Category Archives: Bible

Facing Anxiety

Anxiety is on the rise in America. Anxiety disorders afflict an astounding 40 million adults in the United States today according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Keeping in mind that these include only those with official diagnoses. The actual number of those vexed by chronic anxiety is likely much higher. Beyond these…
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Hellenism and Christianity

Hellenism refers to the achievements and influence of the Greeks in social and political institutions including the arts, science, philosophy, morals, and religion. In ancient Greek mythology, the term comes from Hellen (a man, not a woman), whose parents were saved from a devastating flood that destroyed all of creation. His parents, Deucalion and Pyrrha,…
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Praising Yahweh

At this holiday time of our calendar year, everyone is thinking about joy and happiness either from a standpoint of having joy from Yahweh in their hearts, or from a bah, humbug, joyless frame of mind that comes from being distant from Yahweh. People also can become anxious about New Year’s resolutions saying, “What does…
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Parenting Children

On a recent Sunday during our church service, I noticed several babies under a year old whose little bright faces were peering over their mother’s shoulders at those who were behind their parents. Such happy faces and sweet smiles!  Before the service began, one young preschooler was on her grandfather’s lap with her head on…
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REST

The Lord Jesus Christ promised that, no matter the stormy circumstance of life, we can enter into a safe and protected haven with him. Living in an age that has Satan as its god plus the constant struggle with our own sin nature and our concern for loved ones and other matters sometimes invokes weariness…
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Part 5, CHURCH IN SARDIS, 3:1-6

The second and third chapters of Revelation record Jesus’ communication to seven of the churches in Asia. This article is the fifth in a series of seven reviewing these chapters. Although Jesus spoke specifically to each church, his message is of great significance to all who want to enter the Kingdom of God. "To the…
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CHURCH IN THYATIRA 2:18-29

The second and third chapters of Revelation record Jesus’ communication to seven of the churches in Asia. This article is the fourth in a series of seven reviewing these chapters. Although Jesus spoke specifically to each church, his message is of great significance to all who want to enter the Kingdom of God. And to…
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The Bible’s View of the Human Body 3: Beauty

We can find at least two major opposing views of the human body in our culture today: apathy and vanity.  On the one hand, social scientists, queer theorists, and many in the media tell us that our physical bodies aren’t important.  Someone’s biology may be male, but if his mind disagrees, he may identify as…
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Treasure in My Heart

A wonderful believer was recounting a very serious family difficulty and remarked that in looking back on the tragic time, she saw where she would crumble in her trust that Yahweh would provide relief from the pain.  But, being the steadfast believer she is, this was short-lived.  The reason for the quick turn-around was, she…
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The Bible’s View of the Human Body 2: Holistic Redemption

Last time we looked at how the creation and fall affect how we think about our bodies.  We are at once the result of God’s magnificent design, bearing His image and simultaneously fallen, radically seeking our own selfish interests.  Thankfully, God does not leave us alone in this condition.  He has provided a solution to…
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Building Character

The following quotes (in paragraphs 2, 4, and 7-9) are from N.T. Wright’s book entitled: After You Believe (Why Christian Character Matters). The words in brackets in the following (paragraph 2) are my addition. To begin with, you have to grasp the fact that Christian virtue isn’t about you – your happiness, your fulfillment, your…
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Is That You, God?

John 8:47   He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” The NABRE states it this way:  “…because you do not belong to God.” This is a very bold and startling statement, but it answers the question, “God, is what I…
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CHURCH IN PERGAMUM – 2:12-17

The second and third chapters of Revelation record Jesus’ communication to seven of the churches in Asia. This article is the third in a series of seven reviewing these chapters. Although Jesus spoke specifically to each church, his message is of great significance to all who want to enter the Kingdom of God.   And…
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The Bible’s View of the Human Body 1: Creation and Fall

Between the apathy and reductionism of those who think our biological bodies don't matter and the vanity and superficiality of the celebrity culture that places ultimate value on appearance, the Bible offers a surprisingly elevated view of the body that engenders respect but not worship.  In a world of sexual harassment, abortion, and sex reassignment…
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Be Like Ezra

