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Fighting for Joy: Part Three

Put into Practice

We are looking at practical instructions the Apostle Paul gave us in Philippians 4 to help us fight for joy during difficult times. In part one of this blog series, we examined the importance of prayer. In part two, we discussed the need to fill our minds with life-giving thoughts. The third practical suggestion Paul gives for pursuing joy is to put into practice those th...

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Fighting for Joy - Part Two

Think on these things

We are looking at practical instructions the Apostle Paul gave us in Philippians 4 to help us fight for joy during difficult times. In part one of this blog series, we examined the importance of prayer. The second practical suggestion we are given is to fill our minds with life-giving thoughts. It goes without saying that if you are filling your mind with garbage, you ...

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Fighting for Joy - Part One

Screen Shot 2022-05-03 at 10.15.02 AM

In Philippians 4:4, the Apostle Paul writes, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" The verb "rejoice" in that sentence is in the imperative mood. That means this is a command. We are commanded to experience joy. How can you command someone to feel a certain way? That does not seem fair. How can we control our feelings? Paul's words seem especially un...

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What We Can Learn From Hard Times

Weeping and Joy

Psalm 30 tells the story of someone who had faced difficult times. Listen to the litany of sorrows experienced by this song writer: Verse 1 mentions enemies, indicating the presence of interpersonal conflict in the psalmist's life. Verse 1 also says that God had lifted the psalmist from "the depths", pointing perhaps to a personal struggle with depression. Verses 2 an...

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Is the Easter Story True?

minimal facts

According to the New Testament, the gospel message rises or falls on the historical reliability of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Luke wrote that Jesus gave his disciples "convincing evidence" that he had risen, and that God provided "proof of [the gospel] to everyone by raising [Christ] from the dead" (Acts 1:3; 17:31). The Apostle Paul considered it ridiculous for any...

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Washing Feet

Washing Feet

The Gospel of John tells us that during the last supper, Jesus excused himself from the meal, clothed himself as a servant boy, found a towel and a basin of water, and scooted around on the floor washing the disciples' feet. The washing of feet was a common act of hospitality in 1st century homes, yet the task was considered so undignified that, according to rabbinical tra...

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Lenten Classics – Resisting the devil

spiritual-warfare

During each week of Lent this year, we are posting an excerpt from a classic writing on Christian spirituality, followed by some questions for personal reflection. Today's post comes from John Chrysostom (305-407) the archbishop of Constantinople. This excerpt comes from one of John's sermons, titled "Dead to Sin". John Chrysostom: We must remember that we deal with a c...

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Lenten Classics - Godly Conversations

godly conversations

Today's post comes from a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon, a Baptist pastor in London in the 1800's. The sermon, based on Habakkuk 3:2, addresses the need for spiritual revival in the church. In this portion of his talk, Spurgeon points out that one aspect of revival involves the Spirit's work in the conversations of individual Christians. Charles Spurgeon: Pay atten...

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Lenten Classics - God's Use of Troubles

CS Lewis Quote

During each week of Lent this year, we will be posting an excerpt from a classic writing on Christian spirituality, followed by some questions for personal reflection. Today's post comes from the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, an English professor at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in the mid-20th Century. In this excerpt, Lewis writes about the way God uses diff...

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Lenten Classics – Anger and the Wounded Ego

Anger

During each week of Lent this year, we will be posting an excerpt from a classic writing on Christian spirituality, followed by some questions for personal reflection. Today's post is taken from a modern classic titled The Divine Conspiracy Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God, written in 1997 by Dallas Willard. Willard, who died in 2013, was a professor of philosophy at...

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