How to Succeed in Business (3)

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“They could not dwell together.”                                            Ge 13:6 NKJV Abraham and Lot started out together in business. Then a problem arose: “Their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. And there was strife between the herdsmen” (vv.6-7 NKJV). So Abraham said, “Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right” (v.9 … Read More

How to Succeed in Business (2)

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“If [you]…overdrive them…[they] will die.”                                   Ge 33:13 After being reconciled with his long-estranged brother Esau, Jacob agreed to accompany him back home for a celebration. Esau, who was a fast-tracker, said, “Let us go” (v.12 NKJV). But Jacob said, “You go on ahead!” He explained to his brother, “The children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing … Read More

How to Succeed in Business (1)

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“Know the state of your flocks.”                                           Pr 27:23 NKJV Sheep and cattle have to be handled differently. Sheep require tending. They need clear boundaries for their own protection, not to mention the shepherd’s potential loss if they are devoured by a wolf or fall off a cliff. Cattle do just fine when they’re given good grazing land and left alone. … Read More

God Looks at Your Heart

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“Motives are weighed by the Lord.”                                           Pr 16:2 NIV Henry Blackaby tells the story of a very self-righteous man who prayed: “Lord, there’s something wrong. I read the Bible, pray regularly, attend church faithfully and always give to charity, yet I don’t have much. My brother doesn’t do any of these things, yet he’s got tons of money. How come … Read More

Imagine Being Adopted by God! (2)

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“Receive the kingdom of God as a little child.”                                Mk 10:15 Jesus said, “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.” You need to become a little child again, to allow yourself the kind of relationship with the Lord that you may have missed; to allow Him to heal and adjust … Read More

Imagine Being Adopted by God! (1)

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“You received the Spirit of adoption.”                                     Ro 8:15 NKJV The Bible says, “[We] received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (vv.15-17 NKJV). Adoptive parents understand what it’s like to … Read More

That’s What You’re Called to Do

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“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily.”        Lk 9:23 NIV The story’s told of a lieutenant addressing his platoon: “I’m looking for volunteers. Chances are, this mission won’t succeed and many of you won’t come back. If you’re interested, step forward.” Everybody looks around, then takes a collective step backwards, leaving an … Read More

Operating by the Peace Rule

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“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”                             Col 3:15 NIV If you don’t have peace about it, don’t proceed! Often peace is all God will give you to let you know whether you’re in or out of His will. So how can you operate by the peace rule? “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God … Read More

Walking on Water (3)

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“God is…a very present help in trouble.”                                 Ps 46:1 NKJV Let’s observe two final things: (1) Between the dread and the devastation, look for the Deliverer. Picture a boat lashed by huge waves, and frightened disciples who thought they were going under. They forgot the promise: “God is…a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear” (vv.1-2 NKJV). … Read More

Walking on Water (2)

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“The boat was…buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.” Mt 14:24 NIV Notice: (1) Trouble doesn’t mean God has abandoned you. The disciples learned that Jesus may be out of sight, but He’s never out of touch. To “walk by faith, not by sight” (2Co 5:7 NKJV) means you’ll sometimes walk in darkness without visible cues. Someone … Read More

Walking on Water (1)

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“Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go.”                  Mt 14:22 NIV When you find yourself in trouble, do you sometimes think, “I must have done something wrong. Perhaps I’ve missed God’s will and He’s punishing me”? No. Trouble is multi-sourced, and frequently unrelated to our wrongdoing or God’s punishment. The disciples weren’t in the storm by disobeying, but … Read More

Be Courageous

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“Be strong and of good courage.”                                           Dt 31:6 NKJV On the morning of September 11, 2001, United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco was hijacked by terrorists who claimed to have a bomb. When they received telephone confirmation that other planes with terrorists on board had hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the passengers understood the … Read More

What’s Your Greatest Weakness?

