Practical Application

The Marks of a Christian

Christians are meant to live with an assurance of their salvation. It’s God’s desire that all of his children know that they are his children. God doesn’t just want to save a person; he wants that person to know that they’ve been saved. So how do you know that you’re saved? How do you know that you’re among the eternal people of God? What are the marks of a Christian? In John 17, Jesus describes the Christian, and he gives four irreducible marks of every genuine believer. In other words, there are more than these, but there are never less […]

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He is Risen, Indeed

(Comment below on what Christ being risen means for you) This month, all over the world, Christians will celebrate Easter and the undeniable fact that the tomb was empty; that Jesus Christ was raised from death to life. Our Lord Jesus Christ, after having spent three days in the tomb, was raised from the grip of death to the glory of life and is sitting at the right hand of God the Father. We know that the tomb was emptied by the power of our Most High God. Christ has risen! “Then the angel spoke to the women. ‘Don’t be […]

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Jesus in the Passover

The Jewish people have celebrated the festival of the Passover for thousands of years. It is the retelling of the great story of the redemption of the children of Israel from 450 years of slavery and bondage in Egypt. On this night, Jewish children may ask their father, “Papa, why is this night different from every other night?” The celebration itself was given to the Jews while they were still in Egypt. The original celebration centered on the Passover lamb, which was sacrificed and its blood put over the doorposts as a sign of faith, so that the angel of […]

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Do You Want to be Happier?

By: Dr. Norm Wise Happiness is one of the goals that people consider of significant value in their lives. However, if happiness comes from outside circumstances and other people, then only to the extent that we can control these factors will we be happy. Therefore, happiness is very fragile because we have little or no control over our circumstances. What can be done? One key to feeling greater happiness is having realistic godly expectations of life “East of Eden” and a committed acceptance of our community of imperfect people. If we can lower our expectations and increase our forbearance of […]

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Rise Above the Rubble

(How does God make you rise above rubble? Please comment below.) Life is marked by painful providences. We face trials and tribulations throughout our lives, from the moment we are born until the moment we die. As my momma was fond of saying, “Jesus never promised you a rose garden on this side of the grave.” No, in fact He promised just the opposite:“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). As a pastor I have the […]

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Punk’d by Grace

During a radio interview last week, the interviewer told me a story that gets to the heart of how grace transforms. He was a camp counselor one summer and one of his responsibilities was to go around with another counselor and check the cabins every morning while the students were at breakfast. In order to motivate them to keep their cabins clean, awards were given at the morning assembly to the students who had the cleanest cabin. One morning the counselors walked into one of the cabins only to discover that it had been intentionally trashed. The students thought it […]

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Why Do We Need To Go To Church?

In this era of modern technology and innovations in communication, the question may be raised: do we really need to go to church? Why not stay home and watch it on the Internet, or catch a television service, whether on national TV, or our local service which may be televised. There are many good reasons why we need to be there in person, both from scriptural mandates and practical considerations. We are commanded to meet together Often when a preacher wants to reinforce the need for church attendance, he will quote the trustworthy scripture reference from Hebrews 10:24-25 about “not […]

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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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