Always Tell the Truth

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“You desire truth in the inward parts.”                                     Ps 51:6 NKJV Always Tell the Truth The Bible says, “Nor was any deceit in [Christ’s] mouth” (Isa 53:9 NIV). And if God has His way with us, none will be found in ours either. God doesn’t seek to minimize our deception, but to eliminate it altogether. He is blunt about dishonesty. “No … Read More

Be The Vessel

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In the story of Elijah and the miracle of the oil, the widow woman determined the magnitude of her miracle by choosing the number of available vessels. In the same way, we determine how much of the miraculous power of God flows into our life. Heaven has an endless supply of power and miracles. The issue is finding a clean, … Read More

Redeemed, Released, and Redirected

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“Loose him, and let him go.”                                                          Jn 11:44 Redeemed, Released, and Redirected When Jesus stood at his friend’s grave and said, “Lazarus, come forth,” His friend, who’d been dead for four days, shuffled out, still bound from head to toe in grave clothes. His grave clothes didn’t just fall off the minute Jesus spoke to him. No, he needed someone … Read More

“As Is”

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“Bearing with one another.”                                                    Col 3:13 NAS “As Is” Have you ever been in a discount store where merchandise is labeled “slightly irregular,” or “purchase as is”? They don’t tell you where the flaw is. And once you buy it you can’t return it. Well, in case you haven’t noticed, we all live in the “as is” department. Stop and … Read More

Strangely Wrapped Gifts

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Deep Wounds, Deep Healing

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The Seven Wonders Of Heaven

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A Dream That Drives You

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Shake It Off

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“But Paul shook the snake off into the fire.”                               Ac 28:5 NIV Shake It Off The story’s told of a farmer whose mule fell into a well. Since he had no way to get him out, he decided to bury him there. He got a truckload of dirt and dumped it on top of the mule. But instead of lying … Read More

Overcoming Our Carnal Nature

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“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”                                     Ro 8:2 Overcoming Our Carnal Nature Paul addresses the daily battle that’s waged between our old nature and our new one: “The power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions…I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do … Read More

Growing into Leadership (5)

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“Listen…and I will give you some advice.”                               Ex 18:19 NIV Growing into Leadership (5) As a leader, it’s your job to see that things get done. But as the workload grows you will have to find people with talents equal to the task; otherwise you will stop growing. So what keeps us from seeking out the right people and delegating … Read More

Growing into Leadership (4)

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“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” Pr 18:15 NIV Growing into Leadership (4) The story’s told of two Irishmen out hunting, when one of them falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are rolled back in his head. The other guy whips out his cell … Read More

Growing into Leadership (3)

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“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me.”                 Ps 139:23 NLT Growing into Leadership (3) In his Pogo cartoon strip, Walt Kelly said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” The hardest person in the world to lead will always be yourself. Human nature seems to endow us with the ability to size up everybody except … Read More

The Supernatural

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Sometimes it’s easy to think that God only uses people who are somehow special and that God wouldn’t use someone ordinary like us. Actually, God is looking for ordinary people who are willing to be used. God repeatedly uses ordinary, average people to do extraordinary, supernatural things. We just have to be willing.   Connection Questions What are some examples … Read More

Growing into Leadership (2)

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“I, Tertius, the one writing this letter for Paul, send my greetings.”                          Ro 16:22 NLT Growing into Leadership (2) Paul surrounded himself with people who were willing to lay down their lives for him (See Ro 16:3-4). Some of them are virtually unknown. Ever hear of Tertius? He recorded Paul’s thoughts so we could read them. We all know about … Read More

Growing into Leadership (1)

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“We are labourers together.”                                                           1Co 3:9 Growing into Leadership (1) A cartoon shows an executive sitting forlornly behind a big desk. Standing meekly on the other side of the desk is a man dressed in work clothes who says, “If it’s any comfort to you, it’s lonely at the bottom too.” The truth is, you’ll meet lonely people at the … Read More

Playing the Lesser Part

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“Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.”                           Php 2:3 TM Playing the Lesser Part Frances Green was an elderly lady living on a pension. Every year she sent a dollar to the Republican National Convention. One day she received an invitation to meet President Reagan. Not realizing the RSVP should include a generous donation, she scraped up every cent … Read More

How to Achieve Financial Security

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“The…years of abundance…came to an end.”                          Ge 41:53 NIV How to Achieve Financial Security The Bible says: “Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain…The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt … Read More

Little Foxes

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“Catch…the little foxes that spoil the vines.”                            SS 2:15 NKJV Little Foxes Michelangelo once sculpted a figure out of marble while a friend watched. Later his friend went away on business and when he returned he said, “I see you haven’t worked on your sculpture.” The great artist replied, “I’ve been working constantly on it since you left.” His friend … Read More

