What do we do after we pray? Stepping it up, stepping in, stepping forward.

“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard . . . “ Nehemiah 4:9 “I’m praying for you.” We hear it from Christian friends. We see it on Facebook when a fellow believer shares about a health problem or about some difficulty they’re going through. “I’m praying for you,” we respond. I’m not dismissing the value of those words. I’m just wondering how many times the words are[…]

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The Devil Made Me Do It–Or Did He?

Dealing With Temptation “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” James 1:13-14, NIV Temptation. It’s bound to happen to each of us. Again and again, unfortunately. James doesn’t say if we’re tempted. He says when we’re tempted. After[…]

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Finding the target and the bullseye God wants you to aim at

Finding the Bullseye

“‘What shall I do, Lord,’ I asked.” Acts 22:10, NIV I sit on a wooden bench in one of the most beautiful places I’ve known–Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois. The sun is hot, but here I’ve found a shady, cool spot. The birds are rejoicing. The water is burbling past me as it makes its way over the rocks. Two ducks glide effortlessly by. It’s an ideal place to[…]

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Are You Hungry?

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” Matthew 5:6, NIV Have you ever been hungry or thirsty? Really hungry? Really thirsty? I haven’t. Not really. I do remember being very thirsty one day in northern Nigeria. We’d just returned from a visit to the weekly market. I don’t remember how hot it was that day, but our temperatures could reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit[…]

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Simply Obeying God

“‘Go stand in the temple courts’ he said, ‘and tell the people about this new life.’” Acts 5:20, NIV I suppose nothing in that verse stands out as exceptional. Of course God wanted believers to share what they knew about Jesus and the new life they had in Him. Nothing surprising there . . . Unless you consider the context. Peter and John had recently been imprisoned by the religious[…]

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Does justified really mean “Just as if I’d never sinned”?

Justification is an important part of our Christian belief. A look at a few Bible verses makes that clear: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24) “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him.”[…]

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