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Life Is About More than Keeping Our Lists

I have lots of lists. And you probably do too. We have lists of the things we are supposed to do right, the things we aren't supposed to do wrong, and of course the list of ways we've failed to keep the other two lists. But life is about way more than keeping lists. Somewhere along the way, we've been taught rules, and rules are good. Rules and commandments are like boundaries for a life lived in wisdom and safety. And even though God gave us plenty of rules, He never …

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From Condemnation to Confidence

Are you confident? God wants you to be. He doesn't want you to be arrogant or self-reliant, but He does want you to wake up each morning and face the day with a sense of spiritual confidence, rooted in your relationship with Him. He even went to the trouble of speaking rather clearly through His word about all the reasons we get to be so confident. In Paul's letter to the Romans, he outlines a multitude of reasons why everything is different once we place our faith in …

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On the Cross, Jesus Won

Sometimes, the story of Jesus is depicted in odd ways. In various on-screen or onstage representations of the gospel, we see Satan enjoying a momentary victory when Jesus was crucified, only to have his gloating spoiled by the resurrection. But I don't think for a second Satan believed the cross was his own victory. In fact, I believe Satan worked extremely hard to prevent the cross from ever happening. He understood redemption better than anyone, and would do anything to …

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Defining Spiritual Maturity

How is it that some people can be born again, faithful church members for many decades and act so immaturely under pressure or in conflict while others who have been believers such a short time seem to reflect Christ so well? It's because spiritual maturity isn't defined chronologically. It doesn't matter so much how long you've been a Christian. It matters whether you've been growing while a Christian. I love the way Tony Evans states it his book Time To Get …

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God Is A Finisher

I have taken lessons in piano, guitar, trumpet, and karate. Does this make me a master of all of these abilities? No! Because I stopped each one after only a few months. I'm a master of starting things! God, however, is the Master of finishing. Consider this. In Genesis 3, sin entered the picture of humanity and by the end of the chapter, God had issued a permanent promise of redemption through the "seed" of the woman (Jesus, the Messiah). Then for thousands of years, that …

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What Is It That Breaks Your Heart?

Martin Luther King, Jr. was so moved by the plight of black people in America that he gave his life leading a civil rights movement. Mother Teresa was so crushed by the poverty she saw in Calcutta that she spent her life there ministering to the poor. John Knox was so burdened for the souls of the people of Scotland that he prayed to God, "Give me Scotland, or I die." Moses saw the suffering of his Hebrew brothers and sisters and it moved him to reject his royal upbringing …

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Keep On Chasing Jesus

A little over 17 years ago, Angie and I stood in the altar of a church and vowed to stick together, till death do us part. We were married that day and have the certificate, the rings, and pictures to prove it. That day wasn't the culmination of our relationship, it was merely the formal beginning of it. We've spent our lives, through thick and thin, learning how to be married. A little over thirty years ago, I trusted Jesus Christ as my Forgiver and Leader. He moved into …

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Mystery Solved: Life Is All About Jesus

"I know something you don't know!" Little kids love to have insider information, and even more to rub it in the noses of their friends. Sometimes we keep that trait into adulthood. There is plenty about God that remains a mystery to us, but some things have been made abundantly clear, such as the fact that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. In the church in Colosse, the Gnostics were trying to persuade believers that only those who possessed a special, mystical …

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God Has a Great Big Plan for His People, And It’s Good

One of the most popular Bible verses in the Old Testament is found in Jeremiah 29:11 which says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'" (NLT) It's a beautiful verse that holds tremendous promise for those who understand its deep meaning, but it's often misunderstood. Jeremiah was prophesying destruction for any nation that refused to submit to God's chastisement through the …

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Invincibility: Life or Death… I’m Good

Paul went from persecuting the church to being a persecuted apostle of the church. After his arrest in Jerusalem, during his first imprisonment, he wrote a letter to the Philippians in which he boldly declared this short but profound line... For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (1:21) In other words... "If I live, I get to be all about Christ. If I die, I get to be with Christ, so either way, I'm good." Here's the thought that hit me - Paul was pretty much …

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