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Archive for the ‘TRANSFORMED’ Category

“Sports Addiction”?

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

I just heard someone on the news use the term “sports addiction” in all seriousness! They were talking about someone who roots too hard for his/her team and lives in a reckless way to support their team. Last time, I checked, the word “fan” was short for “fanatic” and that type of behavior was encouraged not discouraged by the world (not by God the Father!).

Wow, if we could just call it what God calls it: idolatry – then we’d have it right. Idolatry occurs when a person gets so wrapped up in any idolatrous pleasure that they fail to meet their God-given responsibilities to be fully devoted to God and to serve others – which is unloving and sinful. It’s a violation of the First Commandment at the very least.

But when the world takes God out of everything, then “idolatry” doesn’t make sense and “addiction” does since it implies something physical not moral (or spiritual).

The term “idolatry” points people to the Righteous Judge called the Lord God Almighty! That’s the truth that points us to our need for a righteous Savior and His power to transform us!

-Mark (lamenting the diseasing of sin)

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Did Jesus ever give anyone a Prozac?

August 27, 2010 1 comment

Why do we offer people anything less than Christ?

I love what Peter says in Acts 3:6 in the following historical account about a beggar crying out for alms (I liken it to crying out for a medication like Prozac) when what he really needed was Christ but he had no idea about his real needs:

“Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”

Yes, you may call me radical but I simply think people need only to know Jesus Christ so that’s what I tell them. I don’t recommend Prozac (I’m not a doctor) nor do I recommend anything less than Christ.

What else is there to offer someone? Where else is there real hope for transformation?

-Mark (I love to read about the early fathers of the faith who pointed people only to God)

The Problem with No Sugar Candies

August 2, 2010 Leave a comment

For me, they make these no sugar added and no sugar candies taste too good. And they are too small. And there is another problem – my heart. I need a new heart. I love these candies and can’t stop eating them!

“God help me!” is the cry we all make sometimes.

I’ve got good news. God does offer practical help. It comes in a simple but profound truth in Eph. 4:21-24. Replace ungodly thoughts, words, and behaviors with godly (righteous) ones.

In other words, instead of eating these candies, replace them with fruit. Put off candy and put on fruit. God makes fruit Himself though man may ruin it with preservatives. God’s food is best for us and will provide benefits! Candy, well, that’s a different story.

So, I’ve got to see it differently. I’ve got to see that God has my good in mind and He wants me to prosper. I must put off things in my life that will not be profitable to me and put on what His best for me is! This is the message of biblical counseling and being transformed by the power of His might!

-Mark (asking the Holy Spirit to renew my mind daily to think like Jesus thinks!)

Are you in recovery or being transformed?

July 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Some of you reading this blog are in recovery from an addiction.

Others of you reading are being transformed from an addiction.

So what’s the difference?

I’m going to lay it very plainly to you like this and I hope you don’t get offended: Unbelievers are in recovery. Believers in Christ are being transformed.

2 Corinthians 3:18 and Romans 8:29 tell us that God’s goal for us is to be transformed into the likeness and image of His Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. So, for Christians who believe in Christ for eternal life, they are being transformed into Jesus daily for the glory of God.

However, for unbelievers, they are simply recovering from an addiction and surviving. They are what they once were and are simply clean and sober.

But the goal for Christians is NOT just clean and sober. It’s “Be Transformed” into His image!

According to the Word, unbelievers are going nowhere good eternally. They are going to hell. They have nothing to look forward to so this life is all they have. They are recovering from a problem and in an improved condition though it is still a FATAL condition with no hope eternally.

Believers have hope. Hope to be transformed. Hope to have the power of Christ to say “no” to addiction and say “yes” to Christ.

So are you being transformed or are you simply in recovery?

-Mark (I am being transformed and it feels good!)

One problem with the people of God (church) today…and a Great Solution!

