January 22, 2018

Despite their sin of hard-heartedly divorcing their wives, the Levitical priests had continued to offer sacrifices and bring offerings to the Temple. However, God no longer received those things with good will. The covenant of marriage is sacred, and God wanted His children to learn His ways and walk in them. He wanted them to repent so that He could bless them again. Please open your Bible to Malachi chapter two, verse thirteen, and listen as Pastor Ray Viola concludes his message entitled “The Tragedy of a Hard Heart.

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January 22, 2018

Despite their sin of hard-heartedly divorcing their wives, the Levitical priests had continued to offer sacrifices and bring offerings to the Temple. However, God no longer received those things with good will. The covenant of marriage is sacred, and God wanted His...

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January 19, 2018

God had harsh words for Levitical priests that were divorcing their Jewish wives to marry women that worshiped idols. Their bad example emboldened other Jewish men to do the same thing. Because God is longsuffering, he had Malachi appeal to them to repent, to save...

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January 18, 2018

God is a great ruler that is faithful to His people. One of the ways that He shows His great love for us is by His rod of correction. While the chastening is not pleasant, He does it for our ultimate good. Israel (also known as Jacob) was struggling with this, but God...

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January 17, 2018

Malachi, whose name means “My Messenger,” was the last prophet of Jehovah to plead with His people before the ensuing four hundred years of silence that preceded the birth of Jesus. Lackluster zeal for the things of God characterized the post-exilic Jews. Instead of...

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January 16, 2018

When Haggai wrote of “the desire of all nations,” he was prophesying about Jesus Christ. Whether people realize it or not, He is The Ultimate Desire of every human being. Sadly, Jesus is not the desire of this fallen world system or those whom it has deceived, which...

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January 15, 2018

When the people of God began to build the new temple, they compared its modest size with Solomon’s great and glorious temple. They could not see how this new temple could have any significance in comparison with the previous one. But God disagreed with their...

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January 12, 2018

The prophet Haggai told the people of Israel, “Consider your ways,” or, more literally, “Set your heart on your path.” What motivates you to live the way you do? What brings you joy? What makes you cry? At that time, Jerusalem’s Temple had been just a bare foundation...

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January 11, 2018

Liberated captives laid the foundation for the Jewish Temple after returning from Babylon. Then local opposition caused the work to cease. Building the Temple was important, but the people were saying that it just wasn’t the right time to build. Similarly, people get...

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January 10, 2018

As we conclude our study of Jonah today, it would serve us all well to take a “grace check.” When God forgives or restores a sinner, He does not put them on probation. He frees them to worship and serve Him by faith. Do we pout, or do we praise when God saves someone...

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January 9, 2018

The grace that Jonah received from the Lord gladdened Him. However, when God bestowed that very same grace upon the wicked Assyrians in Nineveh, it maddened Jonah to the core. When God forgives or restores a sinner, does it gladden you or madden you? Is your reaction...

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January 8, 2018

The Assyrians were cruel and wicked: the opposite of everything that God says is holy, upright, and pure. Yet, God says that if a nation, against whom He has pronounced judgment, turns from their evil, He will repent of the evil that He thought to do unto them. At...

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January 5, 2018

After being vomited out of a whale, the word of the LORD came unto Jonah a second time. Jonah was not an exceptional case of God giving someone a second chance. We see other examples in the Bible in the lives of Abraham, Moses, Aaron, David, Peter and others. Every...

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January 4, 2018

Scripture declares, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loves he corrects; even as a father corrects a son in whom he delights.” Like Jonah, followers of Christ will be chastened and corrected by the...

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January 3, 2018

Jonah was a reluctant and rebellious prophet. However, after a great sea creature swallowed him, he became remorseful and repententant, but not right away. It was not until the third day that he cried out to God. Jonah experienced God’s mercy and forgiveness when he...

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January 2, 2018

Jonah is a book that is packed with practical lessons for any person who is a follower of Jesus. It teaches us that one cannot flee from God’s presence. Jonah teaches us that our sin affects others, and that God extends His grace and the gift of repentance to even the...

