Prayer, Not Pressure, Changes People

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“But we all…are changed…by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Co 3:18 Jesus asked the question, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Mt 7:3 NIV). Expecting more out of people than they’re able to give will hurt your relationships, not help them. People … Read More

When God Lights a Fire Under You

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“Great persecution broke out…and all…were scattered.” Ac 8:1 NIV Jesus never intended His disciples to get comfortable in Jerusalem and stay there. He told them, “Forgiveness of sins will be preached in [my] name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Lk 24:47 NIV). They were only supposed to remain in Jerusalem long enough to be infused with power, then take … Read More

The Call to Leadership (3)

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“The Lord said…‘Go on before the people.’” Ex 17:5 To be a good leader you must do these two things: (1) Spend time with the people. For four hundred years the children of Israel had been leaderless. As a result, they had no identity or self-worth. Actually, they had a slave mentality. So Moses often walked among them, because sheep … Read More

The Call to Leadership (2)

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“Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” Mt 28:20 NKJV If God has called you to be a teacher in the church, here are three principles you need to live by: (1) Before you feed others, feed yourself. Don’t just go to the Bible for something to say, go for something to eat. Jeremiah said, “Thy … Read More

The Call to Leadership (1)

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“Rise and stand on your feet.” Ac 26:16 NKJV If God has called you to leadership you’ll be unfulfilled in any other slot. God told Paul, “Rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister.” Notice what the call to leadership requires: (1) Competence. You must recognize your gifts, … Read More

Contentment

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“With things we shall be content.” 1Ti 6:8 TLB Contentment isn’t something you find at a particular destination, it’s something you practice every day on your way to it. And even if you miss the right path from time to time, you still enjoy the scenery along the detour. Paul said, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for … Read More

Are You Lonely?

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“We’re all connected to each other.” Eph 4:25 TM In the first chapters of Genesis we read, “And God saw that it was good.” That is, until He created Adam. Then God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Ge 2:18 NIV). Adam was enjoying a great relationship with God, but because he was without human … Read More

Follow The Star

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Follow the Star

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Pastor Franklin’s message, Follow The Star, is not just an account of the wise men finding Jesus. It’s a reminder that God places stars in our lives to guide us toward Him. He uses us as His light to lead others. And we are to give Him our best gifts of worship no matter where we are. What exactly does … Read More

The Design and the Designer

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“Lift your eyes and look to the heavens.” Isa 40:26 NIV Wernher von Braun, the first director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, who’s known as “the father of the American space program,” stated in a published article in May, 1974: “One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be a … Read More

Confront Them—in Love!

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“Speaking the truth in love.” Eph 4:15 NKJV Sometimes love requires confronting people. But it must be done in the right way, and only over the right issues. If you spend your life correcting people you’ll finish up with no credibility, and no friends. At what point should you confront somebody? Only when you’ve answered these questions: (a) Is it … Read More

Believe God for Your Healing

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“I am the Lord, who heals you.” Ex 15:26 NIV In the Bible one of the names God chooses to be called by is “Jehovah Rapha,” which means “I am the Lord who heals.” Now, if God calls Himself the healer, then you have the right to believe what He says and expect that, given an opportunity, He will perform … Read More

Make Your Children Proud of You

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“Parents are the pride of their children.” Pr 17:6 NIV Your child is already in the process of becoming the kind of person he or she is eventually going to be. So to raise them right and to make them proud of you, live by these six principles: (1) Assure them of your love. They need to know your love … Read More

Dealing with Temptation

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“When you are tempted, he will…provide a way out.” 1Co 10:13 NIV Temptation brings with it feelings of guilt. As a result we get discouraged and think, “If I were a better Christian I wouldn’t have such thoughts. I’ve prayed, over and over. Why doesn’t God just take it away?” Temptation never goes away! Prayer doesn’t remove it, prayer just … Read More

Living Fearlessly (3)

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“I will uphold you with my…right hand.” Isa 41:10 NIV When you know that what you’re doing is in sync with God’s will, you can be confident He will provide what you need and fight for you. God told His people, “When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, … Read More

Living Fearlessly (2)

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“Do not fear, for I am with you.” Isa 41:10 NIV The words “fear not” keep showing up in the Bible all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Why is that? Because God understands that fear is not only our biggest enemy but our constant companion, and He wants to help us overcome it. One author writes: “Think of your … 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

Strangely Wrapped Gifts

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Living Fearlessly (1)

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“You are my servant; I have chosen you.” Isa 41:9 NIV Have you ever wondered how animal trainers can control a five-ton elephant and keep it from running away? They do it by controlling the animal’s thinking. When a baby elephant is being trained, a rope is put around its leg and then tied to a wooden post secured in … Read More

Jesus—Is God!

