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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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Meekness is the Leverage of Leadership

In today's world, meekness = weakness. God does not view it that way, however. The Bible says of Moses,"Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth." (Numbers 12:3) And in a world where power is everything, Jesus entered the scene in a wooden manger surrounded by barnyard animals. He grew up in an humble village, the son of a carpenter, of modest means. He lived His life serving others, yet Jesus was certainly the most influential …

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Who Is Jesus? The Head of the Church, Pre-eminent In All Things

My favorite term referring to my role as a Pastor is the word undershepherd. I've been assigned the task of leading and feeding a flock, a local body of believers. And while I seek to lead with vision, with integrity, and with faith, I readily recognize that I am not the head of Grace Hills Church. That's Jesus' job. So I shepherd the flock, but I do so under the direction of King Jesus, the Chief Shepherd. Paul reminded the Colossian believers that "Christ is also head of …

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Who Is Jesus? He’s the Visible Image of the Invisible God

One repetitive theme of Jesus' teaching to His closest disciples regarded His oneness with the Father. He once said to them, "If you've seen me, you've seen the Father." Then Phillip brilliantly asked, "Jesus, can you show us the Father?" Uh... "If... you've seen ME... you've seen the Father..." (That last part was my interpretation of what Jesus might have been thinking - you can read it in John 14.) We still struggle with this concept today in religious circles. Major …

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Who Are You Hanging Out With These Days?

When I was a college student living on a Christian college campus, I fell into the trap of often staying in the safety of the bubble. On campus, there was a bit of a micro-economy that remained pretty safe. You could eat, sleep, and study on campus and 'do life' only with those kids who were also Christian college students. While I wouldn't trade those days, I wish I'd chosen to venture out a bit. If anyone could have lived in a religious bubble, it would have been Jesus. …

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Public Enemy Number One

How is it that a husband and wife can turn into enemies? Why do churches get torn apart in relational wars? And why do we fight such fierce battles within our own hearts? Perhaps it's that we have allowed the real enemy to cloak himself. Jesus said, The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 (NLT) In other words, when there is stealing, killing, and destroying going on, it's because the real enemy …

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What Being a Follower of Jesus Is Really All About

Some of the scariest verses in the Bible are found at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount... “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s …

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Bless the Little Children

One of the sweetest scenes in the Bible is the little children gathering around Jesus to sit on His lap. The Bible describes the scene this way, One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. - Matthew 19:13 (NLT) What I love about this scene is the picture of Jesus' personality that comes through. There was something about Jesus that kids loved. He wasn't an intimidating, judgmental, cynical man who looked down on …

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Jesus Is a Treasure to Be Discovered

I still remember digging around in a treasure chest full of sand at the Browning Fair. I felt something like a rock and pulled it out - it was gold! Actually, it was a rock, spray-painted to look like gold. I traded it for a cheap plastic fire helmet which was probably the greater treasure to a little boy enamored with firefighters like his Dad and Granddaddy. There are wonderful and amazing truths to be discovered about our Creator, about eternity, and about our own souls. …

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Lavished!

Sometimes the phrase "God loves you" just seems so shallow, especially when we print it on little yellow smiley face bouncy balls. If we're not careful, we wind up with the impression that God's love is a novelty, a token of sorts. But that's not the love of God the Bible presents... How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!... 1 John 3:1 (NIV) This is no love in word only. God's love isn't merely …

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