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The Bible says what?

Today's Text Reading - Mark 14:51-15:15 The passage we are reading today covers so much of the story of Jesus' crucifixion that there is one hilarious section we could easily skip over.  In fact, I have never heard anyone teach on this one or even really talk about it that much: And a young man followed [Jesus], with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And ...

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Freedom and the Word

The last few weeks at Riv, we have been talking a lot about the freedom Jesus has granted his followers. We are truly unchained from the law AND our sin (lots more about this in the coming weeks). The first week of the series, I said something like this: "Some Christians say the being a Christian requires a daily time reading the Bible. What about those who lived ...

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4 Minutes on Dealing with a Difficult Bible Text

This weekend at Riv, we are diving back into our series on the book of 1 Corinthians and we are hitting some controversial stuff. In light of this, I thought it be a great time for a 4 minute video on how to deal with passages we find difficult, offensive, or contradictory. (YouTube Link)

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4 Minutes on Debatable Issues

A few weeks ago, my inboxes erupted because of the conclusion I gave to a message on the freedoms we have in Christ and how to respond to other Christians who have a weak conscience.  Interestingly, I got less heat from my usage of alcohol as my primary illustration as I did from a list of debatable issues I shared. Even more interesting was the juxtaposition...

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4 Minutes on “Preparing a Sermon”

People often ask me how I go about preparing a sermon. Here's a 4 minute video that follows along the two week process it took to develop the message I preached last week.  I knew the passage I was going to preach a year ago, so a lot of reading, thought, study, and prayer preceded the start of this final stage of preparation. To watch the final sermon I ...

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Reading the Bible in 2012

This is the time of year that people make lots and lots of New Year's Resolutions. About 3 weeks from now is when people give up on lots and lots of New Year's Resolutions. For many Christians, reading the Bible is one of those ill fated commitments.  It's a lot like physical exercise - we know it is important, we feel better when we do it, but other ...

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Translating the word “Slave” in the Bible

This weekend at Riv, we looked at a passage in 1 Corinthians that included the word "bondservant." 1 Corinthians 7:21 has been misused by Christians (and non-Christians) for years because the word is often translated as "slave." Here is the passage in various popular translations: English Standard Version "Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned ...

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“Teacher!”

At Riv, we are in a series called Red Letter Ending, where we are looking at 7 statements of Jesus from the cross and one statement he made after his resurrection.  On my blog, we are looking at some of the statements people made to Jesus before, during, and after his crucifixion. Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the ...

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“Are you the only…?”

At Riv, we are in a series called Red Letter Ending, where we are looking at 7 statements of Jesus from the cross and one statement he made after his resurrection.  On my blog, we are looking at some of the statements people made to Jesus before, during, and after his crucifixion. Today we are going to look at a long exchange between Jesus and a couple people ...

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Awesome Prayer

Whenever I am studying a passage to teach at Riv, there is so much I come across that I don't have time to squeeze into my messages.  That's why, during the course of the current series on 1 Timothy, I am going to take some time to blog about some of the material that ended up on the cutting floor of my study. "Now to the eternal king, immortal, invisible, the ...

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