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January 1, 2018

Most people have heard of Jonah and the whale. Jesus Himself believed the literal account of Jonah spending three days and nights in the belly of a large sea creature. He said that it was a type of how He would be three days and three nights in the belly of the earth...

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December 29, 2017

“Repent” is a verb, and change begins at the top. Parents, if you want your children to follow the Lord, you must follow the Lord. When one repents, and puts the Lord ahead of your own desires, God will give you this assurance: I will be with you. Please open your...

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December 28, 2017

Jesus came to p ay our sin debt, but He also came to set us free from bondage to the things of this world. The most frustrated person in the world is the person that is living for themself. They work longer and harder to get more, but it is as if they are putting all...

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December 27, 2017

The start of a new year causes many people to begin a new diet, start a new exercise program, or commit to being more financially responsible by creating a budget. These changes usually result from the realization that something has got to change after reflecting on...

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December 26, 2017

Until the day that the Lord takes His people home, He knows that Satan will be hurling darts of discouragement at them. That is why Jesus gave us His promise that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Christians today have His Holy Spirit dwelling in them, but even...

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December 25, 2017

Emmanuel is a Strong and Mighty Tower, the righteous run into it and are safe. Emmanuel is hope to the hopeless and strength to the weak and weary. Emmanuel means “God is With Us”, because when Jesus was born of a virgin, God came down to live among mortal men and to...

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December 22, 2017

Christmastime is hard for many people. The apparent joy of others can sometimes amplify one’s own personal losses or heartaches. The Apostle John was no stranger to loss. By the time he wrote his Gospel, many of his friends had been brutally killed, and Rome had...

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December 21, 2017

As part of God’s eternal plan, Jesus stepped out of heaven almost two thousand years ago, and He became a man. He did that so that you and I could look at Jesus and say, “That’s what God looks like!” Please open your Bible to John, chapter one, verse four, and listen...

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December 20, 2017

Because of what Jesus did on the cross, believers can have a personal relationship with the God and King of the universe. Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Law so that we would not have to. Therefore,we should not focus on vain religious rituals, but on getting...

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December 19, 2017

Today’s passage looks ahead to the first New Year’s celebration of Christ’s millennial kingdom. The people of Israel will greet the beginning of that Golden Age with clapping, singing, and shouts of triumph. At that time, all nations will recognize God’s kingship, and...

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December 18, 2017

Man, and all the powers of darkness, oppose what God plans to do on earth and in heaven. What effect does all this opposition have on God and His plans: absolutely nothing! Not only is God at perfect peace on His heavenly throne, He laughs at their vain effots to stop...

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December 15, 2017

Today’s passage declares that, despite what the nations may say, the Father has set His Son Jesus Christ as King upon Mount Zion, which is His holy hill. He is a king, Whom we should cherish. A king, Whom we shoud adore. A king, Who is our Redeemer. Please open your...

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December 14, 2017

Jesus is the King of Glory, and one day the redeemed will stand before Him in His eternal kingdom, not because we have resumes of good deeds, but because He has made us clean by His shed blood. Nevertheless, when Christ saves us, our hands do not do the things that...

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December 13, 2017

Psalms twenty-two through twenty-four form a messianic triad in Scripture. Psalm twenty-two concerns Christ the Savior. Psalm twenty-three reveals Christ the Shepherd, and Psalm twenty-four describes the entrance of Christ, the Sovereign King, into the city of...

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December 12, 2017

The holiday season can be a stressful and even depressing time for many people. However, the Father sent Jesus into this world so that everyone could experience true joy. One can only know true joy and peace by being reconciled unto God through faith in Jesus Christ....

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December 11, 2017

Overwhelmed by holiday preparations? We invite you pause for a moment to refocus on the true meaning and significance of Christmas. For the next two weeks, we will broadcast a series of messages entitled “All Hail, King Jesus”. Most of these studies will focus on...

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December 8, 2017

Paul exhorted the Corinthian congregation to “be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” Each one of us is working out (not for!) our own salvation with fear and trembling. Fortunately, God gives us...

