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June 28 2017 By dvirtue 2. JOY: What Does it Mean to be a Mature Christian Disciple? - John 16:17-24

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field" (Matthew 13:44). When you find the treasure of the Gospel of the kingdom of God you want to possess it, and enjoy it forever. Once we discover it we find that nothing else compares with it. It transforms life so that you never want to be without it.

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June 20 2017 By dvirtue What Does it Mean to be a Mature Christian Disciple?

John 15:1-10 describes the process in terms of the true vine and its branches. If we want to bear fruit we have to remain connected to the vine. "No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." Jesus is the true, the authentic, vine which is cultivated by God as his people. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

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June 08 2017 By dvirtue "That We May be One": John 17:1-11

John's gospel began by establishing the fact that: In the beginning was the Word. Lest we miss or forget the point, Jesus repeats that he was with the Father before the world began and not as an honored guest. He was, is and always will be one with the Father.

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May 31 2017 By dvirtue THE NEW WINE OF THE SPIRIT: Acts 2:1-21

In 1967 an oilman in Texas, Keith Miller, experienced a profound spiritual awakening. He wrote about it in a bestselling book entitled, The Taste of New Wine, which went on to sell two million copies. What does this description of the work of the Spirit have to say to us today?

When St. Augustine wrote in 400 A.D. about his own conversion to Christ he entitled it Confessions. He began it with his famous prayer:

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May 24 2017 By dvirtue WITH THE ASCENDED CHRIST IN HEAVEN: Colossians 3:1-5

"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ -- that's where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life -- even though invisible to spectators -- is with Christ in God.

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May 09 2017 By dvirtue What Does Our Resurrection Body Look Like? - 1 Corinthians 15:35-49

First, the analogy from nature. A plant has to die before it can be reborn. It lives out its normal cycle and withers and perishes but its seed enters the earth and produces new life. The seed contains that genetic structure of its parent which it reproduces. There is no physical resemblance between the plant and the seed but when the seed dissolves in the ground it produces a continuity with its past. Jesus used the same analogy about his own death and resurrection.

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May 02 2017 By dvirtue Alternative Non-Resurrection Lifestyles: 1 Corinthians 15:29-34

First, if there is no resurrection then death if final and there is no point in preparing for it. That in fact is the attitude of most people. They put off making wills, making arrangements for their funerals, or preparing to meet their Maker. They don't see this life as a preparation for the next life. While they may have a vague believe in the resurrection or heaven their default drive in life is to ignore the future.

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May 01 2017 By dvirtue The Lull: John 21: 1-19

In spite of the Lord's former appearance to Peter after the resurrection Peter still has much to learn about himself, his Lord, and the divine purpose for him.

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April 26 2017 By dvirtue WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? - 1 Corinthians 15:20-28

There is more for Christ to do that has consequences for each one of us and the whole of creation. Christ is described as the "first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." The first fruits were the first sheaf of the harvest which was brought to the temple and offered to God. The first fruits were a sign of the harvest to come. What was true for Christ would be true for those who follow him. Jesus is the forerunner of all those who have died in Christ and will die in the future.

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April 19 2017 By dvirtue How can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? - 1 Corinthians 15:12-19

The Apostle Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 15 that the resurrection of the dead is essential to the Christian faith. He argues, first of all, from the premise that Jesus the Christ was seen by hundreds of people who are still living and can attest to their experience of him. He was seen, not as a ghost, but as a solid, bodily presence who could be touched and who could share a meal with them.

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