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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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The Gospel Transforms the Real Lives of Real People

In Western culture, we tend to be compartmentalists, which explains why we take our religion and put it in a box all week and take it out only when we engage in some kind of ritual such as attending church weekly, or maybe annually. We live on the mistaken assumption that the gospel is all about an event that happened a couple thousand years ago to a man named Jesus who is somewhat irrelevant to our modern technological age. The gospel revealed in the Bible, however, is a …

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Before God Formed You In the Womb

"Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations—that’s what I had in mind for you." So said God to a young prophet named Jeremiah once (Jeremiah 1:5 MSG). While these words were spoken in a particular context to a particular person, there are powerful principles we can draw out for a deeper understanding of God and His purposes. God is God, and I am not. I'm limited by time and space, …

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Walk In the Spirit and Overcome!

There is a wrestling match going on inside every believer in Christ. It is the war between the Holy Spirit Who has intertwined Himself with our very being and our flesh, that part of us that acts and decides apart from the influence of God. One of the most common questions Christians ask is, "Will I ever be done with the fight, or will I always struggle like I do now?" And the answer is yes and no. Obviously, we'll be done with the fight and live on in infinite victory …

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My Personal Reflections on 2013

In 2013, God was good. But that's true every year, isn't it? His good character never changes. Ever. But life changes for us, and it changes in our world. And through that constant condition of change, God's goodness carries us. I'm reflecting this morning on how our world has changed and how my life has changed in the last year, and it's been a BIG year! Let me celebrate a few things... We had a baby. And he's precious. I don't mean to brag but... well, okay I DO …

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Let Go of Some Old Labels and Live a Limitless Life!

I've been anticipating the release of my friend Derwin Gray's new book Limitless Life for many months now. There are books that come along that hold the key to restoration and healing for a great number of people, and I believe this is one of those books. Derwin addresses a subject near to all of us - labels. Some are good, many are bad, and because of our broken nature, we tend to allow the negative to stick hard and long. But God has other plans. He has other labels for …

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God Knows Where You Are

The difference between the departure and the destination is the details. - Brian Wise   As God once reminded the nation of Israel in a season of suffering: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) We tend to see life as a timeline, and timelines are always straight. We know where we got started. We know where we hope to end up. And we think we'll get …

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Anyone Who Believes HAS Eternal Life

Living forever is only a good idea if the life lived is a quality one. Who would want to live forever in a state of pain or disease? Death, in a sense, is a gift of ultimate deliverance from a world of suffering. So when we talk about "eternal life," we're not merely referring to the quantity of time one lives but to the quality of that life. In other words, when Jesus said, "anyone who believes has eternal life," (John 6:47) He was making it clear that eternal life is …

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Where Jesus Is Present, Life Is Abundant

In the flower bed in front of my house are two arborvitae trees. They are the same age, purchased from the same nursery on the same day. One is green and lush and the other is dead and brown. On the outside, it's a mystery as to why one would thrive and one would die, but inside the root, one of the trees is diseased in a way that disconnected it from its source of nourishment. People who are connected to Jesus have roots in the life-giving soil of a saving relationship with …

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