Post Category: Devotionals

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Rising Above the Noise

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In light of everything going on right now in our culture, in our nation, we as believers have a wonderful opportunity to display Christ and our hope in a real way. Unity of the gospel and the church in a real way....

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Enjoying the Gospel

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The gospel wasn’t meant to simply be admired or acknowledged. It was meant to be submitted to and to be enjoyed....

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God's Gracious Choice

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Look with me at Colossians 3:12 today. I want to park here for a bit and let this wonderful truth sink in. I realize this can be a divisive truth, can confront us in many ways, but it is a wonderful truth that cannot be ignored. The truth that God chose to make a way for us to be saved, that we are His by His choosing....

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The Gospel's Affect On Our Language

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What we see here is the reality that as Christians, we are commanded to contemplate our language in a new way in light of who we and others are in Christ thru the gospel....

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What is The Wrath of God?

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Look with me at Colossians 3:6. Believers are to be separated from sexual immorality because those whose lives are characterized in this way will face God’s wrath if they persist in sin and do not repent. There is that ugly word again ...

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Help in The Fight Against Sin

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Everything we see here is grounded in who believers are in Christ. That is what the “therefore” is there for. Our new identity in Christ is the BASIS for our separation from all sin. They are of this world, they are things we have died to. They are associated with our old nature. And are therefore to be aggressively put away from any association with our lives....

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Everything We Need

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In Christ we have everything we need....

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Preoccupied with Christ

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It is so easy for all of us to let our minds become fixed on things other than who we are in Christ ...

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How Then Shall We Live?

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Look with me at Colossians 3:1-4. What we see here simply is the call for believers to orient their entire lives around the present reality of who they are in Christ and the future reality of our resurrection and glorification that is to come. Believers are commanded to allow our status in Christ to dictate how we live....

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Why Man-made Rules Fall Short in Killing Sin

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Here in Colossians 2:20-23 Paul makes some observations regarding the flaws in man-made rules and their ineffectiveness to truly deal with our flesh. Look with me today at these and survey your own life in light of this and how you seek to put away sin form your life:...

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Keeping The Flesh In Check

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Look with me at Col. 2:20-23 today. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, the problem of controlling sinful desires has plagued the human race. Whether you call it the flesh, the old nature, or indwelling sin, we all wrestle with strong internal temptations to do wrong. So a very practical question is, “How can we keep the flesh in check?”...

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The Power of Treasuring Christ

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Though there are many substitutes and counterfeit things that grab our focus and attention and undermine the sufficiency of Christ and His work, Paul is focused on one particular area here as we have seen, that of legalism. What Paul says here is that we must loosen our grip on self (legalism) and grab tightly to Christ, cling to Christ (faith)....

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Fighting Legalism

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Continuing our look at Colossians 2:16-19 … Paul is addressing what many refer to as “legalism”. Words have meanings, and often times we use the same words but mean different things. I hear this word tossed around a lot, wrongly tossed around a lot, carelessly tossed around a lot, often times to justify our own self, often rooted in pride. So let me define legalism f...

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Christ is Enough: A Warning Against Legalism

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Our standing before God, and the fullness and completeness of our faith, are not to be judged or regulated by externals, but rather a love for and trust in the completeness of Christ and His work at the cross for our forgiveness and righteousness and standing before God....

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Four Influential Truths

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Look at Colossians 2:9-10...

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Watching for the Enemy's Lies

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The goal of Satan and his false teaching is to take us captive, to make us prisoners again, to enslave us to false things. ...

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How To Live For Christ

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Look with me at Colossians 2:6-7 today. Here is the overarching point that Paul is making here: Believers are to be fueled and rooted in their understanding of the fullness of what the gospel accomplishes and provides regarding salvation and forgiveness of sin, and this understanding is expressed thru gratitude and worship of the one true God thru how we conduct all of our...

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The Challenge of Suffering

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I think the tendency for the church in any age is to retreat in a cowardly and selfish way from the high demands of the Christian faith and seek safety in taking the easy road and the selfish road and to justify it, especially in difficult times. I mean after all, we aren't completely denying Christ, we think to ourselves. But maybe we are more than we think. Even today we...

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The Suffering Servant

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We have the privilege as believers of continuing Christ’s work on a historical plane, taking the gospel to new people and places. That is how we are to spend our lives as believers, advancing God’s kingdom thru whatever means necessary, even thru suffering....

