Sensitized By Prayer

One of the worst effects of sin is its nature to desensitize us.  What does that mean exactly?  Simply stated, to be desensitized means to become less sensitive.

Nothing better illustrates desensitization than the disease of leprosy.  For years doctors believed that the disease produced decay.  It was later discovered that the disease does not produce decay itself, but rather, it damages the peripheral nervous system.


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Why Jesus is Polarizing

Jesus was incredibly controversial in His time here and He continues to be just as controversial today.  Why is that?

When I read the Gospels, it is clear that, generally speaking, people either loved, hated or were indifferent to Jesus.  He was loved for his message of hope and his generosity in healing and feeding people.  That’s the easy part to understand.

The difficult part is understanding why he was hated.  Here are some reasons, which are by no means exhaustive.  He was hated because He didn’t do everything the people wanted Him to do.  People wanted different, specific things from Jesus, but as a whole the people wanted Jesus to overthrow the Roman Empire.  He wouldn’t do it.  He could’ve, but didn’t.  Instead He taught,


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Resolutions

What are you planning to do differently in 2020?  I’m a bit behind, but will have my goals finalized very soon. 

I’m going to have categories of goals.  Professional goals, personal goals, mission goals and family goals. Over-riding all goals is my continuous goal of striving to be like Christ.

What does it mean to strive to be like Jesus?  Much can be said, but what it means most to me is dying to myself more and more in exchange for being transformed into an image more like Jesus.


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Good and Bad Reasons

John the Baptist had many disciples.  Some defected to Jesus, which pleased John very much, but some stayed with him.  We read about John’s disciples all the way into the Book of Acts. 

One day, some of John’s disciples had a question for Jesus, Matthew 9:14 –

Then the disciples of John came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”

It’s a specific question, but a surface question.  There is another question.  The real question, which is, “Why do your disciples not do all of the religious things that we were taught to do?”


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A Grand Adventure

Last week, Nathan Bradbury, Levi Turney and I hiked the Grand Canyon.  There are many ways to see the different parts of the Grand Canyon, and a person could explore it all of their life and not see it all. 

To maximize the experience and see as much as possible, we hiked from the top of the south rim to the Colorado River at the bottom and then back up a different trail that took us back to the top of the south rim of the canyon.  In total, we hiked a little more than 17 miles and were in the canyon a little over 14 hours.  We hiked the full 17 miles all in the same day.


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My Demons

I often have heard people blame the devil for their sin, but how much of our sin is simply due to the fact that we love sin?  James 1:14 says,

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust (emphasis mine).


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Safe?

We live in a time when people go to great measures to feel safe.  This is best illustrated in larger cities. 

First, you have to figure out where the safest neighborhood is in the city and move there.  You will no doubt be in a gated housing addition.  I’ve even visited a friend who lived in a gated housing addition within a gated housing addition!  Two sets of gates!


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The Reserve Army

It is helpful to think of Christians as a reserve army.  What is a reserve army, exactly?  It is an army that has been trained exactly like the regular army, but after being trained, returns to civilian life until it is called into service.


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The Power of Jesus

I am so very excited to continue our study of Matthew.  I love the approach of Matthew in presenting Jesus as King and Savior.  Here’s what we’ve covered so far:


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A Wonderful Gift

It’s easy to name the greatest gift that God has ever given to mankind, which is obviously Jesus, but it’s much more difficult to name the greatest common gift He’s given.


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