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A young man asked, “I am in earnest about forsaking ‘the world’ and following Christ. But I am puzzled about worldly things. What is it I must forsake?” “Colored clothes, for one thing. Get rid of everything in your wardrobe that is not white. Stop sleeping on a soft pillow. Sell your musical instruments and don’t eat any more white bread. You cannot, if you are sincere about obeying Christ, take warm baths or shave your beard. To shave is to

Sin pulls us down. Christ lifts us up. We affirm, “Christ died for me.” This is called substitution, because we should have died for our sins. But God in his great love for us sent Jesus as the perfect sacrifice to die in our place. We also affirm, “I died in Christ.” This is called identification, because we identify with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection. “For we know that our old self was crucified with him . . . that we

We all struggle with faulty software and broken coding. Our interior software tells us what we believe about ourselves and manages everything we think, say, and do. And it’s faulty. Our interior software says things like: • “I have to be perfect to be acceptable.” • “I can’t do anything right and people get upset.” • “I’m worthless.” • “I don’t deserve anything good.” • “I must protect myself from others.” • “I can’t get close to others or I’ll get hurt.” • “I’ll show that person that I’m

“Who are you?” “I’m David Smith.” “Oh, that’s your name. But who are you?” “I’m a pastor.” “No, that’s what you do.” “I’m a Caucasian male.” “No, that’s your ethnicity, your gender. Who are you?” “I’m with the Christian and Missionary Alliance.” “No, that’s your denomination.” I could add my height and weight. The color of my hair. How I smile. My place in the family. But none of these describe who I am. We tend to identify ourselves according to: • What we look like – tall, short, stocky, slender. •

During a war, as enemy forces advanced, Baker Company was cut off from the rest of their battalion. No word was heard from them for several hours though headquarters repeatedly tried to contact them. Finally a faint signal was received. Straining to hear, the commander asked, “Baker Company, do you read me?” “This is Baker Company,” came the reply. “What is your situation?” asked the commander. “The enemy is to the east of us. The enemy is to the north of us. The enemy