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“What do you think about…Christ?” Mt 22:42 NKJV One day Jesus took Peter, James and John up to the top of a mountain. We read: “Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus…Peter…blurted out, ‘Master…Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’” (Lk 9:30-33 NLT). Peter’s thinking was wrong. Three shrines would … Read More

Love

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“Let us…love one another.” 1Jn 4:7 NLT Love is slow to suspect but quick to trust; slow to condemn but quick to justify; slow to offend but quick to defend; slow to expose but quick to shield; slow to reprimand but quick to empathize; slow to belittle but quick to appreciate; slow to demand but quick to give; slow to … Read More

Angels

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“Some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Heb 13:2 NIV When we talk about angels operating among us, the spiritually unenlightened think it’s just religious sentiment. That’s because they allow their intellect to neutralize their faith. Notice: (1) Angels have a long history among us. An angel shut the mouths of lions for Daniel. An angel went before Israel’s … Read More

To Succeed in Life

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“Open my eyes, that I may see.” Ps 119:18 NKJV To succeed in life: (1) You must refuse to settle for yesterday’s accomplishments. If what you did yesterday still looks big to you today, you probably haven’t done enough today. Paul celebrated his accomplishments, but he focused on what God had for him in the future: “Forgetting the past and … Read More

Learning to Walk by Faith (3)

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“Faith comes from hearing the message…through the word.”     Ro 10:17 NIV                                                                                                              What does it mean to “walk by faith”? (2Co 5:7 NAS). It’s radically different from walking by sight, reason, emotion or intellect. It calls you to live above these things. It enables you to enter the realm of supernatural possibilities because Jesus said, “All things are possible to … Read More

Learning to Walk by Faith (2)

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“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”                          Mk 9:24 NIV Here is another question to consider: What is “walking by sight”? (See 2Co 5:7). It’s living your life based on how things look to the natural eye. It’s deciding and acting in accord with your perceptions and circumstances, rather than God’s Word. It’s being dictated to by your feelings … Read More

Learning to Walk by Faith (1)

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“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”                                        2Co 5:7 NAS It’s time to “get with it,” when God tells you the same thing three separate times: “The just shall live by faith” (See Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17; Gal 3:11). This is not a suggestion for theological debate, it’s His will for your life. Clearly, God has made faith the … Read More

Show Your Love Now!

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“He has commanded us to love one another.”                             2Jn v.6 NLT Each morning pray: “Lord, whether or not I get anything else done, help me to spend this day loving You and loving others, because that’s what Your Word says life is all about.” If you do that, you’ll treat those around you more graciously—and people will notice it. You’ll … Read More

Are You Stressed Out About Money? (2)

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“I am the Lord…who teaches you to profit.”                           Isa 48:17 NAS The best way to overcome financial anxiety is by trusting God to meet all your needs. You say, “That’s nice, but what does God know about my business?” More than you think! He’s the CEO of the whole world. When it comes to successful systems, nobody knows more than … Read More

Are You Stressed Out About Money? (1)

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“It is [God] who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”                                      Dt 8:18 NIV The story of Elijah being fed by the ravens teaches us that God can take care of us in a bad economy (See 1Ki 17:1-7). The story of Joseph teaches us that when we follow God’s plan, we will have all that we need to get … Read More

The Secret of Satisfaction

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“I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”                                       Php 4:11 NLT If money guaranteed happiness, wouldn’t the rich be happier than everybody else? Studies show that often they’re not. Happy people don’t follow money, they follow their God-given passion. In What Happy People Know, Dr. Dan Baker writes: “The man in front of me seemed to … Read More

Four Lessons Learned on Your Journey (2)

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“Call to me and I will…tell you…things you do not know.”         Jer 33:3 NIV Third, you learn the secret of prayer. Do you feel lost in unfamiliar territory, uncertain as to what your next move should be? God uses such times to get your attention, call you back to Himself and encourage you to lean on Him, your unfailing source … Read More

Four Lessons Learned on Your Journey (1)

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“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Pr 16:9 NIV Remember needing a road atlas when you took a trip? Now you just program your destination into the car’s GPS and it tells you where and when to turn, how far to the next gas station, and when you’ll arrive. No guessing, confusion … Read More

Your Worth To God

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Your Worth To God

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God carefully planned and designed you before you were born. You were no accident. Long before you showed up on earth, God was thinking about you. You’re not the product of a moment. You are a child of eternity. You’re the result of the counsel of heaven and your worth to God is beyond measure.   Connection Questions Describe the … Read More

Financial Freedom

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“I will give you…right desires.”                                            Eze 36:26 TLB The Millionaire Next Door is a bestselling book about two people living on the same street, in comparable homes, working at similar jobs. But by age fifty, one is financially secure while the other is drowning in debt. Their problem isn’t money; it’s unwillingness to defer gratification. We want what we want … Read More

