Preaching

Nothing but the Blood Can Redeem Us

Ron-Phillips-Headshot-BlogThe Petersen House in Washington D.C. is the house across the street from Ford’s Theatre, where a mortally wounded Abraham Lincoln was taken after being shot by John Wilkes Booth. A few hours later, Lincoln succumbed to his wounds and, as then Secretary of War Edwin Stanton observed, passed into the ages.

For years, his blood-stained pillow remained on display—a testimony to the horrific events of April 14, 1865, and the violent death of one of our greatest presidents.

A while back, some friends of mine visited the Petersen House only to discover that the pillow had been removed, and placed into storage. The only item that contained the blood of the "Great Emancipator" had been taken out of public sight and put into a place where it could, potentially, be forgotten.

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Rick Warren: God Blesses His Plan, Not Yours

Rick-Warren-Saddleback-Church-smallMary, the mother of Jesus, knew that faith and obedience are the keys to God’s blessing, so she chose to go with God’s destiny for her life

Now, as a pastor, I want God to bless your life. I want him to bless you spiritually. I want him to bless you financially. I want him to bless your career and family and relationships and health. But if you have a plan for your life—I’ll tell you—you’re on your own.

God is not going to bless your plan. God did not put you on Earth to live for yourself. He put you on Earth for something much bigger than that. And when you go with his plan for your life, he will bless it.

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Rick Warren: Stop Procrastinating

Rick-Warren-blog-daily

The Bible gives us five actions we can take to stop procrastinating:

1. Stop making excuses. “The lazy person claims, 'There's a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!'" (Prov.  22:13, NLT). What have you been saying you’re going to do “one of these days”? What do you make excuses about? The number one excuse I hear is, “When things settle down, then I’m going to ...” Things will never settle down. You must make a choice to prioritize what is important.

2. Start today. Not next month, next week, or tomorrow. “Never boast about tomorrow. You don’t know what will happen between now and then” (Prov. 27:1, GNT). None of us is guaranteed a tomorrow.

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Gregory Dickow: Righteousness is the Solution

Gregory-Dickow-HeadshotRighteousness is the answer to everything!

What was the first thing God said to Jesus in an audible voice? In Mark 1:11 He said, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased.” Jesus didn’t do anything until He first understood this. If Jesus had to know He was in right standing with God without even doing anything yet, then we need to know this.

Let’s break down some words so we can understand them.



Righteousness means “Right standing” with God.



Holiness means “Right living” for God.



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Rick Warren: The Width of God’s Love

Rick-Warren-new“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Eph. 3:18-19, NLT).

The width of God’s love extends across the entire world and includes everyone he has created: “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made” (Ps. 145:17, NIV).

God never made a person that he didn’t love. He made you and he loves you—and God doesn’t make junk! He loves you unconditionally. He loves you very, very much.

Everybody matters to God; in fact, we see in the life of Jesus that he even loves the unlovely and those who may feel unlovable. Do you want to know the secret of self-esteem? Here it is: If you want confidence, then understand how much you matter to God. If God loves you, who cares what anybody else thinks?

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Franklin Graham: Only One Solution to End Violence

franklin-graham-white-shirt2In the aftermath of recent tragic killings, such as those that have taken place in New Mexico, Connecticut and Colorado, our nation has focused on ways to curb gun violence.

But gun control proposals now circulating in Washington and in many state capitals don’t address a more important issue—the constant stream of violence put forth by the entertainment industry. Every year brings a flood of movies, not to mention cable and television programs, that are filled with violence. Whole segments of America’s music industry make their profits from song lyrics that glorify gratuitous violence, and there is seemingly an endless number of video games that are nothing more than murder simulators.

The result of this constant inundation is that our culture has been effectively desensitized to murder and mayhem. Blood-lusty Romans gathered in the Coliseum 2,000 years ago to watch people slaughtered by lions for the purpose of entertainment, and our society is no different. We gather around computers, televisions, and movie screens to watch scene after scene of more graphic violence than anything the Romans could have imagined.

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