Weekend Preview | Why Christmas?: Part 1 – Hope for the Hopeless

 

By Daniel Shafer


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And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22:37-39

You probably recognize this verse, it’s from Matthew 22 when Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is. It was meant as a trap by the Pharisees. As Jesus deftly sidestepped the trap, he also gave the basis for all commandments, rules, and the ideal He wants for us.

As we approach Christmas, the day that has been set apart to celebrate the birth of our Savior, we need to take a step back and really examine how we view these two commandments: to see how we follow them or if we are even willing to follow them.

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Weekend Preview | Making Sense of Sin: Part 2 – I’m a “Mistaker”

By Daniel Shafer


 

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Heading into week two of our series Making Sense of Sin, we need to have an honest discussion about OUR OWN sin.

Last week David McNeely led us through what sin is, and why it is so important to deal with. As he said in his follow up blog post “The ultimate reason we are to deal harshly with it is because we want to LOVE what God loves and HATE what God hates.

With the idea that we should love what God loves and hate what God hates in mind, we need to realize how we JUSTIFY and MINIMIZE our sins.

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Weekend Preview | A Dimly Lit Room: Part 2 – What He Does

By Daniel Shafer


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For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

As we enter into the second week of our series, A Dimly Lit Room, we are going to be delving into the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts were presented to the early church as a way of unification, and a sign of the Holy Spirit at work in them. Each of us is given a gift through the Holy Spirit, and is expected to use it to pursue, love, and glorify God.

For this calling, we must first acknowledge the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and look to see what gifts he has given to us. Using spiritual gifts tests can give you an idea of where your gifts lie, and through prayer, you can see where the Holy Spirit has directed you and worked through you.

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