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When Hatred Strikes

  King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. …

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Ant Faith

  Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8 The ant was designed with a God-given set of instincts that drive the outcome of her behavior and discipline. But we’re the same, designed by an …

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Lighting the Darkness

  “I will go before you…” “And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name. Isaiah 45:1,3 Jesus gives us night vision to see opportunities, wisdom, and paths that are humanly impossible to …

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I Didn’t See Myself as Lazy

  Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. Proverbs 13:4 For most of my life, I’ve wanted to play guitar and sing. In recent years I’ve wanted to play and sing to God with Gina. Most of the time when we played, we got frustrated with each other. As Gina and I are …

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Greater is He Who Serves

  Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:27 I’m a selfish, self-absorbed person who would do anything to get out of serving others: Cast vision. Delegate. Give money. …

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Harmonious Team

  This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:25-27 When we work …

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My Father Prayer

  Jacob wrestled with God… Genesis 32 Lord, I’m crippled. I’m broken. I can’t go on. How can I be the father I never had? I don’t know the ways of God. my personality stinks. But Lord, here I am, standing alone like a little lost child. And I’m going to stand here. And I’m going to fight. I will …

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Heart Matters

  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3 So, it comes down to the intent of the heart…pretty simple but it’s not always easy to do. On a recent 4-hour flight, a 2-year-old sat …

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Sooner Than We Think

   This is, all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Romans 13:11 On March 27, 1977, two Boeing 747 passenger jets collided on the runway at Los Rodeos Airport (now Tenerife North Airport), on the Spanish island of Tenerife, …

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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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Dig Deep

  A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. Proverbs 6:10-11 Nothing will come easy that’s worth fighting for. This can be from our relationship with God to our daily work. Each day could be …

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It’s the We

  For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 The past couple of years I’ve come to understand that the gospel isn’t a “me” gospel. It’s a “we” gospel. What I mean is that God looks at how we interact …

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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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How to Succeed at Anything

  The word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. Psalm 33:4 I’ve discovered you can apply the Bible to any facet of your life and it works just like is says it will. The Bible literally is a life-instruction manual. It’s not, “Try this and see if it works for you.” It’s, “Try this. It works …

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Defying Gravity

  In a world full of noise and sensual distractions wanting to fill me and whip me around, I can live in and for its pleasures. Or I can lock myself inside a lonely shell. There’s a third option: I can look up to God for help. Must I follow the world’s pleasures until I’m in trouble and then cry …

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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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A Mother’s Advice to Her Son Who is a King

  O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings. Proverbs 31:2,3 Occasionally, we see a good king who wants advice from godly counselors. However, most kings don’t take advice from anyone, except perhaps their mother. Sometimes my sons accept advice from their mother …

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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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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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A New Operating System

  Be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think.  Romans 12:2 Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” When we switched our company to Lean Manufacturing methods, we soon learned it wouldn’t be effective to apply the Lean practices unless we changed …

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A Good Life Made Simple

  from Psalm 34 Does anyone want to live a life     that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil     and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good.     Search for peace, and work to maintain it. I’ve used this passage as a clean, simple formula for living a good life: Phillip

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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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Leading Others by Following God

  From Joshua 3 The wilderness was the only home they knew for forty years. Slavery in Egypt was the only home their ancestors had known for four hundred years. They had no idea what a Promised Land was, not even in their dreams. Joshua understood the wilderness, but he didn’t know how to move into a Promised Land. Joshua …

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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 …