Tragedies Can Test Our Faith

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

A doctor’s report of a major health problem, the sudden loss of a job, or the unexpected death of a loved one can instantly change our lives. When these events arise – with or without warning – they will certainly test our faith. This is why it is so important we take steps every day to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. Through time in prayer and the reading of God’s Word, we can build a solid foundation to help us withstand any difficulty or tragedy that comes our way.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble (Psalms 9:9).

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalms 46:1).

Perseverance in the Face of Challenge

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

When I ran track in high school, I was willing to try any event – short or long-distance running, jumping, throwing events; everything except pole-vaulting (which I thought was insane).

I read an article about Charlotte Brown, who in the spring of 2015, won the bronze medal for pole-vault in the state of Texas. While winning any medal in states is a great accomplishment, this is not what caught my attention. This high school senior ran down the 130 foot plus runway, carrying a pole about 10 feet in length, and vaulted over 11 feet in the air – all as a blind person.

Charlotte’s story is inspiring; an excellent reminder of having perseverance and determination in the face of challenges and obstacles. She had to count her steps and use a beeper to tell her when to plant the pole. Having these safeguards in place, she knew where she was on the runway, thereby allowing her to successfully make her vault.

Charlotte Brown’s amazing feat carries another important lesson: We need spiritual safeguards to provide guidance and direction. Our greatest safeguard is the Word of God. In fact, the Bible has everything we need to know to live out the Christian faith in this world (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Just as Charlotte counted her steps and used a beeper to keep her on track, let us look to God’s Word to keep us on the right path.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

Reaching Your Maximum Potential

The following list is a compilation of biblical principles God used to transform Bill Rudge’s life. May this inspire and encourage you in your walk with the LORD.

Examine The Evidence for Faith in Jesus

Make a Total Commitment to Christ as Lord

Walk in Obedience to the Lord’s Will

Be Surrendered and Available So God Can Mold Your Life

Evaluate Your Motives – Pride Ends in Destruction; Humility in Honor

Live a Life of Integrity

Establish Balance by Being Physically, Mentally and Spiritually Fit 

Exercise Self-Control – the Essence of Strength

Dare to Be Different – Don’t Compromise or Conform 

Have the Courage to Stand Alone

Develop Determination to Never Give Up – Remain Faithful to the End

Root Out Hidden and Pet Sins

Desire the Lord More than Anyone or Anything Else

© 2018 by Bill Rudge http://www.billrudge.org

Commitment to Reach My Full Potential in Christ

I have examined the evidence and counted the cost. I choose to commit the rest of my life to Jesus Christ.

I accept You as my Savior and acknowledge You as Lord over every area and aspect of my life. 

Strengthen me to walk in obedience to Your Word and anoint me to fulfill Your purpose.

Cause me to be available, yielded, submissive, surrendered and sensitive so Your Spirit can speak to my heart. Lead, guide and empower me to accomplish Your goals, dreams and vision for my life.

Remind me to daily examine my motives and inspire me to maintain a pure heart and a genuine spirit of humility and meekness.

Enable me to live a life of integrity before You and the world.

Motivate me to develop a balanced life and glorify You with all of my being – physical, mental and spiritual.

Encourage me to live a life of discipline and self-control – which is the true essence of strength.

Keep me from compromising and conforming – inspire me to dare to be different and make my life count.

Grant me the courage to stand alone when necessary.

Instill within me the determination to never give up and to remain faithful until I go home to be with You.

Do not let me tolerate hidden or pet sins. Help me by the power of Your Spirit to overcome anything that would ensnare or enslave me.

I desire You, Lord Jesus, more than anyone or anything else on earth.

© 2018 by Bill Rudge http://www.billrudge.org

How Do You Reach Your Maximum Potential?

by Bill Rudge

Is it by tapping into latent powers within your mind or body?

Is it by becoming one with the universe and realizing you are God?

Is it through some esoteric technique or ritual?

No! It is by having a personal relationship with the resurrected Christ; coming to know Jesus in a real and personal way and living by the truth and principles in His Word.

The Bible is not a record of humans’ quest for God, but rather God’s revelation to humanity. Christianity is not merely one of a myriad of religions, but it is a relationship with the Master of the Universe. Jesus Christ is not one of many ways to salvation; His death and resurrection provide the only hope of eternal life.

In our next blog I will list the biblical principles God used to transform my life. Although as a teenager, I had violated every one of these on a regular basis, after giving my life to Jesus Christ at 18, I realized the essence of true strength and wisdom. God’s Spirit began to transform my life as I implemented these biblical principles.

