Let Faith Shape Your Future

“He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ ” – Mark 4:40 Today I want to encourage you to let faith, not fear, shape your future. There is something about living a life of real faith. Whether you’re a new or seasoned believer, we’ve all experienced moments when things around us seem to be falling apart — but then something inside us changes and gives way to feeling a real sense of hope. It’s hard to explain why, but you just feel something good is about to happen. In your heart, you believe a door is about to open, or the situation you’re struggling with is about to change.  We need faith to embrace this sense that something good is about to happen. How can you love your neighbor or your enemy without faith? How can you truly love your neighbor, especially

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God Has the Final Say

“Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, ‘I will be king.’ So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. (His father had never rebuked him by asking, ‘Why do you behave as you do?’ He was also very handsome and was born next after Absalom.)” – 1 Kings 1:5,6 When David was a very old man and close to death, his son Adonijah thought that he should be Israel’s next leader and take his father’s place. However, the king had already decided that Solomon, his tenth son and the child of Bathsheba, would be his successor. Nevertheless, Adonijah usurped the throne and quickly gathered a group of officials around him to crown him king and throw him a coronation party. Hearing of this, Bathsheba alerted the prophet Nathan, and the two of them went to the ailing David and

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Who Are Your Untouchables?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:43-45 As we wrap up our discussion about the four groups of untouchables whom Jesus readily touched, we do well to ask ourselves, “Who are the untouchables in my life?” So today, I invite each of us to consider the answer to this question and to look beyond the obvious before we respond. While it’s easy to reply categorically and to list populations such as vagrants, criminals, or drug addicts, I believe we all have a more personal application…if we dare to admit it. Truth be told, for some of us, it would be easier to walk into the middle of a homeless encampment and sit down and eat lunch

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Don’t Worry About Your Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” – Matthew 5:43,44 Yesterday, we talked about how we tend to worry about honor and whether or not we get the credit for our accomplishments. Today, we are going to discuss a third thing that we often fret about — our enemies. What exactly is an enemy? The formal definition is a person who is actively opposed to or hostile to someone or something. In our daily lives, our enemies are those who take a stand against us (or something that we stand for) in a way that is controlling, abusive or unpleasant. When we are insulted by a person at work, or someone in our family takes issue with something that we say or do, we often put that person in

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