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Sticking to the Gospel

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The truth is that you never outgrow the gospel. God's grace is the foundation of your salvation and the motivation of your obedience. It's the motivation of you coming again and again to Christ who is your reconciler and just laying your hands on him and seizing him by faith, trusting in him....

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Overwhelmed by Grace

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Are you overwhelmed by grace? Are you amazed by grace? Do you live in light of this great grace? Do you see yourself in light of your new position in Christ by God’s grace? May this be us....

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Culture vs. Bible

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This world is not our home. It is our mission field. We are ambassadors of God equipped with the gospel and as such fully-equipped to do every work God has for us. May this be our posture before a watching world....

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Life WITH God

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Do you enjoy communion with the Father thru all you do? Time in the Word, obedience, prayer, serving others, etc. Communion with God. May we start to see it this way as we unpack a posture of life with God. True communion in all we do. Time with our Father, enjoying being a child of God....

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False Postures: Life Over God

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In summary, The Life Over God posture has very little room for God in the practical every day affairs of life. It could be busyness, it could be science and technology and the supposed "wisdom" of an ever-changing world, but the effect can be to live as if God were not supreme, no real relationship....

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Christ's Preeminence: Life Under God

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Remember, the issue here is pre-eminence, Christ being unrivaled in our lives before a watching world. That’s the main issue and where these fall short. Christ is subtly relegated to a prominent place in our lives, but not the pre-eminent place in our lives. He is replaced by something else, namely self and our need for control. We think somehow we can control God, or pu...

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Living FOR God

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Continuing to build upon what we looked at in Colossians 1:15-20, and the supremacy of Christ, we are looking at subtle ways we fall into the trap of attacking the supremacy and pre-eminence of Christ in our lives. We are prone to falling into traps, settling or being deceived with regards to the sufficiency of Christ and what our relationship with Christ is to look like a...

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Living FOR God

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Continuing to build upon what we looked at in Colossians 1:15-20, and the supremacy of Christ, we are looking at subtle ways we fall into the trap of attacking the supremacy and pre-eminence of Christ in our lives. We are prone to falling into traps, settling or being deceived with regards to the sufficiency of Christ and what our relationship with Christ is to look like a...

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False Postures

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On the front end, ask yourself these questions: Would you say that you currently enjoy personal communion with God? Do you enjoy being loved by and living with the God of this Bible? Do you enjoy communion with God, or might you be relating to God in way that is seeking to control Him, rather than enjoy Him? Does Christ have rivals in your life?...

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False Postures

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On the front end, ask yourself these questions: Would you say that you currently enjoy personal communion with God? Do you enjoy being loved by and living with the God of this Bible? Do you enjoy communion with God, or might you be relating to God in way that is seeking to control Him, rather than enjoy Him? Does Christ have rivals in your life?...

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The Work of Reconciliation

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Reconciliation literally means “to cause to be friendly again”. It means “to change from enmity or disharmony to friendship and harmony.” The word Paul uses here goes even further to bring the idea of completeness to this reconciliation. Think about that with regards to us as sinners and a holy God. Paul is communicating the truth that sinners can be totally and fo...

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Thirteen Assertions About Christ

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In Colossians 1:15-20, Paul offered us Thirteen Assertions about Christ. Read thru these this morning and meditate on what these mean and how they offer us strength and hope no matter what we face....

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Christ is Enough

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Without truly understanding who Jesus really is and what He alone could and did accomplish through the cross, people become sitting ducks for worldly systems or false religious beliefs that seek to come to God other than exclusively through the Lord Jesus Christ. Always, all false belief systems either reject what the Bible teaches about the person of Christ (deny His deit...

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Rescued and Transferred

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Look this morning at Colossians 1:13-14 and consider these thoughts. What Paul does here is continue to show how incomparable Christ is and what He has done for believers. Ultimately Paul is putting forth the truth that believers are complete in Christ, which was an issue that the Gnostic opponents of Paul opposed....

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What We Should Pray For

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Read Colossians 1:9-12 this morning and consider this: This passage teaches us a ton about what we should be praying for with regards to one another. And the beauty of prayer is that it is quarantine proof, circumstance proof. No matter where we find ourselves, or what our situation may be, we can pray, and especially for one another....

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What Are You Know For?

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Think about this on this beautiful morning: What are you known for? What are we as a church body known for? If Paul were writing a letter to a church today, what would he say about us as a body? Or you individually? What would other churches want to emulate about us?...

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The Freedom We Share

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It is extremely important that we grasp this and see how Paul viewed his own freedom, and then apply whatever principle and truth we see to our own lives....

