You Can Break the Cycle (5)

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“Go to the pool…and wash.” Jn 9:11 NKJV Jesus told this blind man to go to the pool of Siloam and wash the dirt from his eyes. So here’s the question: What do you need to remove from your life today in order to see what God wants you to see and do what He wants you to do? Whether … Read More

You Can Break the Cycle (4)

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“He went and washed, and came back seeing.”        Jn 9:7 NKJV Sometimes Jesus healed sick people by speaking to them, other times He laid his hands on them. But this blind man’s healing was not the work of a moment; it was the result of a process. “He said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’…so he went … Read More

You Can Break the Cycle (3)

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“One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”        Jn 9:25 NKJV When Jesus restored this blind man’s sight, the Pharisees tried to engage him in a theological debate about who Jesus was and where His power came from. But he refused to argue with them. He simply said, “One thing I know: that though I was … Read More

You Can Break the Cycle (2)

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“He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.”            Jn 9:6 NKJV Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, points out that your DNA is in your saliva; when Jesus spat, this blind man received a divine DNA transfer. He says that … Read More

You Can Break the Cycle (1)

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“Who sinned, this man or his parents?”          Jn 9:2 NKJV His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him’” (vv. 2-3 NKJV). When someone is trapped in a self-destructive habit, we … Read More

To Lead, You Must Keep Learning

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“Make every effort to add to your faith.”         2Pe 1:5 NIV As a leader you should stand on this Scripture: “[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature…For this… reason, make every effort to add … Read More

Today, Show That You Care

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“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”           Jn 15:12 NKJV Take a deep breath, and hold it for a moment. Now exhale it. Where did it go? That single breath of air contains at least three nitrogen atoms that were inhaled by every person who has ever lived, including Leonardo da Vinci, Winston … Read More

Get Your Spending Under Control

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“Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another.”  Ro 13:8 NLT If you think winning the lottery would solve all your problems, you couldn’t be more wrong! Almost half of those who become overnight millionaires end up bankrupt within a few years. Why? For a variety of reasons: bad business deals, extravagant living, crazy schemes, and fast-talking … Read More

Commit to It!

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“I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.”       Jdg 11:35 After arriving in the New World, the Spanish explorer Cortez took his crew off their ships and set the ships on fire as the sailors watched in confusion and horror. By that one act, Cortez sealed their commitment to explore new territory and ensured they’d … Read More

Understanding Your Temptations (3)

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“Count it all joy when ye fall into…temptations.”       Jas 1:2 Satan knows that when you recognize him as the source of your temptation, he loses his advantage. He knows that when you understand he initiated the temptation, you’ll recoil from it faster than if you think you yourself are the source of it. If Satan approached you and said, “I’ve … Read More

Understanding Your Temptations (2)

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“Blessed is the man who endures temptation.”          Jas 1:12 NKJV The second misperception is: Temptation is sin. The Devil wants you to blame yourself for the temptations you experience. Why? Because when you believe that you are the source of it, you feel condemned and discouraged. As you indulge in feelings of discouragement, you become an easy prey and Satan … Read More

Understanding Your Temptations (1)

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“Don’t let us yield to temptation.”        Mt 6:13 NLT Many of us suffer unnecessarily because of our misperceptions about temptation. The first one is: expecting your temptations to cease—or at least decrease. When the Israelites entered the Promised Land they had the same expectation. They were surprised that the Canaanites were still in the land. So they got discouraged, thinking … Read More

The Blessed Hope

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“Looking for the blessed hope.”          Tit 2:13 NKJV The blessed hope” of the resurrection isn’t like a lottery where only one person out of millions will hit the jackpot. And it’s not a wishful sentiment offered at gravesides to comfort the grieving. It’s a hope built on certainty. Jesus said, “Because I live, you will live also” (Jn 14:19 NKJV). … Read More

Rejoice, He’s Coming for You!

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“I will come and get you.”        Jn 14:3 NLT Jesus said, “I am going to prepare a place for you…When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (vv. 2-3 NLT). This was a groom-to-bride promise. In Christ’s day, when a couple received permission from both their families … Read More

You Will Be Raised from the Dead

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“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [over death] through our Lord Jesus.”           1Co 15:57 NKJV Jesus promised what no other religious leader could: that He’d return from the dead, and also resurrect His followers from the grave. And He has already made a good-faith deposit on that promise. When He died, “Graves were opened; and many bodies … Read More

Facing Death Without Fear

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“O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!”       Isa 26:19 RSV Aristotle called death the thing to be feared most because “it appears to be the end of everything.” Jean-Paul Sartre said that death “removes all meaning from life.” Robert Green Ingersoll, one of America’s most outspoken agnostics, unable to offer any words of hope at his … Read More

God’s Promise to Prodigals (2)

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“My son was…lost and is found. And they began to be merry.”      Lk 15:24 NKJV Observe what the father did for his Prodigal Son the moment he humbled himself and said, “I have sinned” (v. 18 NKJV), because God will do the same for you. (1) “The father said to his servants, ‘Bring the best robe and put it on … Read More

God’s Promise to Prodigals (1)

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“When he was still a great way off, his father…had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.”     Lk 15:20 NKJV Here’s an interesting and largely unknown thing about the story of the Prodigal Son, as pointed out by Pastor James Bradley. Jewish families living in small villages were tightly knit communities where people knew one another … Read More

Christ’s Resurrection, and Yours

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“We believe that Jesus died and rose again.” 1Th 4:14 The word “resurrection” means “the standing up of a corpse.” Most religions teach the concept of immortality, but only the Christian faith teaches bodily resurrection. “If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” The patriarch Job, … Read More

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

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

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

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

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