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The Nearness of Jesus, Spiritual Resilience, and the Glory of God: Part 3

Mountains

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.-Abide With Me, hymn Henry Lyte In the second part of this series we learned about a profound promise, namely that Jesus Himself, by way of the Holy Spirit, is actually present with us. This conv...

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Church Regathering on May 17

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Church Family, If the Lord wills, we will resume our physical worship gatherings on May 17. This email contains a lot of important information. Please read everything carefully and let us know if you have any questions. We want to make sure we do everything in our power to gather as safely as possible. The duration and circumstances of our lives are in God's hands (James...

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The Nearness of Jesus, Spiritual Resilience, and the Glory of God: Part 2

Mountains

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!-hymn, Thomas Chisholm In part 1 of this series we were challenged with the idea of "rejoicing, always" and the means by which God intends for us to lay hold of this joy that is, faith-fil...

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Conquering through Defeat: The Strange Victory of Jesus and his People

The God of Paradox

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.' (Revelation 2:7, ESV) The book of the Revelation is a strange and confusing book. It combines completely unnatural images: an ox with six wings and full of eyes (4:7), strange comparisons (how can a rainbo...

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Evil and Good: One Action with Two Intentions

The God of Paradox

But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result--the survival of many people."Genesis 50:19-20 The paradox of evil and good: one action with two intentions can be found in Genesis 50:19-20. The background to this verse is that the patriarch of the family, Jacob, had...

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The Nearness of Jesus, Spiritual Resilience, and the Glory of God: Part 1

Mountains

"Perfect Wisdom, Perfect PowerPerfect Goodness, Perfect LoveFather, Savior, Friend, and HealerO so near and all aboveYou are joy each moment new!Here I rest content in You."-hymn, "Content in You" Ken Bible 2014 IntroductionThe book of Philippians was written by the apostle Paul while in an ancient Roman prison. Not that today's modern prisons are enviable in term...

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Suffering and Joy: Two Odd Friends

The God of Paradox

The world is filled with great uncertainties in these days. The Lord places paradoxes in our world. One such paradox is finding joy in the midst of suffering. These two truths seem at odds with each other but, as with all of God's paradoxes, God often places seeming opposite ideas side-by-side to display His glory. In the letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul gives u...

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Life through Death: Resurrection of the Saints

The God of Paradox

1 Corinthians 15 is packed full of information. I am sure that many sermons could be preached on various points. However, most of this chapter confines itself to the resurrection of the dead. A cursory glance of the Old Testament would reveal only limited statements regarding this wonderful reality while the New Testament seeks in many places to fix our gaze on the unendin...

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Habakkuk and Corona: An Ancient Prophet and Modern Suffering

The God of Paradox

'Look at the nations, pay attention, and be utterly astounded! For I am doing a work in your days which you would not believe even if you were told.' -Habakkuk 1:5 God's ways typically surprise. Sometimes this surprise produces joy while at others it produces angst, frustration, or even confusion. The latter was the case for Habakkuk, who God gave the unhappy foresight to...

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The Cross: Jesus Didn’t Save Himself

The God of Paradox

In the hours leading up to and while on the cross, Jesus endured some incredibly cruel mockery. Some of the mockery was physically painful (i.e. the crown of thorns), but some of the mockery was meant to be emotionally painful. I'm thinking particularly of the religious leaders who mocked Jesus by saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King ...

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