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Defining God’s Holiness

Did you ever sing that hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty...? It's based on a couple of passages of Scripture, one of which was written by the prophet Isaiah... And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” - Isaiah 6:3 (ESV) I think we often get confused about what holiness means, both in our own lives as well as in describing God with this word. But when we understand what God's holiness is, …

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The Nightline Debate: Proving the Existence of God

Last night, millions watched the debate between Kelly and Brian Sabient (representing atheism) and Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron (attempting to prove God's existence without using faith or the Bible). I have reviewed as much of the video as I can stand and have come to some interesting conclusions. At first, I was disappointed in Ray's use of Scripture in his opening comments. He had made a commitment to prove God's existence without the Bible and then proceeded to use the …

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Just Walk Across the Room

I just finished reading Bill Hybels' newest book Just Walk Across the Room. I was so impacted by its content that I changed my sermon for this past Sunday. Instead of preaching on "The Power of Proper Life Stewardship" I preached on "The Power of a Walk Across the Room." …

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The Creative Juices Are Flowing

God is the great Creator of the entire universe and all that is in it. He created time and He creates every life that enters into the world. In short, God is extremely creative, so He loves creativity. I agree with many modern church leaders that creativity, in and of itself, is glorifying to God, so long as what we create does not represent any form of idolatry or contradiction to the revealed truth and standards of God's Word. I have two tables in my home made by my late …

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Fresh Power

I just finished reading Jim Cymbala's book Fresh Power and it has again revived my thirst for God. One of the most impactful insights from the book is the revelation that if we can explain the success of our churches in terms of programs, personalities, or well-oiled machinery without the power of the Holy Spirit, then we've missed the point. Cymbala appeals to A. W. Tozer who proclaimed that if the Holy Spirit were removed from our midst today, most of our largest and most …

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Hate Sin or Hate Self

Moments ago, I was spending some time in prayer and I was confessing known sin in my life. As I prayed, I said, "God, I'm sorry for this sin, I ought to hate this sin." Almost instantly God spoke to my heart and I blurted out what I heard Him say, "Brandon, you'll either learn to hate your sin, or you'll wind up hating yourself." As we confess sin and seek the Holy Spirit's power to overcome it, we ought to remember that we have a new identity in Christ. We are not to be …

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Glory Filled My Soul

This past Sunday was perhaps the most awesome day of ministry I've ever experienced. Like the old gospel song says, "Heaven came down and glory filled my soul." It wasn't great planning, great music, or great preaching that made the day great, it was our great God visiting us in a powerful way in response to a whole lot of concerted, passionate praying. Last Wednesday, our prayer service, which normally consists of calling out some requests, a short pastoral prayer, and a …

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I Want to Climb Higher

In today's devotional reading from J. Sidlow Baxter's book Awake My Heart, there is a particularly moving paragraph that not only puts into perspective what the Christian's worldview ought to be, but also inspires us to remember the ultimate end of that worldview... Christ's people were never meant to live at the world's sea-level. We are meant to have a mountain view, the long view, the wide view, the really understanding view. We are meant to see the happenings of our time …

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Let It Roll

Live peaceably with all men... Easier said than done. Everything in us wants to fly off the handle when we are inconvenienced or insulted. Paul's words were nothing new, they had been modeled by Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Nonetheless, these words are revolutionary as far as human society is concerned. To seek peace, to refuse the right to get even, is one of the greatest accomplishments any person could ever make. My Sunday began on the wrong foot. First, I'd gotten pulled …

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Holy Agitation

"Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." -Acts 17:16 Paul was "stirred" or literally, agitated in his spirit. Often we are agitated by the world because our values are insulted, but Paul's zeal had little to do with his own values. His zeal was for the glory of God. He saw an entire city turned away from the living God and given to every kind of false belief. The place was steeped in idols, a …

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