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What Angels See

Ephesians 3:1-13 | God certainly could have chosen to simply annihilate Satan. He had taken all that had been created in beauty and made it ugly and marred. He had taken those intended for intimate relationship with God and turned them into enemies of the very One who had so created them. He had led a rebellion in the very presence of the Eternal Father and caused those be...

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The Peace-Maker

Ephesians 2:13-18 | A simple glance at current headlines indicates that our world is in desperate need of a peace-maker!...

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Building Faith

Ephesians 2:18-22 | “In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22 It’s not about the building! “Being ‘the church’ is our passion. Understanding from the Bible that Christ loves His church, died for His church, nurtures His church, and offers hope to a hopeless world through His church, we deeply desire t...

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New Dawn Sunday

It is the sermon every Bible preaching pastor wishes he had delivered. For 40 years Pastor S.M. Lockridge faithfully shepherded the Calvary Baptist Church of San Diego, California. There were many memorable sermons delivered from that pulpit in those more than 2,000 Sundays. But the most noted of all was entitled, Sunday Is A Comin’!...

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Trophies of Grace

Ephesians 2:8-10 | Legends. That would be the best word to describe us. The Class of ’68 was the MOST talented, the MOST accomplished, the MOST memorable, the GREATEST athletes, the most BRILLIANT scholars, trendsetters long before #trending was added to Webster’s treasury of frequently used words and freshly coined phrases. We were “All-Class” performers! Well…a...

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Out of Africa

She was helping us with a major decision and we began a conversation… I asked, “Where are you from?” “I’m from Africa,” she replied. “I was in Kenya and Rwanda last month. Is that anywhere close to your home?” “I’m from Uganda. It’s a smaller nation in Africa. I usually just say ‘I’m from Africa’ because most Americans think it is just one ...

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What Heart-Eyes See

Ephesians 1:15-23 | We were not alone when we laughed out loud at what the preacher was saying. “Why is it,” he asked, “that we think that in order to appear ‘Christian’ in our decaying culture we have to be marked by our symbols? We have ‘Christian coffee shops’ and ‘Christian jewelry’ and ‘Christian bookstores’ and ‘Christian t-shirts’ and we ev...

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Deliverance: It's All About Him

Ephesians 1:3-14 | It was not a day of joy. It was an annual event both dreaded and anticipated. It was dreaded in that the day would begin with the painful reminder of all the many, many ways that you had failed....

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Orphans No More

Ephesians 1:3-6 | “He predestined us to ADOPTION as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…” Ephesians 1:5 Amazing grace! “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27...

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Free To Be One: The One New Man

Faith Studies Ephesians | “No foreigner may enter within the barricade which surrounds the sanctuary and enclosure. Anyone who is caught doing so will have himself to blame for his ensuing death.” Wall-builders. Boundary setters. Exclusionists. Separatists. Elitist. Us versus Them....

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The Verdict Is In

“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have NOT seen yet have believed!” John 20:29 Eye-witness. First-hand account. Court-side seat. Present and accounted for....

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The Way in the Hay

John 14:6 | “A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely…” Psalm 68:5-6 Pastor Tom from the People’s City Mission will often be heard to say, “The Lord Jesus was born to a homeless family.” His earthly parents submitted to a foreign dictator’s imposed edict and departed their residence ...

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How Shall We Then Live?

John 15 | I’m sure I would have had the same reaction. You leave for the office and come home to find your tree branches much higher off the ground then when you last mowed. Your shrubs are about ½ the size they were when you backed your Porsche out of the garage. Frustration handled with grace ☺....

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Blind Eyes "See"

“One thing I do know, that though I WAS blind, now I see!” John 9:25 | God is writing a story of His grace in each individual life. I was reflecting on some of the stories that must have been told when families gathered for Thanksgiving (Passover) and camped out under the stars together (Feast of Booths) and met together on the way to and from worship services on those...

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The Manna of God

John 6 | 101 Ways to Serve Manna would have been the #1 bestseller on their Amazon website. For breakfast. For lunch. For dinner. For bedtime snacks. Manna morning, noon, and night!...

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With Jesus in the Storm

John 6:16-21 They did not see it coming. It was but a short boat ride on moon-lit calm waters. A long day first meant to be a mini-vacation turned into a meal to be served to 1000s. Now finally they would be able to relax in familiar settings. Rowing was second nature to most of them and mindless activity. So they would spend the hour or so discussing what had just happen...

