Where the Real Power Resides

THE GREAT APOSTLE PAUL was just like you and me. He had a love for God blended with feet of clay. Great passion . . . and great weakness. The longer I thought about this blend, the more evidence emerged from Scripture to support it. Read Paul’s words to the Corinthians: When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.

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Don’t Quit

YEARS AGO, I listened as Anna Sklar, the author of a book titled Runaway Wives, shared some shocking statistics: Early in the twentieth century, for every wife or mother who walked away from her home and responsibilities, six hundred husbands and fathers did so. Just ten years later, after the women’s liberation movement, for each man who did that, two women did the same.

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Sound a Clear Call

“DON’T GARBLE THE MESSAGE!” If I heard that once during Marine boot camp, I must’ve heard it four dozen times. Again and again, our outfit was warned against hearing one thing, then passing on a slightly different version. You know, changing the message by altering the meaning just a tad. It’s so easy to do, isn’t it? Especially when it’s filtered through several minds then pushed through each mouth, it is amazing how the original story, report, or command appears after it has gone through its verbal metamorphosis.

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Breaking Bad Habits

I USED TO BITE MY FINGERNAILS right down to the quick. I’d rip off those babies just as soon as the first signs of new growth would appear. For well over twenty years I carried around ten ugly stumps that resulted in two miserable experiences: personal embarrassment and physical limitations. God began to convict me about my nail-biting habit. It took Him, let’s see, nearly a decade to bring about a final and complete victory, ashamed as I am to admit it.

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Who’s Imitating You?

WHO IS IT THE LORD HAS used to model His message and challenge you to change, to shake off that tendency to settle for less than your full potential, to stretch and pursue and conquer new territory you once never dreamed possible? All of us can name atleast one individual, can’t we? Four characteristics are usually found in those who impact our lives:

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Agreeing about Disagreements, Part Two

As much as we may pursue peace, and as positive and tactful as we may be, there will still be occasions when disagreements arise. As one wag put it, “Life ain’t no exact science,” which brings me to the last two of four facts with which everyone (well, most of us) would agree. (I shared the first two facts yesterday.)

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Agreeing about Disagreements, Part One

As much as we may pursue peace, and as positive and tactful as we may be, there will still be occasions when disagreements arise. As one wag put it, “Life ain’t no exact science,” which brings me to the first two of four facts with which everyone (well, most of us) would agree.

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A Few Actions That Signify Grace

I want to focus our attention today on the concluding verses in Romans 14. Read verse 19 slowly and thoughtfully. “So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” On the basis of that great statement, consider the first of four action steps.

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Free to Eat, or Not

A funny thing happened to me recently. One of the sound-and-light people at the church where I pastor (a real character!) heard me teach on the subject of freedom. A couple of weeks later he pulled a gag on me. With an impish grin he said, “You had a birthday recently, didn’t you?” I nodded yes. He said, “You’re originally from Texas, right?” By now I knew I was in for something!

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Undeserving, Yet Unconditionally Loved

Whatever he became, according to his own statement, Paul owed it all to “the grace of God.” When I ponder the words from that grand apostle, I come up with what we might call his credo. We can reduce it to three single-syllable statements, the first consisting of only eight words; the second, ten words; and the third, twelve.

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