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The Believer's Identity

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Look with me this morning at 1 Peter 2:9-12. What Peter offers us here is a beautiful picture of the identity of every believer, but also the purpose of our being saved. And in particular and of worth noting here, Peter offers this to believers who were suffering. We don't get to shrink back at our calling and purpose even when times are rough. It is during these times tha...

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Setting Your Mind on Things Above

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Set your minds on the things above and not on the things below. WHY? This is where our citizenship dwells, our Savior dwells, and one day where we will dwell. This keeps us focused. Makes what we do here make sense as it is easy to lose sight of long range goals or destinations. This is where we are headed, what we are all about....

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Setting Your Mind on Things Above

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Set your minds on the things above and not on the things below. WHY? This is where our citizenship dwells, our Savior dwells, and one day where we will dwell. This keeps us focused. Makes what we do here make sense as it is easy to lose sight of long range goals or destinations. This is where we are headed, what we are all about....

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Blessed are the Meek

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The meek person is not unaware of his own inferiority. He knows his weaknesses and strengths. They have accepted what God says about them and declares over them. In themselves they are nothing, yet in God they are everything, cherished even above the angels....

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Proof of Living to God's Glory

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God alone has the rightful claim to the throne of our lives. When we dethrone Him, everything about our lives becomes chaotic and a mess. Look around at the world and see this. Nothing will restore order until our hearts decide to exalt God above all else in everything we do....

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The Reason We Exist

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One of the tragic yet often unrecognized ramifications or effects of sin is that we now elevate ourselves over God....

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God Has Spoken

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It is the very nature of God to speak, to communicate Himself and His thoughts to His creation. And better yet, consider this, that God is still speaking. It is not simply amazing enough that God spoke, but amazing more is that God still speaks today thru His Word and thru His creation. In this His Word is ALIVE. It's truths persist throughout the years....

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Being Near to God

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Psalm 139:7 says "where can I go from your Spirit, where can I flee from your presence?" What we see here in this text along with many other texts is the reality of divine imminence. The truth that God is here. Wherever you are, God is near. The reality that no person is nearer or farther from God than another person....

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Our Perspective on Control vs. God’s Perspective

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So we’ve seen that wealth is not what we thought it was and now we see time itself is not what we think it is. What’s next? Well, it’s another big one. Control is not what we think it is. We have the delusion that we are in control of our lives....

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Enjoying God

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Thru faith in the gospel, we who were far off have been brought near. To enjoy communion with God....

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Our Perspective on Time vs. God’s Perspective

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We’ve all heard the expression, “Time flies when you are having fun.” This old axiom speaks to our subjective view of time. Our awareness of time and temporal properties is a constant feature of conscious life. Our subjective view of time impacts many areas of our lives including our thinking, our memories, and our anticipated view of the future....

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Weeds in Our Spiritual Garden

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We think we can just grow in Christ and never deal with the enemies of sin in and around us. That in Christ we just add another trophy to our already full case, even if we put Christ in the middle and up front, when in reality coming to Christ means we throw away all the other trophies where only Christ remains. Like our garden, if we leave the old self there, it will infe...

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Following Hard After God

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Read Psalm 63:8 this morning and ask yourself some questions: Can it be said of me that I am following hard after God? What does it look like to follow hard after God?...

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Our Perspective on Possessions vs. God’s Perspective

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In many ways, the Christian discipleship journey is much like this. Our pursuit of the Kingdom of Heaven is one that begins with our rescue from a place of deep deception. The Holy Spirit opens our eyes to reality. Then we are called to utilize our newfound clarity to help to rescue others who are still enslaved to the lies of the world around them....

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Adoption and the Greatness of God's Love

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What do we learn about God as we contemplate adoption and the fact of our adoption into God's family thru faith in the all-sufficient work of Jesus Christ? That's what I want us to contemplate today and over the next few days....

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Our Only Identity

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In faith, we must allow our identity in Christ and who the Bible says we are to inform our thinking and our living, not merely more than anything else, but solely. ...

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Joining the Divine Family

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As we continue to dig into the truth of our adoption as believers thru faith, that maybe more than anything else, Christianity is summed up in the privilege of calling God our Father, we look today at the reality that our adoption and the change in status and relationship to the Father stands as the basis for our entire life....

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The Highest Privilege

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Building on our question from the other day and how we can describe Christianity as the privilege of calling God our Father, today we look at the fact of our adoption thru faith....

