Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NET) A common refrain in the year of the pandemic has been: “I can’t wait for this year to be over.” People everywhere have been thrown off stride and hit hard. Without denying that…

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Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. Psalm 105:19 (NLT) Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold—gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away—and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.…

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“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:2 (NIV) Have you heard somebody say something like this: “No matter who the president is, Jesus is still Lord.” It is a true statement, but is it one of consolation or confidence? If it is spoken with confidence,…

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They are motivated by love, because they know that I’m put here to give a defense of the gospel; the others preach Christ because of their selfish ambition. Philippians 1:16–17 (CEB) Motives are problematic. They can lead someone to do the right thing for the wrong reason, but they can also result in doing the…

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We look to the apostle Paul for a lesson in encouragement. Not only did he preach the gospel, traveling throughout the world; he had a deep and compassionate desire and care for people, even those believers whom he had never met. When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, he had yet to visit there,…

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“For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.” (Philippians 1:29, NLT) Pardon the obvious, but many people become uncomfortable when we start to talk about suffering. To their way of thinking, suffering is something to be avoided, if possible. The theological explanations…

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  Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. (2 Timothy 2:3–4, NIV) Over the years, the various branches of the United States military have utilized slogans in their recruiting efforts. In…

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Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the LORD are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. (Hosea 14:9, NLT) In our so-called “postmodern world,” everybody seems to be entitled to their own version of the truth. Today’s people can receive…

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Let us begin by posing the question, “Who is God looking for?” There is not just one answer to this question. We could begin with Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” An obvious answer, perhaps? But certainly true! John 4:24 tells us that God is seeking those…

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“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38, NIV) Are we seriously asking if repentance is optional? No, it is a rhetorical question, like Paul asking, “What shall we…

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