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Present and Prepared

To Gain a Good Land (3)


VPSee, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD your God swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.” Deuteronomy 1:84

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Get ready!
It seems like something we shouldn’t have to say, but it’s an important part of the pattern for gaining what God intends for us in our walk with and work for Him:

We have to show up ready for the fight.

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Focus on the Promises

To Gain the Good Land (2)


VP“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14

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The wrong focus
A fundamental mistake that many people make when they take up some work for the Lord is by beginning their endeavor with the wrong focus.

Whether it’s starting a new life in Christ or a new church, whether our concern is beginning some new ministry or a new project within an existing ministry, we cannot expect to know the favor of God on our efforts if we set off on the wrong foot.

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A Pattern for Christian Endeavor

To Gain the Good Land (1)


VPGod shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him! Psalm 68:1

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Getting it right
Is there a pattern for Christian endeavor, a way to pursue our work in the Kingdom of God that God intends us to pursue in seeking the presence and fruit of that Kingdom? I’ve been thinking about this a good deal of late, trying to understand what it means to seek the Kingdom of God. Since this is the first, highest, and overarching priority of Christian experience, I feel like I should be trying to get this right.

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How to Hear the Word of God

A Famine of Hearing (7)


VP“Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” Luke 8:18

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The requirements of hearing
Jesus came to earth as the Word of God, so that by His life, death, and resurrection He might enable us to hear God speaking unto forgiveness of sins and new life in the Spirit. What does it mean to hear the Word of God? We have examined the fruit of hearing, and we can identify a sore lack of such fruit in our day. What is it to hear the truth in such a way that it yields the fruit for which it is intended?

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A Right-Side Up World: The Fifth Fruit

A Famine of Hearing (6)


VP“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also...” Acts 17:6

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A too-small faith?
David Wells summarizes the condition of our contemporary evangelical generation, a situation that looks for all the world like that famine of hearing that had settled over Israel in the days when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Where we should expect, for all the opportunities we have for hearing God’s Word, a vibrantly repentant, gloriously sanctified, humbly serving, boldly outspoken, and energetically activist community, instead we find a religious people stretched out on the therapist’s couch, endlessly fixating on their personal needs and hurts.

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Witness for Christ: The Fourth Fruit

A Famine of Hearing (5)


VP“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

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Starving spiritually?
I suspect that a good many American Christians are starving spiritually and don’t even realize this is the case. They keep reading their Bibles and listening to sermons and lessons on the Scriptures, but their lives lack much of the kind of fruit that it is reasonable to expect when the life-changing Word of God is having its way in our souls.

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