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Go, Stand, and Speak (Acts 5:20): Part 1

The evangelistic tenacity that characterized the early Christians is one of the most impressive characteristics that scripture reveals about them. They were persistent in doctrine (Acts 2:42), focused on their goal (Acts 2:46), and bold in the face of adversity (Acts 4:13). They were serious about soul winning and gave every effort to do it effectively and thoroughly. In the beginning chapters of Acts, Peter and John take a leading role. They had preached on Solomon’s porch, been arrested, and…
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Bless the Lord!

Psalm 103:1 is an emphatic and imperative call to praise the Lord. The command implies affection and a sense of gratitude as well as effort and energy. To bless the Lord with all that is within me involves my entire being. Someone may casually remark that they do not get much out of worship. As this passage reveals, that is the case when one does not put enough into worship. The remainder of the psalm identifies a number of reasons…
Loser

Shame is a Good Thing

Western culture has done a masterful job of normalizing abnormal, unhealthy, and immoral behavior. This, in large degree, is due to the fact that we have sought to remove every ounce of shame from our society. Shame is a feeling of humiliation and embarrassment brought about by wrongdoing. Though our world rejects the notion, Scripture teaches that a feeling of shame and embarrassment can be a good thing because it prompts us to turn away from what is wrong and…
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The Value of Human Life

Recent events once again bring the discussion of the value of human life to the forefront of society. The tragic death of George Floyd, the outcry for justice, and sadly, the anarchistic rioting that followed have captured the attention of millions in our country.  These events force us to consider a fundamental question, “What is a life worth?”  Humanity does not possess the right to define the value of life. Creation cannot set its own parameters (cf. Rom. 9:21). Further,…
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Praying Through Controversy

After healing the lame man on Solomon’s Porch, Peter preached the gospel to the crowd that had gathered and many obeyed. Unsurprisingly, the event caught the attention of the Jewish leaders. They arrested Peter and John and commanded them to cease preaching in the name of Christ. How did the church react to this challenge? The answer may surprise you. Acts 4:23-31 tells us that they prayed.  They prayed together (v. 24a). Peter and John “went to their own companions”…
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A Friend Loveth at all Times

Over the course of our lives, most of us have known many people whom we have called a friend. But, how can we differentiate between a real friend and someone who is really just an acquaintance? The story of Jonathan and David gives us the answer (1 Sam. 19:2). The true test of friendship is whether or not a person will stand beside you in the most difficult of times. Jonathan showed himself to be a true friend to David…
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How to be a Mentally Strong Christian

At times, anxiety can be overwhelming and if we are not careful if may consume us.  This is why Solomon said, “keep thy heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). Consider a few suggestions for developing the mental strength necessary to ensure we stay focused.  Trust God. The key to being mentally strong is to realize that our strength does not come from within us, it comes from God. “The Lord is…
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Some Reasons to be Joyful

Christians are commanded to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4) but sometimes that can be difficult. It is helpful to remember the many reasons what we have for rejoicing. Here are three for your consideration.  God’s providential care. Simply stated, providence refers to provision. Consider the various ways in which God provides for His people. Spiritually speaking He has provided “all things pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). We have redemption through the blood of Christ (Eph.…
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Sin Distancing

The emergence of the COVID-19 Coronavirus has changed our world in a number of ways. Though hard to believe, wearing masks, standing in line to enter the grocery store, and toilet paper at a premium have all become part of daily American life. Part of this great change is the practice of social distancing. Health officials tell us that we can prevent contracting and spreading the virus by maintaining a distance of 6 feet from each other, refraining from hugging…
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The Value of a Good Reputation

Solomon said, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Pro. 22:1). We all have a reputation of some kind and everyone has an opinion of us. It is true that we cannot control what people think, but we can control the impression we give them by the way we act. Scripture implores us to recognize the value of a good reputation.  We should recognize that our reputation will not…
mustard

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

If you were to write a book about the greatest kingdom in the world, you would probably say something about a very large kingdom with unmatched military power, an indestructible economy, and a capable king. To human eyes, these things are perfectly sensible but from a divine standpoint, they mean nothing. Jesus promised to build His kingdom (Matt. 16:18) and it is far superior to every human kingdom (Dan. 2:44), but its origin and characteristics are not worldly (John 18:36).…
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Can you Trust the New Testament?

How can we be sure that the New Testament is historically reliable? It’s an important question. Consider three brief evidences that prove the reliability of the New Testament.  First, consider the enormous amount of manuscripts in existence. To this writer’s knowledge, there are 5,748 in Greek, 10,000 in Latin, and 10,000 to 15,000 in other languages in existence. This totals 25,000 to 30,000 handwritten copies of the New Testament. Some of these manuscripts date back to the second century, making…
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