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Loving People You Don’t Like Is Really Love

Loving people you like is easy. Loving people who are easy to love is a cinch. But loving your enemies? That's a challenge. But it's a challenge given by Jesus when He said, "But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you." (Luke 6:27-28 NLT) The basic minimum requirement that the world expects of us is that we be loving when it's easy, but Jesus' new Kingdom ethic is far …

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How Will People Know You Love Them?

Saying "I love you" matters a great deal. It's a missing ingredient in too many family stories. We all need to receive that basic verbal affirmation, and we all need to be giving it as well. But verbal affirmations of love only go so far. What we need is love through deeds, love in action. We show our love in both simple and complex ways, from random acts of kindness to great acts of sacrifice. 1 John 3:18 says, "Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; …

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You’re Never Alone When You’re Sharing Jesus

Most believers understand the "ought to" side of sharing our faith. We know we ought to do so. Some of us understand the "how to." In fact, churches have been quite good at equipping and educating believers in the finer points of the gospel and the act of sharing it. But on a daily basis, I think very few understand the "can do" side of witnessing. This is something you can do, and you can do it in what Adrian Rogers often called a "supernaturally natural" way. I say you …

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Leadership that Matters Is All About Conviction

Just two quotes that grabbed me, from Al Mohler's book The Conviction to Lead: Congregations and Christian institutions need effective leaders who are authentically Christian - whose leadership flows out of their Christian commitment. Wherever Christian leaders serve, in the church or in the secular world, their leadership should be driven by distinctively Christian conviction... If our leaders are not passionately driven by the right beliefs, we are headed for disaster. At …

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The Greatest Rescue Operation of All Time

As I write this, the United States government is weighing the possibility of using ground military forces to rescue the Yazidi people who are trapped on a mountain in Iraz, surrounded by the threat of extermination by the Islamic State, a terrorist group currently taking control of a growing number of towns in their region. Politicians and military strategists are debating whether this is the right thing to do or not from a variety of perspectives. The situation at hand …

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Communications In a Purpose Driven Church

I first read The Purpose Driven Church around 1998 and began to implement some of the core ideas of the book. Somewhere along the way, Christian leaders began to re-interpret Rick Warren's ideas and reduce the idea of being a purpose driven church down to a seeker-sensitive style of worship and nothing more. But being a purpose driven church is really about having an intentional process for disciple-making. This disciple-making process is rather simple. Bring your …

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You Are the Salt of the Earth

Salt is good. Jesus even said so. But it's pretty amazing, if you think about it, that two potentially toxic elements like sodium and chloride can be combined together into something that we put in shakers on our dinner tables. Jesus challenged his believers to see themselves as the salt of the earth, metaphorically speaking. “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled …

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The Gospel is the Great Equalizer

The gospel - the good news about Jesus - is the great equalizer. The message of the good news has universal applications. All of us are sinners in need of the good news of grace. And the good news of grace is freely available to all of us. No one is cleared of the guilt of sin without Jesus, and Jesus freely clears anyone who trusts Him from the guilt of sin. This equalizing nature of the gospel prompted Paul to include it in what he referred to as the "armor of God." He …

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Knowing Whom to Please Is Half the Battle

Keeping everyone happy is both exhausting and impossible. I know this from experience. I'm a recovering chronic people-pleaser and spent too many years of my life living for the approval of others, and it's a struggle that still creeps back up on a regular basis. As a Pastor, I don't want anyone to be upset with me at church. As a husband, I don't want to be honest enough to say something that might upset my wife. And in friendships, I've been afraid at times to get close …

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Why God Gets All the Credit

When I hit dating age, I was afraid to ask girls out on dates. Until I met Angie. I asked her repeatedly, and she repeatedly said no, until she finally said yes, and the rest is a beautiful history. Sometimes we view our relationship with God as though we asked God to save us and, as if it was the first time the thought had even occurred to Him, He reluctantly and finally said yes. But the opposite is actually true. Paul described salvation this way in Romans 8, "For God …

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