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Bread for 1,000s

John 6 | The Lord often, in kindness and grace, allows us to “do without” so that we might learn again what it is that we cannot do without! Like EVERY good parent, he wanted to reinforce the lessons his children had been taught in Sunday School that day. So as they drove toward home, my son asked his son, “So, Ian, what is the one thing man cannot live without?” S...

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Lord of the Sabbath

John 5 | It’s not the happy people who are thankful…it is the thankful people who are happy! In the first of John’s supporting signs, the presenting “need” or opportunity was brought to Jesus’ attention by a mother...

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The Case for Christ

John 1 | “This One who became fully a human being is more amazing than you can imagine! I have seen Him. I have heard Him. I have TOUCHED Him! He is the real deal. You have got to let me introduce you to Him!” Such is the passion of the writer of the fourth biblical account of Jesus, the carpenter’s son, from Nazareth. He was clearly “more than a carpenter!”...

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We SHALL Overcome!

Nehemiah 9-10 | “God’s Word will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from God’s Word.” The gathering would have filled more than half of Memorial Stadium. These were the neighbors they had been partnering with for that last couple of months. These were the wives and kids you had teamed up to protect and for whom you labored morning to night. But there you ar...

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Rebuilding The People of God

Nehemiah 8 When the heavy lifting is over, the hard work begins. Building walls is easy. Rebuilding the people of God? That takes time. But revival and rebuilding begins when spiritually hungry people begin to crave and receive the Word of God! The miracle restoration was now complete. 52 days of challenging, exhausting, discouraging, fear-inducing labor was in th...

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Turn Our Cares Into Prayers

Its time to turn our cares to prayers! We were advised to purchase tickets to land in Burbank rather than at LAX due to the turmoil. It was the last weekend of April, 1992, and as our plane made its final approach, the rising smoke from the downtown riots was thick in the sky. From the airport we drove north to our intended destination, only to pull into a completely va...

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Come Together…Right NOW!

Nehemiah 5:1-19 | Sometimes it is necessary to get angry! “Then I was VERY ANGRY when I had heard their outcry and these words.” (v. 6) What changed? ...

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The Best Week of the Year

...VBS at Faith Bible Church! #4thegospel #4thekidz “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…before the days draw near of which you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them…’ Ecclesiastes 12:1...

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Ministry: Non-Negotiably A Team Sport

Nehemiah 3:1-32 The repetitions ring out like rim shots on a snare drum from an impassioned musician! “And next to him…and next to him…and next to him…” 15 times! “After him…after him…after him…after him…” 15 more times! The simple rule of Bible interpretation begins with reading aloud and listening for repeated lines and phrases. In Nehemiah ...

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Pray and Plan

Nehemiah 1:11-2:20 “The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire.” Nehemiah 1:3 The people are in despair and the walls in disrepair. What now? Nehemiah is the final volume of a three-volume trilogy of Old Testament Jewish history....

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Building Faith: The Power of One

Where would one even start? Disaster, destruction, and debris lies everywhere you look. It has the appearance of a bomb having gone off in there! No. I am not referring to your teenager’s bedroom or your “man-cave” at home. ☺ I am speaking of the glorious city of God, the City of David, the place where Yahweh would meet with His people. Jerusalem...

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Shepherdology 101

Acts 20 | Aren’t you glad they no longer record the names of those who fall asleep in church? With Memorial Day a week away, I was reminded of the story of a young boy leaving the Sunday service with his father. As Dad chatted up the pastor, the lad looked around the foyer and noticed a wall hanging with numerous names engraved in brass. Interrupting his father he sai...

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The Way Is One Way

Acts 18 & 19 | “And they took him aside and explained to him The Way of God more accurately!” Acts 18:26 Solomon wrote, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12 His father, David the great king sent a new worship tune over to his worship director including these words, “Teach me Your way, Oh Lord, and lead ...

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Found: God's Will

Acts 16 | “How can I be sure that I know what God wants me to do?” “How can I discover God’s perfect will for my life?” These and questions like these weigh heavy on the minds of many believers. Regrettably, many are caught in the “Paralysis of Analysis” syndrome, unable to make a decision or move forward out of fear of being “out of God’s will” in ...

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What Went Down

Acts 15:36-16:10 | Didn’t see it coming! Fresh off the hi-point of restoring unity and harmony around the centrality of the gospel, the church in Antioch is being refreshed by the blessing of multiple gifted bible teachers ministering among them. And they are also being encouraged by the privilege of hosting the greatest outreach team in world missions history. So…they...