It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (5)

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“God…will…make a way of escape.”                                           1Co 10:13 It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (5) Look at the last part of this verse: “[God] will…make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Before the Army sends you into battle it first sends you to boot camp. You’re up at dawn running miles with a heavy backpack, … Read More

It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (4)

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“He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”                                   1Co 10:13 NIV It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (4) The Bible says, “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” You have been tempered for the test! Like tempered steel or glass, certain additives have been placed within you to increase your ability … Read More

A Formula For Victory

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Do you live with joy and victory during the good times but find yourself feeling discouraged and defeated in the bad times? God’s will is for you to live just as successfully in the bad times as in the good, and the Bible gives a formula for living in victory regardless of what is going on in your life.   … Read More

It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (3)

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“But God is faithful.”                                                                  1Co 10:13 It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (3) Here’s a promise you can stand on when your world has been shaken: “But God is faithful.” Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Lk 21:33). In a world of uncertainty you can sing, “On Christ the solid rock … Read More

It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (2)

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“But such as is common to man.”                                                1Co 10:13 It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (2) The Bible says your struggle is not unique, it’s “common to man.” Your secret is not really a secret, it’s just a secret shared by others who are equally afraid to talk. The only time we tend to be honest is when we’re in … Read More

It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (1)

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“There hath no temptation taken you.”                                          1Co 10:13 It’s Just Part of Life’s Journey (1) Paul writes, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to [mankind].” Notice the word “taken.” Suddenly you’re “taken” by a set of circumstances you didn’t create, don’t want, and don’t know how to get out of. Understand this: You don’t pick … Read More

You’re Here for a Reason

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“I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.”     Ge 32:30 NLT You’re Here for a Reason The Bible says Satan works “day and night” building a case against you (See Rev 12:10). But with God’s Word “in your mouth and…heart” (Ro 10:8 NCV) you can overcome him. When Satan says give up, God says … Read More

Take the Stress Out of Serving God (2)

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“I…contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”                        Col 1:29 NIV Take the Stress Out of Serving God (2) You say, “Since serving successfully is a joint effort requiring cooperation with others who will often disagree with me, what’s God’s alternative to people-pleasing?” Paul answers, “Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the … Read More

Take the Stress Out of Serving God (1)

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“Am I trying to please people?”                                                Gal 1:10 NIV Take the Stress Out of Serving God (1) Whether we are ordained ministers or lay people, we aren’t exempt from stress. A deadly combination of traits seen frequently in those serving God produces inferiority and perfectionism—traits that make us obsessive-compulsive performers who think we’re inadequate and that our service is never … Read More

Pruned for Greater FruitFulness

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“He who abides in Me…bears much fruit.”                              Jn 15:5 NKJV Pruned for Greater FruitFulness Some folks view the Christian life as a bed of roses, others see it as a battlefield. The first group says, “If I’ve enough faith I’ll never be sick, broke, or have problems.” The second group says, “I have more troubles than Job.” The truth is, … Read More

Strangely Wrapped Gifts

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Introduction Wouldn’t you hate to miss out on an incredible gift because it came to you wrapped in an unexpected package? We serve a God who often sends His children strangely wrapped gifts. If you have asked God for something great, the answer may not come in the way you expected. Connection Questions Review the events of Joseph’s life. How … Read More

God’s Word Doesn’t Change

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“Your righteous laws are eternal.”                                        Ps 119:160 NIV God’s Word Doesn’t Change A publishing house advertised: Ten books to read before you die. And the Bible didn’t make the list! Amazing; if there’s one book you should read it’s the Bible! When a well-known Christian author replaced her favorite cookbook with a “New and Updated” version, she said: “It wasn’t … Read More

Unhealthy Comparisons (7)

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“But God has revealed [it] to us by his Spirit.”                          1Co 2:10 NIV Unhealthy Comparisons (7) Paul writes, “No eye has seen…no ear has heard…no human mind has conceived…the things God has prepared for those who love him” (v.9 NIV). You say, “But that’s all in the future!” No; read on: “But God has revealed [it] to us by his … Read More

Unhealthy Comparisons (6)

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“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Php 3:12 NIV Unhealthy Comparisons (6) Paul didn’t measure his progress by the pace of the runner in the lane next to him. He said, in essence, “I’m running according to the drumbeat I hear on the inside, not the outside. I will support … Read More

Unhealthy Comparisons (5)

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“Godliness with contentment is great gain.”                                1Ti 6:6 NIV Unhealthy Comparisons (5) Paul writes, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” This word “gain” doesn’t mean increase, but profit. There’s a difference. Profit is what you have left when the transaction is over. Paul meant that when everything is said and done, you must feel good about being yourself. You must … Read More

Unhealthy Comparisons (4)

