What is a seraphim?

The seraphim are not sinful men burdened with impure hearts. Yet as angelic beings they are still creatures, and even in their lofty status as consorts of the heavenly host it is necessary for them to shield their eyes from a direct gaze on the face of God. They are...

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Inviting people just got easier

"82 percent of the unchurched are at least “some what likely” to attend church if they are invited. Perhaps we need to pause on this response. Perhaps we need to restate it: More than eight out of ten of the unchurched said they would come to church if they were...

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Why is LORD all caps?

Notice how in Isaiah 6:1 the word Lord is printed. It begins with a capital letter and then is finished with lowercase letters. This stands in contrast with the word LORD that occurs later in the text and frequently in Scripture. Sometimes the word Lord appears in all...

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The victory that is our is Christ

When our family lived in Florida, we lived near the Indian River, which is a saltwater lagoon that stretches many miles up and down the east coast of Florida. It is a very beautiful body of water that is perfect for sailing. In the evenings, it was my joy to come...

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Hesed: the unmerited and generous favor of God

I learned today that the word “lovingkindness” is translated from the Hebrew word “hesed,” which is used often in the Old Testament to signify God’s covenant, steadfast love for me. In the Psalms (and this is true in Psalm 92) hesed is associated with the call to...

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The missing miracle

Ours is a supernatural faith built around three personal miracles. Our faith commences with a miracle. We come into the kingdom by a miraculous new birth (John 3:3). Our salvation concludes with a miracle. At our Lord's coming we will be made like him (1 John 3:2)....

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Have you been too sinful for God to love?

The psalmists reminded themselves of God’s steadfast love over and over again. It helped them know that they could enter his house boldly (Ps. 5:7) and that they could rejoice in salvation and sing because he had “dealt bountifully” with them (Ps. 13:5–6). When David...

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Kingdom authority brings freedom

Our only hope is in discovering the Kingdom Authority that Jesus offers his children. I'm not talking about mere power, but authority. Many Christians today talk about having the power to overcome evil. That's not enough. Don't confuse authority with power. Jesus made...

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What to do if you don’t feel God loves you

My mercy is for you. It pulls you on even when the world tries to tell you that your life doesn’t matter. When the enemy works to make you feel unloved, My mercy becomes your heart’s loving refuge. It grows inside you so you don’t ever have to worry that I am...

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It’s time for some good news!

The good news is that you have glorious Kingdom Authority over this trinity of evil. First Peter 5:8-10 promises God will make us strong, firm, and steadfast against the ploys of Satan: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,...

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Is it possible to deplete God’s love

Maybe you think it is possible to deplete his love for you. He replies that the “earth is full” of it (Ps. 33:5). We can know that our sins won’t overwhelm his love because he loves to “adorn” the humble with salvation (Ps. 149:4). When we think our sins are just too...

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Satan your infernal foe

The mastermind who orchestrates this whole conspiracy is Satan himself. He is the dark prince. Jesus called him “the prince of this world” (John 14:30). The apostle Paul called him “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). Satan is a consummate liar, and he is spiritually...

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How is God’s love different from human love?

In the Old Testament, that rich word hesed, which the ESV translates “steadfast love,” carries a connotation not only of love but also of strength and steadfastness. Our love can become sentimental, a sweet but fleeting thought on a Valentine or butterflies in the...

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The flesh in this internal foe

We must also come to grips with an enemy inside ourselves that the Scripture calls the flesh. The description of the flesh is not a pretty picture: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry,...

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What is meant by God’s unfailing love?

Combining these ideas of intensity and relationship, it is plain to see that when God shows His chesed in a covenant relationship, His grace is firm, persistent, and steadfast. To substantiate this, Snaith has shown that out of forty-three cases when chesed is linked...

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Kingdom Authority

When you were born again, you were born to win! With your new birth came Kingdom Authority that fitted you for victory. Kingdom Authority is the God-given mandate of Christians to exercise control over the world in the name of Jesus and under His oversight. The Bible...

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An inviting campaign

82% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited. This according to Dr. Thom Rainer's book The Unchurched Next Door. There is more. Only 2% of church going people ever invite someone to church in a given year. Seven out of ten unchurched...

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Hesed

We can preach with such freedom because we know the One who wrote the story. In the Old Testament, the character of God is profiled for us in the multiplied occurrences of the description of God as the God of hesed and ‘emet. Hesed means “lovingkindness”—love and...

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Making discipleship automatic

We always want to study the Bible with a view to application. We always want to ask, “So what?” We want to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. (James 1.22) What these verses tell us is that if we are to be transformed, we need to surround ourselves with a...

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The most important word in the Bible

In verse 5, Jesus says the first thing the disciples should do when going out in mission is say, “Peace to this house,” and then he uses the word “peace” again two more times. What do you think of when you hear the word peace? Inner calm? The end of war? A person...

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Behavior is contagious

The Bible teaches what science in just now learning. The Bible says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20 (NIV2011) Wisdom is contagious and stupid is contagious. Almost everything is contagious. If you are a 16...

