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Our Sure Hope

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Jesus is the Reason for the Season   Recently, while on a walk, I paused to observe people tossing coins, as they closed their eyes (perhaps praying?), into a water fountain located in a nearby shopping area. In particular, one elderly woman, heavily disabled, caught my attention. As she shed a few tears, prayed a prayer, and then tossed a coin into the water founta...

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The Church as Family

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Brothers and Sisters in Christ I remember growing up and often hearing the statement, “blood is thicker than water.” Usually, the statement was said in the context of remembering that one’s biological or physical family was more important, and more enduring, than people in the church. When I became a Christian, all of a sudden the statement made all of t...

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Spiritual Nurturing

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Life-On-Life Discipleship Some time ago I read the horrifying news of a mother who, for whatever tragic reason, decided to dump her newborn baby in a local trash dump. Why did she do it? Perhaps she was scared, in despair, or just plain hateful. When we hear of news like this, we are literally shocked beyond belief! I mean, what kind of mother would do such a thing?! Sure...

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Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)

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Glory to God Alone   What is man’s most fundamental problem? Depending on whom you ask, the answers you might get to this question will vary. Some would say “unfulfilled desires,” “unfulfilled goals or dreams.” Others would say, “a lack of self-esteem,” or perhaps “a sense of feeling under-appreciated or admired.&rdquo...

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Sola Fide (Faith Alone)

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Faith in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ Not too long ago, I was speaking to a professing believer, who with much enthusiasm was telling me about his life’s goals. “You know, sometimes people want to rain on your parade, but to me, all you have to do is believe, and everything will fall into place.” I thought to myself, “Believe in what? In who...

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Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)

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Saved by Grace Alone When he was a Roman Catholic “monk,” Martin Luther would have said that grace alone was the “gasoline” that propels the car of salvation. However, the “Reformer” Martin Luther would have affirmed that Grace Alone was the “entire” car itself. In other words, all of salvation, from beginning to end, was by...

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Reflections on Man Camp

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Running the Race of Life Together     The writer of Hebrews exhorts his readers, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and al...

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Solus Christus (Christ Alone)

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Christ Alone is Sufficient for Salvation and Sanctification       In C. S. Lewis’ fictional masterpiece, The Screwtape Letters, Screwtape, an  experienced demon, mentors his nephew, Wormwood (also a demon, but “in training”) on the art of breaking down Christians. In essence, the devil’s strategy is not to replace or remove C...

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Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)

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The Sufficiency and Authority of Scripture If you think about the Reformation “Solas” like a building, then the Foundation of the building was the great principle or truth of Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone). What did this mean? That Scripture Alone was the Ultimate and Final Authority in all matters of faith and practice, personally and for the church. It did...

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Let's Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing

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Knowing and Worshipping Christ Over the years, building Lego projects has been a fun and treasured time with my kids. Once, I helped one of my boys build his new Star Wars Lego spaceship. This was the biggest Lego building project of his (then) young seven-year-old life. So as much as I wanted the spaceship to be brought to completion within a 12-hour day, I wanted him to...

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