Life Library — Christian Living
Twelve Good Reasons to Go Hungry
Even though the Old and New Testaments mention fasting nearly 100 times, this highly worthwhile discipline is essentially absent from most of our lives. Although most Christians may not feel the need to do a lengthy fast, there are benefits to be gained from even a short period of self-denial.
To be amoral is to be unable to distinguish morally acceptable behavior from morally unacceptable behavior. Through conditioning we can lose the moral skills for even recognizing a moral issue when it confronts us. Discerning moral questions and answers requires the skills of careful, unbiased thinking and honest, self-disciplined reflection.
Since sin entered the world, our bodies became temporary. Yet we waste precious years striving to maintain our appearance while ignoring what’s eternal — our relationship with God. From the perspective of eternity, aging doesn’t seem to matter so much.
Bowing at the Altar of Weight Loss
Women are especially trained to be concerned about appearance, which can threaten to take away growth we might have in God. If all we are concerned about is how we look, then we won’t have time to hear Him telling us we are truly His daughters.
Christianity and Culture: God’s Double Sovereignty
Recognizing God’s double sovereignty over all of life can enable Christians to be engaged in a positive, transforming way, with their culture without succumbing to the deadly, spirit-quenching sin of worldliness. It is a formula for both faithfulness and relevance.
Christians in a Dot Com World
In a medium in which we are deluged with unfiltered information, the danger becomes information overload, disorientation from an indiscriminate sensory and intellectual assault. Having a biblical worldview will give us criteria, standards and discernment so we can function in this new sea of information without being washed away.
Christian Social Responsibility as Evidenced in Social Welfare Services within the LCMS
The congregation dare not be isolated in self-concern, engrossed in maintaining itself and its own programs so that it cannot see beyond itself to the community where it lives and moves and has its being. The concerns of Christian social welfare are toward its community, community agencies and community needs.
Confessing the Faith at College
Campus ministry not only offers students a church where they can go on campus but our university campuses desperately need a confessional voice. Students need a voice that clearly proclaims that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and we must observe everything He teaches.
Countering the Culture
There are several historically philosophical ways of viewing the foundations of morality. But all these attempts to envision morality rightly fade into the background for those who find their convictions shaped by the revelation of the Word made flesh.
Do You Need Spiritual Exercise?
While it is good to be concerned with physical training, it is even better to be concerned with spiritual training. We are not only “physical” beings, but we have a spiritual dimension to our lives. The Christian faith is neither physical nor mental but involves our “spiritual life.”
Feelings, Emotions and Christian Truth
Those who minimize sound doctrine and promote feelings and experience must recognize they plot a course for deception and disaster. Those who focus on sound doctrine must begin teaching people to apply Scripture to their daily living so the experience of God’s people matches what God’s Word commands.
The Fish in the Slime
Jesus said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And even if I am able to lead one — only one — to Jesus, it will have been worth all the effort, and more.
Guidelines for Social Concerns for Congregations and Members of the LCMS
As an expression of "faith acting through love" (Gal. 5:6) a congregational Social Ministries Committee can express social concerns through social education, social service and social action. In turn, Christians as citizens will then use indirect influence and direct intervention as an expression of love.
Inside Look at Promise Keepers
Promise Keepers are zealous about equipping men to live for God. Men who go to Promise Keepers’ events ask, “How can LCMS leaders be critical of this movement? For the first time in my life I am excited about God and want to live for Him. How can this be bad?”
Legacy of Faith
The idea of retirement used to be synonymous with leisure. But a growing trend among retirees is to put more emphasis on “legacy.” God has given us increased resources that we “may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Luther’s Answers to Anxiety
Martin Luther knew from experience what it was to be despondent and anxious. He had bouts with this all his life, and he developed remedies he shared with others. Today, people suffering from ongoing depression should seek medical help. But others who feel “down” may find Luther’s suggestions helpful.
Martin Luther’s Thoughts about Money
Martin Luther’s advice about money is still valuable today: God’s gifts are meant to be enjoyed, shared and put to work in His name.
One of “Those Days”
A stressful day serves as a reminder of God’s many blessings.
The Perils of Prosperity
We fear letting go of material possessions, afraid we will lose things we love too much. Both rich and poor prisoners of consumerism participate in the myth of scarcity, so there is never enough. But by trusting God, we shed anxiety about our needs and no longer covet excess.
Plan a Creative Christmas
Christmas shouldn’t mean worry and stress. Instead of putting your energy into shopping and spending, transfer your efforts into creative Christian giving and you and your family will have the best Christmas ever.
Pursuing Pleasure — Finding Boredom
By God’s design, excessive indulgence soon turns to ashes. Boredom is a sign that nothing earthly will satisfy us. God, on the other hand, gives us access to an infinite reservoir of joy.
The Real Sophisticates
The sophisticated of this world find a great deal of pleasure in behaving in a sophisticated way. We can take pleasure in our sophistication, yet our sophistication doesn’t result from our behavior. It results from God’s behavior so it flows with a grace that comes only from His grace.
Responding in Love: Theological Guidelines for Human Care Ministry
We define and direct human care ministry relative to the heart of our Lutheran faith, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its essential partner, the Law of God. We have been united with Jesus and one another in His body, the Church, and are called to and equipped for Christ-like service to one another and the world.
Right and Wrong in the Workplace
We cannot separate our faith life from our career or business. Our service through our vocations is an expression of our gratitude for God’s grace through Christ. We have received God’s forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. We show our thanks to Him by forgiving others for His sake.
Sin, Sickness and Salvation from Nazareth to Lake Wobegone
How then is that “higher remedy” of “faith and prayer” employed in the ministry of healing in the parish? Rejecting the notion that the church's concern is only for the soul, we affirm the Bible’s holistic understanding of the human being.
Time Alone with God
Quiet time with God — to hear Him speak through His Word and to speak to Him in prayer — can become the pivotal point of your day.
What is Your Self-Image?
Your self-image is always that of a sinner. The Law causes the inner assessment and always accuses you. The Gospel calls you away from self and offers the person of Christ Jesus — the person you are not.