This latest book by one of my favorite Christian Apologists.
J. Warner Wallace teams up with Sean McDowell to write an instruction manual on how to train our children to engage the world and stand strong in the faith.
As a father of a teenager and pre-teen this book is publishing right at a critical time in the development of my children’s worldview.
I’ve read and lead study groups with J. Warner’s previous books; Forensic Faith and Cold Case Christianity. This new book will help me formulate the knowledge gained in those previous books into meaningful discussions with my children.
By Sean McDowell & J. Warner Wallace / David C Cook
From the Publisher: Gen Zers are making a mass exodus from the church! Can we do anything to stop this trend? McDowell and Wallace say yes—and provide research-based, proven strategies and practical, experientially grounded tactics to help parents, youth leaders, and Christian teachers assist young people in owning their faith and effectively engaging the world around them.
Disciplining the body is one of the hardest things for people to do, especially for someone who is going through a life change like a new job, new baby, a financial decision and any number of life situations.
Yet disciplining our bodies and taiming our fleshly desires are a required step in our journey to spiritual maturity and a good physical state of health.
We all want to be able to work on our mission to spread the Gospel of Christ with vigor and energy until the day we die. Right?
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:12-14 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/rom.6.12-14.NASB
In our mission to share the Gospel we must often times remove the pole from our own eye before helping our neighbor remove the speck from his eye.
If we are struggling to tame our own fleshly desires, how can we help anyone else see a better way?
Guess what, you don’t have to be a pastor, full time preacher or evangelist to preach/teach others. And I don’t want to disqualify myself by allowing my fleshly desires to rule over me.
Though I will stumble Lord, help me not to fall. And if a fall is ever necessary for learning, Lord never let it be so. Let my body be used for your service until the day I meet you face to face.
but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/1co.9.27.NASB
In full context this passage relates to sharing the Gospel with others where they are in life, but not partaking in the circumstance that they are in. We must exercise self-control.
I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:23-27 NASB https://bible.com/bible/100/1co.9.23-27.NASB
For me, exercising self-control first started with my food addictions and stress behavior. Setting goals in the app MyFitnessPal was the best thing for me.
Then I hit a weight loss plateau after losing 30 pounds. Why? Because I was getting about 15% of my calories from sugary foods? (sweet tea)
Then I lost another 10 pounds after cutting out excessive sugar. I try to stay around 50 grams of sugar a day, but most days I am under that around 20 grams.
I felt great about my weight loss at that point. And my self-esteem and confidence were allowing me to be bolder in my sharing of the Gospel. Though I know my boldness should come from my faith and the Holy Spirit working in me, and it does. But a little self-confidence does not hurt.
Then I hit another plateau. I knew at that point I would have to hit the gym. Which I didn’t want to do. Having to miss my lunch time to go change clothes and make my body hurt was not appealing. But then Eric joined my team. Eric runs marathons and also hits the weight room. So now I had a partner to teach me.
I started seeing body changes after about a month that motivated me tremendously. Then comes a goal, run a 5K. I hated running. Why would anyone want to run? I’ve hated it since high school.
Next goal, run a half marathon. Check. Run in under 2 hours. Check
But then I set myself another goal. Goals have to be achievable but not easy. My new goal was to prove I had abs. I’d never seen them, but I was sure they must exist. (March 2019 Update: They do exist at about 11% body fat and under)
I’m still working at this goal, because I’m not satisfied. But I press on.
But the ultimate goal is to extend and invigorate the mission I have to share the Gospel for as long as God has me in this flesh tent.
OneChristianMan Before and After 2012 – 2018
Yesterday’s run stats.
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What should we believe to be saved? Jesus is the son of God and is also God, fully God but born also by the spirit in the form of a man. Jesus’ died as a sacrifice so that our sins could be forgiven if we believe in Him. Jesus rose from the grave and now He is with the Father awaiting the time appointed to return again one day to save those who believe. We are saved by believing, the fullness of this “saving” will be realized when we join Jesus upon His return or upon our bodily death.
What are we saved from? We are saved from eternal separation from God our creator and from eternal condemnation and punishment due to our sins. Our sins are forgiven when we believe in Jesus as our savior.
When you are saved you do not become so perfect that you never sin again in life, but know that Jesus still has you covered. You will still fail at times, that’s okay, repent and move on. Jesus will not leave you or forsake you.
You will still have struggles in life. The fact that sin is still in the world means that you and other people are not perfect, the Earth is not in the perfect state it was created in and we are not in Eden anymore. Bad stuff will happen. Pray before it happens, when it’s happening and after it happens. God has a plan, make sure you are taking part in it in the way you were meant to.
You will be persecuted for your beliefs. They crucified Jesus, they killed the apostles and are killing Christians in countries around the world. Why? Well, Satan thinks he has a plan. It hasn’t changed since the garden. Satan convinced Eve to sin by confusing her and telling her that she could be in control. Satan convinces people even now that they can be in control and he uses false religions and money to fool people just like he did Eve and Adam. Well, guess what, you can’t be in control. Only God is in control, and if you get on-board with God’s plan you’ll be part of something great in Heaven and on a new Earth. The things in this world are all temporary, no matter what Satan tries to say. Don’t give up eternity for a few years of worldly pleasure. Seriously, it’s not a good trade off.
“”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world,but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment,that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.””
“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”