Worthy By Death

All of human history as we know it is coming to an end. Governments will fall, injustice will cease, sin will be eradicated. Like an army, the events of history are marching to an inevitable end. And we may ask: who is in charge of all this? If we answer, God, we are right. But . . .

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DevotionsMatt HarkeyComment
Who is "With" Jesus?

Then comes the moment of truth. Can Peter Pan regain his leadership of the Lost Boys from Rufio? Peter Pan and Rufio fight it out. And Peter Pan gains the victory. Then in a classic display of loyalty, Peter Pan carves a line in the sand and stands on one side. And immediately everyone runs to his side. Peter Pan was saying, “Who is with me?” In the passage we look at from Mark’s gospel this evening . . .

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Keep Idols Out!

We come to this verse and we are tempted to think it has nothing to do with what John has already said—he has mentioned nothing about idols. But if we think about context, John said that Jesus is the true God and eternal life (v. 20), so to worship anything or anyone other than him is idolatry. So, in fact, it does fit the context.

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Avoiding Worldliness

We come into a season that is super special. We celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. What a blessed celebration! I love this time of the year. It’s amazing! And the Lord would have us to be intentional this Christmas to be reminded about what this time of the year is all about. But can I tell you, that gets more and more difficult every year here in America, it seems. Christmas has become commercialized . . .

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Resisting Your Adversary

When we are converted to Christ we get enlisted in a war. The war was going on before our conversion, but we were (unwittingly) fighting on the opposing side of Christ. But things have changed now. And whether we like it or not we have to daily wake up to the battle.

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DevotionsMatt Harkey
The Disciple's Service

What kind of service does God require of us? Is any kind of service an acceptable offering to God? Meeting the physical needs of people? Clothing the homeless? Visiting the sick? Helping the impoverished? What “counts” as the Christian disciple’s service? There is a lot of confusion in our day about this question . . .

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Why Warnings?

At the end of an intense warning in Hebrews chapter ten is the encouragement of verse thirty-nine: his audience will persevere in the faith. When you think about this it may seem odd, at first. The author of Hebrews tells his readership that, on the one hand, if they don’t persevere they will face eternal judgment. On the other hand he tells them that they will not face eternal judgment as they will persevere. The natural question might be then: why the warning? . . .

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DevotionsMatt HarkeyComment
A New Direction

What has the power to flip a man to call what was once a gain a loss, and to call what was once a loss a gain? The simple answer is: a new love. In the case of the apostle Paul, he found a new love in Jesus Christ, so that what he used to think of as gains became losses because they were hindrances to his love for Christ. Of course . . .

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DevotionsMatt HarkeyComment
The Powerful Power of God’s Power

When we consider the terrible depths to which we have fallen; when we think about how we were once enslaved to sin; when we evaluate the power of sin even in our lives now; when we hold these things up next to the power of God, none of them stand a chance. God’s power is so much greater than these things, Paul has to string together three different Greek words to describe God’s power. It’s quite literally . . .

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DevotionsMatt HarkeyComment
Sharing Burdens

We all carry around big boulders on our shoulders. They are the boulders of finances, marital difficulty, parental problems, estrangement of relationships, physical pain, spiritual struggles, sins we have challenges killing, doubts about our faith, etc. We all have one of those or a combination of them. But . . .

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A Parable of a Prodigal's Repentance

The compassion of God is a subject that must ever be before us. We are so incredibly sinful yet God is so radically compassionate. The Scottish Puritan, Hugh Binning, reminds us of this in this imaginary conversation between a broken sinner and God. “[The sinner says,] ‘I am exceeding perverse and wicked; there is nothing in me but wickedness. It so abounds in me that there is none like me.’ But, saith the Lord . . .

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Paul's Link to Christ's Power

I'm always amazed by Paul's perspective on life. He was the kind of guy that could get knocked down but never stay down. He got up. And the reason he was able to do this was not because he had greater self-confidence than the next guy. He could get back up because his confidence was in Christ. Paul's life was clipped on to the strength of Christ so that when the winds of suffering blew he would be unmoved.

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