Questions & Answers

Spiritual Disciplines

What did Jesus mean when He promised an abundant life?

Jesus made this promise in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Three things about this promise need to be understood: 1) This promise is meant for all but not all will partake in it. 2) This promise does not describe material possessions, wealth, or the things of the world, but instead reveals the abundant working of the Holy Spirit in various ways in and through the life of the believer. 3) This promise does not, in any way, exclude one form difficulties in life. When these things are understood and lived out through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, the abundant life Jesus refers to here is the best life to be lived!

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Spiritual Disciplines

What does it mean to abide in Christ?

To abide in Christ is to be fully surrendered to Him in all facets of your life. Abiding in Jesus involves giving Him access to, and control over, every thought, word, and deed in every moment of every day. To fully abide in Christ, we don’t take days off or go on vacation from Him. Abiding is, daily, a total dependence on Him for everything. On our own, we can accomplish nothing; John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” Abiding in Christ requires that we be a people of prayer, a people of the Word, a people of worship, and a people of service to others.

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Spiritual Disciplines

What is joy?

True joy can only be possessed by an authentic follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why is that? It’s because true joy stems from the relationship a believer has with Jesus. Joy does not come from external possessions, life events, or worldly circumstances. For instance, people may claim to feel joy when falling in love with someone, but they are feeling happiness. Let that same relationship experience hardship without Christ as the center, and they will quickly change their minds on the “joy” they once had. The reason for that change is because the original emotion was based on the circumstances of that relationship.

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Spiritual Disciplines

What is the Ark of the Covenant?

The Ark of the Covenant was one of the artifacts of the Jewish tabernacle and temple. After God delivered the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery, He gave them specific instructions on how they were to worship. So, they built the tabernacle as instructed by God, and included each artifact that would go into it for worship. The Ark of the Covenant was to be put into the innermost part of the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies. It would act as the seat for God when He would come down and visit the people. Because of God’s holiness, no one was allowed to touch the Ark of the Covenant as they wandered in the wilderness. The Israelites would move it by running long poles down each side and holding onto only those poles. Along the way, God had them put three items of significance inside the Ark. The Ark and its contents pointed to the coming Messiah, Jesus.

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Going Deeper

What is abundant life through Jesus?

First, we want to be clear that there is NO other way to have an abundant life except through Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the LIFE” (emphasis added). In John 11:25 He said, “I am the resurrection and the LIFE (emphasis added)” Jesus is life, so the only way to live the best, or abundant life, is to live your life through Him. The starting point to this life begins by establishing a personal relationship with Jesus. Once we accept His gift of salvation, making Him our Savior and Lord, we then have full access to the abundant life. As we grow in this relationship and align ourselves with His will, our desires for, and views of, life begin to change.

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What does the Bible say about gender?

God made us in the beginning male and female. We honor Him by honoring the way He made us. God made us different that He might make us one.

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Spiritual Disciplines

How do I offer a prayer of encouragement?

To offer a prayer of encouragement for someone, you must first be a good listener so you truly understand the person’s need. Once you understand the need, do one of the following: pray right then with the person. If you are not with the person, call them and pray with them or leave a prayer voice mail, or text/email a prayer for them. Acts 15:31 says, “When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement.”

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Spiritual Disciplines

What is the second greatest commandment?

The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. We get the ranking of this commandment from the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 22. In that chapter Jesus was questioned by some of the religious groups of that day; the Herodians, the Sadducees, and the Pharisees. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus gave them not just the top one, but the top two. 1) Love God first and 2) Love everyone else second.

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Spiritual Disciplines

What does the Bible say about friendship?

The Bible has a good bit to say about friendship. It explains how we need to be friendly in order to make friends. It tells us to make good choices when it comes to choosing friends and how we can have the best friend there has ever been. A good friend is one who is selfless, not selfish. One who is willing to sacrifice for you and you for that friend; John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

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Spiritual Disciplines

What is a true friend?

A true friend is one who displays attributes that mimic Jesus. A true friend will be honest, caring, sacrificial, and faithful. A true friend will not beat you down but instead will build you up. Such a friend will rejoice when you rejoice and weep when you weep. Though a true friend will not be perfect, he or she will own mistakes and seek forgiveness to restore fellowship.

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