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One Way for ALL

Acts 15:1-35 | “It is finished!” All the plans of eternity past had been effectively executed. The full outpouring of Divine wrath had been absorbed. The eternally condemning debt had been completely satisfied. The price for sin had been paid in full. The ransom cost for sinners had been completely met. “It is finished!” ...

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The Not-So-Good-Friday

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” Mark 15:34 | Judas had kissed him off. Nine of the others had escaped into the night. Peter followed, but from afar. Only John navigated the darkness to remain somewhat near. Suspended on a cruel executioner’s tree, Jesus was alone. Alone, that is, but for the strengthening assurance of His ever-present Father. That is u...

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Hosanna! Save Now!

Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, John 12 | They all began chanting the same thing, over and over and over again. The anger and frustration of years of hoped for change seemed to rise to a crescendo this morning outside our city. Authorities desperately worked to quell a swelling riot. It all seemed to start just over the ridge of Mt. Olivet outside the home of a family who ha...

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Reaching As Many As Are Called

Acts 14 | The gospel brings division. Always. Those who receive it find themselves overflowing with irrepressible joy. And those who reject it find themselves overwhelmed by jealousy. It can’t be any other way. In the hearing of the gospel there is no place for neutrality!...

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Possibilities Africa

“And there was an Ethiopian, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasures…and beginning with this Scripture, Philip told him the good news about Jesus…and the Ethiopian went on his way rejoicing!” Acts 8...

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Who Calls? Who Sends? Who Goes?

Acts 13-14 | “I just wish I could know what the will of God is!” “If only God had a Twitter feed…I would know what His will for me is.” “Why can’t God simply send me an e-mail telling me what He wants me to do?” “I’m looking for an Apostle Peter sort of vision, then I would KNOW what God’s will for me is!”...

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A Hinge in History

Acts 11:30-13:4 | First the finance team, then the teaching team! As Dr. Luke penned his documentation of the “Earthly Life and Ministry of Jesus of Nazareth: The Sequel”, it must have read almost inverted. “One who is faithful with very little is also faithful with much…if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the TRUE ri...

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CHRIST-ian: Say It With a Slur!

Acts 11:19-30 “And when he came, he saw the grace of God…” Responding to rumors that there was a growing number of “Jesus followers” in the Gentile city of Antioch, the leadership in Jerusalem determined to send a trusted leader to check things out. After nearly two weeks travel, Barnabas arrived in what would be the “New York City gone Las Vegas” of hi...

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Good to Grace

Acts 9:32-11:18 His seven-point sermon would prove to be the breath of life a "good man" was dying to hear! God shows NO partiality Christ is that God incarnate This Jesus came to set people free The ones He came to deliver murdered the giver of life He terminated the power of death Our Jesus is Good News to EVERYone EVERYwhere By grace alone He forgives every si...

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Life Out of Death

“I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say ‘yes.’” Bob Goff, Love Does...

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Silence a Messenger, Scatter the Message

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church!” -Tertullian in 197 A.D. They died the day after my sixth birthday. My Dad and Mom’s response is burned into my memory! Five young men with incredible gifting, Christian “Ivy-League” training, and irrepressible drive bled to death in the Ecuadorian jungle on a 200 yard long sand-bar they had nicknamed...

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Something2Die4

Acts 6:8-7:60 It was obviously the fruit of Children’s Ministry! A “shout-out” to every Awana leader, every nursery worker, every children’s Sunday School, every behind-the-scenes servant who makes VBS such a memorable week, and to every exhausted children’s camp sponsor. To you we give a long, drawn out, loud and raucous standing ovation. As Paul said to t...

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Seven Select Servants

Got people? Got problems! #Leadership101 “And it came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from morning until evening” Exodus 18 On the other side of incredible victory/success/blessing will predictably come a season of struggle. Satan refuses to retire from the business of seeding discontent and disunity among t...

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Theocracy "Trumps" Democracy

Isaiah 9 ‘Tis the season! After each candidate debate, the news writers have responded by publishing “fact-checker” reports. Wild accusations. Elaborate claims. Unsubstantiated accusations. Impossible promises. Distorted “truths.” Such are the stock and trade of the political process of democracy....

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A Cradle, A Cross & A Crown

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.” Isaiah 9:6 Keeping it simple...

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No Other Name

“And the top 5 names for baby boys in 2015 are…” 1. Noah 2. Liam 3. Mason 4. Jacob 5. William These are followed by Ethan, Michael, Alexander, James, Daniel, etc....

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Short-Changing God: Don't Be That Guy!

The heart of the matter is really a matter of the heart! “Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God…Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit to the test?” Acts 5:4,9 ...

