More Perfect Love

1 John 4: 16-17 God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 and as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.

Our text draws our attention to Perfect Love, a longing at the core of human needs.  This month it is almost certain that one will think more about love. Why? Because February highlights love with a spotlight on breath taking romantic Valentine’s Day celebrations. But interestingly, ...

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God Blesses through Life’s Stresses

Who will separate us from the love of Christ?

 Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:36-37

God Blesses through Life’s Stresses

The new year is usually seen as a time of hope for better outcomes in life than the ...

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Celebrate Christmas Audaciously

“My soul magnifies the Lord,” Lk1:46

The legacy of centuries of Christmas celebration begins with the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate conception of Jesus Christ; He is the gift. It is the audacious love of God with the splendor of His majestic, miraculous, power and presence that we celebrate. The word of God says “I love them that love me…” Prov8:17 Mary’s response to God was dedication to audaciously give to all humanity. It is ...

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A Gateway to Gratefulness

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.” Psalm 100:4

In my neighborhood there is an attractive residential complex we’ll call Gateway. It’s just adjacent to a busy shopping area that has several stores and restaurants. Whenever I enter the shopping plaza there are always other people driving fast to enter the plaza to make purchases or eat at one of the restaurants.

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The Power of Hope

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13


The Apostle Paul prayed for hope. But why did he pray for something that seems so simple? Everyone has had some type of trials and tribulations that can challenge faith. Paul was no different than many who are reading this ...

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It’s Greater Works Time

“Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do, in fact, will do greater works than these…” John 14:12

It’s Greater Works Time

It has been said that no matter where you are, no matter the location of one’s chosen life’s work, believers can serve God and minister to people around them. People who work spend more time on the ...

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Men In The Company of Men

And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some but exhorting one another much more, as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

“Time management is the greatest challenge”; was the reply given by a NFL football coach in a magazine interview. Although I don’t recall the author/magazine or coach’s name, there were a few ...

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Let the Spirit Reign

“The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” II Corinthians 3:17

Let the Spirit Reign

Each year Americans across the United States, celebrate Independence Day on July 4, hosting picnics, family reunions, attending parades with marching bands, concerts and a bevy of other events in observance of the freedom that we enjoy in this country. Indeed, on Independence Day the American spirit ...

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A Word From The Lord Can Bring Purpose, Ability And Change

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations. Jeremiah 1:5

In Jeremiah, we see a young man beginning to understand he was created, born and exists for a purpose. However, insecurity seeps in as he realizes successful fulfillment of his purpose will require him to do something different. He will ...

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Radical Devotion

“Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Matthew 26:13
 
Radical Devotion
 
At some point in our lives most of us will express our devotion to something or to someone for various reasons seen as admirable, not admirable at all, or confusing.  Admirable devotion ...

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The Passion of Christ … Knowing The Fellowship Of His Sufferings

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death, Philippians 3:10

Many, many years ago, Pastor Rev. Charles G. Adams asked me what did the writer mean when he wrote about sharing in Christ’s suffering.  It was not a test, it was a subject of deep contemplative thought.  This Lenten season, desiring to intently listen to God, the ...

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Return to the Lord

“Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.”  [Joel 2:12-13]

Return to the Lord

The Lenten Season is here and so as we ponder over whether to give up chocolate, or ...

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A Captivated Heart

And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

The heart, the dazzling emblem of Valentine’s day, heralds February as the month of love.  Valentine’s day expressions of love often include roses, chocolates ...
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Leap to a Harvest

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Leap to a Harvest

It’s a brand, new year!  Time for people around the world to embrace the bounty of opportunities that lay ahead.

Time to square our shoulders and face the formidable challenges of 2017 that are sure to ...

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The Present of Hope  

2“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. …11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Mathew 2:2; 11

Reflecting upon the birth of Mary’s baby──God’s Son, the ...

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Our Advent of Thanksgiving

“I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart…” (Psalm 138:1)

The Thanksgiving holiday season occurs just a few days prior to the beginning of Advent season in which Christians anticipate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is during this time of year, many of us reflect on being thankful for family, friends, food, health, and strength needed to progress through life.  We even, individually as well as collectively, seek to help ...

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Fear No Evil Jesus Is Still Standing

 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up   steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, Acts 7:55

Reflecting upon current events in the shadow of Acts chapters 6-7, clearly Stephen was neither first nor last in the massive blood pool of victims, even children, whom those in charge have dealt treacherously and unjustly.  Today, the heavy sound of far too ...

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Do Amazing Work Together!

“The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each.  For we are God’s servants, working together;” [I Corinthians 3:8-9]

Do Amazing Work Together!