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“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.”            1Co 12:4 NIV Unhealthy Comparisons (4) No matter how good you are, you’ll never be good at being somebody else. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to live up to the reputation of another person. The new husband says to his wife, “My mother makes better fried chicken than … Read More

Unhealthy Comparisons (3)

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“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.”                               1Co 3:6 NIV Unhealthy Comparisons (3) Unhealthy comparison is a sign of spiritual immaturity. Here’s what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready … Read More

Unhealthy Comparisons (2)

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“They measure themselves by themselves.”                            2Co 10:12 NIV Unhealthy Comparisons (2) A certain level of competitiveness is good. You need it. When children enter a spelling contest they study harder and learn more because they’re going to compete. They know their academic prowess is about to be challenged and they get ready for it because we all like to win. … Read More

Deep Wounds, Deep Healing

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Introduction If you have suffered wounds in your life, God can bring healing. The enemy wants to use the wounds in your past to keep pain and bitterness in your life and ultimately to cause your destruction. God sent Jesus to provide healing for even your deepest wounds. God can take away the bitterness and pain of the past and … Read More

Unhealthy Comparisons (1)

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“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”                                   1Sa 18:7 NKJV Unhealthy Comparisons (1) Instead of celebrating David’s victory over Goliath with those who sang, “David [has slain] his ten thousands,” Saul became jealous. As a result, he opened himself to “an evil spirit” (1Sa 18:10). There are three lessons here: (1) Those who help you today, may … Read More

Stay Focused!

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“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down.”                 Heb 12:1 NLT Stay Focused The Bible says, “Let us strip off every weight that slows us down…And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” God has given you the two things needed to run and win your race in life: time and energy. And … Read More

Georgia

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I love to go to the bookstores and have seen your Fasting Edge book for some time. But fasting is not something I ever thought I would be interested. I finally broke down and got your book. Wow! I went on my first 3-day Daniel fast a couple of weeks ago. It was a little tough because I love food, … Read More

God Can Turn Your Failure into Success

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“Because you say so, I will.”                                                      Lk 5:5 NIV Jesus said to Simon: “‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will’…When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets … Read More

Don’t Argue, Just Praise God!

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“She was made straight, and glorified God.”                          Lk 13:13 NKJV One day Jesus healed a woman in the synagogue who’d been crippled for eighteen years. As a result, two things happened: First, she rejoiced like anybody would who’d been set free from an eighteen-year illness. Second, some church folks condemned Jesus for healing her on the Sabbath day. What a … Read More

It’s About Him—Not You

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“This work had been done with the help of our God.”                 Ne 6:16 NIV After scoring a goal for his team, a big, rugged linebacker started dancing and beating his chest as if to say, “Look at me, I’m the greatest.” Then the ball changed hands and the opposing team ran it back on the ensuing kickoff, eighty yards for … Read More

Lord, Teach Me to Pray (4)

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“He fashions their hearts individually.”                                   Ps 33:15 NKJV Your prayer style should be consistent with the way God designed you. Yes, you can learn from people who are more experienced in prayer than you are, but you need to be careful not to make them your standard, or become a “clone.” It’s wrong to force yourself to do what others … Read More

Lord, Teach Me to Pray (3)

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“Evening and morning…he hears my voice.”                            Ps 55:17 NIV God is far too creative to insist that every person interact with Him in exactly the same way. He designed each of us differently. There are prayer principles that apply to all of us, but God leads each of us as individuals. We are all at different places in our walk … Read More

A Dream That Drives You

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Introduction Whoever you are, wherever you are, God has a dream for your life. God can open your eyes to that dream and allow you to see who you could be and what you could do. When that happens, it changes you. It affects how you talk, how you think and how you live.   Connection Questions In this sermon, … Read More

Lord, Teach Me to Pray (2)

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“Jesus…spent the night praying.”                                              Lk 6:12 NIV One of the dangers of being involved in God’s work is that you can go for weeks, or even months without praying. In a survey of a thousand pastors, half acknowledged that they often went for long periods without taking time to pray. They didn’t have a personal prayer life beyond their function … Read More

Lord, Teach Me to Pray (1)

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“Lord, teach us to pray.”                                                       Lk 11:1 NKJV In his book, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Andrew Murray writes: “None can teach like Jesus…therefore we call on Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ A pupil needs a teacher who knows his work, who has the gift of teaching, who in patience and love will descend to the pupil’s … Read More

Just Do What God’s Called You to Do!

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“Stay within the [boundaries] of the work which God has set for [you].”        2Co 10:13 GNT Nobody is good at everything, and nobody is called to do everything. God has given each of us clearly defined roles in life. Paul understood that his job wasn’t to accomplish everything or try to please everyone, but to focus on what God had … Read More