Category Archives: Michael Waits

The Real Meaning of Christmas

In 2000, Universal Pictures released the live-action film How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey based on the 1957 book by Dr. Seuss. But in this version, before the Whos down in Whoville are robbed by the Grinch on Christmas Eve night, little Cindy Lou Who realizes that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost already and becomes overwhelmed by the materialism that it has been replaced with. But when the Whos awake on Christmas morning to find that everything associated with Christmas has been stolen from them, it only takes little Cindy’s love and compassion to show, according to her dad, Lou, that Christmas isn’t about gifts, lights or things from a store, but that Christmas is more about things such as getting together with family and loving and caring for the good of others.

Many have searched to find the real meaning of Christmas only to come up short at the end of their journey.

Christmas, a joyful and cheerful time of year for many people, is unpleasant and sad for many others who struggle with loneliness or depression during the holidays. For them Christmas is just another day of pain or guilt and oftentimes bitterness accompanies their attitude toward those who go about jolly and glad during this time of year.

Take Ebenezer Scrooge, for example. In Charles Dickens’ story A Christmas Carol, seven years after the death of Scrooge’s business partner, Jacob Marley, the heartless old Scrooge is visited by Marley’s ghost who appears to warn him that his soul is in danger for eternity if he does not change his greedy ways. In that same night he is haunted by three ghosts that take him on a journey through his own life to show him what he could not see. But before his final hour has come he is given a second chance for redemption and turns from his self-centered ways. He awakes on Christmas morning to find joy and cheer filled in his heart, and in contrast to his old life, gives generously of himself to others for the remainder of his life on earth.

But is Christmas really about generosity and good cheer? Is it only about being with family and friends, being near to the ones you love and sharing joy with those we pass by? While the two stories that have been mentioned above are timeless classics that offer some truth in respect to kindness and generosity, they both lack the real and true meaning of Christmas.

Every year America watches Charlie Brown take the advice of Lucy to direct the school Christmas play as he searches for the true meaning of Christmas. Depressed and aggravated, Charlie Brown goes out and finds the lowliest Christmas tree for the play. Despite Linus’s reluctance regarding his choice, Charlie Brown returns to become the laughing stock of all his pals and his very own dog, Snoopy. Finally in a moment of frustration and despair Charlie Brown asks,

“Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

How about you, have you ever felt like Charlie Brown? Do you feel like you’re the only one trying to find your way through your busy holiday schedule, the shopping malls, wrapping paper and Christmas cards in hopes to find the true meaning of Christmas?

In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Linus reminds us every year what the true meaning of Christmas really is when he tells Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about. Quoting from Luke 2:8-14, Linus recites, “’For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord…’ That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” John the Baptist introduced Jesus in this way, “Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).

This Christmas season may you and your family be blessed as you take the time to celebrate the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and go out and share with the world the Savior who has come to take away our sin.

Merry Christmas

I am always happy to hear from my readers. Please write me at michael@michaelwaits.com. Follow regular updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/michaelwaits

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Be Evangelistic this Christmas

A story I read tells about a little boy and girl singing their favorite Christmas carol in church the Sunday before Christmas. The boy concluded Silent Night with the words, “Sleep in heavenly beans.” “No,” his sister corrected him, “peas, not beans.”

This little bit of humor reminded me that sometimes people don’t understand our message as well as we believe they do. The Bible tells us that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14), and that this Word was and is Jesus (John 1:1-18). Christmas is about the coming of Jesus, God’s “Word,” and what better time to talk about it than during the holidays?

The Christmas season is always a busy time of year for a lot of folks but it also serves to remind us we have a mission to accomplish. We have been commanded to testify of the coming of Christ and share with others what Jesus has done for us. Christmas provides at least three opportunities for aiding in this command:

First, people are generally more charitable during the holidays. The Salvation Army begins to take up residence on every busy street corner and store front during this time of year because they know that people like to give during the holidays. In Christian theology charity has been understood as “the friendship of man for God.” Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Christmas is a great time of year to share with others the charity and goodwill of God the Father who gave up His Son that we may have eternal life.

