What Wondrous Love

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“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Mt 27:46 NKJV Imagine having to stand and watch every sin you’ve ever committed replayed for all the world to see: your secret addictions, your selfish motives, your angry outbursts, your critical attitudes, your jealous heart. How do you think you’d feel? Well, Jesus experienced much worse. The Bible says, “[He]…bore … Read More

How to Die Right

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“He is not here, but is risen!” Lk 24:6 NKJV Jesus, the founder of Christianity, was the only man capable of making an appointment beyond the grave and showing up to keep it. He told His disciples, “After I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee” (Mt 26:32 NKJV). And He did. If you visit the graves … Read More

When a Believer Dies (4)

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“To go and be with Christ, which would be far better.” Php 1:23 NLT No matter how much you enjoy where you are living right now, there’s always a longing in your heart for the place you call “home.” And how much more so for those who have been born again into God’s redeemed family! The world has its beautiful … Read More

Understanding Biblical Prophecy

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Throughout scriptures, there are many end-time prophecies. A number of them have already come to pass while others are unfolding before our very eyes. We need to turn our attention to China, Russia and the Middle East and be on guard for the promised return of our Savior. We need to be clean and ready.   Connection Questions: According to … Read More

When a Believer Dies (3)

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“We tell you this directly from the Lord.” 1Th 4:15 NLT What Paul wrote about death, he got directly from the Lord: “We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.” The Lord reserves this high privilege exclusively for those who die … Read More

When a Believer Dies (2)

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“God will bring back with [Jesus] the believers who have died.” 1Th 4:14 NLT Dealing with death separates us into two categories: The hopeless and the hopeful. The hopeless believe they have nothing to look forward to. Their losses feel permanent—the end of life and all that’s good. But the hopeful have everything to look forward to. Their losses are … Read More

When a Believer Dies (1)

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“You will not grieve like people who have no hope.” 1Th 4:13 NLT Our culture makes death a subject to avoid or to speak of with gloom. When the subject comes up even Christians try to dodge the bullet by escaping into vague, irrelevant-sounding metaphors. But God’s Word makes death clear and unthreatening for those who trust in Christ. “Dear … Read More

Gratitude—It’s Contagious!

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“In every thing give thanks.” 1Th 5:18 Author Barbara Johnson was frazzled; she was running late, and had to stand while riding the bus to work. Her attitude was going downhill fast when a cheery voice from the front of the bus announced, “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” She couldn’t see the man, but she listened to his commentary as he … Read More

Who Are You Trying to Please?

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“Let my words and…thoughts be pleasing to you, Lord.” Ps 19:14 CEV Are you afraid to speak up in case you encounter disapproval? The Bible says, “Fearing people is a dangerous trap” (Pr 29:25 NLT). And fear is common among people-pleasers. One author writes: “A pleaser daughter is one who, at any age, still tries to please her parents. From … Read More

THE BLOOD, THE MOON AND THE FEASTS

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Jesus tells us that when the end of time draws near, there will be signs in the sun, the moon and the stars as well as distress among nations. We’re living in unique times. Nations are experiencing chaos and distress. And 2015 is the first year in history when there will be two blood moons. Are you aware of the … Read More

Thinking for a Change

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“The plans of the diligent lead to profit.” Pr 21:5 NIV In his book, Thinking For a Change, Dr. John Maxwell says, “The right thought, plus the right people, in the right environment, at the right time, for the right reason, always produces the right result.” Let’s take a minute and break those words down: (1) The right thought. Thinking … Read More

Tap into Your Creativity

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“God created man in his own image.” Ge 1:27 NIV The Bible says: “God created man in his own image…male and female he created them. God blessed them and said…‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over…every living creature that moves on the ground.’ Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on … Read More

Imagination and Freedom of Choice

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“The world and all that is in it is mine.” Ps 50:12 NRS The Bible says, “God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Ge 2:7 NKJV). Until then, we were just inanimate hunks of clay in human form. At that point God breathed … Read More

Have You Been Rejected?

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“Do not be afraid…I am with you.” Ac 18:9-10 NIV When Paul tried to share his new faith with his old friends, “They opposed him” (v. 6 NKJV). It hurts to be rejected by those you love. It seems like Paul was so hurt by their rejection that God had to encourage him, saying, “Do not be afraid…I am with … Read More

Are You in the Wilderness?

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“He…guided them in the wilderness.” Ps 78:52 NKJV The wilderness is a place where growth comes hard, water is scarce, and you plod on when there’s no end in sight. You can have a wilderness experience anywhere: at a graveside, in an unemployment line, or in a divorce court. In the wilderness: (1) There seems to be no way out. … Read More

Don’t Run Out of Steam!

