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Giving up in order to gain

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Today is “Ash Wednesday.” The day when Christians for centuries have started the season known as “Lent.” During this season, as Christians we seek to deny ourselves in one or more areas in order to seek God and hear from Him clearly between now and Easter. I think many of us as Protestants have neglected this valuable spiritual discipline down through the years. We’ve just said, “That’s something the Catholics do, but we’re free from that.” And I think that because we haven’t taken fasting seriously, we’ve missed many opportunities to become more like Christ.  During the “State of the […]

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60: The Lamb Betrayed, Part 2

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2020-02-23 Jesus in the real world 60: The Lamb Betrayed, Part 2 Luke 22:54-71 54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a […]

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From failure to following

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What is the biggest failure or humiliation you’ve ever faced? Maybe it was failing an exam. Maybe it was getting fired from a job. Or maybe it was a relationship not working out. Or maybe it was a personal moral failure? Something you said or did that ruined a relationship or damaged all your hopes and dreams? What was it? Well, I have good news for you. Our greatest failures or humiliation can lead to our strongest hope. The life of Peter is a great example of this truth. Peter swore to go to prison for Jesus and die for Jesus. And […]

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59: The Lamb Betrayed, Part 1

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2020-02-16 Jesus in the real world 59: The Lamb Betrayed, Part 1 Luke 22:39-53 39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, […]

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Betrayed!

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Have you ever been betrayed? I mean, just sold out. Maybe it was someone who pretended to be a friend, but later you found out they were talking bad about you. Maybe a boss promised you a promotion, only to leave the company and you before it ever happened. Maybe it was even worse. Maybe a loved one hurt you. Abused you. Abandoned you. Someone very close to you, someone that you trusted, hurt you so much that it still aches. Have you ever been betrayed? Oh, it hurts.  But what do we do? As we continue in the middle […]

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58: The Last Supper, Part 2

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2020-02-09 Jesus in the real world 58: The Last Supper, Part 2 Luke 22:24-38 24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one […]

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“Great!”

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We use the word “great” way too much. We talk about “having a great time.” Seeing a “great movie.” Last weekend’s Super Bowl was a “great game.” There’s even a cartoon tiger that tries to sell breakfast cereal by saying that it is “great.” And unfortunately, the more we overuse the word, the more we empty it of its true meaning.  The Oxford dictionary defines “great” as: 1. “of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above the normal or average.” and 2. “of ability, quality, or eminence considerably above the normal or average.” That’s just great! But wait.  If we […]

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57 The Last Supper, Part 1

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2020-02-02 Jesus in the real world 57 The Last Supper, Part 1 Luke 22:1-23 “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him […]