Second, people are generally more open to religion during the holidays. In spite of the recent “war on Christmas” that has reduced Christmas to holiday trees and merry greetings, what other time of year will you hear songs of the incarnation in retail stores and shopping markets? Even people that aren’t professing Christians tend to “get a little religious” around the holidays. Christmas provides a great opportunity to talk about the purpose for the coming of Christ with regular acquaintances.

Third, people are generally more available during the holidays. One of my favorite aspects of the holidays is gathering and spending time with family that I just don’t get to see very often. Whether we’re sitting around the table together, watching television after having eaten a large meal or just enjoying passing conversation over coffee and tea, Christmas provides doors of opportunity for conversation between friends and relatives.

This Christmas season as you go about your busy schedule of planning meals, buying gifts and visiting loved ones, remember the reason for the season and tell someone about the charity of God, the visit of His Son and the hope of eternal life in Christ. “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

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Symptoms of the Heart – Part 4

A friend of mine recently had a conversation with a young man regarding the college basketball coach, Rick Pitino, and the negative media attention he has received concerning allegations that have recently been brought against him. Maybe you have asked yourself, “How could he do such a thing?” After all, people of influence are held to a higher standard; they are expected to conquer the very desires that defeat us. And so the greater question would be: “How could anyone do such a thing?” But the answer is clear; the Bible tells us that all people are affected by sin and selfishly motivated to fulfill their own desires. No one is exempt from the power of lust and self-fulfillment; no one can conquer it on their own.

Many have said, “But I’m not like that, I don’t do such things.” Just because we are able to do some things good viewed from a human perspective, does not mean we are free of sin. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Humans tend to look upon the outward acts and judge them as good; however, God sees the condition of our hearts. Owing to the natural tendency of the flesh, all men are under the control of sin, and are therefore, controlled by their selfish, sinful desires. Isaiah writes, “The whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint” (Isaiah 1:5). It is due to the nature of sin that the Bible says, “There is no one who does good, not even one” (Romans 3:12).

The Bible speaks very clearly about the depravity of mankind by alluding to the spiritual nature inherent to us all. In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet writes, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Left for man to decide, morality would become nothing more than the cultural norm defined by lawmakers; but to a righteous and Holy God, morality is set by higher standards. Anything contrary to God’s law is sinful.

Jesus said, “For from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, and wickedness as well as deceit” (Mark 7:21). These symptoms of the unregenerate heart reflect a condition that man alone is unable to overcome. It is for these very reasons that Jesus Christ was sent into the world to prevail over sin through his death and resurrection. Jesus said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).

What, then, can anyone do to overcome the problem of an unlawful, sin-filled heart? The answer can only be found in Jesus Christ. The first thing you must do is recognize the symptoms of your own heart and own up to your sin. Apart from the grace of God, the spiritual state and condition of your life is hopeless; the fact is that those very sins are what prevents you from having eternal life with Christ. Second, you must confess your sin to God and ask Him to forgive you in Jesus’ name. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10). Third, by placing your faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ, whom died for the forgiveness of sin, and by asking him to help you turn away from your sin once and for all, you can be saved.

If you’re not sure about your salvation or want to know how to have a personal relationship with Christ, contact michael@michaelwaits.com

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Symptoms of the Heart – Part 3

It is no secret that people with high blood pressure have a greater chance of heart attack, stroke and kidney failure compared to those with regulated blood pressure. However, high blood pressure is not the problem itself but a symptom of an even larger problem dealing with the heart. According to one medical health guide, symptoms of this chronic condition are not easily detected giving it the name, “the silent killer.” There are several factors that can be attributed to high blood pressure including obesity, high sodium intake, alcohol consumption and the use of certain drugs; however, many with high blood pressure don’t know it until their blood pressure is measured. Only then can a proper diagnosis be made to correct the problem.

Unlike high blood pressure, it does not take a licensed professional to diagnose the symptoms of an insufferable heart. We all know someone who seems impossible to get along with because of the negative disposition of his or her character. We often speak to them with caution because we don’t know if their response will be pleasant or hateful. These are the people who have a bad outlook in life and usually bring us down with their overall pessimistic attitude. The Bible says “A fool’s anger is known at once, but a prudent man conceals dishonor” (Proverbs 12:16).

We are instructed to “not let the sun go down on our anger” (Ephesians 4:26). The symptoms of anger are evident in nature and reveal the character of a sinful heart. Anger becomes sinful when it is not restrained and can result in devastation and produce permanent damage. The Bible tells us that anger is a deed of the flesh and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). James, half-brother of Jesus, writes, “For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).

