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A Sick Mind Never Heals Itself

  Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. Titus 1:15, 16 This one is a …

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Slaves and Free

  Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way. Titus 2:9, 10 Many Christians believe slavery has ended. I’m slow ignoring something the Bible teaches …

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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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Healthy Bones

  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:8 Pete Scazzero says, “You might have Jesus in your heart, but your grandparents are in your bones.” He means our sins are deeper than we know, because they’ve been passed down for generations. He offered the Bible story of Joseph to illustrate. Joseph had to …

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It’s Hard to Imagine God Thanking Me

  God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10 It seems that no matter how much extra margin I create, life fills it up. Once again, I’m tired and overwhelmed. This morning I made a list of my …

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Surface Christianity Versus Deep Roots

  He must have a strong belief in the trustworthy message he was taught; then he will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong. Titus 1:9 For whatever it’s worth, I become agitated when people claim they’re preachers, but aren’t willing to give the Bible authority over their life. …

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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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Watch Out for the Trap!

  If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away. But these people set an ambush for themselves; they are trying to get themselves killed. Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life. Proverbs 1:17-19 I feel uneasy looking at those pictures of people who are trying to …

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Standing Strong From the Inside Out

  So, my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Do not let anything move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your work in the Lord is never wasted. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Some things in my life are falling apart right now. The verse gives me comfort. Regardless of what was coming …

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You’re Helping Yourself

  Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. Proverbs 9:11, 12 Wisdom doesn’t just add to my days, it multiplies them. How does wisdom add years to my life? I’m walking in sync with creation. Wisdom keeps me from making stupid decisions. Gathering wisdom gives …

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Running! Running! Running!

  Keep your lamps burning… Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks.” (Luke 12:35-36) Many people – including myself in the past – pursue God only when they’re in a crisis. They seek Him because they’re needy or in pain. But Jesus says to burn hot for Him …

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Breaking The Curse

“Those who fear the Lord are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.” (Proverbs 14:26) We met a woman whose husband was bi-polar. The impact on their family was devastating. Their son also was diagnosed bi-polar and turned away from God as a result. My heart broke with sadness for this family. At the same time, my heart …

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Whisper Jesus

“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”              Acts 1:11 How daring is your faith in Jesus? Will you step away from the sin, secret, or addiction you’ve been so secure in, and whisper Jesus? The religious leaders never encountered anyone …

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Too Close to the Edge

The tiny island of Ghoramara, off the coast of India has been shrinking each year over the past several decades. It has lost about half of its land and two-thirds of its population since the 1960’s. With farming as the main occupation, residents literally watch their livelihood drop into the sea. Those who live on the edge don’t fare well. …

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S-L-O-W Down

Some mornings in my quiet time, my mind races like a pebble barely skipping over the surface. I bow my heart low and let the hurry-cane pass over. I wait. And wait some more. God calms me. Waves of peace wash over me and I know he knows all about me. I don’t need to say anything. I can just …

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What Makes Me, Me

Trying to trick Jesus doesn’t work, even if you’re extreme Bible scholars like the Pharisees. Not only did Jesus outsmart them, he taught them a lesson, a lesson still good for us today. Nothing material belongs to me – I may or may not be able to keep it in this life, but I certainly can’t take it with me …

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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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Hitting the Wall

Many endurance runners describe hitting the wall at the marathon’s 20-mile mark. This has been calculated as the point when they physically run out of fuel. Their glycogen levels are exhausted, resulting in overwhelming feelings of heaviness in the legs. Concentration diminishes, and despair overtakes them. We can feel this way when we get partway through a difficult situation. Bill …

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Why I Didn’t Have Friends

For several years I didn’t have close friends. I felt lonely and empty inside, and resentful toward God. God, why have I given up so much for you yet you haven’t given me any friends? I didn’t realize I was causing my own misery, behaving in ways that kept potential friends at a distance. I cared only about myself. I …

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Feeling God’s Presence

A deeply devoted Christ-follower friend recently said, “It’s been awhile since I’ve felt God’s presence.” I thought and replied, “Jesus said the Holy Spirit will comfort us, lead us into all truth, and show us things to come. Are you getting comfort and guidance from God’s Word and his Spirit?” “Yes.” “Well, then maybe you don’t need to feel God’s …

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Do You Have a Plan?

How many times have we jumped into a project without thinking it through? Or went into battle without having a plan? I think back to many experiences when I didn’t think something through, only to find myself taking two steps forward and three steps back. I also remember my father coming along and saying, “Son, did you think this through? …

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Worried? …Pray!

Little insignificant things drive the mind to worry, worry, worry. Silly things wake us in the night. The mind spins out of control and we can’t focus… …until we pray. God invites us to pray about everything—even the little things that become big in our minds. God answers these prayers. We know we can trust God with big things when …

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Just This Much

If a little is good, then is more better? Not so with faith. The apostles thought they needed more faith to forgive, but actually they just needed faith. Faith doesn’t come in sizes. It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed. When we know we need to do something, to wish for more faith is really an excuse …

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Only a Foreigner

Boaz knew Ruth’s background and dedication to Naomi. He saw her serving heart and willingness to work hard. He allowed her to glean his fields. Little did Ruth know God was getting ready to bless her beyond anything she could imagine and make her the wife of this highly respected, godly man. Ruth saw herself as only a foreigner. Our …

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God Doesn’t Show Favoritism

We all have equal access to a fair God. Our access to God isn’t based on our nationality, religious background, race, gender, or financial status. If we fear and respect God and do what’s right through obeying him, these are the only qualifiers. We all have a chance. We all have the same opportunity. Ben

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The Better Life

As we become more successful, we experience bigger opportunities to accomplish even greater things. Some people become so powerful they can impact cities, nations, or the world. When someone is that powerful, what do they have in their personal life that’s any different from those less powerful? Maybe a chunk of wealth and a few bragging rights. With much power …

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It Never Was Mine

When life is over, whatever I have accumulated is God’s. I won’t get to keep any of it. What I’ll have is the person I’ve become and the blessings I receive from God for the people I’ve helped. Some people are so afraid of making mistakes they won’t venture out. Some exploit other people, stealing what’s not theirs because they …

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Contentment

We need to be satisfied with life, no matter our situation. This doesn’t mean we don’t work to better our lives. It means we’re at peace in the process and don’t live with a discontented attitude. Being stressed out or depressed requires so much energy that we don’t have the stamina left to improve our circumstances when we could. Awhile back, we visited Phil and Kay Robertson from …

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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 …