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Do You Have a Place On the Wall?
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 14, 2016

Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem that we may no longer be a reproach”… So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to do this good work.

—Nehemiah 2:17-18

As a servant of Jesus Christ, you have a purpose for living. And you can make a difference in your community, church, and world… especially when you work in partnership with others. 

When Nehemiah began rebuilding the wall, he knew he couldn’t do it alone, so he enlisted the help of others. All kinds of people were involved… priests, politicians, perfumers, clothiers, tradesmen, bachelors, women… there was a role for everyone. 

Yet in the midst of this great movement of service to the Lord, there were still those who chose not to be involved. Nehemiah 3:5 says certain nobles from Tekoa “would not stoop to serve their Lord.” 

It was forever recorded in God’s Word that when there was a job to be done for him, these people were absent. Imagine that! 

Never let it be said of you that when there was something great to do for God and his Kingdom, you weren’t involved. 

Some believers have the idea that when we come to Christ by grace through faith, we don’t need to serve and work hard. But Nehemiah and the believers of his day realized the charge to work hard and accomplished the impossible for God’s glory. 

I want to challenge you today: Do you have a place on the wall? Are you participating in building God’s Kingdom? 

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Are You Happy With What You Have?
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 13, 2016

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” 

—Exodus 20:17

The first nine commandments have to do with actions. But the Tenth Commandment, “You shall not covet,” has to do with your attitude. The first nine have to do with deeds, but the tenth has to do with desires.

Think about it this way. Most of the sins we commit are outward and visible. It’s pretty easy to spot stealing when you see it, and if you’re the subject of a lie, you see it up-front. But the sin of covetousness is inward and invisible. Others can’t see it. You can’t see it. Only God can see it.

That’s why the apostle Paul spoke in 1 Thessalonians of the cloak of covetousness. It’s a cover-up for a lot of other sins like selfishness, greed, cheating, and on and on and on.

Right now, our nation and really our world are paying a high price for our collective covetousness and greed. Its symptoms, to name just a few, are things like excessive credit card debt, bank failures, and corporate scandals. We are paying a price for the ungodly way we have handled our possessions!

And it’s not just Wall Street who’s to blame. We need to look in our own hearts too! Because if we think we’ll be happier by having more stuff or better stuff… if we buy the lie that our identity is found in the car we drive or the clothes we wear or the street we live on… we will always be disappointed.

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Are You Robbing God?
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 12, 2016

“You shall not steal.”

—Exodus 20:15

Today I simply want to ask the question, are you a giver or a taker? And I want you to think about that question in terms of your relationship with people and your relationship with God.

First, your relationship with people. When it comes to others, are you a giver or a taker? Think about the words you say. Does what you say build people up… or tear them down? Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Is your life marked by this verse?

Then think about your actions. Does what you do help people… or hurt people? Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” Are you letting this verse play itself out in your life?

Now I want you to think about your relationship with God. When it comes to him, are you a giver or a taker? Think about the life that he’s given you through Christ. Are you showing thankfulness to him by living a life serving him, loving him, and worshipping him? First Corinthians 6:20 says, “You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

As followers of Christ, you and I have been bought and paid for by the blood of the Lord Jesus and who we are and what we have belongs to Him. We are purchased as His own possession!   

That means when we withhold our lives and gifts from Him… when we...

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Defeating Lust
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 11, 2016

“You shall not commit adultery.”
—Exodus 20:14

Talking about a subject like adultery is unpleasant. It’s unpleasant because in our hearts, we know how dire the consequences of this sin really are.  

What’s sad, though, is that as horrible as the consequences of adultery or sexual sin are, so many people… including Bible-believing, Christ-following people… continue to put themselves in a position to be tempted by the sin of adultery.  

That’s why I want you to think about your day-to-day life. Think about the people you work with, the people you email with, or even the people you might Facebook with each day.  

Is every relationship you have… whether it’s online or offline… aboveboard? Are your motives in each relationship pure?  

First Corinthians chapter 10 tells us with any temptation, God provides a way of escape. And one way of escape he has given us is his Word. This is why I’m such a strong advocate of memorizing Scripture!  

