Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. Ephesians 1:3 (CSB)

The venerable song of the church urges us to “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” The command sounds good until we realize we have more blessings than we could count. What did Paul mean when he told us that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing?

Perhaps instead of mer...

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Save us and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered. Psalm 108:6 (NIV)

Words are interesting. While English may not be as expressive as other languages, including Greek, studying and understanding how we use language is still important. Today, we want to look at what it means to be delivered. A pregnant woman will deliver a baby. A postal worker delivers mail. An athlete who comes through in the clutch delivers results. God delivers us from evil and other assorted p...

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If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored— so clean up your life. Job 22:23 (NLT)

Restoration is big business. People spend countless dollars restoring antiques, fine art, vehicles, homes, and much more. In the end, however, there is often little practical value. For example, certain restored antique cars are valued at millions of dollars but are rarely, if ever, driven. The cars and trucks are hauled on trailers from place to place, and people admire the craftsmanship, but they no...

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They will be called “The Holy People” and “The People Redeemed by the Lord.” Isaiah 62:12 (NLT)

When I was a boy, “trading stamps” were a big deal. I remember my mom and grandma collecting S&H Green Stamps and pasting them into books. When they accumulated a sufficient quantity, they brought them to the redemption center to exchange for a desired product. It seemed like a big deal at the time, but it is trivial compared to being “The Redeemed of the Lord.”

According to the dictionary, to r...

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It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NIV)

“Saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost!” It was not unusual in the churches I grew up in to hear people begin a testimony with that declaration. Is sanctified a word that has, for the most part, disappeared from our vocabulary? How many people know what it means? Is it still necessary?

The dictionary tells us that to be sanctified is to be set apart for a sacred pu...

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The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

It is possible, and perhaps all too common, to be underwhelmed by the thought that God loves us. It might be easier for us to accept that he saves us than it is for us to comprehend just how much he loves us. Granted, theologically, we may receive that God loves us in theory, but how often do we take a moment reverently and consider his great l...

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Jotham grew powerful because he was determined to please the Lord his God. 2 Chronicles 27:6 (NET)

Determined is a good word. Some synonyms for determined include decisive, purposeful, resolute, steadfast, and even tenacious. Determination begins with a decision that we resolve to follow through to completion.

The Bible gives us examples of determined people. Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. Daniel 1:8 (NLT) When Naomi rea...

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For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Colossians 1:13–14 (NLT)

Rescuer or rescued? The “American Spirit” was often characterized as self-reliant and independent. It is debatable how prevalent this characteristic is today, but a significant number of us still would rather be a rescuer than be rescued.

We admire “first responders” who risk their well-being to come to the aid of th...

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Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6 (LSB)

Let us ponder for a moment the significance of satisfaction, and dissatisfaction in the world today. It appears every time I make a purchase online, take my car in for service, or do a host of other activities, I will soon find that email inquiring if I am satisfied.

On the other hand, in the past week, Apple unveiled new iPhones. How many people will be placing their order immediately,...

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And God has made all things new, and reconciled us to himself, and given us the ministry of reconciling others to God. In other words, it was through the Anointed One that God was shepherding the world, not even keeping records of their transgressions, and he has entrusted to us the ministry of opening the door of reconciliation to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18–19 (TPT)

Reconciliation is a word that is used primarily in relationships and financial transactions. In relationships, reconciliation occu...

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I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:14 (NLT)

In our previous post, “Start Well,” we emphasized the importance of starting well in our faith to construct a life that will withstand the storms and earthquakes that everyone faces. To build securely, we must dig down deep (Luke 6:47-48) to lay the foundation of our life on the Solid Rock.

It may require multiple attempts and failures before we...

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In the Beginning God… Genesis 1:1

How important is it to start well? A good start is critical in a 100-meter race, often decided by hundredths of a second. But a fast start is only one aspect of starting well. One must also begin in the right place and at the right time. It may be possible to overcome a poor start in a race, but only with exceptional talent. However, starting at the wrong place or at the wrong time will result in disqualification.

In The Sound of Music, the song “Do Re M...

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