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Bible Reading: Romans 7.7-13

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "YOU SHALL NOT COVET." But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart fr...

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A Good Reminder for The Summer: Don't Grow Weary of Doing Good Part 2

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6.9 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3.13 Paul knew we would be weary living in this fallen world, but he warned us when it came to being tempted with growing weary of doing good. We are called to persevere, overcome and endure ...

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A Good Reminder for the Summer: Don't Grow Weary of Doing Good

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6.9 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3.13 Paul knew we would be weary living in this fallen world, but he warned us when it came to being tempted with growing weary of doing good. We are called to persevere, overcome and endure ...

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Christ Exalted in Life and Death

According to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1.20 Not sure if you have heard of the name Charles Poland yet, but he is the brave and heroic bus driver who was killed while trying to keep a man from ente...

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Love Never Fails

Paul says to the Corinthian church that love never fails (1 Corinthians 13.8). What did Paul mean by this? I believe Paul meant that love never fails in the sense of falling away when the physical and temporal things on which affection rests pass away. The type of love he was talking about outlasts temporal things. In fact, this type of love will never end, but will last f...

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Contentment

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learn...

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The Church's Generosity

For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack." 2 Corinthians 8.13-15. ...

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Servant to All

For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 2 Corinthians 4.5 You and I are called to make disciples in a culture that is perishing due to the blinding of their minds by the enemy. We are called to reach those that are unbelieving with the light of the gospel even though now they might not see it. There wil...

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Resurrection Hope

Brothers, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4.13). Where does the Christian's hope lie? Easter makes hope available to all. As we look at the resurrection of Jesus Christ we see that life on Earth is not the end. In fact, death is just the beginning. This life is a vapor,...

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Necessary

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 1 Corinthians 12.14 Paul, what about the pinky? You will notice...

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Part of the Church: Friction and Fallout

I am not a big fan of the negative. I do not like to harp on it, nor discuss it. I am a half glass full kind of guy. So, to voluntarily write on friction and fallout as part of the church is not necessarily a thrilling topic for me, but a necessary one. In fact, Paul writes to the church at Corinth saying, For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear...

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Glorifying God in My Work

Paul says the overarching priority of a Christian's life is that in Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (Colossians 3.17). The phrase, do all in the name, refers to both representing another or being empowered to do so. So, in whatever we do in word or deed it is Jesus we are representing and by...

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Legalism and Obedience

I wanted to take some time this week and follow up on Sunday's message. Legalism is a great evil that must be put to death. Let me take some time deconstructing itwhile holding up obedience.How do we define legalism? It is the treating of biblical standards of conduct as regulations to be kept by our own power in order to earn God's favor.It is seeking to achieve forgivene...

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Spiritual and Physical Care

But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it (1 Corinthians 12.24b-26). The body of Christ, the Church is...

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Our Advent Aim Part One

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward ca...

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The Spirit of Advent Part Two

I love this season of Advent. Advent is the celebration of the love of God for sinners. It is the love of God that brought Jesus Christ into the world. God forbid that this would be forgotten or lightly considered this season. Instead may the birth of our Redeemer, which redeemed us from wrath, death and hell, be the center of our thoughts, conversations and worship this A...

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The Spirit of Advent Part One

This past Sunday marked the beginning of our celebration of Advent. Advent is the celebration of the love of God for sinners. It is the love of God that brought Jesus Christ into the world. God forbid that this would be forgotten or lightly considered this season. Instead may the birth of our Redeemer, which redeemed us from wrath, death and hell, be the center of our thou...

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More Always Means Less

A couple of weeks ago I was reading a blog of a pastor friend of mine, Andy McQuitty who is battling cancer. His friend Bill Lawrence had written something that he quoted in the blog that has stuck with me. Here is what Bill wrote to Pastor Andy: There's always more out there somewhere. More opportunity, more recognition, more power, more control, more success, more money...

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Reflections on Philippians 1

This Sunday we will close out the first chapter of Philippians. As we wrap things up I would like to reflect on this gospel centered beginning by Paul. Paul has challenged us to truly put the gospel first. Remember this is no little gospel. It is not something we should domesticate, box in or push to the periphery. It should be at the center of all things. It is to be sup...

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Affection and Perspective

Affection and Perspective This morning in my readings I read through part of John Piper's small book, The Dangerous Duty of Delight. I am posed with the question to myself as a result, Do I feel the depth and intensity of affections that are appropriate for God and His cause? So often the Christian life is all about decisions and not necessarily our affections. Peter says...

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Our Response to Regeneration

Our Response to Regeneration Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, you are protected by the power of God t...

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What is lacking?

What is lacking? For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach. Titus 1.5-6a Over the last few weeks we have been asking the question, what is lacking? Have you been asking that personally? I pray that you have been applying the question to your own li...

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Purity is Lacking

Purity is Lacking What is lacking? What needs to be straightened out? Needed in the churches throughout the cities in Crete was purity. What is purity? Purity is freedom from guilt, sin and evil. It is being free from anything that contaminates or pollutes. The church in Crete was lacking in the area of purity, from its members to even those given the platform to teach. T...

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Setting in Order What Remains

If you were to sit back and look at your life, what would need to be set in order? What is not right? What is lacking? What is in need? Those who are in Christ are new. Their mission in life is to be about making things right and to straighten things out according to the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. It is the mission given to Titus for the churches in Cret...

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Sacred Life: Living in the Overflow

It was good to be back Sunday. Thank you once again for the break. We are grateful for your understanding that a pastor needs rest and refreshment. I hope you enjoy our time in Titus as much as I am overjoyed about teaching. The Lord continues to impress on my heart that this is a very timely book for us as a church. As I am in the custom of often doing, I will reiterate w...

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Sacred Marriage: Holiness Part One

God is the doer and designer of marriage. He created marriage, the one flesh relationship, to display His glory and to reveal the new covenant relationship of Jesus and the church. An important element to marriage is the fear of God. For the marriage relationship to be right there must be a reverential awe for God. In Isaiah 6.1-5 it says, In the year of King Uzziah's de...

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That Which is of Most Importance

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain (1 Corinthians 15.1-2). The Apostle Paul was a fervent and faithful evangelist and he wanted so desperately for people to be saved. Here he draws...

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Sacred Obsession

But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6.14 So, what have you been obsessed with this week? Has the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ dominated your thoughts, feelings, time and life? I pray that God would give you a great love, passion, and desire...

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Overwhelmed with Gratitude

Overwhelmed with Gratitude As I reflect back on 2008 I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Paul's words to the church at Philippi, says it well for me when it comes to you. He says, I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now (Philippians 1....

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Weaknesses

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakn...

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Representing Jesus in the ministry of reconciliation

But when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. Galatians 2.11-12 The second chapter of Galatians has many layers to it. As we continue...

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Hating Double-mindedness

For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he (Peter) used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. Galatians 2.12-13 Here in Galatians the scene changes fro...

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