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Treasure in Heaven

Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,” (Mt 5:5, NIV). If ever a statement defined success, this would be it. Some, unfortunately, settle for cash now instead of a promise of salvation later. The richest people on earth can afford to buy whole islands for themselves. I envy them. I mean, I really envy them. But Jesus said the meek will inherit the whole earth — an island in the cosmos. Now that’s a deal.

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Intimacy with God

The phrase “Intimacy with God” falls awkwardly upon our modern ears. It shouldn’t because it reflects the perfect relationship Jesus won the right for us to have with God, and it is the profound relationship that He prayed for us to have, in John 17:20-23 (NAS):

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The Word Became Jesus!

If all the words we ever spoke became embodied in a new human being, what would that person be like? They would look different from us, but they would be an exact representation of us.
Imagine: all the good words, all the comforting words, all the encouraging words, and all the other words standing in front of you. That’s a scary thought … for me anyway. Words are selected, carefully sometimes, thoughtlessly most of the time. They are a mirror of thoughts and emotions, a window into our soul.
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Spiritual Discernment

Ever since Jesus ascended into heaven, people have claimed to receive spiritual gifts, dreams, visions, and special revelation. How do we determine if a spiritual experience is genuinely from God? In the Middle Ages, the number of reported spiritual experiences reached a feverish level. Folks got attention for such reports, and in some cases money and a large following. We’re in a similar environment today. Are all spiritual experiences false?

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Is Self-Forgiveness Biblical?

Is God’s forgiveness enough, or does complete forgiveness require self-forgiveness? The biblical answer is, “God’s forgiveness completely absolves us of our sin.” Self-forgiveness, is not a biblical concept. However, our emotions are real and we must distinguish between the efficacy of God’s forgiveness of sin and the management of our grief and self-condemnation. We receive His forgiveness, but we often have to work through our emotions.

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The “Christian Standard Bible” 2017 – Review

Every dozen years or so, I change the Bible translation I use for my personal devotions in order to force myself to read, re-highlight, and notate the text afresh. Yet, there will never be a perfect translation. As someone trained in the original languages of Greek and Hebrew, I can say that the best way to understand the original text is to learn the original languages. Nevertheless, the major English translations we have these days are very good and contain notes informing readers when a word or phrase doesn’t have an exact English match.

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Truly God, Truly Man, Risen Savior!

Leo the Great, best known for persuading Attila the Hun to stop invading Italy in A.D. 452, penned the most succinct and profound explanation of how the divine and human natures of Christ worked to reconcile us to God.i This is a timeless must read:

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Pleading for a Miracle – John 4:30-54

The son of one of Herod’s royal officials was close to death. The official traveled 18 miles up to Cana in the hope of successfully pleading with Jesus to return with him to Capernaum to heal his son….

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