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Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.

—Revelation 2:16-17

 

We live in an age of compromise. You see it in every level of government, industry, and unfortunately… you see it in the church as well. 

 

But today… instead of focusing on the compromise you see in others… I want to ask you… are you a compromising Christian? Are you living a double standard? Are there areas in your life, be it in your marriage… your professional life… or your thought life… where you are compromising?

 

Maybe you’re thinking about cheating on your spouse. Perhaps you’ve turned a blind eye to something unethical at work. Or maybe you allow yourself the leeway to think lustful or hateful thoughts.

 

Whatever it is, let me assure you of this: God takes the sin of compromise seriously!  Revelation 2:16 says it clearly, “Therefore repent.  If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.” Jesus is not only saying that He’ll deal with any church that compromises with sin… He’s saying it to any Christian too… including you and me!

 

Jesus wants you to stop compromising, admit your sin, and deal with it. He wants you to get right...

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Immediately he [Jesus] made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
 
—Matthew 14:22


I want you to think about today’s verse for a moment. Jesus made the disciples get into that boat, knowing that a storm was coming their way.
 
Yet Jesus didn’t send them into the teeth of a storm to be malicious or mean. He did it to help build the disciples’ faith! And by doing this, Jesus also showed that He was in complete control.
 
You know, outside of salvation itself, the most liberating, life-producing, joy-producing, peace-giving truth is the fact that Jesus Christ is sovereignly in control of your life. This means no matter what storm you’re in or what storm you’re going to be in (because you’ll always be in one of those two places), God has you there for a reason. 
 
So you can give Him thanks… not necessarily for the circumstance or the crisis itself… but for the Christ who reigns and rules in your heart and in your daily experiences. And you can thank God for loving you enough to be willing to send storms into your life to either perfect you or correct you.
 
There’s a song by Babbie Mason that says, “God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind. So when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”
 
The same God who took you into the storm is the same God who will bring you out of it! So trust His heart… and His love for you… today.
 
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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
 
—John 14:6


 
At one point or another, every person has to come to grips with the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” And today I want to help you answer that question in your own heart and life.
 
It’s true that the miracles of Jesus identify Him as God. They give Him credibility that He was who He said He was. But Jesus didn’t perform them as publicity stunts. He performed them to show you and me something about who He was and what His supernatural power can accomplish in our lives.
 
Maybe today, you can relate to the disappointment of the couple in the Bible who ran out of wine at the wedding in Canaan (John 2:1-12). By turning water into wine, Jesus was saying to them… and He’s saying to you today, “I am the answer for life’s disappointments… I can turn your disappointments into joy.”
 
Or perhaps today you’re in need… like the thousands of people Jesus fed with two fish and five loaves of bread (John 6:1-15). In feeding them, Jesus showed them… and He’s showing you today… that He is the answer to your needs and your desires. 
 
And lastly, maybe today you’re going through a dark time of life… and you’d admit that you’re fearful of what the future holds. If so, think about when Jesus walked on the water in the middle of the night (John 6:16-21). By doing this, Jesus showed Peter… just like He shows you and me… that He is the answer in the dark times of...

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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

—John 14:6

 

At one point or another, every person has to come to grips with the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” And today I want to help you answer that question in your own heart and life.

 

It’s true that the miracles of Jesus identify Him as God. They give Him credibility that He was who He said He was. But Jesus didn’t perform them as publicity stunts. He performed them to show you and me something about who He was and what His supernatural power can accomplish in our lives.

 

Maybe today, you can relate to the disappointment of the couple in the Bible who ran out of wine at the wedding in Canaan (John 2:1-12). By turning water into wine, Jesus was saying to them… and He’s saying to you today, “I am the answer for life’s disappointments… I can turn your disappointments into joy.”

 

Or perhaps today you’re in need… like the thousands of people Jesus fed with two fish and five loaves of bread (John 6:1-15). In feeding them, Jesus showed them… and He’s showing you today… that He is the answer to your needs and your desires. 

