Devotionals

What to Do With Our Fears

VERSE “And do not fear those who kill the body by cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28 NKJV Special Note: For the first edition of the Sword & The Spirit weekly devotional, I chose to write on the concept of fear. […]

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Safety or Freedom

VERSE And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected…and be killed, and after three days rise again…And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me Satan! For you are not on the […]

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Earthly Passports and Heavenly Citizenship

VERSE Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Phil 1:27 NLT Americans have many earthly freedoms. Freedom to vote, freedom not to vote. We are free to marry, have children, own property, travel across the country and into most countries in […]

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To Forgive: Surrendering Our Desire to Control

VERSE Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21-22 In our close relationships, we are very aware of the number […]

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Love God and Love Others

VERSE Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40 Loving God entails loving others. […]

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Fear of Change

VERSE When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion; and they were afraid.  And those who had seen it told what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine. […]

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The Most Celebrated Command

VERSE You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  Matt 5:43-44 NIV Loving people is hard. Loving unlovable people is particularly difficult. But loving your enemy? The command seems insane! But this is the love […]

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The Truth Will Set You Free, but Only on Other Side of Obedience

VERSE Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 When confronted with the question “Is this true?” most of us weigh the idea or statement in our […]

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Better Than Debate

VERSE Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything […]

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The Apologetic of Love

VERSE I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. John 17:21 NLT When I was in seminary, my professors taught me how to […]

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What Is True of Paul Is True of Every Christian

VERSE Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 We live in a culture in which selfish ambition has become a moral good. It doesn’t matter what […]

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Is Anyone Really Good?

VERSE The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:2-4 The Bible clearly tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  I know that […]

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Good Enough

VERSE John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” And He answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, […]

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Suffering: the Ultimate Power Over Evil

VERSE And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rev 12:11 ESV Christians everywhere have debated whether violence is ever justified. Some make the case that it’s never okay to use violence, while others say violence […]

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What Is the Correct Response to Violence?

VERSE Jesus told them, Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. But the one who endures […]

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Downward Glory

VERSE You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Phil 2:5-6 NLT When Jesus was born, Caesar Augustus had recently ushered in a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity that would make the Reagan years look […]

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A Commitment Is More Than a Decision

VERSE And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? …the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:37-38 The garden of Gethsemane is the scene for the greatest inner turmoil in the life of Jesus, yet his closest friends […]

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Christ Living Through You: the Best Form of Evangelism

VERSE All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Acts 6:15 The early Church had a profound impact on their culture. It was not due to political power, protests or boycotts, forming committees, or demanding their rights in an […]

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Being Angry While Avoiding Sin

VERSE In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27 We live in a time of barely and rarely concealed anger. Political discussions get intense and the airwaves, social media, and newspapers are filled with rage. […]

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Jesus’ Upside Down Kingdom

VERSE My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world. John 18:36 ESV The Prince of Peace was born into a world drowning in violence. The […]

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The Most Important Thing in Life

VERSE And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 In this gospel passage Jesus tells his disciples that the most important thing for disciples to attend to in this life is who we love […]

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Forgiveness Molds the Path to Healing

VERSE You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your […]

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The Legal Rights of God’s Children

VERSE I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20-21 Americans have been raised with the language of rights. According to the Declaration of Independence, […]

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Do What Is Honorable

VERSE For we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 2 Corinthians 8:21 We don’t hear the term honor as much today in our society as in yesteryears. When we do hear the term, sometimes it is attached to very dishonorable actions and behaviors. […]

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When Rocks Crumble

VERSE Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Romans 8:34 NLT I feel like the older I get, the more I become addicted to God’s grace. Perhaps […]

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Walking in the Footsteps of Christ

VERSE He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 A few years back, there was a popular trend that took off with young adult believers and expanded throughout Christianity: WWJD – What Would Jesus Do? The acronym […]

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In Sin, There’s Still Promise

VERSE If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:15-16 I realize it probably sounds awful to speak of anything promising about sin. After all, sin is a truly […]

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Dying to Self in an Age of Self-worship

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 Certain members of the media dubbed the period of the 1980’s as the era of “ME.” Looking back, I think they were referring to political policies of the time; they were right about the […]

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Grace On Death Row

“I’m one of those Christians who has a really hard time endorsing, let alone celebrating, the death penalty. It’s not that I can’t see the logic of punishing evil-doers with death. It makes good logical sense to me. ”

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Receiving & Sharing God’s Love

“With such an awesome example of the love of God, should we not be willing to sacrifice and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ?” Read more by Bishop Garland Hunt.

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Comfort Versus Character

“Being comfortable never produces character. Striving for a comfortable life is not what the Christian life is all about.” Read more on selflessness by Rev. Rob Schenck.

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