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Our Ultimate Devotion

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Today is the day once a year that we as a country set aside every year to be intentional about being reminded, saying thank you, and honoring those who have fallen in our military as they fought for the rights and freedoms we hold today. It is a wonderful way of not forgetting those who have gone before and paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we experience today....

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Four Blessings of Sonship

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The fact that believers thru faith in the gospel relate to God as father implies four things, all informing and guiding our fellowship with God as our father....

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Fellowship With Our Father

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As we continue to look at the fact and privilege of believers calling and relating to God as our Father, this new relationship that the gospel has brought us into, consider this beautiful truth this morning that comes with this....

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Christianity in One Phrase

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What does it mean to be a Christian now that we have been reconciled to God thru faith in Christ? Do we just pray a prayer and move on with our lives? ...

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The Gospel in One Word: Part 8

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As we continue to look at the absolute essential nature of propitiation when we share the gospel, today we will look at another aspect of this wonderful truth, that being God's love....

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The Gospel in One Word: Part 7

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As we continue to discuss propitiation and its essential nature within our understanding and communication of the gospel, I want to look this morning at what this accomplishes for us and our relationship with God that only propitiation can accomplish....

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The Gospel in One Word - Part 5

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Think on this today as we we ponder propitiation and the fact that our Creator has become our Redeemer. As we see the indispensable reality of propitiation. This is why Jesus came. This is why He humbled Himself and took on flesh - ultimately to die in the place of sinners. We see this throughout the life of Jesus....

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The Gospel in One Word - Part 4

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The gospel is an announcement, among other things, declaring that our Creator God has sent Jesus Christ who was Himself fully God, to humbly become a man, to ultimately die in our place so that God can rightly offer sinners forgiveness and salvation from God's justified wrath due our sin and eternal judgement....

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Waiting Well - Part 3

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Today, I want us to look at some of the benefits of learning to wait well on the Lord. Why should we wait on the Lord? What does God do in and thru us while we wait?...

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The Gospel in One Word - Part 3

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As we have been piecing together a right view of salvation and the gospel, and how it is more than just acting as if we never sinned, but actually dealing rightly with God's anger and the necessary and required punishment of death due our sin, showing that God's righteousness is at stake in how He deals with our sin, we continue today by looking the specifics of how propit...

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The Gospel in One Word - Part 2

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What we must recognize in the concept of propitiation, and what many decline to acknowledge or accept, is that the gospel satisfies, or pacifies, the wrath of God due our sin, thus God can be just and the justifier of those who have have faith in Christ....

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Waiting Well - Part 2

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Previously we looked at what the Biblical definition of waiting is, and how we need to get that correct first. Today, we will look at some of what is involved in waiting according to the Bible....

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The Gospel in One Word - Part 1

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This morning and in the coming mornings I hope to add another word to our defense and explanation of the gospel as we attempt to paint a right and full understanding of God and the gospel, and then fully explain that word so we glean every ounce of meaning from it. Because the word we will look at over the coming day or days stands really in many ways to form and establish...

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Be Zealous for God

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And above all else, in place of all else, we should live for this one thing. Be consumed by this one thing in our lives. God's glory. Pleasing God. Whether we live or die, sickness or health, rich or poor, seek to please God. Live to advance God's glory....

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Waiting Well - Part 1

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What does it mean to wait according to the Bible? And not just any waiting, but waiting well. Anyone can wait poorly. We do it every day. But how do we wait well? I want this time of quarantine and social distancing to be a refining and growing time for us individually and as a body. And maybe one of the things we learn in this time, maybe even thru these three devotions, ...

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Theodicy - Part 3

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Humans do not live in the best of all possible worlds. This world is fallen, wrecked by sin and its consequences, marring an otherwise good creation. Not all suffering is tied to a particular sin nor can we can draw a one-to-one correlation between the degree of a person’s sin and the degree of their suffering. Suffering belongs to the full weight of sin that both believ...

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Theodicy - Part 2

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Evil is not an illusion. We can’t close our eyes tight and will it away. The Bible never minimizes the truth of misery and pain. Moreover, the example of Solomon shows that stoic detachment from evil is not the right response. Today we will examine how the wisest man in history dealt with theodicy or the problem of evil....

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God is Kind and Severe

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God alone is perfectly GOOD and SEVERE at the same time. God was abundantly merciful to Israel, and yet in their rejection He cut them off. WHY? They did not believe in Christ for their righteousness....

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God's Wrath

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As we continue to look at our awesome God and His perfect and amazing attributes, we will consider today another of the "less talked about" attributes, that of God's wrath....