We live in an age where people are increasingly concern about a lack of purpose and meaning in their lives.  In spite of their success and various types of personal advancement, many ...

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YOU HAVE AN ATTITUDE – Power Thoughts

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 

Apostle Paul’s words reflect both attitude and reality; “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”, Phil 4:13 will never lose its power or relevancy. However, denied bias, long standing social problems within our society have left more than a few individuals feeling somewhat powerless rather than strengthened; displays of discontent have erupted. Unsurprisingly, when we hear of current ...

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Paid Free and Clear!

“Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;  and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32 -NRSV]

Paid Free and Clear!

Right about now in America, many of us are reflecting not only on our blessed freedom and its progression—but on the cost of the freedom that we all hold ...

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Friendship

Proverbs 13:20 b …the companion of fools will suffer harm

More and more the daily news reveals evidence that “the companion of fools will suffer harm”. Therefore, this month’s message is a reminder to parents and others to encourage our young people to choose their friends wisely. Summer is approaching and it is that time of year when teens and youth will be out of school. The warm weather is prime for more ...

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A Model of Faith

“…I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me;” Luke 7:8 [NRSV]

A Model of Faith

May is worth the wait for us to finally baste in the fragrance of blooming flowers, and welcome warm breezes, sunny days, and pleasant evenings for casual walks.  After a drudging through months of cold and snow some of us eagerly go out and arrange beautiful flower pots full of annuals ...

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Easter is More than a Day

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2Peter 3:8

Last Sunday was the day many Christians celebrated Easter, the RESURRECTION of our sovereign, reigning King, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. On Easter, Christians awake filled with love, faith. joy, and hope because God’s sufficient grace has, is and will always prevail. Therefore, my sisters and brothers, this month’s message ...

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Grace is Greater than Luck

“…we had to celebrate and rejoice.”  Luke 15:32 [NRSV]

The Luck of the Irish is a whimsical cliché` that one hears from time to time on the occasion of an unexpected good fortune.  But many people make merry of the Luck of the Irish particularly on March 17th otherwise known as St. Patrick’s Day.  Indeed on St. Patrick’s Day there are parades and festivals; people converge upon Irish pubs to drink green beer; sing old Irish songs ...

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Spiritual Formation

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship he walked on the water, to go to Jesus (Mt.14:22-33)

Was Peter simply facing a matter of little faith and doubt as Jesus referenced in verse 31? To help answer this, let’s consider the subject of Spiritual Formation. Spiritual formation is a process in which ...

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It’s Rejoicing Time!

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” (Psalm 40:3 NIV)

Historically up to the present, New Year’s Day has been a worldwide time of rejoicing—it still is.  And the rejoicing takes place at many venues; some people rejoice in the church until midnight; some in nightclubs or bars; some in the streets downtown, some on war ships, and some even at home.

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IT’S CHRISTMAS!

Do whatever it takes! Go all out! Put everything in!

“the messenger whom you desire, will come…”.(Mal 3:1)

Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, was written to correct religious and social behavior. It was a time when people justified evil acts as good in the Lord’s eyes. Their hardened hearts did not see that misconstrued perspectives had led them to become lax in their faithfulness to God. They were no longer doing whatever ...

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Three Steps to Gratitude

“O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.” I Chronicles 16:8 (NRSV)

Three Steps to Gratitude

One of the absolute best aspects of the fall season are the holidays—however November is a time that a gratitude awaking begins that seems to conjure up the spirit of widespread thankfulness in us.

It was that thankful spirit that King David dramatically and unashamedly conveyed to the people of Israel in the text.  He was overwhelmed with ...

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Falling Leaves/Rising Faith

” Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake .” (Deut. 31:6)

This autumn as the leaves turn colors and fall, there is a striking awareness of the reactions that individuals have towards a change in the season. Ah… what a simile, one faces changes in life as if they were autumn leaves .  When changes arise, to some the colorful  beauty of God’s ...

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Call the Laborers

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” Matthew 20:8 – NRSV

 

Call the Laborers

The benevolent and compassionate vineyard owner, depicted in the text, is a marvelous example of God’s generosity and steadfast commitment to edify and encourage all humanity even today by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  ...

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Love You Can Count On

DEAR FRIENDS, SINCE GOD SO LOVED US, WE ALSO OUGHT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. I JOHN 4:11

This summer filled with numerous celebrations of wedding vows to love one another has brought much joy and prayers for the newlyweds. This also causes reflection on the various circumstances, behaviors, attitudes that tempt people to give up on the life-long love covenant made between the couple and God. After years of aiding to strengthen relationships, it is clear that ...

