11 - Testing the Current State of Your Faith

Scripture calls for self-examination and the testing of our faith in God.  Critical questions for “Christians” to answer are: “Do I actually KNOW God, or do I simply know about God and am I a carnal Christian or Spiritual Christian?”  There are multiple verses that speak to this (Jn 5:20, 10:14, 14:23, 17:3, 1 Cor 3:1-3, 8:3, Eph 1:17, 1 Jn 2:3-6, 3:6, Tit 1:16) 
 
Jesus repeatedly warned that a day would come when many who called themselves “believers” will stand before Him...

Read More

10 - How to Treasure Hunt God's Word

I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes [word].
— Psalm 119:99

Don't just read, go on a treasure hunt!  When you read the teachings every day, read them slowly and repetitively (Don't be in a hurry; this is your relationship with God, not an assignment).  Look for what is behind the words and give the Spirit a chance to teach you and show you deep things (Jer 33:3, Jn 14:26).  Read each verse over and over, asking yourself, "What are the implications of this verse and what does it really mean?  How do I practically apply this to my life?  What other Scriptures come to mind that help me to better understand what He is actually teaching?"...

09 - How To Get the Most Out of This Book

1. Remember that it takes self-discipline

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” – 2 Tim 1:7

Self-discipline is an investment and you have to be willing to make the sometimes painful deposit, before you can make a pleasant withdrawal.  No one likes brushing or flossing their teeth, but most people enjoy the idea of keeping them, so they discipline themselves each day to do so.  I beg you to develop the daily self-discipline of putting Jesus first.  If your discipline is motivated by love and a hunger for God, it will be handsomely rewarded.  Soon your discipline will no longer be the painful investment towards something you don’t yet possess, but rather...

Read More

08 - We are Christians, But are We Disciples?

From the beginning, Jesus told His 12 disciples to go and make disciples, not “Christians” or even “believers”.  In the NT, the word “Christians” appears only 3 times, “believers” 20 times, but the word “disciples” appears 282 times.  Today, the word disciple, which means student, is very rarely used, and many people even think it sounds too “religious”.  Given the weight of the word as it is used in Scripture, in contrast to its counterparts, I wonder who could be behind the notion that the word seems outdated or just too religious?

Today, the word “Christian” is preferred because it doesn’t...

Read More

07 - What Really is Life to the Full?

A Journey to find the Abundant Life.  

Jesus walked around promising life to the full to all of his followers.  Then he also showed us the path in John 7:17, saying if anyone puts his teachings into practice, they would find out or experience that His words and His promises were true.  

In addition to eternal life, life to the full consists of: REST, CONTENTMENT, PEACE, DIVINE PROVISION, FREEDOM, JOY, and FRUIT. (All covered in Days 1-7)

But look into your heart and at those around you. Do you see life to the full as Jesus described it, or do you see fear, anxiety, doubt, worry, frustration, bondage, loneliness, weak faith, deception, and fruitlessness?  I see mostly the latter, and God has burdened my heart to fight against this weakness.

Millions of "Christians" are going through...

Read More

06 - Seek First God, Not an Experience

It was a Sunday morning in the fall of 2001.  We had recently opened our Orlando, FL franchise of the Lord’s Gym health club, on August 22nd 2001.  Then September 11th happened and just 14 days later my first child, Tyler Chriswell was born.  It was already hectic but things were about to get much, much worse.   God knew I was about to experience such great affliction that if He didn’t direct His grace toward me in a very special way, I would not survive what I was about to endure.  In my weakness, He knew I needed to really know that He was with me.

We were just finishing up worship and the sermon was about to begin at Northland community church in Longwood, FL, when I was tapped on my left shoulder....

Read More

05 - The Keys to the Mountain Top

I live in a town (Huntsville, AL) full of rocket scientists, and I grew up in a town (Cape Canaveral, FL) where astronauts took flight on the rockets they created. Rocket scientists know everything there is to know about propulsion, except the actual experience of it.  Astronauts, however, know propulsion by experience—they have found out.  Not many scientists have the courage or the heart to actually experience propulsion.  There is a much greater sacrifice required to find out, but there is also a much...

Read More

04 - The Deeper Christian Experience

Do you sense that there must be more to the Christian life than you are experiencing?  Have you ever felt the terrible frustration of not being able to find victory over your flesh and stubborn sin, in spite of the New Covenant promises for it?  Have you ever felt shameful because you aren’t able to carry the love you feel for God during worship, throughout the week?  Have you ever had your heart for God ripped out and stomped on by...

Read More

03 - The Discipleship Journey

After several years of deep study in the teachings of Christ, I have discovered some incredible things.  The most impressive is here below.  In working on the 2nd edition of this book, I began wondering about what order to put the teachings in for the greatest impact to the reader.  As I prayerfully arranged them into their most obvious categories, I started to see something

Read More

02 - The Story Behind the Challenge

LOSING EVERYTHING TO FIND IT ALL

My name is Michael Chriswell. The pictures below are from when I was enjoying what many call the good life.  I was married with five children, living in a million-dollar home with all the toys, the travel, a successful business, and I was even being called the next "Zig Ziglar" (motivational speaker), by some.  I was living my dreams, or so I thought.

Read More

01 - Daddy, I Need Help!

Please remember this illustration whenever you encounter resistance to the difficult commands of Christ, or when you feel weakness in your ability to carry them out.

Racing to the kitchen table to feed his starving belly, a hungry little 4 year old boy, named Nathan, drops a loaded bowl of cereal.  The milk and cereal have exploded onto the ground, effectively painting the surrounding kitchen cabinets and walls.  At first, he is terrified and wants to just run away and pretend that this did not just happen, but soon...

Read More