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God as Judge

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One of the perfections of our God is that He is the judge of all the earth. If people are honest, nobody really likes to think of this characteristic of God. We prefer that of love and mercy and grace. And yet the fact that God is judge is one of the more strongly stressed characteristics of God in the Bible....

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Theodicy - Part 1

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One area Christians often struggle is with the “problem of evil.” In theological terms, this is called “theodicy” and comes from two Greek words (theos ‘god’ + dik...

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Food for When Life Falls Apart

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What do we do when life falls apart, or when everything is going wrongly, or so it seems? This is the context of David writing Psalm 3 and 4. Many consider Psalm 3 to be a morning Psalm and Psalm 4 to be an evening Psalm. Food for all day....

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A Prayerful People

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If we are honest, often times prayer is left as a last resort. We are so resourceful, we have so many means, it seems more often than not we can solve issues on our own thru these various means. We rarely need outside help or are beyond ourselves, or so it seems. We rarely get to the end of ourselves and our resources to the point of desperation....

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Understanding the Depth of Grace

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What comes to your mind when you think about grace? Is it possible that we don't truly understand the depth of this word, what it teaches us about God and ourselves, that it has become watered down similar to that of love?...

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Let us Not Grow Weary in Doing Good

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Right now I would think that there is a great tendency and temptation for people to begin growing weary in many different ways, from all that comes with working on the front lines in the medical field, to working at home, to not working at all, to now being your children's teachers. The temptation is to grow weary in doing good....

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Feasting on The Love of God

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Today I want us to consider the love of God. In these times, I think it would be fair to say that this might come into question, as suffering and death are all we hear about during the circumstances we find ourselves in. So, let's offer up a proper perspective on the love of God this morning that hopefully will rightly guide us thru these times and those to come....

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Commands and Invitations to Love

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Which of these lenses do you gravitate to seeing God's Word thru most often: demands to do or invitations to love? And do you see these as one or separate, meaning, do you see the love of God even in His commands, or are these separate. My hope is that we combine the two and see the love of God for us in all things, even His commands, and that everything God says is absolu...

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How Can We as God's People Find Wisdom?

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One of the ways God is recreating us is through the divine offer of wisdom, namely His wisdom. We see this clearly through Proverbs, the divine gift and need for wisdom on our part....

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Psalm 67 Devotional

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The Psalm before us today has been referred to as “the most missionary of all the Psalms.” Psalm 67 is actually a prayer, and the writers of the 1611 KJV preceded this Psalm with a notation that read, “A prayer for the enlargement of God’s kingdom, to the joy of the people, and the increase of God’s blessings.”...

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The Majesty of God

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What comes to your mind this morning when you think about God? How long a list of attributes could you come up with if tasked to do so this morning? What attributes would be on the list? What attribute would be above all?...

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Psalm 34:1-10 Devotional

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A devotional on Psalm 34:1-10 by TCO Elder Duane Milford...

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One of the Greatest Mysteries of the Gospel

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This morning, let us mediate on and ponder a reality that so often times we gloss right over and miss the staggering and mysterious nature of it and even the implications of on our lives - Jesus Christ, fully God, took on flesh, added humanity, and in doing so emptied Himself on behalf of others to the glory of God....

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Modern Idolatry

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When you think of the word "idolatry" what comes to mind? ...

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Consumed with Knowing God

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Our number one objective each and every day is to know God more and more. ...

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Psalm 15 Devotional

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So whether life is going on as normal, or we are limited to interactions with none or a few; or whether it’s Sunday or any other day; our walk, work and speech should be with integrity and should flow from what is really in your heart....

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Really Knowing God

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We have been encouraging each other to know God rightly, more than merely knowing about God, but knowing God in a real, experienced way. Intimately....

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The Balconeer Christian

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How would you describe someone who truly "KNOWS" God? ...

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God has Always Provided in Miraculous Ways - Part 3

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Not only does God impress this upon the widow but Elijah’s faith is growing during this as well. He knows that the power of God did this, not him. He has seen God provide in miraculous ways over and over....

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Who Needs Theology?

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Who needs theology?...

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God has Always Provided in Miraculous Ways - Part 2

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How has God shown you through this time that you can survive with much less than you thought and trust Him to provide the rest?...

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God has Always Provided in Miraculous Ways - Part 1

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God is following through on his Word. Like God has done with the ark, Joseph rescuing his brothers, Jonah in the mouth of a fish for three days, God will continue to send unlikely heroes and use unlikely plans! His ways are not our ways....

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