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Purpose-Driven Freedom

“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13

Purpose-Driven Freedom

The text, Galatians 5:13, was given to empower the church to freely pursue their God-given purpose of service to each other in love.  God always entrusts humanity to attend to the needs of ...

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LOVE YOU CAN COUNT ON

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I Jonn4: 11 

As we enter into the wedding season, even amongst the joy and celebration, I am reminded that too frequently circumstances, behaviors, attitudes tempt people towards giving up on the life-long love covenant made between the couple and God. After years of aiding couples in strengthening their relationship, it is clear that they often feel that the love they can count ...

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In Honor of Good Works

“Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” (Mark 14:9)

In Honor of Good Works

May is a month that can be reflective of memorials and observances that either bring us great joy, immense sorrow, or a little of both emotionally.  Generally speaking we go into this month expecting warm, sunny days, tulips, and special festivities with ...

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Purpose Embossed with Compassion

When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. John 19:26-27

From the cross, the words to Jesus’ mother Mary, “woman behold your son and to His disciple John, “behold your mother” resonate from Jesus because renewed ...

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O The Joy of Justice

“When justice is done it is a joy to the righteous…” [Proverbs 21:15]

 Do you know what time it is?  It’s March Madness time! It’s a time of year that most basketball enthusiasts are deeply entrenched in a series of events that surround the single-elimination of Division I college basketball tournaments performed each spring across the U.S.  Routinely, the main tournaments involved are the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship and the NCAA Women’s Division 1 Basketball ...

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How Far Should We Go For Love

27 …”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” …29b “And who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:29–37

“Who is our neighbor?” contemplates the idea of how far should we go for love. The late singer Andrae Crouch song a heartfelt reflection of this question with these words…“I don’t know why Jesus loved me. I ...

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No Strain No Gain

“Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” Philippians 3:13 (NKJV)

It is true that God desires that all humanity live vigorously in great expectation of the gift of each new day. The text however gives even more comprehensive directive which is to first forget about the past. Forget about—just shake off those things that are over and done with. Those terrible trials that were a strain on our ...

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The Miracle of Christmas

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people (Luke 2:10)

Miracles are inherent to Christmas. The appearance of the angel was indeed one such extraordinary event. The angel’s announcement was life changing. It was a resounding message of the beginning of a new type of relationship with God and humans.  However, the most marvelous miracle was the ...

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An Occasion of Gratitude

“…and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him.” Luke 17:16

The other night while walking from my car in the parking lot to the super market a person in a SUV that was on-coming, stopped to let me walk by.  Walking pass I looked up at the driver and waved my hand as an indication of my appreciation for their courtesy. These types of encounters occur for many ...

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Unmasking the Real You

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

“I am not perfect but I am always me”; I recently saw this statement written on a tee shirt. However, during the month of October we often see attire in contrast to this statement. This is a month in which individuals commonly dress in masks and costumes representing villains, superheroes, ...

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A Labor of Love

The harvest is truly plenteous but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth laborers into his harvest. Matthew 9:37-38

Reflecting on the Labor Day holiday, and all of the food, fun, and festivities enjoyed in celebration of the end of summer, at some point workers come to mind and the question that emerges is, what is the Labor Day holiday all about? It ...

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Faith Walkers

“…we walk by faith, not by sight” 2 Corinthians 5:7  

As Christians, “we walk by faith and not by sight”; this emphasizes that in our walk we must keep sight of the joy we will have with the Lord. As “Faith Walkers”, our Lord gives us all things pertaining to life and godliness in this life and in the age to come. On warm summer days, we see walkers equipped with energy ...

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What does freedom mean?

“…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” [NIV John 8:36]

In this passage of scripture we reflect on the question “What does freedom mean?”

Today so often there are those who continue to define freedom in political terms. We may do the same, or we may add material terms — wealth to buy what we want — or temporal terms — time to do what we ...

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A Renewed Appreciation of the Holy Spirit

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them”. Acts 2:4

The passage surrounding our text reveals the principles, inclinations and passion of first generation Christians. The text itself is both the fulfillment of John’s proclamation that Christ “…shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire“, as well as a prelude to the prophetic fulfillment that God would pour out his spirit on ...

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Silent Treatment

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.Proverbs 15:4

This proverb addresses communication, a means by which we can either connect to or disconnect from people.  People are generally aware that words can affect every aspect of a relationship but somewhat less conscious of the destructive effects of withholding words. This verse points out that at times people deviate from the normal or reasonable use of words, silent treatment ...

