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Post Category: The Connect Devotional

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The Seeds and the Birds

When we become who God invites us to become we benefit from the growth and we bless our broader community....

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The Swinging Pendulum

Rapid expansion doesn’t repudiate smallness. In fact, smallness is a necessary and significant element of the life of Christian community....

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Grow and Change

Growth brings change. Change brings challenges. Challenges bring choices....

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A Small Seed

God isn’t afraid to start small. That’s how he always does it. ...

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Teaching in parables

What’s your willingness to wrestle with God as you come into this week? ...

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Principles of Community Connection

Nothing can help us connect with difficult people quite like the presence of Jesus....

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The Mirror of Conflict

So often our hesitations about the people we distrust have as much to do with our own fears and pride as anything having to do with “them.” ...

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The Beauty of Gatekeeping

Apart from Jesus, none of these disciples would have received an invite to Levi’s party … and none of these disciples would have had access to Levi’s social network....

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The Zealot and the Tax Collector

Jesus packed a riot into a small group. And that small group changed the world....

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The Taxman

Tax collectors in Judea in the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry had remarkably complex jobs....

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Look at this group

Healthy small groups will connect us to people we wouldn’t ordinarily connect with thought means we wouldn’t ordinarily use in ways that radically challenge us to mature and grow. ...

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An Ordinary Group

The remarkable thing about the men was that they had been with Jesus (see Acts 4:13)....

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Is 12 a magic number?

Did Jesus and the Twelve know some secret to group dynamics and community structure?...

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The Mission in the Middle

From the very beginning Jesus’ small group had a mission. ...

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Jesus was in a small group

He could share more with them by living life with them than by lecturing them....

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He came to serve

Our participation in service gives us a deeper appreciation of the salvation that Jesus bought for us. That salvation works deeper into our souls as a result. And we’re transformed....

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Pursue true greatness

You’re more likely to find the truly great person by looking for someone serving. You’re more likely to grow into true greatness in your own life by looking for opportunities to serve....

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What if you don't know what you're asking?

We have an opportunity to practice the discipline of trust. We can relax into the watchful care of our wise God....

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What would you ask?

Imagine Jesus turned to you and asked you: “What do you want me to do for you?” ...

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Willing to pay attention

As we pour out our hearts to him, he hears us and responds in love. That doesn’t always mean giving us what we ask for, but it always means giving us his best....

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Depending on each other

God’s invitation to “together” is the only pathway to “better.”...

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Sending with authority

There’s no sending without authority and there's no authority without sending....

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Don't go it alone

We need to be “together” in our pursuit of the “better.”...

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Not in a large group

Why didn’t Jesus send them out as one big group?...

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Grit in the face of rejection

As Jesus continued to faithfully visit town after town ...

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Leaving the family business

Following Jesus does, at times, come with a cost. He doesn’t offer us cheap discipleship....

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Drop your nets

Jesus’ invitation to follow him requires us time and time again to leave our nets, to leave behind even the good things that will distract us from following him....

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Go Fish

What do you do when you come to one of Jesus’ metaphors?...

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Shaped from the Beginning

Jesus flips the script. He calls uneducated fishermen. He initiates the relationship. And that changes how the whole thing would work....

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Different and Alike

Every movement has a starting place....

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Coming and Going

Don’t miss his purpose. Don’t miss his invitation....

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That is why I have come

The dance between his Father and his friends, between solitary prayer and community life, that created an environment that was primed for Jesus to discover and rediscover his purpose....

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Bypassing Honor

Jesus’ decision to move on to other towns and villages to preach meant that he wouldn’t be able to stick around to enjoy the honor and gratitude of all of the people he had directly and indirectly helped....

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Prayer and Purpose

God the Son ...

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Everyone's looking for you

How does the tug of popularity pull on your heart? ...

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A Patch of Green Grass

Our world is thirsty for “green grass,” for places where people can sit down together and connect with each other in meaningful ways....

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When God hands you broken bread

Don’t ever think that your small loaf of bread and your few fish aren’t enough to make a difference....

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Why feed the crowd?

Great Bible study involves letting your imagination roam through a text, seeking understanding and insight....

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For the sake of compassion

Watch out for God’s great compassion! His compassion will change the course of history. His compassion can transform your life....

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Quiet and Rest

There’s a rest that comes from quiet and a rest that comes from depending on Jesus. We, like Jesus’ disciples, need both....

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An end of year reflection

A lot of us feel the speed of time as we close out another year. Where did 2017 go? ...

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Reminders from the Margins

Anna’s story reminds us of much we already know but easily forget in the busyness of life....

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Disruptive Discipleship

In the presence of Jesus the ordinary power structures of the world get flipped on their head. ...

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Hope fulfilled

Something came alive in Simeon when he met Jesus....

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Merry Christmas!

Listen for any part of this story that warms your heart toward God and that sparks joy in your soul....

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Find Jesus

When you connect with Jesus, joy follows....

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A Savior's Crib

All too often we bump right up to the threshold of joy and turn back because we see rough wood and straw and very little gold. We need to pay closer attention to find joy, to find our Savior in the manger....

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News Joy People

The shockwave of this good news wraps great joy around the world. Can you feel it? ...

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The Tumult and the Turn

Knowing that you may encounter opportunities to be terrified on your path toward joy allows you to summon your courage and look to the Lord for strength to stay engaged....

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An Expected Surprise

We can look back on this ordinary night and see that any ordinary moment is a moment that could be pregnant with potential for a miracle....

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God's Tender Mercy

Taking a word or phrase like this and reflecting on it and meditating on it (like we did right here) can be a great spiritual discipline. ...

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A Father's Gift

God invites us to be his children before he invites us to anything else. ...

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The Prepositions of Salvation

Don’t miss the full picture of the salvation that God has for us in Jesus Christ!...

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With us for our good

The presence of God in our midst is good news to us....

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Eclipsed by Jesus

John was going to lead an extraordinary life. But he would be eclipsed by Jesus....

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Normal and Unique

God can be at work in our lives that fit the patterns we’ve seen in the lives of other. But he can also break the mold....

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A Disruptive Holiday

Mary had a deep sense that God’s new work in the world at Christmas would turn the world upside down....

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Part of something bigger

God’s work doesn’t start with us. ...

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The song of a grateful heart

Rejoicing sparked by gratitude does something powerful in our souls....

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Break into song

When the emotion is too great to convey in mere words, characters in a musical will sing out. ...

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Presence and Affection

Presence and affection. This is what love looks like....

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No word of God will ever fail

For us to become a people of deep faith, we need to attend carefully to the stories of God’s faithfulness in the lives of the people around us....

