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Advent – A Season of Preparation

Prepare the Way

One of the themes of the Advent season is the theme of preparation. For centuries, faithful Israelites prepared for the coming of the Messiah. They did this by believing God's promises and obeying God's Word. Today, we prepare for the Messiah's return in the same way. Malachi 3:1-4, a traditional Advent reading, points to two ways God helps us in this work of preparation....

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Hope in a Dark World

Hope in a Dark World

When I was a kid, my family took a trip to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Mammoth Cave is the world's longest known cave system with over 400 miles of underground passageways. I don't remember much from our visit, but I do recall one moment during the tour when our guide asked us to stand quietly while all the lights were extinguished in one of the underground cav...

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Seven "Go-to" Psalms

The Psalms

I recently heard (thank you, Lourine Clark!) about a spiritual discipline that Eugene Peterson practiced throughout his life. He prayerfully selected seven psalms from the Bible that he felt would "cover the waterfront" of his spiritual needs. He then made a commitment to let those psalms change his life. He would read them, meditate on them, commit them to memory, and pra...

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Protection and Compassion

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Throughout Scripture, God reveals himself as one who protects those who are vulnerable and who shows compassion for people who have been hurt. He is the defender of widows, the father to the fatherless, a refuge for the foreigner, and the champion of the poor. (See, for example, Psalm 146:7-9.) Scripture also reveals that God expects the leaders of his people to protect vu...

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Trusting God's Timing

Trusting God's TIming

Have you ever had to wait for God? You pray and hear no answer. You look for God to work in your situation, but nothing seems to change. Waiting is never easy. It is even harder when we see no reason for the delay. How should we respond when we are forced to wait for God? The Apostle Peter tackled that question in 2 Peter 3:3-18. Writing to Christians in the first century...

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Pleasing to God

Pleasing to God

The gospel assures us that when we come to God through faith in Christ we are justified by the Father and accepted as one of his own. All our sins are forgiven, and we are declared to be righteous in the eyes of the Creator. This new status before God is perfect and complete. We could not possibly be more accepted by the Father than we already are in Christ, and we will ne...

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What Do We Mean by “The Communion of Saints”?

Apostles Creed

When Christians recite the Apostles' Creed in worship, we speak the line: "I believe in the communion of saints." What does this mean? The word "saints" here does not refer to a select group of super-Christians but to any and every believer in Jesus Christ. The word "communion" is not talking about the Lord's Supper but about the relationship that exists between Christian...

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Stories Jesus Told

Stories Jesus Told

Jesus often taught people by telling parables brief stories or word pictures designed to communicate spiritual truth. On Sunday, October 17, we will begin a six-week sermon series titled "Stories Jesus Told" in which we will look at six parables from the book of Luke. Community Groups will also be meeting to dig deeper into these parables together. New Testament scholar,...

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Living for the Final Day

The Hour is Coming

One of the most frequently proclaimed messages in the Bible is that someday the world in which we live will come to an end. A final day is coming. In the Old Testament there are over 1,800 references to this final day, often called "the day of the LORD." This phrase refers to a future moment in time when God will appear to judge the world, to punish the wicked, to welcome...

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Five Ways for the Bible to Change Your Life

How the Bible Can Change Your Life

A recent study revealed that most Americans own Bibles (almost 9 out of 10 households possess a copy) and that many Americans view the Bible positively (over one half say it is a good source of moral instruction; 35% call it life-changing). However, the same study indicates that many people struggle to interact with Scripture in meaningful ways (about 50% have read relativ...

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