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Monday, April 30, 2018

"What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure." James 4:1-3 (NLT)


Have you ever said, "Why is there so much evil and pain in the world?" This is an honest and sincere question, and at times, seems to have no answer. If we slow down and think about the pain we have experienced in life, wouldn't much of it find it's origins in the actions of other people? Of course natural disasters and sickness have produced their fair share of pain, but the hur...

Friday, April 27, 2018

Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”  Acts 26:16-18 (NIV)

Wow, In this verse, Paul is recounting the story of Jesus appearing to him while he was on his way to torture followers of Jesus.  At the sight of Jesus, Paul collapses to the ground.  When Paul asks, “Who are you Lord?” Jesus replies, “I am Jesus…”.  The next words out of Jesus’ mouth are, “Now get up and stand on your feet.”

Talk about straight forward. Jesus was really communicating that the tim...

Thursday, April 26, 2018

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." Matthew 6:13 (NIV)

There are temptations around us every day. From the moment we wake up in the morning until we go to bed at night we have many opportunities to give in or overcome temptation. Think about it, what have you been tempted with today? Tempted to hit the snooze button, or skip breakfast. How about, tempted to run the yellow light just before it turns red, or tempted to talk about someone because everyone else is. Maybe you are tempted to lie about why your homework isn’t done because the night before you gave into temptation and watched The Walking Dead rather than do your homework.

The list goes on and on as our day goes on and on. Temptations are always going to be around us; sadly it is part of the world we live in and our human nature. But God because of his great love for us...

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. - 1 John 1:3 

You ever push for your desires or your interest when you pray? I think we often believe we know what God wants to do with our lives, but is that because He told us or we told Him? My prayer as I write this is that you would give God access to speak in your life the way He wants to. Not because of your hobbies or what you want, but because of what He wants to do in you. 

Communion with God is best seen in our communion with others. Our alone time with God displays how we interact and treat people. Living like Jesus can be seen when we spend time with God. Jesus often withdrew to spend time with His heavenly Father. It can be hard to spend time with God when you are in the midd...

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

“You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. ...We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” 2 Corinthians 4:5-7 (NLT)


Do you feel like an ordinary, and average individual? Have you ever said about yourself, "No one would ever recognize me as special?" God loves to invite the ordinary and the unassuming into His plan. Let's just look at the list of people He chose and called to join Him on His Mission to reunite a lost world back to Himself:

Abraham - A heathen and idol worshiper from the land of Ur.
Moses - A murderer who was on the ran from Pharoah.
Gideon - A wimp who God called, "Mighty man of valor."
Samuel...

Monday, April 23, 2018

Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor. - Acts 19:14-17 (NIV)

The name of Jesus rises above our failures. I don’t know about you, but I have had great intentions to share Christ with someone and in the middle of my attempt I fail. I want to share with you that God will use your attempt and bring glory to His name.

It amazes me how much God uses our broken, dysfunctional, and awkward lives to display His glory. Many of us never attempt because o...

Friday, April 20, 2018

"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭(NLT)


"Ask and you will receive," is what you were always told. That’s is not a lie, but God has had a plan for your life from before the beginning of time. He knows what you want to ask before you even think about it.


Growing up in the world isn’t easy, there is struggle you will encounter and you will overcome. You just have to remember it’s not on your own, God is with you every step of the way. Pray, ask God your questions, but when you ask, don’t look at it as what you will get in return.

When you ask, ask with open hands. Allow God to give you what you need for today. When he gives it to you take it with open hands and don’t keep it, and only use it when you need it. Keeping open hands allows God to give and take wha...

Thursday, April 19, 2018

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Exodus 20:18-19 (NLT)
 


This is a story in the OT where Moses comes down from Mt. Sinai after spending a significant time with God receiving the Ten Commandments. The scene is filled with intensity and the people of Israel become afraid and say in response to Moses, “Speak to us yourself… But do not have God speak to us” (Exodus 20:19).

God isn’t satisfied to simply speaking to the spiritual leaders (pastors, parents, small group leaders, etc…) in our lives; God desires to speak directly to us. Speaking with someone face to face is intimate and intimacy is God’s ultimate goal with for each one of His ch...

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense.“You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

“I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am...  Acts 26:24-25, 27-29 (NIV)

Allow me to set the scene. Paul has just arrived at Jerusalem and shortly after is informed that there were Jews there that had been spreading false rumors about his character and what he’s been up to. Some of Paul’s friends planned to reconcile Paul with the Jew’s there. The plan was to have him g...

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"LORD, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you. So let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy?" Jeremiah 12:1 (NLT)

Have you ever noticed that it seems that people who do bad things have great lives, and people who are committed to doing right have no luck? Why does it appear this way? Shouldn't individuals get punished for wrongdoing instead of life rewarding them. If God is good, why do the good suffer more than the bad? 

The good news is that these thoughts are natural and people have asked them for ages. Jeremiah, who wrote our verse over a thousand years ago, also asked this question of God. Jeremiah didn't stop there; He demanded that God deal with them harshly.

Here's how he puts it:   

   

      "Drag these people away like sheep to be butchered. Set them aside 

...

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We believe the only life worth living is the “uncommon” life that results from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We encourage our youth to experience this life through a daily time with Jesus,  worship, ministry, and prayer.

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