But the Bible has a solution for those who are angry and have little or no joy; the answer can be found in Jesus. He has come that we may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Jesus came to this world for the forgiveness of sin; the most humble act of kindness ever shown to the world, not because we deserved it, but because He loved us so much that He was willing to die on our behalf so our sin can be pardoned. This is the greatest thing anyone has ever done for us. Rather than being angry, we can transfer our anger into love and be joyful in all things by “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). It is for this reason alone that we can be joyful; Jesus paid it all.

If you have an angry heart or struggle with anger, allow me to urge you to seek the Savior. By confessing your sin to God and turning from them, the Bible says “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), for, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). By turning from sin and turning toward Christ, He will give you a new heart with new desires. For more information on how to have joy in Christ contact michael@michaelwaits.com

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Symptoms of the Heart – Part 2

“Take two pills and call me in the morning.”

At times the heart may produce symptoms of a possible problem that requires immediate medical attention while at other times produce mild symptoms that cause no need for concern at all. For example, a person that is relaxing in a lazy chair may need to consult a medical professional should his heart begin to accelerate at great speed without cause. On the other hand, someone who has been running a marathon would not be as concerned with a higher heart-rate.

Unlike the physical heart, the spiritual heart has only two possible conditions; wicked or righteous. As mentioned last week, these conditions put forth symptoms that can be diagnosed to indicate the state of one’s heart. We have already discussed the heart that speaks with profanity and vulgarity but there are other symptoms that can reveal the condition of our hearts as well. Jesus said, “For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness and slander” (Matthew 15:19).

Every town has at least one gossiper, but you didn’t hear that from me! Morris Mandel said, “Gossip is the most deadly microbe. It has neither legs nor wings. It is composed entirely of tales, and most of them have stings.” Do you know anyone that circulates rumors, spreads secrets and speaks with hurtful words? No, I’m not talking about the new presidential administration; rather, I’m talking about those who have private information about people and spread that news with others who have no business knowing it. I’m talking about the intentional defaming of another person’s name or reputation without so much as considering the wound such actions will yield.

The Bible tells us, “A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul” (Proverbs 18:7). We find today that the world has placed lesser value on sins such as these considering them “trivial” if nothing less. Because of this foolishness, the world has turned gossip into an accepted form of entertainment in which consumers actually pay to hear more of! Walk into any grocery or retail store and you will probably find newspapers and magazines devoted to nothing but the spreading of rumor, hearsay and scandalous affairs.

But the Bible speaks very directly to such things when it says, “Those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). Gossip is not trivial; it is a serious sin and one not to be tampered with. Jesus said, “The things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” (Matthew 15:18).

Gossip is a symptom of a tainted heart in critical need of renewal. Only God can provide this renewing of the heart by His redeeming gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. If you are guilty of the sin of gossip but desire to restore your heart to God you can do so by turning from your sin and placing your faith in Jesus Christ. To learn more contact michael@michaelwaits.com

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Symptoms of the Heart – Part 1

For centuries the heart has been a symbol to express love, feelings and emotions. It also refers to the intellectual core of human beings and symbolizes personality, morality and other non-physical characteristics. In the Bible it is the term used to describe where our true character resides. One man wrote, “It is the place of conscience and decisive spiritual activity,” “the comprehensive term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will,” and “the center of a person.” The heart is “the place to which God turns.”

Medically speaking, there are known conditions of the heart that can be diagnosed according to the symptoms they cause. However, these symptoms are not the problem but the effects of a larger problem. Likewise, there are also non-physical conditions of the heart that can be detected by the symptoms they produce as well; one of which can be diagnosed in how we speak. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34).

Do you know or have you been around people with filthy mouths? I’m not talking about the occasional slip of the tongue when they accidentally bump their head or stump their toe; I’m talking about the use of bad language as a normal part of their everyday vocabulary. It doesn’t take long to determine the character of someone’s heart that uses profanity around children, let alone the use of foul language in a public setting. Jesus said, “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil” (Matthew 12:35). Words reveal the character of the heart.

