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16

 
The Bible tells the story of a Father’s love. We read in the Bible that our heavenly Father’s love is steadfast, unmovable, unshakable, relentless, never-ending. When God our Father makes a promise, He always keeps it.

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09

 
Why the Bible? Why should we memorize, meditate, learn it and live it? Why should we spend our time studying and hearing messages preached from the Bible? Because the Bible is Life.

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02

 
Why should someone learn about what the Bible says? Simply put, the Bible is God’s revelation. Through the Bible God reveals His nature and the nature of His creation to us.

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26

 
Our encouraging words and acts can help connect people to Jesus and help God change their lives. Encouragement lets people know they are valuable to you and to God.

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04

 
There are two parts of baptism that we need to understand: death and resurrection. Without an understanding of both of these parts, our spiritual growth will stagnate.

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04

 
The Kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house that went to hire workers for his vineyard. From the get go, the master is the focus of this story. He is the one who is in charge. He is the boss. It is his house, his vineyard and his initiative to go out and find workers. We learn that the master has work to be done, and he looks for those who will work for him.   

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25

 
These events of scripture were written for our benefit. We have much to learn from Caleb and Joshua and the people of Israel on what to do and what not to do. Like them, we also have an Egypt, and we have a promised-land. Like Israel, we face giants in our promised land, but these giants are not people or circumstances. The real giants that we face are unbelief and human-centeredness. Just like Israel, these giants, unless they are dealt with, will lead us to disobedience and keep us from entering our promised-land.   

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28
The Measure of a Great Church
It had been a little over 30 years or so since Paul had written his letter to the Ephesians and John wrote a follow-up commentary in Rev. 2:1-8 about what had become of them in that relatively short time.
From what we read in Rev. 2, the believers in Ephesus had somewhere along the way abandoned what they stood for in exchange for what they stood against. That in their desire to endure and stand against evil, they somehow neglected what was good. That in someway, they like Peter, looked at the turbulent sea around them, took their eyes off Jesus and left their first love.  

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29
Answers From Easter

For most people Easter it’s just another long weekend, a break in the dreary stretch between Christmas and summer vacation. Even some Christians view Easter as a second-rate holiday.

Somehow we’ve gotten our thinking badly mixed up. If Easter had not happened, Christmas would have no meaning. If Easter had not happened, Christmas would be nothing more than a sweet-sounding fable. If Easter is not true, then Christmas is only the story of an obscure baby born in an out-of-the-way town in a forgotten land 2000 years ago. 

But it is the great miracle of Easter that gives Christmas its true meaning. So how did these two get inverted?

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03
Saving Faith

As we read earlier, the Bible tells us in Luke 23 that Jesus hung between two criminals. But who were these two men? Luke calls them criminals, but the meaning of the word in the original text tells us more. These men were hoods, thugs, men who killed for fun and profit. They were “professional criminals and members of the underworld.” Scholars submit that these men were anarchists, political revolutionaries bent on overthrowing Roman rule over Israel.


But beyond that, we know little else about them. We don’t know their names, their hometowns, the specific crime they committed, or if they were partners in crime. Since both were sentenced to die together at the same time, at the same place and on the same day, many have suggested that these two men were cut from the same cloth. However, from what we learn in this passage, these two similar men were very different, and their difference was with regard to how they viewed the man in the middle. One of the thieves wanted escape, while the other thief wanted forgiveness.

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03

Last year at this time many of you were making New Year resolutions. If you did, then how did you do? Were you successful? Did you start like gangbusters in January only to petered out somewhere in March? Is what you started something you want to continue, or was it just a one year deal?

How about this year? Do you have any New Year resolutions? Maybe you don’t do that? Maybe you haven’t thought about it yet or haven’t yet come up with a good one. Whatever you case may be I’d like you to consider one. Not just a mediocre one or a self-serving one or one that has little significance over the long haul, but a big one, even a great one.

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20
Getting God In Focus
Have you ever had a really bad mentor? I’m talking about someone that you can lift up as a shining example of what not to do. I’ve been blessed to have a veritable plethora, and that means a lot, of extremely good mentors, but there have been some whom I can point to as prime candidates for what not to do. As a 14 year student in middle school I was hungry for friends to hang out with. I felt self-conscious and insecure, and I was certain that if I could get in with a group of friends, these bad feelings would all be taken care of. My older brother had a best friend, and that friend’s younger brother was a year older than me. He was well-liked in school, so I began to hang out with him and a buddy of his. The problem was that this mentor of mine was a terrible influence.

 

 

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06
Remembering Jesus
As the years have gone by and my niece and nephews have grown up, Frank and I are finding that our home is becoming the “Thanksgiving Central” celebration spot for our extended family.  What a wonderful time we have getting together to laugh about growing up together, enjoying special foods, and remembering our Dad and others who have passed away!  It is a rich blessing for us, and builds us up as a family.

In a way, communion is a lot like those special family meals.  You see, communion is all about remembering Jesus.  It is also about celebrating our continuing relationship with Jesus and our fellowship with the rest of the family of God.

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22
Staying Visible
Of all of the challenges that face Christ-Followers in this modern age perhaps the most overlooked is amnesia.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  Spiritual amnesia is like whooping cough.  It can run rampant through a community of Jesus because of its contagious nature, and it can linger on and on.  Like its natural counterpart, spiritual amnesia is a condition where a person’s identity in Christ is forgotten and along with it, their purpose for existing.  Even though the Bible is crystal clear about our identity in Christ, it is so easy to be distracted from the purity of devotion to Jesus.  He is our source of life, purpose and identity, so we must return to His words to renew our minds.

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31
The Path of Life

Jesus said that he is the way.  In other words, he is the blessing.  He is the end goal – not a “good” life or a life full of blessings.  If we follow Jesus to find a “good” life we won’t find the good life or Jesus either.  But if we follow Jesus we will have both him and a “good” life or a life full of blessings.

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12
HITTING THE WALL

Countless people start off their Christian life like a “fireball,” things are great and they’re “feeling the love.” They deal with big sins and the gross, surface sins in their lives. But somewhere along the line they find themselves moving out of that “honeymoon” phase and into a whole new level...

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