There was a very wealthy businessman who was brought up in a very cultured and educated environment. He felt like he was not connecting emotionally with his twelve year-old son. He knew that his son loved the rugged outdoors—getting dirty and playing sports.
Whatever you are thankful for in your life multiplies.
I remember one day I was very discouraged and realized that I was discouraged because I was focusing on negative things and wasn’t thankful. As soon as I began to thank God for the blessings in my life I immediately received strength.
It is evident there are many in the Body of Christ who attempt to integrate their Christian faith with the pursuit of happiness. Some have even gone so far as to have a theology of happiness, in which they obey or disobey Scripture based on what gives them the most happiness. Several years ago a prominent pastor in New York City divorced his wife and married someone else in his church because, he said, “God wants me happy!”
As a product of the Word of Faith movement in the early 1980s, I will forever be indebted to the books and teachings of Kenneth Hagin Sr., Smith Wigglesworth, John G. Lake, T.L. Osborn and the like. These were holy men of integrity who turned the world upside down with their faith and teaching.
In this article I am using the term “religion” to refer to man-made effort that utilizes works to please God. It is very easy to mistake being religious for having a relationship with God. All religions in the world are based on religion which is a man-made attempt to reach God. However, Christianity is supposed to involve having a genuine relationship with God (2 Corinthians 13:14). Unfortunately, it is very easy to unwittingly replace this precious relationship with a religious spirit (meaning a lifestyle or attitude), which is the default position of sinful human nature. The purpose of this article is to help people become self-aware, not to condemn or judge them. Hence, if you use this to judge others you yourself are guilty of one of the following signs.
When this article was first drafted, a prominent newspaper in the United Kingdom, The Independent, had as their top headline that the United States is in a Depression.
While it is true that America may face economic challenges, Christians can learn to tap into principles based on the economics of the Kingdom of God, instead of the standards of the world economy.
In our culture we have a proclivity to elevate “doing over being”, to focus more on causes then on Christ; which means that the greatest threat we have as Christians (as defined by Paul in Galatians and Romans when we try to have salvation by works) to our growth in Christ by process is that we live in a future oriented culture that relates time largely to efficiency and productivity. We are more inclined then ever to use time to accomplish results then to enhance relationships.
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