Friend of God

DIRECT INTERCHANGES between God and individuals don’t occur often in Scripture. But in Abraham’s life, his interchange with God takes the form of a true dialogue, a back-and-forth conversation between friends.

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Laying the Foundation of Courage

Elijah had prayed that it would not rain and, ultimately, it did not rain for three and a half years. So the dried-up brook was just an indication that the very thing he had prayed for was beginning to take place.

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Resentment

Leo Held was a paragon of respectability. He was a middle-aged, hard-working lab technician who had worked at the same Pennsylvania paper mill for nineteen years. Having been a Boy Scout leader, an affectionate father, a member of the local fire brigade, and a regular church-goer, he was admired as a model in his community. Until . . .

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Comparison

Odious . . . disgusting, detestable. If you want to be a miserable mortal, then compare. You compare when you place someone beside someone else for the purpose of emphasizing the differences or showing the likenesses. This applies to places and things as well as people. We can become so proficient at this activity that we sustain our addiction through an unconscious force of habit. Inadvertently, the wheels of our thinking slide over into the ruts of this odious mindset. Comparison appears in at least two patterns.

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Four Ways You Can Reflect the Truth

Think about your typical morning. After you roll out of bed, it probably isn’t long before you’re staring into a mirror. If you’re like me, most days your hair looks like an explosion from a mattress factory, your face resembles one of the Seven Dwarfs, and your breath is . . . well, let’s just […]

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A Rare and Remarkable Virtue

If one attempts to lead a congregation without this Spirit-given virtue, he is driven to frustration, irritability, and severity. His pulpit becomes an avenue of anger, his preaching a diatribe of demands, and his person insulting and intolerant as Diotrephes of old. No, God encourages me and my ilk to be “long-tempered.”

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Rumors

Abraham Lincoln’s coffin was pried open twice. The first occasion was in 1887, twenty-two long years after his assassination. Why? You may be surprised to know it was not to determine if he had died of a bullet fired from John Wilkes Booth’s derringer. Then why? Because a rumor was sweeping the country that his coffin was empty. A select group of witnesses observed that the rumor was totally false, then watched as the casket was resealed with lead.

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Dialogues of the Deaf

Listening. I don’t mean just hearing. Not simply smiling and nodding while somebody’s mouth is moving. Not merely staying quiet until it’s “your turn” to say something. All of us are good at that game—cultivated in the grocery store, local laundromat, or on the front steps of the church building.

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Short and Sweet

Average life spans are shorter than most of us realize. For instance, a face-lift lasts only six to ten years; a dollar bill lasts for only eighteen months; a painted line on the road remains only three to four months; and a tornado seldom lasts more than ten minutes.

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Externals vs. Internals

The nation to whom the prophet Isaiah wrote was going through the empty motions of a hollow religion. All the right words, all the right appearances, but zero results. They even fasted and prayed. I suppose we could say they looked and sounded orthodox, but they missed God’s favor. They observed the external Sabbath, but they lacked the internal Shalom. Why? Don’t hurry through the answer (Isa. 58:6–12). It’s worth reading aloud, perhaps more than once.

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