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When I Feel Like I’ve Blown It for the Last Time, This Helps
Sometimes an awareness of my remaining sinfulness makes me feel so far from the Father. Despised. Worthy of rejection. I try to preach the cross to myself. But sometimes the voice of condemnation in my head is too strong and I despair. For some reaso...
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Ugly Orthodoxy: How to Identify, Confess, and Rebeautify
Francis Schaeffer said, “There is nothing uglier than [Christian] orthodoxy without… compassion.” When I reflect on my own lack of compassion toward those with whom I differ or disagree, I confess that it stems from the absence of humility. And ...
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Give Weakness Evangelism a Try
Charles Spurgeon described evangelism as “one beggar showing another beggar where they found bread.”While it’s true that once a beggar takes and eats of the bread of life, they are no longer a beggar, but royalty—adopted into the family of King Jesus...
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10 Ways to Reflect the Heart of Jesus as the Light of the World
“You are the light of the world.” — Matthew 5:15In addition to calling his disciples the salt of the earth in Matthew 5, Jesus calls them “the light of the world.”For starters, it is important to remember that they/we/believers are not the source of ...
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Christian Influence in a Post-Christian World Will Need to be Uniquely Salty
“You are the salt of the earth.” — Jesus, in Matthew 5:13Christian influence in a “post-Christian” world should be the same as in a “pre-Christian” context.As Jesus says in Matthew 5:13, his disciples are “the salt of the earth.” What does this mean?...
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Special Video Post: How Rediscovering the Grandeur of God's Grace Changes Us
Much appreciation to Serge and Jim Lovelady for the opportunity to be a guest on the Grace at the Fray podcast to discuss how discovering (and rediscovering) the grandeur of the gospel changes us.____________________“Prepare to be enlightened, challe...
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Three Characteristics of the Mustard Seed Kingdom (with Three Implications)
Of all the topics Jesus addressed in the gospels, the most prominent is the kingdom of God, or kingdom of heaven.Considering that emphasis, we can say that the kingdom of God serves as a thematic, theological umbrella under which everything else is t...
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Do We Really Believe God Hears (and Acts Upon) Our Prayers?
“Ask and it will be given to you.” - Matthew 7:7Prayer is a gift and privilege, not merely a duty or obligation. Through Jesus, we have direct access to speak with and make requests of God as our Abba Father.This privilege is clear in Scripture, such...
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Your Inner Pharisee is Showing: 4 Ways to Diagnose and Dismantle the Burden
“Everything they do is done for people to see.” - Matthew 23:5The Pharisees would have loved social media.The opportunity to carefully curate an idealized version of their life would fit perfectly with Jesus' evaluation in Matthew 23:5, "Everything t...
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Jesus Doesn't Accept Donations
“Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.'" — John 13:8bYears ago, a church I served on staff hosted a community car wash. Since lots of these events are fundraisers for sports teams or mission trips, we wanted to leverage t...
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How to Pray When You Don't Have the Words
"In my distress, I called upon the Lord; to my God, I cried for help." — Psalm 18:6aWhen you read the Psalms, one thing that stands out is how often God's people find themselves in distress.The Hebrew word translated distress (צָרָה, tsarah) in Psalm...
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One of the Most Misunderstood Words in the Bible
"John the Baptizer appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” — Mark 1:4As a pastor, I had taught about repentance more times than I could count and assumed I knew what I was talking about. But it was t...
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How Getting Busted is Grace in Disguise
Sadly, I am a consummate excuse-maker.For example, if I’m playing tennis and miss a shot, it is because the sun got in my eyes. If driving and I slam on my brakes, causing my passengers to lunge forward uncomfortably, it is because the car in front o...
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The Big Difference a Small Preposition Makes
In December 1998, NASA launched a spaceship called The Mars Climate Orbiter (MCO). Its primary objective was to collect data on Mars’ climate and weather patterns, serving as a communication relay for upcoming Mars missions. However, shortly after en...
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But God: Making the Impossible Possible
"But God..." — Ephesians 2:4aAs we survey the biblical record, we discover one primary purpose of signs and wonders was to authenticate God’s messengers and to confirm the authority of God’s message. Therefore, it should not surprise us that after th...
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