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The Greatest Weapon God Has Given Us

During the Civil War weapons improved but tactics remained the same.  This resulted in high casualties.  One weapon was the Spencer repeating rifle which radically improved the ability to fight.  So too, God has given us a weapon superior in every way: The Holy Spirit.
 
The Holy Spirit is mentioned extensively in the Old Testament: it was by the Holy Spirit that the prophets were able to perform their miracles.  Looking at the New Testament, Jesus came as a man.  Being a man, how was Jesus able to do  all that He did?
 
The answer is that same Holy Spirit.  Scripture tells us that He was filled with the Holy Spirit and that as a result He was able to accomplish miracles, healings, deliverances.  
 
Reflecting on that, it’s obvious that we as believers must also use the Holy Spirit if we are to see God move in mighty ways. 

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What We Are Called to Do as a Church

As Christians we are in a war. We can relate our battles to those of the Civil War. The focus of that war was to put down the rebellion, unite the states, and put an end to slavery.  So too, our battle is for the same things: put down the rebellion begun by Satan, work in unity, and set the captive free.
 
During the Civil War, Lincoln struggled to keep his generals focused on the real mission: destroy the army of Robert E. Lee.  Instead, they would get fixated on things like capturing Richmond.  We, too, often get sidetracked by good things.  However, if our focus on doing those good things is not to reach the unsaved, then we should not be doing  it.  We must keep our efforts focused on the only task that matters: reaching the lost for Christ.
 
Reaching them works best when we use existing relationships upon which to build.  Write down the names of three people you have a relationship with and whom you want to see come to Christ.  Agree to pray daily for them. Let’s see what God can do!

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Angry Jesus!

John includes the cleansing of the temple by Jesus early in his ministry unlike the synoptic gospels.  Believers often use Jesus’ anger to justify the level of anger and behavior they exhibit over an issue.  God cares about what upsets us but he may not be remotely angry over the issue we face.  This story is not about what upsets us but what upsets God.  We sing songs about God breaking our hearts with what breaks his but do we really mean it and are we close enough to him to know of his concerns.  Due to his zeal for his Father’s house, Jesus exhibited how God felt about the raw deal the average Jew and Gentile was getting through the sale of animals and the unfair money exchange at the profit of those who knew better.  Genuinely ask the Lord to make your heart sensitive to his heart and be ready to move on his behalf and to bring a bit of heaven down to earth for the sake of others.

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Christian or Disciple?

 

It seems like a fairly simple question.  But is it?  Christian can mean just about anything: I attend church. I give to worthy causes. I try to live by the Golden Rule.  I don’t break any laws.  I live a “good” life.  
 
Disciple is a harder road to follow.  It means learner. It means follower.  It actually puts demands on us.  To be a disciple calls us to “take up your cross and follow Me.”  It means to constantly ask about everyday decisions we face, “What would Jesus do?”  It means to be a “light on a hill” and “salt of the earth”.  It calls us to make a difference in the lives around us.  It demands that we put Christ first in everything: our own lives, our family, our work.
 
In the world’s viewpoint today, Christian usually means judgmental, unforgiving, harsh, homophobic, intolerant, and the latest iteration of racist.
 
Which has the most impact on society: being a Christian….or being a disciple?
 
Which are you?

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Grace or Truth?

John writes “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory,  the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)  Jesus dealt with people exhibiting both grace and truth.  With the woman at the well He told her she was living in adultery (truth) but also offered her living water (grace).  To the woman caught in adultery He said “neither do I condemn thee (grace), go and sin no more (truth) “
 
As His followers, we are called to exhibit that same balance of truth and grace with each other, and with those who have yet to become a part of the family of God.  It’s not always easy. Usually we fall on one side of the fence or the other.  
 
Randy Alcorn in his book, The Grace and Truth Paradox, writes: 
“Truth without grace breeds self-righteousness and crushing legalism.  Grace without truth  breeds deception and moral compromise.  Is it possible to embrace both in balance?
Jesus did.”
If we are to truly live a Christ-like life, Randy concludes: “In the end, we don’t need grace or truth. We need grace and truth. And for people to see Jesus in us, they must see both.”
 
 

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