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December 7, 2017

Some say that the body of Christ is the most glorious dysfunctional family on earth. God’s people are perfectly redeemed, yet they dwell in imperfect bodies that have been corrupted by sin. Paul addressed this dysfunction in his letter to the Corinthians. He told them...

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December 6, 2017

Scripture makes it clear that our assurance of salvation does not lie in any work that we do. Salvation comes only by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus. We can only draw near to God because of Who Jesus is and what He did for us. However, it is equally...

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December 5, 2017

Every church congregation contains a mixed multitude of possessors and mere professors of faith in Christ. Paul voiced his concern for those whose lifestyle did not match their alleged testimony of having experienced the regenerating power of the Gospel of Jesus...

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December 4, 2017

Paul told the people at Corinth that when he would come to them a third time, it would not be to seek their money or possessions, but to seek them, that is, their hearts. This is what Jesus wants from us: not our money, not our possessions, but us. Living sacrifices...

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December 1, 2017

False teachers in Corinth were criticizing and even slandering the Apostle Paul. After Paul apologetically wrote in defense of his calling and ministry as an apostle, he then wrote of his love for the people of Corinth and his concerns for their spiritual condition....

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November 30, 2017

Whether you are experiencing revelations from God or thorny attacks from the enemy, know this: God’s grace is sufficient for you, and His strength is made perfect in your weakness. However, it is not enough to be able to articulate the theological implications of the...

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November 29, 2017

By God’s grace, Paul had visions and revelations that were so spectacular that he could not even write them down. But God’s grace also sustained him when he was buffeted by a “thorn in the flesh”. Likewise, every child of God has good and bad days. However, as...

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November 28, 2017

We are all called to endure difficulties and forgo conveniences for the cause of Christ and to care for one another. If there is one word that is sorely lacking in today’s church, it is the word “sacrifice”. It describes the action of giving up oneself for the cause...

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November 27, 2017

In today’s passage, the apostle Paul listed his credentials for being a genuine follower of Jesus. Among them was a time that friends let him down the side of a city wall in a basket to save his life. From beginning to end, Paul faced afflictions and opposition as he...

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November 24, 2017

Scripture identifies heaven-bound people as overcomers, but who is an overcomer? In John’s first epistle it says, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the...

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November 23, 2017

Does everybody go to heaven? Does everybody that believes in God go to heaven? If you have not read the Bible, the answers to these questions might surprise you, because the answer to both questions is, “No.” Please open your Bible to Revelation chapter twenty-one,...

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November 22, 2017

The Bible tells us that the flock of God is precious to Jesus Christ, and because they are precious to Jesus Christ, they were precious to the Apostle Paul. Therefore, Paul warned the Christians at Corinth of counterfeit ministers that would try to teach them a false...

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November 21, 2017

Ever since the fall of man, the world has been spiritually divided into two groups: those who are “begotten” of the spiritual seed of Cain, and those who are “begotten” of the spiritual seed of Abel. Beware! The devil has ministers that use the same language that you...

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November 20, 2017

God is jealous over us, because He loves us infinitely. Therefore, He hates anything that distracts us from our devotion to Jesus. Similarly, Paul had a jealous love for the Christians at Corinth. He had to warn them of religious frauds that sought to take them away...

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November 17, 2017

From Eden until now, the truth about Jesus Christ and the Gospel has been redefined, twisted, or simply called outrageous. Satan has his own so-called evangelists that proclaim a counterfeit Jesus and a counterfeit gospel inspired by a demonic spirit, which had...

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November 16, 2017

From Paul’s response to his critics at Corinth, we know one thing about them: They thought a lot of themselves! Whenever we measure ourselves among ourselves, it is unwise, unholy, and it is without understanding. Our standard should not be any mortal person; the only...

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November 15, 2017

A key aspect of being a Christian is living for the glory of God. Unfortunately, to many, the glory of God has become a trite phrase that lacks meaning. To live for the glory of God simply means that one no longer lives for oneself. Living for the glory of God under...

