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John 3:16! Millions quote it. Only a handful trust it! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Wary of a catch perhaps? Cautioned by guarded friends? Desperation heightens our interest. When he asks for a divorce or she says, “It’s over.” When the coroner calls, the kids rebel, or the finances collapse. When desperation typhoons into your world, God’s offer of a free flight home demands a second look. John 3:16 morphs from a nice verse to a life vest. Some of you are wearing it. … Listen Now

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Millions facing the chill of empty pockets or the fears of sudden change turn to Christ. Why? Because he’s been there! He’s been to Nazareth where he made deadlines and paid bills and he’s been to Jerusalem where he stared down critics and stood up against cynics. We have our Nazareths as well. Jesus wasn’t the last to build a team, and his accusers didn’t disappear with Jerusalem’s temple. Why seek Jesus’ help with your challenges? Because he’s been there. But most of all he’s been to the grave. Not as a visitor, but as a corpse. Body wrapped and grave sealed. Buried. You haven’t yet, … Listen Now

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Something is awry—we feel disconnected. What we hope will bring life brings only limited amounts. We connect with a career and find meaning in family, yet long for something more. First a job, then a promotion. A wedding day, then a nursery…kids…grandkids. Around and around—is there anything else? Jesus steps forth with a reconnection invitation in Ephesians 2:5, that though we be dead in our transgression and sins, and separated from the life of God, whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Reborn! He breathes life into flat-lined lives. Others offer life, but no one offers to do what Jesus does—to … Listen Now

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Spend a lifetime telling God to be quiet, and he will do just that. In hell, God honors our request for silence. Hell is not a correctional facility or reform school. Its members hear no candid sermons. They do not hear the Spirit of God, or the voice of God, or the voice of God’s people. In Ezekiel 33:11 God says, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” It is not God’s will that any should perish, but the fact that some do highlights God’s justice. God must punish sin. Thanks … Listen Now

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Some historians clump Christ with Muhammad, Moses, Confucius, and other spiritual leaders. But Jesus refuses to share the page. In John 14:6 Jesus declares, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” He could have scored more points in political correctness had he said, “I know the way,” or “I show the way.” Yet he speaks not of what he does but of who he is– “I am the way!” His disciple Peter announced, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must … Listen Now

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As a parent, when our children stumble, we don’t disown them. We may punish or reprimand, but cast them out of the family? We cannot. They are biologically connected to us. Those born with our DNA will die with it. God, our Father, engenders the same relationship with us. Upon salvation we become, as John 1:12 says, “children of God.” He alters our lineage, redefines our spiritual parenthood, and in doing so, secures our salvation. Paul says, “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13). And a soul sealed by God is safe! God paid too high a price … Listen Now

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John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The phrase, believes in him, doesn’t digest well in our day of self-sufficient spiritual food. Believe in yourself is the common menu selection of our day. Try harder. Work longer. Dig deeper. Self-reliance is our goal. In him smacks of exclusion. Salvation comes in many forms, right? No. Salvation is found, not in self or in them, but in him! Romans 4:5 says, “To the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, … Listen Now

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Some of us have written our own Bible verse from Popular Opinion 1:1: “God helps those who help themselves.” We’ll fix ourselves, thank you. We’ll make up for our mistakes with contributions, our guilt with busyness. We’ll overcome our failures with hard work. We’ll find salvation the old-fashioned way…we’ll earn it! Christ, in contrast, says to us; your role is to trust. Trust me to do what you can’t. By the way, you take similar steps of trust daily. You believe the chair will support you, so you set your weight on it. You trust the work of the light switch, so you flip it. You daily trust power you cannot … Listen Now

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Whoever—God’s wonderful word of welcome! We lose much in life—jobs and chances, and we lose at love. We lose youth and idealism. We lose much, but we never lose our place on God’s whoever list. I love to hear my wife say “whoever.” Sometimes it’s my favorite fragrance wafting from the kitchen…strawberry cake! I follow the smell like a bird dog follows a trail. Yet I’ve learned to still my fork until Denalyn gives clearance. “Who is it for?” I ask. She might say, “It’s for a friend. Max don’t touch it.” Or she might throw open the door of delight and say, “Whoever!” And since I qualify as … Listen Now

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Do a simple exercise with me. Measure your life against just these four standards from the Ten Commandments: You must not steal. Have you ever stolen anything? A paper clip? A parking space? …you, thief. You must not lie. Those who say they haven’t– just did. You must not commit adultery. Jesus said, “If you look at a woman with lust, you’ve committed adultery in your heart” (Matthew 5:28). You must not murder. Before you claim innocence, Jesus said “Anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder” (Matthew 5:22). Jesus made his position clear: “Anyone whose life … Listen Now