womb where the eternal children of God are in spiritual gestation awaiting the time when we will all be delivered into the world to come, which is the very presence of the Lord forever!

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Some Good Intel

In Numbers chapter 13, God told Moses to send some men to spy-out the land of Canaan.  The Hebrew word for what He sent them to do is transliterated T-u-w-r, which is pronounced like our very familiar English word “tour”.

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To take a tour of some place is to go in and check it out in order to obtain information about it. Another definition of the Hebrew word Tuwr, is to make a reconnaissance, which the military refers to as RECON, which, again, is going into a place to gather information about it.

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The New Like Your Christian Life “The Ticket” Fb Page Logo Explained

It has been a blessing to see how God is already beginning to touch lives around the world with a few weekly words of encouragement to live a joyful Christian life. With this, I am proud to introduce a new logo that we will use to represent this community.

I’ve put together a heraldry of sorts to express why, after looking at several design ideas submitted by Facebook fans of LikeChristianLife, we’ve come up with this logo already effectionately known as “The Ticket”.

First, we wanted something that wasn’t too formal, that looked fun. We all “Like” fun!

Second, we wanted to depict the idea of revolving or turning backwards to represent return to the joy of our salvation in Christ.

Third, the capital “L” needed to be somehow emphasized to remind us of things like “Like”, “Life”, “Lordship of Christ”, “Love” etc..

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Did ESPN’s Chris Broussard Deserve Punishment For Being Christian?

In the guest-post, Wanda Ball (www.ball-publications.com) addresses comments made by Chris Broussard on the coming out of NBA Center Jason Collins:

If you really want to like your Christian life, then you will have to equip yourself with a firm, joyful belief in those prophetic words spoken by our Lord Jesus 2,000 years ago that tell us that it is because we know and bear witness of Him, that this world will find ways to show its hatred for us (see Jn. 15:18-19). The following is a post by Wanda Ball:

A few days ago Jason Collins came out as the first, black, openly gay, NBA basketball player. He says he didn’t set out to be the first, but he couldn’t hold back any longer.  He wanted to be free.  It doesn’t surprise me – but honestly it does upset me. 

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Contentment’s Chief Conclusion

In the original Greek, the word “content” means to suffice or to be sufficient.  The writer of Hebrews is essentially saying that we should let what we have be sufficient for us.

Now it is understood that for some Christians this would seem an impossible thing to do—especially for those in abject poverty around the world, right?  But the question is – what is it that every Christian has?  Or better, Who is it that we have?  Remember, the verse gives us the reason why we should be content with what we have. 

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