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"Seek ye first the kingdom of God..."

A simple refrain that we have read, memorized, stated, and even sung on numerous occasions. We have looked into the eyes of our children and taught them the song that accompanies the words in Matthew 6:33. We have looked into the eyes of those who are dealing with trials and tribulations in this life and have called to mind the words found in Matthew 6:33. We have even, in some cases, written those words on a notecard and taped it to our mirrors in our homes to remind us of what is to be first and foremost in our lives. The simple challenge in reading this verse is not whether you can recall the years of singing, reading, and studying that you have done concerning this verse, instead it is the challenge that comes with realizing that I do not consistently put God first in my life.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God gives us an "if-then" proposition... "...if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my …

Simple Kindness

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - Aesop

In some ways, the culture and society our children are growing up in is more sensitive and more aware of the need to be kind. Our social media pages and airwaves are filled with messages of acceptance, tolerance, and the pressing need for a lack of passing judgment. However, in other ways, it appears our culture and our society has become even less drawn to the actions of being kind. Words impressed on a cool background that say how we should be kind are good to put on your desktop or as the lock screen of a phone, but do those words grow into any form of action? Many teenagers are confronted on a daily basis by bullies (both physically and by cyber means) whose intentions are to crumble and break apart any foundation of confidence that has been built. Many young children are confronted on a daily basis by bullies in their school who are desiring some type of "pecking order" and therefore will attemp…

Simple Fear

The book of Ecclesiastes is filled with words of wisdom, filled with ideas about what it means to survive your own poor choices, and, ultimately, filled with one major idea about what it takes to live a life that is full.

READ Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

"The end of the matter; all has been heard..."
This is not a statement of opinion, nor is it an open door for future discussions about what is going to be stated next... Rather, it is a full statement of fact, intended to let the reader (or hearer) know that what follows this statement is to be considered the end-all, be-all statement on the matters that have been discussed previously. When you read back through the book of Ecclesiastes, you find that Solomon covered everything under the sun (quite literally, he states that throughout the book). It is the basic concept that everything else has already been discussed and talked about ad nauseam. In other words, as the statement goes, "I have said all of these things to say this on…

Simple Peace

"God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing." - C.S. Lewis

In studying the peace of Christ more fully and closely over the past weekend, it has come to my attention in a earth-shattering way that I have no idea what it means to be completely at peace. For far too long, peace was nothing more than a word I tossed around while teaching or preaching to those who I felt did not understand it. However, what I have come to realize is that the one who was tossing that word around did not have the slightest grip on what peace actually entails.

READ Philippians 4:4-9

Over the weekend, Dan Winkler lead a study on the "Peace of Christ" found in the book of Philippians. Our study centered on Philippians 4:4-9 and he put in front of our eyes five commands given by God if we claim we desire His peace:

1) Rejoice
2) Be Known For Gentleness
3) Don't Worry About Anything
4) Let Your Requests Be Made Known To God
5) Meditate…