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Come Near To Me, Please

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So Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, please." And they came near. And he said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life." (Genesis 45) There is no shortage of blogs, books, and sermons that use the life of Joseph as a model f...

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What Song Is Next?

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"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2) I’ve known Cooper since he was 9 years old. He is special in a lot of ways....

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Sinners Get To Wear White

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Years ago a young woman approached her pastor with a request. It wasn’t a strange request. She simply asked if he would perform her wedding ceremony. She and her live-in boyfriend had not been attending his church very long. They had only been Christians for a few short months and getting married seemed like the right thing to do. The pastor gladly agreed with this...

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The Wicked Way We Become More Like Jesus

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I'm always surprised to hear people say, “If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.” But we’re all sinners and we all sin every day. Some of us screwed up a lifetime ago and others fell short just last night. But everyone has THAT thing they would give anything to change. Pay any price to take back. And if you don’t have that… just wait. You may no...

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The Resurrection And The Life Hasn’t Forgotten

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Jesus simply can’t help himself. Over and over in the Gospels we find Jesus leaving a wake of physical restoration. Blind people see. Lame people walk. Lepers are made clean. And dead people draw breath again. Jesus hates sin, but not just because he is holy. Jesus hates sin because he hates what it does to the people he loves:...

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Jesus And Abortion

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If April 1 is April Fools’ Day, then March 25 is Divine Fool’s Day. Falling nine months before Christmas, it’s the day when God set in motion what appeared to be a foolish plan. The Creator of heaven and earth became a two-celled human zygote gradually drifting down the fallopian tube of an unwed Jewish virgin....

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The Gospel And Good Works

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I was asked to speak about "The Gospel and Good Works" for E1 Ministries recently. Here is what I had to say. [This video explains how your best "good works" are the times you've been the most like Christ.]...

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I’m Not Good. Christ Hold Fast.

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I’m a Christian and I’m not very good at good things. In fact, I’m downright miserable at them. I’m a cradle Christian. In other words, I was born into a Christian home and spoon fed the Bible from day one. I’m a preacher’s kid, a preacher’s oldest son in fact. I grew up with memory verses, Bible reading plans,...

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Who Puts His Hand To The Plow?

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“No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” These are the words of Jesus to a man who promised to follow him after saying good-bye to his family. Tough stuff. I admit this text used to trouble me. I mean, what is Jesus saying?...

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