My dear family, when you find yourselves tumbling into various trials and tribulations, learn to look at it with complete joy, because you know that, when your faith is put to the test, what comes out is patience. What’s more, you must let patience have its complete effect, so that you may be complete and…

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Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. John 17:18 (NLT) Last week, we began to examine our options as we confront the forces of evil comprised of the world, Satan, our adversary, and our fleshly nature. In last week’s article, Resistance Is Not Futile, we learned that…

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I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world…

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Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19–20 (NIV) Jesus spoke these words just before His ascension to describe the church’s primary mission. Mark’s gospel is…

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“Sir, we want to see Jesus.” John 12:21 In the days leading up to the crucifixion, some men wanted to see Jesus. They did not approach him directly but instead sought to use Philip as an intermediary. We cannot be sure, but perhaps they felt uncomfortable, as Greeks, to approach Jesus. Philip, having a Greek…

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We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 (NLT) Words and concepts often have surface meanings that belie vast depths and rich significance. As a student of Scripture…

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The concept of eternity is often beyond the capability of our intellects to grasp. Surveying Christian history, we find conflicting thoughts and ideas about time and how it intersects with eternity. On the one hand, James Milton Black, who wrote “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” penned the words, “and time shall be no…

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So let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good. Job 34:4 (NLT) Let me begin with a question. How great is our need for discernment? There is a meme that has been floating around the Internet for several years: “Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet.”-Abraham Lincoln.…

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Because of his love, God had already decided to make us his own children through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased him, and it brings praise to God because of his wonderful grace. God gave that grace to us freely, in Christ, the One he loves. Ephesians 1:5–6 (NCV) “Wonderful grace…

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Sunrise in Kenya

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 (NIV) I don’t know who coined the phrase “The length of our lives is represented by a dash between two dates,” but it is undoubtedly a concise way of stating what most people sense, especially as they get older,…

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He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river.…

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When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” John 21:15 (NIV) I could not believe what I was hearing; a pastor was telling, perhaps even bragging, that…

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“In the Beginning God…” Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God” may be the four most important words in the Bible. This is the introduction for everything else that is to follow. If we do not understand it correctly, all conclusions regarding life, meaning, and purpose will be flawed. If you start in the wrong place,…

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This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Haggai 1:7 (NIV) Once again, we find ourselves on the threshold of a new year. Traditionally, it is a time for making resolutions. Many of those resolutions will be cast aside by the middle of January. As I have previously written[1], I…

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The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:5 (NLT) In 1907, Wesleyan preacher William Watkinson published a sermon, “The Invincible Strategy.” He made the point that “evil is not overcome by denunciation.” He said that although it is easier to speak against evil than to engage in good…

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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV) Risk aversion is the term most frequently associated with finances and investing. According to the website Investopedia, “The term risk-averse describes the investor…

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On Friday, November 26, we received a message that Winston Mattsson-Boze had been called home to be with the Lord. It was shocking because, as far as we knew, he was in good health and active. He and Ingrid were visiting family in North Carolina at the time of his passing. Would you please pray…

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We often hear the declaration: “God is good.” It is easy to say it, but at times, if we are honest with ourselves and others, we may not be as sure, particularly when things are not going our way. For our words to have any meaning, we must live our lives in such a way…

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Dare to Be Vulnerable

Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us! 2 Corinthians 6:11–13…

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“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13 (NIV) Many Christians believe that sound doctrine or teaching is essential, but they do not always know why it is crucial. Sound doctrine is not an end in itself, but instead, it serves…

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