The reward far outweighs the sacrifice

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:1-2).  A similar thought is found in Rom. 8:5, “Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”  A Christian who has been raised with Christ cannot hold on to the things of the world and still claim to…

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Are you a treasure or a rotten apple?

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psa. 1:1-3).  What kind of man are you?  I know men that are honorable and strong.  Their loyalty to God and their family are…

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Just be like an ant

Just be like an ant. “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?” (Pro. 6:6-9). Have you ever watched a colony of ants at work?  They are selfless and place the survival of the colony above themselves.  Each individual ant has a role to play in the larger scheme of things, and they never argue or shirk their responsibility.  If you have…

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Don’t allow the devil to dictate your outcom

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13).  There are times when you are driven to your knees in despair.  Times when the impossible seems to have happened and solutions far away.  Problems and trials have risen up like an unconquerable mountain, and fear and desperation have overcome you.  Sometimes it may even seem as if the solutions will never come.  Every agonizing step drains you even more, and you are scared and tired.  Depression takes the place of joy, and the future begins to look hopeless. Even in our darkest hour, though, there is hope. …

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Striving for unity

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).  It was near the end of his 3rd missionary journey, approximately seven years after he and his companions founded the church (Acts 18), that Paul wrote this letter to them – a church that was in a fair amount of trouble. Corinth was the main land route from the East to the West, where several sea routes converged, but…

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Some keep the Sabbath by going to church

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church BY EMILY DICKINSON Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – I keep it, staying at Home – With a Bobolink for a Chorister – And an Orchard, for a Dome – Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice – I, just wear my Wings – And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church, Our little Sexton – sings.   God preaches, a noted Clergyman – And the sermon is never long, So instead of getting to Heaven, at last – I’m going, all along.   I have liked poems for a long time, and…

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Show me the scripture

After my post yesterday, at least two concerned readers questioned my youth ministry reference.  They both made similar comments and asked me to show them scriptures to defend youth ministers.  There is no explicit mention of youth ministers in the Bible.  Now, before you throw your hands up, pat yourself on the back and claim a decisive victory over the “liberals,” read the rest of the post.  Over time the church realized the enormous pressure modern society was having on the teens of the day, and as a result, youth ministry developed.  The spiritual needs of “children” are the same…

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You are the most beautiful person in the world

“For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psa. 139:13). During my time as a youth minister, more than one teen would come to me for help with self-image problems.  I recall one particularly distressing conversation when a beautiful young girl was sitting in my office.  As often would happen, one of the teens would come and visit with me just for the sake of doing so.  We would speak about their families, school, a crush, youth ministry, or whatever else they wished to talk about.  It was during one of those treasured, unannounced…

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Not a resolution, but a wish with a prayer

“I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:1-3). If this article sounds familiar to some of you, it is because I wrote a similar one not too long ago, but the topic is so perplexing to me that I wanted to address it again.  Millions of people worldwide will reflect on the past year, remembering both the happy…

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There are too many fools

“A fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’  They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds” (Psa. 14:1).  Most of us know this verse, even if it is only the first part.  There are many reasons people choose not to believe in God, and I believe it is a choice.  We make a conscious decision to believe and, likewise, to reject the idea of God.  Either we admit we are sinners in need of salvation and embrace the redemptive work of Christ, or we don’t care to admit our sin(s), and we say, “He does not exist.”   For the…

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