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Why the virgin birth?

In the virgin birth we see the extraordinary and miraculous lengths God will go to for the sake of a relationship....

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Doubting the Virgin Birth?

“A simple translation correction,” we think, “could clear up all this confusion.” Except that it doesn’t....

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In real time

God meets us in the real world. ...

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First impressions with Jesus

How would it change your relationship with Jesus if you came to believe in him in the midst of a feast that had been marked by this miracle: turning water into wine?...

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Give thanks today

As Vanessa Williams sang a long time ago: “Just when I thought a chance had passed, you went and saved the best for last.” And that’s just what Jesus did....

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From ordinary to extraordinary

Just as God can take the ordinary and make it extraordinary, he can take the sacred and make it holy....

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When the fun winds down

Jesus kept the party going....

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Tis the Season

God wants to be present in every corner of our lives....

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Spirit and Truth

There’s so much packed into this one tiny verse. ...

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Switchtracking

Switchtracks reveal something about the person with whom we’re speaking. What we do with these switchtracks matters....

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Thirsty

She had such a hard time seeing beyond her thirst. And so do we....

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Asking for help

We don’t like to be vulnerable, to expose our needs to strangers, or to be the one asking for help. We’d much rather give answers....

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Strange Paths

Jesus’ need to go through Samaria had nothing to do with logistics and travel efficiency and everything to do with his mission to seek and save the lost....

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Seeking Jesus

Our obsession with being right keeps us from being loving and, in effect, keeps us from experiencing full and deep and rich intimacy with Jesus....

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Finding Common Ground

Doing this requires courage....

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Check your posture

All too often our conversations across religious divides devolve into petty arguments....

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What about other religions?

People feel strongly about their gods....

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Grace and Mercy when you need them

In our time of need, we need to know that God is at work restraining evil. He’s not absent. He isn’t on vacation or taking a nap. He’s fully engaged....

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Bad stuff and bad behavior

Bad stuff can tempt us to bad behavior....

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Jesus and empathy

Jesus doesn’t just feel sorry for us; he shares our emotional state....

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Centering our hope on Jesus

Centering our hope on Jesus and holding firmly to our faith allows us to reject the unhealthy options that present themselves to us in our times of crisis....

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What about the bad stuff?

When bad things happen, we can find our faith shaken. We trust the Lord, but that trust gets tested. And that’s okay....

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Scripture-induced heartburn

Even the most rational and intellectual among us sway under the weight of our hearts....

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Reflected glory

The Bible’s glory is a reflected glory: the beauty of the moon, not the beauty of the sun. But in these dark days, we can feel grateful for a full moon shining brightly and guiding our footsteps....

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What would it take?

On Easter Sunday, Jesus had been raised from the dead, but his followers and friends were still deciding if they were going to believe the news. How would you help these folks believe that Jesus was alive?...

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History told honestly

Throughout the Bible we see the story of God and his people told honestly, warts and all....

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What about the Bible?

As followers of Jesus, we trust the Bible and allow it to guide both our lives and our community because we believe that the Bible speaks faithfully about Jesus....

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The Neighbor of Mercy

Anyone can be your neighbor....

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Like a good neighbor

The good news in Jesus Christ is that God’s acceptance of us doesn’t depend on our performance for him....

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The Good Samaritan

Stories like these have the ability slip past our defenses. They challenge us without being obnoxious. They give us space to consider a different point of view....

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From Obligation to Opportunity

We’re at our worst when we put our church or our family or our politics above our connection with Jesus. ...

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More than answers

Jesus desires to offer relationship and not just answers. ...

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Questions coming back

When we come to Jesus with our questions, we shouldn’t be surprised when he challenges us in return....

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Questions and Expectations

If Jesus answered the question but not the expectations underlying it, John’s emotional turmoil might continue....

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Lean into the Relationship

Don't keep your questions to yourself, allowing it to smolder and burn up your insides. ...

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Consider the Context

Take some time today to listen to the questions people ask about God, faith, religion, and spirituality...

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Questioning God

The God we see revealed in Jesus is a God who can handle our questions, a God who loves being asked questions....

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Meant for Good

Throughout your life you will encounter people who in moments of foolishness mean to do you harm. Don’t wrap your life around them....

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Playing God

We all have times in our lives when we slip through the garden and grab for forbidden fruit and play God. ...

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Manipulated Forgiveness

Many of us couldn’t forgive others from our hearts except that God is at work in and around us....

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Receiving Mercy

In our relationships with God we’re the recipients of his radical and surprising mercy. ...

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Words of Blessing

When in your life have you been the recipient of words of blessing, of someone with authority in your life commenting on your past, your character, or your potential?...

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Surprised by Mercy

Everyone is surprised by mercy. ...

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A Good Older Brother

We need someone to rescue us from our slavery to anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and pride....

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Coming Unstuck

God can work in a thousand ways to transform the way we see the people who’ve hurt us....

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Emotional Landmines

Our past experiences of trauma can trigger strong reactions in us....

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Justice and Revenge

Justice doesn’t have to come at the expense of your soul....

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At work behind the scenes

This is a God who is worthy to be praised. ...

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What has God given you?

Don’t let anyone convince you that you have nothing to offer. And don’t let the spirit of comparison creep into your heart. Bring to the table exactly what God has given you and do so joyously....

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Generous like him

We’ve seen time and time again how our community generously responds to neighbors in crisis and global needs. We’ve made sacrifices to help others. And it’s so worth it....

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Depending on Others

The myth of the self-made, bootstrap-pulling, hard-working, independent hero stumbles in seasons like these....

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A Pregnant Moment

Tremendous pressures pile up to move the wheels of the world and of our lives....

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The Right Person

Pause for a moment and thank God for putting the right people in your life in decisive moments. ...

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Rumblings in Your Heart

The ongoing rumblings in Joseph’s heart foreshadow an upcoming work of God in Joseph’s life....

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The Second Chair

Joseph leaned in and was faithful to do the work God had given him to do....

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Giving credit

Joseph wants to rely on God. And that’s what makes him extraordinary....

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Waiting

Don’t lose hope if you can’t chart a clear course from where you are today to where you hope to be....

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Be aware

Awareness of God’s activity can boost your God-confidence....

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Whispered wisdom

As you navigate difficult situations and relationships, God's presence can fill you with tremendous confidence....

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Boomerang

Joseph’s past and his present collided. He had a decision to make....

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Paying attention

All too often we get so busy doing our good work that we forget to connect with the people who God has placed in our path....

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Catch

As God poured his blessings out on Joseph, the cupbearer and the baker benefitted as well. This can also happen to us in hard times....