The Bible shares with us, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth” (Ephesians 4:29). The careless use of words is a symptom of an unclean heart. Jesus had some harsh words for those who spoke carelessly. He said, “Every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).

The use of vulgar and profane language is the symptom of a corrupted heart and a true indication of sin. When we speak in this way, we demonstrate the evil that lies about in our hearts and it is essential that we confess our sin to God and turn away from it. By placing our faith in Jesus Christ and turning from our sin, God will cleanse our hearts and make us into a new creation.

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Getting Ready for Worship

It never fails; Sunday mornings always seem to follow a similar routine. We forgot to set the alarm, I can’t find any matching socks, what my wife planned to wear isn’t clean, my daughter can’t find her shoes, and the list goes on and on. What starts out as an eventful morning of chaos often ends with the lingering of frustration, aggravation and annoyance. Is it ever like this in your household too?

Chaos is part of life. Going back to Genesis 3 we can see how chaos became part of the natural order of life. When God created the world everything was perfect, but sin entered into the world and chaos began. After Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden death ensued. Chaos brings death.

According to the second law of thermodynamics, energy burns out; and left unaided, it produces not a greater amount of energy but less. In a sense nothing is getting better, but worse. This is why clothes fade, metal rusts, and Sunday mornings in my home are destined to be chaotic if left unaided. Yes, chaos brings death.

If worship can be defined as loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and spirit, then chaos has a way of deteriorating anything that is good. That is why these little issues have the likelihood of ruining our worship. Simply put, when my morning starts out this way my mind becomes distracted as frustration and anger crowds my heart. I tend to lose focus of God and when my heart should be turned toward Him but isn’t, the result is often less than pleasing to God. What I end up bringing to God in worship is far less than what it could have been because I wasn’t ready for worship.

Getting ready for worship involves so much more than dressing ourselves and making it to church on time. What good is it to prepare ourselves on the outside only to ignore what should be taking place on the inside? Jesus had some harsh words for the Pharisees of his day who did exactly that. He said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matt. 23:27-28).

So as not to provoke the Lord to anger, I have determined a few practical steps that can be taken to get ready for worship.

Prepare yourself spiritually.
I wonder how eager you are on a typical Sunday morning to get up and go to church? Do you lie in bed wishing you could stay longer or do you hop right out eager to meet with God’s saints in praise of the King?

Okay, so maybe it is a struggle to get out of bed any morning but I think you get the idea. Many people make the Lord’s day a holiday rather than a holy day (I stole that phrase from someone recently) and would prefer to go fishing or shopping. It isn’t that they don’t want to get up; it’s that they don’t want to get up and go to church. It’s a problem of the spirit.

David said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD’” (Ps. 122:1). You can practically feel his excitement. If you lack the same then perhaps your heart needs tending to. I fear that one of the most overlooked aspects of worship is preparing the heart to worship God.

If you or your family are not already in the routine of preparing yourselves spiritually for worship by praying and spending time together in the Word you would be quite surprised at how much this can change your attitude. Set some time aside Saturday night and ask the Lord to prepare your hearts to bring him worship. And on Sunday mornings, sometime before leaving the driveway, pray together and ask God to bless your worship; that it might be pleasing and honorable to him.

Prepare yourself mentally.
The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom. 12:1). Our motivation to worship God should be found in His mercies which are everlasting.

Our manner of worship should be to present ourselves as living and holy sacrifices. In baseball when a batter gives up a hit to advance another player on base it is called a sacrifice. He gets that it’s not about him but the bigger picture – winning the game! Likewise, to present yourself as an acceptable worshiper means to surrender what is important to you and focus on the bigger picture – which is God.

Though Sunday falls at the beginning of the week, it often feels like the end of the week – a long week, perhaps. If you find that life has been dragging you down or your mind is crowded with worry and stress, give it up to God. Again, pray that God would clear your mind and heart and help to put him at the number one position. Only then can you really be mentally prepared to worship the King.

Prepare yourself physically.
I chose this section last because it is often the one we focus on the most. Why do we spend so much time cleaning up the outside when we should be more concerned with the heart, which is what God sees? The physical should be the easiest to manage, and should require the least of our effort and a minimal amount of time. I have included some quick tips to help make this possible:

  • Set a reminder to go off every Saturday to help you set your alarm clock.
  • Give yourself plenty of time of time to have a shower, eat breakfast and get dressed.
  • Choose what you will wear the night before and if you have little ones, go ahead and set out their clothing for the next day to ease preparation time.
  • Make sure Bibles and other materials are in a proper place to eliminate time searching.
  • Are there any others you could add to this list?

