Author: Keith Trollinger

Is Your Joy the Real Thing or a Counterfeit?

In the 16th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Luke takes an interesting turn in his writing. In context, its a very graphic story of those who reject the Father while on earth. A beggar named Lazarus and a rich man are the main characters. They first encounter each other at the gate leading into a city and Lazarus begs for whatever the rich man would give him. It is left to believe the rich man never relieves Lazarus’ hunger, but what we do know is when they die, in eternity Lazarus is by Abraham’s side and the rich man is in Hell. There is a great chasm between the two, and the rich man, overwhelmed with lack of anything to quench thirst, becomes the beggar, asking Abraham to have Lazarus dip the tip of his finger in water and to touch the tongue of the rich man so that he may be cooled from the agony of the fire. Abraham responds: Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus …

Are You Arming Yourself with Worthless Spitballs?

I remember being a college student and sitting in front of the TV listening to the Georgia Governor Zell Miller speak at the Republican National Convention in 2004. He was talking about how Senator Kerry, then presidential candidate, was opposed to expansion of military forces. Governor Miller said, “This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces, US forces armed with what? Spitballs?” The crowd erupted in a standing ovation. Agree or disagree, I have never been able to forget, “Armed with what? Spitballs?” I think this often what we arm ourselves with when it comes to sin: spitballs. Sin is deadly, and it is not Satan who sends us to Hell, it is our sin. Sin has ended the lives of millions of people, and has led people to end their life as well. Sin has caused countless health issues, depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety, and secluded life styles. Sin has led to division in families, and churches, business. It has started wars and psychotic mass casualties. …

Can God’s Timing Be Perfect In My Struggle?

But when the right time came, God sent his son, born of a women, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. – Galatians 4:4-5 God, in His perfect timing, sent Christ into the world to rescue us from the penalty of sin. What does this phrase, “fullness of time,” mean to us? Why is it significant? In their commentary on the whole Bible, Fausset and Brown write: God does nothing prematurely, but, foreseeing the end from the beginning, waits till all is ripe for the execution of His purpose. Had Christ come directly after the fall, the enormity and deadly fruits of sin would not have been realized fully by man, so as to feel his desperate state and need of a Savior. Sin was fully developed. Man’s inability to save himself by obedience to the law, whether that of Moses, or that of conscience, was completely manifested; all the prophecies of various …

How Can You Be Content With Less?

I think most would agree being content is not an attitude that comes easy. I wish I could just wake up content, but I think the opposite is true; I wake up wanting. I believe this is why Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11 he has “learned how to be content with whatever I have.” Have you ever seen an advertisement suggesting, “Don’t worry, you don’t need this.” Nope! Billions and billions and billions are spent on pushing back against contentment, convincing us stuff, trips, and food will bring about completion, then we will be content. But it’s only good until the next thing comes along. It never stops. So where does wanting end and being content begin? Are you ready for this, because it’s pretty genius… Jesus! As Shannon said, and many before him, and many after him, Jesus is enough. The first key to giving generously is being content. Why? Because we no longer hold tightly to anything anymore. There are no more strongholds to what we believe is ours, or to what …

It’s Time For You to Move Forward.

Summers are always busy for Student Pastors. We go from mission trips to summer camps to swimming in a lot of different pools. When I wrote this, I was sitting in the auditorium of Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee for CIY camp. But, by the time you read this, it will be fall and I will be in Wyoming hunting in the woods! I wanted to share with you an experience I had during this summer with a group of 100 or so men. It’s called Tres Dias. The one I attended took place in North Georgia, but these events happen all over the world. I went into the weekend thinking I was going to have this incredible spiritual breakthrough, or this moment where God would rip away areas of struggle in my life. While this happened for most men at this retreat, God said and did something different in me. On the last day in a group discussion, through the Holy Spirit, God whispered, “Keith, you know exactly what you need to do. You …

What Motivates You Day In and Day Out?

The dictionary defines motivation as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” Paul in Philippians 1:21-24 defines motivation as this: For me, to live is Christ, but to die is gain. If i am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. I am torn between the two. I desire to be with Christ, which is better by far, but it is necessary that I remain in the body. Paul’s motivation is Christ and nothing else. Paul also says later in Philippians 3 that he considers all his accolades “worthless because of what Christ has done.” This is strong! Paul’s motivation is deep, strong, and convicting. Paul understood the cost; he understood what Christ had done for him, the weight of it, and how what Christ did effected and still effects eternity and the now! Paul wanted to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. The more Paul pursued Christ, the more Christ became his motivation. It’s a cycle, a sanctifying …

Are You Prepared to Take Immediate Action?

Paul finishes his second letter to Timothy with one last challenge: I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. – 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Be prepared! Recently, I have been spending time at the police station with Carrollton’s finest. A common phrase I hear come over their radio is, “Stand by.” In a …

Acting as the Church God Had In Mind

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. – Acts 2:1-6 This text in Acts was the very beginning of something supernatural; God’s design for the church took on its fullness that day in Jerusalem. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter and the others preached the gospel in the native languages of everyone present. It happened on the steps of the temple, then moved throughout all of Israel, Judea, and to the ends of …

Not Feeling It and Not Motivated

I know a lot of times when we hear people talk about their “quiet times” it often feels as though it comes easily to them. But maybe for you, it’s a struggle. When you hear others talk about their Bible reading, maybe you find yourself experiencing guilt or shame because you are not in the Word enough and you lack the motivation motivated to get started. I read this paragraph in “Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli years ago and immediately felt normal in my walk with Christ. After 45 years of trying to follow Jesus, I keep losing him in the crowded busyness of my life. I know Jesus is there, somewhere, but it’s difficult to make Him out in the haze of everyday life. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a godly person. Yet when I look at the yesterday’s of my life, what I see, mostly, is a broken, irregular path littered with mistakes and failure. I have had temporary successes and isolated moments of closeness to …

Silence Broken with a Message of Freedom for You

These words meant everything. Zachariah was shaken, overwhelmed with fear when he saw the angel. But Gabriel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zachariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son… He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” (Luke 1:13,17) Many of us know now what the Israelites did not know then. During this time, the Israelites were under the authority of the Roman Government. They were not a free nation. The goal of the Roman government was to suppress and destabilize the nation of Israel, sending it into obscurity. Rome had been responsible for the final destruction of the Temple and the burning down of Jerusalem.  The Israelites believed from the line of David, a Jewish Patriotic King would rise from the downfall of the Jews, lead a revolution to overthrow the …