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Live a Bigger Life: Top 5 Curated Resources (June 2019)

With all the resources at our fingertips to help us grow in and live the bigger life Jesus offers, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know where to start and what sources to trust. That’s why we’re curating five great resources each month for you–from books to podcasts to videos and more–that have been helpful

We Like To Help Poor People, Right?

I’m sure that you are happy to help poor people and are willing to give generously to those in need. Personally, I’m motivated to help a certain kind of poor person more than another.

I like to help poor people who are very responsible and don’t overspend. It’s easy to help the poor person who doesn’t buy junk food and doesn’t own a flat screen television. I’m eager to help the person with financial struggles who works endless hours at a minimum wage job in order to support their family or if he doesn’t have a job fills out applications all day long. I don’t want to help poor people who have vices such as smoking or drinking. I expect that the people I help won’t have a car and walk everywhere to save bus fare, don’t make impulse purchases, and value education.

Don’t Give Up On People. God Doesn’t.

There’s probably someone in your life that you’re tempted to give up on spiritually. Someone who you’ve tried to influence toward Jesus to no avail. Someone who has been exposed to Christianity, maybe a good church, and maybe even shown some interest from time to time but now they are headed decidedly away from the gospel and you’re ready to give up and stop praying and move on.

Don’t.

Do You Love Your Spouse Or Do You Love Yourself?

I Love Me Written inside a Heart Drawn in SandA few years ago Donald Miller got engaged to a woman named Paige. I don’t know either of them personally I assume that by this point they are enjoying marriage together. Donald Miller’s name may or may not be familiar to you. He’s written several books, including Blue Like Jazz, and is a popular conference speaker and blogger. I confess that I have never read his books although I do know many people who seem to benefit from them.

I came across one of his posts (“What are You Looking for in a Spouse? Why not Create a List?”) in which he gives a list that his fiancee had made that described what she was looking for in a husband. According to Miller, she made the list to help her weed out people who didn’t fit the criteria that she deemed important. I would agree that putting thought into the kind of person you want to marry is a smart idea. Otherwise you might get caught up in the moment and forget your convictions on what makes a good husband or wife.

But I have to admit that as I was glancing through the list of what she wanted in a husband, I couldn’t help but thinking of Paul Tripp’s book on marriage What Did You Expect? Here’s her list as it appeared on Miller’s blog:

10 Bible Verses: God’s Perspective For Parents

Jesus: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” God didn’t design anyone to be sustained only by food. We were made to to feed on the spiritual truth found in the Bible. That’s true for all of us but today our focus is on parents.

Does parenthood trump marriage?

Marriage or parenthood? Which do you value more? Is it more worthwhile to work at marriage and being the best spouse you can be, or to be devoted to your kids and raising them to be the best they can be?

Obviously, a lot of us would say, “Do I have to choose?” But a Pew Research study found precisely that millennials (roughly those 18-29) value parenthood far more than marriage. What do we make of that?

10 Bible Verses Every Parent Needs To Know

Jesus: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

God didn’t design anyone to be sustained only by food. We were made to to feed on the spiritual truth found in the Bible.

That’s true for all of us but today our focus is on parents. So here’s what Jesus is saying to you if you’re a mom or dad: “Parents shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” The Scripture gives parents perspective, encouragement, correction, and so much more.

10 Bible Verses Every Parent Needs To Know

3 Lies Complainers Believe

A couple years ago I came across an ad for a counselor that promised the prospective client their money back if they weren’t completely satisfied. I don’t know if that’s a smart business strategy because what person is completely satisfied with anything in life much less an area for which they are seeking professional counseling?

The natural response of dissatisfied people is to complain. Complaining is unattractive in others but barely noticed when it comes out of our own mouth.

3 Lies Complainers Believe

8 Questions That Help Me Know If I’m Growing Spiritually

newtonbookcoverIt seems like I should be able to determine relatively easily if I’m personally growing spiritually but it isn’t as easy as you think it should be. What exactly should I be looking for in my life? For so many people the indicators of spiritual growth are only focused on behavior. Now of course our behavior is incredibly important to God but when that is the only consideration, we neglect our heart which is where our motives and loves spring from.

I recently finished Tony Reinke’s book Newton on the Christian Life; a book that will almost certainly be on the short list of best books that I read in 2015. Even if you’re not familiar with Newton, you are definitely familiar with his most famous hymn: Amazing Grace. After leaving the slave trade, Newton became a pastor in Olney and later London. While his sermons are rather ordinary, the hundreds of personal letters he wrote are exceptional. They are quite literally treasure troves of spiritual wisdom, pastoral care, and pictures of grace.

Reinke does a great job of surfacing some of Newton’s treasures and helping the reader personally benefit from it. In one section he shares Newton’s marks of a maturing Christian. While this list is hardly exhaustive, it does a good job of probing our heart and helping us see areas of our life that we might need to grow in. After each mark, I included a question(s) to further help me discern where I am spiritually.

Trump vs. BLM Showdown: What Can Christians Learn?

You don’t win many people to your side by telling them they’re wrong and you’re right.

You won’t win many to the pro-life cause by calling those who disagree with you “baby killers.” Crisis pregnancy centers that come alongside women with unplanned and often unwanted pregnancies are far more persuasive.

The same goes for politics. I don’t know any Republican or Democrat who changed party loyalties due to being berated by a co-worker. But when political parties address issues that concern us, we are open to listen.

Arthur Brooks writes about an unlikely meeting of social and political foes. On September 16, 2017, a group of President Trump’s supporters squared off on the National Mall with Black Lives Matter of Greater New York (BLMNY). There was the usual shouting of slogans promoting their cause and denouncing the other side, but then something unusual and instructive happened.