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Our Fickle Emotions

  When I was prosperous, I said, “Nothing can stop me now!” Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain.     Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered. Psalm 30:6-7 These two verses summarize David’s emotional roller coaster. When life runs smoothly, I think I’m unstoppable. Then one little thing breaks, and I think my world …

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Stop Being Phony

  Here’s how we can be sure that we’ve truly come to know God: if we keep his commands.  If someone claims, “I have come to know God by experience,” yet doesn’t keep God’s commands, he is a phony and the truth finds no place in him. We can be sure that we’ve truly come to live in intimacy with …

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The Day I Realized I Might Not Be a Duck

  My life had fallen into the deepest, darkest night of the soul I had ever known. I was spiraling down, down, deeper and deeper. In 1996, my book, Weeping May Endure For a Night had just been published. People were calling me for advice I didn’t know how to give. They thought I could help them. I wanted to …

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Treasure in Clay Jars

  We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours. Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed. At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option. 2 Corinthians 4:7-8 “We are like common clay jars. …

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All of Us Are Blind

  Then Jesus spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.”  So, the man went and washed and came back seeing! John 9:6-7 With another man, Jesus used spit without mud and healed him in two phases. First, the man saw …

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Think in Bible

  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who …

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Living Life!

  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly John 10:10 Over a recent weekend, I went hiking in northern Arkansas. While walking through the woods, a million thoughts flew through my head. I found my mind thinking about problems and things I want in life. Finally, …

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In the Hot Flames of Temptation

  From Psalm 39 I said to myself, “I will watch what I do  and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue  when the ungodly are around me.” But as I stood there in silence— the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it,  the hotter I got. Sometimes my insides feel like …

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It’s Okay That I’m Not Okay

  Let all who are helpless take heart. Psalm 34:2 You, David, felt helpless? The great king, the warrior-poet who relentlessly pursued after God’s heart, and one of the greatest men in the Bible…? You… Felt… Helpless? No. Read that again. The verse doesn’t say you felt helpless. It says you are helpless. It’s a little mind game I play …

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Take Enough Time

  When a king sits in judgment, he weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good. Proverbs 20:8 This means stepping back, listening, observing, taking plenty of notes, going home, studying, doing research, praying, and getting advice from wise people. When I’m the person in authority, slowing down and being thorough is my job. It’s not optional. Whether you’re …

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Instead

  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4: 32 It’s like God says, “Take a chill pill.” Let go of bitterness and strife and all evil that wants to live inside you. Instead, be kind. It works much better. Tenderhearted—let go, life is easier this way. Forgive, …

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His Light, Not Mine

  Psalm 27:1-4 The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? One thing I learned from my years of depression is that I’m not a source of light. I might have a little dim light in me, but mostly, I’m full of darkness. The Lord is my light. I’m afraid of the dark. Are you? With …

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Why Jesus Came

  Long lay the world in sin and error pining Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth Truly He taught us to love one another His law is love and His gospel is peace Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His name all oppression shall cease. (From the hymn O Holy Night) …

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Clean it All Out

  Psalm 32 When I refused to confess my sin,  my body wasted away,  and I groaned all day long. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you  and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I remember carrying unresolved guilt inside me all the time. When I cleaned it all out, I got a clear sight of God. Unresolved sin… …

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Chip on The Shoulder

  Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. Proverbs 3:30 I no longer want to live with the illusion that my life is my own. Lord, I want you to search my heart. Let’s stop at the nearest altar and remove any chips from my shoulder. You know what they are, …

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Add to Your Faith…

  From 2 Peter 1:1-5 And keep adding, all day, every day. Some people think it’s enough that they added information to themselves when they went to school. So they stopped adding. I meet these people every day. They bring impressive resumes, seeking high-paying jobs. I ask them what they’re doing now to grow themselves. “I haven’t read a book …

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Acceptable Sacrifice

  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Matthew 16:25 Who can know God? Those who learn to know themselves well and then surrender the self they know so well on God’s altar in grateful sacrifice. As they release their …

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First You Go

  In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have …

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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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A Pure and Serving Heart

  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 Early in my business career I noticed how easy it was for people—including …

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King Me Now!

  So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” Acts 1:6 “Please pray that I can find a job.” I’ve heard this request in prayer meetings. Secretly I pray, “Please don’t send him to us for a job.” He’s not asking us to …

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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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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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Connected

  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. (Jesus’ prayer in John 17) I woke up one morning in the midst of a dream. God was showing …

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Stay on Course, Even When It’s Painful

  For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 When I was homeless and searching for I didn’t …

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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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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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Almost There

  As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day …

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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). …