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Integrity's Reward

What happens inside of us when we see people punished for showing integrity? ...

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Blessing and Boundary

God gave blessings and God gave boundaries. Joseph knew that he couldn’t accept one without the other....

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Temptation

With success comes challenge....

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Blessing

The Lord’s blessing on the household didn’t remove Joseph’s challenges, but they did change his experience....

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Presence

Your prospering doesn’t ultimately depend on your circumstances....

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Not Good Enough

Though God is not mentioned once in Genesis 37, we later discover that he was at work all throughout this painful and difficult episode....

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That Dreamer

Let’s refuse to participate in the destructive practice of dehumanization....

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Immature Dreams

Our dreams can reveal our areas of immaturity, as can our way of communicating them. ...

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Against favoritism

Favoritism is one of many broken relational patterns that separate us from each other....

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Past a first impression

We can’t rid ourselves of our automatic habit of capturing first impressions as we meet new people, but we can cultivate habits of attention that allow us to look beyond those initial judgements....

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Not sent alone

The Lord constantly works through communities. For every great figure in the story of our faith, we also find the Lord sending them friends....

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Blessed to be a blessing

As God’s blessings pile up in and around us, we need to share them with others. Only then will God’s blessings to us be complete....

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A Covenant Framework

God holds up his side of the covenant. Though his covenant purposes advance over rocky terrain, they advance nonetheless....

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Go and went

God's invitation stands. It’s our turn to respond. What will we do?...

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An Adventure with God

The adventure of life with God gives us healing and joy and blessing, but it also stretches us. We leave familiar territory, relationships, programs, and narratives behind when we launch out into this adventure....

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Eternity in our hearts

What if the craziness we feel when we’re crazy busy is due to having two different songs playing inside of us: the drumbeat of eternity and the roar of busyness?...

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Beautiful in its time

God has made everything beautiful in its time. Even us. ...

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Meaning

Without meaning, work becomes miserable and we lose our drive....

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There is a season

This burst of poetry reaches out and connects with our hearts. We’re given space to connect viscerally and emotionally with God’s truth about the seasonal nature of life....

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Seasons

God does huge things in our lives when we shift from Now-Or-Never Thinking to Season Thinking....

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A Clear Path

The Lord is the one who makes known to us the paths of life....

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Good Boundaries

Contentment is the fruit of a soul who’s put down roots in the generosity of God....

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The Search for Security

We love hard work. We work hard. But the Lord is the one who holds our ultimate security....

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Evil Sacrifices

Other gods make big promises if only we’ll worship them. They give us benefits in the short-term (sometimes). But over time these gods fail us. And we suffer more and more as a result of our bondage to them....

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God our Refuge

Lean more heavily on God when times get hard....

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Prayer and great work

Calling out to God changes us for the better. ...

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Be persistent

In order to pursue your God-given great work, you need to make more than just one good decision; you need to string together a series of good decisions....

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Your Great Work

Don’t give in to the temptation to compare your great work to others....

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Great opposition

When you embark on great work in your own life, you probably won’t have people trying to get you killed. But it may feel like it....

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Given great work

When we live crazy busy lives, we miss out on the great work God’s given us to do....

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Part of Something Epic

Enter into this passage imaginatively. ...

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Better Together

You cannot go off by yourself and grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ....

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MadLibs Love

Only love can hold us together. ...

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Power for Connection

Paul’s prayer for power which leads to strength isn’t focused on doing and achieving. Instead, Paul wants his friends to have the rich and beautiful experience of intimacy with Jesus Christ....

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A Good and Engaged Father

The special relationship you have with God gives you strong permission to open your heart to him in prayer....

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Don't be discouraged

The reflected glory shines brightly in the dark....

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On display in the church

God’s choice to identify with us was, according to Paul, his way of making his wisdom known to the entire cosmos....

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Paul's big mysteries

We don’t have to jettison our ethnic identities in order to fully participate in the body of Christ....

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Mixing with mysteries

Paul didn’t want the Christian mysteries to be held in secret as copyrighted proprietary instruction. He wanted everyone to talk about these great mysteries....

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Paul's call and ours

Paul had a beautiful call from the Lord. What’s yours? ...

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Creating space to connect with God

God has chosen to make himself know to the world through us, to meet with people through us, to identify with us....

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Tearing down the walls

If Jesus can stand alive on the mountain top, he can bring us there with him....

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Far to near

When Jesus brings us near to God and to other people, he does it in a way that challenges and changes us....

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The Exclusion Experience

In God’s good goodness, he goes out of his way to connect with those of us who live as outsiders....

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Identifying the Divides

Our world is full of divides....

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Good works

God pulls us into his activity....

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God's good gift

Salvation is a gift, not a payment for services rendered....

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Motivated by love

God’s great love for us has the final say in our lives....

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Correct the Rear-View

God changes the story of our past, but he doesn’t rewrite history. He adds new chapters. And each new chapter reshapes how we see the entire story....

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The way you used to be

A humble memory of where you came from ...

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In the highest place

Christ will always be the highest authority. No one will topple him, surpass him, or overthrow him....

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Jesus at the Center

God is at the center of Paul’s vision and at the center of our lives....

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Pray to know

Above all, Paul prioritized knowing God, so that’s what he asked God to do for his friends....

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Giving Thanks

What are we missing when the focus of our prayer lives is only asking for things?...

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Faith and Love

You can’t have meaningful faith in the Lord Jesus without also having love for all God’s people; you can’t have love for all God’s people without also placing your faith in the Lord Jesus....

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God is serious about our redemption

The Spirit is God’s very presence with us. He doesn’t just welcome us to ping him when we have a minute; he wants to spend time with us....

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Hearing and believing

God’s good work in us invites us every day to both hear and believe....

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To the praise of his glory

Wouldn’t you love for everything that’s glorious about God to be on display in you? ...

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The one on predestination

Paul talks about something he calls “predestination” and treats it like good news....

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You are wanted

Adoption is special. The child or person being adopted is chosen, wanted, added to a new family....

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Everything in Christ

Jesus gives us access to every spiritual blessing....

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Grace and peace to you

God the father who welcomes you and Jesus the prince who loves you send grace and peace to you every minute of every day...

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God's holy people

We become God’s holy people only in and with and through Christ Jesus....

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By the will of God

God works actively, daily to shape us into the people he wants us to become....

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Welcome to Ephesians

This week we’re kicking off a new series out of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. And as we get started, it might be helpful for you to learn about Ephesus and the folks who received this letter....

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God takes initiative

God is doing amazing things in the world, unlooked for amazing things. We feel so grateful that God has taken the initiative to bless, heal, and bring about reconciliation....

