by Charles R. Swindoll Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 10:31 No one is immune to problems in the areas of exercise, digestion, and diet—not even those in ministry. For example, consider a middle-aged minister of the gospel named Timothy, who was the pastor of a church in the busy, heavily populated city of Ephesus back in its heyday. Timothy was one of Paul’s closest and most loyal companions, but Timothy was neither as healthy nor as strong as he could have been. Knowing this to be true, Paul served as what we would call a mentor to Timothy, giving him solid counsel, reliable advice and, occasionally, strongRead More →

by Charles R. Swindoll Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 God did a remarkable act of creation when He made the human body. The more advanced the medical profession becomes, the more we discover what an amazing machine the body is. From the remarkable bone-tendon-muscle structure to the delicate and sensitive network of nerves . . . how the oxygen-carrying blood-circulation system is tied in so perfectly with the necessary and healthy function of the lungs . . . and how many of the organs work in concert with the digestive system, turning the food we eat into the fuel we need. What makes all of thisRead More →

by Charles R. Swindoll Scriptures: Psalm 139:13-16 While the Bible was not written to be a scientific journal on the human body, it is amazing how much is included in the Scriptures that has to do with this subject. Frequently, we come across statements that specifically mention how God designed our anatomy and put us together emotionally. One of the most phenomenal revelations of His workmanship is found in Psalm 139, where we read of how closely and carefully God watched over our being formed while we were still in our mothers’ wombs. Locate that important chapter in your Bible and focus your attention onRead More →

by Charles R. Swindoll Scriptures: Deuteronomy 8:11-14; Matthew 24:12; Revelation 2:4-5 It happened in a large, seventy-five-year-old stone house on the west side of Houston. A massive stairway led up to several bedrooms. The den down below was done in rough-hewn boards with soft leather chairs and a couple of matching sofas. The wet bar had been converted into a small library, including a shelf of tape recordings and a multiple-speaker sound system. The ideal place to spend a weekend . . . unfortunately, my wife and I were there just for the evening. The smell of char-broiled T-bones drifted through the rooms. The ladiesRead More →

by Charles R. Swindoll Scriptures: Exodus 3:10-4:14; Amos 7:10-17; 2 Chronicles 16:9a; Ezekiel 22:30 Leadership is influence. To the extent we influence others, we lead them. If I were asked to name some of the standard qualities or characteristics usually found among natural-born leaders, I would list: Enthusiasm Optimism Persistence Ambition Competitiveness Knowledge Insight Inquisitiveness Independence Friendliness Adventurousness Integrity Flexibility Discipline Sense of Humor Creativity Practicality Poise Aggressiveness None can deny that these are standard qualities found in “natural” leaders. But my question is: Are these qualities necessary in “spiritual” leaders, too? Before you answer too quickly, I would refer you to some biblical leadersRead More →

Songless Saints by Charles R. Swindoll 1 Chronicles 16:7-36; Psalm 30:9; 100:2; 149:1-5; Luke 19:40 I was on a scriptural safari. Prowling through the Ephesian letter, I was tracking an elusive, totally unrelated verse when God’s sharp sword flashed, suddenly slicing me to the core. . . . speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19) Everyone knows Ephesians 5:18, where we are told to “be filled with the Spirit” . . . but have you ever noticed that verse 18 ends with a comma, not a period? The next verse describes theRead More →

Cracks in the Wall by Charles R. Swindoll Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13; Colossians 2:8-23 The longer I live the less I know for sure. That sounds like 50% heresy . . . but it’s 100% honesty. In my younger years I had a lot more answers than I do now. Things were absolutely black and white, right or wrong, yes or no, in or out, but a lot of that is beginning to change. The more I travel and read and wrestle and think the less simplistic things seem. I now find myself uncomfortable with sweeping generalities . . . with neat little categories and well-defined classifications. Take people, for example.Read More →

Self-Praise by Charles R. Swindoll Proverbs 21:4; Luke 18:9-14; John 12:42-43; Galatians 6:12-14 “Self-praise,” says an ancient adage, “smells bad.” In other words, it stinks up the works. Regardless of how we prepare it, garnish it with little extras, slice and serve it up on our finest silver piece, the odor remains. No amount of seasoning can eliminate the offensive smell. Unlike a good wife, age only makes it worse. It is much like the poisoned rat in the wall—if it isn’t removed the stench becomes increasingly unbearable. Leave it untouched and within a span of time it will taint and defile everything that comesRead More →

The Greatest Essay on Love by Charles R. Swindoll Matthew 12:33-37; John 17:20-26; 1 John 4:7-21 Somebody copied the following paraphrase from a well-worn carbon in the billfold of a thirty-year veteran missionary. With her husband, she was on her way to another tour of duty at Khartoum, Sudan. No one seems to know who authored it, but whoever it was captured the essence of the greatest essay on love ever written. If I have the language ever so perfectly and speak like a pundit, and have not the love that grips the heart, I am nothing. If I have decorations and diplomas and amRead More →

The Case Against Vanilla by Charles R. Swindoll Genesis 12:1-8; Joshua 14:1-15; Psalm 33:3 I cannot imagine anything more boring and less desirable than being poured into the mold of predictability as I grow older. Few things interest me less than the routine, the norm, the expected, the status quo. Call it the rebel in me, but I simply cannot bear plain vanilla when life offers so many other colorful and stimulating flavors. A fresh run at life by an untried route will get my vote every time—in spite of the risk. Stay open-minded for a moment and I’ll try to show you why. JohnRead More →