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The Word of the Cross

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I Cor1:18

Jesus’ resurrection is the triumphant, victorious power of love.  On the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.  Although the Pharisees doctrine ...

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Visions and Revelations

“I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord” II Cor. 12:1b

Each day we have new experiences some are welcomed others are not; some are chosen others are imposed upon us. Such is the case with the Apostle Paul as seen in preceding and subsequent passages. Nevertheless, in this text Paul talks about a glorious spiritual experience, his vision and revelation. Paul speaks of his glorious vision, a state in which his spirit transcended ...

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The Conscious Power of Love

“Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. Solomon 8:6a

Love is often the focus of bible readings during February which usher’s in the expectation coined by the adage “Love is in the air”.  As Valentine’s Day approaches anticipation of love grows, even more pronounced. This is so because in some ways the idea that Love is in the air”, conveys a phenomenon wherein people perceive love as an event. ...

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God’s Opportunity To Do Something New

Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Isaiah 43:18 (NKJV)

Happy New Year Everyone,

Traditionally speaking, the New Year represents change. Some are excited that the old is out and the new is in; and they are busy making resolutions. However, if you have lost, love ones, jobs, pensions, health insurance or are facing other difficult changes, the phrase “happy new year” may seem somewhat insensitive. ...

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Jesus Keeps Joy Bells Ringing In Our Soul

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when … they saw the young child with Mary his mother, they fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11

During the Christmas season, we gather joyously with family and friends from the youngest to the oldest and with those who have traveled from near and far to celebrate ...

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“When Sadness And Trouble Seep In”

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art  thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God…  Psalm 42:5

Why am I so sad?  Why am I so troubled?  He was disquieted within.  He had no peace. He was anxious, his soul felt cast down.  He could no longer think, do or participate, as he knew he should.  Korah’s son was challenged with a personal struggle.  He expresses a deep human emotion ...

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Empathy and its Impact on Prayer

Series “Me, Myself and I” Part 3

Philippians 2: 4-5 (KJV)
Vs. 4: Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Vs. 5: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”

In the August and September messages the focus was learning to have a spiritual outreach to those you deal with and to those with whom you have relationships with. In short, the ...

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Are you Plumb or Not?

Text: Amos 7:7-9 
Amos was a shepherd from a rural area in Judah whom God called to preach at Israel’s royal sanctuary at Bethel.  His prophesying took place in about 750 B.C. during the reign of Jeroboam II and lasted only a few days.  His message was against the wealthy.  The poor was being exploited and cheated, and the judicial system was corrupt.  There was religious arrogance, as well, and even the attempt to corrupt some of ...

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1+ 1 = 1 (Spiritual Mathematics)

Text: Genesis 2:24 

I want to start this month’s Inspirational Message with a quiz using the above Graph.  For a moment before going any further, I want you to read our text, Genesis 2:24 then study it.  What does it tell you?  I’m going to time you as you consider… one thousand one……one thousand two…., one thousand three….one ...

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King Hezekiah, A Lesson in Faith – Part III

Text: II Kings 20:8-21, II Chronicles 32:23-31

We now conclude this journey in faith that we have considered over the last 2 months.  In April – Part 1 of A Lesson in Faith we witnessed King Hezekiah’s dramatic prayer to God in the Temple courtyard and God’s response by destroying King Sennacherib’s army.  In May- Part II we saw God’s mercy in reversing his message through the prophet Isaiah that King Hezekiah would surely die. Once ...

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King Hezekiah, a Lesson in Faith – Part II

Text: Isaiah 38:1-5 (KJV) II Kings 20:1-7(KJV);

In our text we are able to see two different accounts of Hezekiah’s second major challenge for our study.  Isaiah’s gives a short version of what happened when Hezekiah became ill. II Kings on the other hand gives a more detailed description of how God hears and answers prayer.  There are three lessons to be learned from these accounts:

  1. God hears his children when they pray to him ...
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King Hezekiah, a Lesson in Faith – Part I

Text: Isaiah 36:1-22, 37:1-17 (KJV)

The text you’re reading is exhaustive but necessary to capture all of the aspects of the drama that faced Hezekiah, King of Judah. We see in these passages, intrigue, suspense, fear and the power of faith. The plot unfolds in Scene 1, as key characters enter onto the stage of his dilemma; they are Eliakim, Chief Minister of King Hezekiah; Shebna the scribe; Joah, the recorder and Isaiah the prophet. The antagonist ...

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“Peace, Elusive, but Attainable”

Text: Isaiah 26:3-4 (KJV), John 20:19(KJV)

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” – Isaiah 26”3-4.

“Then the same day at evening being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, ...

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