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Life is Good But God’s Love Is Better

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. Psalm 63:3 Life is good. You’ve probably said that a few times – perhaps in response to a passing “How are you?” from a friend. The response has become almost a cliché, on par with: Can’t complain! Awesome! Fine! Great! One organization has successfully transformed “life is good” into a thriving business. (Maybe you own a Life Is Good tee shirt.) Their mission is to spread the power of optimism and their tag line reads:  LIFE IS NOT PERFECT. LIFE IS NOT EASY. LIFE IS GOOD. As a follower of Christ, …

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No Condemnation

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 Condemnation. We’ve all experienced it. Sometimes it surprises us … catches us off guard. But where does it come from? Friend and family? Neighbors and co-workers? Sometimes we find it online and other times on social media. But the worst is perhaps when it bubbles up in our own head and heart. Have you ever found yourself condemning yourself? Paul reminds us in Romans 8 what our enemy wants us to forget: we are no longer condemned! Our identity in Christ has set us free from the …

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Believe and Live

  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31 The reason John wrote his gospel is the same reason many of us talk to our children and grandchildren about Jesus: we want them to have eternal life! On Easter Sunday morning this year, we watched as a little girl in our church was baptized. The children’s pastor commented that when he asked her about coming to know Jesus she responded, “My family talks to me about Jesus all …

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Abraham Believed God

  Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6     The word, credited, carries the meaning of assigning value or putting something into someone else’s account. Where NIV uses credited (as noted above), other versions translate this Hebrew word: Counted(KJV) Reckoned(NASB) My husband, the college professor, has often been asked by his students, “Will you give me credit for this answer?” or “Can I get partial credit?” In the old days, country doctors (and probably city doctors, too!) accepted milk or eggs in credit for services rendered. We use the phrase, “I’ll give you credit for trying…” It all carries …

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Jesus The Way, The Truth and The Life

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6   This verse may be familiar to many of us. The phrase, “…the way and the truth and the life” may easily roll off our tongues, because we have heard it quoted many times. We may have committed it to memory if we grew up in Sunday School or Awana. We may be struck by the combination of these three descriptors: way, truth, life. These are an interesting combination. As we focus on the words individually, it prompts us to …

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Believe the Son or Reject the Son

  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. John 3:36   Everyone human being falls into one of two camps: 1. Believer 2. Non-believer Some might say, “I haven’t rejected Jesus – I just don’t believe in Him.” But by default, refusing to accept is equivalent to rejecting Him. There is no middle ground. Choosing not to choose is a choice in itself. And, like everything in life, choices bring consequences. Age has a way of humbling us and providing wisdom that can only …

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Receiving Encouragement Requires Courage

  “If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp.” Judges 6: 10-11 Do you see the irony here? If you’re afraid with only 300, take just one and sneak up into harm’s way. God is offering to reassure Gideon, but even the means to receive the reassurance requires an extraordinary step of faith. If caught, surely they would be put to death and …

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Memorial Day: A Day for Gratitude

    “I have not stopped giving thanks for you…” Ephesians 1: 16a     We often think of Memorial Day as: A day for loading up on hotdogs and funnel cake A day for camping and hiking A day to celebrate the launch of summer Instead, would you consider making it the following: A day to remember A day to acknowledge our freedom to work, play, hike, and, yes, eat more than we should. A day to remember those who died so we could live Our U.S. Constitution grants us freedom to speak, worship, bear arms, assemble, vote, own …

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Write the Word This Is War

  Write the Word: This is War   We are at war. And I’m not talking about the war on terror or the war on drugs. (Those are important battles to fight, and I’m grateful for our men and women who devote their lives to fight those wars, as they serve at home and abroad.) The battle raging for us is a spiritual one: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesians 6: 12  I’ll use the …

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Write the Word Righteousness

                  A focus on the Armor of God: The first piece of the armor mentioned in Ephesians 6 is the Belt of Truth.  The remaining pieces of the armor: the Breastplate of Righteousness the Gospel Shoes of Peace the Shield of Faith the Helmet of Salvation the Sword of the Spirit When we strap on the belt of truth first, it ensures that we know the truth. Knowing the truth helps us take our stand against the lies. But it’s not just enough for us to KNOW the truth, it must also change our …

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Write the Word Peace

        “Stand firm then… with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6: 14-15       What comes to mind when you hear the word PEACE? A throwback to the sixties: A deserted beach sunset: A majestic view from a mountain top: Maybe for you, peace isn’t a symbol or a place, but just the absence of conflict. It’s a family reunion – or a church business meeting – where we “all just get along”… making it through dinner with no one spilling their milk … or perhaps it’s as simple as a clear …

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Write the Word Faith

          “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6: 16        We are exploring the elements of the Armor of God as we Write the Word. You can access previous journaling plans for truth, righteousness, and peace. This post brings us to the shield of faith. Measuring approximately 4.5’ tall by 2’ wide, the Roman shield would completely cover a soldier as he advanced forward. It was designed and built to link together with the shields of his brothers-in-arms, enabling them to advance together, …