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The Way to Find Your Life Is to Lose It

Success is something we place a lot of value on in the culture in which we live. We place a high value on achieving, on pushing forward and climbing higher and grasping at what we perceive as success. This comes as a result of our spirit of conquest and our competitive natures. But God's Kingdom people have values that are flipped on their heads. The American Way isn't necessarily the Kingdom Way. Jesus put it this way to his bewildered followers, "If you cling to your …

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King Jesus Saves and Reigns!

We love to take biblical words and weaken their meanings by adopting them for our own usage. One such word is "gospel." We use it in a light-hearted way when we refer to something as "the gospel truth." Like when we say, "Donald Trump's hair is amazing - that's the gospel truth!" Not only are we stating something subjective in objective terms, we're also saying something... weird. What exactly is the gospel? The word literally means "good news." It's good news about a …

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When the Church Is Working Right

I believe that Jesus was the first church planter. I realize that most evangelicals refer to the Day of Pentecost as the "birthday of the church," but the church was really born as Jesus began gathering His earliest disciples, and the plan and strategy for the church had been in existence for eternity already. Jesus gathered a few guys with him at the beginning of His ministry and poured Himself into them. He would often address large throngs but would then retreat into …

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Sacrifice Everything For Buried Treasure

Last night, I spent some time with the Association of Baptist Students at The Hedge, their Tuesday night gathering. I talked about going "all in for the kingdom" and shared from the parables Jesus told about the value of discovering the rule and reign of Christ over all things. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the …

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Enjoying the Favor of God

Yesterday, I talked about defining the favor of God, and I defined it as enjoying the undeserved kindness of God. I also said you can spot the favor of God when you see that He has sovereignly chosen to bless something or someone for the purpose of bringing Himself glory. His favor is never for our enjoyment alone - it is always intended to be shared with others. In the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Gabriel comes to deliver the message that the Holy Spirit would …

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Dear Church… Go and Multiply

My friend, Stephen Gray, has recently made a comment on Twitter that has really hit home with Angie and I... Church multiplication is a spiritual decision of a church to put the needs of a desperate world before self-preservation. And that reminds me of another thought offered by my mentor, Grady Higgs... Churches should be born pregnant. The book of Acts traces the amazing work of the Holy Spirit through the apostles and it records the numerical growth of the …

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Go Ahead… Make the Call

The other day I had to call the telephone company to get them to repair our line at church. The call I made was quite an ordeal. I never actually spoke to a human being. Instead, my voice was interpreted by a computer who routed me through a very elaborate schema of menus until I was finally able to schedule a service call to take place on a particular day precisely between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Here's the thing... I had to make the call. It was necessary …

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God’s Kingdom On Earth – Wouldn’t That Be Great?

Richard Baxter once prayed, "Lord, what thou wilt, when thou wilt, where thou wilt." And he meant it. But where on earth can we go to find a place where God's will is done perfectly? Nowhere - only in God's "kingdom" is His will carried out with perfection. …

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Caesar vs. Jesus: A Tale of Two Kingdoms

It never hit me until today. Just listen to Luke 1:1-7 like you've never listened before... And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because …

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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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