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When The Spirit Speaks

Keeping it simple… When I am filled with the Spirit, I speak courageously of the saving power of grace of the Lord Jesus Christ: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12...

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The Indispensable Spice of Life

Pastor Wiersbe had a standard joke. Wherever we would meet him, he would repeat the story. I guess just seeing my face made him think “Baptist” or something ☺. “Hey Tom! How many Baptists does it take to change a light bulb?” Then with the appropriate pause (Betty says he was a comedian in high school so his timing is impeccable!) “CHANGE?! CHANGE?!” he would...

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3000 Baby Christians: NOW What?

Acts 2:37-47 | “Congratulations, Dad, you have a healthy baby boy!” Now, those were the days when delivering babies was a private activity...

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What’s That You Say?

Acts 2:1-36 | The “normal” Christian life is simply making much of Jesus. We’ve made it a “mystical” sort of thing. We know it’s important, but we aren’t quite sure what it really is. We are pretty certain that we should “ask for it” but we don’t know exactly how to ask. Bottom line, the “filling of the Spirit” is a nice theological expression that ...

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Acts: Loving HIS Church

Luke 24:44-53 & Acts 1:1-14 | “I love my church!” You’ve obviously seen those signs along the curbs of our city. You’ve seen it printed on t-shirts and read it on the bumper-sticker while waiting for the light to change. I have to admit, I have been very tempted to order a bunch of those signs for FBC! “I LOVE my church…FAITHBIBLECHURCH of Lincoln!”...

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Vertical Church

Ephesians 3:20-21 | Perhaps it is time for our church to do a “Tebow”! “We are so excited about what God is doing here. In fact, the whole world of evangelical churches is looking to us, contacting us, learning from us. Incredible things are happening here and you are all a part of it. This morning I want to just tell the story again and let you know of the great thi...

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BodyLife 101

Ephesians 4:1-16 | Here’s to all who feel used, overlooked, unnoticed, under-appreciated...

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What We're Into

Colossians 1:24-29 | At Faith Bible Church we are radically committed to “bringing all to maturity in Christ Jesus” which means we are radically devoted to the ministry of the Word in age/stage appropriate delivery and with the personal touch of one who cares!...

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Labor of Love

Acts 13:48 | Adoption is the decision to make room in one’s heart and home for another and to place that child into the position of total equality with all the “natural born” children of the home. A son or daughter for life!...

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Faith On Mission 2015

Matthew 28:18-20 & Acts 1:8 | I have learned to read a book with much more skill than before. I used to begin by flipping it over to see who “endorsed” the work, then taking time for the “Forward” before moving to the “Introduction” as the prelude to dipping into the first chapter. I would read thoughtfully, snagging and seeking to retain the details as the nar...

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Grow2Gether

Hebrews 10:23-25 | At lunch with several other pastor friends yesterday, a repeated theme of concern was heard: “I’m sorry that we haven’t been in church more consistently of late, Pastor, but we have kind of decided to move our membership to a place where we just feel a little bit more comfortable. We just haven’t felt ‘connected’ so much of late and thought t...

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It Really IS All About Me!

John 5:39 | It is far too easy to read the Bible in the wrong way. I was a classic mid-20th century Pharisee. Ouch! I hate to even type that—but the truth is the truth. My family tree was a legacy of Jesus-followers. Our expressions of faith varied from generation to generation and, depending on which side of the family line you were looking, there were certainly some ra...

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Nehemiah: Faith Rejoices

Nehemiah 12:43 | It opens with a hi-ranking dignitary sliding deeper and deeper into a pit of despair. It closes with an irrepressible celebration that echoes internationally. But in between were great valleys, mountains of discouragement, blood, sweat, tears, conflicts, and all other manner of trials....

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Uzziah: Faith Humbles

2 Chronicles 26/Isaiah 6 | Prosperity not poverty may be the greatest challenge to your faith! As we rise from “no-thing” and “no-body” to begin accumulating stuff and receiving awards and accolades, it becomes a great challenge to maintain a genuine spirit of humility. Pride is both the first and the final expression of the depravity of our hearts....

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Solomon: Faith Inspires

1 Kings 3 | It's not so much how you start, but how you finish that really matters! Be honest…you HAVE thought, “What if I could have ANYthing I wished for? What would I request if that proverbial "genie" suddenly appeared before me and granted me one wish?” (Hint: Don’t wish for a million bucks—they don’t do nice things to lawns!)...

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Free Indeed!

