THE SECRET OF FULFILLMENT

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“There is a time for everything…a time to weep and a time to laugh.”  Ecc 3:1-4 NIV Optimists tend to believe that life is mostly good; pessimists, that it’s mostly bad. Life is both. And only those who embrace that truth are able to find fulfillment. Why? Because those who accept it but don’t embrace it become apathetic, meeting every … Read More

Stephen DodsonTHE SECRET OF FULFILLMENT

PRAYER (6)

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“You will ask what you desire, and it shall be done.” Jn 15:7 NKJV In May 1996, ValuJet flight 592 crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing 110 passengers. Navy experts tried using special technology to detect the plane’s black box, without success. Holding a rope that kept them spaced three feet apart, searchers poked through every square foot of muck. … Read More

Stephen DodsonPRAYER (6)

PRAYER (5)

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“For we do not know what we should pray for.” Ro 8:26 NKJV Prayer works like the 911 emergency system. All you need to do is dial those numbers and you’re instantly connected to a dispatcher. In front of the dispatcher is a readout that lists your telephone number, address, and your name. Also listening in are the police, the … Read More

Stephen DodsonPRAYER (5)

PRAYER (4)

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“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him.” Ps 91:15 NKJV Bill Gates was hooked up to the computer network we call the Internet. Using it, subscribers can send electronic mail (e-mail) to other users of the Internet. Originally, Gates had an e-mail address just like everyone else. But he got into trouble when The New Yorker magazine … Read More

Stephen DodsonPRAYER (4)

PRAYER (3)

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“Pray continually.” 1Th 5:17 NIV The Bible says, “Pray continually.” If you can worry continually, you can pray continually; you just have to change your focus! Try to picture this: an enemy army has arrived intent on wiping out Israel. So Moses says to Joshua, “Take your best soldiers and go fight them. I’m taking two men, climbing the hill … Read More

Stephen DodsonPRAYER (3)

PRAYER (2)

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“Your Father in heaven [will] give good gifts to those who ask.” Mt 7:11 NIV Phillips Brooks said, “Pray the largest prayers. You cannot think of a prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish you had made it larger.” When we love our children we want to be generous with them. And that’s how God feels … Read More

Stephen DodsonPRAYER (2)

PRAYER (1)

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“O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come.” Ps 65:2 NKJV Mark records, “Very early in the morning…Jesus got up…and…prayed” (Mk 1:35 NIV). Jesus made deposits each morning so that He could make withdrawals throughout the day. Many of us don’t, and it shows! R. A. Torrey said, “We are too busy to pray, and so we … Read More

Stephen DodsonPRAYER (1)

TRANSLATED

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“Who hath…translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Col 1:13 The Bible says Jesus has “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of [God’s] dear Son.” The New King James Bible says, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son.” In … Read More

Stephen DodsonTRANSLATED

STARTING OVER

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“I will…exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.” Jer 31:13 NLT Tom was very depressed following his wife Elle’s death. For an hour he poured out his heart. Now, catharsis is good; it can show you what needs to be dealt with. But talk alone doesn’t change anything. So his counselor asked, “If the situation was reversed and you’d died first, what … Read More

Stephen DodsonSTARTING OVER

LIVING IN THE FLOW OF GOD’S BLESSING

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“Take over the land…flowing with milk and honey.”            Dt 11:8-9 NIV When they were slaves in Egypt, the Israelites had to pump water from the Nile River to irrigate their crops and put food on their table. Can you imagine slaving every day on an old foot pump just to get by? But then things changed for the better. God … Read More

Stephen DodsonLIVING IN THE FLOW OF GOD’S BLESSING

GRACIOUS WORDS

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“Let the words of my mouth…be acceptable in Your sight.” Ps 19:14 NKJV Mark Twain quipped, “It takes two years to learn to talk, and the rest of your life to control your mouth.” The Psalmist prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord.” A sin most often … Read More

Stephen DodsonGRACIOUS WORDS

THE JOY IS IN THE JOURNEY

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“I have come that they may have life…to the full.” Jn 10:10 NIV Sometimes when we achieve the things we strive for, we find they’re not very fulfilling. As we look back we realize that our greatest joy was not in the goal we reached, but in the growth we experienced on the way to it. Scientist Koichi Tanaka describes … Read More

