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True or False: Freedom means you can do anything you want. Answer: False. Oh sure, you’re free to choose to disobey the law. But then you’d have to cover it up, keep it a secret, and most likely pay for it later. You’re also free to tell a lie. But then you’d have to keep telling the same lie. You’d have to remember who you told it to and how you told it. Or else you’d get caught. You’re free to do drugs, abuse

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 that would make people 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. •

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