Ezra lived at a hinge time in history.  The Babylonians had demolished Judah and captured the people, bringing them to Babylon.  After seventy years, the Persian Empire overtook the Babylonians and permitted the Israelites to return home.  The reason for this traumatic series of events was the people’s idolatry.  God had prophesied through Jeremiah and…
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Overcomers (Study of 7 churches in Revelation) Part 2 – SMYRNA

The second and third chapters of Revelation record Jesus’ communication to seven of the churches in Asia. This article is the second in a series of seven reviewing these chapters. Although Jesus spoke specifically to each church, his message is of great significance to all who want to enter the Kingdom of God. CHURCH IN…
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Perfect High Priest (Part 5 – The Conclusion)

Upon concluding this study of Jesus’ role as the High Priest as outlined in the book of Hebrews, it is evident that Jesus’ past accomplishments and present exaltation point toward future fulfillment. Though there is a present, complete perfection wrought in his redemptive victory, and even though real authority over all things has been given…
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The LORD is my Banner

Many debate whether Yahweh is involved in our life events or not, and also, if He is involved, to what extent He is involved. Is He really interested in helping me with my problems? Is He really there to support me in times of trouble?  Let us look at a record of Moses leading the…
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Overcomers (Study of 7 Churches in Revelation)

Revelation, as the last book, projects into the future by using hundreds of quotations or allusions from the rest of the Bible. In addition to comprehensive eschatological (regarding end times) information, a remarkable, succinct compilation of descriptive information about Yahweh is set forth similar to the Torah when God first revealed Himself. In addition, a…
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Perfect High Priest (Part Four)

A bold reality involved in the consideration of Jesus being our ultimate High Priest points to real typology as used quite a bit in the Bible. This theme reflects not a mere manmade allegory (after the fact), but a clear biblical display of “types” and “antitypes” according to God’s long-term purposes in the Messiah. “Typology”…
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Christ-Minded Service

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. (Matthew 20:20) The sons of Zebedee are James and John, who along with Peter were the three apostles Jesus trained the most. Their mother was among the women who ministered to Jesus according…
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JESUS ROCKS

Jesus rocked the status quo showing that spiritual truth is often the opposite of the normal way people think and act. Dealing with evil is such a case.   Matthew 5:38 and 39    You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' But I say to…
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Yahweh’s Love Relationship with You

If one were to ask you, “Does your past or future primarily influence and shape your life,” what would you answer? We may have handicaps, traumatic family of origin issues, school and work failures, abuse, pride, fame, or poverty and wealth that have dynamically affected us. On the other hand, we may have been primarily…
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Perfect High Priest (Part Three)

After two notable sections of the book of Hebrews, as viewed in part two of this study, which describe Jesus as the ultimate High Priest (in 2:14 - 3:11 and in 4:10 - 5:10) the unknown author once again breaks away from this theme to give another serious “pep talk” to his audience. Even though…
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The Evil One

The devil endeavors to disgrace and defame Yahweh by misinforming humanity about Him. He also strives to humiliate, destroy, and kill all people while blaming God for his evil. The devil’s titles reveal his large-scale systematic scheme against Yahweh and humanity. He is called the liar in John 8:44, the tempter in Matthew 4:3-4, the…
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Something to Consider: Loving or Judging

Blessings, Beloved, We all want to be loved and hate be harshly judged. Those who have faith in Christ are a part of the family of God which is an interdependent family relationship. The world is too evil, and we are too weak to walk alone. We need each other in order to stay faithful…
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Restoring Authentic Christianity 1

Introduction The information age has opened up incredible opportunities to understand Christianity better.  With unprecedented and unrestricted access to facts and opinions from disparate religious perspectives, sincere Bible students have been increasingly questioning the typical doctrinal packages offered by many Christian groups today.  No longer can the church (Roman Catholic or Protestant) control what people…
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Yield to Being Righteous

Paul writes in Romans chapter 6:5-10 that we are to be enslaved to righteousness and not enslaved to sin. Then in verse 12 we are instructed to refuse allowing sin to reign in our lives. Instead of doing evil, we are to present ourselves as Yahweh’s righteous people. In the next verse, we are instructed…
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Simple Prayer

The great battlefield for Christians is in the mind. As Christians connected to Christ, we are blessed with a new life called in Ephesians the “new self” and in Galatians “the spirit.” However, as humans we are still connected to Adam from whom we inherited the sin nature which again in Ephesians was called the…
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Perfect High Priest: Part Two

