Generosity in times of scarcity (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)

2 Corinthians 8:1-5

Imagine you were in prison in your twenties. Nothing you did put you there. Your hometown was sacked by a foreign army. You were rounded up with other young men and placed in a prison, waiting for them to ship you off and force you to fight in the very army that imprisoned you. To make matters worse a famine strikes the land. Destined to die by starvation or by sword, a bright light shines into the darkness. Under the veil of night, food appears through the prison bars. You and your friends gobble it up.

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The gifts that make the body grow (1 Corinthians 12)

1 Corinthians 12

In this age of celebrity worship, the supporting actors often get overlooked. Unfortunately, the church often follows the culture’s lead in this regard.

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Where to look for lasting peace (Ephesians 2:14)

Ephesians 2:14

Imagine you are in an orchestra. When the orchestra began to play, a horrendous sound went out. All the instruments were out of tune. You tried to fix it by tuning your own instrument to itself. The orchestra remained dissonant. You tuned to the person next to you. Though the two of you sounded good together, still the orchestra sounded like a million cat shrieks. In order for an orchestra to sound harmonious, you need a source tone, a note to which each instrument is tuned.

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No matter what (Hebrews 1:3)

Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

Hebrews 1:3

Right now in America and around the world there is much angst. Our continuous American election cycle and the pandemic along with life in general has many people on edge. God has historically always used plague/pandemics to reorder, reveal, and reset our lives. As serial sinners we grow far to comfortable with the status quo and fall into patterns of this world that are sinful, unholy, and evil.

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Where your treasure is so is your heart (Matthew 6:19-21)

Matthew 6:19-21

Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20)

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Entering the throne room (Thessalonians 5:16-18)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Imagine you have been called into the Oval Office, the private chamber of a Supreme Court Justice, or office of some other person of great power. What might your thoughts and emotions be? Someone so powerful, so revered, perhaps someone you greatly respect asked you for a meeting. You likely would prepare for days for that meeting. Nothing like this has ever happened to you. You are about to shake hands with someone who has more power in uttering a sentence than you have in ten thousand words. Yet, this person has chosen to meet with you.

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How our Risen Lord speaks your name (Romans 8:34)

Submitted by Andy McIlvain

Romans 8:34

In the book of Job there is a lot of talk in the heavenly realm about humans on Earth. But what has changed is that now at this present moment our risen Lord in his physical self is talking to God the Father concerning his children (all of us), based on his experience as a human on earth.

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Membership Matters Series: The Goals of Growth (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Ephesians 4:11-13

For many the church is a quaint place where religious people meet. As romantic of a picture as that might be, the church embodies so much more. 

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Christians suffer as exiles in this world (1 Peter 5:12-14)

1 Peter 5:12-14

At the end of the letter of 1 Peter, the Apostle Peter sends greetings to his recipients from “She who is in Babylon (1 Peter 5:12).” This is an odd phrase, especially when one considers that the city of Babylon was little more than a byword, when Peter wrote. However, this brief phrase speaks volumes to those who suffer in Christ.  

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Lead by the Example (1 Peter 5:1-4)

1 Peter 5:1-4

Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People remains one of the most influential leadership books in recent times. Though things have changed somewhat since he published it in 1989, his conclusions regarding leadership trends in America continue to carry weight. Covey concluded that the prior 50-years of American leadership literature was primarily concerned with superficial, quick fixes. However, the unanimous trend in American leadership literature during the first 150-years of our nation’s history was primarily on character ethics. 

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