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5 Ways to Preach Like a Pharisee

Many of the Pharisees were probably great teachers and skilled speakers. I'm sure many were charismatic, skilled communicators. But by the time Jesus arrived on the scene, the Pharisees, on the whole, were killing the culture around them spiritually. Jesus had a lot of work to do just to unwire people from the performance-driven, legalistic trap of pharisaism. I've been guilty of preaching like a Pharisee before, and as I review my sermons from the past, I cringe a bit as …

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The Most Dangerous Threat to Your Leadership

... is you. We often guard against the negative impact of others or our perceived threat from other leaders, but at the end of the day, we leaders are our own worst enemies. The most damaging things that will happen to your leadership will be carried out by you. When pride prevents you from learning When anger destroys someone close to you When your ego prevents you from mentoring those who might surpass you When you fold to temptation and risk everything …

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Why Don’t Men Ask For Directions? Answered.

Can't view it? See It On Youtube. I'm not sure that the creators of this commercial have the actual answer to why men don't ask for directions. What I do know is that I often don't ask for directions for reasons of my own... I just ought to know. I do know... I just can't remember... yet. Who could possibly know, if I don't? If I've started in the wrong direction, I don't want to know. I'm just enjoying the journey. There's always another route, and I'm finding …

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Take a Lesson from Goliath

You've probably heard the story of David versus Goliath, and you've probably heard all kinds of applications of that story such as how to face the giants in your life, how to fight by faith, etc. Most of the sermons we preach from the story revolve around the victory of the little teenager against the big giant, and most of the life applications we hear are from this angle as well. Don't miss the opportunity to learn some lessons from Goliath along the way though. For …

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Hate Sin or Hate Self

Moments ago, I was spending some time in prayer and I was confessing known sin in my life. As I prayed, I said, "God, I'm sorry for this sin, I ought to hate this sin." Almost instantly God spoke to my heart and I blurted out what I heard Him say, "Brandon, you'll either learn to hate your sin, or you'll wind up hating yourself." As we confess sin and seek the Holy Spirit's power to overcome it, we ought to remember that we have a new identity in Christ. We are not to be …

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Whom Do You Love?

"Love not the world... for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world, and the world passeth away..." -1 John 2:15-17 Remember Louis Armstrong's great What A Wonderful World? Angie and I had that song played at our wedding. This truly is a wonderful world in many respects. It's the place where we view the glory of God in creation. This world is where Jesus came to minister and to …

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My Kingdom or God’s?

"At the end of twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, 'Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?' While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you.'" -Daniel 4:29-30 (NKJV)Whose kingdom are you building with your life? Without realizing it, many of us …

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Big Lessons from Big Toes

"And they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek:... and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And Adoni-bezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died." (Judges 1:5-7)The Buddhist idea of karma teaches that "what goes around comes around" and that all is equitable in the …

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The Deep Impact of "Simply God’s Word"

This past Sunday was Open House Sunday at Bethel, and what a blessing it was to greet half a dozen new families and share a wonderful fellowship meal with our church family. My pride factor was increased as Bethel's members paid special attention to quality and friendliness. Much preparation went into the day and it was well worth it! But Sunday evening was far more of a blessing to my own heart. In fact, most Sundays are just that way.On Sunday mornings, we rush in to tie up …

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Learning to Hate (the Right Things)

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”—Proverbs 8:13Sin is a bitter enemy. Until we learn to spot it, name it, and hate it, we’ll never overcome it. Learning to hate sin is a matter of agreeing with God about sin – sharing His perspective on it. Sin has done nothing but wreck and plunder God’s wonderful creation, so He detests it. Sin is the very opposite of all that is divine in nature, so God loathes …

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