Because just trying to not think lustful thoughts really doesn’t do you any good. You and I have to replace bad thoughts with good thoughts. And the best thoughts you can put in your mind are God’s words.

So today, I want to help you start winning the battle against lust and sexual sin in your life by giving you a verse you can memorize. It’s 2 Corinthians 10:5, which says, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

So write that down. Second Corinthians 10:5. Learn it and memorize it. And the next time you’re tempted to lust… the next time you’re...

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The Redeeming Power of Christ
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 8, 2016

“You shall not murder.”

—Exodus 20:13

The Sixth Commandment isn’t one that a lot of people think they need to pay much attention to these days. But when we dig a little deeper into what those four words really mean and imply, we see that they do apply to each and every one of us!

Because the word murder doesn’t just mean homicide. The Scripture teaches that you can murder someone by gossiping about them or by harboring hateful thoughts about them. Jesus made it very clear that these are murderous actions just as much as the actual taking of an innocent life is.

But here’s the great news about the grace of the Lord Jesus. It covers every sin, including the physical or mental act of murder. And it doesn’t just cover the sin, it redeems the sinner.

Think about Moses. Or David. Or the apostle Paul. In the world’s eyes, each of these men was a murderer.  

Yet because of God’s forgiveness, Moses wasn’t a murderer… he was a liberator. Because of God’s forgiveness, David wasn’t a killer… he was a man after God’s own heart. And because of God’s forgiveness, Paul wasn’t a persecutor… he was a missionary.

And the same is true for you! If you’re a follower of Christ, God’s grace and forgiveness cover your sin—past, present, and future. And his grace and forgiveness not only cover your sin, they redeem your life as a sinner! As David himself proclaimed, “He redeems your life from the pit”!

So let me ask you today. Are you in need of the redeeming power of Christ in your life? Perhaps your past is marked by an abortion, and...

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It’s All About Grace
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 7, 2016

Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”

—Zechariah 3:3-4

Joshua was not a wicked man. This was the best religion had to offer… the high priest! And yet, as Joshua stood in the presence of God, he was viewed as wearing filthy clothes. He needed God’s forgiveness just as much as you and me.  

It’s important to remember that you are saved and sustained by grace alone. At times you may feel like you’re doing okay in your Christian life. You may serve, witness, give, perform acts of kindness, and have admirable character. 

But don’t be mistaken. You’re not saved by any of that! And to the degree that you’re clinging to your self-righteousness or any merit that you have, you’re missing the blessing of grace.

You’re not saved by grace and works… but by grace alone. Grace is not God making up the difference in your shortfall. It does not mean that you pay a little bit and then God pays the rest. That’s not grace!

The grace of God means that you and I come without anything to offer. We come into the Kingdom helpless and hopeless and empty. And he invites us there, not on the basis of our merit or money, but on the basis of his grace. 

So today, remember that your salvation is a gift of grace through and through. It doesn’t depend on what you do… it’s based entirely on what Jesus...

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What’s the Focus of Your prayers?
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 6, 2016

“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.”

—Nehemiah 9:6

So much of our prayer life can be shallow, weak, and self-centered. But when you read the great prayers of the Bible, you discover that they are God-centered.  

A fascinating example is the prayer in the book of Nehemiah chapter 9. It’s the longest recorded prayer in the Bible, and so much of it focuses on the nature and acts of God throughout history. 

In the book of Psalms, you can see this pattern in the prayers of David also. Even in times of danger or need when David was greatly burdened, he would spend time praising God for who he is, and recounting the good things God had done in the past. 

This is an important key to breathing life into your prayers!

It can be easy to become focused on your problems. But when you pray, put your cares aside for a moment and let your mind focus on the Person to whom you are speaking. Remind yourself of who he is and how much he has done for you.

Remember how the Lord’s Prayer begins: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” (Matt 6:9).  

Of course, the Lord wants you to bring your cares to him—he tells you to in his Word. But when you pray, let your very first words, and the attitude of your heart, be to bring him praise and glory.  

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