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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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Doing Life with Jesus

Imagine a scenario. I stop by your house one day when you're not expecting me. You're not expecting anyone, in fact, and it shows. It's one of those days when things have been a little haywire, but thankfully, your front room is fairly clean. I might notice the dust on the mantle, but little else is out of shape. As we chat just inside the door, I begin to make my way further into your home. In the living room I find toys spread all around the floor and a few cups left on …

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Fast, Fluid, Flexible… and Flourishing

Movement is life. I recently watched the blockbuster hit, World War Z. I had been anticipating it for a long time, and it didn't fail to impress me with it's non-stop intensity starting two minutes in and not ending until the credits roll. There is a moment when Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is trying to give advice to an Hispanic couple about their need to change locations often in order to stay alive rather than staying barricaded in one spot like sitting ducks. As he speaks …

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Getting Off the Wrong Path

You are where you are because you have followed a path. You've made a series of choices that have brought you to your current spot on life's map, and the Bible lets us know that our default direction is always down the wrong path. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 ESV There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. Proverbs 14:12 …

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