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TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TIME (3)

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“I must work…while it is day.” Jn 9:4 NKJV Time is like money; it must be budgeted. That means determining the difference between the fixed—what you must do—and the discretionary—what you would like to do. What caused Jesus to be such an organized person? (1) He understood His mission. During His final walk toward Jerusalem where He would be crucified, … Read More

Stephen DodsonTAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TIME (3)

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TIME (2)

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“Teach us to realize the brevity of life.” Ps 90:12 NLT Gordon MacDonald gives us some of the traits of a disorganized life. See if you recognize any: “(1) Appointments/messages/deadlines missed. I know I’m disorganized when there are a series of forgotten appointments, telephone messages to which I have failed to respond, and deadlines which I have begun to miss. … Read More

Stephen DodsonTAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TIME (2)

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TIME (1)

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“Walk in wisdom…redeeming the time.” Col 4:5 NKJV Nothing is more costly than wasted time. Every minute lost is gone forever. Today we have more time-saving devices than any other generation, yet we seem to have less time. To get control of your life you must first get control of your time. That means redirecting each lost minute toward a … Read More

Stephen DodsonTAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TIME (1)

BE HOLY

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“Be holy in all you do.” 1Pe 1:15 NIV Holiness isn’t a subject we hear much about these days. So, what does it mean to “be holy”? First, let’s understand what it doesn’t mean: (1) It doesn’t isolate you from the world, it insulates you against its negative influences. (2) It’s not a scorecard for deciding who’s close to God … Read More

Stephen DodsonBE HOLY

LIVING FOR OTHERS

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“Through love serve one another.” Gal 5:13 NKJV Jacques Cousteau, the famous French explorer, said, “If a man for whatever reason has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.” Jesus lived that way. He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11 … Read More

Stephen DodsonLIVING FOR OTHERS

HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FOCUS?

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“He prayed that he might die.” 1Ki 19:4 NKJV Sometimes after “giving it your all,” you can end up totally drained. Look at Elijah. God used him on Mt. Carmel to call down fire from heaven on the prophets of Baal. Yet he fell apart under Jezebel’s threats. Fleeing for his life, he “sat down under a broom tree…and said, … Read More

Stephen DodsonHAVE YOU LOST YOUR FOCUS?

SAY “NO!”

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“Just say a simple…no.” Jas 5:12 NLT When you don’t learn to say no, you end up disliking yourself, as well as the people you are trying to please. In some cases we have difficulty saying no because we’re afraid people won’t like us. In other cases we believe that to be “a good Christian” we must always say yes. … Read More

Stephen DodsonSAY “NO!”

SEEK RECONCILIATION

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“Go and be reconciled.” Mt 5:24 NIV Sometimes the only way to get over your hurt feelings is to seek reconciliation. And if you are willing, God will help you do it. George Eliot wrote: “Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just … Read More

Stephen DodsonSEEK RECONCILIATION

BE WILLING TO FACE THE TRUTH

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“The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.” Pr 20:12 NKJV Dr. Howard Hendricks, a church growth expert, was once asked to diagnose the declining membership in a certain church. After attending service for several weeks he met with the board of elders and said, “Put a fence around it and charge admission, so people … Read More

Stephen DodsonBE WILLING TO FACE THE TRUTH

DEVELOPING PATIENCE

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“Tribulation worketh patience.” Ro 5:3 How do you develop patience? Through tribulation! When your honesty seems to go unnoticed, when your hard work seems to go unrewarded, when your kindness is rendered without thanks, when your helping hand is offered and ignored, when even love is refused—that’s when patience shines in all its beauty. Paul writes, “Tribulation worketh patience.” You’ve … Read More

Stephen DodsonDEVELOPING PATIENCE

GOD IS WORKING IN YOUR SITUATION

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“Who works out everything in agreement with…His…will.” Eph 1:11 AMP W. A. Criswell noted that before a stone was laid in St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren saw it in his mind. Before he struck a chisel against marble, Michelangelo saw the mighty Moses and purposed it in his heart. Why should it surprise us then that the designer and … Read More

Stephen DodsonGOD IS WORKING IN YOUR SITUATION

WEATHERING THE FINANCIAL SHAKEUP (3)