As indicated briefly in part one of this study, there are five sections in the book of Hebrews that give urgent reminders not to take Jesus lightly in either his message of salvation (“which was first announced by the Lord” – 2:3) or his perfect, High Priestly accomplishments. These five solemnly developed admonitions are carefully…
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Perfect High Priest Part One: Introduction

There is one book in the Bible that explains the role of Jesus, the Son of God, as the ultimate high priest appointed by God. Jesus’ perfect high priesthood is a major theme highlighted throughout the whole book of Hebrews, along with several other important threads of understanding. Within the tapestry of a series of…
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The Great Paradigm Shift (James 4:1-4)

James 4:1 - What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?   The reason for all the fighting and quarreling that is so common to humanity lives within us and that is our self-centered desire for pleasures. Just as a child…
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Let Us Make Man…

The word "person" has multiple meanings.  In normal conversation, it means simply a human being.  However, in theological terminology (thanks to the council of Nicaea in AD 325), "person" means any being with a mind or consciousness.  According to this definition, God is a person because He (note the personal pronoun) thinks, acts, and feels. …
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7 Paradoxes

Ephesians 5:31-32   Marriage is an example of how the church is to function. A paradox is a seemingly self-contradictory declaration but is in fact true.   1. STRENGTH THROUGH WEAKNESS: 2 Cor. 12:10; Ephesians 2:1-3 Most of us come into a marriage relationship knowing only what we do not want it to be rather than…
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Godly Dependence

Uriah was a member of Israel’s elite Special Forces. He was a man of impeccable character, someone David went to battle with many times. Yet, David impregnated Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, while he was on the battle field. Eliam, her father, was also a member of this elite, 30-man Special Forces. Eliam’s father, Ahithophel, was one…
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Will You Go the Distance with Yahweh?

The term “go the distance” means to carry on through a course of action to completion.  In boxing it means to last for all the rounds, and in baseball it means to pitch an entire game. When Yahweh wants to work through us and gives us a task, we are to stay with what Yahweh…
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Praiseworthy

Our God and Father, Yahweh, is praiseworthy! Many of the prayers written in Scriptures illustrate how to offer praise as part of our prayers. King David in the sight of all Israel offered the following prayer to Yahweh. 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 - David said, “Blessed are You, O Yahweh God of Israel our father, forever…
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Image-Bearers: Priests and Kings

As believing Bible students steadily acquire a panoramic perspective of major Scriptural themes, the view is amazing when more of the interconnectedness of God’s pervasive purposes comes into focus! For example, the new and future way to be human in the Messiah is truly a way that gets back to the original purpose of God-designed…
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Humility Compared to Pride

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.   The humble acknowledges that Yahweh is the Almighty God and has sovereignty. He believes that God is the source and maintainer of all life. His heart is fixed on Yahweh, and his mouth utters constant praise and exultation for…
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Jesus’ Guidelines for Prayer

Jesus provided very specific instruction about prayer in His first teaching, The Sermon on the Mount, and in Luke 11 when his disciples asked “Lord, teach us to pray.”   “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street…
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The Joy of Yahweh is Our Strength!

My dear family, when you find yourselves tumbling into various trials and temptations, learn to look at it with complete joy, because you know that, when your faith is put to the test, what comes out is patience. What's more, you must let patience have its complete effect, so that you may be complete and…
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Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

Today’s news is basically the same content: steal, kill, and destroy. How can one live in this world with peace and joy? Humankind looks to all kinds of activities that, for a short time, may try to fill the void that only Yahweh can fill.  Many Christians today, if asked, will report that they are…
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Using Translations

Bible students in English have a wealth of translations with which to delve into the Scriptures! Although there is no standard version that is absolutely free from theological biases, errors, or somewhat unclear passages, valuable learning is derived from prayerfully comparing various presentations of Scriptures. Whether we be among the few who read ancient languages…
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The Reason for Man

The reason for man is a personal, continuous, and intimate love relationship with Yahweh.  Far more important than wealth, prestige, human relationships, accomplishment, or success of any kind is our love association with our Father God. When this is first, then everything else in life seems to work out properly. When it is not as…
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God is at Work in the World

Philip had tremendous success reaching people for the Lord in the city of Samaria. After Peter and John visited the city and helped with the work, the angel of the Lord told Philip to “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” He obeyed and found an Ethiopian sitting…
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Who is on the Throne?

