"You can't just say it to necessarily make it so" is the message of James 2:14-26 when he claims a personal pronouncement of one's Christian faith needs some corroborating evidence. The acid test of a genuine faith is ample evidence of a changed life. That is not to say that we are justified by faith ..
A Faith That Works, Part 11: Developing Christian Confidence
by Bill Hybels
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Imagine receiving a book on exercise from a friend. A month later your friend asks you if you've read the book. "Yes," you reply, "I wake up every morning and read huge portions of it. I've memorized much of it, and even get together with a group of folks every week to discuss it over pancakes and waffles." ..
A Faith That Works, Part 7: Doers and Hearers
by John Ortberg
Many verses of Scripture provide us wise instruction dealing with financial matters and generosity and giving firstfruits back to the God who gave them to us originally. Psalm 112 speaks to the blessing that will follow those who are fearfully awestruck by God and who delight in his commands. This message ..
Awake My Soul, Part 3
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Back to the Battle, Part 1: The Battle
by Birmingham, AL MountainTop Community Church
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Think about it: the God of the universe wants a word with you. As fully devoted followers of His son, Jesus, do we take His leadings seriously? He surely wants us to listen intently. And we should not only return the favor by listening to Him, but we should also act on his prompts. To get into the ..
Becoming Fully Devoted Followers, Part 3
In this message, we find that people, by human nature, are "clutchers more than relinquishers." That means we are more likely to scrape and claw, work and fret to get anywhere, to get ahead. Jesus was a relinquisher. He took a demotion to become human and a bond servant to all. He humbled himself ..
Becoming Fully Devoted Followers, Part 4
Two sons are asked by their father to work in the family vineyard. One refuses, but changes his mind and works, while the other agrees to work, but never shows up. This parable compares working in the vineyard to doing the will of God. Obviously, the first son eventually complied to the will. Such ..
Christianity Illustrated, Part 12: Spiritual Sincerity
Jesus was astonished by the faith of the Roman centurion, who trusted Jesus to heal his servant by just saying the word. Can we say we have that same faith, trusting in God in every aspect or our lives? To trust means to be obedient, to submit to God in all things, to actually try doing what Jesus says. ..
Decision Time, Part 5
Defying Gravity, Part 1: Growth
by Elevate Willow Creek
It seems as if the era of clear-cut heroes -- the Joe Dimaggios -- is gone. Now we have professional athletes who seem to be more interested in cash than in competing, and we have famous millionaires who seem more involved with fraud than philanthropy. We have politicians and even church leaders who ..
Everyday Heroes, Part 1: Hallmarks of a Hero
by Lee Strobel