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Doomed to misfortune

The scope of the challenges that face us when we roll up our sleeve to engage the world for good can paralyze us....

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Fruits of Your Labor

For those of us who labor ...

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Progress toward the Promise

Our tiny acts of service, performed with great love, link together into a great chain of progress. Pulled by the Lord, this chain of progress lifts our community a little bit every day, a little bit every year....

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Sure Promises

God will make all things new. He’s promised to time and time again. He didn’t promise this on a whim. He hasn’t forgotten his promise. He can do it. And he surely will....

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Everything new

Do you believe this is true?...

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Imagine New

God’s cosmic new-making mission will radically change the way the world works....

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Okay

Some days it feels like our sadness will last forever. But it won’t. It won’t. Our Father will stop the madness. He will make it stop. We will wipe our tears from our eyes....

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Experiencing the presence of God

Jesus has removed every reason for us to be terrified of God. So we can go searching for him without fear. And we can find him and discover that he’s been with us ...

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Cosmic New

God’s new-making mission takes place on a cosmic scale. It’s bigger than any of us. We’re so small, but so dearly loved. And this is good news....

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All in Jesus name

The Christian life spills beyond Sunday morning worship, small group life, and quiet devotional emails. ...

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No streaking

These virtues function like clothing. They make it possible for us to be present and un-self-conscious, to feel safe and secure, to feel wanted for who we are and not just for our bodies … for what we can do....

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Putting off and Putting on

You can’t put on your new self without also taking off your old self and being made new....

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Close to Jesus

We have no life apart from Christ. We go where he goes and join him in what he’s doing. He’s not our safety net; he’s on the tightrope with us....

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One Thing

Right now we are called to set our hearts on things above, to shift our focus onto Jesus....

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God helps

Jesus makes us new....

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Giving Back

What have you written off as gone forever?...

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Jesus' touch

Over and over again, in every situation, when Jesus reached out to touch someone who was unclean something remarkable happened. ...

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Collision Course

Who wins? Spoiler alert: Jesus wins. Always. In the end, Jesus makes all things new....

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Ordinary Jesus

We need to know that Jesus is no stranger to our ordinary places....

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Needing Jesus

Let’s not slip into that place where we feel like our good behavior earns us a place in Jesus’ party. ...

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Those People

So many people will say that they like or even admire Jesus, they just can’t stand his followers. ...

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Connect with Jesus

We throw our lives open in healthy and joy-filled ways and invite the people that God’s placed in our lives to join us as we connect with our Savior....

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Follow Me

We must choose every day to follow Jesus....

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Calling the tax man

Jesus changed everything for Levi, as we’ll see this week. ...

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Be Reconciled to God

Being reconciled to God is both a once-for-all-time kind of thing and an every-day-I-live-and-breathe kind of thing....

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Fully forgiven

The barriers between you and a healthy relationship with God have come down. You have no more reason to hide....

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The Ministry of Reconciliation

We have a role to play. God has commissioned us. What a blessing!...

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Reconciled to God

Underpinning today’s passage is the story that tells us that something had gone horribly wrong between us and God....

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Two Realities

Because the new is here, the old has gone. The old may remain for a beat or two, but it’s gone just as surely and securely as if it had already been eradicated....

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The New is Here

Celebrate this. Sing it. Shout it. Write it on your walls. Christ has made us new....

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A New Point of View

The trickle-down effects of our relationship with Christ continue to unfold in today’s passage. ...

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We died

Death in all it’s forms ...

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Live For

Love is not a finite resource, but our priorities do shape the way we express our love. ...

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Talkin' 'bout a Resurrection

They knew their message would seem like nonsense. But they shared it anyways....

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Searching for new

If Jesus can come back from the dead, what is impossible for him?...

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Angelic Guidance

Why doesn’t God make this extraordinary circumstance more ordinary?...

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Time to wonder

Taking time to wonder doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And it’s tough to do in our frenetic, fast-paced, get-things-done culture. But it has an impact....

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Within Expectations

What they found at the tomb didn’t align with their expectations. The tomb was opened and the body was gone....

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The cross shows

You are dearly loved by God. And he proved it on the cross....

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More than Reform

The place where prayer and action meet is a place where we can connect with God....

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Not (Just) a Teacher

Jesus did a great deal of teaching … but his teaching wasn’t what he was known for in his lifetime, what he was remembered for by his disciples, or what from his life has had the most significant impact on the world....

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About a Revolution

Jesus’ revolution is marked by Jesus’ character. His love, patience, compassion, and mercy will come stamped on his every action. He’s delightfully and maddeningly consistent....

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Difficult Decisions

Reflecting on your own decision-making process might help you to connect more deeply with Jesus in this pivotal moment in his story....

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A Connecting Church

The church is more than a Sunday morning gathering for music, sermonizing, and donuts. It’s bigger than us. ...

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Going to look for Saul

Who are the great partners that God has brought into your life ...

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Parachuting in

Barnabas’ posture had a tremendous impact on his experience and on the way others experienced him. We’re at our most healthy when we cultivate a similar posture....

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Outsiders reaching outsiders

It took outsiders to reach outsiders....

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Disrupting Default Segregation

Ethnic segregation, socioeconomic segregation, political segregation … left to our own devices we’ll surround ourselves exclusively with people who look, spend, and think just like us....

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Small Faithfulness

What might God do with your faithfulness?...

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Talk to God about it

The Lord of all the cosmos has chosen to treat you as a friend ...

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Underestimating Jesus

This gap between who Jesus really is and who people perceive him to be shows up for all of us....

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ME

Jesus isn’t just alive on the other side of the cross and the empty tomb, he’s present in the lives of his people. ...

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Prayer for the persecuted church

Opponents to God’s work in the world today can appear in various forms. Some come equipped with little more than snide comments and teasing. Others carry knives, bombs, and the hammer of unjust laws....

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Prayers of Protection

Turn away and pray and it will be okay. ...

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Radical Reorientation

The Lord isn’t done with our transformation at the moment of our initial conversion. Every day we follow him he works in our hearts and souls to change the way we think, love and live....

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The Light Wins

No one is too lost to be found. No one is too stuck to be freed. No one is too evil to be loved....

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Contested Space

Every inch of ground gained by the kingdom of God has to be taken from other little imposter kingdoms....

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Pay closer attention

The miracles earned him a hearing....

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Ready for Opportunities

How do we go from being unprepared to being prepared? ...

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Cross-cultural connection

God’s power is put on full display when his followers cross racial, ethnic and cultural lines with the news and love of Jesus....