The problem for mankind since Adam and Eve’s fall is “self” replacing the centrality of God in their minds and therefore actions. When we consider the self-centeredness common to all of us, it is hard to imagine what it was like to always have God rather than self enthroned in the heart. We are all…
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“I Will Not Forsake You”

Have you ever had the thought that you are all alone and there is NO ONE to help you and felt the sickening dread that comes with this realization?  It usually happens when we see no way out, no one to come to our aid, no one seems to care, and worse – you think…
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The Law of Reciprocal Honor

Dear Saint, God has blessed you. Your relationship with God is the single most important aspect of your life, and He is the initiator of this relationship. He loved and called you plus placed the desire within you to love and respond to Him. In our culture, success is measured by how busy we are…
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Dealing with Our Culture 4: Progress

Over the course of time, humanity has made incredible progress.  Slavery was once a widespread and accepted institution, but it is almost universally outlawed today.  Workers’ rights, including child labor and equal opportunity employment, have made great strides in the last century.  The realm of medicine has made remarkable progress over the last couple of…
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Run the Race

The group of runners carefully approached the starting blocks, doing last-minute stretches before placing their feet in the blocks. They each knew that it was a privilege to have a real chance to participate in such an experience. No activities up until now had even come close to such an opportunity. They breathlessly awaited the…
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Dealing with Our Culture 3: Tolerance

Tolerance, as our culture defines it, is the idea that people should have the freedom to be themselves.  You shouldn’t try to change people or hold them to your standards.  You certainly shouldn’t push your religion on others.  Faith is a private matter, so proselytizing is immoral.  You shouldn’t label, define, or stereotype people.  Since…
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Marital Happiness

Finding a spouse and maintaining a good marriage may consume much of one’s thinking, effort, and time.  Western culture has significantly skewed the whole process of love and marriage away from Scripture and its teachings about the topic. A simple internet search will reveal the dismal statistics of Christian couples living together and divorce rates…
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Fathered by God

A great source of joy for faithful Bible readers is the correlation of both Jesus and Christians to the truth of being fathered by God. In a practical way, Christians are powerfully helped in their commitment not to keep on practicing a sinful lifestyle. They are wonderfully watched over and protected from the evil one…
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Holy is He

Yahweh our God is THE God! Deuteronomy 10:17 says it well: For Yahweh, your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the      awesome God who does not show  partiality nor take a bribe.   The Bible makes clear there are other lesser gods and other lesser…
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Love Lifted Me

God bless, beloved,   The other day, I was on a conference call with three healthcare providers regarding the future plans for someone in their care. The person who initiated and steered the conversation was curt and somewhat disrespectful. When I talked, she discarded what I said and interrupted. Such interaction offers an invitation to…
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Balaam and the Birth of Jesus

The birth of Jesus Christ was extraordinary, or should I say supernatural, in so many ways with perhaps the most surprising being the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Balaam. When Israel was at the end of their 40 years in the wilderness, they came to Moab just east of where they would eventually cross…
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The Excellent Way

Dear Believer, God’s abounding blessings to you during this holiday season. Profound and riveting is the clear and emphatic emphasis Jesus placed on love. When the skeptical lawyer asked Jesus what was the great commandment in the Law, his response was to love God with your all and all and to love your neighbor as…
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Dealing with our Culture 2: Hyper-Individualism

In my last post, “Seeing the Filter,” I considered how the culture is constantly nudging our sense of what’s normal by scripting and re-scripting what we think will make us safe and happy.  The world puts filters over our eyes to color how we perceive everything without us even noticing it.  Such deception is insidious…
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Joy and Thanksgiving

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good;…
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Alluring Allusions (Part Two)

After having used the mustard seed and shrub/tree idea to speak of God's Kingdom in Mt. 13:31, 32 and Luke 13:18, 19, Jesus later alluded to his own grain of mustard seed picture to describe faith in Matthew 17:20 and Luke 17:5, 6. The record in Matthew dealt with the context of the powerful, spiritual…
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Alluring Allusions (Part One)

Upon reflecting on the set of parables in chapter 13 of Matthew, we might find it obvious that Jesus himself was very much like the scribe compared to a householder, as mentioned at the end of this discourse. "Well, then," he said to them, "every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven…
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Dealing with Our Culture 1: Seeing the Filter

This past summer, I learned how to surf at Jacksonville Beach in Florida. While I was in the ocean, I constantly battled the waves pushing me towards the beach and the undertow pulling me back towards the sea. However, it was not until I came out of the water a quarter of a mile down…
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We Can Do This

After five days of creating heaven and earth, on the sixth day, God made animals and created man and woman. Genesis 1:27   God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. It is of note that the word “created” is used three times…
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Election Over; We Won!

