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When your heart is right, your sense of well-being, or happiness, will grow.  So, to increase your happiness, take a look at the ways you are not guarding your heart.  Are you allowing someone to "steal our happiness"?  Is there a person or persons who are able to manipulate you or "make you feel bad"?  Is there someone who is actively hurting you in some way?  If so, get back in control by not allowing that person or persons to affect you in hurtful ways. (Dr. H. Cloud, 2011)

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True forgiveness-- begins with oneself.  The Bible is silent on the subject of forgiving oneself, but there were implications of forgiveness behavior toward oneself, in the scriptures.

In order to forgive others, we need to first come to terms with how and why we reacted the way we did and what we can to to ensure that we do not repeat the same behavior in the future.  Self-forgiveness is both a beneficial part of the forgiveness process and a necessary skill in learning to overcome being upset with ourselves. (Luskin, 2002)

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One day this present age will have run its course.  When it has, our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will come again and introduce a whole new order of things. But how are we to live in the meantime, as we wait for this great event? The grace of God is salvation and the self-giving of Christ on Calvary together point us to the answer.  Campbell, D. (2007). Opening up Titus (p. 76). Leominster Day On Publications.

Direct download: Sermon_12-10-17.mp3
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We are commanded to rejoice at all times and in all things... We should never forfeit our joy to sullenness, bitterness, or negativism simply because things aren't the way we would like them to be. Nevertheless, it is typical for believers to let changing circumstances of difficulties, confusions, trials, economic troubles, attacks, disagreements, unfulfilled expectations or ambitions, strained relationships, and so forth throw them off balance and steal their joy (MacArthur, 1999)

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Know what is coming and remain in what you have learned! (R.C.H. Lenski, 1937)

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Paul knew the problems that arise in any Christian society. The best people can slip up.  The word Paul uses (paraptoma) does not mean a deliberate sin; but a slip that might come to someone on an icy road or a dangerous path. Now, the danger of those who are really trying to live the Christian life is that they are apt to judge the sins of others harshly  There is an element of hardness in any good people.  There are any good people to whom you could not go and sob out a story of failure and defeat; they would be bleakly unsympathetic. (Barclay, W. 2002).

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What blows do athletes receive in their face, what blows all over their body. Yet they bear all the torture from thirst to glory. Let us also overcome all things, for your reward is not a crown or a palm branch or the trumpeter proclaiming silence for the announcement of our name, but virtue and strength of mind and peace acquired ever after.

(Lightfoot (St Paul and Seneca) quotes from Seneca (Ep. Mor. IXXVIII.16). [The International Critical Commentary, Robertson and Plummer, p. 195)

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The apostle having commended their obedience for the time past, and mentioned his confidence in their obedience for the time to come, proceeds to give them commands and directions to some who were faulty, correcting some things that were amiss among them. (Henry, M. 1994).

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Jesus did not manipulate people. He did not try to back them into corners where they could do nothing but what he wanted them to do.  He always presented the truth in love and allowed people the latitude to act upon it as they saw fit.  Many responded to His message, others chose not to.  We must be careful to follow this example in our evangelism.  Always remember that just as easily as you can manipulate a person in accepting the gospel and giving their life to Jesus, someone else can manipulate them out of it.  People must choose for themselves based on the truth and love- that is the only way evangelism will be effective and long- lasting. (McClung, 1988).

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The conditions in which you live and worship as Christian believers are not those of Sinai but those of heaven.  (Ellingworth, P. 1993)

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