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“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”                              2Co 12:9 NLT Self-help gurus assure us that we can overcome any weakness, so it must be true, right? Look around you! The evidence doesn’t show it. What we have seen, however, are people who, with God’s help, have changed their lives by building on time-tested scriptural principles. … Read More

How God Feels About You

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“You are precious to me.”                                                       Isa 43:4 NLT If you are struggling with feelings of unworthiness, praying longer, working harder and vowing to do better won’t necessarily change how you feel. Like remodeling an old house with a cracked foundation, you can redecorate every room but the floors and ceilings will just keep sagging until eventually it collapses. You’ve got … Read More

Bless the Children

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“Some parents brought their children to Jesus.”                      Mk 10:13 NLT The Bible says, “He took the children into his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them” (v.16 NLT). Interestingly, Jesus had just taught on the subject of divorce. Does the Bible record it this way because broken homes produce broken children? Too often children get caught … Read More

The Lost and Found Column (3)

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“My son…was lost, and is found.”                                                 Lk 15:24 After telling the story of the lost sheep and the lost silver, Jesus ends up by telling us the story of the lost son. The interesting thing about him is that he knew he was lost, and knew his way home. The shepherd sought the lost sheep, the lady with the lamp … Read More

The Lost and Found Column (2)

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“I have found the piece [of silver] which I lost!”                      Lk 15:9 NKJV Christ’s next parable was about a piece of lost silver: “What woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and … Read More

The Lost and Found Column (1)

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“I have found my sheep which was lost.”                                Lk 15:6 NKJV Luke chapter 15 is sometimes referred to as “the lost and found column” of the Bible. In it you find the parable of the lost sheep, the lost silver, and the lost son. Today let’s look at the lost sheep. Like all of us, it had no intention of … Read More

Look Back and Remember

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“[He] redeems your life from destruction.”                             Ps 103:4 NKJV Dr. Ann Shorb writes: “The key to being able to rejoice in the past is not found in counting the number of good things that have happened, but in remembering that God remembers! He never forgets His plan and He never forsakes His promises. Even when life is tough and things … Read More

Christ’s Love for You

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“You will understand later.”                                                     Jn 13:7 NCV What’s amazing about Christ’s love is not that He knows and forgives all your past sins, but that He knows and has decided to forgive your future ones too. On the eve of His crucifixion Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, saying, “You will understand later.” He knew they were about to perform the … Read More

Stand Out from the Crowd (2)

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“Do not follow the crowd.”                                                      Ex 23:2 NIV Mark D. Roberts writes: “In junior high, a boy named Andrew…was the classic nerd: overweight…thick glasses…skin so white it seemed he’d never been outside. One day some of the boys began teasing Andrew and making fun of his appearance…I saw the pain in his eyes and knew I should tell the other … Read More

Stand Out from the Crowd (1)

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“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without…thinking.”          Ro 12:2 TM A man walking into a bank held the door open for the lady behind him. Instead of thanking him, she said, “You don’t have to hold the door because I’m a woman.” Smiling, he replied, “I’m not doing it because you’re a woman, I’m … Read More

The Right Word at the Right Time

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“What you say can mean life or death.” Pr 18:21 NCV To honor her students, a teacher gave each a ribbon that stated, “Who I am makes a difference,” and asked them to pass it along to someone who’d made a difference in their lives. One kid gave his to a young executive who helped him plan his career. He … Read More

God Will Do Whatever It Takes

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“Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” Ro 5:20 NKJV Paul writes, “I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it” (Gal 1:13 NIV). Clearly, Paul had no thoughts of becoming a Christian. As a Jew, he was obsessed with the law. As an intellectual, he could debate the finest minds. Articulate and educated, he was committed to … Read More

Building Lasting Relationships

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“It is not good that man should be alone.” Ge 2:18 NKJV God’s plan for your life always requires building relationships with the right people. To succeed, you must be able to recognize these people and work with them. Remember Jonathan, who loved David even at the cost of his own life? Or Ruth, who loved her widowed mother-in-law Naomi … Read More