The constant bombardment from the election seems to never end! The candidates passionately crow their qualifications, promises, and ad nauseam slander their opponent. Thousands of years ago, Yahweh God elected David to sit on His throne and promised that a descendant of his would reign as king in the world-wide Kingdom that is to come.…
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Donald MacMillan Family Praise Service

Donald MacMillan of Scotland is visiting this weekend and will be sharing and leading us in a praise service at Living Hope on Saturday night at 7pm as well as helping out Sunday morning. This will be a great time to enjoy Christian music and extol our wonderful God together that you won't want to…
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The Confession of Sins

At the heart of redemption, Romans 4 declares the following assurance while using a quote from Psalm 32. Look at David, too, for a moment. He describes the blessedness of the man whom God reckons as righteous on a basis other than that of works when he says: Blessed are they whose transgressions have been…
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Habits of a Disciple: 6 Giving

When we lived in Georgia, Ruth and I visited Creflo Dollar’s church, the World Changer Dome, for a Sunday service.  We went to fulfill an assignment for our preaching class to attend a service different from our own tradition and write a report about it.  We parked far away from the large building.  So many…
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ADVERSITY AND BLESSINGS

Are a life of adversity and a life of blessings diametrical opposites or complementary realities for a believer? David, one of our great patriarchs and role models, lived a life filled with adversity and extraordinary blessing. He authored many of the Psalms that revealed his thoughts and actions in the midst of his struggles. David’s…
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Nature, Nurture, and Faith

With advances in the past twenty years, geneticists have greatly increased our understanding of how DNA effects our human development.  Neuroscientists, bolstered by incredible imaging techniques that show activity on the molecular level of the brain, report about phenomenal electromagnetic, neurochemical, and physiological workings of our brain.  Psychologists in the past thirty years have been…
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Magnified Word

How do we avoid the devastation of sin? In Psalm 119:11, the psalmist gives valuable input. “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” When God’s Word is our treasure (that which we value most), sin has much less of an appeal to us. In the King James…
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Forgive

Dear Ones, David’s beloved son Absalom premeditated a coup that caused a revolution in Israel that in the end cost the lives of over 22,000 Israelites. Absalom enticed many of the influential men in David’s kingdom to join him in the revolt such as the man Amasa. He was the first cousin of Absalom because…
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KINGDOM JUSTICE

“Lord, teach us to pray,” Jesus’ disciples said, and for the second time, he taught what is today commonly called the Lord’s Prayer. With the prayer he gave instruction to avoid hypocritical attention seeking and meaningless rote repetition; yet, he said to offer the prayer at least daily. Noteworthy is the substantial emphasis placed on…
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Habits of a Disciple: 5 Evangelism

It was a warm sunny day when Sal, Jaired, and I went to Washington Park in Albany looking for someone to talk to about the gospel.  It was Sal’s turn.  He had watched me talk to some folks, but now he was going to give it a try.  He spotted a middle-aged African American man…
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Conquering Conflict Part 2 Matthew 5 in Practice

Every time I look at an antique music box that is prominently displayed in my home, I have conflict within myself.  I love the music box because it belonged to my paternal grandmother’s family.  It is a very beautiful one and works perfectly.  The problem is it does not have a lid because around 25…
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By This We Know

Much of the New Testament was written against the backdrop of the lure of false religion. For example, in the early years of Christianity, shortly after Paul and Barnabas first travelled to the southern part of the province of Galatia, where churches were established in the cities of Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe (Acts…
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The Stability Of Thy Times

Isaiah 33:5,6 The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.   The people of God in the days of Isaiah had turned away…
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FEAR RUINS FAITH

