To Receive Forgiveness, Love

[244 words] “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:35).  In this age of tolerance, it is so easy for us to define biblical terms in our own ways, ways that perhaps suit or justify what we’re already doing. But God is...

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Sharing Christianity

[241 words] “All the believers were one in heart and mind No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had“ (Acts 4:32). I have about fifty cards for various stores and clubs, so many that I keep them in an organizer m my car because they don’t...

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The Church is Praying

[215 words] “On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God” (Acts 4:23-24). Prayer is in everything that the people of God do. We are commanded...

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His Strength, or Your Safety?

[222 words] “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lions mouth” (2 Tim. 4:17). We sing the song: “…though none go with me, I still will follow.” But...

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Will You Step Out of the Boat?

[216 words] “But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don t be afraid ” (Matthew 14:27). After feeding the 5,000, Jesus “made” the disciples go on ahead of Him in the boat while He dismissed the crowd and prayed. When the wind and the waves get fierce in the fourth watch...

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How Do You Approach God?

[207 words] “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Heb. 12:28-29). This description of acceptable worship begins many verses before with a very impressive list of descriptors for God’s dwelling place,...

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The Lure of Egypt’s Leeks

[228 words] “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hosea 11:1). It was in Egypt that the Israelites groaned in their slavery. It was to Egypt that many of the rescued Israelites wanted to return while tired of wandering in the desert. It was to Egypt...

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Do You Hurry From the Tomb?

[221 words] “So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples” (Matthew 28:8). In Luke 2, the angel told the shepherds, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has...

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Preaching in Spite of Opposition

[251 words] “We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition” (1 Thessalonians 2:2). Never do we hear Paul complain, and his causes to complain would be many. Just a shipwreck and a...

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How Goes Your Battle? 

  [224 words] “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” Matthew 6:6.  A big theme to come out of the latest faith-based film, War Room, is that we, as individual...

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Do You Submit to God’s Will?

  [237 words] “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission” (Hebrews 5:7). What is the one thing an omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-present God not know...

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Do You Prepare?

  [225 words] “What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (Mark 13:37). When it’s raining, there’s no way to fix the leaky roof, and when the sun is shining, there’s no need. We are our own worst enemies, and God knows this. He tells Ezekiel that as a watchman, He is holding...

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Do You Watch and Pray?

  [237 words] “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38). In the midst of His own storm, our Savior prayed in the preparation He had made for Himself. He had brought three of his followers farther into the garden for...

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Have You Conquered?

  [212 words] “‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). It’s...

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Spiritual Superpowers

  [223 words] “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” Romans 12:21. My teens have posed the question: if you were a superhero, what superpower would you want to have? Answers range from extreme speed to flight, from x-ray vision to great strength. Everyone wants to be in control and not...

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Clear-minded and Self-controlled

[241 words] “The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” 1 Peter 4:7. This chapter is pivotal for living a life in Christ!  When we become a Christian, we admit that when we lived for “evil human desires,” we made a mess of our lives. ...

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What is God to You?

  [227 words] “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods” Psalm 95:1-3. We are to gather to...

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What God Has Done for You

  [233 words] “Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf!” (Psalm 66:5).  We’ve just been talking about the righteousness that Jesus gained for us while we were enemies of God and dead in our sins.  Because He loved us so much, He sent His only and beloved Son...

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Confidence!

[234 words] “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” Psalm 16:11. Looking back on it, I realize, of course, that the compost pile was really just at the end of a long backyard on the edge...

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Got Faith?

[192 words] “This righteousness from God comes through faith inJesus Christ to all who believe … “ Romans 3:22. Having already established that there is an obedience that comes faith, that faith is something we do, and that we must not rest in what we’ve done or who we think we are in God’s sight,...

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Is God Pleased With You?

[226 words] “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way…” (Colossians 1:10). We love because the Lord first loved us, though we were enemies to Him and separated from Him, and sent Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sins....

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Do You Believe the Bible is True?

[210 words] “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). Jesus, the Word made flesh Himself, claims in His Word, that the Word of God is truth. Well, many worldly skeptics would argue that just because the Bible claims to be truth doesn’t make it so (even though they would accept that...

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Do You Follow God’s Son?

[175 words] “And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry…” (Luke 3:22-23). After many convincing proofs from His birth and childhood about who Jesus was, Luke, writing from his investigations and...

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Who Do You Understand Jesus to Be?

[214 words] “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:20-21). For centuries, God’s chosen people had been expecting a Savior,...

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What is Flowing from Your Heart?

  [229 words] “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). God is the “God of hope” and fills us with joy and peace, but something is required of us.  Yes,...

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Watch and Pray

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38). In the midst of His own storm, our Savior prayed in the preparation He had made for Himself.  He had brought three of his followers farther into the garden for the fellowship and...

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Crucified with Christ

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” Galatians 2:20. If we replay the gospel backwards from the religious confusion we have today,...

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Do You Believe and Obey?

“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel” (Romans 9:2-4). Anyone who has ever known a loved one to slip away from this life...

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Do You Love Me? Feed My Sheep

“The third time he said to him, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.’” John 21:17. Peter knew how his sin of denying...

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Because God is Light

[232 words] But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” 1 John 1:7. Because God is light, we cannot have fellowship with Him if there is any darkness in us at all....

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When the Time Had Fully Come

“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” Romans 4:7-8. As the expression goes, “Hind-sight is 20/20.” Obviously, God as the Master Strategist selected the moment He did to send His...

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Giving Like God

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. There’s a lot of talk about giving this month. Even the retail stores, who have separated themselves from the reason for the season, have not moved away...

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Restoring New Testament Christianity

“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” Mark 16:15-16. Not too far up the road, a stone ruin stands with trees growing through it. A plaque proclaims that in 1823 President James Monroe...

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Proclaiming Truth

“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” Acts 2:39. Just as Paul needed the courage to stand on the pagan Mars Hill and proclaim Christ, we need to stand as a rock in the sea of postmodernism, denominations, and...

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Do You Restore God’s Word?

[232 words] “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the remnant … about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with...

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Only By God’s Word?

[216 words] “In everything he walked in the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. The high places, however, were not removed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there” (1 Kings 22:43). Jehoshaphat did what was...

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How Do You Win Souls?

[214 words] “Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, ‘Why didn’t you bring him in?’ ‘No one ever spoke the way this man does,’ the guards declared” (John 7:45-46). Word was going around Jerusalem that Jesus might possibly be the Christ, and so those who believed themselves...

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Is Your Tongue Tamed?

[222 words] “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). When angry men from another tribe confronted Gideon about why he hadn’t waited for them for judgment on enemy leaders, he replied, “What have I accomplished compared to you?” In minimizing his own role and exalting theirs, Gideon...

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Repent and Believe the Good News!

“After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galillee, proclaiming the good news of God.  ‘The time has come,’ he said.  ‘The kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the good news’” (Mark 1:14-15). Mark’s gospel, written to a Roman audience that valued efficiency, is the shortest and most stripped down to the essential...

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