Appropriate Responses to Jesus

[156 words] In Luke 4 there is a major focus on who Jesus is and the way people respond to Him. Obviously, there are both appropriate as well as inappropriate ways to respond to His presence and call. Some appropriate responses to Jesus would be: Praise Him for His powerful message (Luke 4:15). Jesus reveals...

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Christianity is Good for You!

[182 words] It turns out that Christianity is good for you, and good for your kids. Aren’t I Captain Obvious? Well, I suppose if you have been listening too much to certain atheists it might not be obvious. Richard Dawkins has claimed teaching children to accept their parent’s religion is child abuse, and suggests it’s...

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What Do You Do With His Gift?

[230 words] “And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father’s house” (Judges 14:19). Samson is known...

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Motivation for the Christian

[222 words] “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that … we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11). I recently saw a picture labeled “motivation.”...

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Following at a Distance

[371 words] “And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes. 54 But Peter followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire” (Mark 14:53-54)....

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What Is Success?

[171 words] If success means having lots of money, would we consider Jesus a success? At the end of his short life all he had were the clothes on his back – and those were taken by his enemies. If success means having a family (children and a spouse), where would be the apostle Paul?...

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Is It Wrong To Not?

[396 words] Is it wrong to not use an instrument of music in worship service? Is it wrong to not drink alcohol? Is it wrong to attend every church service? Now the opposite of these topics often draw many articles and lesson, as people are curious to find out the limits. But one rarely claims...

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Make Straight Paths for Your Feet

[196 words] While driving to the office, I noticed a slightly battered pickup in front of me. What caught my attention was the rear wheels were not aligned with the front. It traveled slightly sideways down the road. The chassis, or rear axle, needed to be straightened or realigned. This problem is more easily seen...

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Losing Your Connection

[414 words] With technology comes great gains in the way we are able to live our lives. However, nothing can be more frustrating than when that same technology meant to make our lives easier fails. One of the most frequent ways this can happen is to lose a connection. Cell phones, internet access, and satellite...

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Conversion: Diet Or Lifestyle?

[344 words] I have lost 300 pounds: two pounds 150 times. Many have. It is one thing to lose weight. It is a radically different thing to change our lifestyle. Yet diets fail. All how-to books ultimately fail. Why? Because they do not alter the lifestyle. There are no shortcuts. There is no magic. No...

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Slacking Off

[238 words] The tendency of some modern Christians is like that of our ancient brothers who received the New Testament epistle known as “Hebrews.” These folks had not grown in their relationship with Christ (5:12-14); were beginning to forsake the assembly (10:25); had become spiritually sluggish in their religious activities (6:12); and were on the...

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That’s What I’ll Look Like When I’m Dead

[163 words] There was a lady who had to show her driver’s license at a store for identification, and she told the cashier, “Please don’t pay any attention to that picture, it’s awful! I guess that’s what I’ll look like when I’m dead.” Staring at the picture, the cashier said, “Oh, they’II make you look...

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Which Way Are You Going?

[271 words] Sometimes there are clues which help us to determine which way people are going. A man with a fishing pole and tackle box is going to the pond or lake; a boy with an armload of books is headed for school; a man carrying a lunch box or briefcase is headed for work....

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What Are We Leaving Behind?

[303 words] We are all familiar with news stories that highlight the “less than genius” decisions made by certain law breakers. Sometimes there are valuable lessons to be learned from these blunders. One particular criminal had been in jail for a short period of time when he was released. However, only a couple of hours...

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Let Go, But Hold On

[418 words] There is this new movie, Frozen, which is a big hit with my kids, and a lot of others as well. One of the main story lines is about this princess born with great power, but she lives in fear of discovery. Her parents keep her hidden away in solitude. There comes a...

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‘Church Stuff’ Really Works!

[396 words] If I were to try to think of a word that best describes God, I suppose it would be “awesome.” Not in the trivial way it is sometimes used but in moments of quiet deliberation when I contemplate his Word, his purpose, and his ways which inspire awe. Throughout the course of my...

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Ten Minutes With Jesus

[327 words] If the Lord Jesus Christ gave you ten minutes with him, what would you ask? There are some who wouldn’t want to speak to the Lord for two minutes, or even one minute because they don’t believe in him. They think he may have been a good teacher, but certainly he wasn’t the...

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Adopt a Revolutionary Motto for Your Life

[407 words] In the early formation of our country George Washington had the opportunity to become king of the burgeoning nation. But given the young nation’s experience with England and because he had a robust prayer life he knew there was only one King, so he declined the offer. The people of the land apparently...

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Reality Check

[184 words] “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven“ (Matthew 5:16). If we were to video tape ourselves for a day, would the viewing of that tape be consistent with how we perceived ourselves? Watching the tape...

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Boring Christianity?

[503 words] I can remember one time when I was a boy, I made the mistake of stating to my mother that I was bored. The next thing I know I was doing chores, carrying firewood, cleaning, and anything else my mother could think of on our small three and half acre farm. I learned...

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Veneer

[313 words] A preacher tells the following story and makes a good point for all of us: “Recently,” he says, “while visiting the hospital, I parked in the section marked ‘Doctors Only’ (thanks to the courtesy of the parking attendant). Most of us try not to impose on these parking areas when doctors need the...

