At one
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The Feast of Yom Kippur (the Great Day of Atonement) does not appear on Christian calendars, but it was one of the three great pilgrim festivals in Old Testament times and is still observed in Judaism today. The fullest description of God’s instructions for this solemn day can be found in the 16th chapter of Leviticus. A young bull, a ram, and a goat were ritually killed and the blood sprinkled. The sins of the nation were ceremonially placed on... Read More
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I was trying to do some counseling to help a husband and wife whose marriage was teetering on the edge. The husband had had some of his shortcomings pointed out to him, but he was not interested in changing. Neither the threat of a lost relationship with his wife or even the risk of losing his relationship with God seemed to put a dent in his stubbornness. “Okay, so I’m sinning, but you taught me that God always forgives me... Read More
I am precious to God
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One of Satan’s endless deceptions is to get us to think of God in human terms, i.e., that he thinks and acts basically just like us. By those measures God is forgetful, impulsive, evasive, vengeful, and has a temper that can tear the branches off trees. The Bible describes a different God, one who is patient, steady in love and purpose, and who will never reject or forget the one he has called his child. “Can a mother forget the... Read More
Be patient
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Americans used to be good savers (10% of personal income went into savings) and now have become terrible savers (0% or even less, which means that people are actually burning up their savings for daily expenses). People who save none of their income probably are suffering from “I Must Have It Now” syndrome. Waiting for things cheerfully is learned behavior. People who didn’t learn it as children can cause some real wreckage as adults. God tends to ration out his... Read More
St. Michael and all angels
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We barely give a thought to the military defenses that protect our nation. Missile silos in cornfields wait quietly, hoping never to be needed. Military satellites watch our borders; silent nuclear submarines prowl the Pacific; worldwide radar tracks everything moving in the air. Your protectors in the spirit world do their work silently as well, carrying out God’s loving orders to keep the believers safe from the evil one and his horde from hell. But even though we can’t see... Read More
Friends help each other
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In your efforts to bring someone back to the faith, you are not alone. Sometimes you have to go through some major personal stress to find out that you have more friends than you thought. Ask them for help in your spiritual reclamation project. Ask them to pray for the person on your heart. Ask them to pray for you. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for... Read More
I'm a failure
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Yesterday a friend told me, “I think my wife and I have lost our teenage daughter. She despises us, is openly defiant day after day, and can’t wait to move out of the house.” This dear guy feels like a failure. I can only imagine the gloom in his wife’s heart. Know the feeling? Have you blamed yourself for the wreckage of something major in your life? Are you divorced? Been fired? Failed a course? Dropped out of school? Had... Read More
What if I lose my faith?
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Love stories will never die out in the movies and on stage. Not only do we all yearn to be loved, but there is also always the undercurrent of fear that the relationship is fleeting, always at risk, and that makes for great drama. We all know what it is like to be let down by someone you long for, and we also know our own fickleness—we ourselves might lose interest in the other person. What do you tell a... Read More
Become children again
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Little children are so used to having everything “automatically” provided for them—clothing, food, shelter, transportation—that trust comes naturally to them. This makes it easier for them to believe in Jesus too. They simply know that Jesus loves them. They simply trust that Jesus will help them. As we grow older, however, and grow more self-sufficient and self-reliant, we lose the “naïve” faith that everything we need will be provided. Adults know that they have to work for everything they get.... Read More
I have nothing; I have everything
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I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.—Martin Luther Are you familiar with the terms P/L statement and balance sheet? These are accounting terms to define a business’ profit and loss and a listing of all assets, whether cash or receivables or equipment or real estate, balanced against all liabilities, such as debts or payables. What does your personal balance sheet look... Read More