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March 24 2017 By dvirtue THE SONG OF MARY: MAGNIFICAT - Luke 1:46-55

The Bible is full of praise and thanksgiving. Biblical religion is a religion of rejoicing, of music and son. "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4) It is noteworthy that Christianity has produced so much music. Christmas, in particular, is the season for so much beautiful music as we celebrate the coming of the Messiah and the hope he brings.

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March 15 2017 By dvirtue QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED: For Which of These Good Works do you Stone me? --- John 10:31-42

The modern secular world wants to kill Jesus for claiming to be God. For anyone to claim divine authority is regarded as egotistical and an affront to the desire to be one's own authority -- to be autonomous and to create one's own identity apart from any constraints. They want to kill any unique claim to be God. They want to shame anyone who claims to speak for God. They want to eliminate God from the universe. They want to delete God from conversation except as a vulgar exclamation.

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March 08 2017 By dvirtue QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED: Do You Want to Go Away As Well? -- John 6:67

There are many who would like to think of themselves as disciples/followers of Christ but who cannot accept the full teaching of Christ.

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March 01 2017 By dvirtue WHO IS LISTENING? - (Revelation 4 and 5)

In April 1999 I took my staff team to a church growth conference put on by Walt Kallestad and his leadership at Community Church of Joy, Glendale, Arizona. It was a very productive conference on creating a vision for growth and putting it into action. In a Leadership Journal article in the Fall of 2008 Walt confessed his failures with his 12,000 member church. He said that his ministry philosophy had become: "The only way to capture people's attention is entertainment.

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February 23 2017 By dvirtue QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED: You are Israel's Teacher and do you not understand these things? -- John 3:10

Jesus was rebuking him for his ignorance. Nicodemus ought to have known and understood what Jesus was saying. He professed to be a student of the Hebrew Bible. The necessity of the new birth ought not to have appeared strange to him. The Old Testament Scriptures spoke of the need for a new heart and a new spirit: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

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February 15 2017 By dvirtue QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED: What do you want me to do for you? - Mark 10:46-52

So many of us have questions, doubts, uncertainties, and fears, that we would like to have resolved. We cannot see through the fog of life's daily challenges to satisfactory conclusions. We are confronted with declining health of ourselves or our loved ones. We are having to deal with the problems of our family members. We are troubled by the national mood and the turbulence of politics. We face divided loyalties in our relationships. We worry about the future.

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February 08 2017 By dvirtue QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED: Who Do You Say I Am? - Matthew 16:13-20

A young man discussed with me his undecided attitude to Christianity. He is somewhat cynical about the different claims of religion due to the unchristian behavior of some hardcore fundamental Christians he has experienced. Yet he is attracted to the teaching of Jesus. I tell him that we all have to make up our minds about Jesus. Who is he?

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February 01 2017 By dvirtue Questions Jesus Asked: Why Do You Entertain Evil Thoughts in Your Hearts? Which Is Easier: To Say 'Your Sins Are Forgiven,' Or to Say, 'Get Up and Walk?' - Matthew 9:4,5

Yet here in the healing of the paralytic Jesus explicitly claimed divine authority. "So that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." How do we know that this claim is true? It seems to be an assertion that cannot be verified. How can you know whether sins are forgiven? You are not issued a written pardon by anyone.

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January 26 2017 By dvirtue A Prayer for the President of the United States and the new Administration

Give to him, Vice President Michael Pence, and the national security team, discernment and courage as they seek to preserve us from danger and maintain peace. May his role as Commander-in-chief be executed with consideration for all members of our armed forces. Protect us from our enemies in this dangerous world and from those who are opposed to the Gospel of Christ.

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January 23 2017 By dvirtue FEAR AND FORGIVENESS

"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: be terrified of Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted.
Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows."

- Luke 12:4-7

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