Words of Encouragement

When he had gone through those regions and had given the believers much encouragement, he came to Greece…   (Acts 20:2) Paul returned to the congregations he had founded because he knew they needed support.  He encouraged them by saying that Jesus was always with them, proud of their efforts, and would share their struggles. Paul …

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Being All-In With God

He said to them, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and will all your mind.’   (Mt. 22:37) I was meeting with a couple (I’ll call them John and Mary) before their wedding the next day.  While reviewing their vows, John said, “I’m having a hard …

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With Barnabas

When he [Paul] had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord...   (Acts 9:26-27) …

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Following Jesus

Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’    (Mt. 16:24) Are you all-in?  Do you live with urgency, conviction, and purpose?  Or, do you hesitate, dabble, hedge your bets, play it safe? One of the most striking characteristics …

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In The Kingdom Business

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church…  (Mt. 16:18) I’m tremendously grateful for the church.  I’m grateful for its worship and fellowship; its ministry to needy people; and its service to the world.  I’m grateful for the many times the church has given care and solace …

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Worshipping and Praising God

Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.    (Ps. 96:9) I recently led a workshop on Emotional Intelligence at the sheriff’s academy.  Before starting to present the material, I asked the participants what it was like to be police officers these days. They were very forthcoming about all the strains, …

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Faith Lost and Then Found Again

Then Job answered the Lord: ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted…. Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.’   (Job 42:1-3) His name was Will.  He was a retired clergy person who …

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Formed, Known, Consecrated, and Appointed by God

“Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’” (Jer. 1:4-5) Most of us grew up hearing these words: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words …

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God’s Purpose for Us

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.  (Rom. 8:28) Why are we here?  What gives meaning to our life?  What gets us out of bed in the morning?  What helps us to sleep at night?  Simply put: What is our purpose? …

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God’s Breath Gives Us Life

…then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.    (Gen. 2:7) I was a competitive swimmer in high school.  In order to stay in shape during the off-season, our coach encouraged us to become lifeguards.  …

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