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Why are we here?

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In our weekly sermon series through the book of Exodus, we are in the section of Exodus where the Israelites have left behind their slavery in Egypt and are on their way to the Promised Land. During this phase of their journey, a question the Israelites frequently asked was, "Why are we here?" Why are we trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea? (chapter 14) ...

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Warfare Prayer

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Imagine a refugee camp in the middle of the desert. The people take down their tents in the morning and ready themselves for the day's hike. The fitter ones have already started down the road. Those less agile the elderly, the disabled, the families with small children lag behind. Suddenly, a war cry fills the air. Armed men on swift camels storm into the camp, killing...

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The Rescue

What comes to mind when you think of a rescue? A firefighter rushing into a burning building? A Coast Guard ship aiding a raft of refugees? Perhaps you think of a child nursing a stray animal back to health, or of a woman walking her friend to his first A.A. meeting. Whatever picture comes to mind, rescues are always thrilling. Someone with compassion acts to aid someon...

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The God Who Gives Joy

Joy from God...

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Peace in God's Arms

On the 2nd Sunday of Advent this year we will be reading Isaiah 40:1-11, a passage that promises peace and comfort to people in distress. Isaiah was a prophet in the southern kingdom of Judah who ministered from approximately 745-695 B.C. In his preaching, Isaiah confronted the people over their sinful rebellion against God, warning them of the painful exile that would re...

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A Prayer for Hope

It has been said that humans can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, and about eight minutes without air, but that we cannot survive even one second without hope. I disagree with that statement. There are people who have been living without hope for years if you can call that living. When you have no hope, you still get up in the morning, ...

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What Will People Think

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Concern over the opinions of others is one of the strongest human motivators. We crave people's esteem. We fear their disapproval. We long for their acceptance. The desire to be liked and respected is natural, but when it becomes too important it can enslave us. Proverbs 29:25 says, "Fear of man will prove to be a snare." This coming Sunday (November 26), we conclude ou...

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Deliver Us

The final petition of the Lord's Prayer is, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." The Heidelberg Catechism teaches that, in praying this part of the Lord's Prayer, we are saying, "By ourselves we are too weak to hold our own even for a moment. And our sworn enemies the devil,the world,and our own fleshnever stop attacking us. And so, Lord, uphold us an...

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Forgive Us Our Debts

In our current sermon series, we are allowing different psalms from the Bible to show us how to give voice to the various petitions of the Lord's Prayer. The fifth petition of the Lord's Prayer is "forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Psalm 32 helps us to pray this petition with depth and authenticity. In his book on the Lord's Prayer, Terry L. Johnson remind...

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Our Daily Bread

Jesus taught us, in the fourth petition of the Lord's Prayer, to ask the Father for "our daily bread." "Daily bread," of course, is a metaphor for everything we need from the Lord. This includes requests for spiritual growth and piety, but we should never be embarrassed to ask God for physical blessings, as well. In Prayerbook of the Bible, a book on praying the psalms, D...

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Hallowed Be Thy Name

In our current sermon series, we are learning to pray the psalms through the lens of the Lord's Prayer. The first petition of the Lord's Prayer is "hallowed be Thy name." Psalm 147 is a great psalm for helping us to pray this petition to God. According to the Heidelberg Catechism, when we pray for the hallowing of God's name we are saying: "Help us to truly know you, to h...

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Our Father

In teaching his followers to pray, Jesus instructed us to approach God as "our Father who art in heaven." This shows us that, as we come to God through Christ, we are to approach God in two ways. First, we are to approach God with a sense of confidence. We address God not at our Master, our King, our Ruler, or our Employer. He is our Father. In other words, since we have ...

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The Book of James

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