Praying with the Right Mindset

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“You…do not receive, because you ask amiss.” Ja 4:3 NKJV Sometimes in our prayers we are “me” centered and see God as a genie to be conjured up to fulfill our every wish. Then when we don’t get what we want we think He doesn’t hear, doesn’t care, or maybe doesn’t exist. James says, “You…do not receive, because you ask … Read More

William Wilberforce (2)

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“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” Mk 10:43 NIV William Wilberforce’s biographer, Eric Metaxas, points out that the abolition of the British slave trade had even greater implications: “We had suddenly entered a world in which we would never again ask whether it was our responsibility as a society to help the poor and suffering. … Read More

William Wilberforce (1)

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“Do it with the strength God provides.” 1Pe 4:11 NIV William Wilberforce grew up as a child of privilege, attending Cambridge University. Two weeks after his twenty-first birthday he was elected to Parliament, where he became a brilliant orator and politician. Then he met John Newton, author of the hymn “Amazing Grace.” A former slave ship captain, Newton had found … Read More

If God Says You’re Qualified, You Are!

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“Don’t let anyone look down on you.” 1Ti 4:12 NIV You shouldn’t be overlooked because of your age, your gender, your nationality, your education or your financial status. People will try to put you down, but if you trust God He will lift you up. Timothy started preaching in his teens. He became Paul’s traveling companion, which was no small … Read More

Have You Found Your Place Yet?

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“To prepare God’s people for works of service.” Eph 4:12 NIV The story’s told of a pastor who went to the railroad station every night to watch the express train roar through town. His congregation wondered why. When suspicions arose a deacon followed him, watched him, and asked what he was doing. He replied, “This train is the only thing … Read More

A Memo from Heaven

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“Conquer evil by doing good.” Ro 12:21 TLB It’s easy to forget why God saved you, what He’s called you to do, and how you’re supposed to live. So here’s a memo from heaven: “Don’t just pretend that you love others: really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of good. Love each other with brotherly affection … Read More

YOU ARE FORGIVEN (2)

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“Bless the Lord…who forgives all your [sins].” Ps 103:2-3 NKJV We tend to forgive others more easily than we forgive ourselves. This is especially so when we fail in a major area like a marriage or career, or our actions have hurt others, or our habits have hurt us, or we know we are not doing what we should. So … Read More

You are Forgiven (1)

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“In Him we have…the forgiveness of sins.” Eph 1:7 NKJV When God forgives you but you refuse to forgive yourself, you’re spurning His grace and choosing to be miserable. When you do that: (1) Your loved ones are at risk. It’s not just about you. When you wallow in guilt you tend to be more withdrawn and critical, and less … Read More

Try Fasting and Prayer

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“We fasted and entreated…God.” Ezra 8:23 NKJV Ezra’s assignment was rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. And there were moments when it felt overwhelming. So here’s what he did: “We fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.” When you are willing to go without food and take the time to seek God with all your heart, … Read More

Growing—And Blessing Others

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“Carry each other’s burdens, and…you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal 6:2 NIV If your desire is to bless others, you must ask yourself: (1) What am I doing to invest in myself? You can’t give what you don’t have. Unless you’re committed to personal growth you’ll have nothing of worth to give others. So, “Add to your faith…knowledge” … Read More

Feeling for Others (2)

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“I remember you in my prayers at all times.” Ro 1:9-10 NIV One Bible teacher writes: “We don’t look, act, or dress alike. We have different tastes in food, books, cars and music. We work at different jobs…enjoy different hobbies …but one thing we have in common. We know what it means to hurt. Suffering is universal. Tears are the … Read More

Feeling for Others (1)

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“Weep with those who weep.” Ro 12:15 NKJV In 1883, poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox was traveling by train to an inaugural ball when she noticed a woman weeping across the aisle. Wilcox spent the rest of the journey comforting her, and when she reached her destination she was in no mood to celebrate. Later, remembering the woman on the train, … Read More

Are You Drifting Off Course?