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Direction without details

Philip will get more instructions later in the passage. All he’s given to start with is a direction. But that was enough....

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A Dose of Joy

In a world that’s clearly not the way it’s supposed to be, God has intervened....

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Disruptive Forces

God is wildly available to us in these seasons of disruption....

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The Source of Celebration

The arc of the universe bends toward celebration....

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Strength and Joy

Take some time today to meditate on the strength-giving joy of the Lord....

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A Noble Cedar Kind of Church

The Lord’s work in our hearts is to turn us back toward community in healthy and generous ways....

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From Mourning to Celebration

The goodness of the Lord gives us a reason to celebrate....

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After the end

What do you do at the end of a great, good project? We’ve talked about building and rebuilding families, careers, homes, churches, and communities. But what happens next?...

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CC + GG = RR

If we were going to draw it into something like a formula, it might look like this: Committed Community + Generous God = Remarkable Results....

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The Dung Gate

The whole community is blessed when someone is willing to step in and do the work no one else wants to do....

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Women at work

Those daughters of Shallum, those strong women, worked as hard as all of the rest of the men. And their work was noted both by Nehemiah and by God....

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Getting your hands dirty

There is an intimate connection between your willingness to get your hands dirty and your ability to bless people....

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The Lord notices

Your particular part in God’s good work has not gone unnoticed by him....

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Gracious Hand

Nehemiah’s testimony about God’s gracious hand at work for him gave the people the faith they needed to actively move into the future....

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We and Us

“We” creates space for “us.”...

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Telling trouble

Sometimes you need someone to tell you when you’re in trouble....

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Due Diligence

A patient due diligence process prepares us to step into the work we’ve been given to do in a knowledgeable, prepared way....

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Quiet Start

We live in an age that struggles with secrecy....

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The Place for Planning

As people of faith, we don’t have to be afraid of planning. The same God who speeds and catches us when we take our leaps of faith can inspire and guide us when we plan....

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In the beat

The active, rough-and-tumble, dangerous phase of the Jerusalem rebuilding project was peppered with prayer. Connecting with God in prayer filled the beats between moments of action. ...

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What is it you want?

We often are only in touch with the surface of our desires. We rarely dive into their depths....

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Fear and Faith

Fear is not the absence of faith. Even the faithful feel fear. Fear can serve us well, pushing us onto the path toward wisdom. But fear makes a terrible master....

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Positioned Perfectly

We believe that the Lord still does this: he positions people perfectly to pursue their destiny. ...

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The Basis for Our Confidence

You also can store up for yourself a supply of conviction about the Lord’s willingness to keep his promises....

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A Prayer of Corporate Confession

Nehemiah’s willingness to identify himself with his broader family and community in confession positions him powerfully to lead his entire community in mission....

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False Bad News

The Lord is present in our lives and history, whether the news is good or bad. When his people practice prayerful engagement, they discover that their activist God is already deeply engaged: bringing restoration, resisting evil, and generating hope....

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People and Structures

One of the things we love about Nehemiah’s story is that he manages to care both for people and structures. He doesn’t just have warm and fuzzy sympathetic feelings for his fellow Jews, he also cares about the state of Jerusalem’s walls....

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Asking the question

Choosing to care does something in our souls. The Lord works with that choice, enriches it and expands it and nourishes it. Choosing to care slips you into the center of God’s great work....

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Growth and Vulnerability

Life in the church brings our vulnerabilities to the surface. This is perhaps never more true than when a church is growing....

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The Lord's outside influence

The Lord delights to do the seemingly impossible....

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One barrier-breaking example

Don’t encourage people to imitate your behavior. When they’re inspired by the Lord’s work in your life, encourage them to connect with God....

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The Blessing of Community

When the Lord grows a community, when the Lord grows a church, when the Lord grows a person … the blessings spill beyond that the life of that community, church, or person....

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God at Work

The political and military machinations of the world powers look like ultimate powers, but God is also at work. God’s work continues even in seasons of difficulty and uncertainty. And God’s work is the work that matters most....

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Good Soil

There is good soil out there, soil that’s been prepared, hearts that are ready to hear and accept that word of the Lord. ...

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3 Barriers

Jesus insightfully lists 3 things that can keep the word of God from bearing fruit in your life: worries, wealth, and distraction....

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Prepare for trouble

Troubles and persecutions can come as a result of our faith. If we haven’t put down deep roots, our faith won’t survive....

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Hard Soil

The soil on the path has not been prepared to receive the seed....

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Reckless and Generous

God’s kingdom is marked by the reckless generosity of the king. ...

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Particular Purpose

How will we respond to Jesus’ great act of service? Gratitude. Shame. Joy. Confusion. Worship. So many responses are available to us....

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Recalculating Your Route

Will you choose to serve? This is a daily choice, a choice that goes against the grain of the world, a choice that God uses to transform us....

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An Examined Grumpiness

When do you find yourself feeling grumpy about the way other people talk to or about God?...

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A "No" from God

Our prayer requests fly to God, but we can’t pretend to fully comprehend the full impact of each flap of their wings....

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Manipulating God

James and John are comically transparent in their attempt to manipulate Jesus. Aren’t we all?...

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For Seekers and Stumblers

The kingdom of heaven is available to both seekers and stumblers. Some of us searched high and low looking for a place and a community where what God wants done is done. Others of us went looking for friends, free food, and a little spiritual icing on the cake we call life and stumbled into this great and wonderful kingdom that God is bringing to fruition in our midst. God...

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Worth Rearranging Your Life

What do you consider to be so worthwhile that you’ll rearrange your life? This question can give you insight into your priorities, your dreams, and the challenges of your current life situation....

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Comparing and Contrasting Parables

Great engagement with the scriptures begins with good observation of the text. As you read these parables, what stands out to you?...

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Kingdom Parables

The Kingdom of Heaven is worth it!...

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Kingdom of Heaven

How would you fill in this blank: “The kingdom of heaven is like _________.”?...

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Seeking God's Kingdom

What would happen if we all committed to seek God’s kingdom first in 2017?...

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Your Resolutions and God's Kingdom

Every resolution you make in this new year can contain a kingdom component if you are willing to seek it out. Losing weight, reading more, decluttering, taking a vacation, calling your kids … each and every one of these can be used by our heavenly Father to advance his kingdom in our lives and in this world....

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Kickstart change

This time of year many of us will ponder making resolutions to live life differently in 2017. The changes that take place in our lives might have a tremendous impact on our relationships and our participation in God’s kingdom. ...

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Reflecting on 2016

Mary’s practice of treasuring what has happened and pondering them in her heart is a practice that can serve us well in our own lives....

