Liberation from Loneliness

God also wants you to reach out to make the cord stronger. Yes, I’ve charged the lonely with taking the initiative. But I think each of us also has the responsibility to look out for the stray sheep. Just as Jesus spoke of leaving the ninety-nine to seek out the lone...

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Postponing Your Procrastination

Spurgeon was once preaching on eternal life, and he caught the eye of a godly woman sitting near the front. She had been in his church many years, and Spurgeon knew her faith was strong. There was some special gleam in her eye today; Spurgeon couldn’t be certain what...

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Facing Your Failure

We’ve established that failure is a real-world inevitability, and that we have reasons for failures—reasons that actually look to our long-term benefit. But we need a little bit more than these reassurances when we’re standing in the rubble of shattered dreams—when...

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How to conquer fear

Yes, you can confront your fears by drawing near to God. Think back to those spies who entered Canaan. Up to now, we haven’t mentioned that there were two dissenters in the group. They went on the same trip, saw the same walled cities and the same giants, and they...

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Only the obedient believe

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus...

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4 Movements I’m Watching in Small Group Ministry

I received this from Allen White and found it interesting. Most of us have cycled through small group strategies and discipleship methods and ended up with mixed results. Some strategies helped us start a bunch of groups, but didn’t help our people growth. Other...

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Journeying Beyond Jealousy

There comes a time when we have to stand up and face the giant, and the strategy may be a painful one: We must renounce our jealousy as sin. Please don’t deal with jealousy as a personality disorder. Avoid thinking of it as a genetic trait you never chose. Don’t...

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How to get 100 percent in small groups

I realized the only reason the church had been stuck on that plateau was because of a mental block. It was like back in the 1950s when everyone said no man could ever run a four-minute mile. It was just a dream. Then, on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister ran the mile in...

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Cheap Grace

Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting to-day for costly grace. Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjack’s wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is...

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The dream of doubling groups becomes a reality

There were some decisions to make. On the 350-mile drive home, I began to think about what my senior pastor, David Larson, was the most passionate about. At the time, it was the approaching release of The Passion of the Christ, the Mel Gibson movie everyone was...

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Lewis poached egg argument

DR. PETERSON RAISED his voice and looked directly at those in the room. “My friends, Jesus Christ claimed to be God, and to Him it is of fundamental importance that men and women believe Him to be who He was. Either don’t. He didn’t leave us any wiggle room for...

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Bonhoeffer, the cross & discipleship

The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we...

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When Quiet Time is Dry

Good quiet times promote spiritual growth. Surprisingly, this deeper growth can lead to unexpected dryness. When we move into a desert quiet time, there is a temptation to think that we have done something wrong. The desert quiet time is not a pleasant experience....

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Everyone is already in a group.

When I say “group,” something from years of church Bible studies come to mind. You might protest that there are plenty of people who aren’t in groups like this. But it’s true. Everyone is already in a group, it’s just not the group you have in mind. People are in...

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What to do during a Quiet Time

The key distinctive of a study quiet time is the serious study of Scripture. If a half-hour is set aside for a quiet time, at least twenty minutes of it is Scripture study. An in-depth study of a passage using commentaries and a Bible dictionary is not unusual. The...

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How to resist temptation

We resist temptation the way Jesus did, through the word of the kingdom. As we follow Jesus, we see the gospel reclaim our identity, reorder our desires, and reframe our future. We need to recognize that we are living in a war zone, a cosmos being ripped from the...

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Seven minutes with God

Want a deeper walk with God? Give Him just seven minutes and see what happens! ½ Minute: Preparing Your Heart Invest the first 30 seconds preparing your heart. You might pray, “Lord, cleanse my heart so You can speak to me through the Scriptures. Make my mind alert,...

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The temptation of pride

I guess it’s hard enough to raise your children right without having to send them off to a Satanist every weekend. That was the dilemma a group of women had when they filed suit against the one thing they all had in common with each other—an ex-husband named Jamie....

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How important is Quiet Time?

No Spiritual Discipline is more important than the intake of God’s Word. Nothing can substitute for it. There simply is no healthy Christian life apart from a diet of the milk and meat of Scripture. The reasons for this are obvious. In the Bible God tells us about...

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The Demand for Protection

This demand for protection was a signal of unbelief. The people didn’t trust God, on the basis of his Word, to protect them and deliver them from their enemies. They wanted some visible manifestation, something that would prove that God was a Father after all. At...

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Solitude in an IPhone world

It’s hard to find solitude anywhere, these days. Oh, we have plenty of alone time, at least physically. Solitude, however? That’s a little tougher. Everywhere we go, we have our phones or our tablets or our laptops. Texts or Facebook or e-mail connects us to everyone...

