An ”Affair,” Part One

The sad fact is no longer surprising—infidelity has invaded the ranks of professing Christians. The church body bears more ugly scars than ever in its history, and instead of hiding those scars from the public eye, we now speak of them without much embarrassment. The tone is sophisticated. The head is unbowed . . . the heart is unbroken . . . the terms are mellow.

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Closing the Door to Lust, Part Two

Yesterday we looked at the grim, pitiful life of Samson, a powerful leader whose lust ultimately destroyed him. (Read Judges 16.) Lust is a deadly intruder you dare not entertain for a moment. When lust knocks on your door, you must call on Christ to meet it. Before giving lust a firm shove away from your life, have Christ inform this intruder that the permanent peace and pleasure you are enjoying in your home with Christ . . .

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Doing vs. Being

My high school graduating class had its thirtieth anniversary reunion a number of summers ago. I’m sure they had a ball. A blast would better describe it, knowing that crowd. You gotta understand the east side of Houston back in the 1950s to have some idea of that explosive student body . . . a couple of thousand strong and a lot of ’em mean as a junkyard dog with a nail in his paw.

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Tenderness

BACK WHEN I WAS A KID I got a bellyache that wouldn’t go away. It hurt so bad I couldn’t stand up straight. Or sit down without increasing the pain. Finally, my folks hauled me over to a big house in West Houston where a doctor lived. He had turned the back section into his office and clinic. It was a hot, muggy afternoon. I was scared.

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Giving Thanks All Around

IT’S ALMOST THANKSGIVING . . . MY FAVORITE. When it comes to holidays, this one tops ’em all, in my opinion. I prefer it because it is so healthy, so encouraging, so valuable . . . and so understated. I prefer it because there are no jingles to sing, commercials to endure, gifts to buy, places to go, or meetings to attend—just be thankful. Just look up, look around, look within, and say, “Thank you, Lord.”

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Bringing It Home

What is it going to take to convince us that the last will be first and the first will be last? For some it will take a lifetime, for others only a few semesters in seminary.

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Affirming Leaders

Good leaders are enthusiastically affirming. Again, Paul writes, “You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers . . .”

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Affectionate Leaders

Good leaders have affection for people. Paul writes, “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God . . . ” (1 Thess. 2:8). Is that great, or what?

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Sensitive Leaders

Good leaders are sensitive to the needs of others. Paul compared his ministry to a mother who tenderly cares for the needs of her children. I love that word picture. I watched my wife nursing our children when they were tiny.

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His Only Priority

Paul’s style of leadership was neither aloof nor secretive. He lived among them. They knew his address. He talked to them. He didn’t preach a sermon and then conveniently slip out the back door during the benediction.

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