Galatians 5 | "It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set you FREE!" Freedom is a luxury that is highly under-rated. The privilege of coming and going, planning and practicing, choosing and changing the mind, doing whatever is on your heart to do, and to execute your own plans with liberty—a luxury that is regrettably highly under-rated. Unless, of course, you have lived life...

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Jonathan: Faith Encourages

1 Samuel 19-23 | It sounds really good, in theory. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Sounds good—that is until......

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Samuel: Faith Speaks

1 Samuel | One of the great marks of a Godly leader is the ability to “truth in love.” Ephesians 4:15 Her heart was so heavy with longing as she poured out her sorrows to the Lord that, though her lips would move, no words could be heard. And the watchful priest totally misread what he saw....

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Ruth: Faith Redeems

Ruth 1-4 | She was only saying what everyone else was thinking. Nana asked her, “What are you doing?” She replied, “I don’t like this song, so I’m sitting down.”...

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Gideon: Faith Finishes

Judges 6-8 | Many start well. Few finish well. Simply repeating the closing line brought immediate recognition for two decades at the end of the past century. His broadcast hit the public airwaves in 1976 and Paul Harvey became a household name. Major names or events would be masterfully highlighted in engaging dramatic fashion....

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Deborah: Faith Delivers

Judges 4-5 | The proper question would have been: “How did we get into this mess?” The repeated question, however, became: “Who will get us out of this mess?!”...

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Caleb: Faith Conquers

Numbers 14 & Joshua 14 | “A man has joy in an appropriate answer, and how delightful is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:23 The sounds of silence must sometimes be broken. Knowing how to hold one’s tongue and having the wisdom to know when to speak is a mark of maturity and a testimony to wisdom....

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Joshua: Faith Serves

Deuteronomy 34:9 | It has been said that the most difficult instrument to learn to play well is “second fiddle." The art of assuming a subsidiary role to another is a great test of one’s pride, flexibility, strengths, will, and humility....

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Moses: Faith Knows

Deuteronomy 34 | Great leaders dedicate themselves to the practice of certain disciplines. They do not commit to these simply to expand their influence but rather for personal strength. When they devote themselves to these practices, those they lead cannot escape the evidence....

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Pilgrims, Pearls, Promises.

Matthew 7:1-14 | Three of the most “misquoted/misapplied” statements of Jesus ever! • “Don’t judge so you won’t be judged.” • “Don’t throw your pearls in front of pigs.” • “Whatever you ask God for He will give you!”...

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Of Dogs, Pigs, Pearls, and Judgmentalism

Matthew 7:1-6 | He became the poster boy for “foot-in-mouth” disease! Here's how it all unfolded. His “pastor” made an appointment to visit him in his home. Getting into the schedule of such a busy man was no simple task, but apparently the request made to the executive’s secretary convinced him/her that this was an important matter. So, understanding both the t...

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Anxiety Attack(ed)

Matthew 6:25-34 | “Mom, it really doesn’t matter. I will just die and they will put my stuff in a box and someone will buy it for a quarter!” Jesus warned about three things that, if not monitored carefully, will choke out one’s spiritual passion. Matthew 13 unfolds the story of a farmer who plants his crop in the ancient manner of just “casting the seed” and l...

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From Forgiven to Forgiving

Matthew 6:9-14 | He did not “forgive and forget.” Somewhere along the line we have gotten this “impression” or even been “taught” that when we forgive an offense we forget the action that caused the injury. Yet, even when we have truly “forgiven” we often find that the memory of the pain remains....

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Parental Pride…In a Godly Sort of Way

It is a rare blessing to witness the testimony of a “seasoned saint”, and especially one who has already celebrated his 80th birthday. Who can forget the joy of the baptism of Howard Pool as he declared his trust in the Savior and expressed his desire to set the example for his children and grandchildren to follow—and then to hear Howard declare that he had long pray...

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Living Lessons from the Homeless

Psalm 90 | “Just when one’s body is growing most unreliable, one’s understanding is becoming its greatest.” Some lessons simply cannot be learned from a book. Some insights will only be discovered and comprehended through the challenges of living. The most profitable “take-aways” on life will most likely be marked by scars. So if we truly want to understand the...

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Getting to the Heart of Christmas

Sometimes the mysterious plans of God means obedience that defies understanding and stretches well beyond the comfort of rational explanation. Sometimes He leads you out on cliff of exposure and vulnerability without a “chicken-exit” in sight....

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Building Faith Opportunity

We, the Faith Family, have been presented with another glorious opportunity to participate in a miracle of God’s provision. We get to experience some of the wonder and joy of the newly liberated Children of Israel who were so excited about being a part of what God was doing that they joyfully and hilariously gave of their limited resources to see God’s work accomplishe...

