Practical Application

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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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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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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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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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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Prayer – What’s The Point?

Have you ever wondered, “If God already knows what he is going to do, is there any point to us praying about anything?” If God is sovereign and always accomplishes his purposes, what is the point of prayer? Thinking like this shows a lack of understanding concerning prayer and its purpose. Prayer is a spiritual discipline designed by God to achieve a purpose in the life of a believer. Balancing divine and human responsibilities The free will of man and the sovereignty of God are balancing concepts. Like many truths taught in the Bible, this is one that is difficult […]

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Stay Connected!

Have you ever taken the time to observe a vine that has grown over a fence, shrub or tree? Depending on the vine species, the vine can grow quite vigorously. Some vines are so strong, people can even swing from them. But what if someone were to cut the vine, then what? Within hours, the entire branch that was cut off would wither and die. In the same way, when people get cut off from the main part of the Vine – God – they begin to wither and no longer produce the life giving fruit they were intended to […]

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Gospel-Centered Evangelism

Arthur Stace was born in 1884 in Sydney, Australia. Stace was born into a very poor family and had a rough life growing up. He spent some time in jail and was an alcoholic for the majority of his adult life. One day, in 1930, Stace stumbled his way into a church service and heard the words of the gospel preached. The message was entitled, “The Echoes of Eternity.” It was through hearing this message of eternity that Arthur Stace was converted and came to know Jesus. Stace was so inspired by the sermon that, after his conversion, he would […]

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