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A Prayer for Our Elders

[181 words] Our Father, let me be a pillar of strength to them, not a thorn to sap their strength, nor a burden on their back to pull them down. Let me support them without striving to possess them; lift up their hands without placing shackles on them. Let me give them my help that...

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Mirror Moments

[495 words] Recently I was asked why God repeated his question to Elijah during the incident recorded for us in 1 Kings 19. Before I give you my answer (opinion), let me briefly set the context for you. Elijah had just achieved great victories. He had confronted the prophets of Baal and challenged them to...

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Living 

  [398 words] Most days, “ living” is a challenge. We have many responsibilities and challenges that compete with our relationship with God. We are raising a generation that has no real religious concern or eternal focus. As a society, our current generation continues to drift from the Creator! The world around us seems put...

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Paul Was…Are You?

  [377 words] Paul was the man Jesus chose to go to the Gentiles and preach the gospel (Acts 9:15; Rom. 11:13). Once fully converted and committed, Paul accomplished the Lord’s will admirably (2 Tim. 4:7). In three successive verses in the first chapter of Romans, Paul records the formula for preparing ourselves to follow...

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How to Live for Christ

  [155 words] Do good to all people no matter what they do to you (Galatians 6:10). Christ is our example of doing good (Acts 10:38). We must follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). * Bless and love your enemies (Matthew 5:44). Christ was hated, mocked, spat upon, beaten…yet He prayed, “Father, forgive them”...

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But Joshua Spent That Night Among the People

  [316 words] “So Joshua sent them out. And they went to the place of ambush and lay between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai, but Joshua spent that night among the people. Joshua arose early in the morning and mustered the people and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before...

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The Scope of Our Influence

  [270 words] “Not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us” (2 Thess. 3:9). As I look back to when I was growing up in the Church, the things that stand out to me are not what I would expect them to be. Some...

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Do It Well!

[104 words] Amateur, haphazard, slipshod, hit-and-miss, inattentive, incomplete, mediocre, shallow, skill-less, unskillful, wanting. All these adjectives are ones we use to describe things that are done but not done well. It’s an attitude that is far too common today. We settle for what is easy, normal, the status quo. But was this the example of...

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Goals with No Nets

[386 words] Back in the day, friends would invite me to meet them somewhere to play a pick-up game of basketball, and few things are more disappointing than showing up to play a game of basketball and seeing a goal with no net. While I might have verbalized my disappointment, it didn’t prevent me from...

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Heavenly Sunlight

  [459 words] “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (Matt. 4:16). The world can be a dark place. “The whole world,” John wrote, “lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). Satan, the “prince of this world” (John...

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You Do Good by Thinking of Others

  [168 words] “…And so we went toward Rome. And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.” (Acts 28:14-15) When’s the last you “traveled” to “Appii Forum” and “The Three Inns”...

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What is Your Life About?

  [121 words] We have been studying the book of Philippians in our young adult class on Sunday mornings. We recently covered Philippians 1:21 where Paul makes the statement, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Avon Malone observed that we must ask ourselves the question, “What is my life?”...

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Please Do Not Be Discouraged

  [250 words] Many times our “downs” outweigh our “ups.” We may feel we are going uphill all the while being pulled back. We may be hurting because our loved ones are hurting due to health challenges, financial setbacks, or spiritual deprivation. We may spend our mornings, days, or late nights in tears because of...

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Be the Best Version of Yourself

  [409 words] There’s a saying that has become popular of late that I really like. It is this: “Be the best version of yourself.” I like it because it does emphasize being yourself. It is important to be you, to be unique, and to be who God made you. Don’t change that. But it’s...

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Fooling Ourselves

  [285 words] Three times in the first chapter of James we are warned about being deceived. Specifically we are cautioned against deceiving ourselves. While the Lord does not desire for us to live in fear (cf. 1 John 5:13; 2 Cor. 5:1; Heb. 10:22-23; et. al.), it is dangerous and foolish to act as...

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What You Take With You

  [294 words] When Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed in Ford’s Theater April 14th, 1865, he had no idea that night would be his last. Lincoln loved the theater and it was his common diversion for his stressful job. So he probably didn’t think much about what he carried in his pocket that night,...

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The Christian (As Seen in Philemon)

  [277 words] The letter to Philemon is much more than a personal letter from Paul to his friend about the runaway named Onesimus. It is a message from God to each one of us. It is a message about what God expects to see in the lives of those who claim to be followers...

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Sinkholes

  [354 words] A giant sinkhole opened up in Schmalkalden, Germany about 98 feet across and about 65 feet deep that swallowed a car, part of a garage and house. Yet, it was small compared to the sinkhole that opened up in Guatemala City in 2007. Reportedly, residents heard rumblings for weeks but no one...

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What Defines You?

  [306 words] Are you known for your knowledge of the great outdoors, your keen political awareness, the expertise in your profession or your ability to understand what it takes to build a superb athletic team? I enjoy hearing good hunting stories, listening to whether or not we are on the right track in our...

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