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Thank You

Desperate, despairing and dying, they found a common voice. “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Until you recall what and where you were, then compare it to what and where you now find yourself, you may find “thanksgiving” a forced activity....

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Loving Those You Love To Hate

Matthew 5:43-48 | You could almost feel the relief in the room. I had poorly planned our message and had over-extended my reach. We read the entire text, but unpacked only the first half of the sermon. It was bad enough that our rights of dignity, possessions, freedoms, and bucks had to be laid on the altar of Christian service, but love our enemies?! It might be a step fu...

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Yes. No. Period.

Matthew 5:33-37 | “I’m not goin’ to lie to you.” That classic line will, for all times, be the first memory I recall of most conversations with one of my grandkids in the early adolescent season of life....

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Faithnotes: October 24, 2014

Radical Purity Matthew 5:27-32 There are six "it is good" 's and then a singular "it is VERY good" followed by a first-time "it is NOT good." That's where it was; that's where it began, but that's not where we find it today. "As more say 'I don't' to marriage, it's time to reinvent the institution." (Headline this week in the Lincoln Journal-Star) The article then goes ...

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Faithnotes: October 17, 2014

The 10-Count Won't Do Matthew 5:17-21 Wonder what would happen if there were only one place to go for worship? No denominational options. No diversity of worship styles. No specific preacher personalities. No distinction in facilities. Just one, one place to go to worship. The reality is, probably few of these other things would matter. What WOULD matter is what to do w...

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Faithnotes: October 10, 2014

How to Read Your BibleMatthew 5:17-20 "The Little Book of Big Promises""Every promise in the Book is mine!" Such pithy tweetables have sold thousands of little paperback devotionals, wall hangings beyond number, and led to humorous and many times disastrous results. For instance: Brian was from southern California. He came to Bible College in the Rockies after time in t...

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Faithnotes: October 3, 2014

The only message worthy of proclamation is a message that begins and ends with "grace." In preparation for my part of the "Colossian Experience" this weekend at Heritage Bible Church, I have been immersing myself in the final chapter of Paul's great letter of clarification, correction and encouragement. I have jokingly said that I get the honor of preaching the last sermo...

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Faithnotes: September 26, 2014

Shine On! Matthew 5:13-16 Total black out. Can't see one thing. Put your hand a couple of inches in front of your facenothing! There is nothing quite as unsettling as being in absolute, total darkness. When you have followed your guide down into the bowls of the mountain, they shut off the lights in Wind Cave. And it is TOTAL black out! It's difficult to comprehend the ...

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Faithnotes: September 19, 2014

BE-attitudes: Part 2 Matthew 5:3-12 Living out the Sermon on the Mount can be costly, just ask the guy with the bloodstained donkey saddle! Preachers have to preach sermons. They must begin on Sunday evenings reading the scriptures, noting the settings and the contexts, noticing the unique details and narrative twists. They have to start the preparation process early be...

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Faithnotes: September 12, 2014

BE-attitudes Matthew 5:3-12 It's really not what you DO that gets you in trouble. It's what you ARE. Spiritually bankrupt and recognizing it Grieved by personal sin and hating it Humble view of self and embracing it Passionate for righteousness and pursuing it Feeling the need of others and meeting it Authentic in motive and showing it Seeing a broken relationship and ...

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Faithnotes: September 5, 2014

Jesus Chose WHO?!? Suddenly, by a simple act of faith, the dreaded traitor becomes a new man with a new name and representative of a new and welcome message! The very word floods your world with breath-robbing anxiety. As soon as it is stated, you find yourself feeling guilty and defeated. You immediately shift into fighting mode and begin to defend your character! For...

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Faithnotes: August 29, 2014

Don't Waste Your Work Colossians 3:23-4:1 Three indicators that I am spending my time at work rather than investing my work. 1. When getting more stuff is what motivates me to get up and go.2. When I can't wait for closing time so I can get away from my associates.3. When my mental calendar reflexively calculates the days till I am free to just play more rounds or gathe...

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Faithnotes: August 22, 2014

No Free Lunches! "There are no free lunches!" These pointed words of life-preparatory advice have echoed down through many generations as parents seek to motivate youngsters, employers seek to stimulate employees, and professors seek to educate learners. "There are no free lunches!" Butthat has not ALWAYS been the case. I'll bet that after a while, even the simple task o...

