The Lord God is Always With You

“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.”    (Josh. 1:9) Once I was asked to give a graduation address to some men who, after leaving prison, had joined an intensive program to change their lives. Before giving …

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A Wise Counsel of Elders

“The king answered the people harshly. He disregarded the advice that the older men had given him and spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, ‘My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”  …

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Jesus — Exorcist and Healer

Just then there was in the synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him'  …

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Giving Grace to Others

Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy times seven times.’   (Mt. 18:21-22) I had had an important working relationship abruptly end. When I …

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Trusting in Jesus’ Love for You

Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.   (John 13:1) Today’s scripture says that Jesus loved his disciples “to the end.” This means that there would never be any end, any lessening, any withdrawing, or any dampening to the love He had for them. Today’s scripture also suggests …

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Riding With Jesus

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’   (Matthew 21: 8-9) …

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With God’s Help

They replied, ‘The survivors there in the province who escaped captivity are in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.’ When I heard these words, I sat down and wept….  (Neh. 1:3-4) When Nehemiah heard that the wall in Jerusalem was still broken …

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Surrendering to God’s Will

But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and nights.   (Jonah 1:17) Do you know what it’s like to be knee-deep in whale spit? I don’t mean this question literally, but spiritually. Let me explain by recalling the story of Jonah.  …

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How Jesus Sees Us

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.  And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make your fish for people.’  (Mark 1:16) When I was reading this passage this morning, a passage I’ve read more times …

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A Right Relationship Before God

But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed…  the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.  For there is no distinction since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the …

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