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The pull of consumption

There’s nothing quite as bleak as a city street the morning after Mardi Gras. The steam of the morning humidity rises silently over asphalt, riddled with forgotten doubloons, broken bottles, littered cigarettes, used condoms, clotted blood, and mangled vomit. This...

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Why is it so difficult to love others?

In certain stores you will find a section of merchandise available at greatly reduced prices. The tip-off is a particular tag you will see on all the items in that area. Each tag carries the same words: as is. This is a euphemistic way of saying, “These are damaged...

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Slaughterhouse Drive

There was something rhythmic, almost soothing about the soft clatter of it all. The soothing repetition sounded kind of like a summer thunderstorm coming up from the coast or a rickety old midnight train off in the distance. I had no idea that what I was listening to...

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Five Ways to Grasp God’s Word

The "Word Hand" shows us the five methods of "getting a grip" on the Bible: Hearing the Word taught by pastors and Bible teachers. Reading the Bible to gain an overall picture of God’s Word. Studying the Scriptures to make personal discoveries of God’s truths....

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Tempted and Tried

At the core of the gospel message is Jesus, who was tempted and tried in every way we are but who was never anything but triumphant. He is a high priest who shares our nature, who can pray for us and with us. He is, as God announced right before his testing, the...

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It is not about making smarter sinners

Many churches evaluate spiritual maturity solely on the basis of how well you can identify Bible characters, interpret Bible passages, quote Bible verses, and explain biblical theology. The ability to debate doctrine is considered by some as the ultimate proof of...

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You Can Double Seminar

I have just uploaded the entire You Can Double Your Class Seminar on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZmR8vK7kkQBXn8NzuOkfTpZTq6dcz-xP

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Are most church goers disciples?

First, let’s consider the data. A 2012 Gallup poll illustrates about three out of four Americans (77 percent) still identify as Christian. And about 137 million Americans, or 44 percent of the population, say they are part of a specific Christian congregation,...

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Is Spiritual Growth automatic?

Spiritual growth is not automatic with the passing of time, either. The writer of Hebrews sadly noted, “. . . though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again” (Heb. 5:12). Millions of...

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C.S. Lewis’s conversion story

C. S. Lewis writes about this kind of experience in his spiritual autobiography, Surprised by Joy. Lewis had been wrestling with the claims of Christ, and as God pursued him, gradually he came to believe in Christianity more and more. Still, he had not yet fully...

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Believer or disciple?

I find it helpful to separate those who self-identify as Christian into three categories: cultural, congregational and convictional. About three-quarters of Americans identify as Christian, and for the sake of discussion, I’ll break them down into these three...

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You Can Memorize Scripture

Most people think they have a bad memory, but it’s not true. As we’ve already discovered, most of the time memorizing is mainly a problem of motivation. If you know your birthday, phone number, and address, and can remember the names of your friends, then you can...

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The Discipleship Course

We have just released a new seven-week study on the essentials of discipleship. It will it a great refresher course for all believers. Topics include: Convert or Disciple? What is the difference between a convert and a disciple? How can we move from believing to...

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The Secret to Success

HE’D BEEN A RESPECTED MINISTER for seventeen years. Week after week he reverently led worship services, preached relevant sermons, and administered the church ordinances. He’d performed dozens of weddings and funerals. Still, a nagging sense of uneasiness tugged at...

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God can redeem your past

HE WAS BORN INTO HUMBLE CIRCUMSTANCES defined by poverty and hardship. He was a frail and sickly child. As a youth, he longed to serve in the British Royal Navy. He loved the military but he ranked only forty-two out of fifty-eight in his class at the military...

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Upcoming Events

Sep
19
Tue
9:07 pm Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, FL
Sep 19 @ 9:07 pm – Sep 21 @ 10:07 pm
Dr. Eugene McCormick Minister of Christian Education Shiloh MB Church 1118 W. Beaver Street|Jacksonville, FL  32204 939 Blanding Blvd|Orange Park, FL  32065 (904) 355-8364 www.shiloh.church www.cutstraight.org
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For nearly thirty years, Dr. Bill Tolar and Dr. Brian Harbour have helped thousands of Sunday School teachers prepare their lessons by means of video.  Each week, they  provide an insightful walk through this week's scriptures and provide concrete Bible-to-life application points for you to make with your class this Sunday.  Their video lesson previews are available for both the Life and Explore Series materials. We have arranged a special one-month free trial of their videos for anyone who mentions joshhunt.com.  Click here for more information or to get your free trial.

Josh Hunt believes in the power of the small group ministry in your church. And, his belief is contagious. In his new book, Make Your Group Grow, Josh presents sound application to easy to understand research that will benefit every size and style of church. Your groups and leadership will benefit from this book.

Ed Stetzer,
President of
LifeWay Research, www.edstetzer.com

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