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Faithnotes: August 15, 2014

Great News for Great Sinners "On one end you walk in a quiet and undisturbed glorious garden, fresh as life with its pure and endless stream flowing through its center. At the other end, you revel in an alive and energized city with an impeccable river-sustained garden around which it is built. But in between, you struggle to stay focused as you slug your way through a ...

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Faithnotes: July 11, 2014

The4Before Matthew 1 He planned it that way! They mocked Him by calling Him the "friend of sinners" but He had chosen to become the "Son of sinners" long before. "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways."Or "Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart."God is nothing if He's not mysterious. He does things in unique, unpredict...

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Faithnotes: July 3, 2014

The Old Testament Woman at the Well Joshua 2 Sometimes your world must crash down around you before you can find yourself free! Noah needed the cleansing of a universal flood.The citizens of Babel needed a confusion of communication.Abraham needed total relocation.Lot needed fire from heaven.Jacob needed an all-nighter with a stronger opponent. Her reputation was woven...

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Faithnotes: June 27, 2014

RESCUE: Limping For Joy Genesis 32 When you wrestle with God, you only really win when you lose. #AskJacob He is God and we are notthe secret to our struggle with God. We have our plans. We nurse our dreams. We live in grand expectation of what we will be and how we will make that happen. But then, a speed bump or two enters our path. A surprise. A sudden interruption....

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Faithnotes: June 20, 2014

RESCUE Relapse "Abraham Exposes King Abimelech to the King of Kings Genesis 20 I gotta say, this text is one of the most amazing, instructive, convicting, revealing, discouraging/encouraging, jaw-dropping passages in all the Bible! And regrettably, totally over-looked by most of us. So Just three (3) 'heads-up' notes from this Sunday's message: #1 The Righteous Live B...

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Faithnotes: June 13, 2014

faithNOTES June: Friday the 13th The predictable Father's Day message begins with, or at least includes within it, a phrase like this: "We teach the children what their Heavenly Father is like by being good earthly fathers to them." And suddenly the guilt trip has begun! Jesus said we should begin our worship with that name. Paul declared that we could address Him with ...

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Faithnotes: June 6, 2014

RESCUE2014 "The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him." It is often in the mundane traffic of relationships that words are spoken which burn deeply into the heart of another. Yet the one who spoke them has neither recall of the event nor awareness of its impact. Such was an unfortu...

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Faithnotes: May 30, 2014

Live As Immoveable "I have written to you briefly, exhorting and declaring that this IS the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!" 1 Peter 5:12 A bad day for me is when my 2nd vehicle is scratched in the parking lot as I follow my grandson through 18 holes of state golf tournament competition. I've got to be blunt, I have no idea how to read 1 Peter with my middle-Americ...

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Faithnotes: May 25, 2014

Live As Leadable 1 Peter 5:1-5 One of my heroes of Christian Education expressed it profoundly in this way: "You can impress people from afar. But you impact people up close."Howard Hendricks My image of a shepherd was a portrait of one who was "large and in charge." I had memories of the shepherd and sheep artwork that hung in my grandparent's home. I had been conditio...

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Faithnotes: May 9, 2014

#LiveAsLoving 1 Peter 1:21-22 / 4:7-11 "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins." One day on the beach, a fisherman met a carpenterand life would never be the same! Somehow, this "chance" meeting actually turned out to be a Divine appointment. For it was not long before both carpenter and fisherman would leave their particular...

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Faithnotes: May 2, 2014

#LiveAsConquerors 1 Peter 4:12-19 Even in the greatest of sorrows, God can give His own something to sing. Stephen called them out and it cost him his life. "Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute?" Acts 7:51Exhibit A: They threatened him They mocked him They hit him They restricted his movements They burned his message They put him in public stocks They i...

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Faithnotes: April 25, 2014

#LiveAsBlessed 1 Peter 3:8-9 "It's the way we maintain our relationships that makes Christians stand out as different in their world." You know, it's hard to stand out as "different" in your world without coming across as weird or as a total geek. Some try it with the kind clothes they wear. Others do it with the kind of transportation they use (think Amish buggy here)....

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Faithnotes: April 18, 2014

A Man Hard to Offend John was not offended. John was forever blessed! Meteoric fame and unquenchable gospel boldness took him from the freedom of the open wilderness to the darkness of the dungeon. Just three decades into his life and only months into his career, suddenly the booming voice was silenced. Being too busy to sit in on the "Friendship Evangelism" seminar and ...

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Faithnotes: April 11, 2014

You ALONE Can Rescue #Rescue2014 Have you ever said that word? Has the pit of your stomach, the ache of your heart stirred your lips to form that word? The weight of the boot of Rome was heavy on their necks. The shame of oppression and occupation was more than they could carry. The rituals of their religion left their hearts cold and hungry. The pit of their stomach an...