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Boxing Day Rest

Rest. Rest. The weary world rejoices. ...

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Reaching out at Christmas

Who can you surprise with a Christmas invitation this year?...

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Christmas across divides

Our differences don’t go away; they just cease to keep us apart....

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Even for the religious

Wouldn’t it be great if all of us had our eyes fixed on Jesus and our hearts filled with joy? ...

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Christmas on the margins

It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world...

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Christmas is for everyone

Because Christmas is for everyone, Christmas is for you and for everyone you love....

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Christmas tension

Going home for the holidays can be difficult....

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God can join your story

There’s no story that God cannot join....

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Caesar vs. Jesus

Don’t go to Jesus expecting to find a king like Caesar Augustus. He has his own personality, his own priorities, and his own values. The kingdom in which Jesus rules and reigns differs tremendously from the empire of the Caesars....

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God and good outcomes

God is not thrown by the twists and turns life throws us. He can leverage and redeem them. He can see to it that good comes about despite them. And this can help us trust him....

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Unintended consequences

The ripple effect of one small decision can be felt throughout a community or throughout a lifetime....

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The Lord will fulfill his promises

Blessed are you if you believe the Lord will fulfill his promises to you....

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Given spectacular work

Time and time again the Lord has empowered both women and men to speak up in the power of the Spirit and testify about Jesus. And he empowers us today....

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Your faith-giving story

Have you ever considered this possibility: God’s faithfulness to you may be used to bolster someone else’s faith?...

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The choice to give credit

Crediting the Lord is a choice that we make. And it’s a choice worth making. ...

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Disappointment with God

One of the Christmas surprises we have to reckon with this season is the surprise of disappointment. We have such high hopes for God’s work and intervention. But they won’t always be fulfilled....

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Mary's Song

When Joseph found out about the pregnancy, he went and took a nap. When Mary found out, she went to visit a friend and sang a song....

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A simple, mechanical question

God connected with history in a new way in Jesus. He connects with us in a new way through Jesus today....

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The Surprising King

Through Christmas, Mary was pulled into God’s bigger story. And we are too. Through Christmas we’re invited to participate in significant ways in God’s subversive kingdom....

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A Surprising Greeting

You are highly favored and the Lord is with you. ...

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A Surprising Location

What resources do you think are necessary for things to change for the better?...

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Joseph's obedience

In those early years of Jesus’ life, his adopted father sheltered him from political powers that would gladly have taken his life and obstructed his saving mission....

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A Bigger Perspective

Once Joseph received this bigger perspective, his reason for being afraid went away. When he chose to listen and believe, his life changed....

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The influence of character

Joseph didn’t ask for this burden, but he did the best he could to navigate this difficult challenge in a faithful way....

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Surprising everyone

Christmas came as a surprise for everyone involved. No one would have expected God to act in this way....

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Christmas history

God wants to meet us in the real world. ...

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Generous happiness

Our generous God wants us to share his happiness. ...

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Held Accountable

Wherever you are on the spectrum, your relationship with the master makes a tremendous difference. ...

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Hustling and hiding

What are we doing with what God has entrusted to us?...

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Each according to ability

Not everyone starts from the same starting place....

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Generosity and Gratitude

Without gratitude generosity falls to the wayside....

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Sacrificial Generosity

Sacrificial gifts have a deeper significance than gifts that are given out of our surplus; the difference between someone giving you the shirt off their back and a shirt out of their closet....

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Who gave more?

Who gave more: the wealthy or the poor?...

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More than the temple

Place your devotion on Christ himself: the one who made you, loved you, rescued you, and gave you purpose....

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God paying attention

Jesus didn’t just pay attention to the large gifts of the wealthy; he also paid attention to the significant gift of a poor widow....

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Big Religious Show

Healthy conversations about God and money can help us become generous-hearted people....

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Your heart and your treasure

Jesus cares about your “treasure” because he treasures you and knows the impact that our resources have on our allegiances....

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The gift of the kingdom

God has so much more for us than we could ever gain on our own....

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Generosity and trust

You can’t separate generosity and trust....

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A bigger perspective

What would happen if God’s people truly learned to trust him?...

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Worry and Generosity

The practice of generosity can be used by God to liberate us from the weight of worry....

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Our Margins and Our Lord

God is God and we are not....

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Work in the margins

The Lord pays attention to the margins of our lives and those who live on the margins of society....

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The Blessing of Margin

Preserving margin blesses both the people keeping the margin and their community....

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Challenges to margin

Margin ain't easy....

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Maintaining Margin

Few things prove harder to maintain than healthy margin....

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The Generous Image

If we are made in his image, it should not surprise us that when we are living a generous life, it brings us joy, too....

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Generous joy

God is so committed to being generous with us that he starts us out in paradise and secures for us eternal joy at the sacrifice of his Son....

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Generous sharing

God not only makes a wonderful creation, he generously shares it with people that they might tend to it in a way that he would....

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The Generous Maker

You are uniquely and brilliantly designed by a generous God who has stamped you with his image....

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Generous Creator

God has given us signs and signals of his character in the generosity of the wonder of all that he has created....

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Spoil love

Don’t let conflict with a brother or sister stop the overflow of God’s love in you....

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What motivates us to serve?

Fear can motivate us to serve others. So can love. On the surface, you might not be able to tell the difference between the two. ...

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More than words

God didn’t just say that he loved us. He showed us. He backed up his love with action....

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Love starts with God

Because God loves first, God gets to decide who we are to love....

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You need to know God is love

This Sunday we’ll replace our regular worship services with a community-wide day of serving our community together. And this is directly connected to our belief that God is love....

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It worked

The blessed life we experience when we obey God is actually the by-product of something else. Let’s circle around to take a look at it....

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Faithfulness Matters

Faithfulness matters to us because we have a God who has proven himself faithful....

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How will it work?

We may know what he will do, but the how stands beyond our comprehension. ...

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Strange plans

The Lord often works in mysterious ways. That popular proverb prompts peace until you’re stuck in the middle of a weird “mysterious-ways” situation....

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Juxtaposition

God promises to act and invites us to join him...

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Self-protection

Our attempts at self-protection will, at times, interfere with our experience of God. He does amazing things in our lives when we’re willing to be vulnerable to him....

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Worship is warfare

We respond to God with open hearts and are transformed by him. We humble ourselves. We need this more than he needed plans, guidance, or miraculous intervention. ...

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Neither

God is always right and good. And that means that he’s always on his own side....

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Whose side are you on?

Whenever we find ourselves in highly politicized, highly charged environments, it’s entirely natural to want bright lines. We seek them out of instinct....

