Word of God

Life is Surrounded By Words

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” – John 6:63 Today is Valentine’s Day, a holiday to honor love! It is through the Holy Spirit that we have received the love of God into our lives — isn’t this great news!  The word love is defined as an intense feeling of deep affection. As we think about the power of words, here’s a question for you: How would your name be remembered if it was kept in a jar and put on a shelf? What words will be reflected when that jar is opened? Throughout our lives, the words we use to describe ourselves will change. Especially when you’re designing your life and defining who you want to be. Designing a name is clearly one of the most important things you can do. Only

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Just Go!

“…and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: ‘Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.’ ” – Luke 9:2,3 Today I want to emphasize that God has amazing provision for you and I. That’s why Jesus tells His disciples in Luke Chapters 9 and 10: “Just go and don’t take anything with you.” And at the end, He says, “Were you ever in need?” And they said, “Never Lord, never.” As we live by faith, we can do bold things for God! Hannah and I have a strong testimony of God’s provision. Some time ago, we saved $50,000 for our retirement over a span of 10 years. It was more money than we ever thought we could save. God called us to plant a church, and we did. When we established

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Build Your Foundation on the Word of God

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” – Matthew 7:24 Do you know what a wadi is? A wadi is an empty riverbed full of sand, specifically in the desert and is translated in scripture eleven times. Most of the time, it’s a completely safe place to be. But when a big rain comes and rushes into the desert, it causes flash floods that destroy everything in its path. Jesus taught a parable saying, “Anyone who hears these words of mine is like a man who built his house on the rock. The rains came down, the streams rose, but the house stood because it had its foundation on the rock. But anyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice, is like a man who built

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God Incarnate

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27 Faith is not existential, it’s relational. Many people say that it’s just them and Jesus and that’s enough, but such an approach to Christian living doesn’t really work. This is because we adhere to the doctrine of incarnation, which means that the Word of God became flesh, lived among us, died, was raised, and ascended into Heaven. But that isn’t all there is to the story, because incarnation continued in the Church. This was made clear in Acts chapter 2 when the Holy Spirit entered the body of every single believer. And what it means for us today is that because of His indwelling, when we look at a fellow disciple, we’re not only seeing that person, we’re gazing at Christ within them. Likewise, we’re not just listening to

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The Words of Jesus

“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4 Yesterday, we talked about solitude, the first of three habits we observe as we study the life of Jesus. Today, I want to introduce the second discipline we see our Savior exercising consistently, and that is Scripture memorization. Committing the Word of God to heart was a practice that was deeply embedded in Hebrew culture, and for good reason. Unlike today, when nearly everyone has a Bible in their possession, the scrolls were kept at the synagogue, so memorizing them was the primary way to carry them into daily life. Perhaps this is why every Jewish child was required to commit to their minds the Torah — or the first five books of the Old Testament — while they were still young. If they

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Feet Like a Deer

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.” – Psalm 18:32,33 Yesterday, we talked about arming ourselves with the promises of Scripture, especially in chaotic and uncertain times. Today, I want to look at the result. Though the world won’t stop trying to distract and discourage us, when we live anchored to His truth, the Lord lifts our burdens and enables us to travel difficult terrain with ease. In fact, Psalm 18 says that He makes our feet like those of a deer, so we can scale and stand on the heights. If you’ve ever seen a deer in motion, you know that they are quite large, yet they move speedily, gracefully, and effortlessly. In fact, since their legs are long, they can climb steep mountains quickly

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The Umpire of Your Heart

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” – Colossians 3:15 One of the cool things about walking with Jesus is that He offers us a barometer by which to gauge how we’re doing, and that’s peace. The Bible says that this powerful fruit of the Spirit should have the rule in our lives; in other words, it should be our guide. Fascinatingly, the word translated “rule” in the Greek language actually means to act as an umpire. In other words, when we’re on the field of existence considering our next play and two choices present themselves, we should go with the one that finds our hearts and souls at rest. As we consider the various roads we might travel, it’s wise to follow the path that leads us toward tranquility and not away from

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The Kingdom of No Labels or Limits

“David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.” – 1 Samuel 17:14,15 One of the things we forget about David is that he was young and almost naively courageous. Since he was the last born and lowest on the family food chain, he was entrusted with caring for the flocks. Unfortunately, being a shepherd in his time was the lowliest of professions, and it was usually reserved for eleven or twelve-year-old boys or fifteen to sixteen-year-old girls. Therefore, for David, being a young 20-something man and tending sheep was far from a badge of honor. Though he was gifted in many ways, it seems he was nearly invisible to his father, and his natural skills and abilities went largely unnoticed by his family. Thankfully, he had a deep and soul-building relationship with God, and

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