Rejoice in the Lord Always

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REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS

Mike Cunningham

September 21, 2014

It reminded me of just how saturated our world is with sin. Along with most Americans, I was completely unaware that another evil had arrived on the scene of human history. I can only imagine the horrible thoughts that raced through the minds of its victims. The possibility of those satanically crazed murderers infiltrating our country is terrifying. It’s unnecessary to describe the video footage. Unless you are blind or seriously visually impaired, you saw each man moments before a member of ISIS beheaded him. If the victims were given the opportunity to write a few letters to their loved ones back home what do you think would be the first thing they would say? Here’s what one of my favorite hero’s told the folks that he loved dearly to do when he was in a similar situation. He said: Read more

Friday Morning Special 09/19/14

CONFRONTATION: HARSH WORDS

Scripture Reading: Genesis 42:1-17

As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. Genesis 42:7

Does it surprise us that Joseph spoke harshly to his brothers, who didn’t recognize him? We might expect this from someone who was bent on vengeance, but was Joseph that way?

Why didn’t Joseph immediately reveal his identity to his brothers, invite them to come near, embrace them, weep over them, and then gently explain that God himself had sent him to Egypt ahead of them? Read more

2014/09/17 – Devotional

THE PROCESS IS THE KEY TO EVERYTHING

Early in his inventing career, Thomas Edison invented a vote-tallying machine that could be used in legislative chambers. Simply by moving the switch from right to left, one could vote for or against a proposal without leaving his or her desk. Edison was thrilled about his prospects, so he headed for Washington, D.C.
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The Blessing of Tribulation

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THE BLESSINGS OF TRIBULATION
Mike Cunningham
September 14, 2014

I hated every moment of the often-severe physical and emotional tribulations that I’ve suffered in my lifetime. It took a while, but I’ve come to have a deep appreciation for the positive effect they’ve made and continue to make on my character, and the wonderful hope that I’m presently experiencing. Here’s why. The Apostle Paul explained to the first Christians who were living in Rome that, Read more

Friday Morning Special 9/12/2014

 

Redemption Comes Hard
By Kenneth D. Koeman
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-19 “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
—1 Peter 4:18

Redemption comes hard. This may be one of the greatest truths. Loosely quoting Proverbs 11:31, Peter notes that it is hard even for the righteous to survive God’s holy judgment. In that light, it’s no surprise that healing a broken friendship, mending a torn trust, or repairing a shattered family can be painfully difficult. Each rip in the relationship brings wounds and consequences. Some are never healed.

Two brothers in my town, both church members, barely spoke to each other for 25 years because of an old, unresolved quarrel. They are not alone.

Give me five minutes and a sledgehammer, and I could batter your family car into a heap of mangled metal. Could you fix it in five minutes? Hardly. Redemption comes hard, and it can take a long time.

This month we are going to watch the excruciating redemption of Jacob’s shattered family. In one day, they will suffer a crushing blow. Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, will be callously discarded into slavery by his brothers, who have come to detest him as their father’s favorite son. And then they will lie about it. Repairing the damage will take many years, harsh treatment, gradual conviction, and immense grace from God to finally begin the healing.

Redemption comes hard.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, open our hearts to the sober truth that redemption comes hard. Brace us for the hardship of redeeming what is broken in our lives, families, and churches. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Kenneth D. Koeman

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