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Pastor Jay's Blog

This blog is Pastor Jay's weekly musings about God's Word, God's world, and God's call to our culture.  We hope they encourage, challenge, and inform you.  Sign up to recieve them in your email. 


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A New Year's Spiritual Discipline Checklist

I would like to offer up one more take on how to approach the New Year. This is the time to evaluate, plan and prepare for what you are going to do differently in the coming year. That is usually a good thing to do. Doing it only once a year normally doesn't help much, but once is better than nothing. So what kind of planning and preparing should you do? Well, probably all...

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When You Fail In Your Discipline

At the beginning of a new year, when resolutions are fresh, zeal is high and determination is bubbling over, the battle cry for spiritual disciplines harmonizes perfectly with the moment. There is a reason why people feel the need to let loose a battle cry: they know that it is hard. We live in an entertainment age with distractions (and snack food) abounding in every no...

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Selfishness or Self-interest?

Jeremiah tells us that the fallen human heart is deceitful above all else (17:9). This is not so much a statement about deceptions employed to trick someone else, but the deceptions embraced to trick one's own self. If you are going to pursue sin you have to convince yourself it really is a good move. Watching someone try to justify his sin is a painfully sad thing to ...

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How Not to Supercharge your Spiritual Growth

If you put a gun to my head, you have just given me a lot of motivation to do what you say. This is basically the idea in a legalistic community. The logic is all there. Motivation springs forth from what you really love. If you can put what is beloved in jeopardy, then you have touched the source of motivation. If you can do it ultimately, then you have found the ulti...

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Devotion Times that Count, part 4

Today I want to take a different approach in helping make devotional times spiritually valuable. The last three posts have looked at specific features, such as the relational nature of devotional times, the quantity of devotional times, and the quality of devotional times. Today I want to think about what is exactly commanded when it comes to these times. What does God a...

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Devotion Times that Count, Part 3

In part two, I spoke of devotional times in terms of relationship, namely that there is the need for quality time and the need for quantity time. I first looked at the need for a quantity time. There must be a quantity of time spent in the Bible so that you have a framework upon which times of intimacy with the Lord can even have a possibility of happening. Today I wan...

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Devotion Times That Count, Part 2

Last week I argued that the goal of devotional times was not just to have them, but to revel in them as times of relational intimacy. It is a time for knowing Christ and being known; a time for Christ to dwell in and through you while you rest and grow in Him. Like any relationship, there are two kinds of time spent with a person: quality time and quantity time. They ...

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Pleasure and Pain in Praying

The last couple months we have been going through the Lord's prayer found in Matthew chapter 6. This means that we have been talking and thinking a lot about prayer. This is not surprising because there are all kinds of difficulties when it comes to prayer. In fact, a vast array of doctrines will come up when prayer is the topic. Study about prayer will eventually lead t...

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Busyness is Moral Laziness

We have all said it, and we have probably meant it when it came out of our mouth. "I don't have enough time" is a repeated refrain for many. I was once again challenged about this mindset after hearing a podcast in which a seminary professor named Bruce Hindmarsh made the following statement: "Busyness is moral laziness [because it is often a statement of our self-impor...

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How To Know When God Says No

When it comes to prayer, there are always difficult questions. Simple answers rarely work. One simplistic approach is to think God's answers are either yes, no, or wait. This does address fears that God isn't even listening, but the Scriptures affirm that He hears and answers so repeatedly it is not a difficult issue. There is a far harder question that needs to be answe...

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Reading God’s Word More and Better in 2015, Part 2

Last week we began looking at how we can read God's word more and better. There are those who need to simply read it more, and we examined the practical issues and heart issues for addressing that need. This week we will examine how we can read God's Word better. Some of us have developed a habit of reading God's Word daily. We set aside time for it and attempt to guard...

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Reading The Bible More And Better In 2015, Part 1

We all need to read God's Word more and better. If you have any doubt about that statement, consider the following: We live in a world hell-bent on opposing God's rule over all things. We are sinners who are always susceptible to being deceived from without and from within. We all have blind spots of understanding where sin is lurking. During times of emotional or ph...

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10 Reasons to Memorize Scripture, Especially In large Sections

I am writing this post because a number of people have joined me in striving to memorize the book of Colossians. This is not something we do because we are bored and looking for a challenge. On the contrary, we are busy and this pursuit will only add to our plate (just a little). But, life is short and we don't want to mess up the things we are doing. We need God's word ...

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Another Resolution

In case you need reminding, 2014 is halfway gone. That's right. It will never be repeated, ever. It is a memory that will fade into oblivion. At least that is what popular culture tells us. But actually, the first half of 2014 will come back when the books are opened in judgment. Hopefully, you are now thinking of commands you broke and callings you neglected in those mo...

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God Really Wants You to Pray

We are supposed to pray. We all know that, and yet we still struggle to pray. We remind ourselves of all the promises, all the commands, all the encouragements in scriptures regarding prayer. But alas, we are bent toward self-sufficiency. Let me give you one more weapon to put in your arsenal against self-sufficiency so you can be the earthen vessel through which God's p...

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Devotional Mice And The Cheese Factory

You were created to love God and enjoy Him forever. To love someone is to know them, and to love them more means knowing them more. This should be what every child of God is striving for. Therefore, every Christian who wants to follow Jesus will be reading the words of Jesus: the Bible. But sometimes, when reading the Bible, we find ourselves reading something that seems...

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The Slavery That Freedom Requires

On December 14, 2012, Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, hosted an interview with Os Guinnes. The transcripted interview was posted on Al Mohler's blog on March 18, 2013, and is a very interesting discussion about a recent book Os Guinnes published entitled, A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Fu...

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