The temptations of Jesus

“And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To…

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Will you pay it forward?

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20).   Before warning his readers of the dangers of approving the many sins listed at the end of the chapter, Paul begins by assuring them of God’s presence in everything around them. Many preachers and congregants alike have used those words to prove that no one in…

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The attack against Christianity

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John: 15:18-20).  We often thank our soldiers, especially those who have given their lives, for the freedoms we enjoy, of which religious freedom is counted…

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Will the real Noah stand up, please

Prov. 30:5-6, “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.  Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.”  As I read this verse, I remembered something that happened a few years ago.  A friend told me a movie called “Noah” was available for rent.  I did not pay much attention to it because I know they are always factually inaccurate, but a few days later, he called and told me it was a “terrific” movie.  I was surprised because I had read online…

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Don’t join them in the dark

Col. 4:5-6, “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”  Paul instructs his readers to “walk in wisdom to outsiders,” referring to our attitude toward unbelievers, among other things.  Earlier in the book, in Col. 3:5-8, we read the following, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.   In these you too once…

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The false promise on the mountain

Matt. 4:1-11, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”  But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If…

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Why do we sing in church?

“Oh, sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! 2. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day” (Psa. 96:1-2).  Have you ever wondered why we sing in church?  I once heard the following story concerning singing praises to God.  A little boy goes up to his mom and says, “What happens when we die?”  The mother, who was Christian, said, “We will go to heaven, my son.”  He thought for a second and asked, “What will we do in heaven?”  She smiled as she looked down…

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The devil’s delusion of victory

In 1965, Paul Harvey broadcast the following monologue titled, “If I were the devil,” “If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness.  And I’d have a third of its real estate, and four-fifths of its population, but I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee.  So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States.  I’d subvert the churches first — I’d begin with a campaign of whispers.  With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered…

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Finish your spiritual race

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Tim. 4:6).  As Paul was nearing the end of his life here on earth, he reflected on his spiritual accomplishments.  In doing so, he referred to himself have “finished the race” as if he was an…

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Mother’s Day should be every day

John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  There was no greater love than that of Jesus when he gave His life for you and me, but there is a depth of love that is hard to fathom when it comes to people.  We all have special bonds with our mothers.  They are the first person to love us, even long before they hold us for the first time.  Lovingly, they will stroke their extending bellies as they proclaim their adoration for us.  Studies have conclusively shown that fetuses respond…

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