Can’t We All Just Get Along?
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In the interest of full disclosure, I hate conflict. I will go to great lengths and do almost anything to avoid it. But I know folks who appear to thrive on conflict. They are not afraid to say exactly what they mean, even if they’re pretty sure it’s going to upset someone.

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When we talk about the early Christians we like to concentrate on the “all in one accord” parts of the story – they [...]

Sunday: Answering Christ’s Prayer for Unity
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John 17 contains Jesus’ great intercessory prayer. It reveals what was on His mind at that momentous hour of earth’s history.

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Read John 17:9-11, 20-24. What was Jesus’ heartfelt longing? Why was this so important? How did the disciples’ relationship to one another demonstrate genuine Christian faith? See Acts 4:32-33.

The “oneness,” or unity, of the disciples prepared their hearts for the reception of the fullness of the Holy Spirit’s power. Christ’s prayer for His church was fulfilled. They surrendered [...]

Guilty Refuge
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Have you ever been caught up in some activity that you knew was not right, but you rationalized it somehow so that you didn’t feel guilty? Rationalization takes a lot of mental and spiritual energy to maintain, but most of the time, the guilt drifts back into your consciousness often enough that you might gradually start to believe that you can’t be forgiven for what you’ve done.

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I remember several times rationalizing things that I [...]

Sabbath:Confession and Repentance: The Conditions of Revival
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Read for This Week’s Study: Acts 5:30-32, 2 Cor. 7:9-11, Lev. 5:5, 1 John 1:9, Heb. 12:17, Ps. 32:1-8.

Memory Text: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy”(Proverbs 28:13, NKJV).

Throughout Scripture, both repentance and confession have prepared the way for spiritual revival. God has always prepared His people to do a great work for Him by leading them to godly sorrow for their sins. Once we acknowledge our sins and confess them, we are on track to [...]

Wednesday: Sensitivity to the Spirit’s Call
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Throughout his ministry, Paul was guided by the Spirit, convicted by the Spirit, instructed by the Spirit, and empowered by the Spirit.

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In his defense before King Agrippa, he described the heavenly vision on the Damascus Road. He then testified that the purpose of his ministry to both the Jews and Gentiles was “‘“to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that [...]

Becoming Potato Chip Christians
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Many of you will remember a potato chip ad campaign from many years ago in which the slogan was, “Nobody can eat just one.” Why did that slogan work so well for the potato chip brand? Because their potato chips left such a good taste in our mouths that it left us wanting more.

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Have you ever noticed, as you go through your day, that some people who touch your life leave you with a [...]

Monday: Receiving the Promise
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The mission of sharing His love and truth with the entire world must have seemed overwhelming to this small group of disciples.

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The challenge was enormous, the task immense. Its accomplishment in their lifetime might certainly have seemed impossible (as it can in ours). The best estimates are that the population of the Roman Empire in the first century was approximately sixty to seventy million. According to the first chapter of Acts, one 120 believers [...]

Life-changing or Time Wasting?
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Would you be surprised to learn that only 31% of Americans believe that the Bible is the literal word of God. That number shrinks to a mere 10% if we’re only asking people who claim no religious affiliation. In addition to that, 19% of Americans feel the Bible is nothing more than a compilation of myths and legends.

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What do you think? Do you believe the Bible is the literal word of God or a [...]

03: The Word: The Foundation of Revival – Thought Starters
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“Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to your word.”
Psalm 119:154 NKJV

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[Thought questions for The Word: The Foundation of Revival July 17, 2013]

1. Can the Bible revive us? If spiritual truth and power are contained in God’s Word, can reading Scripture draw us closer to the One who is Truth? Have you ever been discouraged or heartbroken until God’s Word reminded you of God’s love for you and [...]

Thursday: The Word: Revival’s Guardian and Safeguard
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The Holy Spirit mightily moved through the teaching and preaching of the apostle Paul as he established the Christian church in Ephesus.

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Ephesus was a city of approximately two hundred fifty thousand people. It was considered the market place of Asia. As ships brought their wares from throughout Asia, people flocked to Ephesus to buy fine silk, rare jewels, flavorful spices, hand-woven carpets, exquisite art objects, and exotic foods. It was also the center for [...]