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Posts by David Ellis

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Faithful in Little

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In 2004, ESPN aired a game show called "Dream Job." It was a reality show in which contestants competed to be hired as anchor of the popular program "SportsCenter." Sitting in a studio talking about sports all day may not be your career goal, but for the over 10,000 people who auditioned to be contestants, hosting "SportsCenter" was the job of their dreams. The book of ...

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Summer Worship at ACC

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This past Sunday, July 7, we switched to a summer worship schedule with only one service at 10:30AM. Please remember the time change as you make your Sunday morning plans. We plan to return to our regular two-service schedule on Sunday, September 8. The summer worship services will sometimes follow the style and structure of our 9:30 liturgical service and at other times ...

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Pentecostal Unity

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My sister is a high school English teacher. If one of her students wrote the words of Acts 2:1 in a term paper, my sister would pull out her red pen, underline the sentence, and mark a big "X" in the margin. Why? Because, according to the conventions of academic English, the sentence is grammatically incorrect. The wording is redundant. Acts 2 gives an account of the da...

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Joyfully Generous

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The Bible tells us that God is honored by giving that is both generous and joyful. (See 2 Cor. 9:6-7.) A good example of a time when God's people gave in both of these ways is found in 1 Chronicles 29. In this chapter, King David made plans for the construction of the temple of the LORD and challenged the leaders of Israel to join him in giving toward the project. The k...

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WORSHIP NEWS AT ACC

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In case you are not on the ACC email list, we want you to be informed of plans concerning the worship services at ACC. See the two emails sent out last month below. May 9, 2019 Members and Attenders of ACC: I want to keep you informed of some upcoming changes at our church and ask for your prayers as we face a time of transition. Brad Wade, the worship director at ou...

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Three Reasons the Ascension Matters

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Many churches traditionally celebrate the ascension of Christ this week, as we will at ACC on Sunday, June 2. In Luke 24:50-51 and Acts 1:4-11, we read about Jesus ascending to heaven in bodily form in the presence of his disciples. Since we are given few details as to what happened, the event is mysterious. Yet the spiritual implications of the ascension are amazing. T...

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No Choice but to Choose

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Pastor Jeffrey preached last Sunday from Joshua 24:14-28, a passage in which Joshua challenged the Israelites to make a decisive choice about the ultimate allegiance of their hearts. Joshua said: "Now fear theLORDand serve him with all faithfulness. But if serving theLORDseems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods y...

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New Elder for ACC

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On Sunday, May 19 we will be ordaining Raul Rojas to the office of elder, adding him to the leadership team at ACC. Raul, Anne and their children David and Rebecca have been part of the ACC family for years. Raul has served faithfully in various capacities, including men's ministry, sound team, welcome team, and monthly brunch ministry. More than this, Raul has consistent...

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Three Reasons Easter Matters

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During the Easter season, Christians traditionally celebrate the great New Testament truth that Jesus was physically raised from the dead. But beyond believing in the fact of the resurrection, it is important to know why it matters. Below are three reasons why, according to the Bible, the empty tomb is important. 1.The resurrection proves that Jesus is who he claimed t...

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Easter Outreach Offering

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This fiscal year, our church hopes to give over $48,000 to world missions, diaconal work, and outreach ministries. Our Easter Outreach Offering is a special act of giving designed to help us reach that goal. The Easter Outreach Offering will be given at ACC on Easter Sunday, April 21. Everyone is invited to participate in this offering. ACC members are encouraged to giv...

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The One Who Hears Prayer

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Psalm 65:2 says, "O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come." According to this verse, listening to our prayer is not simply something God does. It is a description of who God is. It is one of his unchanging attributes. Our God is the One who hears prayer. If you have a friend who goes bike-riding once or twice a year while on vacation, you might say, "Jim rid...

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Living as Pilgrims

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1 Peter 2:11 says, "Dear friends,I urge you, as foreigners and exiles,to abstain from sinful desires,which wage war against your soul." By referring to Christians as "foreigners and exiles," the Apostle reminds us that this present world is not our permanent home. As followers of Christ, we are pilgrims, sojourners, tourists, temporary visitors. Our real home is the wor...

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A Season to Seek God

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One of the most amazing promises in the Bible is spoken by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He says, "Ask and it will be given to you;seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds;and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." (Mt. 7:7-8) By these words Christ assures us that no one who sin...

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Joshua - The Journey of Faith

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This past Sunday, we began a series of sermons that will allow us to work through the Old Testament book of Joshua. Joshua tells the story of how God took a nation of refugees and gave them a home, how God took the Israelites from their tent city in the wilderness and brought them into Canaan, the Promised Land. The book of Joshua is both inspiring and challenging. It i...

