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Growing in Christ

Jesus falls under the cross, and Simon starts to carry his cross for him.
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Carrying Our Cross, the Mark of a Disciple

The cross has always been the symbol of the Christian faith. Everyone knows it symbolizes the death of Christ. In the historical record, it was the means by which the Romans executed their criminals. So what did Jesus mean when he told us to carry our cross? In the popular view today, it’s a metaphor for any form of discomfort, like having to put up with people we don’t like, or having a responsibility we really don’t want. But in the Bible, in its simplest and purest form, the cross means unjust suffering and death.

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Two oxen joined together by a yoke, pulling a plow.
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Wearing the Yoke of Christ

In the ancient world and even in many parts of the world today, farmers used animals to do the heavy work of plowing fields, carrying loads, and pulling carts. When two animals were used, they were joined together by a wooden yoke. Jesus used this most familiar farm implement to describe the relationship he has with those who trust him.

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Old boundary stones marking ancient boundaries
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God’s Ancient Boundaries

God established boundaries that define the world we live in and provide structure to our lives. They keep us living in the real world, not an imaginary world of our own making. God’s commands are ancient boundaries that keep us on safe paths and provide blessing in our lives. But those who cross them or ignore them do so at their own peril. God set spiritual and moral boundary stones as monuments that, even today we can get our bearings on to keep us on the right paths.

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Young woman loving God with all her heart
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Loving God- the Greatest Command

What is most important to you in life? What is the most important thing you can think of? Jesus Christ taught that loving God is the highest of all priorities, the greatest command in God’s law.   According to the Bible, we were made to be connected to God in a love relationship. But what does it mean to love God? How can we love a Being we can’t see?  Loving God means giving him ourselves—our heart, soul, mind, and strength—all that we are.

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Young man with Bible praying to become more like Christ

Becoming Like Christ by the Power of God’s Spirit

How do we become better people? How do we make a better society? Will the coming of a new year magically bring the changes we want in us and others we live with? No, nothing really changes with the changing of the calendar. If we are the same people, then there is no reason to think that society will change. We are still sinful and need God and his transforming power. But how can we change?

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Indian children

Children of God by Adoption

In many circles, everyone is a child of God. “We are all God’s children” is commonly heard. But what does the term “child of God” mean in the Bible? Christians know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but who are the “sons of God” that the Bible refers to? They are God’s adopted children.

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Old fresco painting of Jesus teaching

The Golden Rule and Loving Our Neighbor

In these troubling and confusing times, we need direction and guidance, especially in how we relate to others. There are countless voices trying to persuade us in different directions. Where can we find an authoritative voice that we can trust? We again turn to Jesus, the Son of God, whose teachings to love our neighbor and observe the Golden Rule stand out among all others. What do these mean and how do we apply them in our lives?

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Asian woman with face mask looking frightened

Controlling Fear by Trusting God

We all experience fear. But dealing with fear can be difficult, especially when we face significant challenges in life. How do we control it so it doesn’t lead us into despair? By trusting God.

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The Pharisees test Jesus by asking him if they should pay taxes to Caesar

Give to God What is God’s

Jesus’s detractors attempted to entrap him with a question: “Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (Luke 20:22) Jesus, aware of their insincerity, asked for a Roman coin…

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