Change Directions
Nov18

Change Directions

Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” -Ephesians 4:24 I have been struggling with my level of physical fitness lately. It feels like I have slipped so far away from a healthy lifestyle that it is now impossible to return… I think we feel that way in our Christian walk at times. That we have slipped so far away as to make a return impossible.  Ephesians 4:24 makes two significant points that dispel this lie that plagues us.  1) Christianity means that fundamental change is possible.    We can, and do, change as we trust more in Jesus.  2) Christians are free from the mechanistic view that our past determines our future.  Our background (bad experiences, bad parents, etc.) does not determine our destiny.    The impossible for us is easy to God. Let’s reject the lie, cast of the old self and embrace the new self in...

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Results of the Resurrection
Mar27

Results of the Resurrection

As I considered the strong parallel between the Passover in Exodus and the crucifixion of Jesus as our Passover, I was struck by the results of the resurrection – what the resurrection means to the Christian.  John Piper captured 10 of these results well in his book, “What We Owe the Resurrection of Jesus.” 1) A savior who can never die again.  “We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again” (Romans 6:9). 2) Repentance.  “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel” (Acts 5:30-31). 3) New birth.  “By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). 4) Forgiveness of sin.  “If Christ has not been raised, your hope is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). 5) The Holy Spirit.  “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear” (Acts 2:32–33). 6) No condemnation for the elect.  “Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God” (Romans 8:34). 7) Jesus’s personal fellowship and protection.  “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20). 8) Proof of coming judgment.  “God has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). 9) Salvation from the future wrath of God.  “We wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10; Romans 5:10). 10) Our own resurrection from the dead.  “We know that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence” (2 Corinthians 4:14; Romans 6:4; 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14;...

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Last Minute Gift Idea
Dec23

Last Minute Gift Idea

This time of year finds many of us hurriedly searching for that last minute gift idea. A watch?  A purse?  Money! Consider the gift of wise counsel. Heinrich Bullinger gave his son wise counsel in rules to live by that resulted in a full passion-filled life. What a gift Ten rules for living: 1. Fear God at all times, and remember that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. 2. Humble yourself before God, and pray to him alone through Christ, our only Mediator and Advocate. 3. Believe firmly that God has done all for our salvation through his Son. 4. Pray above all things for a strong faith active in love. 5. Pray that God may protect your good name and keep you from sin, sickness, and bad company. 6. Pray for the fatherland, for your dear parents … for the spread of the Word of God. 7. Be reticent, be always more willing to hear than to speak, and do not meddle with things you do not understand. 8. Study diligently. … Read daily three chapters of the Bible. 9. Keep your body clean and unspotted, be neat in your dress, and avoid above all things intemperance in eating and drinking. 10. Let your conversation be decent, cheerful,...

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