Staying Alert

Your mind is a muscle. It needs to be stretched to stay sharp. It needs to be prodded and pushed to perform. Let it get idle and lazy on you, and that muscle will become a pitiful mass of flab in an incredibly brief period of time. How can you stretch your mind? What are some good mental exercises that will keep the cobwebs away? I offer three suggestions: READ.

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A Rare and Remarkable Virtue

Perhaps you’ve uttered the American’s Prayer at some anxious moment recently: Lord, give me patience . . . and I want it right now! This rare and remarkable virtue is within the and-so-forth section in Galatians chapter 5. You know how we quote that passage . . . “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, and-so-forth.” That lazy habit has caused a very important series of virtues to become forgotten.

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A Haughty Self

THERE’S NOTHING MORE DISTASTEFUL than someone who is set on self-glossing—offering his résumé and list of achievements unsolicited to everyone in the room. I confess, when I’m around a person like that I start to feel my skin crawl. Often, that type of person cannot see beyond his own ego to recognize that he is part of the problem; blame is always shifted to someone else;

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Removing Sin

EVER FEEL WORN OUT BY the spinning of your wheels in the muck of sin? Are you fatigued from fighting the battle against your dark nature? Do you sometimes feel like throwing up your hands and surrendering to the constant barrage of spiritual attacks that attempt to lure you away from a life of holiness and devotion? We’ve all been there!

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A “Renewed Mind” Is Essential

IS IT POSSIBLE TO THINK SO much like Christ that our minds operate on a different plane than those of others around us? Not only is it possible—it’s essential! The familiar words in Romans 12:1–2 need to be reviewed. And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you.

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The Power of Forgiveness

LATE ONE SPRING AARON, a seminary student, was asking God for a position at a church or at a Christian organization. When nothing happened, Aaron took a job driving a bus in a dangerous section of Chicago. Soon Aaron realized just how dangerous. A group of tough kids began to take advantage of the young driver.

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Humility and Inferiority

PART OF HUMILITY IS HAVING a preset mentality that determines thoughts like this: “I care about those around me.” “Why do I have to be first? Today I’m going to help someone else win.” “It’s my sincere desire to curb my competitive tendencies and turn that energy into encouraging at least one other person.”

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Just Chill about You

I LIKE THE TONGUE-IN-CHEEK definition of philosophers one of my seminary professors would occasionally use. It’s classic: “Philosophers are people who talk about something they don’t understand and then make you think it’s your fault!” Lots of philosophies are floating around, and most of them are downright confusing.

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What’s God up to in Your Life?

OUR WORLD HAS become a large, impersonal, busy affair. Social media and the technological age have caused us to become alienated from each other. We’re connected but not in community. No longer do neighbors visit across the backyard fence, chat in the driveway, or catch up on the kids at the mailbox. Those days are long gone.

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Thanks for God’s Giving

I USED TO FEEL A LITTLE SORRY FOR Thanksgiving in Southern California when my family and I lived there. Since leaves don’t turn and pumpkins don’t get frosty, it’s tough to get Thanksgiving fever. The problem is compounded when stores jump from Halloween masks to Christmas trees. But at the risk of sounding a bit dated, I’d like to stand in defense of what I consider the greatest holiday of the year.

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