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The Gift of Trials

This week’s text from James 1 presents an interesting challenge for Bible teachers and interpreters. As we saw last week, James is focusing on the trouble with trials in our lives. The Greek word translated as “trials” in James 1:2 is peirasmos. The ESV translates this sentence as, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials (peirasmos) of …

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The Trouble With Trials

The word “rejoice” and the word “trials” don’t seem to fit well in the same sentence. Yet, that is what James is exhorting his readers to do: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds” (James 1:2). Trials can mean different things to different people. Trials can involve our health, our finances, our children, our …

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An Unexpected King

Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem? We know the miraculous reasons, and we can see the sovereignty of God clearly at work, but in a physical sense, what brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem? Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth, a city about 70 miles north of Jerusalem. Given this was their family home, it would make sense that Jesus …

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The Son of David

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham… And Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. – Matthew 1:1, 16 This week during our devotional time together, we will get to know a man given an impossible task, but a man …

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An Unexpected Dream

There are times in life when we can see trials approaching like a storm in the distance. Other times, we are plunged without notice into the deepest, darkest oceans of pain and suffering. This is what Joseph experienced. The months of betrothal are when two strangers develop the deep bonds of love that will carry them through the long years …

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Contend for the Faith

We started our look at the one-chapter epistles of the New Testament by highlighting the importance of truth. A Christian would point to the Word of God as the bedrock foundation of truth. It is from the Bible that we learn and understand the essential elements of the Lord God that define our human understanding of morality and ethics. Our …

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Paul’s Thorn In the Flesh

There has been a lot of debate through the centuries regarding the Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” He refers to it in 2 Corinthians 12:7: “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep …

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The Information Age and the Need for Discernment

We live in an amazing age of advancement. When I was growing up in the 1970s, we essentially had two versions of the Bible, the King James Version and the New International Version. There were other more obscure translations, but these were the two primary translations of the Bible. Today, we have dozens of Bible translations and paraphrases. One I …