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November 14, 2017

When it comes to warfare against the powers of darkness, the best of human strength and ability profits nothing. Our only sure defense from Satan’s lies is the word of God. It is as the Psalmist wrote, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against...

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November 13, 2017

Spiritual warfare is part of the normal Christian life. Because we live in a fallen world and still dwell in a body that is corrupted by the influence of sin, we often struggle to live a life of victory as a Christian. And where does this battle begin? It begins in...

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November 10, 2017

Spiritually immature people regard their resources as their own, and ponder how much they are obligated give to God. However, spiritually mature Christians recognize that all that they have belongs to God, and they ask themselves, “What am I not giving, and why?”...

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November 9, 2017

Are you using God’s Spirit to help you make wise decisions? It is up to you to take advantage of the gifts that God generously offers to you. Having freely received, you should also live generously. When you do, you can experience being enriched in every way....

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November 8, 2017

Sowing and reaping involves choices: How much seed should we sow and, more importantly, what kind of seed should we plant? Our choices have consequences. If we sow to the flesh, we reap corruption; if we sow to the Spirit, we reap life. Please open your Bible to...

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November 7, 2017

The relationship between sowing and reaping is a key principle of life in the kingdom of God. Sowing and reaping are to be done with willing hearts and cheerful attitudes as heart-felt responses to the grace that God has lavished upon us through Jesus Christ. They...

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November 6, 2017

As Christians, everything that we do should be done as if we were doing it for the Lord Himself, even when no one else is watching. Our conduct should be beyond reproach, and we should have one or more people in our lives that can hold us accountable for our conduct....

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November 3, 2017

As Christians, our lives are living epistles. As we go about our day-to-day activities, people watch us and make judgments about us and about Jesus. Therefore, it behooves us to walk with integrity, knowing that Jesus will hold us accountable for our stewardship....

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November 2, 2017

True generosity is not the same thing as merely giving. For Christians, true generosity emanates from the example of Jesus Christ, who, for our sakes, made Himself poor so that we could become rich in Him. As beneficiaries of His grace and mercy that He has freely...

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November 1, 2017

Most people fall into one of three categories of generosity: Those that grudgingly give, because they think that they must; those that give dutifully, because they think that they should, or those that give thankfully, because they want to. Please open your Bible to...

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October 31, 2017

The Corinthians had pledged to give an offering to the impoverished saints at Jerusalem. Yet, at the time Paul wrote his epistle, the saints had not yet collected any money for that offering. Good intentions are not the same as good deeds. James wrote that faith...

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October 30, 2017

Generosity is an element of Christian character that goes beyond giving and financial stewardship. True generosity emanates from a love of Christ that causes people to deny themselves, take up their crosses, and to follow Him, regardless of the personal cost. Please...

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October 27, 2017

It says in Proverbs, “As cold water is to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” Today’s message shows this: Titus brought good news to Paul from Corinth, and this comforted his soul. God has a way of comforting His distressed children. Be like Titus,...

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October 26, 2017

Have you ever tried to do something good in a bad situation, only to have it blow up in your face? This happened to Paul when he made a brief trip to Corinth to address serious issues within the church there. Fortunately, a subsequent letter and God’s grace brought...

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October 25, 2017

Christians are to be in the world, but not of the world. This does not mean that we isolate ourselves from unbelievers, because this would hinder spreading the Gospel to the lost. However, we do not want to enter into close relationships that will force us to...

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October 24, 2017

If you saw someone wearing mismatched shoes, you would think that they had made an error while dressing. Similarly, in important close relationships like business partnerships, dating relationships, and marriage, it is an error for Christians to join themselves with...

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October 23, 2017

As a minister of the Gospel, the Apostle Paul endured many things with great patience, and he lists those things as proof that he was a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you were to compose such a list for yourself, what things would you cite? How would it...

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October 20, 2017

Ministry is not only working for Christ, it is working together with Christ. Therefore, when God speaks to us (by His word or His Spirit), we should listen carefully, especially when we do not like what He has to say. In such cases we risk placing our will ahead of...

