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Real life

Devotional
We all desire to experience a full and satisfying life. Every single one of us. As followers of Jesus we believe that he came to give us an abundant life---a joy-filled life. So we all set out to find joy---to experience REAL LIFE. In Colossians, Paul says that since we've died to our old self and been raised to new life in Christ, our REAL LIFE is now hidden in him. So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed,…
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A man who schemes…

Devotional
"The good person obtains favor from the Lord, but He condemns a man who schemes. (Proverbs 12:2) The idea here is that God blesses the man who is merciful and charitable and kind, but that he condemns the man with malice and deceit in his heart. One guy is looking for opportunities to do good to his neighbor, while the other devises a plan to take advantage of his neighbor. Makes sense, right? And we all think we're in the first category, not the second. But when I read the word, "schemes" I can't help but see my self as a schemer. Whenever I devise a plan for my own good--maybe a plan that would help me get what I want or where I want to be--I am not a man…
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Why fear?

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In Matthew 10:28-31 we're commanded to not fear. The reasoning behind this command is that nothing in this (temporary) life can ever touch your (eternal) soul. So even if you are at risk of death, you don't fear because the worse-case-scenario is death of your body, and it's going to to die eventually anyway. The passage further reassures us against fear by letting us know that God knows his children. He knows their name and their location and even the number of hairs on their heads. Fear melts when there is someone who can remedy any situation. As a child, I never feared the dark when my father was with me. Well child of God, your father is with you. So live without fear. Cast your cares upon him. Refuse…
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Obey without delay

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After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.” So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and his mother. (Matthew 2:13-14, 19-21 NLT) Joseph was…
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God is in control

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All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah. (Matthew 1:17 NLT) In Matthew 1:1-16 we get what is called "Matthew's Begats." A listing of the ancestors of Jesus. I am always struck by verse 17 though. 14 generations from Abraham to David. 14 generations from David to the exile. 14 generations from the exile to Jesus... If you ever doubt that God knows what is going on in your life or that he is sovereign over the universe, read that verse again. Nothing was by accident. God sees order in the chaos. God knows right where you are as his child and he is always working to see His will come…
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Prayer & Fasting: Day 21

21 Days of Prayer
When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed. (Daniel 10:2-3 NLT) We've been fasting intentionally for three weeks. This is the 21st day. Some of us have been on a Daniel Fast as described in the verse above, while others have been fasting in different ways. Our purpose was discipline, focus, clarity and dependence upon God. Daniel fasted so he could know and understand the Word of the Lord. I hope you've found some clarity and direction over the last three weeks. Today as we conclude our fast, let us thank God once again…
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Prayer & Fasting: Day 20

21 Days of Prayer
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. (John 17:21 NLT) Jesus prayed for our unity. He prayed that we would be united like the he and Father are united. This unity will be a witness to everyone around us that Jesus is truly the Son of God. Today, pray that we as believers will be unified. Pray specifically for unity within your local Church.
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Prayer & Fasting: Day 19

21 Days of Prayer
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17 ESV) God loves people. So much so that he held nothing back in sending Jesus. He didn't come to condemn, but save all who would repent. Let's love people like that. Ask God in prayer to give you his heart for people who need forgiveness and new life.
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Prayer & Fasting: Day 18

21 Days of Prayer
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:29-31 ESV) They prayed not for deliverance from the threats, they prayed for BOLDNESS to continue witnessing and preaching the gospel. And when they prayed, the place was shaken and God answered their prayer by filling them with his Holy Spirit. Let's pray for boldness.
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Prayer & Fasting: Day 17

21 Days of Prayer
You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. (Hebrews 5:12-14 NLT) We all come to a place in life where we realize that we need to grow up. For some, you seemed to mature just as intended and your parents were thrilled to see you spread your wings and fly. For others, you didn't get it that…
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