Consistent Worship

By , December 12, 2018

“From there he went on toward the hills
east of Bethel and pitched his tent,
with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east.
There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.”
Genesis 12:8 (NIV)

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We have seen how the Lord loosened Abraham’s grip on the things of this life in order to help him get his eyes fixed on the future he would have with the Lord in the city of God. Today I wish to have you consider what occupied Abraham each time he moved along in his journey.

The last part of today’s verse gives us a key to what was vitally important for Abraham to do immediately after pitching the tents. Abraham built an altar and worshipped the Lord. Worship seemed to be at the center of Abraham’s life. Everywhere he went he built an altar and “called on the name of the Lord” (worshipped).

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Faith, Love, Hope

By , December 11, 2018

“We remember before our God and Father
your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love,
and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)

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Reading the wonderful Puritan author Thomas Manton’s sermon on today’s verse I was struck forcefully by the trinity of expression used by Paul. Here in the small space of a few words Paul speaks of faith producing works, love prompting works and hope creating endurance.

Certainly when we trust in the Lord we find ourselves seeking to live the life of Christ in our own situation. Believing the teaching of Jesus and trusting in His redemptive work we cannot help ourselves as we feel the desire within to do the Lord’s will from gratitude to Him for all He has done for us.

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“I Dare You”

By , December 10, 2018

“And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
Matthew 6:13 (NIV)

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As children we all have been dared to do something or else have dared our friends to do something foolish and possibly dangerous. I recall being in such a situation as a teenager one day when I played hooky from high school.

Some friends dared me to climb up the girders of a 500 meter long bridge and walk along the “catwalk” just underneath the roadway of the bridge. Foolishly I accepted the dare and soon was walking along the beams 120 feet above the friends who were watching from the safety of the valley’s floor.

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What Is Forgiveness?

By , December 9, 2018

“And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Matthew 6:12 (NIV)

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We often say that when a person files for bankruptcy the debts they have to various creditors are “forgiven”. In other words the bank and loan companies delete the debt from their books and the person’s obligation to repay the debts is removed. The bank cannot come after you for any more payments.

In Scripture there are two Greek words used for forgiveness. One appears about 25 times and the other about 150 times. The most common word for forgiveness is used almost exclusively in the Gospels and means to “send away” or “remove”.

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How Much Is Enough?

By , December 8, 2018

“Give us today our daily bread.”
Matthew 6:11 (NIV)

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The question, “How much is enough?” was once put to a billionaire with reference to his immense wealth.

His answer was shocking because he responded, “Just a little more.” In other words he thought that he needed more than he had.

Jesus was about to say in Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

 

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