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How to Live, How to Die

Philippians 1:20-26

George Sanders, the cynical and sinister film star for over 30 years, took his own life in 1972. In his characteristically simple way he explained in his suicide note, “I am leaving because I am bored.”

Increasingly, there are people who are either so bored with life or so pressed down by the circumstances...

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Ordinary People

Philippians 2:19-30

There is a movie currently playing entitled Ordinary People. While I have not seen the movie, the title of it struck my imagination. That, joined with a sermon I heard on tape from a pastor friend, caused me to want to speak to you today on the subject of “ordinary people.”

I’ve be...

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Jesus Is Lord

Philippians 2:9-11

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said of Jesus, “His name is not so much written as plowed into the history of the world.” One evidence of this is the fact that historian Arnold J. Toynbee devoted more space to Jesus of Nazareth than to any other six men combined who have ever lived—including Muhammad, Buddha, Caesa...

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The Real People of God

Philippians 3:1-3

In his book Life Sentence, Chuck Colson tells about trying to win a Jewish lawyer friend to Christ. He had tried again and again to find an opening—a way to introduce the subject of Christ so he could share the Lord with this Jewish lawyer friend. Finally one night at a dinner engagement the opportunity ca...

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The Enemies of the Cross

Philippians 3:17-21

Many years ago, philosopher Francis Bacon said, “It is not what we eat, but what we digest that makes us strong. It’s not what we gain, but what we save that makes us rich. It’s not what we read, but what we remember that makes us learned. And it’s not what we profess, but what we practice that gives u...

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Moving on to Maturity

Philippians 3:1-21

One of the greatest athletes who ever lived was the legendary Bobby Jones, the golfer. One of the things that characterized him was his absolute honesty in playing the game. In fact, on one occasion in a crucial match, he accidentally moved the ball as he was addressing it with his club. Though he moved it just a fraction, an...

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Tranquility without Tranquilizers

Philippians 4:6-9

About a year ago, I was visiting with one of our ladies whose husband was in the hospital dying of cancer. He had entered the hospital just four days after she had returned home from surgery herself. She said that when she learned of his illness and his hospitalization, she became a bundle of nerves.

She could not eat...

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Foundations for Giving

Philippians 4:14-19

Some years ago I was preaching on stewardship and there sat in the service two men who had two entirely different responses to the sermon. One of them was angered and incensed and the other one was moved, blessed, and helped by it. The first man, the one who was angered and incensed, went out the front door and he stopped rig...

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Today's Devotional

Applied Christianity

I once talked with a man who was convinced that Christianity was a failure. His conclusion was based on the fact that while our cities are full of churches and preachers, our world is getting worse and worse.

If you think about this criticism, you must agree that there is much religion in America that has little effect on the daily lives of people. While the number of church members may grow each year, so does lawlessness and immorality. But does this mean that Christianity is a failure? No. At the close of World War I a soap manufacturer, walking down the street with his pastor, was bemoaning the “failure” of Christianity. He said to his pastor, “After 19 centuries of preaching and teaching Christ, there is still so much evil in the world. I don’t see how you can go on preaching the Gospel.” 

“I don’t see how you can go on manufacturing soap,” retorted the pastor. “Look at the little urchin playing in the gutter. Neck and ears filthy. There’s still so much dirt in the world. Soap is such a failure.”

“But,” countered the soap manufacturer, “If people will just apply the soap, they’ll be clean.”

“Yes,” concluded the pastor, “and if men will but apply Christ to their daily living, they will also be clean.” 

The evil of today’s world is not due to Christianity’s failure, but to our failure to apply our Christianity. As writer G.K. Chesterton said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried."

Attend church Sunday, listen to God’s word, then apply it to your daily life and you and the world will both be better because of it.

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