God

Freedom in Letting Go

Do you ever feel like you need to hide your feelings from God? Have you ever gone to church feeling like you are having the worst week of your life, but put on a smile and acted like everything was fine? Or when something really upsets you, do you feel like you need to calm down and take care of it yourself before you bring it to God? Well, you are not alone. Although we don’t consciously intend it to be this way, when we behave in this manner we are acting on our own strength, and telling God “I […]

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Becoming Real

Dr. Michael Allen Oftentimes we overlook the obvious. We search our houses for glasses we are already wearing. We scan what seems to be the whole cosmos for keys that were right where they should be. And, far more serious, in important discussions about the Christian life, we manage to avoid precisely those passages where the apostle Paul speaks most candidly about the Christian life. I suspect that for most evangelicals, Romans 12-16 is functionally inoperative – these are the missing chapters that we just can’t see (likely because they follow the soaring heights of the first eleven chapters, with […]

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Appreciation through Desperation

As we enter into the Thanksgiving season, have you taken any time to examine your heart to see just how much you appreciate what God in Christ has done for you? We can be so busy working to get through the day that we can overlook and neglect to acknowledge what God has done, and is doing for us daily. As a pastor I have discovered, in coaching individuals from all walks of life over the years, that the degree of our appreciation will always reflect the degree of our previous desperation! Here is a wonderful example of this biblical […]

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Tattooed By Iniquity No Longer

What comes to mind when you see a person covered in tattoos? A person that has had a rough life; someone that has taken the road of hard knock and a path of pain and agony? Or perhaps someone who has been rebellious and possibly pushed aside by society? If we are not careful, we may judge a book by its cover while failing to understand what the content inside the book really reveals. The Bible says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things […]

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What Binds Up Broken Relationships

It doesn’t matter where you live, what you do for a living, or how you spend your free time, you have experienced, are experiencing, or will experience the wreckage of broken relationships. Infidelity, divorce, misunderstanding, fragmented workplaces, even death…these things touch us all, even in the “safe haven” of church. Broken relationships are everywhere. But what breaks them? And how can they be restored? This is the question taken up by James in the fourth chapter of his epistle. James is a “horizontal” book, in that it is primarily concerned with the love that people ought to have and show […]

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The Modern Day Great Commission

We are told that we are on a mission from God, in the words of Jesus to his disciples, the very last words he spoke to them after more than three years of ministry with them on earth. People’s last words are usually given a degree of importance. As recorded in Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” What does this mean to us almost two […]

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Seven Habits of Effective Prayer

Prayer is extremely important. But you probably already knew that. Most people don’t need to be convinced that prayer is one of the most important practices in a believer’s life. But what seems to elude a lot of people is the “how” of prayer. How do you maintain a healthy prayer life? How do you pray with any sense of satisfaction or effectiveness? Prayer is important, but prayer is hard. It can look like prayer comes easy for some people, but it doesn’t. Not right away anyway. An effective prayer life is developed over time through a series of habits […]

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Storms and Your Savior

The experience of life tells us if we are not currently dealing with storms, we will be in the near future. Storms are simply part of living. Some are like summer showers that disrupt a day at the beach. Others, however, are like tsunamis that devastate our lives. Regardless of the storm, we can find great comfort in knowing our Savior is in the middle of it with us. We have a Savior who can sympathize with us because he suffered the greatest storm the world has ever seen while he was nailed to a cross atop the hill Golgotha. […]

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You are the Woman at the Well

By: Dr. Warren Gage “Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well?” (John 4:12) The sun was climbing high to midday, bright and hot, as she stepped outside with her empty water jar. There would be no one else at the well at this hour. Most women went to the well to draw water later in the day, enjoying the cool of the evening and the company of their friends. But there was one woman in Sychar who chose to endure the heat of the day and go to the well alone, for in so small […]

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Redeeming Repetition

“Christianity can be summed up in the two terms faith and love…receiving from above [faith] and giving out below [love].” Martin Luther One of the most common objections that those of us who are committed to preaching the gospel of grace week in and week out hear is, “Ok…I get it. Can we move on now? We hear the same thing week after week. Can we hear something different already?” Considering the way our consumeristic culture has conditioned us to always crave “what’s next”, the objection is understandable. Add to that a fundamental misunderstanding inside the church that the gospel […]

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