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Everything worth doing has a cost associated with it. In fact it is said that to master anything requires 10,000 hours doing it! If we ever want to become the best followers of Christ we will need to work at it. In fact it will cost us something. Jesus said as His disciples we need to take up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 14). We need to be ready to give up our hopes and dreams and exchange them for the ones God has for us. A good deal really.

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We can spend lots of time planning and preparing but we never get around to doing. Planning is good, but it is not the end game. Far from it. Jesus commanded us to be making disciples world-wide. The harsh reality is that we have very few disciples growing out of the church today. We all need to take the blame in some ways but the reality is that pastors and leaders have failed and we as individuals care so little about our faith that we get complacent doing church an hour or so on a Sunday and that is all we consider about God for the week. God has so much more in mind for His children. In week 1 of a series on being a disciple we see what God desires us to do as individuals and as a church.

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Is this all that there is? Live and die and then what? Anything?

God has given us just a glimpse of what we have to look forward to in the new heaven and new earth. It is going to be great! In the meantime we need to be ready just like John was so when Jesus says I can come at any time, we can respond with ‘Come Lord Jesus’ The best is yet to come.

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Big theological chapter today! Some of the concepts and terms that perhaps have caused confusion or uncertainty are looked at in this chapter. What God the Father willed is described in detail. The blessings we have because we are ‘in Christ’ are described here too. Lots of ideas to work through and we come to a conclusion that our future is certain because of the character and nature of Jesus.

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Today we look at what John the Apostle had to say about our faith, what we believe about Jesus and how that influences us. He writes this letter so that in the light of some key evidences in our lives, we may know, that we have eternal life. We do not need to hope, wish, fret or worry if we know that we have eternal life. That is a big deal!

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Jesus is my life. Sounds good in principle. Even makes for a good slogan, but in reality it is hard…really hard. There is so much that we find comfort and fulfillment in. Home, family, work, hobbies, sports, entertainment and the list goes on. We are so busy with these that sometimes our relationship with Jesus suffers. When Jesus is who we really love then the process of living a life that pleases His is much easier.

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Divided and Stressed. Sounds like a reality TV show. It is however how we sometimes get within our families of faith. Maybe not even intentionally. We say or do something that hurts others and destroys our relationship. Paul has encouraged us to deal with these things, big or small, because unity is fragile.

We also see the secret Paul has for stress in his life. The practice of contentment, no matter what because God is bigger than our greatest need.

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We all would like to know what the future holds, to a degree anyway. Israel probably wanted to know what God was going to do with them. God seemed far away and perhaps they wondered if God would abandon them completely.

Today we see that God has for the moment made the church, believers in Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles the means He will use to share the Gospel to the world. God will again turn His sights on His chosen people sometime in the future.

The really big lesson to learn here is that God does all of this solely for His glory. The big question is “How is the church doing sharing Jesus with the world?”

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The beginning of the Sermon on the Mount is Jesus describing how citizens of His kingdom need to view life and how they should conduct themselves. In fact as Jesus ratifies many of the 10 commandments He actually gears them up and brings them to a radically counter-culture level. This is a chapter for North America today. Jesus wants to turns us on our heads.

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The Greatness of Our God is a song that we sing regularly at church. My favorite lines in it go like this" I spend my life to know, And I'm far from close, To all You are, the greatness of our God." The point is that we usually think of God as way small and less awesome than He is. In fact, even the biggest we can imagine Him to be is quite inadequate and significantly less that God is in reality. Psalm 139 seeks to expand our thinking on the awesomeness of God.

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