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Hot Questions That Burn Your Insides

  Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4, 5 Mealtime is a great time to discuss whatever’s on your …

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You’ll Like This Jesus Better

  For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 The first Jesus I was introduced to told me, “You messed up your life. Because I died for you, I wiped your slate clean. Now go change yourself. Get it right this time.” I tried hard to …

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Only His Spirit

  May the Lord be with your spirit. And may his grace be with all of you. 2 Timothy 4:22 After two years of unsuccessful ministry in Savannah, Georgia, on the return voyage to London, John Wesley lamented, “I went to America, to convert the Indians; but oh! who shall convert me? Who is He that will deliver me from …

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In You…

  Demas has deserted me… Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm… The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me… From 2 Timothy 4 Do you think if only you could become great like the apostle Paul, you’ll have it made? maybe someday crowds and friends will surround you and you’ll live a cozy, …

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Shh… Don’t Tell Anyone

  But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13 Your spirit often knows when someone is lying. Maybe you already know the real story. Or you catch telltale twitches in their body, face, or tone of voice. Sometimes your inner dog starts growling (and it’s not from the burrito). …

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Growing Our Character

  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 5:4 Let me develop strong character—a character that does not waiver with conflict or with temptation; I must have a strong character to finish the course, to effect change. I will hope in my salvation and I will hope in this change. Character cannot …

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The Kingdom Food Chain

  Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1 “Timothy, my dear son…” Everyone needs mentors. A mentor has achieved what you want to achieve and is willing to guide you and hold you accountable to get there. He stretches you and helps you up when you fall. He’s …

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Go Back to the Beginning

  So, you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. 1 John 2:24 There was a moment in 1974 when I connected with God. I didn’t understand a lot, but the connection was real. It consumed me and changed my life. Since then, many voices have distracted me: Trying to win God’s favor by keeping …

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Beyond Your Strength

  Be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1 According to Henry Cloud, when a Navy Seal parachutes into an assignment, he’s trained to ask himself three questions: Where am I? Where’s my buddy? Where’s the enemy? He tells the story of a Seal candidate about to finish hell week. The candidate’s swimming …

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Calm Under Fire

  Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:3 Audie Leon Murphy (20 June 1925 – 28 May 1971) was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, receiving every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism. …

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Don’t Ignore the Holy Spirit

  Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:13, 14 Although I can’t see anyone else’s insides, I …

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Be a Signpost

  Jesus sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.” (Luke 10:1)  Jesus didn’t send his disciples to go just anywhere. He sent them ahead, like signposts, pointing the way and preparing people to encounter him. He still does this today. If I’m walking closely with God, perhaps people meeting me will soon …

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Fearing God Gives Color

Many business people think a certain margin of dishonesty and violation of ethics is acceptable. Supposedly, it’s just part of doing business. And hey, if no one finds out, and you don’t get caught, what’s the problem? Is telling white lies to cover mistakes or help your agenda wrong? Or what about bribing your way in instead of earning it? How …

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What Will I Do with Truth?

“What is truth?” he asked, as though that released him from his responsibility to do what was right. Perhaps Pilate thought pleading innocent could change reality. Lying often covers the real sin I’m trying to hide.  At Pilate’s core, he loved pleasing people more than he loved truth. Truth doesn’t need defending. Truth is true. Lying doesn’t change the truth. …

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Not the Next Fad

Back in our hippie days, we lived in an apartment building in Richmond, Virginia for a few months. We rented a section of the basement that had been converted into living quarters. Large and small plumbing and heating pipes ran through our apartment. We were hippies trying to become house painters, so we painted the pipes various bright colors. A …

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I Can’t! …Or Can I?

