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Archives for September 2014

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A Relationship Generating Story

The gospel story is a relationship generator. It brings people together across class and ethnic lines, across gender barriers and political divides, even across generation gaps....

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Faith Motivated Service

When God gives us new life in Christ, he doesn't just shape our actions, he also shaped our motives. He does this because God cares about who we're becoming, not just about what we're doing....

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Shine like stars

Where in the sky has the Lord placed you? Where is the Lord calling you to shine?...

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6

Blameless and Pure

When we become followers of Christ, we become children of God. And there are certain behaviors that just are not tolerated in God's family. Paul is helping his friends to see this so they don't get led astray, confusing maturity with grumpiness....

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3

Grumbling and Arguing

Grumbling and arguing reveal what's really going on inside of us. They're red flags, warning lights. They reveal that our process of working out our salvation is going astray. Something has hijacked our working our of our salvation....

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Working out and Working in

God is the primary actor. And all of the important things that happen as you work out your salvation happen in the light of the larger work that God's doing in and around you....

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5

Fear and Trembling

Christ goes before us and above us and beneath us and beside us. Our fear and trembling come from doing our work in front of our Master....

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4

Your Own Interests: Philippians 2:3-4

In Christ, our interests are taken care of completely. He has taken ownership of our interests and has taken care of us. When we know that we're taken care of in Christ, we're free to serve others....

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Selfish Ambition and Vain Conceit: Philippians 2:3-4

Being united with Christ and his mission propels us into ambitions that engage our world for good, to love and bless and serve everyone we can. We don't cave in to the self-centeredness of vain conceit because that is a trifle compared to the infinite goodness offered to us in Christ....

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The Lord My Shelter: Philippians 2:1

The safety Christ provides doesn't mean that we'll never be wounded or that we'll never experience pain. But it does mean that our pain and woundedness don't have the last word on us. Jesus does....

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Courage with Christ: Philippians 2:1a

Paul patiently reminds the Philippians that their union with Christ is a larger, invisible, permanent reality that generates bold courage … even in the face of trials. ...

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Tied to Christ: Philippians 2:1a

Paul reminds his friends of their union with Christ because life makes us all forget. There is a deeper reality than we can see: me in Christ and Christ in me....

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Do not be frightened: Philippians 1:28

Fear drives us to foolish action. When we're afraid of people, we don't love very well. And we are called to act out of faith, hope and love ... not out of fear....

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In a Manner Worthy: Philippians 1:27

The gospel of Christ frees us of our need to perform. We have everything we need in Jesus. And the gospel of Christ calls us to engage the world for good. The way we live seriously matters....

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Whatever happens: Philippians 1:27

We all face uncertain futures. And sometimes, that uncertainty brings our priorities to the surface. All of the "whatever" that can happen can force us to confront what's important to us....

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Receiving Grace: Philippians 1:25-26

Recognizing our need for God's grace is essential if we're going to receive God's gift of joy....

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A Channel of Grace: Philippians 1:25

The purpose of Paul's existence - from Paul's perspective - was to serve as a channel of grace to others....

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Endurance: Philippians 1:20

Many of the most powerful answers to prayer involve the provision of strength to endure rather than provision of a path to escape. Your courage may be a sign that God's people are praying for you and that God's Spirit is at work on your behalf....

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Prayer and Outcomes: Philippians 1:19

The cause of much of our prayerlessness is that we have convinced ourselves that our prayers don't effect outcomes....

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Jealousy and The Important Thing: Philippians 1:18

This is one of the great secrets in our battle with jealousy. If you find your jealousy meter ringing uncontrollably, you've discovered something you've pre-decided you needed in order to be joyful. You're not getting it, hence the jealousy....

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Why the deterrent backfired: Philippians 1:14

Suffering wasn't a surprise twist in their story. Suffering was expected, like a deep darkness before a certain dawn....

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A Different Actually: Philippians 1:12

What if God is actually transforming you in the midst of your pain? What if he's having an effect on the lives of people around you as they witness you walk through your dark valley?...

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