Jesus said to the woman at the well, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” (Jn. 4:23). When you get ready for worship each day/week, where do you spend the most time preparing – is it the physical? If so, look for ways that you can worship God in spirit and truth, and when you find what works best for you, share it here so that others might benefit from your findings.

Article by Michael Waits

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An Honest Campaign

As we fast approach Election Day it is almost certain that you can expect a last push for your vote. Even before now the advertising has overwhelmed the public with campaign signs on every corner and commercials on the radio and television. And as we draw nearer to the final day in which the last person standing will be the one with the most votes, desperation and mud-slinging has kicked into high-gear as candidates use toxic arsenal to boost their appeal.

You might say that all is fair in love, war and politics, but how far is too far? It is one thing to inform the public of a candidate’s position, but it is an entirely different game of politics when one minces words and generates deception. What do these acts of malicious intent say about the character of those who endorse them, and how should we as the public respond? The Bible as God’s word gives time-tested instruction on how we should conduct ourselves; and it has much to say about an honest campaign.

David was a young man when he was anointed to be the true king of Israel, and yet he waited patiently for some time before finally assuming the throne. In his youth, he was employed by King Saul to fight against the Philistine giant, Goliath, and in the name of the Lord he won the battle – and the favor of the people of Israel (1 Samuel 17:45-51; 18:6-7). The king, jealous of the praise David received and paranoid that he would take over the kingdom, made several attempts to have David killed because he threatened his position on the throne. And while he had many opportunities to avenge himself, David never lifted a finger against his king nor attempted to damage his reputation (1 Samuel 24:1-13). For his integrity and obedience, David was rewarded as king over Israel after God had removed Saul from the throne, for he was truly a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

The character demonstrated by young David, eager to lead his people in victory and righteousness, displays the kind of integrity we should look for in potential future leaders. The Bible says, “It is an abomination to kings to do evil, for the throne is established by righteousness” (Proverbs 16:12). As Christians we have a duty to seek leaders of honor and integrity, and vote for those who revere God and promote Christian principles. It is leaders such as these that run an honest campaign, and their character proves they will conduct the affairs of the public with sincerity and respect.

When the actions of a man portray him with inconsiderate lips and a perverse character, the old adage is often applied – “what you see is what you get”. Those who are desperate for supremacy and conduct themselves in deceitfulness and slander may have temporary success, but in the end will not be rewarded. The Bible says, “He who has a crooked mind finds no good, and he who is perverted in his language falls into evil” (Proverbs 17:20), for “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).

As you go to the polls and cast your ballot, keep in mind the integrity of those who seek election; for the character displayed during their campaign reveals much about the office they ask to hold. “Remove the impurities from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith” (Proverbs 25:4).

I always enjoy hearing from my readers. Write me at michael@michaelwaits.com or follow me at twitter.com/michaelwaits.

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Don’t Believe in God?

One existence that cannot be denied, a new sign has just been erected near the Kentucky State Fair and Expo Center and it has the city buzzing. Lifted high above the roadways near the Louisville airport a giant billboard reads: “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone.”

An advertisement for the Louisville Coalition of Reason, the billboard is said not to be an offense to anyone but actually proclaim a positive message. The coordinator of the organization has said they “want to reach out to others with like-minded beliefs,” “let others know [they] are here,” and “want to be accepted as an equal part of the community at large.”

Others who oppose the message on the billboard have said they believe the real intent of the message is “an invitation to a dead-end path,” or to “draw people away from God.” But according to one news reporter, the local organization has stated that the purpose of the billboard is to educate. “Our answer is not so much what we turn people away from, but what we turn them to, which is rational thought, and evidence based thinking [and] belief.”

A new kind of atheism is on the rise and America is under the influence. Because we live in a country that is tolerant and respectful of alternative views, it appears that this is only the beginning of what is to come. Already similar models have been appearing all over the nation, from St. Petersburg to Seattle, with messages such as: “Are you good without God? Millions are.”