Fear is devastating to faith! Fear has torment and often is the gateway for many other ungodly emotions such as hate, envy, covetousness, anger, and aggressive hostility. The most distressing and demoralizing consequence of fear is how it ruins our relationship with God. Yet, God has not given us the spirit of fear but rather…
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Conquering Conflict Part 1 Godly and Ungodly Conflict

Since Adam and Eve’s fall and the entrance of sin into the world, humankind has engaged in all kinds of conflict. Some of these conflicts are so serious they lead to dire consequences. Serious breaches cause discord in the body of Christ that are the result of unresolved conflict or conflict that was more like…
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Habits of a Disciple: 4 Fellowship

As I stood on the sidewalk, relieved that the heat of the summer day had finally passed, the sounds and sights of the street washed over my senses like a deluge of water over a levee.  Everywhere, people were spilling out onto the sidewalk and the road from the nearby shops, the smell of alcohol…
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WAIT ON YAHWEH

At the age of 17, Joseph (his father’s favorite) had 11 brothers and one sister.  The resentful brothers would have killed him unless Judah suggested they sell him to Ishmaelites. “Why not make a few dollars and still get rid of the brat!” At such a young age, he was ripped from father’s house and…
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Three Superlative Feasts Part Two

In Part One we briefly viewed how the Passover Feast celebrated in Hezekiah's time of extreme reforms in Judah compared favorably to the previous times of dedicating the temple (and a Feast of Booths) during Solomon's reign over a strongly united Israel, an event that had occurred almost three centuries earlier. What made the feast…
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Kingdom of God from Isaiah

The phrase “kingdom of God” is not found in the Old Testament although the concept regarding God’s Kingdom is written in every Old Testament book. Jesus, however, used the phrase often and the metaphorical equivalent “kingdom of Heaven,” in which “heaven” represents God. Jesus either coined the phrase or more likely, it was commonly used…
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Three Superlative Feasts (Part One)

In arenas of modern excitement about famous achievements, it is commonplace that people attribute majestic titles or descriptions to what is highly valued. For example, one might say, “That was the most awesome football game ever played!" People even produce statistical research and polls of popular opinion to assign lists of perceived greatness: "the top…
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Habits of a Disciple: 3 Serving

I used to wait tables at Long Horn Steakhouse when I was going to the Atlanta Bible College. It was a great job for a lot of reasons. In particular, it taught me about service. You see my title was “server.” We had twelve steps of service, and the managers expected us to hit each…
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Shut Up!

Nowadays, in modern America, one can say, "Shut up!", in a lighthearted way as an equivalent idiom for saying, "No way!" The literal idea might be expressed as, "That is incredible!" Nevertheless, there is no mistaking what is meant when even a faint hint of assertiveness or anger is injected into "Shut up!" If one…
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EMPATHETIC CONSCIOUSNESS

The degree to which we are able to know God is restricted for obvious reasons. Although we are too limited to comprehend the vastness of God, we can gain some understanding about Him from His creation and the Scriptures. Due to His grace and lovingkindness, we can marginally acknowledge His creativeness, omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence.…
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Examining Ourselves

Examine yourselves: are you in the faith? Check yourselves out. Or do you not think of yourselves as having Jesus Christ in your midst? Because if not, you have failed. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (Unvarnished NT) But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of…
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Godly Contentment

As is recorded in the earliest chapters of Genesis, we see that mankind became discontented. Adam and Eve lived in paradise and communed with Yahweh, yet wanted something more. Adam’s son, Cain, wanted what his brother Abel had. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of his relationship with their father, so they planned to dispose of Joseph.…
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THE CALL OF GOD TO GO INTO THE HARVEST – Part 2

Matthew 9:35-38 – Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said…
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Habits of a Disciple: 1 Scripture Reading

Today, the entire Bible is available in 531 languages. Over forty writers contributed to it over 1,500 years. It is the most accessible book in the world with countless websites, apps, and paper copies available absolutely free. All of this seems even more impressive once we realize that the Bible is not a small book.…
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Righteousness

Heroin, cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, marijuana ‒ which is the most dangerous drug of all? In my experience after decades of counseling hundreds of drug users and addicts, without doubt marijuana is the most dangerous. The detrimental effects with all the others are far more immediate and devastating with the addicts experiencing jail, institutions, or death.…
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Something to consider

