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Give Thanks For the Gifts Jesus Gives You: A Thanksgiving Meditation on Ephesians 4

Give Thanks

7But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,and he gave gifts to men." Ephesians 4:78 In this week of Thanksgiving, it is good to remember that thanksgiving is more than a feeling prompted by turkey and stuffing. Thanksgiving is a way of life for those who have b...

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The Strength That God's Sovereignty Supplies: A Meditation from the Book of Joshua

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10The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;he frustrates the plans of the peoples.11The counsel of the Lord stands forever,the plans of his heart to all generations.12Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!-- Psalm 33:1012 -- Throughout the book of Joshua we see the personal presence of God. In battle after b...

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For Disciples and Disciplers . . . A Short Biblical Survey of Beauty

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And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. . . . In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5...

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Baptized into knowing God

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Joshua 34 is about Israel crossing the Jordan River and entering the PromisedLand, which is to say it is about a baptism into and with Joshua. Seeing that"baptism," however, will take a little cross-referencing and you can read about10 things in Joshua 34 that help us get there in Pastor David's blog. Perhaps the two most important points for us to see revolve around the a...

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How Joshua Teaches Us to Find True and Everlasting Life

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Moses was dead to begin with.-- Joshua 1:1 -- Marley was dead to begin with.-- Charles Dickens-- When Charles Dickens wrote the opening line toA Christmas Carol,he touched off one of the most wonderful Christmas stories ever told. Marley, the miserly associate of Ebenezer Scrooge, was dead and now all eyes turned to his living partner. Though the story begins in the dark...

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Why Do We Sing During Worship?

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This Sunday we will be examining how congregational singing is crucial to our worship. Many approach Sunday morning with an attitude that some portions of the service are optional, or that some elements are "best left to the professionals" or the "gifted". Last month, our Theology Thursday book club examined a book written by Keith and Kristyn Getty titled, "Sing! How Wor...

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The Hole In Our Praise (and Lamentation) and Worship

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On my shelf, I have a Celebration Hymnal: Songs and Hymns for Worship.It was published in 1997, foreworded by Jack Hayford (Pastor of The Church on the Way), and intended to provide "tools for 'blended worship'" (from the Preface). Consisting of 865 selections, it combines new songs and old hymns, Scripture readings, and even various calls to worship. Yet, what is strikin...

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On Earth as It Is in Heaven: Seeking a Biblical Pattern for Worship

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If Scripture stands against our natural and cultural bent towards innovative worship, it also provides a biblical pattern for the kind of worship God requires. Last week I considered the first problemnamely, the problem(s) with man-made worship. This week, I want to show how a pattern of worship repeats throughout the Bible. Actually, Jonathan Gibson has provided this bib...

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A Mid-Year Check-Up

Six months ago, our church began our first church-wide Bible reading plan. It is an extended verson of Robert Murray M'Cheyne's classic Bible reading plan, which takes us through the Old Testament once, and the New Testament and Psalms twice. This year we'll read Genesis-2 Chronicles, Psalms, and the New Testament. Next year we'll read Ezra-Malachi, Psalms, and the New ...

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Worship By the Book: Or, Why Sincerity Is Insufficient for True Worship

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In his illuminating book,A Secular Age(summarized here), CharlesTaylor argued the unbelief handed down to us from the Enlightenment, coupled with new religious expressions in the 19th century, and accelerated by the sexual revolution of the "Sixties," has resulted in many and competing spiritual longings that live somewhere between belief and unbelief. In short, weare liv...

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