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“We have…enough…and plenty to spare.” 2Ch 31:10 NLT Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was a young minister during the Great Depression. His salary had been cut twice. He says: “Everyone was frightened and depressed. Businesses were failing. Nobody could borrow money. The pressure got worse, and for the first time I was terrified. I said to my wife, ‘We’re in a … Read More

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WEATHERING THE FINANCIAL SHAKEUP (2)

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“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Ps 23:1 If you’re in debt and worried about your job: (1) Don’t panic. Turn to the source of all wisdom and read these words: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Repeat it to yourself throughout the day. Tape it to your bathroom mirror where you’ll see it … Read More

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WEATHERING THE FINANCIAL SHAKEUP (1)

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“Only the things that cannot be shaken will remain.”            Heb 12:27 NCV Writing about a recent conversation, Rick Hamlin says: “Another guy like me said, ‘I dread going to work. All these layoffs are depressing. I keep thinking I’m going to be next. I’ve tons of work, and my clients appreciate what I’m doing, but I start worrying and there’s … Read More

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QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR VISION

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“The word of the Lord came…in a vision.” Ge 15:1 NKJV God promised Abraham, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Ge 12:3 NKJV). That’s a big vision! But God knew Abraham had the faith to embrace it. If you hate what you have to do in order to pursue your vision, something is wrong. Examine … Read More

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COMMITMENT AND COURAGE

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“Rise up…take courage and do it.” Ezr 10:4 NIV Terry Fox ran across Canada and raised twenty-four million dollars to fight cancer. What’s amazing is that he did it with one leg; cancer had taken the other. He planned to run twenty-six miles each day but because of severe headaches, snow and icy roads, after a month he’d only managed … Read More

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STANDING IN THE GAP

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“I sought for a man…who would…stand in the gap.” Eze 22:30 NKJV Someone has said, “Prayer moves the hand that moves the world.” So you must give prayer its rightful place in your life—first place. In Glorious Intruder, Joni Eareckson Tada writes about Diane, who suffers from multiple sclerosis: “In her quiet sanctuary Diane turns her head slightly on the … Read More

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SATAN IS DEFEATED (5)

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“The serpent…asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you must not eat’…‘Of course we may.’” Ge 3:1-2 NLT The only power Satan has over you is the power of persuasion. “The serpent…asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you must not eat’…‘Of course we may’…‘You won’t die…God knows that your eyes will be opened…and you will be like God’…The woman … Read More

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SATAN IS DEFEATED (4)

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“He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them.” Col 2:15 NKJV Standing on the deck of a US aircraft carrier at the end of the Pacific war, in a historic moment never to be forgotten, General MacArthur walked over to Tojo, the Japanese leader, and publicly stripped him of all his symbols of power. And that’s what Jesus … Read More

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SATAN IS DEFEATED (3)

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“He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.” Heb 2:15 NLT For many of us, death is our greatest fear. One comedian quipped, “I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens!” But we can’t joke away the sobering reality the Bible describes as “the last enemy.” … Read More

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SATAN IS DEFEATED (2)

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“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jn 8:32 NKJV Satan is a deceiver, but Jesus is a revealer. So any time you bring Jesus into the situation, Satan is unmasked and his plans for your life are exposed and foiled. Satan is referred to in Scripture as “darkness,” and Jesus as “light.” The moment … Read More

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SATAN IS DEFEATED (1)

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“The Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1Jn 3:8 NKJV Have you ever watched one of those TV shows where the police show up, surprise the criminal and say, “You’re busted,” then put them in handcuffs and take them off to jail? That’s what Jesus did to Satan. This word “destroy” implies … Read More

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HOW TO DEFUSE CONFLICT

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“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Pr 15:1 NIV Have you heard about the fightin’ Irishman who landed in America and announced, “If there’s a government here, I’m agin’ it”? We smile, but “harsh words stir up anger.” If you want to avoid conflict, don’t create it. The key to getting along with … Read More

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TO WIN IN LIFE

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“Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1Co 9:24 NIV William Arthur Ward wrote: “Believe while others are doubting. Plan while others are playing. Decide while others are delaying. Prepare while others are daydreaming. Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing. Save while others are wasting. Listen while others are talking. Smile while others … Read More

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LIFTING THOSE WHO FALL

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“If another believer is overcome… help that person.” Gal 6:1 NLT It’s okay to confront somebody you believe is in the wrong, but not with a self-righteous attitude. When church leaders insisted a woman “caught in the act of adultery” be stoned (See Jn 8:4 NLT), Jesus replied, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone” (v. … Read More

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BE WILLING TO CHANGE

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“If anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Php 4:8 NIV If you’re not moving closer to your dream, you may not be tenacious enough in your pursuit of it. And the key to greater tenacity is not necessarily working harder at the same things, but being willing to change. Change what? (1)Your thinking. Are you convinced you can’t … Read More

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LISTEN TO HIM!

