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New Creations In Christ


"All those the Father gives mewill come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." -- Jesus of Nazareth (John 6:37) There was once a teenager who was kicked out of his church youth group for being a bad influence on the other kids. There was once a young intellectual whose mother wept in prayer after he abandoned his Christian upbringing for a life of...

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Saving Christmas by Practicing Advent


In his humorous novel Skipping Christmas, John Grisham tells the story of Luther and Nora Krank, a middle-aged couple who are sick and tired of all the expense and bother involved in preparing for the holiday season. They calculate how much they normally spend on Christmas decorations, gifts, and food and realize that if they skip Christmas, they can afford to take a 10-da...

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Intercessory Prayer

Corporate Prayer

One of the ways that Christians engage in prayer is through the act of intercession making requests of God on behalf of others. Since Christians, by grace, have been brought into relationship with God, it is both our privilege and our responsibility to plead the cause of others before the Lord. 1 Timothy 2:1 lists our involvement in this kind of prayer as being of first i...

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The Living God

Living God

The writers of Scripture often referred to God as "the living God." What did they mean by this phrase? Was the idea merely that God is alive, that God exists. No. The meaning is much deeper than that. In the biblical mindset, to speak of "the living God" communicates the idea that God is present and active. God is not an aloof deity, removed from our struggles, indiffer...

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Book Review: Holiness by J.C. Ryle


One of the most worn-out, underlined, check-marked, re-read books in my library is Holiness Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots by J.C. Ryle. It is clearly among my favorites. J.C. Ryle (born 1816) was the Anglican bishop of Liverpool in the late 1800's. He is remembered for his numerous books on the Christian life and for his commentaries on the four gospels....

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Which Bible Translation is the Best?

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The books of the Bible were originally written in ancient Hebrew and in 1st century Greek (with small portions written in Aramaic). Since most of us do not speak those languages, when we study the Bible, we are forced to read a translation. Among the many linguistic groups on earth, there are close to 4,000 that do not have the Bible translated into their language. But we...

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How Did We Get the Books of the Bible?

Canonization of Scripture

Because more than 5 billion copies of Scripture have been distributed, the Bible is often referred to as the best-selling book of all time. But, technically speaking, the Bible is not a book. It is a collection of 66 books compiled into one volume. These books were composed between approximately the 8th century BCE and the 1st century CE, written in three different languag...

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Are All Sins Equally Serious?

Sins Equal?

Sometimes people think that all sins are equally serious in the eyes of God. This conclusion is understandable. After all, the Bible states that all of us are sinners who fall short of God's glory (Rom. 3:23). It teaches that if we have broken only one of God's commandments we are condemned as lawbreakers (James 2:10). Scripture also teaches that we can sin internally even...

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Not a Spirit of Fear

Not a Spirit of Fear

Years ago, in a social psychology class in college, our professor lectured us on the power of societal norms. Performing a public act that might elicit scorn or ridicule invariably causes most people to feel anxiety. We have a natural aversion to looking weird. Our assignment that day was to do something to break a social norm and write a paper detailing the physiological...

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Expanding our Worship


We Christians sometimes place unnecessary limits on the ways we worship God. It is understandable that, by temperament or tradition, we would each prefer certain styles of worship. Sadly, however, we sometimes cut ourselves off from the wide variety of ways God can be praised. Psalm 150, the final song in the psalter, helps to broaden our understanding of worship. The wor...

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