Fasting: A More Honest Hope (Already/Not Yet #2)

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Fasting: A More Honest Hope (Already/Not Yet #2)

Jesus expected that His followers would fast when He would no longer be physically present with them. We live in a tension of already/not yet: Jesus has come, but we desperately need Him to come back. God's kingdom has broken into this world, but it hasn't yet come in its fullness. We need help to cling to this kind of honest hope, which is why fasting is particularly helpful.

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Jesus and Israel's Exile (All About Jesus #17)

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Jesus and Israel's Exile (All About Jesus #17)

God's chosen people got to live in His presence, build Him a house, and walk in His provision. But instead of living His way, they repeatedly turned aside, over and over and over, for almost a thousand years--so He eventually gave them over to complete separation from Him. He left the temple; they left His land; and everything became as shattered on the outside as it already had been on the inside. This is the exile.

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When Fire Came Down on the Temple (All About Jesus #16)

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When Fire Came Down on the Temple (All About Jesus #16)

Once upon a time, God's people built Him a magnificent temple. Then they asked Him to be present in it, hearing the prayers and looking upon the sacrifices that they'd make in that place. And God agreed. His presence came in brilliant glory, and when His fire and smoke filled the new temple, the people fell on their faces in awe.

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Made to Love - Book of Judges (All About Jesus #15)

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Made to Love - Book of Judges (All About Jesus #15)

God made all of us to know him and join in doing his work in the world. If we lose our faith or our works, we quickly go off the rails. The book of Judges shows a clear and frightening picture of just how bad this cycle can get, and serves as a warning to fight for loving God and loving people every day.  

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Have Faith Like the Heathen Prostitute (All About Jesus #14)

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Have Faith Like the Heathen Prostitute (All About Jesus #14)

What grace! Our God holds up the story of a heathen prostitute, from a book about ethnic cleansing, as an example for us all today—because regardless of who you are, you are worthy of love. Jesus is ready meet with you by faith. Let's go outside whatever fence is keeping us from Him and draw near to Him to find mercy and grace. He is ready for you.

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The Empire of the Spirit (Empire of Grace #5)

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The Empire of the Spirit (Empire of Grace #5)

After being crucified and resurrected, Jesus continued teaching His followers about His coming empire. He told them to wait for it, wait for it. And then it happened. The Holy Spirit came. God's power was made available to Jesus' followers just like it had been to Jesus. And all of this was because Jesus has been enthroned at God's right hand.

He will come again in glory. Until then, we wait, and we testify to the reality of His empire.

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Parables of the Empire (Empire of Grace #4)

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Parables of the Empire (Empire of Grace #4)

Jesus compares His empire to a field with weeds in it, a tiny seed, and leaven that's being mixed with an industrial sized helping of flour. These statements may sound random to us at first, yet there's meaning hidden in them that could change our lives and our world. Let's listen up.

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Women in the Empire (Empire of Grace #3)

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Women in the Empire (Empire of Grace #3)

In Jesus' empire the patterns and ethics of our world are overturned, freeing women to be what God intended in the first place. In fact, women are adopted by God the Father, becoming siblings of Jesus and co-rulers with Him over all of creation for the rest of time. Jesus is the great liberator of women, and at Redemption our goal is to participate in that.

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Caesar Is No Savior (The Empire of Grace #2)

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Caesar Is No Savior (The Empire of Grace #2)

God’s Kingdom is not just a fiercer version of worldly empires. It's an empire of grace, as different from the empires of this world as love is from hate and light is from darkness. It's mercy and love. It's a rejection of merciless power, a rejection of the authority that comes by brandishing fear.

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The Empire of Grace

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The Empire of Grace

Jesus came to announce the arrival of the empire of heaven. The law of this empire is the law of grace, a law that reflects both the will and character of our Most High God. This empire is coming and will never ever end. So as other-worldly and counter-cultural as it may seem, we can begin to live as citizens of this empire even now. Seek His empire, even when it's at odds with the norms and wisdom of the world around you.

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Because the Darkness is Dying (Grace Restores Nature #3)

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Because the Darkness is Dying (Grace Restores Nature #3)

The darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. This truth can compel us to change the world, and it can comfort our hearts when we're swallowed by despair. This truth fuses our spiritual lives with our everyday lives, our inner worlds with the world around us, and it reminds us of our place in God's grand plan to redeem the world. Praise God with everything you've got—the darkness is dying!

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The Dawn of New Creation (Grace Restores Nature #1)

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The Dawn of New Creation (Grace Restores Nature #1)

On the day of his resurrection, Jesus breathed on his followers, giving them the Holy Spirit and commissioning them as his agents of forgiveness in the world. In doing so, he repeated God's initial act of breathing life into a lump of dust to make the first humans—yes, in doing so, Jesus kicked off the new creation. Our Creator is now re-creating the entirety of creation. He's brought forgiveness, and now He's bringing new life, restoring us and forming us into the highest pinnacle of his intention for humanity. Easter is good news indeed!

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How Ruth Explains Jesus (Relentless Grace #3)

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How Ruth Explains Jesus (Relentless Grace #3)

Ruth is such a great real life example of relentless grace that she can help us understand Jesus better. Jesus Himself is the embodiment of God's relentless grace in the world. Sometimes we forget or miss or complicate that His grace is ready, will spread contagiously, and will eventually restore the entire world. Ruth reminds us, corrects us, and encourages us.

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How to Bring Redemption to Those Hurting Around You (Relentless Grace #2)

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How to Bring Redemption to Those Hurting Around You (Relentless Grace #2)

A young refugee woman brought redemption to her grieving, widowed, son-less mother in law. And she did it by relentlessly embodying the grace that's at the center of who God is. Ruth, the Moabite, relentlessly loved Naomi. She refused to let her go. And then she challenged Boaz to step up into the same relentless grace, twice. Her assertiveness made Boaz a better man. And it turned Naomi's whole life around. Maybe it shouldn't surprise us we have a book of the Bible named after her.

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A Story of Relentless Grace

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A Story of Relentless Grace

How could a young, widowed, destitute foreigner who found herself in a strange man's bed in the middle of the night be the Bible's example to us of God's relentless grace? That's what the Book of Ruth is all about. Ruth was an outsider's outsider. Yet she was strong, smart, capable, and utterly courageous. Her insistence and assertiveness brought redemption to her family and eventually the world.

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"When I am weak, then I am strong" (Seriously? #4)

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"When I am weak, then I am strong" (Seriously? #4)

Every once in a while we meet the kind of people who, even in the midst of great suffering, are able to maintain deep and unrelenting faith. These people often become heroes to many who encounter them, as their faith far outstrips the ho-hum optimism so often mistaken for faith. Paul was one such hero, and in 2 Corinthians 12 he talks about his own suffering.

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"I wish everyone could be single like me" (Seriously? #3)

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"I wish everyone could be single like me" (Seriously? #3)

Understanding God's plan and God's family can radically transform our view of singleness. Instead of it being a time for adventure (fun! 20-something! and single!) or isolation (aren't you ever going to get married?), what if our singleness was a time for complete devotion to building our spiritual family?

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I'm filling up what's lacking in Christ's afflictions (Seriously? #2)

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I'm filling up what's lacking in Christ's afflictions (Seriously? #2)

Paul is joining in the work of Jesus, filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions, and carrying both the life and death of Jesus in his own body everywhere he goes. And beyond Paul's claim that he can help Jesus with His work, he goes on to show throughout the rest of Colossians that we can too.

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