• A Phony Prophet

    | Jul 10, 2020
    This was no time for Paul to be tolerant or passive. We live in a culture that virtually deifies tolerance. One lady recently said to me with a broad grin, "I love everybody; I even love the devil." I call that "tolerance gone to seed."
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  • Like Clay

    | Jul 09, 2020
    Keeping the clay of your will supple and flexible calls for constant attention along the way. Once you grow hard and brittle to God's leading, you're less usable to Him.
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  • People Pleasing

    | Jul 08, 2020
    I need to make a couple of observations about the nature of ministry. The way God chooses to lead His ministry is often difficult to get our arms around. Finding direction in the corporate world comes somewhat easier.
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  • Gentle Nudging

    | Jul 07, 2020
    While they were ministering to the Lord—fasting, singing, teaching, witnessing, and praying—the Holy Spirit said, "Okay, hitch up the wagons, fellas . . . westward, ho! I need Barnabas and Paul for the work to which I have called them."
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  • Ministering Together

    | Jul 06, 2020
    In every ministry there are at least three essentials that produce an atmosphere of joyous cooperation. They are objectives, people, and places. First, whatever God plans, He pursues. That has to do with the ministry essential of objectives.
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  • The Power of Two

    | Jul 05, 2020
    Do you recall what David did after he killed Goliath? God had already appointed the young shepherd as the next king of Israel. Most young conquerors would have located the nearest Macy's and tried on crowns. Not David.
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  • Sufficient Grace

    | Jul 04, 2020
    Release the idea that contentment requires comfort. Contentment is possible no matter how dire your circumstances. While under house arrest, Paul wrote, "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am."
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  • Nothing New

    | Jul 03, 2020
    Remember that suffering is not new. In what is probably the oldest book in the Bible, the book of Job, we read, "For man is born for trouble, as sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7). Now there's a statement we need to teach our children.
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  • It's Not About You!

    | Jul 02, 2020
    I need to underscore a foundational fact: God's goal is not to make sure you're happy. No matter how hard it is for you to believe this, it's time to do so. Life is not about your being comfortable and happy and successful and pain free.
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  • Grace That Won't Let Go

    | Jul 01, 2020
    This is a good time to correct faulty thinking. It is not always God's will that you be healed. It is not always the Father's plan to relieve the pressure. Our happiness is not God's chief aim.
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  • A Thorn in the Flesh

    | Jun 30, 2020
    Sailors on the high seas understand the importance of securing themselves to something sturdy in a fierce gale. You learn to cling to what's secure in a storm. Paul learned to cling to what he knew to be true . . .
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  • From God's Perspective

    | Jun 29, 2020
    Any study of the life of the apostle Paul requires a serious look at the subject of pain. Suffering is not a pleasant subject to explore.
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  • Trusting God in the Shadows

    | Jun 28, 2020
    I want to dispense a fresh supply of hope. To help accomplish that, let me suggest four principles. They may mean more to you later than now—in a time when God leads you to wait in the shadows.
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  • God's Waiting Room

    | Jun 27, 2020
    If you go back fourteen years from the time Paul wrote the second letter to the believers at Corinth, that places him at the time he was waiting in Tarsus. Quite possibly, during one of his numerous floggings he received . . . , he lapsed into a semi-conscious state.
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  • Out of the Shadows

    | Jun 26, 2020
    Some of you who read these words today could use a little extra hope, especially if you find yourself in a waiting mode. You were once engaged in the action, doing top-priority work on the front lines. No longer.
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  • Stubborn Independence

    | Jun 25, 2020
    Rather than considering yourself (even secretly) indispensable, remind yourself often, It's the Lord's work to be done the Lord's way. I first heard that principle from Francis Schaeffer while attending one of his lectures.
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  • Humble Reliance

    | Jun 24, 2020
    Wasn't it a waste of great talent for God to put Paul on hold? Not at all. Wasn't Tarsus a strange assignment? Not if He wanted him to be prepared to write the letter to the Romans.
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  • The Value of Others

    | Jun 23, 2020
    The Message, Eugene Peterson's paraphrase, wraps up this part of the narrative nicely: "Things calmed down after that and the church had smooth sailing for a while. All over the country—Judea, Samaria, Galilee—the church grew.
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  • Son of Encouragement

    | Jun 22, 2020
    The disciples feared Saul. They couldn't bring themselves to believe he was a disciple. "But Barnabas . . . " Isn't that a great opening? Out of nowhere comes Barnabas to encourage Saul and be his personal advocate.
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  • A Lesser Known

    | Jun 21, 2020
    Act two of the drama opens with, "When he came to Jerusalem . . . " (v. 26). Jerusalem! Saul owned Jerusalem. He went to graduate school in that great town. I mean, the man knew that old city like the back of his hand.
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