God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ. Thinking about our God and Father is always good to do, and every so often, when times are hard, dwelling on Him, His promises, and hope is my only solace. What follows is something consider. I Love Thee, O LORD [Yahweh], my strength. The LORD [Yahweh]…
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THE CALL OF GOD TO GO INTO THE HARVEST – Part 1

A very interesting record occurs when Jesus was visiting a Samaritan village with his disciples.   John 4:31-36 Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him…
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Mourning

Paul the apostle spent much time in the city of Corinth helping the young believers to develop. Sometime after his departure, word came back to him that they were struggling in many areas. God inspired Paul to write the epistle that is now referred to as First Corinthians wherein numerous confrontations are. The city of…
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Such Meaningful Contexts

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13 (KJV) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:37 (KJV) These are among the wonderful verses that are popularly quoted in Christian circles, but often without regard to their meaningful contexts. There is certainly…
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Affectionate Compassion

Our theme for Family Camp this summer was Affectionate Compassion with the epistle of Philippians as our primary text. Since loving God and others is the Christian’s primary focus and it is impossible to love God without loving people, according to 1 John 4:20, learning how to relate properly to our fellowman is essential. Camp…
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A Tooth for a Tooth

The radical teachings of Jesus revolutionized Hebrew faith and culture and are the basis for the body of Christ today. One such teaching is found in Matthew 5:39. Matthew 5:39 But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.…
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Eye for an eye

Dr. Yaconis’ article “Tooth for a Tooth” pointed out that phrase of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" is quoted from three places in the Old Testament. A careful examination of these verses in their context reveals that this phrase is dealing with the principle of proportionate retribution and compensation…
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Seek Yahweh: God’s Name was Lost in Translation

In the last book of the Old Testament, the prophet Malachi declares warnings and indictments against the people of God. They had forgotten Yahweh. The priests had despised His name (Malachi 1:6). This book was probably written around 433-430 BC[i]. It is the last of Hebrew Scriptures. In this small book of only four chapters,…
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Freed from Sin; Enslaved to God

In his teachings to the Jews at the temple, Jesus used himself as an example of how we are to live today to be Christians that are full of the holy spirit. Jesus first made it very clear that the Jews that were arguing with him were not free, even though the so-called believing Jews…
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Connections in Matthew

In day-to-day living, any one of us might navigate through complicated traffic patterns, proficiently use advanced technologies, demonstrate mastery of complex work skills, solve challenging puzzles and mysteries, and manage many other chores requiring sophisticated reasoning. It is easy to take for granted that we, as humans, are designed to "make connections" and apply them…
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Habits of a Disciple: Introduction

Imagine an alien from outer space observing a man walking his dog. The dog leaves the house first followed by a rope attached to a man carrying a plastic bag. The dog leads the man down the road until it has found a suitable time and place to excrete its bio waste. The larger following…
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Fellowship

The ancient city of Corinth was noted for its wealth and the luxurious, immoral conduct of its people. As Las Vegas is today, Corinth was in its day-“Sin City.” It was the place in the Roman Empire where people went to indulge in carnal pleasures. The believers in Corinth had difficulty separating themselves from the…
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JESUS’ GLORIFICATION

Hours before his incarceration, Jesus’ prayer revealed he had not yet been glorified but was earnestly anticipating it. “Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You.” John 17:1   Early in his ministry, at the feast…
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The Big Picture

Going out my front door in winter, I see what looks like an upright bundle of prickly sticks, about fifteen feet tall. If I'd never seen such a growth before, I could wonder why such a scraggly looking monstrosity is planted in my front yard! But I know what will happen in the near future.…
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Sadness, Anxiety, and Depression

For many reasons as we are living in the world, we are assaulted with sadness, depression, and anxiety. Therefore the direct scriptural imperative to rejoice is needed but also challenging. Philippians 4:4-9 provides insight into the subject. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (4:4) Focus on the world around us or…
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Synchronized Life

Jesus always had his heart aligned with the will of God and his actions with his heart. He lived a perfectly synchronized life and thereby provided an excellent example for his disciples. Confronting the hypocritical Pharisees and Scribes, Jesus quoted from Isaiah – “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far…
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In Any and Every Circumstance

If you are reading this article, then you have lived long enough to know that life has many twists and turns. Some we plan for, and some just happen unexpectedly. Even within 24 hours in a day, events can change from great to awful and back again. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians that…
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Building Our Faith

