Obedience to Avoid Punishment is Not True Obedience
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My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Proverbs 2:1 NLT

The other day I was substitute teaching at my local church school. The kids were all good, but a little hyperactive. I finally said, “The next one who talks without raising their hand will get their name on the board.” No sooner had I said that, when a girl talked without raising her hand. I wrote her name on the board. She looked shocked. I told her, […]

Written on The Heart
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My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart.Tie them around your neck. Proverbs 6:20-21 NLT

Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart. Proverbs 7:2-3 NLT

While many people think the ten commandments should be posted on courthouses and schools, I saw a t-shirt that read, “Put the Commandments back where they belong, in […]

The Loophole Heresy
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/rbjas0041.html?r=ssnet

Okay, definition first:

Loophole – “an ambiguity, omission, etc, as in a law, by which one can avoid a penalty or responsibility”1

Probably, most of us don’t think about loopholes very often. If we think of them

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at all, it’s in the context of rich people trying to get out of paying taxes or a criminal avoiding jail time.

I’d like to suggest, though, that when it comes to the Ten Commandments, almost every one of us has […]

Expanded and Explained
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/pppas0103.html?r=ssnet

A. J. Jacobs spent a year living what he considered to be “biblically.” He grew his hair and beard long and walked around New York City dressed like Moses, looking for people who were breaking any of the rules of the Old Testament.

On day 62 he went to Central Park to follow the command to stone adulterers. In Central Park, Mr. Jacobs met a man who looked to be in his mid-70s, sitting on a park bench. He walked up […]

How the Church Failed Mo
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Image Lars Justinen from Goodsalt.com

Mo is a pretty cool dude. I don’t say super cool because, after all, he is my brother and so pretty cool will have to do. (I’m sure such a “theorem” would be reciprocated by a hearty “my sentiments exactly” on his part.) Anyhow, the point is he’s pretty cool.

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Now Candice, my special lady, is awesome. This awesome lady of mine was clever enough to plot a secret reunion between my pretty cool brother […]

07: Christ, the end of the law – Thought Starters
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[Thought Questions for Christ, the End of the Law May 14, 2014]

Intro. Read the title of this week’s lesson again. What does it mean that Christ is the “end” of the law? Hasn’t the law existed forever? Don’t we love God’s law in the same way the psalmist David did? Doesn’t the law reflect the character of Christ? Then how can Christ be the end of it? Take a long hard look at this week’s lesson because there are blessings around […]

Judged by Our Works?
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Will

Since 1981, when I began preaching in high school, I have preached in many churches from Chiclayo, Peru, to Torrington, Connecticut.  I have spoken to large and small congregations with various needs.  I have illustrated to some conservative churches the need to be a little more liberal, and to liberal churches, how to be a little more conservative, as we all seek a Christ-like balance.

One Sabbath several years ago, I was preaching in one of the most conservative churches I […]

Legalism vs. Temperance
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I have found that there are some important topics that nobody wants to talk about. I went to all my regular websites and found an entire category suspiciously missing. It goes by several names – temperance, moderation, abstinence, self-control, balance …

Part of my problem, I think, is that a couple of those terms have taken on very specific meanings even though they can be applied in lots of different situations.

Temperance, for example, has come to be used almost exclusively in relation […]

“Not I But Christ” OR “Me Plus Christ”
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There are probably plenty of  reasons why God waited till He had created everything else, before He created man. Obviously the environment was not inhabitable for mankind earlier, but I would like to suggest another reason. If man had been around while God was creating the earth, he might have come up with the notion that he actually had a part in creation.

It is the same with Calvary. Sure, mankind was there, but everything that was good was because of […]

The Greatest Evidence There is a God
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“Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves….” Psalm 100:3

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I entered the ICU in a Tampa hospital to pray with a family who was about to lose their mother. The mother was a Christian. The daughter was near believing, but I soon found out where her two sons stood. When the daughter announced I was here to pray, the two grown sons said, […]