91 – Short Takes on Various Subjects
Learning: Perhaps the hardest lessons to learn are the ones we think we already know.
Evangelism: The best method of evangelism is the one you will use.
Healing: That Jesus does not heal everybody is not an argument that he heals nobody.
Problems: Christianity and secularism are not trying to solve different problems; they are trying to solve the same problems in different ways.
Secularity: Secular humanism is not the problem. The problem is secular Christianity.
Questions: I’m not bothered by the questions Christianity doesn’t claim to answer. It’s the questions Christianity does address that are so troubling.
Underdeveloped Anthropology: There are two great errors about human nature. The first error is not that we think too highly of man, but not highly enough. His dignity has been degraded unnecessarily. We are the full expression of God’s creative genius. The second error is not that we think man so sinful, but not nearly sinful enough. We are all much more depraved that we let on (come on, be honest, if our wives knew our secret thoughts we would all be in trouble).
Humor: I don’t believe in the doctrine of the total depravity of man. Whatever it is, it’s much worse than that.
Prayer: When we pray, “Father, I don’t know what it is you want me to do next,” he is telling us. His answer is, “Wait.” To hear nothing means to do nothing-“That’s what I want you to do.”
Heaven: Heaven is no motivator if you don’t think it’s a place you want to be.
Goodness of God: Because God is good, my life will not turn out like I planned.
Tests: Don’t make anything a test of spirituality that Jesus did not (like style of music or worship).
Receptivity: Zaccheus climbed a tree to see Jesus. A lot of men are willing to go out on a limb to see Jesus.
The Gospel: Adam failed; Jesus nailed; grace prevailed.
Annoying Christians: Christians are not annoying because of what they believe but because they live inconsistently with what they believe.
Grace: Because of sin you can never be good enough to grasp salvation; because of grace you can never be bad enough to be outside of God’s grasp.
Grace: Men who do not understand grace make up smirky little tests of spirituality based not on belief but behavior.
Distraction: Distinguish opportunity from distraction.
Arguments: Be careful when the argument for a position is no stronger than the argument against it.
Evangelism: Half the people in the world aren’t going to like you anyway, so they may as well not like you for the right reason.
Change: Do what you’ve always done and you will be what you’ve always been.
Change: If you do what you don’t want to do, you will become what you want to be.
Encouragement: Encouragement is the food of the heart, and every heart is a hungry heart.
Temptation: If you are where you shouldn’t be, you will do what you shouldn’t do.
Happiness: If you are not happy where you are, you will not be happy where you want to be.
Happiness: God will not force you to revere Him, but He will make it impossible for you to be happy unless you do.
Prayer: Prayer is hard work — but it is the only work that releases the power of the kingdom of God into our human actions.
Reconciliation: As with the body, to bring healing you must bring the two separated parts into contact with each other.
Evangelism: “We do not know each other.” This is the heart of evangelism-we do not know each other: God and man.
Character: Your true character is most revealed by your family.
Children: If your children are walking with God, every other problem you have can fit into a thimble.
Patience: There are very few things in life that cannot wait two weeks.
Futility: Futility is the chief tool by which God sovereignly draws us to himself of our own free will.
Joseph: “You meant it for evil, God meant it for good.” God is sovereignly orchestrating all of the seemingly random circumstances of our lives for good.
God’s Will: Nothing that happens to you by human will happens to you apart from God’s will.
Jacob: At your moment of desperation, God will intervene to keep you from moving in the wrong direction.
Abraham: Faith is believing God in the face of unbelievable circumstances.
God’s question to Abraham: “Will you obey me if I ask you to give up the one thing you would most like to keep?”
Evangelism: Men who walk with God are set free in Genesis to help men who don’t walk with God trapped in Ecclesiastes.
Sting: Where is the sting of the lack of the gospel found in your community, family, church, business, and personal life?
Potential: Most people would rather be perfect in potentiality than imperfect in actuality.
Focus: We are drawn to that upon which we focus.
Transformation: We believe in Jesus, but it’s his belief in us that really transforms us.
Quiet Time: One benefit of daily devotions is that you get the sense of an ongoing spiritual pilgrimage, not something that you accomplish once for all. The impatience of wanting to “be there” is turned to a holy patience by coming daily to the table in search of a piece of bread.
Humor: These days many people seem to know more and more about less and less. I am quite certain that, soon, perhaps within a few days, a whole new class of people will emerge who know everything about nothing.
Biblical Christianity: Let’s say you have been charged with the crime of being a biblical Christian. Would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Works: We are not saved by works, we are saved for works.
Licentiousness and Legalism: Two great Christian problems are that 1) some allow what God prohibits and 2) others prohibit what God allows.
Marriage: Men, your wife wants more emotional connection the same way you want more sex.
Reading: Once you’ve been on a committee or in a group for a time, you have heard everyone’s thoughts. There are two ways to get new thoughts. You can bring in new people, or you can think some new thoughts by reading books.
Education: I would rather have 70% of a good education than 100% of none.
Money: Ironically, most men think that money will do what it won’t, and that God won’t do what He will. Money: Money is a hand of providence.
Beauty: Our recognition of beauty broadens as we get older. We see the beauty in a broad range of people who, when we were younger, we would have rejected.
America: People have always sinned, but no longer is sin a cause for shame. Now we celebrate in public what once were the dark sins of our private nature.
Humor: I met a man the other day with the gift of discouragement. The Cost of Joy: Because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the joy we have is not lighthearted; our happiness is not casual; our peace was costly, not free.
- Which two or three of these statements most resonated with you and why?
- What scripture passages can you find that support the truths of these statements? What difference can these truths make in your life this week?
Business leader, author, and speaker, Patrick Morley helps men to think more deeply about their lives, to be reconciled with Christ, and to be equipped for a larger impact on the world.
©2001. Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This may be reproduced with proper attribution for non-commercial purposes.