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Walking in the Power of the Holy Spirit

Remember the 1998 Hollywood hit, Armageddon? Here's the IMDb's synopsis... After discovering that an asteroid the size of Texas is going to impact Earth in less than a month, NASA recruits a misfit team of deep core drillers to save humanity. I love that! And the reason I love it is that it sounds a lot like the church Jesus started. I would summarize His idea for the church in this way... After revealing that humanity was utterly and hopelessly lost to sin and doomed …

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Demolishing Strongholds

I love having what I call "family fortnights," nights when our family builds a fort. Sometimes we break our sectional sofa apart and turn pieces of it up on end, stretch blankets and bedsheets over it all and create a fort. In the imagination of my toddler, this creates a special fortress of protection from the elements and our enemies. In the mind of my wife, I'm making a mess of her living room, but she's in the fort too. Satan loves to build forts too. The Bible refers to …

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To Know God’s Power, Know God’s Love

I love the presentation Paul makes in Ephesians 3:18 of the four-dimensional love of God... And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is... (NLT) I love that these four dimensions are the dimensions of the cross as it points in four directions. But what I love more is the fact that Paul makes a connection between understanding God's love and understanding His power! He goes on to say …

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Pentecost Plus Persecution Equals Church the Way It Ought to Be

I know this is a strange assertion, but I've been studying the book of Acts all morning and the thought hit me that Pentecost plus persecution produced the mightiest change agent in all of history - the local church empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are never commanded to purposely try to duplicate either, but we certainly ought to live in the warmth and glow of that early New Testament flame. …

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Ending the Creation-Evolution Debate

In our midweek Bible study last night, we went through a supplementary study on creation and evolution. There were many things I wished I'd had time to cover in the Sunday messages but simply couldn't. In preparing, I studied areas of science that fascinate me. I wanted to have some basic knowledge on everything from the fossil record to quantum physics (like I said, fascinating!). I was so blessed by the exchange. People asked questions, gave their thoughts, and generally …

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On Your Feet, Soldier!

This past Sunday, I began preaching in Genesis with chapter one, verse one. The message started a lengthy commitment to preaching all of the word. I don't think I've ever been as satisfied by a message in all of my ministry. I had studied and prepared for about six weeks for just the first chapter of Genesis. So how was it? Exhilarating! The choir was tuned up and did an awesome job. Singing Shout to the Lord with them was great. They also sang a favorite of mine, There Are …

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What A Wonderful World

At our wedding, Angie and I chose to have Louie Armstrong's song played... What a Wonderful World. In light of yesterday's shootings, and so many other monumental tragedies in recent years, is it really a wonderful world? We were driving to Fort Smith yesterday for the annual meeting of the BMA of America and were reflecting on some of the tragedies that have taken place at this same time of the year such as the Oklahoma City bombing (April, 1995), the Waco compound burning …

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The Lord Who Heals and the People Who Worship

I must confess, as a Baptist, it took me a rather long time to come to understand the healing nature of God. We Baptists, as Adrian Rogers put it, "believe in miracles, but trust in Jesus." I still believe this is best. But I also freely admit that in our reaction to the extremism of "healing evangelists" like Binny Hinn and other obvious hucksters and false prophets, that we have a tendency to write off all supposed healings as a mere charade. Scripture, however, clearly …

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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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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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