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“I gave her time to repent…and she did not repent.” Rev 2:21 NKJV Paul told the church at Ephesus, “I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you” (Ac 20:20 NIV). A surgeon saves your life by cutting out what threatens you, and God’s Word does that with us. One of Christ’s warnings to the church … Read More

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GIVE YOUR CHILDREN THESE FOUR THINGS

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“Bring them…and I will bless them.” Ge 48:9 Give your children these four things: (1) Instruction. “Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children” (Dt 4:9 NIV). It is not the responsibility of the government or the school system to instill character … Read More

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TEMPTATION (3)

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“The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” 1Jn 2:16 NKJV Temptation enters through three doors: “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” That’s how it entered the Garden of Eden. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (the lust of … Read More

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TEMPTATION (2)

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“Each one is tempted.” Jas 1:14 NKJV Notice the three areas in which Satan tempted Christ: (1) Provision. “Command that these stones become bread” (Mt 4:3 NKJV). This addresses one of our greatest fears—that if we don’t look out for ourselves nobody else will. So Jesus says: “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ … Read More

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TEMPTATION (1)

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“Jesus was…tempted.” Mt 4:1 NKJV Christ’s temptation in the wilderness answers these two questions: (1) Who is tempted? Everyone! If Jesus was tempted, you’ll be tempted too. Now, you can be victorious over temptation, but you can’t pray temptation away. Satan tried different approaches with Jesus and he will do the same with you. Being tempted doesn’t mean you’re not … Read More

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STOP WORRYING ABOUT IT!

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“Do not worry.” Mt 6:31 NKJV If you let them, two things will rob you of your peace of mind: (1) The past. We all make mistakes—even the folks you admire and think never make mistakes. The Bible says, “Every man shall bear his own burden” (Gal 6:5). We all struggle in certain areas. We all say and do things … Read More

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ABOUNDING

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“Always abounding in the work of the Lord.” 1Co 15:58 NKJV In Scripture the word “abounding” means “to overflow.” Today let’s look at three “abound- ing” Scriptures and see what we can learn: (1) Abounding iniquity. “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mt 24:12). The word “iniquity” means “lawlessness.” Do you remember your life before … Read More

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YOU CAN DEFEAT SATAN

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“Nor give place to the devil.” Eph 4:27 NKJV Satan is a force you’ll contend with every day. And he’s a master at reinventing himself. The Bible says he can morph “into an angel of light” (2Co 11:14 NKJV). And while his approach may be appealing, his intent is always to “steal and kill and destroy” (Jn 10:10 NIV). Destroy … Read More

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WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU? (7)

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“Be an example…in purity.” 1Ti 4:12 NKJV This word “purity” refers to that which is not polluted. Pollution causes disease and death. The products on the grocery store shelf may be beautifully packaged, but when food-borne illness results, we must go back to the source and find the problem. What is it? Careless, cost-cutting methods that not only permit disease … Read More

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WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU? (6)

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“Be an example…in faith.” 1Ti 4:12 NKJV Having the faith required to get answers to your prayers is an important truth. But that’s not what Paul is speaking about here. He begins the chapter saying, “Some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits” (1Ti 4:1 NKJV). He warns, “Stay anchored to the truth, or you’ll be caught … Read More

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WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU? (5)

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“Be an example…in spirit.” 1Ti 4:12 NKJV In Bible times, Jews looked down on non-Jews. They actually referred to them as “dogs.” So when Christ’s disciples went in to a Samaritan village to find accommodation for the night, they were turned away. How did the disciples handle this? With understanding? Not a chance! “They said, ‘Lord, do You want us … Read More

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WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU? (4)

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“Be an example…in love.” 1Ti 4:12 NKJV Jesus said: “Love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be the sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful” (Lk 6:35-36 NKJV). Such … Read More

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