As a member of the Millennial generation, I am painfully aware that many in my age group are leaving the church. While I certainly understand why life in the church can be difficult and even frustrating at times, I love the church so much that I have devoted my life to her and to her mission. So here are four of the reasons I am thankful for the church.

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It is biblical to speak of “obeying the gospel,” although I’m sad to say that the way I’ve most often used that phrase is not very biblical. I’ve often said, when someone was baptized, “He obeyed the gospel,” as if obeying the gospel was something that was accomplished by being baptized. That is not a very biblical way to speak of someone “obeying the gospel.” It is so much more than being baptized, because a person is never finished obeying the gospel.

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I must say I am completely surprised. I truly did not expect Donald Trump to be elected president. The next four years will undoubtedly be interesting times in the United States of America. I believe this is a time for prayer and I want to share with you some of the things I’m praying about today.

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In Philippians 2:12 Paul wrote, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” That phrase is quoted a lot, but I wonder how many of us have ever stopped to consider what it actually means. I know I have personally failed to appreciate the context of this passage and have misused this passage a number of times. Perhaps you have as well. Here are a few thoughts on what it means to “work out your salvation.”

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If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by guilt, you’ve probably heard someone say, “God has forgiven you, but now you need to learn to forgive yourself.” In fact, you may have even tried to comfort someone else by telling them, “You’ve got to learn to forgive yourself.” This may come as a shock, but while this advice sounds good, it is not biblical to encourage people to forgive themselves.

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I have received several e-mails and messages asking me to write a blog post about Christians marrying, and being married to, non-Christians. This can be an incredibly difficult situation and a sensitive subject. So I want to address this issue from a couple of different angles. First I want to address those who are considering marrying a non-Christian. Then I want to offer a few words of encouragement to those who are married to a non-Christian.

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During the political season some of us seem to say and do things unbecoming of Christians. I suppose it has always been this way, but I believe fear and anxiety have been exacerbated by social media and the 24 hour news cycle. So this is a friendly reminder to not allow your politics to trump your Christian principles.

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Whether you’re teaching teenagers, adults, women, or men, I know you want your Bible class to be as effective as it can possibly be. I know you want people to see the relevance of Scripture. I know you want people to learn and to grow. But sometimes, let’s face it, it’s hard to know how to do that. It’s hard to know how to teach an effective Bible class. So I want to share with you a few things I’ve found helpful when teaching Bible classes. I hope you find these helpful as well.

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If someone’s behavior or opinion seems completely absurd to you, you could tell them they are wrong or even idiotic. You could tell them they should stop thinking that way and see things your way. Or, on the other hand, you could start by trying to understand their perspective. You could ask them friendly questions about their point of view. Actually, this is not only good advice, it is an imperative for Christian living. Here is why you need to try to understand other people’s perspectives.

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The concept of “justification by faith” is one of the most important doctrines in Scripture. Unfortunately, some misunderstand it, some scoffingly dismiss it, and some ignore it completely. But let me tell you something (and I don’t think I’m overstating the case here), you cannot be a Christian unless you understand and embrace the doctrine of justification by faith. So let’s talk about what it means to be justified by faith.

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