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Temporary Residents and Foreigners

“Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” - 1 Peter 2:11 In a season of new beginnings and pursuits, there is a danger of being consumed with the events and influences of our culture. So many things can serve as distractions for us from the eternal.  From entertainment and current events to arguments and deep pain, the range of interruptions that overtake our attention is unrelenting. This tension is what led Paul to encourage Timothy to endure as a good soldier and not get entangled in the affairs of civilian life. (2 Timothy 2:3-4) Likewise, Peter warned believers to keep away from worldly desires...

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Soar, Run, and Walk

“Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places.” Isaiah 40:3-4   Looking back over the past year, feelings of gratitude are mingled with regret.  Gratitude for how our Heavenly Father has sustained us and carried us through, and possibly regret over missed opportunities or mistakes. The spectrum of emotion varies equally regarding our outlook of a brand new year, and for 2020, a new decade.  From wide-eyed wonder and expectation of great things for some to melancholy indifference for others, the scale of hope is as varied as there are...

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Stand Firm: A Choice To Rest

"Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm." – Isaiah 7:9 NLT Our mighty God is sovereign over everything and He knows the beginning from the end.  When he declares what will take place before it happens, the hearer can know for certain that events will transpire exactly as He stated. In Isaiah 7, the Lord states that a pending invasion would never take place, but to the king, He added, "Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” This does not mean that the defeat of the invaders was dependent on the faith of the king for God had already declared what would happen and that the invading kingdoms would not succeed.  This...

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Giving Thanks No Matter How I Feel

“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” (Galatians 3:26-29 NLT) Thanksgiving is intrinsically rewarding as graciousness is practiced and reciprocated.  Even more so for the citizen of heaven who has a treasury of blessings to rejoice in. Yet in the expectation of a thankful heart, there is the chance...

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Growing In Faith

“Be not afraid, only believe.” - Mark 5:36 As citizens of heaven, we are called to a life of faith.  Faith in our Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally, but who also requires faith to please Him.  Jesus is the master teacher of faith and trust, always leading people past the signs, miracles, and works to a further revelation of Himself.  When Jairus came to Jesus in desperation over his ailing daughter, he sought a quick healing work, but the Lord delayed.  This delay was not a mistake or an act of indifference; it was not an inconvenience to Jesus to minister to this young girl, but it was an opportunity to grow Jairus in faith. Jesus showed compassion to...

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