These bold assertions are a once radical idea that has gradually shifted into a new cultural trend. While there have always been people that are skeptical about the existence of an all powerful God, only more recently has anyone put forth this kind of effort to prove what they believe does not exist.

Atheism, from the Greek word atheos, means “without – deity,” or “without – god,” and has been around long before its name. Some 3,000 years ago the Psalmist wrote, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1). But disbelief in the existence of something and taking out a personal vendetta to prove that it does not exist are two different things; for one is a lack of faith while the other requires it for consistency.

If no threat exists, why go to such great lengths to prove something instead of just letting it go? After all, preaching against something non-existent is pointless; or is there another reason for all the fuss? The Bible says, “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Billboards and bus signs are nothing more than smoke and mirrors set in place to distract people from the one true God. If the world could be rid of religious belief and practice, it still would not change the position of God as Creator of the universe and Redeemer of mankind. Which is why the Bible says, “For what can be known about God is plain (to them), because God has shown it (to them). For his invisible attributes…have been clearly seen” (Romans 1:19-20).

A message about the disbelief in God is a good trick to pull on unsuspecting people but the illusion will not last long. God won’t simply disappear because people stop believing and He cannot be disproved; however, He must be accepted by faith. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

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Time Management

Have you ever been through a season of disorganization and chaos at some point in your life? It may seem that days went by without notice and before you knew it you missed out on an entire week or even longer. Maybe even now you feel as if you are always rushing to be somewhere, rarely have any time to relax at home or cannot enjoy the things in life that matter to you most.

What is worse, as a Christian you may have spent very little time alone with God and possibly none at all. The Bible says, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13), but in this fast-paced world we live in, it can be easy to get so caught up in our daily routine that we lose sight of our true purpose in life – to worship and glorify God.

So as we swiftly approach the coming holiday season, there are some biblical principles we can keep in mind that may help us stay more organized, allowing us time at home with our families and more importantly, with God.

First, the Bible tells us to be careful of how we use our time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). We are only given so many hours in a day, so many days in a month, and so many months in a year to accomplish the things in life we are responsible for. Among these things we are expected to put God in first place, putting all of our heart, soul and strength into our commitment to Him (Deuteronomy 6:5). By putting anything else in the place where God should be, we are taking from God the honor He so rightly deserves (Romans 12:1), making an idol of that which we have chosen to put before Him, and robbing ourselves of any spiritual growth. Only after placing God first can we begin to prioritize the rest of our lives in regards to our family, church family and then the rest of the world.

Second, the Bible says that we should use our time serving others rather than serving ourselves (Galatians 5:13, 1 Corinthians 10:24). In this day and age we are offered so much entertainment that we can easily fill our lives with things that distract and not edify us. You have heard it said that idle hands are the devils tools, but the Bible says everything that is in the world, from the desire of the eyes to the boasting of the prideful, comes from the devil who is in charge of the world (1 John 2:15-16). We can get pretty wrapped up in ourselves if we are not careful to put others before ourselves and can easily fill up our schedule with selfishness and greed. Therefore, the Bible says we should put away such things (Romans 6:13, Colossians 3:5) and “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col. 3:12).

Third, the Bible says that we should use our time to focus on things eternal and not what is important in this life only (Matthew 6:19-21). There are many good things that we can get involved in while we are here on this earth but if they distract us from the more important things in life, what good have we done? The Bible says that everything that is permissible is not beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23) and that we should only pursue that which makes for peace and the building up of one another” (Romans 14:19). There is no time to live for tomorrow when your eternity could begin right now (James 4:14), for the Bible tells us not to live life for human desires, but rather for the will of God (1 Peter 4:2).

Perhaps even as you read these very words you are struggling to maintain the use of your time for the glory of God, the good of others, or the eternality of your very soul. And although the Bible has much more to say about how we can use our time wisely, it has only one thing to say about retaining life. By surrendering your life to Jesus, the time you spend here on earth will be meaningless contrasted to the eternity you will spend with our Father in heaven.

Are you weak and heavy-laden, are you burdened by a load of care? Remember the promise Jesus has for us: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

If you would like to know how you can begin in a relationship with Jesus Christ, please contact me. I am always glad to hear from my readers. Write me at michael@michaelwaits.com.

Article by Michael Waits

@michaelwaits

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