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Jul 2013 25 Jul 25, 2013
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“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” (3 John 2). Many of those in the Word of Faith or Health and Wealth camp argue on the basis of 3 John 2 that God always wants his children to be physically healthy. He wants all to “go well” with us and for each believer to “be in good health, as it goes well” with our “souls.” But can it be demonstrated f...Read More

Jul 2013 24 Jul 24, 2013
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I read the Old Testament story of Hosea with shock and amazement. Hosea may have lived 2,700 years ago, but his idea of marriage wouldn't have differed greatly from mine. Like most other men, he wanted a wife who was faithful and pure and gentle and loving. He didn't get one. Hosea married a whore. Sorry, but there's no reason to tone down the language. Hosea's wife, Gomer (I've often wondered if she had a brother named Goober!), was a whore, a prostitute. She was unfai...Read More

Jul 2013 23 Jul 23, 2013

“Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth” (3 John 5-8). What is going on here? Apparently some it...Read More

Jul 2013 22 Jul 22, 2013

“Last month Exodus International became the opposite of what it had been. It went from helping men and women to be free of sexual strongholds to helping them feel they are OK with Christ in their sexual strongholds. The gap between ‘Christ accepts you as you are and cleanses you of your sins’ and ‘Christ accepts you as you are, period” is the width of the Grand Canyon. But shoe-horn enough God-words into the announcement and you will win ove...Read More

Jul 2013 22 Jul 22, 2013
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To be a “world” Christian simply means that you have consciously, sincerely, and sacrificially reordered your life around God’s global purpose to glorify himself. A “world” Christian is a believer who has made God’s global purpose a priority in terms of how you pray, what you read, where you spend your time and energy, and perhaps most important of all, what you do with your money. In his book, In the Gap, David Bryant defines “...Read More

Jul 2013 19 Jul 19, 2013
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As you’ve probably heard by now, Pope Francis recently fast-tracked the sainthood of two popes: John Paul II (d. 2005), and John XXIII, who led the church in the early 1960’s. In an article in The Week (July 19, 2013), describing this development, two things stood out to me. First, “Francis declared that John Paul had performed two miracles needed for canonization, with the healing of two very sick women who prayed to him.” This is the identical ...Read More

Jul 2013 19 Jul 19, 2013
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What is the single most common grammatical error made today in both speech and writing? A few days ago I was in my truck listening to sports talk radio. The host was talking about the recent signing of Dwight Howard by the Houston Rockets. In the course of his comments he referred to Howard’s previous struggles, particularly in Orlando where there was an on-going dispute “between he and Stan Van Gundy” (former coach of the Magic). So, what’s wron...Read More

Jul 2013 18 Jul 18, 2013

We’re now ready to look at the second remedy Paul prescribes to help heal the body of Christ of a disease in which some of its members are persuaded they are useless to everyone else. (2) Paul’s response to those of you who feel useless in the church is to say that your way of thinking is a denial of and a rebellion against the wisdom and goodness of God himself. I know that sounds harsh, and someone might say, “Sam, you shouldn’t say things like...Read More

Jul 2013 17 Jul 17, 2013
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"It is natural . . . for us to trust in ourselves,” wrote James Denney. “It is so natural, and so confirmed by the habits of a lifetime, that no ordinary difficulties or perplexities avail to break us of it. It takes all God can do to root up our self-confidence. He must reduce us to despair; He must bring us to such an extremity that the one voice we have in our hearts, the one voice that cries to us wherever we look round for help, is death, death, death. I...Read More

Jul 2013 16 Jul 16, 2013

In the previous article we began looking at a problem in the local church when it comes to the presence and operation of spiritual gifts. The difficulty emerges when some, who don’t know what their spiritual gift is or don’t like the one they have, feel useless and say, “You don’t need me,” and others, who take pride in their gift, feel self-sufficient and say, “I don’t need you.” When this happens, the body suffers, which ...Read More