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October 19, 2017

An ambassador represents his own country in foreign lands. As ambassadors for Christ, we are representing Jesus and His heavenly kingdom to people and nations that find God’s ways completely foreign. Unlike political ambassadors, we invite people to join God’s kingdom...

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October 18, 2017

Original sin separated mankind from God, but when Jesus died on the cross, He made it possible for people to be reconciled with God. When we believe in Jesus, He quickens our dead souls and makes us new creatures that have our being in Him. He then empowers these new...

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October 17, 2017

Our culture bombards us with messages that drive us to be consumed by external things. In contrast, God’s word repeatedly reminds us to guard our hearts diligently and to seek God’s kingdom first. While one cannot completely neglect personal appearance and hygiene,...

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October 16, 2017

Godly fear and reverence for God are not the same. Christians will one day stand before Jesus to give account of our lives and stewardship. This should instill in us a holy fear of displeasing the One that loves us. This fear is not paralyzing or tormenting, because...

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October 13, 2017

Every Christian will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. At this judgment, sin and salvation are not issues. This is the place where believers will receive rewards for what they have done in this life—or not. The basis for these rewards will not only concern...

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October 12, 2017

When we die, what happens? Do we cease to exist, or is there life after death? If there is life after death, do we exist as disembodied spirits in heaven, hell, or, as some think, purgatory or limbo, and do our lives affect our experience in the after-life? Today’s...

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October 11, 2017

In the physical kingdom a person lives before they die, but in God’s kingdom, one must die to self before one can truly live. When a person is born again, they realize that their life is no longer about themself, but, rather, about glorifying God and proclaiming...

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October 10, 2017

If someone asked you to describe victorious and abundant Christian living, how would you respond? If your answer included health, wealth, and a trouble-free life, then today’s message might surprise you. A better answer would include following Christ, regardless of...

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October 9, 2017

God has given believers ministries and spiritual gifts to do them. Unfortunately, personal pressures, false ministries, and the lack of response to the Gospel discourages us from successfully fulfilling our calling. Today’s passage is a source of encouragement when...

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October 6, 2017

Culturally, we have become a sound-bite generation, and this trend has filtered into the body of Christ. Fewer and fewer Christians have the depth of biblical understanding needed to boldly proclaim the Gospel to a lost and dying world. However, it is the love of our...

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October 5, 2017

Fallen men have a veil over their hearts that blinds them to Jesus Christ and His glorious Gospel. Religious systems are one of Satan’s favorite tools to hide the Gospel from sinners. If religious works were able to save us, then Christ died in vain. Only Jesus, by...

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October 4, 2017

Paul called the Mosaic Law the ministration of death, because everyone is guilty of breaking that Law, and the wages of sin is death. However, through Jesus, who lived His life in perfect obedience to the Law and His Father, we can share in His glory, which He...

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October 3, 2017

Paul compared the New Covenant in Christ with the Old Covenant that was based on the Law. It was not a comparison of something good versus something bad. It was, rather, a comparison of that which changes a person’s heart versus rules that govern behavior. Natural man...

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October 2, 2017

Paul compared the New Covenant in Christ with the Old Covenant that was based on the Law. It was not a comparison of something good versus something bad. It was, rather, a comparison of that which changes a person’s heart versus rules that govern behavior. Natural man...

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September 29, 2017

Have you found that, as you share the word of God, you get one of two responses? To one person it is like a sweet-smelling fragrance to be savored. Others find God’s word to be repugnant, turning up their noses at it as if it had the smell of a dead animal. Scripture...

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September 28, 2017

Paul traveled to Troas, because he sensed that the Lord had opened a door for him to preach the Gospel there. When the Lord opens a door, no man can shut it; however, it does not mean that one will be free of opposition in trying to pass through that door. We are...

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September 27, 2017

The objective of church discipline is restoration and reconciliation. Just as undo leniency is wrong, so is undue severity. When a person genuinely repents after being disciplined by a fellowship, that fellowship must also lovingly receive that penitent person back to...