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What Got You Here

The same God walks with us from season to season but the way we see his provision changes....

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Stones vs Walls

If you compare your small pile of stones to the great structures that cast shadows over you, you’ll miss out. ...

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Story triggers

Symbol and ritual will remain hollow, empty and dead unless they are articulated and explained. ...

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1

Storytelling historians

We carry a responsibility to faithfully pass along what we’ve heard and seen of the Lord....

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Go back

At times this “going back” experience comes to us for the sake of someone else: you go back into the fire because someone you care about is in there....

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Miraculous Experiences

Have you had miraculous experiences with God?...

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At flood stage

Perhaps God had the people cross over when the river ran at flood stage to make it clear to all who were willing to believe that he was involved in this endeavor....

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Wade in the water

God’s deliverance happens upstream. The miracles are decisive. The results are guaranteed. But it’s all happening upstream....

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Present and accounted for

No matter where you wander or where you roam, no matter where your courage-journey takes you, you will never be beyond the reach or presence of the God who loves you....

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Whole-hearted commitment

When the Lord does amazing things in our midst, will we be ready?...

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A Communal Courage-Story

The Lord often leads us to places where our own courage can never be sufficient....

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A Picture of the Gospel

Jesus showed courage. We benefitted....

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Engage the tension

Engaging God directly is the best way to engage the tension we feel when we’re confused by God’s action or inaction. ...

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Aware of the Lord

Do whatever it takes to be aware of the Lord today. ...

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Unlikely allies

The Lord loves to create unlikely alliances....

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Trust Exercise

The path to the Lord’s promise is always paved with risk....

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Affirmation

We all will struggle at times to believe the word of God that is spoke over us....

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The Irony

We can so easily overestimate the level of our obedience to the Lord. ...

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Part of this world

When Jesus saves us and welcomes us into the family of God he begins to connect us with people who are different from us....

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Generosity motivated

God’s generosity toward us motivates our obedience to him....

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Call to adventure

We all will have times in our lives when the Lord will call us to great adventures....

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2

Follow the path

We may not know all the twists and turns that the path will take, but we know where it ultimately leads and we know who walks it with us....

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The purposes of God

Out of trust comes both strength and courage....

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The Source of our Courage

God’s presence fills us with strength and courage. ...

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Will be with you

What could you do if only you knew the Lord would be with you?...

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Filling Big Shoes

Moses was dead....

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The discipline of confident waiting

How can we grow in this discipline of confident waiting when we are in a season where waiting for the Lord is our most faithful option?...

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Both confident and flexible

Confidence and flexibility both stand as necessities when dealing with the promises of God....

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A Primal Fear

In today’s psalm we encounter that primal fear that God might forget or reject us. ...

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1

What are you looking for?

All too often we go to the Lord looking for safety or for victory, but have little desire in our hearts to be with the Lord himself....

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The Lord our Stronghold

David didn’t fear his enemies ...

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Zoom out

Our trust in the Lord also has a direct impact on the people around us. ...

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Remember, forget, remember

David wants to be remembered according to the great love of the Lord....

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Trust and shame

Those who trust in the Lord have a secure relationship with him....

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Who you trust

God alone is worthy of our complete and total trust....

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The Difference Unity Makes

God’s people were always meant to live together in blessed unity. ...

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Good and Pleasant

The life God’s people live together is both good and pleasant. ...

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Not Uniformity

An imposter has stolen Unity’s identity and attempted to pass himself off in her stead....

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The Interruption of Reconciliation

This too is worship unto the God who desires brothers and sisters to live together in unity....

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Journey in Community

The community that ascends the mountain of the Lord together is a community that values unity. ...

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King of Glory

Sing the psalms...

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A Mighty Good Leader

When we praise our earthly leaders, let’s not forget to praise the Lord....

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Blessing and vindication

God has blessing and vindication to give in abundance....

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Clean hands and pure hearts

How do we get clean hands and a pure heart?...

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Everything and Everyone

Have you ever considered the comprehensive nature of God’s ownership? ...

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The Good Shepherd

When we are attacked, he’s attacked. When we suffer, he suffers. And he takes the worst of it on himself....

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Full Life

Try asking for it!...

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Freedom-giving Boundaries

When Jesus gives us boundaries and restrictions, he’s giving a gift to us, not taking something from us....

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Know his voice

Four ways you can grow your familiarity with the voice of Jesus...

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Embracing limits

Humility doesn’t require us to beat up on ourselves; just to be honest about the areas where we make mistakes, fall short and hit limits....

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1

One thing I know

People can doubt your testimony but they can never take it away....

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Whose resources?

All too often we find ourselves keeping hurting and suffering people at an arms’ distance and wishing in some corner of our hearts that we had the resources or skills to help them. ...

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Shifting the questions

God is more interested in redeeming suffering than he is in explaining it....

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Beyond the questions

A real blind man sat at their feet, asking for help....

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1

Free at last

Where will your freedom take you?...

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Real freedom

Following Jesus isn’t easy, but it’s worth it....

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Know the truth

Jesus is talking about three truths: the truth about ourselves, the truth about the world around us, and the truth about God....

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Beyond Belief

If we know, remember, and obey Jesus’ teaching … if we hold to his teaching, then we’re his disciples....

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Belief and Connection

Common beliefs pull us together...

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Mercy and Challenge

Grapple with your beliefs about sin...

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Under one condition

An awareness of our own sin moderates our response to sin in the lives of others....

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The Who Question

All of our hopes hang on Jesus being not only just but also forgiving....

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Surprised by Jesus

As we step forward into the next year, we know that Jesus will surprise us....

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Communal examination

The person who hasn’t practiced self-examination will struggle to experience self-control....

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Going forward

Tomorrow will be Yesterday before we know it....

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You and Christ

Self-examination leads to us to remember the saving sacrifice of Jesus....

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Anchor and learn

Ignoring the past makes you susceptible in the future....

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Take a life inventory

Guided by scripture and the Holy Spirit, we can encounter God in these moments of examination....

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Pray for your community

Let’s think about Jeremiah’s charge to pray to the Lord for the city....

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Engaged with the city

Even though we don’t live in densely-populated, urban areas, we live in the midst of systems and structures that extend beyond individuals....

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Peace and prosperity

God’s people bring God’s blessing to the whole world, even at a cost to themselves....

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Putting down roots

Settling down feels like settling. But God has a purpose for us, a reason he placed us where he placed us....

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Placed on purpose

God placed them in Babylon; therefore, there’s work for them to do....

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The end of James

With these words, James closes his letter....

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Wander not lost

The lost can be found. The trapped can be set free. The wanderers can be brought back....

