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A New Years’ Challenge for 2016

As we enter this New Year of 2016, Pastor Phil challenges us to seek hard after God’s will for our life.  He closes with this thought, “May we look back on 2016 and say, “Wow—to God be the glory, for all of the good things He has done…”

Watch the video below.



What Child Is This?

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One of the most beautiful carols sung during the Christmas season is the one written by William Dix. It starts out:

“What Child is this who laid to rest
on Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?”

 
We can only imagine that the question asked in this beloved carol must have been uppermost in the minds of the shepherds that were present the night Jesus was born. One author said:
 
“We can almost hear the question being asked from one to another as they gazed into the humble manger. How difficult it must have been for them to understand that the babe who lay in such a lowly place was truly the promised Messiah.”

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The Importance of Honeymoon Love

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In Revelation Chapter 2 Jesus dictated a letter to the apostle John that was to be given to the church at Ephesus. In that letter the Lord commended the church for the zeal and tireless effort that went into their service for Him—this was a church that had a lot of good things going on.
 
However in verse 4 the Lord Jesus went on to say—
 
Revelation 2:4 (NKJV)
4 “Nevertheless I have this
against you, that you have left your first love.”
 
It seems that all of these positive works of service were being erased by one negative—they were going through the motions but they had lost the emotion in their relationship with Jesus. Their church was a well-oiled machine—but God doesn’t want machines cranking out emotionless service—He wants a love relationship with His people.

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Is Jesus At Home In Your Heart? Volume 2

Is Jesus At Home In Your Heart?
In Ephesians 3:17 Paul the apostle prayed something for the Christians in Ephesus that some have found to be a little confusing—he prayed, that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith. 
 
You might be thinking to yourself—“Don’t all Christians already have Jesus living in their hearts? Didn’t He enter in when they put their faith in Him? So why is Paul praying that He may dwell in their hearts through faith—I’m confused?”
 
It is true that Paul is writing to believers living in Ephesus—it is also true that Jesus lives in the heart of every Christian the moment they receive Him into their heart by faith as Lord and Savior.
 
So then what is Paul actually saying here?  Well, the answer is found in the word “dwell.”

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Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve…

 
(Originally published 5/10/11)
At the end of the book of Joshua, Joshua was now 110 years old—too old to lead the army of Israel into battle against the remaining Canaanite strongholds; so God told him that it was now up to each of the 12 tribes to conquer their own portion of land that the Lord had given to them.  
 
The problem was that by this time many of God’s people were tired of war. They didn’t want to fight anymore—all they wanted to do was to settle down in peace and comfort and enjoy what they had already taken possession of.
 
And Joshua seeing this attitude of compromise and complacency beginning to settle over God’s people when there was still so much work left to be done—this was no time to rest the enemy had not been completely driven out as God had commanded! 
 
Joshua being a man of deep conviction and wholehearted obedience toward God knew that partial victory was not good enough—not for him and certainly not for God. And so he gathers the nation together in Chapters 23 and 24 to give them his farewell address.

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The Laws of Sowing & Reaping

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In 2 Corinthians 9:6 Paul the apostle states a simple yet immutable law— “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”.
 
Paul uses a farming metaphor here—in farming you’ll only reap in proportion to how much you sow—you can’t sow five or six seeds and expect to harvest an entire field. In fact there are 3 laws of sowing and reaping that we need to understand:

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God is Watching You!

God is Watching

Have you ever made the Lord a promise—a promise that with all your heart you intended to keep?

Maybe you said to Him, “Lord that’s it I’m going to quit smoking or drinking or looking at pornography.”

Or maybe you said, “Lord, things are going to be different between us, I’m going to start getting up earlier so I can spend some time with You in prayer before I start my day.”

Or “I’m going to stop watching so much T.V. and spend that time in the Word.”

Or maybe you purposed to start being more of a verbal and visible witness for the Lord at work or some other place.


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God Is Watching You-Vol 2

God is Watching
VOL 2
Well, we’re only a day away from the New Year and, for many it’s all about New Year’s resolutions.  Have you ever made the Lord a promise—a promise that with all your heart you intended to keep?
 
Maybe you’ve said to Him:
 
  • “Lord,  that’s it I’m going to quit smoking or drinking or looking at junk on the internet”; or maybe you said:
  • “Lord, things are going to be different between us, I’m going to start getting up earlier so I can spend some time with You in prayer before I start my day.” Or
  • “I’m going to stop watching so much T.V. and spend that time in the Word.”

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Hark the Herald Angels Sing…

 
(Originally published 11/30/11)

I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more nostalgic I become.  I think it’s because of all the changes that are taking place in our country; changes that are moving us from a spiritual nation—a nation founded by God and lived under God—to a secular nation where more and more people no longer believe in the God of the Bible which has caused many to abandon traditional values and do whatever seems right in their own eyes. Since I find myself longing for the proverbial “good old days”—a time when everything seemed simpler and clearer.

A time when peoples’ thinking wasn’t so morally confused; when everyone knew right from wrong instinctively and when speaking out against evil didn’t brand you a ‘phobe’ of any kind. A time when patriotism and the love of country was assumed and not assailed; and when everyone this time of year went around saying, “Merry Christmas” and no one even thought to be offended. Of course all of that has changed.


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Filled With The Spirit

In Ephesians 5:18 Paul admonished believers to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” as an essential element of our walk with and work for the Lord. But what exactly does it mean to be “filled with the Spirit”?

Well the Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest gives four things that come through in the Greek that will help us to understand what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

1.    “Be filled with the Spirit” is a command (imperative in the Greek) that God expects us to obey.

It’s a command that is plural in the Greek which means it applies to all Christians—not just to a select few like missionaries, pastors and evangelists.  It’s a command because we can’t begin to do the work God has called us to do without the power that comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:49)


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