Thanks for God’s Giving

I USED TO FEEL A LITTLE SORRY FOR Thanksgiving in Southern California when my family and I lived there. Since leaves don’t turn and pumpkins don’t get frosty, it’s tough to get Thanksgiving fever. The problem is compounded when stores jump from Halloween masks to Christmas trees. But at the risk of sounding a bit dated, I’d like to stand in defense of what I consider the greatest holiday of the year.

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From Depraved to Saved

WHOEVER IS SOFT ON depravity should watch Schindler’s List. It’s not for the fainthearted, I should warn you. It is a raw, harsh, shocking exposé of unbridled prejudice, the kind of anti-Semitic brutality spawned in hellish hate among the Nazis prior to and during World War II.

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The Kindness of God

“MY TREAT!”. Nice words to hear, huh? They have flowed into my ears from any number of places—yours, too. Treats are neat. Spontaneous. Unexpected. Pleasant moments that communicate: “You are special . . . loved, appreciated, affirmed, deserving,” and a half a dozen other warm fuzzies we need to hear but seldom hand out. Normally, they don’t come on holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries, but rather during the run-of-the-mill, no-big-deal times in our lives.

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Hoping and Waiting

AT LONG LAST I AM FINALLY discovering that that stuff about Rome not being built in a day is true. And speaking of Rome, Paul’s words to the century-one Christians who lived there are truer than ever. We believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children . . .

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Let’s Link Up

NOBODY IS A WHOLE CHAIN. Each one is a link. But take away one link and the chain is broken. Nobody is a whole team. Each one is a player. But take away one player and the game is forfeited. Nobody is a whole orchestra. Each one is a musician. But take away one musician and the symphony is incomplete. Nobody is a whole play. Each one is an actor. But take away one actor and the performance suffers. Nobody is a whole hospital. Each one is a part of the staff.

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Four Seasonal Dangers and Strategies

I’ve been giving a lot of thought these days to the subject of God’s will. While engaged in a study of that issue recently, I came across a term we rarely use or read these days: providence. The root meaning of providence is “foresight . . . to see in advance” or “to provide for.” But those definitions could leave us with too shallow an understanding. Providence contains far more than a passive reference to God’s foreknowledge.

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Free Indeed

My hope has been to create an appetite for grace that is so strong nothing will restrain us from pursuing the freedom and spontaneity it can bring—a longing so deep that a new spiritual dawn, a “grace awakening,” if you will, cannot help but burst through the wall of legalism.

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Careful Warning to All Who Are Free

Even those who live in a free country need warnings. So we shouldn’t be surprised that God gives His own a few warnings lest we abuse our privileges as people under grace. These warnings are set forth in verses 16 through 23 of Romans 6. None of them is complicated, but to grasp each one we’ll need to concentrate.

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Claiming Our Freedom from Sin’s Control

Know—”Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; . . . knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him” (vv. 3, 6, 9).

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