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The Christianity Described in Matthew

  Matthew 7 stands against a censorious Christianity. "Judge not that ye be not judged" Mattew 13 stands against a coercive Christianity. "Let both wheat and tares grow together until the harvest." Matthew 18 standS FOR a conscientious Christianity. "If your brother sins against you. . ." ensuring that the church of Matthew 7's and 13's accomodation does not wink at sin. Matthew 7 & 13 keep the church from being puritanical, while Matthew 18 keeps the church from being epicurean. -- Reggie Kidd quoting Emil Brunner .

Something Greater

  "Something greater than the temple is here." -- Matt. 12:6 "Something greater than Jonah is here." -- Matt. 12:41 "Something greater than Solomon is here." -- Matt. 12:42 Here, Jesus claims that. . . He is the place where people meet God -- the center of sacrifice and worship He is the point of the Old Testament prophets and the fulfillment of their prophecies. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is saying that he is . . . Greater than your worship tradition (your preference) Greater than your political stance (your perspective) Greater than your leadership skill (your performance)

Doorbell Praying

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 "Much of our praying is like the little boy who rings the doorbell, but runs away before the door is opened."  --  Leonard Ravenhill,   Why Revival Tarries  (quoted in Herald of His Coming, Sept. 2012.)

The Big Difference Between Pity and Compassion

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  "What in the world am I doing here in Ethiopia?" I wondered, as I bounced in the jeep with missionary doctor, Harold Adolph. Our motor vehicle was the only one in sight. Slowly, we navigated our way through a sea of pedestrians, ox carts, and chickens, down the deeply rutted dirt road into in the village of Soddo. It was just as if I had been plucked from the northwoods and plopped into a National Geographic documentary on Africa. Arriving at the clinic, we emerged from our Jeep, and were immediately swarmed by hundreds of needy people seeking medical attention. Most had been waiting for hours to see the good doctor. Many would have to wait much longer. I observed a grieving mother, holding a lifeless infant in her arms. She looked at me with pleading eyes. I looked away. The immensity of poverty and human suffering was absolutely overwhelming. Never, in all my life, had I witnessed such need, and felt so powerless to do anything about it. A grotesque begger approached me.

Advice Entering 2021

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Wesley Covenant Renewal Service

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. A few years ago I developed a version of John Wesley's Covenant Renewal with updated language for my church based on the works of George Lyon and Jeren Rowel.  We used it the first Sunday of the New Year. Wesley Covenant Renewal An Adaptation by Mark O. Wilson from versions of the Covenant by George Lyon and Jeren Rowel Introduction:   Historical background of John Wesley, and the purpose for the covenant renewal. Hymn:   “Come Let Us Use the Grace Divine” written by Charles Wesley especially for the covenant renewal. LEADER : "Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant which will never be forgotten" (Jer. 50:5, RSV ). LEADER : Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy name through Christ our Lord. Amen. Let us now pray togethe