Adam and Eve listened to Satan’s complaint that they actually did not have all that they could really have – they believed the lie that Yahweh’s provision was not enough. Genesis 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing…
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The Better Life

When we accept God’s redemption through the lordship of Christ, we receive a new and much better life. 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 succinctly states this new life. For the love of Christ controls [constrains or compels] us, having concluded this, that one [Jesus] died for all, therefore all died [the old you]; and He died for…
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God’s Design, Your Righteous Body

To become Christ-like, a process of change transforms us from the domain of the old man inner nature to the realm of a whole new inner man of Christ’s character. This becomes what we as Christians so desire to be – like Christ in our heart, soul, mind, and strength – so that it becomes…
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Unconditional Love vs. Always Nice

Recently, a pastor posted an article about how he would treat his kids if they turned out to be gay. His four promises to them were: he won’t keep his kids’ sexuality a secret, he’ll pray for them (but not for God to change them), he’ll love them, and he accepts that if they turn…
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Saints or Sinners

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace”? The phrase has two main purposes: either we use it to express humility or to excuse our behavior. But, did you know that Scripture nowhere calls Christ’s followers sinners? Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about sinners in order…
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Unpacking Godliness

For the past six months, we moved in order to downsize so that we can have more time to spend with God and with our family. My first personal agenda was to rid myself of a lot of material items that I have used through the years but are not needed anymore. My second agenda…
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Grace

The definition of “grace” is unmerited (undeserved and unearned) but freely given love and favor of God toward man. To appreciate the full significance of grace requires diligent study of the Scriptures, prayer, thoughtful meditation, and life experience. The Epistle of Ephesians provides a good starting point. Ephesians 1:1 and 2 - Paul, an apostle…
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Is God’s Name “I Am?”

Growing up, one of my all-time favorite movies was (and still is) The Ten Commandments directed by the legendary director, Cecil B DeMille. While this movie is an epic rendition of the story of Moses, the writer’s handling of the name of God is quite unique and offers insight into modern thought regarding this subject.…
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God’s Family, a Symbiotic Loving Relationship

Dear Saints, “God’s Family, a Symbiotic Loving Relationship” was the title of my teaching during the Royal Family Reunion and the subject of this writing. “Symbiosis” is a word used in biology referring to the intimate living together of two dissimilar organisms in a mutually beneficial relationship. Yahweh’s family relationship designed by Him as a…
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Lead Us Not Into Temptation

  Our intention with this issue of Glad Tidings, as with all, is enrichment in your understanding of our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus that inspires sharing the good news with others. Prayer is a vital part of our walk, so here is something to consider regarding the Lord’s Prayer. The foundational prayer Jesus…
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Follow

Although the latest statistics indicate that 2.2 of earth’s 6.9 billion inhabitants self-identify as Christian, it is hard to say how many actually follow Jesus. I remember a while back asking a friend’s mother if she was a Christian. She replied, “Of course, I am; I’m American, aren’t I?” I guess in her mind being…
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Flee From Idolatry

We know that we have been redeemed to glorify Yahweh, but we can never truly glorify God while having idols in our lives, in our hearts; that is the reason for our theme “Flee from idolatry.” Today, we will not necessarily see the idols, but it is through mystical chains, secret formulas that idolatry hides…
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Josiah

I was asked to share about a young man from the Bible who inspires me. I chose King Josiah. Josiah became king after 57 years of abhorrent evil and unrighteousness that had been brought to pass by his father, the short-reigning Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh. The moral and spiritual decay of the kingdom was…
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Yahweh’s Eternal Desire

The understanding for life, human history, and the future of humanity is centered in discerning Yahweh’s eternal desire for His creation. His purpose for the ages starts to unfold with Israel as is succinctly expressed in a few verses: Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall…
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Ecclesiastes: Profound Wisdom for Today

A recent experience of having a category three tornado less than eight miles from our home gave me a realistic moment of thinking. “This could be it! God, please protect me.” Next, I thought about what if this was the end? What if life was over for me and I had no more time to…
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Meditation upon Yahweh Our God (Psalm 1:1-3; 119:15, 97-99)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1   You alone are the LORD [Yahweh]. You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them…
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