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Sometimes We Need a Clear, Convincing, Undeniable Visual Reminder
Forty is a notable number in the Bible.In Noah's day, it rained 40 days and 40 nights.Moses spent 40 days and nights on Mount Sinai receiving the Law.The Israelite spies scouted the land of Canaan for 40 days.Jesus, at the inauguration of his public ...
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Galatians: Navigating Life in View of the Cross
Paul’s message to the church in Galatia serves as a gospel compass for navigating life with the cross of the risen and reigning Jesus as our focus and guide. NOTE: This post originally appeared on the New Growth Press Blog on January 8, 2024.There a...
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What If Jesus Isn't the Reason for the Season?
During a visit to the dry cleaners one early December, a festive banner caught my eye. Displayed prominently in the front window, it proclaimed in bright red and green letters: "Jesus is the Reason for the Season!"While I understand the motive behin...
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How Two Small Letters Can Awaken Gratitude
This past Sunday, my friend, Rich Good, made a statement in his sermon that I can't shake.Not that I want to shake it.But you know how there are things you hear that keep pinging around in your head.In a message on living with a posture of thankfulne...
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The Subtle Danger of Celebrating Thanksgiving
My late friend, Dave McCarty, sent an email to friends several years ago with the heading, “The Thanksgiving holiday is dangerous.”That was an email I had to open.How could turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, and chocolate chess pie be harmful ...
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What If I Don't Love Jesus?
There is a lake in the northern part of our county where I enjoy walking. Surrounded by mountains, it's a beautiful place to slow down, pray, listen, and just be. Recently, on a journey around the three-quarter-mile footpath, I question entered my mi...
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You Don't Have to Wear Saul's Armor
The description “one size fits all” is rarely true.It doesn’t work with gloves, shoes, shirts, or pants. Even caps, wristwatches, belts, and other accessories need some adjustment for a proper fit.The same is true with pastoral ministry. This is espe...
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Leave the Light On and the Door Open
"The church must recapture its identity as the only organization in the world that exists for the sake of its non-members."So wrote Harvie Conn in his book, Evangelism: Doing Justice and Preaching Grace.What if we recaptured that identity?What would ...
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Christology 101 (Part 5): The Glory and Wonder of the Hypostatic Union
Historic statements of faith, such as the Apostles’ Creed, affirm the angels' message to Joseph in Matthew 1, saying Jesus was “conceived by the Holy Spirit.”This is to say, Jesus' birth was utterly unique among all human births.In theology, we call ...
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Christology 101 (Part 4): Delighting in the Lordship of the Creator-King
When we speak of Jesus as Lord, we're talking about his reign as the eternal Creator-King.As the Apostle Paul writes, "For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or author...
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Christology 101 (Part 3): The Role of the Son in the Plan of Redemption
As the Son of God, Jesus plays a unique role in God's plan of redemption.This plan is outlined clearly by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:3-14, where God the Father chooses a people to adopt unto sonship, God the Son redeems them with blood, and God ...
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Christology 101 (Part 2): The Theological Significance of Jesus' Messianic Title
The main character in the Scriptures, as well as all human history, is Jesus Christ.Since people today typically have a first and last name, we might assume that Jesus is his first name and Christ is his last name.However, until about the 10th centur...
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Christology 101 (Part 1): What’s in a Name? More Than You May Think.
In the ancient world, names often were ripe with meaning. For example, before his name change, the Hebrew meaning of Abram's was exalted father, which seemed a tragic irony in that he was old and had no children.However, in the LORD's covenant w...
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Four Simple Ways to Improve Sermon Delivery
Sermon content is more important than sermon delivery. So, why pay attention to delivery? Because taking simple steps to improve delivery can be a means to more effectively communicate the content of the gospel as kindling for the Spirit to ignite.He...
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From Throwing Stones to Showing Mercy
For Christians to be salt and light (i.e., a gospel influence for the kingdom of God) in a post-Christian culture, we must put down our rocks.The rock-throwing “Christian” is not only a misnomer and a bad look, it’s a fundamentally hypocritical postu...
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