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Risky prayers

We have to rely on God when we pray big, risky prayers....

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Praying with courage and wisdom

We need to listen to what James actually says (instead of what we secretly hope he’s saying)....

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Inventory your prayer life

James picks out several different reasons to pray and several different ways to pray....

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Rich People

The vast majority of the world’s population lives on less than $10 per day, making us some of the richest people living on the planet today (and in human history)....

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Delayed Obedience

Don’t delay the good you know you need to do today because you’re caught up scheming for tomorrow. ...

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Future Planning

The Lord is free to exert his will on any and all of our plans....

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Fragile Future

Knowing that we are mist-people motivates us to cling to our solid God....

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Talk about the future

If we’re not careful, we’ll plan our lives without giving thought to God....

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No shuffle

We are freshwater people. ...

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Words like God

We are made in God’s image and likeness....

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Why Try

Knowing that we’ll stumble prepares us to receive God’s helping hand as he draws us to our feet to try again....

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1

Spark

Fire in the fireplace can give warmth to the house. Fire in a grill can feed a family. Fire in a lamp can give light to a community. But we must, must, must prevent forest fires....

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The Power of Words

This week we’ll be listening to James’ teaching on the importance (and difficulty) of taming the tongue....

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Deeds and faith

Take a Holy-Spirit-led inventory of your faith and deeds...

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Faith into action

What are some ways you can put your faith into action?...

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Faith without deeds

Why would anyone claim to have faith without deeds?...

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2

Laws and Freedom

James believes that God can use the law to give freedom. ...

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Listening and Doing

Listening is important work. But listening is not the same as doing....

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Favoritism Commandment

How does favoritism connect with The Great Commandment? ...

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Excusing Favoritism

We can find a dozen different reasons to justify our favoritism. But in the end, just like an unhealthy relationship, favoritism will hurt us....

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Surprising Favoritism

When James tells us not to show favoritism, it isn’t because everyone’s equal....

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2

Favoritism Example

We find ourselves attracted to people who are like us and to people who are like the people we wish we were like...

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Going to town on favoritism

Given our relationship with each other and our relationship with Jesus, how can we show favoritism? ...

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Filtering pollutants

We pray for wisdom and courage to navigate life in this beautiful, dangerous world....

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A history of caring

James explicitly singles out the care of orphans and widows in his description of “acceptable religion.” This is not a random choice....

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Doing Good in Hard Times

As the church expanded and grew, their concern for those who were less fortunate became one of their distinguishing marks....

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Worthless religion

James wants his readers to experience the joy of integrity....

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Good religion

This week we’ll be exploring James’ thoughts on religion, particularly the difference between “worthless religion” and “acceptable religion.”...

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God is the source

For James and for us the most important question we can answer is the “Who is God?” Question. ...

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Applying the concept

Applying this “chain” takes some intentional work....

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The chain of temptation

Sin doesn’t exist in a vacuum....

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God can be trusted

Let’s try two thought-experiments....

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The Difference Between Trials and Temptations

According to James, God sends trials but he is not responsible for temptations. That difference may seem arbitrary to us, but it matters tremendously to James....

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Blessed

Blessed are those who experience trials because they get a specific kind of benefit that can only come on the other side of a trial....

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Foundations exposed

During our trials, we need to maintain a firm conviction that God is willing and able to give us wisdom to navigate our difficult circumstances. ...

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Generous with wisdom

Our generous God cares immensely about who we’re becoming as we walk through life....

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What trials produce

Trials change us: for the better or for worse....

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How we process trials

Trials remain trials. Pain remains pain. Suffering remains suffering. But we aren’t helpless....

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Search in progress

Jesus' compassion and love extend even to those of us who cross our arms and mutter in response to his generosity....

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Complicated Lost-ness

Rejoicing is the only appropriate response when someone comes home to God....

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Emotional Journey

But if we push through the valley with faithful endurance, what a joy waits for us on the other side: second chances, restoration, new life!...

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When rejoicing spreads through heaven

God values “lost sheep” so much that rejoicing spreads through heaven whenever one person changes their life course and heads home to God....

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Making a special effort

Throughout his ministry Jesus made a special effort to connect with those who were socially ostracized, vulnerable and far from God....

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The correction of the Father

While the father’s patient forgiveness of the younger son is obvious, it’s important that we not miss that he’s just as generous with the older, self-righteous son....

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More than dignity

“This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”...

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The reputation of the Father

The way people answer the “What’s God like?” question matters tremendously....

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Grieving the disaster

If you have a loved one who has left home for a distant country and met disaster, grief is healthy. ...

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The Generous Father

That’s his reputation. And his core of generosity never seems to be exhausted....

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Self-Righteous Isolation

One cannot be a son without being a brother. One cannot be a brother without being a son....

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Performance v Relationship

Our place in God’s family is secured because of our relationships, not because of our performance....

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Unjustified anger

Feeling anger in the face of injustice or evil is a totally appropriate response. Even Jesus felt anger. But our anger isn’t always justified....

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Beneath the obedience

They stuff their frustration and pocket their pain so that everyone around them can focus on the crisis. But this comes at a great cost to their souls....

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The Pathway to Self-Righteousness

There’s a story behind every self-righteous person’s arrogance....

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Dead and Alive again

Jesus the son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found....

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Rehearsing your speech

The younger son comes up with a plan for how he can influence his reception when he arrives back at his father’s house....

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Come to your senses

Caught up in our own sin or our own busyness or drama, we need something to jar us out of our pattern of behavior....

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The Descent into Darkness

If you’ve ever watched VH-1’s “Behind the Music” you know where this story is going....

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Straining at the Leash

What do you think are the consequences of ignoring the ways our worst nature strains at its leash?...

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Attracting a crowd

Jesus continues to attract people to himself for different reasons....

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Core Convictions

We have to clarify what’s most essential and cling to it...

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Jesus be the center

When we think and talk about breaking through barriers, we must remain centered on Jesus....

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Unhappy Easter

Not everyone’s happy about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem....

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Excited about Jesus

Even when things in our lives are difficult, there’s a part of us that continues burn with excitement for Jesus....

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A Legacy of Intentionality

Our decisions to tear down dividing walls in Jesus’ name will impact the generations that follow us....

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Shepherding a Breakthrough

Barnabas' first response to the breakthrough was celebration....

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Generosity and Accountability

Why did the church in Jerusalem send Barnabas to Antioch?...

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The experience of being an outsider

There’s something about the experience of being an outsider that prepares you to connect with other outsiders, even if they’re different from you....

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Old Habits Die Hard

Something had to change. And something did change....

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Sweet openness