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One Small Hole

James 1:13-15 “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
 
I came home the other day to find a near miss in our backyard.  A very large limb from a 50-year old red oak tree fell and just missed our house and deck. This puzzled me because the tree looked so healthy on the outside; but
Tags:  James, Heart Rot, Inside

The Good Life: Vacation

 Ephesians 5:15 ”Be very careful, then how you live - not as unwise but as wise.” 
 
I love vacation! You probably do too! There are few things better than breaking away from the work and stress of everyday life to get a little rest and relaxation. On a good vacation it feels like time moves slow. The days are packed with memories with those you love and the “real world” seems far away. When I think about the Good Life I think about vacations. The only problem is that the challenges of life do not really go away. They still exist back home, but we just get to
Tags:  Ephesians, Paul, The Good Life, Vacation

Live Different

Ephesians 4:17 “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do.” 
 
I’m always impressed by “before and after” pictures. Whether they are weight loss, home improvement, or a business flip. When someone or something changes it takes a lot of effort to achieve the goal. 
 
The Apostle Paul understood this personally. Midway through his life he experienced a life changing transformation. For us he is a living example of how Jesus can change a person. The change was obvious. Instea
Tags:  Ephesians, Paul, Live Different, Transformation

The Good Life

Ephesians 4:1  “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” 

What comes to mind when you think of “The Good Life?”   Maybe it’s giving up the rat race early to live on the beach?  Or maybe it’s a life of wealth, pleasure, comfort, and independence.  The reality, however, is that comfort and leisure are fine but we are created for more than that! 

Tags:  The Good Life, United, Ephesians, Paul

Whole heart

2 Chronicles 25:2  “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.” 

The other day a team that I am a fan of lost a very close game.  In the past there were times when a loss like this would have upset me.  My wife noticed a difference and said, “You really took that well.” I explained to my wife that I was prepared to experience a loss that night.  The team I was cheering for was greatly overmatched and it did not put my whole heart into the prospect of them winning.

Tags:  Whole Heart, 2 Chronicles, King Amaziah

From “Other” to “Brother”

Ephesians 2: 12-13  “Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”
 
Have you ever studied a “What is the difference” picture? I love these puzzles where you look at two pictures and try to find the subtle differences in each. It is amazing how hard you have to look to notice some of the smallest changes. 
 
Tags:  Ephesians, Paul, Differences, The Cross

What Am I Hear For?

Ephesians 2:10  “For we are God’s Handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” 

A couple of months ago, Scott Foster’s wildest dream became a reality - and he didn’t see it coming.  Scott is a 36 year-old accountant in Chicago who loves to play hockey in the beer league, during his free time.

Tags:  Purpose, Ephesians

No One Can Boast

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” 
 
I love the satisfaction of a job well done. After mowing the lawn or mulching the beds I often walk in the street in front of my house to take in the fruit of my labor. It feels good to do a good job on yard work, a school project, or in the office, but what about faith? 
 
Paul was writing to a group of believers and reminds them that there is nothing th
Tags:  Boast, Sales Pitch, Paul, Ephesians

What the Future Looks Like

Ephesians 1: 18-19 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.” 
 
Have you ever wanted to know the future? We as humans are fascinated with the future. We try to predict it, shape it, and even control it! Many of us spend significant amounts of energy worrying about a future that never happens. So, what is next in our lives? What does the Bible say our future looks like
Tags:  Ephesians, The Future, Paul, Inheritance, Eternity

What Does God Think of You?

Ephesians 1:4-5  “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with His pleasure and will.” 

Have you ever wondered what someone else really thinks of you?  Maybe you liked someone romantically but you did not know if they felt the same way.  Or maybe you wonder if your boss really values you.  At times you may have even wondered what God thinks of you. 

Tags:  Ephesians, Paul, Child of God, Adoption