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“I bear him witness that he has a great zeal.” Col 4:13 NKJV John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, travelled two hundred and fifty thousand miles on horseback, averaging twenty miles a day for forty years. He preached forty thousand sermons, produced four hundred books, and knew ten languages. At eighty-three he was annoyed that he couldn’t write more … Read More

You Are Special

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“My unfailing love for you will not be shaken.” Isa 54:10 NIV Chinese missionary John Bentley distributed a book written by Max Lucado, entitled You Are Special, to children who lived in a Chinese orphanage. In that country male children are favored over female ones. Healthy babies outrank impaired ones. Indeed, children who cannot speak or hear stand little chance … Read More

Getting Serious About God (4)

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“Let us not give up meeting together.” Heb 10:25 NIV They took God’s Word seriously. “They spent their time learning the apostles’ teaching” (Ac 2:42 NCV). Researchers tell us that today personal Bible reading is less common among Christians than prayer. Instead of a Word from God that fortifies us for the challenges of the day, we’ve substituted exercise and … Read More

Getting Serious About God (3)

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“All the believers devoted themselves to…prayer.” Ac 2:42 NLT They took prayer seriously. The New Testament church was conceived in the womb of prayer. After ten days of united prayer in the upper room, “Everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit” (v. 4 NLT). What happened next? They launched a church that’s still impacting the world after two thousand … Read More

Getting Serious About God (2)

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“The believers met together…and shared everything.” Ac 2:44 NLT They took fellowship seriously. We are more than a common-interest-based social club. We’re a family—birth-children of our heavenly Father, blood relatives. The cross made it so. “We have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit” (1Co 12:13 NLT). Those early disciples valued their relationship. It went beyond merely singing … Read More

Getting Serious About God (1)

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“The believers met together in the Temple every day.” Ac 2:46 NCV It’s estimated that there are over half a billion practicing Christians in the world. But the church wouldn’t even exist today if it hadn’t been for a small group of disciples who were sold out to Christ. The things of God were not a part-time interest or a … Read More

Deal With It Now

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“No matter how fast you run, you won’t escape. No matter how strong you are, you will lose your strength.” Am 2:14 CEV Sorry, problems don’t magically solve themselves because you refuse to deal with them. Actually, they multiply, and “no matter how fast you run, you will not escape.” Kristin Armstrong says: “We become…adept at running…We try to flee … Read More

Show Hospitality

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“Given to hospitality.” Ro 12:13 Making others feel loved and valued is a hallmark of discipleship (See Jn 13:34-35). Welcoming newcomers was important in the early church, and it’s just as important today. Social customs may change, but God’s Word doesn’t. Jesus said, “Anyone who receives you receives me” (Mt 10:40 NLT). As a follower of Christ it’s your job … Read More

E-V-A-L-U-A-T-E

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“Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” Am 3:3 NKJV A successful marriage is based on two things: “finding” the right person, and “becoming” the right person. And the second thing is harder than the first. Just because two people share the same bed and the same name, doesn’t guarantee harmony. Here are some practical suggestions based on the … Read More

Adapting to Change

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“Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them.” Isa 42:16 NIV Change forces us out of the comfort of the familiar and into the discomfort of the unfamiliar. And while it can turn your world upside down, it makes you face your greatest fears and deal with the things that steal your joy, peace, and confidence. Change can be your friend … Read More

Confidentiality

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“They gather gossip, and…spread it.” Ps 41:6 NLT A man approached Socrates one day to share some gossip. The wise philosopher asked, “First, are you certain it’s true? Second, is it something good? Third, is it something useful?” When the man said, “Not really,” Socrates replied, “Well, if it’s not true, good or useful, why talk about it?” Gossip can … Read More

Celebration Center Special

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Question-Celebration

In this inspiring edition of Kingdom Connection, Pastor Franklin interviews Pastor Wayne Hilsden, who is a pastor in the nation of Israel. Pastor Hilsden and his family have been ministering in Jerusalem for 32 years. In 1983, they started a Bible study in a small apartment. King of Kings Community Church, a thriving, powerful ministry located in the heart of … Read More

Spiritual Maturity Comes by Degrees

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“From one degree of glory to another.” 2Co 3:18 AMP How would you describe someone who is spiritually mature? Leonard Wedel says: “A mature person does not take himself too seriously…keeps himself alert in mind …does not always view with alarm every adverse situation that arises…Is too big to be little…never feels too great to do little things, and is … Read More

Change Your Self-Talk

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“You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you.” Job 22:28 NKJV It’s not what others say to you or about you that determines your future; it’s what you say to yourself after others get through talking! The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will … Read More

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus (2)

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“Jesus…went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” Ac 10:38 NKJV The Bible says: “Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to … Read More

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus (1)

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“The boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves.” Mt 14:24 NKJV Jesus had accompanied His disciples in a previous storm and calmed it. But now He was up on a mountain praying, and they were alone, “tossed by the waves.” Why? Because sometimes the teacher has to step back in order to see how … Read More

The Power of Forgiveness (2)

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“Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” Col 3:13 NIV In Restoring Your Spiritual Passion, Gordon MacDonald writes: “One memory that burns deep within is that of a plane flight on which I was headed toward a meeting that would determine a major decision in my ministry. I knew I was in desperate need of a spiritual passion … Read More

Lives Changed in Haiti – Meet Tisone!

