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Ask for the Holy Spirit

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23; ESV) On Sunday mornings, we have been studying the fruit of the Spirit. Some have asked, how can this fruit be ours? How can we develop these qualities in our lives? It is simple. We need to ...

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Finishing the Story

When we think of the gospel, our minds tend to gravitate toward the surprising and dramatic reversal of the cross and resurrection. This is perhaps only natural, as together those two events represent the great turning point of the story, where the apparent defeat of Jesus by crucifixion is revealed to be the very means by which God wins His decisive victory over the power...

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Full of the Spirit

"Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ." (Ephesians 5:18-21) "Fake News" has become all the rage. Facebook, Pope F...

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God Works the Night Shift

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! (Rv. 7.9-10, ESV) One o...

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How to Deal with Our Scribbled Lives

Imagine a Christian sitting down with a blank page and pen. He begins to write out his perfectly scripted life, explaining how he would love others, how he would structure his prayer life, or how he would build a beautiful Christian family. But indwelling sin and Satan crouch at his elbow, disrupting every pen stroke and messing up every word and sentence as our Christian ...

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How to Pray for the Elections

I have been struggling recently in my prayer life. Not with praying per se, but with how to pray. Specifically, how to pray for the upcoming elections. So what did I do? I went to Scripture. And I found some answers. In Paul's great teaching on prayer from 1 Timothy 2:1-3 one of his major points is that we ought to pray for rulers and "all who are in high positions". Acc...

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Changing My Thinking

It can be so easy to follow and copy the customs and ways of this world. Even as Christians we might want to fit in, be liked and even not stand out. We might want to go with the flow or be thought of as progressive and modern. We are creatures of conformity....

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Risk Running the Race

I am worn out. Not from too busy of a summer. Not from chasing the dog around the block. But from watching the Olympics. Hasn't it been an exciting two weeks? What these amazing athletes can do takes my breath away. The Olympics always remind me of 1 Corinthians 9, where the Apostle Paul says, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives...

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Living In God's Reality

Living In God's Reality One of my favorite things about the Apostle Paul is his ability to weavetogether theology with a call to practical applications. It's an abilitythat I appreciate more and more as I grow in my own vocation as apastor. Paul's theology, while often breathtaking, is never theology forits own sake. For Paul, there is always a real-world pastoral concern...

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They Matter To God

Take a look around your neighborhood. Or around youroffice. Or school. Or park. Do you see them? They live in the houses next door, they get up every Sundaymorning, have a cup of coffee, and read the Star Tribune.But they don't go to church and they don't know Christand they probably don't even have a relationship with aChristian they respect. If you believe what the Bib...

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