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Jesus knew that people have a tendency to 'justify' themselves. We all want to think we are doing better than average, so we tend to minimize our problems to help us feel better. But minimizing our problems isn't the same thing as facing them.  One attempt to justify themselves can stand in the way of their ability to understand  themselves, and they will not change as long as they continue to do this. (Baker, 2001- emphasis added).

Direct download: Sermon_8-19-18.mp3
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Direct download: Sermon_8-12-18.mp3
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Scriptural teaching on divorce underscores two convictions which form a pastoral dialectic.  Following Jesus, there must be a readiness to resist divorce as an evil; divorce is opposed to God's reign, even though the believing community may tolerate it.  However, following Paul, there must be a willingness to resist facile solutions which fail to accommodate concrete and difficult cases presented by our own situations. (Wall, R. W. (1992). Divorce. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 2, p. 219). New York: Doubleday.)

Direct download: Sermon_8-5-18.mp3
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If it were only hunger for significance, we might be able to at least hold this craving at bay by a good dose of discipline and a depth of resolve.  But to complicate matters, the significance addiction is aided and abetted by the phenomenally powerful trio surging inner energies  called pleasure, pride, and passion.  This trio moves within each of us, creating partnerships of power that can corrupt and devastate even the best of us.  If left in their pre-redemptive flow, these forces render us incapable of advancing the significance of Christ and His kingdom. 

Stowell, Joseph M. Perilous Pursuits, Moody Press, Chicago, Il. (1994, P. 29.)

Direct download: Sermon_7-29-18.mp3
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The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren't actually interested in following Christ.  They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from the.

Idleman, Kyle. Not A Fan, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan (2011, 2016)

Direct download: Sermon_7-22-18.mp3
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Having told the disciples that the Son of Man will not come as soon as they wish (v.22), in what way He will not come (v. 23), in what way He will come (v. 24), and what will happen first (v. 25), Christ now states in what condition the human race will be when He comes

Rev. Alfred Plummer, M.A, D.D. The International Critical Commentary, T & T Clark, Edinburgh (1896, 1922, 1975, P. 408)

Direct download: Sermon_7-8-18.mp3
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Trust God entirely, 'with all your heart' (v 5a). God demands an undivided commitment to himself. Too often Israel had a loyalty divided between the LORD and the false gods of the nations We can be tempted to trust the wisdom of the world rather than rely upon divine revelation.

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For whosoever will save his life shall lose it and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.  For what is a man profited, if he gains the whole world, and lose his own Soul or what shall a man give in exchange for his Soul. For the son of man shall come in the glory of His father with his angels and then he shall reward.

SOULS

Salvation. Obedience. Unity. Love. Serve.

Direct download: Sermon_6-24-18.mp3
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A real sign of spiritual and emotional growth occurs when you stop making decisions based on everyone else's expectations. You end unhealthy relationships, take a leap of faith toward a new career path, or speak up for what is right.  Some decisions in life are tough. Some conversations are uncomfortable. Some choices will not be popular. And yet, there are moments when you are called to go against popular opinion and stand apart from the crowd. When you lay your head down at night, there is no better feeling that that of being peace with God. If you must compromise that peace in order to please others, you've compromised everything.  Don't do it. (Burton, Valorie, https://youtu.be/4VjT3miVazM )

Direct download: Sermon_6-10-18.mp3
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Jesus knew that people using their intellect alone can never come to a complete understanding of the truth about life. He didn't say "let me teach you about the truth", He said , "I am the truth." He knew the highest form of knowledge comes not from amassing of information, but from trusting relationships. [Baker, Mark, PH.D., Jesus The Greatest Therapist That Ever Lived, Harper One, New York (2007, Pp. 7-8)]

Direct download: Sermon_6-3-18.mp3
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