Do any of these excuses sound familiar? Excuses lock you up and shut down growth. The worst kind of prison is to be locked up inside of yourself. Mental obstructions can be as powerful as physical obstructions. No circumstance will magically break open these bars. Until you take responsibility for your own thoughts and behaviors, you’ll never get free. Taking …

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In Every Important Decision, Get Advice First

Many people think asking for help or directions is a sign of weakness. But then they cry for help when they get off course or crash and someone needs to bail them out. Wouldn’t it have been better to get advice in the beginning and avoid the trouble? Whether you ask before or after, it takes time and often costs …

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Serve As Nehemiah Served

Nehemiah seems like a man with excellent character. Professional, humble, respectful and pleasant. One who knew how to serve well. Maybe this was why he was asked to come into the king’s presence and serve him wine. But on this day, Nehemiah was troubled. The king noticed and cared enough to ask him why. Nehemiah was terrified. Considering Nehemiah’s character …

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Now Is the Time To Sow

In our recent board meeting, we discussed that we’re reaping a rich harvest today in some specific areas in the company because of what we intentionally sowed in 2015. We recognized we’ve had some gains as well as losses, but overall the harvest has been tremendous. You can’t control the outcome of your harvest, but you can control what you …

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Why is Jesus Weeping?

Jesus was approaching God’s beloved city, and weeping. Why was he weeping? Because although they proclaimed God as God, they didn’t know him. He didn’t live in their hearts and relationships. Instead, they abused themselves and each other. And because they destroyed themselves from within, enemies would come and finish them off in their outer world, too. So many people …

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The Messenger Isn’t God

Have you ever been hurt by a believer or a church? You thought that church or person would be your safe, spiritual haven. A place where you could be vulnerable. But as you got closer, you discovered corruption, and even traps to keep you there by fear and guilt. When you finally left, you may have become so bitter, you …

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Just Because You Know the Right Answers

Wherever Jesus went, people loved his teaching and invited him to stay and teach in their synagogues. Soon he got kicked out—even from his own hometown—because he had the audacity to tell his fellow Jews to live what the Torah taught. Here’s a dangerous illusion: To think because you hear it, understand it, and appreciate it, you’re somehow living it. …

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Deception

Deceit is subtle and sneaks up on us from different angles. We call this being two-faced, double-tongued, or speaking conflicting things to different people. It becomes a complicated web that destroys relationships. In business, deceitful people come across as trustworthy at first, but their dishonesty erodes all of their transactions. Deceptive people who call themselves Christians are calling darkness light, …

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Divine Chain of Command

Most people want to be favored by the people in charge, like their boss, the local police, Dad and Mom, or whoever holds the power to make decisions that impact them. To seek the king’s favor without first securing God’s favor bypasses God’s chain of command. We might try so hard to win the favor of those in authority that …

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The River of God

It’s comforting to know that God guides the hearts of rulers, above their wills and choices. Ultimately, God always is in control. Our country is facing political unrest and division that will bring serious consequences. Whether or not America’s leaders have a relationship with God or hold godly values, God is fulfilling his master plan. God won’t be surprised—in fact …

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Practice Playing Second Fiddle

If a strong musician backs up a weaker musician, the music often sounds much better. If team members fill in the gaps where a leader is weak, then the results are powerful. If we as leaders support the people around us, we’ll help them become better men and women. It takes tremendous humility to support someone whom we perceive as …

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Just Show Up and Lead

Leaders make or break their teams. The power given to a leader can destroy people if it’s not handled as a sacred trust. Excellent leaders are remembered for many years. Leaders should: Lord, help us leaders to not take advantage of others, to not seek personal gain, and to not feed our egos and insecurities. Teach us to listen to …

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Defining the Call

Jesus told some people to follow him. He told others to go home. Each of us has a specific calling. I tried so many things when I was searching for direction from God. I pursued being a pastor, a missionary, a counselor and even a worship leader. I went full force into each of these. I pastored a home church. …

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Please Go-Today

Jesus sent his disciples ahead to the places he planned to visit. Today he sends us. When we represent Jesus to someone, we plant a seed. Sometimes the seed takes root and sometimes it doesn’t. If it does, perhaps that person will soon encounter him. Jesus said to pray for more workers. I’ve met many people who are naturally drawn …

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Become the Least

Most arguments I’ve witnessed or been involved in leave the original issue behind and become a power struggle to see who wins. Translation: “Who’s the greatest?” Then the “greatest” person gets their way. Sometimes the winner doesn’t bring the best ideas, and we don’t get the best results. When I invest my time and effort into making myself appear better …