Jesus really can change the life of one with seemingly little hope or potential. As you read each principle, contemplate how God would have you apply it to your life; then ask Him, by His Spirit, to begin transforming you.

The origin of the list came about during an outreach to Haiti. I had shared with several missionaries these biblical principles which have molded my life and ministry. They were so touched they suggested I make them available in poster format so they could be reviewed daily. The missionaries told me these were some of the most powerful truths they had heard and that every believer needed to be reminded of them.

You may want to place the list where it can be seen frequently. It will inspire and encourage you to walk in faithfulness with the Lord and honor His Word. May the Lord bless, guide and empower you as you grow in your relationship with Him and in reaching the full potential and purpose for which He created you.

Do you want to know more about Jesus Christ? Request a copy of my insightful book Who Is This Jesus? It is also available as an E-book on our website or through Kindle and Amazon. Another of my books, Reaching Your Maximum Potential in Christ, is being updated and expanded for its third edition as a book and an E-book.

A Heart of Thankfulness

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Lucas Rudge, surrounded by his family.

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

I was reminded of the importance of having a heart of thankfulness when my father and I had a conversation about the birth of my son Lucas. When my wife, Tara, was pregnant with him, she was diagnosed with group B strep. We were told it was not serious, but it would require her to receive an antibiotic a few hours before Lucas would be born. My wife was somewhat concerned because with the previous pregnancy, our daughter was born within just a few hours. In light of this, she worried about making certain she could get the antibiotic prior to delivering our son. To ease her anxiety the doctor told Tara she would induce her so there would be no concern about getting the antibiotic. The day set for her to be induced was about a week before her actual due date, and other than the need for the antibiotic, my wife was progressing well. The doctor had no problem inducing a week early. Everything went well that day.

Tara took the antibiotic, and labor (at least from my standpoint) moved along smoothly. During the birth the doctor noticed the cord was wrapped around my son’s neck, and she quickly removed it. In the excitement of having another child, I didn’t think too much at the time about potential implications of the cord being around his neck. It was not until later, discussing this with my wife and my dad, that we all realized we could have lost Lucas. I truly believe that if my wife had not been induced a week early, my son might not be here today. I finally did what I should have done at the moment he was born – I got down on my knees and thanked the Lord!

When my son was born, it was a rainy and overcast day. However, at the moment he was born, the doctor commented how the sun suddenly came out and shone through the window. What a reminder to us of God’s faithfulness as He blessed our lives with our son Lucas (which, by the way, means “light bearer”). His birth date also was a blessing to my father. It was on that same date, July 5 – but decades prior – that his little brother, at age seven, was struck and killed by a car.

An Attitude of Contentment

When I was in Haiti as a youth, I witnessed both an amazing expression of gratitude and the demonstration of contentment. The mission compound where we stayed took food and water to a remote village once a week. This tiny village was extremely poor and the people had to walk miles to get water. As we approached, I was struck by two images: the first was of extreme poverty and the dire conditions in which the people lived. Their village was situated along a dirt path with minimal vegetation. The huts were made of dirt, straw, and what appeared to be old tin metal sheets. The children were running around naked and the adults were wearing tattered clothes.

Second, along with the extreme poverty, I was struck by the faces of the people as we entered the village. They began to smile and wave as they ran towards their huts. They came out wearing their best (old and worn-out) clothes as they headed to the one-room church that had been built near the mission compound. As we walked into the church they were singing a song. I asked our interpreter what they were singing, and he said, “They are thanking God for all He had given them.” I looked around and thought to myself, “What things?” These people had no houses, no cars, barely any food or clothes, and lived in a hot and extremely dusty environment. How could they be thankful?

Then I realized that a thankful heart does not focus on what it lacks but is content with, and grateful for, what it has. As the apostle Paul reminded the believers in Philippi:

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:11-13).

An attitude of contentment moves our focus from circumstance to our Source of Strength. It reminds us that we serve a God Who is greater than anything we face, and as the Psalmist reminds us, His greatness is the reason we can have a heart of thankfulness:

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord
is a great God and a great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:2, 3

The preceding was excerpted from BJ’s new E-book, “Powerful and Effective Prayer.”

Courage to Stand Alone

Enjoy the beautiful pictures as you listen to this podcast by Bill Rudge that was recorded live at a national youth convention. His challenging message has inspired thousands of teenagers and adults to resist peer pressure and dare to be different. It will impact your life, too, and inspire you to have the courage to stand alone and impact your world.