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“I take joy in doing your will.” Ps 40:8 NLT Embarking on a rafting trip with friends, author John Blumberg observed: “We had a hard time getting away from shore…there appeared to be enormous momentum keeping us ‘grounded.’ Slowly it got easier and we decided to relax. And it was during our moment of pause that reality set in concerning … Read More

Make the Most of It

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“When it prospers, you will…prosper.” Jer 29:7 GWT Are you at a place in your life and you’d rather not be there? Well, God has a word for you, but it may not be one you want to hear. It’s the same word Jeremiah brought to his people when they were slaves in Babylon, far from everything near and dear: … Read More

Look for the Best in Them

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“Look for the best in each other.” 1Th 5:15 TM V. J. Smith writes: “I don’t remember the date I met Marty. Like a lot of people…the line I was in wasn’t moving as quickly as I wanted and I glanced towards the cashier…an affable-looking man in his seventies. I thought, ‘Well, he’s an old guy and it probably takes … Read More

You’re Equipped for a Purpose (2)

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“God…will fulfill his purpose for me.” Ps 57:2 NLT The Bible is full of people who used their talents to bless others: musicians, masons, seamstresses, shipbuilders, teachers, farmers, fishermen, authors, architects, artists, administrators, etc. God gives “each of us the ability to do certain things well” (Ro 12:6 TLB). Yet much of what He gives us goes unrecognized and unused. … Read More

You’re Equipped for a Purpose (1)

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“We are…created…to do good works.” Eph 2:10 NIV God uses people like you, regular folks with work and family responsibilities, mortgages and busy lives. The Bible says, “We are…created…to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Note the word “prepared.” It’s the same word that’s used for making sure a team has the training and … Read More

Asking in Harmony with God’s Will

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“If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1Jn 5:14 NKJV We like to think that our wants are God’s will. Maybe, and maybe not. “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us…we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (vv. … Read More

“Total Commitment”

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“Then you will receive praise, honor, and renown.” Dt 26:19 NLT Imagine how honored you would feel if a president or prime minister decided to visit you and spend the night at your house. You wouldn’t leave dirty dishes piled up in the sink, clothes strewn across the floor, and a ring around the bathtub. No, you’d give the place … Read More

You Are the Church (2)

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“Their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work.” Neh 3:5 NIV The story’s told of a football team that was losing badly. Pointing to the captain, their coach on the sidelines kept shouting, “Give the ball to Calhoun! Give the ball to Calhoun!” Fed up and frustrated, the captain finally shouted back, “Coach, Calhoun doesn’t want the ball!” … Read More

You Are the Church (1)

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“To equip God’s people to do his work.” Eph 4:12 NLT If you think the unemployment statistics in the country are bad, take a look at the church. Twenty percent of its members give eighty percent of its income, and do eighty percent of its work. The rest are happy just to be spectators. It’s easy to sit back, criticize … Read More

How’s Your Communication?

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“Husbands, love your wives.” Eph 5:25 NKJV One of the biggest challenges in marriage is communication. Here’s an example: in the past husbands went to work and wives stayed home to raise the children. Now, someone has estimated that the average man speaks about twenty-nine thousand words a day and the average woman speaks about thirty-three thousand words a day. … Read More

YOU NEED A “WORD”

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“Your ears shall hear a word.” Isa 30:21 NKJV A “word” from God can bring you the solution you need. God created the world with a word, so imagine what a word from Him could do for your situation. The Bible says, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ Whenever you … Read More

TRIPLE-A PRAYER

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“At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord.”   Ge 4:26 NIV The first mention of prayer in the Bible is: “At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord.” So, how often do you “call on the name of the Lord”? Only when you’re in trouble? Or when you’re in … Read More

SECURE IN GOD’S LOVE

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“I will be faithful to you and make you mine.” Hos 2:20 NLT You can be loved by many, but deep down you’ll feel needy and insecure until you understand how God feels about you. The Bible says: (1) God wants you to be happy. “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have … Read More