Thoughts on the Tabernacle (3)

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“Go into all the world and preach.”                                      Mk 16:15 NKJV The third element in the building of the tabernacle was equal access. The word “tabernacle” means “tent of meeting.” It’s where God met and interacted with His people. So He positioned it in the middle of the camp, surrounded by each of the twelve tribes. Everybody had to be able … Read More

Thoughts on the Tabernacle (2)

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“Make everything according to the pattern I have shown you.”                               Ex 25:40 NLT The second element that marked the building of the Old Testament tabernacle was excellence. God condemns perfectionism because it stifles our creativity and robs us of all sense of progress. And Jesus condemned those who gave to impress others. “When you do a charitable deed, do not … Read More

Thoughts on the Tabernacle (1)

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“Bring Me an offering.”                                                         Ex 25:2 NKJV When it came time to build the Old Testament tabernacle, God said to Moses, “Do all things according to the pattern which I showed you” (See Ex 25:40). Whether you’re building a relationship, a career, a business or a ministry, it will always require several elements: Sacrifice. The building of the tabernacle begins … Read More

Turn Your Weakness into a Weapon

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“I just let Christ take over!”                                                   2Co 12:10 TM Speaking of his “thorn,” Paul writes: “I was given the gift of a handicap…At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it…he told me, ‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’ Once I heard … Read More

Don’t Live an Unexamined Life

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“Search me, O God, and know my heart.”                                     Ps 139:23 When you live an unexamined life—it shows! Author Gordon MacDonald writes: “I was reading authors who were saying that if Christ’s followers don’t grow, it’s because they don’t make a habit of evaluating their lives. These authors were describing me. I was always on the go, never looking deeply inside. … Read More

Under The Influence – Ben Prescott

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Set Boundaries (4)

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“I can make it through anything.”                                             Php 4:12 TM Flexible boundaries. Rigid boundaries cause you to shut other people out and live unprepared and ill equipped for the give-and-take that healthy relationships require. Permeable boundaries leave you defenseless against “users” who feel entitled to manipulate you and who expect to be taken care of at your expense. But flexible boundary … Read More

Under The Influence

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When we hear the term “under the influence,” we think of someone under the influence of a substance, such as alcohol or drugs. A person under the influence of a substance talks differently, walks differently and acts differently. In the same way, when a person is under the influence of Jesus, it should show in their talk, their walk and … Read More

Set Boundaries (3)

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“Like a city with broken-down walls.”                                     Pr 25:28 NLT Permeable boundaries. Well-adjusted people find the right balance between protecting their personal space, and allowing others to infiltrate, manipulate and dominate them. They know how to say yes to what’s healthy and no to what’s not. Permeable boundary people, on the other hand, allow others to permeate their lives at will, … Read More

Set Boundaries (2)

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“Its parts should have equal concern for each other.”              1Co 12:25 NIV When you buy a house, you need clearly marked boundary lines to let you know what’s yours and what’s not. Good boundaries make good neighbors. The Bible says, “Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—too much of you, and they will hate you” (Pr 25:17 NIV). So, how … Read More

Set Boundaries (1)

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“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.”                            Mt 5:37 NIV Set Boundaries (1) When does “a good thing” become “too much?” Can I help you, without hurting me? Can we share our lives, without me giving up mine? When do you truly need my help? When do I need to let go, and let you and God … Read More

Practice Pure Religion!

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“Pure…religion before God…is this.”                                     Jas 1:27 NKJV Jesus said about every act of kindness you show toward someone who’s hurting or in need: “You did it to Me” (Mt 25:40 NKJV). Wow! Maybe next time you’re too busy to show concern, that’ll make you stop and think. In answer to the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” … Read More

Don’t Be an Older Brother

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“Son…all that I have is yours.”                                             Lk 15:31 NKJV Don’t Be an Older Brother In the parable of the prodigal son Jesus is talking to two different groups: regular people, and religious leaders who complain that Jesus “receives sinners” (Lk 15:2 NKJV). We all know the story. The Prodigal Son “blew it” and ended up in a pigpen. Later, when … Read More

Encourage Someone Today

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“Epaphroditus…ministered to my need.”                                Php 2:25 NKJV Encourage Someone Today When people are hurting, they need your support until they can get back on their feet again. Medical researchers have developed a bone-bonding compound that illustrates this. It looks like toothpaste. Once injected into the body it hardens in ten minutes. In twelve hours it reaches the compression strength of … Read More

The Most Important Skill You Can Teach Your Child (4)

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“[There is] a time to be silent and a time to speak.”                    Ecc 3:7 NAS The Most Important Skill You Can Teach Your Child (4) Teach your child to ask: (1) “Is this the best time to make this decision?” Decisions made in haste are often regretted. “There is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Poor … Read More