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12/01/2018 — 1 Corinthians Chapters 9-11

Scripture provides guidance and there are some that speak personally to each of us.  I find myself often silently quoting the following “in my mind” — I call it finding the “back-door” away from temptation: 1 Corinthians 10:  12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except

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11/30/2018 — 1 Corinthians Chapters 5-8

In Chapters 7 and 8 we see Paul address questions from the Body in Corinth in what must be a “lost letter.”  And while Chapter 8 is about “food offered to idols” Coffman comments that Paul establishes four principles of Christian behavior among believers that still apply today: (1) that what is permissible behavior for

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11/29/2018 — 1 Corinthians Chapters 1-4

Only one verse into 1 Corinthians and a possible example of God’s grace struck me. 1 Corinthians 1:  1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,  So, do you see the grace revealed in the fist verse? If not, refer back to Acts 18: 16 So he drove them off.  17 Then

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11/28/2018 — Acts Chapters 18 & 19

Acts 18:   2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla,because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them,3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them.4 Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to

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11/27/2018 — 1 & 2 Thessalonians

When I read these letters my thought was how much as a Body I would like to hear the same words spoke of us.  For Paul is mostly very pleased with the work of the Body in Thessalonica. Just for a few examples: 1 Thessalonians 1: 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you

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11/26/2018 — Acts Chapter 17

As we have been reading Acts I hope you have been tracking Paul’s journeys on a map.  (If not it is not too late to start.)  Knowing where is he located and the heritage of the people helps us understand his method of teachings. Acts 17:  2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on

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11/25/2018 — Galatians Chapters 4-6

A short passage in Galatians 4 caused me to reflect a bit.  How many times have we set-off with plans of adventure or mission that were not fulfilled and, yet, what we encountered was marvelous once we accepted where we were?    I’m sure you can remember a few examples. Galatians 4: 13 As you know, it

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11/24/2018 — Galatians Chapters 1-3

Inspired by the Holy Spirit the Apostle Paul is a remarkable author.  Through his writings we will see many “faces” pf Paul in his letters — Paul, the teacher; Paul, the debater; Paul, the mentor; Paul, the disciplinarian; and Paul, the friend. In today’s reading I saw another face — Paul, the lawyer.  With great

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11/23/2018 — Acts Chapters 15-16

Acts 15:  5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.” But we know the “end of the story.”  The Gentiles were not required to be circumcised and to place on their necks  “a yoke that neither we nor

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11/22/2018 — The Book of James

First, I am sure you noted that we are leaving the Book of Acts for another book – we will do this several time.  Remember that the developers of the reading plan are making their best effort to keep us in “chronological order.”  Of course the books are not dated, so in their opinion the

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11/21/2018 — Acts Chapters 13 – 14

When we look at the logarithmic growth of the church I am amazed because it occurred during a time without “social media,” electronic media and even the printing press.  Yet, through the Lord the church grew! Acts 13:  42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on

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11/20/2018 — Acts Chapters 11-12

I think most of us recognize that even out of unimaginable tragedies the will of God can be seen if we only take time to look.   While this may not diminish the pain we feel at the time the long-term result may offer us comfort.  I see this reality fully shown in the following passage:

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11/19/2018 — Acts Chapters 9 – 10

OK — folks in New England certainly know who Bill Belichick is, the Head Coach of the New England Patriots.  As Head Coach he is the focus of and  most often quoted by the media.  I doubt if he could walk through the streets of Hyannis without being recognized.  But what about Josh McDaniel, Dante

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11/18/2018 — Acts Chapters 7-8

Acts 7:   25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. Stephen’s reiteration of Israel’s history and God’s ultimate plan for His people has always been inspiring & a terrific review of the Old Testament.  In the margin of my Bible I had scribbled

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11/17/2018 — Acts Chapters 4-6

In these first six chapters we read about the tremendous growth of the church — from just a few hundred believers to possibly as many as 20,000 when the “seven” to serve were chosen (Acts 6.) A key to the growth is expressed in an observation made of Peter and John, two Galilean fishermen, by

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11/16/2018 — Acts Chapters 1-3

The magnificence of the power and teachings contained in these two chapters is inspiring.  But did you note one important aspect of the teaching: Acts 1:   20 “For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “‘May his place be deserted;  let there be no one to dwell in it,’ [Psalm 69:25] and, “‘May another take his place of

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11/15/2018 — Luke Chapter 24 & John Chapters 20-21

Luke 24:  5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over

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11/14/2018 — Matthew Chapter 28 & Mark Chapter 16

In addition to today’s readings we will continue to share in the wondrous occasion of Jesus’s resurrection tomorrow.  There is no greater miracle that we read — and all part of God’s ultimate plan. One detail I share today: Matthew 28:  10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to

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11/13/2018 — Luke Chapter 23 & John Chapters 18-19

As I read these chapters I was reminded of a study I had done years ago.  In that study I summarized that Jesus was actually “tried’ six times before being sentenced to death.  The trials were before: 1. Annas                    (Jewish – found guilty) 2. Caiaphas   

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11/12/2018 — Matthew Chapter 27 & Mark Chapter 15

I can never read the descriptions of Jesus’s co-called “trial” and execution without being disgusted at the physiological suffering he incurred.  No matter what I may read about the horrors of crucifixion I cannot begin to envision the suffering inflicted upon the only Son of the Living God. And this does not include the emotional

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