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Devotional
August 23 2017 By dvirtue The Way of the Cross

Along the way there were meals and museums, air bnb's and bistros, wine and beer and even a Starbucks (I don't like European coffee). Yet the overall theme was to find a faith that has withstood two millennia of wars and plagues, crusades and inquisitions, revolutions and reformations. Can Christianity withstand the next onslaught from whatever direction it comes?

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August 08 2017 By dvirtue 8. FAITHFULNESS: What does it Mean to be A Mature Christian Disciple? - Hebrews 11:1-19

Faithfulness is loyalty, someone who can be relied upon to fulfill his promises, someone you can trust to do his duty, who will not be persuaded to renege on his allegiance, to betray his friends, to give in to pressure or be tempted to change his mind or to abandon his principles or beliefs. Faithfulness is the character of God: "Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies (Ps 36:9).

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August 01 2017 By dvirtue 7. KINDNESS: What Does it Mean to be a Mature Christian Disciple? - Luke 6:37-45

Jesus taught, "Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:38). There is a reciprocity in the affairs of life. We get back what we put into life. The mature Christian disciple is like his teacher. Everyone who is fully trained by Jesus will be like him. Jesus did good by responding to the needs of those around him.

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July 26 2017 By dvirtue 6. Patience: What Does it mean to be a Mature Christian Disciple? - 2 Peter 3:5-18

In the meantime we must recognize the relativity of time with eternity. "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." Our lifetime can be seen to be but a day in the Lord's economy: "You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning -- though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered" (Ps.90:5).

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July 19 2017 By dvirtue 5. HOPE: What does it Mean to be a Mature Christian Disciple? -- 1 Peter 1:3-9

Put simply, when life hurts and dreams fade, nothing helps like hope.”
(Charles Swindoll, Hope Again, xi,xii)

Hope is the antidote to despair. Job experienced despair when he suffered the loss of his children, his wealth and his health. “What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?.... My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope” (Job 6:11;7:6).

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July 14 2017 By dvirtue 4. Self-Control : What Does It Mean to be a Mature Christian Disciple?-Titus 2:1-1)

In what areas of your life do you struggle with self-control? What addictions and habits prevent us from being mature Christian disciples? Self-control is often most difficult in the area of one's gifts or strengths. We tend to indulge ourselves in the area where we think we are the strongest. For me it is the area of speech. As a young preacher I felt the need to inject some energy and youthful insight into what I considered a complacent and reserved congregation.

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July 05 2017 By dvirtue 3.PEACE: What does it Mean to be a Mature Christian Disciple? - Ephesians 2:11-22

Scott Stossel, editor of The Atlantic, has written a searingly honest book entitled, My Age of Anxiety: Fear, hope, dread, and the search for peace of mind. In it he reveals his own agonized search for relief from anxiety disorders throughout his life and reviews all the theories of the source of anxiety and the treatments for it. He describes anxiety as apprehension about future suffering -- the fearful anticipation of an unbearable catastrophe one is hopeless to prevent.

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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 1.LOVE: What Does it Mean to be a Mature Christian Disciple? - John 15:1-10

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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