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A Different Type Of Influencer
September 23, 2019 12:31 PM PDT
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One of the latest trends is the rise of "social media influencers", everyday marketers who promote places and products. Their success is due to social identity theory, in which people see value and connection based on the opinion of peers. When that message is true and the persuader is authentic, people are happy to be convinced. As Christians, the message of the Gospel is the ultimate Truth, so when our lives are marked by definitive life change, others will be drawn to Jesus Christ. In Acts 11, Barnabas shows the power of that combination, and the need to encourage others to "remain true to the Lord with a resolute heart"

It's So Simple
September 15, 2019 03:52 PM PDT
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It's easy for Christians to feel insecure and inadequate about our commission to have a spiritual influence on those around us. But when two spiritual characteristics are present in our lives, we will be effective in fulfilling that calling. In Acts 11, there were a group of Jewish men who boldly took the Gospel to the Gentiles, at a time when many Jews weren't willing to do so. The Lord blessed them and put His hand on their ministry because they were filled with the Spirit. The same can be true for any of us.

Called To Something Great
September 09, 2019 08:36 AM PDT
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Everything we are and do as believers should communicate to the world that salvation through Jesus Christ is real and life changing. Knowing and serving such a great God means that we have a great calling to have a powerful impact. This is what Solomon realized when he built the temple. He had a strong purpose to glorify and worship the Lord, and to sacrifice to Him. As disciples, we are declared temples of the Holy Spirit, so our calling is to make Christ known, and be a living testament of His glory and grace.

Zone Defense
September 02, 2019 07:14 PM PDT
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It is somewhat normal to gravitate toward what doesn't challenge us or push us beyond what is reasonably comfortable. But when the Lord is the one calling us out of our "comfort zone", do we defend it or follow His leading? Because being a Christian is not about us but about Christ being pre-eminent, our thinking and priorities need to change. The account of Barak and Deborah in Judges 4 details how comfort can hinder us from experiencing what the Lord wants to do in and through us, and stunt our growth.

Change Is In The Air
August 26, 2019 01:19 PM PDT
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Fall is a time of change--kids go to school, the weather changes, and schedules go back to normal. But when the changes are more significant--a job transition, health problem or spiritual trial--how do we deal with it? The Bible is full of example of people experiencing change, including the disciples, whose convictions, perspective and responsibilities were all radically transformed in just 53 days. How they responded gives us an example to follow in how to make holy decisions that bring honor to the Lord, and keep us from self-destructive decisions.

Thoughts From The Trail
August 18, 2019 08:52 PM PDT
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A recent hiking trip in the mountains of North Carolina reinforced some vital truths that serve as spiritual metaphors. The difficult process of going up the trail to the summit parallels the essence of our lives as believers. These truths call us to important decisions about whether we will just walk where things are easier and comfortable, or whether we will progress by faith, in the power of the Lord. This is an issue of what our mind chooses to do, with the reward being joy in His presence and provision.

Walking In Our Calling
August 14, 2019 03:59 PM PDT
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The Bible tells us that our spirit and our flesh are in constant opposition to each other. Sin wages a constant assault on us, so it is essential that we are walking by the Spirit. Adam Lopez teaches that rejecting sin not only gives us victory in that battle, but empowers us in our calling to share about the grace of God with others. (Note: Due to copyright restrictions, we cannot post the audio of the video Adam refers to. It can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ytFB8TrkTo)

Dead Or Alive?
August 14, 2019 03:53 PM PDT
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Jesus said that He came that we might have life. After salvation, He gives us His Spirit. But are Christians and the Church really relying on Him? In this study, Jamie Cannalte explains that the Spirit is the distinguishing mark of believers, and breathes life into the Church. Then, he challenges us to examine whether we are filled with the Spirit and aligned with the God's plan.

Blame Game
July 29, 2019 10:13 AM PDT
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There is a prevailing mindset of blame in politics and culture. This involves lying about how things really are, not taking responsibility for your life and rationalizing that this allows you to act however you want. It isn’t new–Aaron did the same thing in Exodus 32 to justify building the golden calf. This study explores the lies in 3 statements we make to defend our failures, and presents 3 different responses that are more honest, humble and honoring to the Lord.

Enemy Territory
July 22, 2019 10:52 AM PDT
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When we are frustrated by uncertainty, there are two different voices we will hear: The calm, loving voice of the Holy Spirit, and the tense, calloused voice of the enemy, who disguises his temptation with fake sincerity and care. As David found out when he was running from Saul, this creates pressure points which can derail us spiritually. In Psalm 142, David details these emotional threats, and explains how the Lord responds to strengthen and help us.

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