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Charles Stanley: The Gift of Forgiveness

I couldn't help but be moved by Charles Stanley's definition of unforgiveness. It's something we ultimately do to ourselves, not to others: Webster defines gift as “something given to show friendship, affection, support, etc.” Using this definition, it seems logical to give gifts only to people we love, not to those who hurt or abuse us. Yet Scripture clearly tells us to offer one of the greatest possible gifts—forgiveness—to those who mistreat us. To forgive means “to …

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Forgetting the Past

We all have a past. It's filled with proud moments, and not-so-proud moments. It contains joy and pain, and we are continually tempted to live in it. But God wired us to face the future, to think forward, to live for today and tomorrow and leave yesterday behind. Paul put it this way, No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and …

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What I Really Deserve

This week, I'm staying in a nice hotel in Ocala, Florida, driving around in a rented Camaro, and eating fresh fruit - all sweet gifts from The Church at the Springs where Pastor Ron Sylvia and others are hosting Nuts & Bolts, a conference for church planters. I feel very blessed to be here. I don't deserve it. What I do deserve is the full weight of the wrath of God toward sin for my rebellion against God. I learned a huge lesson a long time ago from my friend, Bobby …

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21 Things Pastors Need to Know About Porn

Just this morning, a book came across my desk, Eyes of Integrity: The Porn Pandemic and How It Affects You, and I devoured it in a matter of hours, not because it was an "easy read" but because it shares a compelling story that rarely gets talked about - what happens to people who consume or produce pornography, and how they can find hope and help. It's written by Craig Gross and Jason Harper, both a part of XXXChurch, a radical kind of rescue outreach into the porn …

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But I Want Revenge!

In 1 Samuel 22, Doeg the Edomite ruthlessly slaughters, execution-style, 85 innocent priests of the Lord. In Psalm 52, David reacts by calling upon God to judge Doeg. Being angry was right, dealing with anger the way David did is also right. I'm sure you've been in the position before of wanting to settle the score, to get even, to take revenge. If we're not careful, that stored up anger can become debilitating in all of our relationships including our relationship with …

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It Doesn’t Matter – It’s In the Past!

There's a scene in The Lion King I really like when the old wise monkey hits Simba in the head with his cane. Simba demands, "Hey, why'd you do that?" The monkey replies, "It doesn't matter, it's in the past." There's a lot of wisdom in that! …

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Forgiveness Is Tough

If there's a command in the Bible that's difficult to keep, it's the repeated command to forgive others. It's really tough. As you look at the model prayer of Jesus, He encourages us to express our forgiveness to others in light of the fact that we've been forgiven of so much. …

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