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Transformed in groups

We are transformed one at a time, but we are not transformed alone. We are transformed in groups. If you are not in a group that is working toward being transformed into the image of Christ, you will not be transformed. People are not transformed alone. The writer of...

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Hesed

We can preach with such freedom because we know the One who wrote the story. In the Old Testament, the character of God is profiled for us in the multiplied occurrences of the description of God as the God of hesed and ‘emet. Hesed means “lovingkindness”—love and...

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Transformed in community

Imagine a man who read the Bible for an hour a day. Imagine he spent another hour a day memorizing scripture. Imagine he listened to sound Christian teaching on the way to and from work. Imagine he listened to sound Christian teaching on TV at home in the evening...

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Plans to give you Shalom

SHALOM A Hebrew term for peace which describes comprehensive well-being. Shalom, while used in a daily greeting among the Hebrews, is a weighty theological term in the Old Testament. Shalom embraces concepts of harmony, security, serenity, right relationships,...

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Chris Tomlin leads worship in my living room

Chris Tomlin often leads me in worship during my morning Quiet Time. And, when Chris Tomlin is leading, it is normally glorious. There are a number of ways to get Chris Tomlin on your TV, including: A Smart TV Roku Box Amazon Fire TV Apple TV Chromecast Pretty much...

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Jehovah Shalom

Jehovah Shalom. We find this name mentioned in the book of Judges, where the Lord revealed Himself to Gideon in the form of an angel (see Judges 6:22–24). What does this name, Jehovah Shalom, mean exactly? As a noun, the Hebrew word shalom means “completeness, health,...

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Five ways to make worship a part of your daily life

There are a number of ways to worship: Psalms. Many of the Psalms were designed for worship. Read them and adore God. Read them and change. Read them and be transformed. Attributes of God. Meditate on the bigness of God, the goodness of God, the everywhereness of God....

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Shalom

This world can be a better place. God wants everyday people like you and me to make this world just a bit more like heaven. In one small corner of His grand creation, God created a place that was a lot like heaven. He named it Eden. The Garden State was not just...

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Worship reminds me that our Big God has it all in control

One of my favorite verses is Revelation 4:2: At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. Revelation 4:2 (NIV2011) Sitting. Not pacing. Not surprised. Not wringing His hands. Not wondering. Not worrying. Large and...

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Worship reminds me who is Boss

What is discipleship, anyway? There could be a number of answers to this question, but central to what it means is that Jesus becomes Lord of my life in daily practice. James Smith defines it this way: In short, if you are what you love, and love is a habit, then...

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Help Kirby Kennedy

If you are a friend of Kirby Kennedy, I’d like to invite you to join me in helping Kirby paying for expenses related to his recent kidney transplant that are not covered by insurance. It is estimated that these expenses could exceed $40,000. To make donation, go...

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Transformed by beholding

Romans 12:2 is the most iconic and perhaps important verse on how we are transformed. Transformed by the renewing of our mind. Never forget that. But, it is not the only thing the Bible says about how we are transformed. This verse is equally important: And we all,...

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Transformed by worship

There is something about worship. There is something about looking at God that makes us godlier. There is something about basking in His love that makes us more loving. There is something about thinking about His grace that makes us more gracious. There is something...

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The research on spiritual growth

There has been a good deal of research done in recent years into what transforms people’s lives. This is what researchers and students of the subject have found: No Spiritual Discipline is more important than the intake of God’s Word. Nothing can substitute for it....

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An app that changed my life

There are a number of good apps for Scripture Memory. I want to recommend Scripture Typer. There is a free version that will allow you to experiment with how the app works. There is a small fee for the full version. Scripture Typer has a number of wonderful features,...

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How to be transformed

We are transformed by hearing, reading, studying, memorizing and meditating on God’s Word. The greatest of these is Scripture Memory. Nothing will transform your mind like the power of lodging God’s word in your heart. I am fascinated by the technology of GPS. How a...

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Does the SBC need more prayer?

Let me pose a question to you: Have you ever heard the Lord say, “Quit praying—get up off your knees”? The Lord spoke these very words to Moses: “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to Me?’ ” (Exodus 14:15). The literal Hebrew meaning of the verse is, “Why are...

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My favorite verse and why

My favorite verse is Hebrews 11:6. What do we learn about God from this verse? And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV2011) What...

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What are the seven horns and seven eyes?

But there’s still more in this tapestry of Jesus. The Lamb, you notice, has “seven horns and . . . seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”27 These words, read in a group study, can be just like red meat to a lion! Many a home Bible...

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That it may go well with you

The promise that God is good is repeated many times in Scripture. It is a repeated theme through the whole Bible. Here are a few examples: “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well...

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Belief or belief?

You might think that you believe exercise is good, but you don’t exercise and you should have a Quiet Time, but you didn’t this morning. Let’s look at two ways we use this word belief. I had a long layover in Auckland, New Zealand once. Someone had told me about the...

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Jesus: Fully and Truly Human

The story of the church’s understanding of the person of Jesus Christ is one of swings and roundabouts. The pendulum swings between diminishing the divinity of Jesus and diminishing his humanity. In the last 150 years, liberalism has diminished Christ’s divinity, and...

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