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September 19 2006 By virtueonline EXPRESSING GRATITUDE FOR GOD'S HELP

If we don't then there is a danger we just forget that God did something good and start taking it for granted. Of course, God may continue to help "fix" things, but if we never make a conscious effort to thank him for each thing, we start to "expect" some sort of (God?) escape and start becoming fearful lest our good "fortune" should cease.

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August 28 2006 By virtueonline LOVE IS PATIENT

Since love is the nature of God, love comes from God. We know what love is from who God is and what he does. Therefore our understanding of patience is to be derived from our understanding of the patience of God.

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August 19 2006 By virtueonline LOVELESS SACRIFICE

"Died he for me, who caused his pain?

For me, who him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God shouldst die for me." (Charles Wesley)

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To "fathom all mysteries and all knowledge" is to have a perfect understanding of what is going to happen to the church in the last days. It is to claim being privy to information not generally known, and the ability to make that knowledge available.

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August 05 2006 By virtueonline FINISHING WELL

How can we finish well? How can we remain feeling valuable?

"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience, inherit what has been promised." (Hebrews 6:10-12)

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June 24 2006 By virtueonline LOVELESS LANGUAGE - by Ted Schroder

So does most of the church and the world. We want articulate, persuasive, and interesting speakers and preachers. But there are many dangers with slick speakers, who can appear so sincere, and so spiritual. That is why St. James warned, "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

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June 17 2006 By virtueonline WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR?

"Do not commit adultery [with all that Jesus interpreted that to mean in terms of our attitude to sexual desire, to lust, to treat people as sexual objects, to define ourselves in terms of our gender, our proclivities],

Do not murder [with all that Jesus interpreted that to mean in terms of our anger, our insulting words, our grievances and resentments],

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June 10 2006 By virtueonline BORN FROM ABOVE

How do we experience this new birth? Spiritual rebirth is a new creation. It changes the recipient from being merely a physical being into a new creature in Christ. As we owe our physical birth to our parents, so we owe our spiritual rebirth to God the Spirit. We cannot give life to ourselves, it is a gift. We do not deserve it. It is a gift of grace to the undeserving. It is a gift of love from the God who loves us. Only God can give us this life.

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June 03 2006 By virtueonline THE BIRTHDAY GIFT

Genesis tells us in the creation story, that the difference between the first man and other primates, was the result of God breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. In this creation story of the church in Acts, God breathed his Spirit into those who believed in Christ. So today we celebrate the new birth, the new life of the Spirit, which marks the beginning of the family of the church of Jesus Christ .

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May 26 2006 By virtueonline TAKEN INTO HEAVEN

As my mind took me back all those years, Phil Yancey reminded me of Bill's twenty-eight years as pastor of that church. One Sunday Bill was attacked by three men in the sanctuary, as they sought to rob him of the morning offering. He was hit over the head with a bowling pin, kicked and battered with a fire extinguisher. They stripped him of his clothing, gagged and tied him up before leaving him. He began a tutoring program for the local students.

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