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The Surprising Power of Praise

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We worship God because he is worthy of our adoration and because giving him glory is the main purpose for which we were designed. But there is a by-product of praise that is thrilling to contemplate. Praising God unleashes power in our lives and into our world. Singing of God's greatness is a powerful weapon in our spiritual war against the forces of evil. Psalm 8:2 say...

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Ready for Christ's Return

The Christian season of Advent revolves around the four Sundays that lead up to Christmas Day. Traditionally, Advent is a season focused on preparation. We remember the way God prepared Israel for the birth and ministry of Jesus, and we think about how God wants us to prepare for Christ's return. How often do you think about the return of Jesus Christ? His second coming...

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Light of the World

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Like many children, I was afraid of the dark when I was small. I slept better with a light on in the room. Apparently, even some adults find darkness frightening. A 2012 study in the United Kingdom found that almost 40% of the respondents were afraid to walk through their own home without the lights on and that 10% would not even get out of bed to go to the bathroom in t...

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Jesus said, “I am”

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Seven times in the gospel of John, Jesus makes a statement about himself prefaced with the words "I am". He says: I am the bread of life" (Jn. 6) I am the light of the world (Jn 8) I am the gate (Jn 10) I am the good shepherd (Jn 10) I am the resurrection and the life (Jn 11) I am the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14) I am the true vine (Jn 15) These state...

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Christian Giving

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In 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, the Apostle Paul addresses a specific financial situation faced by the early churches. Famine and persecution in Jerusalem had resulted in conditions of extreme poverty among the Christians there. Churches in other regions were being asked to send donations to help relieve the suffering of their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. Despite the spec...

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Getting God’s Word into Your Life

The Bible is God's Word the uniquely reliable revelation of his heart, his truth, and his redemptive plan. Augustine of Hippo, the 3rd Century African bishop and theologian, wrote, "The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home." Because the Bible is God's Word, it is vitally important for Christians to develop habits that put them into regular contact with Scripture. ...

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The Spiritual Gym

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Over 55 million people in the United States hold a membership in a gym. Millions more find other ways to stay fit walking, jogging, bicycling, etc. As a nation, we are aware of the benefits of a physically active lifestyle. Exercise can help prevent heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer. There is another kind of exercise that is even more b...

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LIVING AS A CHRISTIAN IN AN AGE OF DIVISION

It's no secret that our nation is enduring a painful season of cultural division. Differences of opinion on political and social issues are placing a tremendous strain on relationships and communities. This is exacerbated by the constant harping of 24-hour news channels and the ease with which any of us can publish our views on social media before we've listened well to ...

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Benefits of Hosting a Community Group

ACC will be starting a new Community Group season in September. Community Groups are gatherings of 5-12 people who meet regularly in homes for prayer, Bible study, and Christian friendship. We are looking for church members who would be interested in leading a group and for others who would be willing to open their home to host a group. (Sometimes people will both host ...

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LISTENING

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My wife tells me that I am not a good listener. (At least, that's what I think she said.) I am beginning to realize she may be right. A book that was very helpful to me in understanding my problem is The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh. McHugh makes the case that listening is one of the most important things a follower of Christ can do. He writes, "Throughout the Bibl...

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Five Reasons to Memorize Scripture

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At the Vacation Bible Club this summer, I was placed in charge of the Scripture memorization station. Children were challenged to memorize verses from the Bible and rewarded with Jolly Rancher candies if they did so. In case no one is offering you a Jolly Rancher, I want to suggest a few reasons why you might consider Scripture memorization as an on-going discipline to ...

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What's a Christian to Do?

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In his book, Blessed are the Misfits, Brant Hansen writes about his life growing up in a church where it was constantly stressed that every Christian's job was to evangelize to get out into the world to spread the gospel and how distressing this assignment was for him as an introvert. In other churches, what is stressed is that every Christian's job is to engage in pol...

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The Real Thing

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Da Vinci's famous painting, Mona Lisa, has an estimated value of $620 million. You can buy a copy of it on Amazon for $25.99. What's the difference? One is real; the other is fake. One is genuine; the other just a cheap imitation. That's the way it is with many things in life. Their value depends entirely on their authenticity. Zirconium diamonds, Gucci knock-offs, co...

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General Assembly 2018

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Every year the churches of our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), send representatives to a nationwide General Assembly (GA). Last week, Jeffrey Choi and I travelled to Atlanta, where this year's meeting was held, to participate in the Assembly. A lot of important things happen at GA: decisions are made regarding the future of the church; reports ar...

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LONELY? YOU ARE NOT ALONE

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Cigna health insurance company recently conducted a survey of over 20,000 people in the U.S. age 18 or older. They discovered what we all already knew a lot of people are lonely. The survey revealed that loneliness in our society has become epidemic. According to the research: Almost halfof Americans say they sometimes or always feel alone (46 percent) or excluded (...