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Faithnotes: April 4, 2014

How to Get Along Even When You're Not The art of doing marriage God's way 1 Peter 3:1-9 Marriage relationships are hard because sin is real. Even "ideal" marriages face trials and struggles. No sooner had the ceremony ended and suddenly the glow of new marriage faded. She brought him lunch and the story of human history took a horrible turn toward disaster. He blamed h...

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Faithnotes: March 28, 2014

God, give the Church more marriages like this one! This hard-working, faithful, serving couple raises the bar for all who follow. God, give the Church more marriages like this one! Together they were fully devoted to the Word. They embraced its every truth and made it a priority to rightly apply what they learned. The "order of creation" and their distinctive roles and r...

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Faithnotes: March 21, 2014

Can This Marriage Be Saved? It cries out for pity. Any normal human heart would be moved to at least SOME measure of compassion. A newborn baby girl simply discarded in blood-soiled rags, crying by the edge of the road. Her parents had hoped for a son and received a girl instead, so they left here there to be taken in by another or even simply to die. It cries out for pi...

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Faithnotes: March 7, 2014

Father of the Bride Genesis 2:21-22 It really WAS a funny movie, and it was cheap, too! Thanksgiving afternoon and the family thought it would be "fun" to all go together to a movie. Especially good idea if Dad was paying! So, being the generous spoiler of kids that I am, I said I would take everyone to whatever movie they could agree onat the Starship Theatre ($1.75 per...

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Faithnotes: February 28, 2014

March Mayhem: Marriage on Mission Spoiler Alert! All during the Sochi 2014 Olympics my phone news updates began with this warning: Spoiler Alert! The idea being, if you wanted to enjoy the replay of the day's competitions and live in the anxiety of suspense, read no further. So here's your warning: If you want to sit through the next several weeks of Sunday Gatherings at...

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Faithnotes: February 21, 2014

A Bold Case for Joining the Children's Ministry Team! #Rescue2014 "God gloriously and graciously saved me from drug addiction, alcohol, adulteryat age six years old!" I was shocked, TOO, when I read that line! As evangelicals, we seem to have become "addicted" to testimonies of rescuing grace that require incredible levels of depraved behavior so as to make more gloriou...

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Faithnotes: February 14, 2014

Evidences of Rescue "If I walk the talk, it's a saving faith I possess." It jumps out in the middle of the text. It really sets you back on your heels. You see it and sort of skim over it, but something about it draws you back to "You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons ALSO believe, and shudder"-James 2:19. There it is! From the pen of the half brother of...

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Faithnotes: January 31, 2014

#Rescue2014 "Making men, not moving people"the mission of Christ's Church in the world, or as Pastor Hybels states it, "The Church is the hope of the World." In her the Lord has vested the only message of life that can rescue lost peoples. To this Church the Lord Jesus Christ commands, "Go into all the world and make disciples"Matthew 28:20 So, where do we begin? What is...

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Faithnotes: January 24, 2014

Rescue We win! Thought it would be good to start with the finish line. Now the era of DVR not only lets us skip the commercials (not the Super Bowl ones!) and experience the event even if we missed its live occurrence. BUTit also creates a new tension. Someone who actually SAW the live program may slip up and tell us who won and by how much they won, BEFORE we get to liv...

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Faithnotes: January 17, 2014

#foundhome1 Peter 2:25 "You were strayingbut have now returned" Sometimes the "prodigal" stays home You love the story. It might actually be YOUR story! Frustrated second born Claustrophobic under family restraints Antsy for "worldly" experience Enabling parent Bag of cash "I'm outta here!" departure As the rebel leaves the "nest" his eyes are wide with anticipation an...

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Faithnotes: January 3, 2014

Church, I am hesitant to simply "cut and paste" faithNOTES and thus become lazy in my own thinking, processing and shepherding. But sometimes God brings a useful word across my path that simply must be shared. So to encourage us to approach 2014 with intentionality, I give you these insightful resources from Dr. Donald Whitney. I trust that 2014 WILL be the greatest year o...

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Celebration: The Faith Harvest of Souls!

"God be gracious to us and bless us,And cause Your face to shine upon usThat Your way may be known on the earth,Your salvation among all nations.Let the peoples praise You, O God;Let all the people praise You.Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;For You will judge the peoples with uprightnessAnd guide the nations on the earth.Let the peoples praise You,The earth has ...

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