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Tisone lived in a mud hut in old Le Tant near the lake. He had a son named Ti Quin who had grown up with a painful, crippling disease. The disease was so difficult that Ti Quin often screamed throughout the night from the terrible pain. Ti Quin’s arms and legs were twisted from the disease.   Tisone tried to … Read More

The Power of Forgiveness (1)

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“Forgiving each other, just as…God forgave you.” Eph 4:32 NIV The power of forgiveness is an awesome thing. No relationship can survive without it, much less thrive. Whatever the issue, forgiveness sets both sides free, takes a weapon out of Satan’s hands, and opens the door for God to go to work in the situation. This is never more so … Read More

Have Realistic Expectations (2)

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“He knew what was in a man.” Jn 2:25 NIV Here are three areas in which you must learn to have realistic expectations: (1) You must have realistic expectations of yourself. When you do things poorly you usually feel bad. That sets in motion a never-ending cycle of reaching for things that are out of reach, hoping to prove something … Read More

Prospering Without Guilt

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God wants to prosper you, but to receive God’s blessing and prosperity in your life you must handle your finances the way God directs in His Word. The Bible tells us how to prosper in an appropriate way that is pleasing to God. On the other hand, there are inappropriate ways to prosper – ways that will bring guilt and … Read More

Have Realistic Expectations (1)

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“He knew what was in a man.” Jn 2:25 NIV Jesus saw the best in people and worked to bring it out. But He wasn’t naïve; He understood human frailty. When people disappointed Him, He didn’t retaliate in anger, or distance from them. What did He do? “Many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his … Read More

“Let Us Pray”

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“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.” Eph 6:18 NLT In August, 1806, five Williams College students met in a field for one of their twice-weekly prayer meetings when a thunderstorm drove them to take refuge in a nearby haystack. Continuing in prayer, Samuel John Mills shared his burden that Christianity be sent abroad, and the … Read More

“Whatever It Takes”

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“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.” Pr 13:4 NIV The word “diligence” includes such qualities as hard work, honesty, persistence, and striving for excellence. The New Living Bible Translation puts it this way: “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” One expert says, “Success … Read More

Learn to be Tactful

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“I try to find common ground.” 1Co 9:22 NLT Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy. To win someone over, you must first do two things: (a) understand them; (b) become comfortable with diversity. Paul wrote, “So I can bring them to Christ…I try to find common ground with everyone” (vv. 21-22 NLT). Paul wouldn’t … Read More

Secure in God’s Presence

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“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Ex 33:14 NIV Unless you spend time in God’s presence you will always have an underlying sense of insecurity. There are certain people we draw security from just by being around them; their presence and approach to life make us feel better. Likewise, when you need to be … Read More

The Cost of a God-Given Dream (3)

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“I have suffered the loss of all things.” Php 3:8 NKJV Stop and listen carefully to what some of the people around you are saying. Many of them express regret because they backed off from their dream of earlier years: a career not pursued, an opportunity left unseized, a relationship allowed to wither and die. Decades later they come back … Read More

The Cost of a God-Given Dream (2)

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“I have worked…been in prison…been flogged.” 2Co 11:23 NIV Second, there’s the ongoing cost. We all want what successful people have. The problem is, we don’t want to pay the price they paid initially, and continue to pay every day. Paul spells out the true story behind his success: “I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been … Read More

Made for More: Passion, Zeal and Worship

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  When you think of Jesus, what do you picture? Do you see Jesus as the gentle, quiet man from historic paintings? Or do you see the Jesus pictured in the Bible – the man who cast out devils, confronted Pharisees to their face, wept with compassion and chased the moneychangers out of the temple? Jesus wasn’t just gentle; He … Read More

The Cost of a God-Given Dream (1)

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“I consider everything a loss…compared to…” Php 3:8 NIV Y our dream will never be fulfilled unless you’re willing to pay the price that comes with it. And that price is paid not once, but over a lifetime. First, there’s the initial cost. You will have to make personal and sometimes painful sacrifices. You may have to walk away from … Read More