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Understanding the Law

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In Exodus 19, the Israelites arrive at Mt. Sinai. The LORD appears on top of the mountain, and Moses is invited to climb the peak to receive instructions from the LORD. In Exodus 20, God begins to dictate his laws to Moses, starting with a synopsis of God's moral standards, commonly known as the 10 Commandments. Before giving the commandments, the LORD prefaced his law ...

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Competent to Love

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On May 18-19 (Friday 6:30-9:30pm, Saturday 8:30am-2:00pm), ACC will offer a free seminar titled "Competent to Love Excelling in Gifts that Build Up the Church". The purpose of this seminar is to equip us for our work as a church to love each other and to love our neighbors as we share the gospel of Christ. Some of the topics to be covered in the seminar are: Disc...

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Why are we here?

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In our weekly sermon series through the book of Exodus, we are in the section of Exodus where the Israelites have left behind their slavery in Egypt and are on their way to the Promised Land. During this phase of their journey, a question the Israelites frequently asked was, "Why are we here?" Why are we trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea? (chapter 14) ...

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Warfare Prayer

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Imagine a refugee camp in the middle of the desert. The people take down their tents in the morning and ready themselves for the day's hike. The fitter ones have already started down the road. Those less agile the elderly, the disabled, the families with small children lag behind. Suddenly, a war cry fills the air. Armed men on swift camels storm into the camp, killing...

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The Rescue

What comes to mind when you think of a rescue? A firefighter rushing into a burning building? A Coast Guard ship aiding a raft of refugees? Perhaps you think of a child nursing a stray animal back to health, or of a woman walking her friend to his first A.A. meeting. Whatever picture comes to mind, rescues are always thrilling. Someone with compassion acts to aid someon...

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Pastor David's Sabbatical

On January 9, I begin a sabbatical break from my active duties as pastor. I am extremely grateful to our elders for offering me this opportunity to devote time to rest, prayer, and spiritual renewal. For those interested in what I will be doing, here is some information. I intend to devote my time primarily to seeking the Lord in prayer. I'm indebted to coaching advice f...

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The God Who Gives Joy

Joy from God...

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Peace in God's Arms

On the 2nd Sunday of Advent this year we will be reading Isaiah 40:1-11, a passage that promises peace and comfort to people in distress. Isaiah was a prophet in the southern kingdom of Judah who ministered from approximately 745-695 B.C. In his preaching, Isaiah confronted the people over their sinful rebellion against God, warning them of the painful exile that would re...

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A Prayer for Hope

It has been said that humans can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, and about eight minutes without air, but that we cannot survive even one second without hope. I disagree with that statement. There are people who have been living without hope for years if you can call that living. When you have no hope, you still get up in the morning, ...

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What Will People Think

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Concern over the opinions of others is one of the strongest human motivators. We crave people's esteem. We fear their disapproval. We long for their acceptance. The desire to be liked and respected is natural, but when it becomes too important it can enslave us. Proverbs 29:25 says, "Fear of man will prove to be a snare." This coming Sunday (November 26), we conclude ou...

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God's Mysterious Ways

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Years ago, I had a friend who felt called to ministry, so he moved away from home to attend seminary. Before he could complete his studies, however, he received news that his father was ill and that the family needed him to come back home to care for his dad. Of course, as a loving son, he was glad to do this for his father, but he felt deeply discouraged. How would he e...

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Who am I?

In my high school, back in the 1970's, all the cool kids wore athletic letter jackets proclaiming the name of our school and the sport they played. I desperately wanted a letter jacket, because I desperately needed to be cool. The problem was I was small for my age and not very good at sports. A varsity letter in football or basketball was out of the question for me. Ho...

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Founding Document

In our country, the validity of laws and governmental practices is always determined by comparing them to the words of the U.S. Constitution. If the courts find that a new piece of legislation contradicts the Constitution, then the legislation is either discarded or changed. The older document (the Constitution) takes precedence over any newer documents that might be pro...

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Something's Changed

Years ago, the Righteous Brothers recorded a song that went on to become a classic. In the chorus, they sang, "You lost that lovin' feelin' / Whoa, that lovin' feelin' / You lost that lovin' feelin' / Now it's gone, gone, gone." We don't know the name of the person they were singing to, but, one thing is clear their relationship with that person had changed. It's not unc...

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Authority

Why do you believe what you believe? How do you know what is true? What guiding principles govern your approach to decision-making? Do you believe whatever your parents told you? Whatever your college professors taught? Maybe you are governed by inner hunches and feelings. Maybe you don't know what to believe Our study of the New Testament book of Galatians helps us to ex...

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Hypocrisy

This fall at ACC, we are studying the New Testament book of Galatians. In Galatians 2:11-21, the Apostle Paul discusses his response to something heart-breaking that took place in the early church. As the gospel spread throughout the world, it moved from its original monocultural context in Jerusalem into more multicultural settings in the Greek-speaking world. As this ...