 

And lastly, maybe today you’re going through a dark time of life… and you’d admit that you’re fearful of what the future holds. If so, think about when Jesus walked on the water in the middle of the night (John 6:16-21). By doing this, Jesus showed Peter… just like He shows you and me… that...

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So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

—John 4:35

 

You know, it’s funny. Human nature really hasn’t changed much since Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago.

 

Back then, people wanted a sign… a miracle… from Jesus. They wanted something tangible, something they could see, to believe in Him. And today, people are the same way! So many men and women say they would believe in Christ if only He would show Himself physically… if only He would come through miraculously in their lives.

 

But when Jesus said, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe,” He was saying, “Don’t wait for a sign to believe and trust in Me. Don’t wait on some miracle. Don’t demand that I perform for you in order for you to believe in Me.”

 

You may be struggling to trust Christ today in your life. While I don’t know what you may be facing, I want to challenge you to trust Him even if you can’t see Him in your circumstances right now.

 

Jesus had no confidence in the kind of faith that demands sight. Because faith that demands sight is not real faith! It’s just doubt expecting evidence!

 

I know it’s hard to come to grips with this fact, but oftentimes, you just can’t figure God out. There will be times when you cannot see in the dark. There will be times when you just have to keep clinging, singing, and bringing your heart to God by faith. And this may be that kind of time in your...

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And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

—Matthew 4:19

 

There are many, many reasons why people reject Jesus Christ. And one of the most popular excuses people give for rejecting Him is because of hypocrisy in the church.

 

Yes, there are hypocrites in the church of Jesus Christ. Think about it. Jesus had 12 disciples and one of them was even a hypocrite! So yes, there are—unfortunately—people who say they are Christians, and yet don’t live like Christians.

 

But did you ever consider that the devil may put a hypocrite in your path just to keep you from Jesus Christ? The devil can do that. Let me help you understand why.

 

Have you ever considered that when people want to counterfeit something, they don’t counterfeit gum wrappers? They counterfeit $20 bills, $100 bills… something that’s real! So for people to counterfeit the Christian faith…. and for the devil to put those counterfeits in your path… only indicates that Christianity is real! 

 

Again, the fact that there are hypocrites in the church doesn’t lessen the credibility of the Christian faith. You need to make a distinction between sin and hypocrisy. All Christians sin. 

 

But not all sinful Christians are hypocrites. Just because a Christian may sin doesn’t mean that Christianity is phony. And… look again at today’s verse. Jesus said, “Follow me.” He didn’t say, “Follow that person” or “Follow that church.” He said, “Follow me”! 

 

Jesus Christ isn’t a hypocrite. When you follow Jesus Christ, you’re following Someone who always keeps His promises…...

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…Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

—1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

If you live in America, you are blessed to live in one of the most wonderful nations in the world. But these are difficult times right now. And as we celebrate Labor Day, and the productivity of the American worker, I’m mindful of many who have lost jobs as a result of our troubled economy. 

 

So today, if you’re one of the many people across our nation who’s lost their job, I want to bless you with some words that I pray will strengthen you and help you draw closer to God. And if you haven’t lost your job, I hope these words are an encouragement for you as well.

 

The apostle Paul knew a thing or two about suffering and trials. And it was Paul who gave us today’s verse while he was in prison suffering for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Isn’t that amazing? From across the ages, Paul is coaching us from a dark and dingy cell, pointing us to the only source of true strength, hope, and provision.

 

Are you without a job? Then Paul says, “Give thanks.” Do you have a job? Then give thanks! You see, in every circumstance, we are called to have humble hearts and grateful spirits.

 

This Labor Day, whether you are blessed with a job or are waiting on God’s provision, it’s time to be grateful. God is at work on your behalf. So give thanks!

 

IN EVERY CIRCUSTANCE, HAVE...