July 8, 2010 Leave a comment

A church is NOT a building – it’s the “called out ones” or children of God. A church is the people of God! We are the church (Eph. 2:19-22; I Cor. 3:16-17; I Peter 2:5).

One problem I see in the church today is that I believe the church is living too much and emphasizing too often the “put-offs” of Christian living and not the “put-ons” of the new, transformed Christian life!

For example, the Bible tells us “not to steal.” It’s one of those 10 Commandments and universally people, even non-Christians, agree that it’s wrong to steal. So most Christians I know do not steal. That’s great. But did you know that’s not the whole story?

Ephesians 4:28 states: “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”

This verse tells us to put-off stealing just like one of the 10 Commandments but this verse also tells us to DO something in place of it: work with your own hands and give to those in need, or less fortunate than you.

Think about if the church did the PUT-ON (work and give) and focused upon that MORE than simply the put-off (don’t steal)! What a tremendous force we would be as the people of God! We would be hard workers with our own hands and we’d be givers just like God is the Giver of ALL good things! We would represent Him more powerfully and accurately than if we just focus on “not stealing.”

I love Pastor David Platt because he gets this concept. When you hear him preach at The Church of Brook Hills, his sermons are about being the body of Christ and doing the work of ministry. His book, RADICAL, is about this very concept and trusting Christ.

I love Pastor Chris Burns at Bethel Baptist Church because he understands this put-on very well, too! He’s a brother who cries out for the body to embrace the put-on’s in the Christian faith (and there are many more!) to live out their faith in a fallen, lost world that desperately needs Christ.

Let me encourage you. Read the Bible looking for BOTH the put-off’s and the put-on’s of Scripture. Start in Ephesians and Colossians but Jesus came to give us the put-on’s as we are living in the New Covenant now! Read Matthew 5-7 to see several of His divine put-on commands! A great book available through Focus Publishing (http://www.focuspublishing.com/html/individual-books/transformed-into-likeness.html) will help you identify the put-off’s and put-on’s of Scripture: it is written by Armand Tiffe and is called Transformed into His Likeness.

Then, when you find the put-ons, I urge you to LIVE the put-ons! God wants to transform you into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ, and He will do so when you live in the put-on’s by His grace and power! That’s the solution, Church (children of God): live in the put-on’s and be the church!

-Mark (praising God that not only does He want to save me, He wants to change me!)

Half page ad in July 3rd edition of WORLD magazine featuring…

July 1, 2010 Leave a comment

All of the addiction books I’ve written so far: The Heart of Addiction, Divine Intervention, and Cross Talking (the newest one) – will be featured in an ad sponsored by Focus Publishing (www.focuspublishing.com).

If you get WORLD, then look for the ad in the July 3rd edition.

I hope you will rejoice with me that the Word is getting out that God transforms people from any and all “addictions.”

-Mark (thankful that God’s Word is true)

Being more like George Muller…and Christ!

May 18, 2010 Leave a comment

When I think about that great man of faith, George Muller, I am emboldened in my faith! He was a man who started an orphanage and prayed never asking any person for financial support. What a great man of faith he was and his motive was sincere: to glorify God.

Now, many years later, we all talk about George Muller’s faith in Christ to meet needs and God is glorified!

That’s the kind of man I want to be: like George Muller.

In fact, I want to be even better than him, I want to be like Christ which is God’s goal for me, too, according to the Scriptures:

Rom. 8:29: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”**

To be conformed to the image of His Son!

2 Cor. 3:18: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image wfrom one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”**

Being transformed into the image of His Son!

These are better known passages but Phil. 3:21, Col. 3:10, I John 3:2, and Eph. 4:24 all talk about the same thing: God will transform us into His Son’s image.

So I write this blog today to encourage you: God knows what your needs are already! Just ask Him and as a Good Father, He will either give it to you or if it’s not in your best interest, He will not give it to you! Because He knows best, you can trust Him better than yourself (Prov. 28:26).

**The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

-Mark (realizing that one day I will look like Jesus- Wow!)