pray always

We can pray without ceasing,
when our thought-life
becomes our prayer-life;
when all the things we think about,
become all the things we pray about.
Our sinful thoughts become prayers
of confession and repentance.
Concerns for loved ones
become prayers of intercession.
Wishes become requests.
And our thoughts of God turn to praise.

Pray without ceasing. 
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV

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a call to prayer

Prayer is as necessary today, as it was yesterday,
and tomorrow, as it was last year.

 If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV

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the good news about abortion

In the third presidential debate, Hillary Clinton, speaking of late term abortion, said, “This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make.”
She was right. Choosing to have an abortion, during any term in the pregnancy, is the worst choice. A woman will live to regret that choice, unless her conscience has been soothed by the devil’s lie that abortion doesn’t really kill babies.
Donald Trump has been quoted as saying there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions. And there will be. One day, every person will stand before a holy God to answer for his or her sin. The punishment for sin is death.
But there’s good news. Jesus already died. Jesus bore God’s wrath for us. He took our sins to the cross. By repentance and belief, His sacrifice becomes ours.
I have been there. I have lived with the regret.
I can rejoice because Jesus’ death provided a sufficient sacrifice for my sin. As it did for all those who would put their faith in Him. The good news about abortion? It can be forgiven.
We can trust in Jesus for salvation, and for the future of this country. Our hope truly is in Him alone.

Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Mark 1:15 ESV

Scripture: Isaiah 53, Psalm 139:13-18

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confidence and joy

The greater a person’s confidence
that God will provide abundantly
in every situation and circumstance,
no matter what, the greater her joy.
The Lord will provide–that’s His name.
Jehovah Jireh, God will provide!
He would not sully His good name
by leaving one of His children unattended.

So Abraham called the name of that place,
“The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day,
“On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Genesis 22:14 ESV

Scripture: Genesis 22:1-19, Philippians 4:19

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prayer for pressing on

Lord God,
Please give me a discerning spirit,
with wisdom and good judgement,
discretion and understanding.
Help me to be strict with myself,
but merciful with others.
Help me to love the way You love.
Correct quickly any thought or attitude
that wanders from Your truth.
Direct me in the path of obedience
to Your Word, because Jesus died
and lives for me, and His righteousness,
in standing, is already mine.
Amen.

Scripture: Philippians 3:12-16

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the good life

Life
with God
is good.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; 
the Lord bestows favor and honor. 
No good thing does he withhold 
from those who walk uprightly. 
Psalm 84:11 ESV

And then, after considering those good things,
the psalmist is compelled to say:
O Lord of hosts, 
blessed is the one 
who trusts in you!

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Timber!

Unless you’ve hit a golf ball that’s about to conk someone in the head,
a tree is about to fall, or you see someone inches away from danger,
quiet is best.

“…aspire to live quietly.” 
1 Thessalonians 4:11a ESV

Also: 1 Peter 3:1-6

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God doesn’t lie

If God can not be trusted,
then the whole Bible is a lie.
But we know the Bible is true–
and God can be trusted.
So…
“Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous
to be moved” (Psalm 55:22 ESV).

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good news

This just might be the best news you’ll hear all week.
It’s my take-away from Sunday’s sermon:
God will never regret saving you.

Who is to condemn?
Christ Jesus is the one who died–
more than that, who was raised–
who is at the right hand of God, 
who indeed is interceding for us. 
Romans 8:34 ESV

Also: Romans 8:31-39, Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 7:23-25

[Sermon on August 21, 2016, Christ Church, by Eric Bjerkaas]

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nice

When we are nice to people,
chances are, they will be nice back.

A soft answer turns away wrath, 
but a harsh word stirs up anger. 
Proverbs 15:1 ESV

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something to think about

It’s just as important to think about eternal things,
as it is not to obsess over things that won’t last.

Set your minds on things that are above,
not on things that are on earth. 
Colossians 3:2 ESV

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children of God

We will never be adults of God,
but always children…
always growing,
always learning,
always maturing,
always needing discipline,
love, encouragement
and instruction from
the One who knows us best,
but still loves us most.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, 
that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 
1 John 3:1 ESV

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God’s investment

God is so invested in His people,
He meets with them whenever they wish.

This is true of Israel:
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.
The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people
for his treasured possession, out of all the people
who are on the face of the earth.”
Deuteronomy 7:6 ESV

And the Church:
Galatians 3:7-9, James 4:8, Titus 2:11-14, and 1 Peter 2:9!

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sin and restoration

We need not live under the guilt of our sin,
when there is a Savior who is ready to restore.

Have mercy on me, O God, 
according to your steadfast love; 
according to your abundant mercy 
blot out my transgressions. 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation. 
Psalm 51:1, 12a ESV

Psalm 51 is a must read,
for those suffering because of their sin.

Also: Micah 7:18-19, Psalm 103:8-14

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God our delight

We praise the Lord
for His many blessings,
and we enjoy to the fullest
every good thing He gives.
But our deepest delight
is not in the gift, but the Giver,
and our joy in the treasure of His Word.

In the way of your testimonies I delight 
as much as in all riches. 
I will delight in your statutes; 
I will not forget your word. 
Psalm 119:14, 16 ESV

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