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September 26, 2017

Every responsible parent knows that failure to discipline a child properly can have dire consequences. It is equally important for spiritual leaders to discipline those over whom God has given them authority. The act of correcting another can be gut-wrenching and...

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September 25, 2017

Scripture tells us to make all our plans subject to the Lord’s will. Paul’s opponents accused him of insincerity when he cancelled his planned trip to Corinth. However, Paul was just obeying the Holy Spirit. He believed that the Lord wanted to give them more time to...

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September 22, 2017

Satan cannot refute the message of the Gospel. To hinder its acceptance, he will oftentimes use false or trivial accusations to attack those proclaiming it. This is what Paul’s detractors in Corinth were doing while he was away in Macedonia, and Satan is still using...

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September 21, 2017

For a Christian, adversity comes with a purpose and a promise. It was the Apostle Paul’s desire for every believer to find contentment in every circumstance of their life, even in times of adversity. The key to doing this is understanding that God uses adveristy to...

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September 20, 2017

When going through a trial, have you ever looked heavenward in frustration and asked God, “Why me, Why this, or Why now?” Even the Apostle Paul had times of despair, but he found comfort and so can you. Please open your Bible to the first verse of Second Corinthians,...

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September 19, 2017

Second Corinthians contains important lessons for Christians. For example, we have a very real enemy that only prayer can defeat. That enemy attacks and condemns people, because they are guilty of breaking the Law of Moses. However, by His blood and His grace, Jesus...

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September 18, 2017

Can you imagine being a missionary evangelist in the first century? There was no internet, no automobiles, and no airplanes. Letters had to be hand carried by people that you knew and trusted. Paul established a church in Corinth, and after he left Corinth to start...

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September 15, 2017

Are you horizontally or vertically focused? Do you live your life based on what you see, or by what God’s word tells you to be true. We serve a God that can do the impossible. Though the outlook may seem bleak, the up-look is always full of hope. He is worthy of our...

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September 14, 2017

Have you ever been on the brink of a life-changing event? You have given the situation over to the Lord, and you would be content with any outcome, yet, the uncertainty is making you crazy. You are tired of waiting, and you want to move forward in your life,...

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September 13, 2017

No matter how much Ruth and Boaz loved each other, they could not marry until Boaz resolved certain legal issues involving one of his relatives. Similarly, regardless of how much God loved us, He could not save us until Jesus resolved certain legal issues, including...

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September 12, 2017

Have you ever been tempted to take a short-cut? The answer to your prayer was within your grasp, but propriety required you to put the fulfillment of your desire at risk. Did you try to force the situation, or did you wait, trusting that if it was the Lord’s will, He...

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September 11, 2017

Scripture portrays Ruth and Boaz as paragons of virtue. Rather than pursue relationships with young men, Ruth, out of respect for Naomi and her deceased husband, offered herself to a much older relative. Boaz, though entitled by law, did not force himself upon Ruth,...

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September 8, 2017

Most Gentiles are unfamiliar with Hebrew customs related to arranged marriages. Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, gave Ruth (who was a Gentile) special instructions to initiate an arranged marriage between Ruth and Boaz. Without really understanding what she was doing,...

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September 7, 2017

Ruth deeply appreciated God’s goodness. She did not ask God why she had to endure famine and the loss of her husband. Instead she thanked God for the grace that she received from Boaz. Like Ruth, we should be thankers rather than complainers. God gave His only Son to...

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September 6, 2017

Some believe that spirituality can replace hard work. However, Ruth did not sit at home praying for food when she knew that God’s Law allowed her to glean in the fields. Ruth was a hard-working, virtuous woman, which probably did as much to catch Boaz’s attention as...

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September 5, 2017

To provide for herself and Naomi, her mother-in-law, Ruth went out to glean in the fields. According to God’s sovereign plan, Ruth unknowingly chose to glean in a field owned by Boaz, who was a close relative of Naomi. Her choice played a key role in reversing Naomi’s...

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