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Faith Alone

500 years ago, this fall, a Roman Catholic priest, named Martin Luther, produced a list of theological statements that addressed doctrinal concerns facing the church of his day. He reportedly posted the list on the door of a prominent church in Wittenberg, Germany to make its contents available to the public. Translations of Luther's famous "95 Theses" were soon reprinte...

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Genesis: In the beginning

I know several individuals who have had their DNA analyzed by genetic testing services. It is fascinating to hear them report the findings the ethnic and regional backgrounds of their long-forgotten ancestors. Some of the results are predictable; some are unexpected. (My daughters were surprised to learn they have Jewish roots.) It's easy to understand why people enjoy th...

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Deliver Us

The final petition of the Lord's Prayer is, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." The Heidelberg Catechism teaches that, in praying this part of the Lord's Prayer, we are saying, "By ourselves we are too weak to hold our own even for a moment. And our sworn enemies the devil,the world,and our own fleshnever stop attacking us. And so, Lord, uphold us an...

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Forgive Us Our Debts

In our current sermon series, we are allowing different psalms from the Bible to show us how to give voice to the various petitions of the Lord's Prayer. The fifth petition of the Lord's Prayer is "forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Psalm 32 helps us to pray this petition with depth and authenticity. In his book on the Lord's Prayer, Terry L. Johnson remind...

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Our Daily Bread

Jesus taught us, in the fourth petition of the Lord's Prayer, to ask the Father for "our daily bread." "Daily bread," of course, is a metaphor for everything we need from the Lord. This includes requests for spiritual growth and piety, but we should never be embarrassed to ask God for physical blessings, as well. In Prayerbook of the Bible, a book on praying the psalms, D...

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Thy Kingdom, Thy Will

The second and third petitions of the Lord's Prayer are "Thy kingdom come" and "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." What does it mean to pray for the coming of God's Kingdom? We are essentially praying three things: that the Father would send the kingdom of glory (that Jesus would return); that he would crush the kingdom of darkness (putting an end to the lies ...

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Hallowed Be Thy Name

In our current sermon series, we are learning to pray the psalms through the lens of the Lord's Prayer. The first petition of the Lord's Prayer is "hallowed be Thy name." Psalm 147 is a great psalm for helping us to pray this petition to God. According to the Heidelberg Catechism, when we pray for the hallowing of God's name we are saying: "Help us to truly know you, to h...

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Our Father

In teaching his followers to pray, Jesus instructed us to approach God as "our Father who art in heaven." This shows us that, as we come to God through Christ, we are to approach God in two ways. First, we are to approach God with a sense of confidence. We address God not at our Master, our King, our Ruler, or our Employer. He is our Father. In other words, since we have ...

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The Lord's Prayer

In the six weeks between Easter Sunday and Pentecost we will be looking at the prayer Jesus taught his disciples often called the "Lord's Prayer" or the "Our Father." The Lord's Prayer is generally seen as a template to use to shape our daily praying. It is seen as a template because, though most Christian traditions recite this prayer in worship, there is never any recor...

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Should Christians Tithe?

Ask any waiter in Manhattan, and they'll tell you when they see a table full of European tourists, they get nervous. Why? Because in many European countries there is no custom of tipping the table-server when you go out to eat. (In those countries, waiters receive a fair wage in their hourly pay.) Foreign tourists visiting New York have probably been told that they are ex...

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God's Forgiveness

The book of Malachi contains a message from a God who loves his people (Mal. 1:2) even though they have strayed from him, and who is calling them to return (Mal. 3:7). When we reach the end of Malachi, we discover that some of the people who originally received this message responded to it by repenting. Mal. 3:16a says, "Then those who feared the LORD talked with each othe...

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Questioning God

Is it ever permissible to question God? Is it wrong for Christians to struggle with doubt? Is there a difference between innocent uncertainty and obstinate unbelief? If so, how do we know when we've crossed the line? The third message in our Malachi series looks at some people who were wrestling with questions about God. Described in Malachi 2:17-18, we find them asking, ...

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Covenant God

The second sermon in our series on Malachi looks at a passage that talks about marriage in the context of the covenant faithfulness of God (Malachi 2:10-16). Speaking through his prophet, God expressed concern about the behavior of two groups of people in post-exilic Israel. The first group consisted of Israelite men who were marrying non-Israelite women, despite the fact...

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Malachi: Return to Me

On March 5 at ACC, we are starting a new sermon series looking at key passages in the Old Testament book of Malachi. Malachi was a prophet sent to speak God's word to the people of Israel during the post-exilic period of their history. His messages to them were probably delivered between 440 and 420 B.C. Unlike most Old Testament prophets, Malachi has virtually nothing ...

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The Book of James

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The summary of each post will appear on all pages listing multiple posts....

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