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Choices

After the 40 year reign of Solomon, the ten tribes of the North decided not to follow Rehoboam, Solomon’s successor.  For 210 years, the Northern Kingdom was led by 19 kings whose choices led to destruction in the end. These kings were just, upright, and followed straight paths after the Lord.  One of these kings was Asa, great, great grandson of King David. Kings were to be leaders on many fronts: politically, economically, militarily, and spiritually.  God expected both kings and people to be loyal to Him.  King David was the standard; he set the example of integrity and wholehearted commitment.  …

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Making the Right Choices

In the Old Testament, we find instances where God’s people were asked to make choices. “Therefore, fear the Lord and worship him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your fathers worshiped and worship the Lord. Choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship – the gods your fathers worshiped in Egypt or the gods of the people in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15 (CSB) What was the role of the Old Testament prophet?  Men like Elijah spoke for the Lord to His people.  He …

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Overwhelmed, Burnout and Exhausted

  (I Kings 19:9-18) Have you ever?  Called out, “Where are you, God?” Felt like quitting? Felt like running away? Hosted a pity party? We have all been there!  Overwhelmed, burned out, and exhausted. Elijah said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Armies, but the Israelites have abandoned your covenant, torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are looking for me to take my life.” I Kings 19:10 What would you do if someone sent their entire army after you – hunting you down? In I …

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God’s Ways Are Higher

  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways. This is the Lord’s declaration. For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9 (CSB) God can do anything He wants to do and work in any way using BIG dramatic events or simply in a still, small voice.  God can provide for His people through unusual circumstances.  He can use famous, powerful people like a prophet or king; he can even choose to work through unnamed, insignificant slaves or servants.  …

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God Provides in Unexpected Ways

II Kings 7 includes a most unusual story concerning the citizens of the capital city, Samaria, in the Northern Kingdom.  The city has been under siege by the Arameans from Syria led by Ben Haddad II, and conditions are desperate.  It’s a dark picture of scarcity of food, inflation, starvation, cannabalism, and death. Elisha delivered the Word of the Lord promising that circumstances were about to change in 24 hours.  (From despair to hope, from scarcity to plenty) Choices:  The king’s right hand man expressed his mocking doubt upon hearing the prophecy.  Four lepers were witnesses of God’s deliverance – …

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Individuals are Accountable

    What is God’s Will for Your Life?  In I Thessalonians, we learn that God’s Will for us is our sanctification. ( I Thess. 4:3)  Sanctification is God’s work in us as we grow spiritually, living in holiness pleasing and honoring Him. We are set apart for service and holiness.  It is a process of maturing in our faith and becoming more and more like Jesus. The hymnist gives us direction: “Take time to be holy, Speak oft with thy Lord; Abide in Him always, And feed on His Word; Make friends of God’s children, Help those who are …

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Letters from Paul

While We Wait for Christ’s Return …. Encourage One Another with These Words (Study in the Pastoral Letters of Paul to the Church in Thessalonica) Just like the Thessalonian Believers, we have questions about Christ’s Return. We would like to know the when and how of the sequence of “end time” events – just a natural, human “need to know.” Historically, there have been many false teachers claiming to know the date and details concerning His Return.  Many followers have been misled.  However, as believers, we should not be listening to those who are counting down to an exact date! …

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Honor God in our Relationships in the Church

While we wait for Christ’s Return – Honor God in our Relationships in the Church We should demonstrate good spiritual health in our relationships within our churches by showing honor and respect to our leaders. “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you and to regard them very highly in love because of their work …” I Thess. 5:12-13 Annually, October has been suggested as Pastor Appreciation Month; however, appreciation for your pastor and staff can be acknowledged any day, any month. We …

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Believers Pattern for Living

Paul has instructions for the Believers with specific “Do’s and Don’ts” for living in expectation of Christ’s return and looking forward. We, as children, are blessed with a unique family relationship in which we have been enlightened of God’s Ways.  We are aware of His Light, and we are to live in the light of His truth. “For you are all children of light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness.” I Thess. 5:5 Paul lays out the instructions as a military leader gives out commands for the soldier at his post.  …

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Churches Should Be Model for Others

While We Wait for Christ’s Return – Our Churches Should be Models for Others Not only are individuals held accountable for how we live, but churches are accountable for their testimony in their communities. “We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, since your faith is flourishing and the love each one of you has for one another is increasing.” II Thess. 1:3 How would you rate the church’s relationship with God? Is faith continuing to grow?  Is your church consistently trusting God?  How would you rate relationships within the church? Is love increasing?  …

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Encourage One Another With Words

      Encourage One Another with These Words – “BE” 1)  Be Thankful “But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” II Thess. 2:13-14 (CSB) 2)  Be Steadfast “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught, whether by what we said or what …

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Praising God as Creator

Psalm 104:24 ” How countless are your works, Lord! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” (CSB) Compare the black and white view from the photographer’s camera with the artist’s painting of the same Colorado mountain stream. What a difference! Beautiful!  But neither compares to the work of the Master Artist – God, the Creator.     What a difference! Beautiful!  But neither compares to the work of the Master Artist – God, the Creator. Through the experiences of a shepherd boy and gifted psalmist, we praise the Creator for His workmanship.  How …