Why Are Countries Blessed

Why Are Countries Blessed
Over the last couple of months, I’ve had a guy who seems to want to refute any “God talk” I put online. He usually tries to make it a conversation about countries. From his comments, there are a few things I pick out:
  1. He believes the practice of religion (chief of which is Christianity) is one of the biggest reason for African countries’ underdevelopment
  2. He thinks that western countries have moved on from Christianity and live better by doing that
 
I try to always respect the opinions expressed by other people. No matter how much they differ from my convictions
 
In spite of this, I cannot help but wonder if there is a misunderstanding about God and Christianity. And if we stretch that thought to its end, a lack of connection between God and the prosperity of countries.
 
So what has God got to do with it?
 

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Why A Need Is Not Your Calling

Why A Need Is Not Your Calling
The Bible study meeting was going rather well until this “calling” question.
 
After the discussing the outline, the leader had asked if anyone had any other questions. And this was a question that had bothered this guy a lot.
He started with “I’ve been working for about 5 years. I like what I do but last Sunday during the sermon I started wondering if I am meeting God’s calling for my life. I’m afraid that I’ll get to heaven and God is going to tell me that I did not fulfill His call for me.”
He continued “my calling may be to work with at-risk kids and I’m afraid I’m not living out my calling.”
“Why do you think so?”, asked the leader.
“Well, I am an investment analyst. All I do at my job is making money and I am not meeting the real needs of the world. My calling should meet real needs and change lives.”
 
It was clear from the responses that a couple of people in the group also had questions about their calling
 
So, how do we sort out this calling matter?
 

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How To Win Your 3 Internal Battles

How To Win Your 3 Internal Battles
One the movies from the 2000s with deep battles that I enjoyed watching was Gladiator. In case you missed the Oscar-winning movie run, here goes.
The non-spoiler story is this, a general becomes a slave and the slave becomes a gladiator. The gladiator becomes the hero who kicks the usurping emperor of Rome in the teeth.
 
One of the biggest transformation for Maximus (the protagonist) happens in Act 2 of the movie.
He discovers his family murdered. He gets captured by slave traders and sold off as a gladiator – talk about bad stuff coming fast and furious. 
 
At first, he is content with looking for a quicker way to die and join his family in the next life. So, he is more than willing to drop his sword and take a beating. He remembers who he is, leverages all his experience as a soldier and a general commanding men. He fights so well that the crowd starts rooting for him. And that begins his journey back to Rome.
 
You have had this story played out so many times. It’s become the kind of inspirational stories that we all like to hear.
 
But we waste stories like this if we reduce them to “feel-good” emotional highs from victories.
 
Maximus faced his biggest tests outside the theater of the arena.
 
His greatest battles were in the quiet scenes with the old Emperor Marcus Aurelius. He wanted him to choose a life in Rome ahead of returning home to his wife and son.
 
But I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who haven’t watched it. I’ll do a segue into another story that also brings out the same battles
 
The battles found in the temptations of Jesus
 

When Jesus did Bible study with the devil

 

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