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Devotional: ‘The Ground is Level at the Foot of the Cross’

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Have you ever heard the phrase – ‘The ground is level at the foot of the cross’?  That line comes from the lyrics of an old song.

“You may own earth’s silver, have riches untold, but all of earth’s wealth, my friend won’t save your soul.

You may live in a mansion, all the world knows your name; but at the foot of the cross, my friend, everyone stands the same.”

“The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Anyone may come there for there is no cost. Rich man or poor man, bonded or free. The ground was leveled that day at Calvary.” (words by Beverly Lowry, mother of Mark Lowry) [1]

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Devotional: ‘Searching for the Answers to Life’s Problems’

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“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:5-8 )

There are many who believe that we should never ask God the question ‘why.’ I agree that it is incorrect to question God if our questioning is somehow an insinuation that He is wrong. But if we are honestly seeking to understand more about what He is doing and why He is doing it, and if our questioning will help us to become wiser in our walk with Him, then I believe that it is good to ask God why.

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Devotional: ‘Being Joyful About Your Troubles’

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“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” (James 1:2)

No one that I know of rejoices whenever they face trouble. Most of us try to solve our problems as quickly as possible. Yet this verse tells us that difficulty is an opportunity for great joy. How can this be?

“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” (James 1:3) 

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Sunday Sermon: ‘Emmanuel, God With Us’

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Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

There are many names that we use whenever we refer to Jesus. We call Him Savior, Master, Lord, Redeemer, and even Friend. But there is one name that we rarely ever use, perhaps only at Christmas, yet it is probably one of the greatest names ever given to Jesus.

“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

There are three things I want to call to our attention as we consider the name Emmanuel.

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Devotional: ‘The Skeptic Who Became a Saint’

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This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.  (James 1:1)

That simple introduction may not seem that significant; that is, until you consider who it is that wrote it. We know that his name was James, but which James? There are at least three men mentioned in the New Testament who had the name James.

There was James, the brother of John and the son of Zebedee. There was James, the son of Alphaeus. And there was another James, who was the half-brother of Jesus. Many Bible scholars believe that it was this James, who was the half-brother of Jesus, who wrote this letter. Of the three men, James, the half-brother of Jesus, was the most amazing to have done so. Why do I say this? Consider this passage from the gospel of John.

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Devotional: ‘The City of Brotherly Love’

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“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:9-17)

When John recorded these words, he used the Greek word ‘philos’ for the word we read as – ‘friend.’  Though we never use the word philos is our everyday conversations, we do use it whenever we speak of the city – ‘Philadelphia’. The name Philadelphia is two Greek words put together: ‘Philos’ (love) and ‘delphos’ (brother). As many of you know, the name Philadelphia means: ‘the city of brotherly love.’

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Devotional: ‘Can We Have Too Many Friends?’

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When it comes to the subject of friendships, perhaps there is no verse of scripture used more than Proverbs 18:24. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly…” Many interpret this verse to mean that those who would have friends, but first themselves be friendly. Indeed, there is a lot of truth in that philosophy; however, when we read Proverbs 18:24 from other translations, we get an entirely different picture.

NIV – “A man of many companions may come to ruin…”

NAS – “A man of too many friends comes to ruin…”

CSB – “A man with many friends may be harmed…”  Read the rest of this entry