Principles vs. Precepts

What an epitaph! Not, “I found David to be a great warrior,” or, “I found David to be a faithful shepherd,” or, “I found David to be a brilliant king”—none of those things. It says, “I found David to care about the things I care about.”

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A Major in Discomfort

Notice carefully how the process took place through those years of desert learning, because it is the same with you and me. God must break through several hard, exterior barriers in our lives before He can renovate our souls.

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Heat but No Light

Moses believed he was to be the deliverer, many years before he received his recommission at the burning bush. He assumed everyone else would realize it too.

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Persecution and Blessing?

Do you usually associate persecution with blessing? Jesus did. “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness.” I don’t know how this strikes you, but it seems misplaced at first glance.

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Peace Amidst an Uncertain Future

If you live intimidated by people, then you need to come to terms with your lack of peace. God is bigger than any person. You don’t need to dread tomorrow. You don’t need to dread your uncontrollable circumstances. It’s a decision that’s called “a frame of mind,” otherwise known as leaning on the everlasting Rock. That’s what we’ve been learning from the life of Paul as we’ve considered Acts 19:21–31 in Parts One through Three.

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Peace Amidst Unpleasant Circumstances

After Paul had been willing to stay at the task in Ephesus even with the dream of going to Rome on his heart (Acts 19:23), “about that time . . . ” That’s the way it happens. Just about the time you get out of your prayer closet and you’ve got it all worked out, everything breaks loose. Look at the rest of verse 23: There occurred no small disturbance concerning the Way [which was a first-century label for Christianity].

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Peace Amidst Unfulfilled Dreams

Today’s Scripture passage, which details events in the life of the apostle Paul, has a lot to teach us about finding peace in spite of our natural tendency to panic. I hope you will read it thoroughly. In these twenty-one verses it is not difficult to pick out three significant moments that normally bring anxiety. To begin with, in Acts 19:21 Paul is shutting down a very successful ministry in Ephesus.

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Vision

It’s a cartoon I’ve smiled at again and again. There are two Eskimos sitting on chairs, fishing through holes in the ice. The fella on the right has draped his line through your typical disk-like opening . . . about the size of a small manhole. The Eskimo on the left has his line in the water too. He also waits calmly for a nibble. His hole, however, is more like a crater, a Rose Bowl-sized opening that reaches to the horizon—in the shape of a whale.

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Houdini’s Secret, Part Two

Yesterday I told you a story about an amazing feat by Harry Houdini in which he escaped from locked handcuffs before a roaring crowd—incredible stuff! He later admitted that he stopped repeatedly to address the crowd because he needed their applause to keep up his enthusiasm! Two things set Houdini free: (1) his knowledge of what he knew to be true and (2) the cultivation of his own enthusiasm.

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