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PowerPoint Returns to the UK!
By Jack Graham | September 1, 2016

After much prayer and deliberation, PowerPoint has returned to the United Kingdom, bringing God’s message of hope to the hurting and spiritually hungry at this critical time.  We are on Premier Radio every weekday at 18:30 (BST).

As I consider circumstances across Britain – the threat of terrorism, the economic and political uncertainties from the Brexit vote – I’m convinced there’s no better time for PowerPoint to proclaim the message of Christ.

I’m also reminded of Britain’s giants of the faith – William Tynedale, Charles Spurgeon and John Bunyan among them, and of course C.S. Lewis. Lewis, a brilliant academic and writer who abandoned his faith as a teen, accepted God’s existence in his early 30s and gave his life to Jesus two years later after a long talk about Christianity with J.R.R. Tolkien and others.

“I gave in, and admitted that God was God,” Lewis said.

Our prayer is that all of Britain will respond the same way.

The need is enormous. A recent report shows church membership plunging across the UK, from 10.6 million in 1930 to just 5.5 million in 2010. If that trend continues, experts predict only 4.3 percent of the people in England will be church members by 2025.

C.S. Lewis wouldn’t be surprised.

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next,” Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity. “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”

Things are so bad that the Church of England could disappear by 2033 at the current rate of decline.

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We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
 
—2 Corinthians 4:8-9
 
As a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I can say with integrity that every day with Him has been sweeter than the day before… just as the old hymn says.
 
Now, when I say that, please listen to what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that my life hasn’t had its share of valleys. I’m not saying that I haven’t experienced times of grief, illness, distress, or stress. I’m not saying that!
 
What I am saying is that I may have been afflicted in every way, but I’ve never been crushed. I may have been perplexed, but I’ve never been driven to despair. I may have been persecuted, but I’ve never been forsaken. I may have been struck down, but I’ve never been destroyed.
 
And you know why I can say this? Because of the work of Jesus Christ in my life. He’s never let me be crushed. He’s never let me driven to despair. He’s never forsaken me. And He’s never let me be destroyed!
 
But perhaps today you’d say, “Pastor Graham, that’s great for you, but you don’t know what I’ve been through. You don’t know how hard my life has been. You don’t know how many of my prayers have gone unanswered. You don’t know how disappointed I am in God.”
 
You know, I don’t know. But you know what I do know? That we serve a God who is bigger than whatever it is you’re holding on to. He’s bigger than your past sins… your past hurts. And He’s even bigger than your disappointments.
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How to take your life from ordinary to extraordinary
By Jack Graham | September 1, 2016

As believers, we should desire a life that’s beyond average. But too often we settle for a life that’s “just okay” instead of extraordinary.

We shouldn’t settle for a good marriage when we could have a great marriage. You see, we can settle for mediocrity with mundane jobs and minimal ministries – or we can take action to escape apathy and live life in ways that are beyond our wildest imaginations.

So how do we become more active, passionate, and joyful followers of Jesus Christ? You’ll find three virtues highlighted in the book of Proverbs that will help you move your life beyond average to awesome:

1. Choose to be obedient: put God’s Word into action.

Remember what Jesus said? “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Obedience to God and His Word will move you from apathy to action!

We’re commanded to be witnesses, faithful worshipers, and prayer warriors; to give generously to the work of Christ; and to love God’s Word. We’re commanded to live holy lives for Christ (not just happy, but holy). Are you living in obedience to God’s instructions?

God has put you where you are to be a witness for Him. When you’re obedient to God in everything you do, He’ll use you in powerful, meaningful ways for His Kingdom.

2. Choose to be diligent: serve God wholeheartedly.

Romans 12:11 says, “Be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Your strong work ethic will give you credibility at your office with your coworkers and at school with your classmates. The Christian ought to do more than the average. God has not called us to do just the minimum required. No, we’re to exceed...

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