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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) …

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The Pastoral Calling and Role

I love being a Pastor. I'm passionate about preaching. I am humbled that God has called me to shepherd a flock of His choosing. And I especially love the fuel that fires me up - the Word of God and what it has to say about whom I am. One of my favorite passages on the subject is Paul's gut-wrenching goodbye to the Epehsian elders who met him at the island port city of Miletus. It's recorded in Acts 20:17-38. I've been reading it afresh today and have discovered a pattern …

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I Know My Purpose… Now What?

I have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I'm saved and secure. I'm on my way to heaven someday. But I still live here and I know that my purpose is to glorify Jesus Christ in all of the life that I have left. But how? A common plight Christians suffer is this wrestling between getting ready to do something, and doing it now. When I surrendered to God's calling on my life to ministry, I wrestled - do I spend some years in school, doing little and learning much, or do I get …

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Five Great Books About the Apostle Paul

Last week I began a new post series that will feature "five great gooks" every week on a variety of subjects. I said I'd talk about five great books for women, but I spoke rashly. I'm going to postpone that until a bit later. Instead, today, I'm going to plug five great books about the life of the apostle Paul. I'm beginning a teaching series on this subject with tonight's service and it's a great way to get acquainted with almost half of the New Testament in survey …

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Real Christians Hurt… And Show It

As Paul concluded his second letter to Timothy, he expressed some hurt. Demas had forsaken him. Alexander the coppersmith had caused him much harm. At one point, no one was willing to stand with Paul. Rejection, criticism, and abandonment hurt! The world is watching believers to see how we're going to handle it all. …

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Real Pastors

"Turn... And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding..." -Jeremiah 3:14-15 The period of the prophets was marked with the terrible tragedy of a declining spiritual leadership. It was an age of false prophecies and empty messages. It was a duplication of the age of which the Apostle Paul speaks when he proclaims, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they …

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The Impact of Saul of Tarsus

"Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied." -Acts 9:31 Most Christians are aware that Saul of Tarsus was the persecutor of the church who was converted to Christ and became one of the first and primary missionaries to the Gentile world. But I think we sometimes underestimate the impact Saul actually had. According to Acts 9:31, when …

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The Actions of Paul in Acts

Most men love "action" movies. I remember my Dad sitting in the recliner watching old Westerns (i.e. - primitive action movies) and counting the bullets coming out of the guns. He shouted with glee when he caught seven bullets coming out of the six-shooter. There's something about action that thrills us. …

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Living In Jesus’ Name – Part 1

I, like many Christians, pray "in the name of Jesus." At least I say the words before the almost mandatory finale, "Amen." But what do those words mean... "in the name of Jesus?" Do we realize the impact of them? And do we realize that more than praying in the name of Jesus, we should live in the name of Jesus? Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:17, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the …

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