Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

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With the death of Moses, the task of leading Israel into the promised land is dumped on Joshua. The LORD promises to be with him and tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. So, when the people say the same words to Joshua, even though they couldn’t have heard the LORD say them, it’s a powerful moment.

The foundation of the faith is that it’s true—John saw and touched Jesus. The foundation of the gospel is that Jesus is light and the propitiation for our sins. The foundation of the practice of Christianity is fellowship (koinonia).

The soul is the starting point for improving our walk with and work for the Lord. All that we are begins from within us, where our heart, mind, and conscience work together to make us the people we are. If we ignore our soul, or fail to understand its operations, we will be subject to whatever winds of doctrine might fill the sails of our soul at any time.

We want to have strong souls, like the souls of those first believers in the book of Acts. This series will help us to realize more of the presence, promise, and power of God’s Kingdom as they did, so that we may turn our world right-side up for Jesus.

Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah, so it will not surprise us that their messages resonate with one another in many ways. Like all faithful prophets, Micah brought the Word of God to His people, calling them to remember His grace and to turn from their sins, and warning that judgment from God was coming.

We have a great salvation, and Jesus is the whole of it. He has pre-eminence in all things, and He is the Head of His Body, the Church, of which we are members. The Colossians understood the power of the Gospel. They had been called to be saints of God and were conveyed into the Kingdom of His Son. They were increasing in Him and in the good works of love that mark our discipleship.

I want to insist that following Jesus is first of all a matter of the soul – heart, mind, and conscience. Unless we are inwardly devoted to Jesus, focused on Him, and committed to knowing and growing in Him, and doing His will, no amount of external involvements will make us true disciples.

The book of Ruth starts with tragedy, as a faithless man leads his wife into exile in Moab. What Naomi did not know was that God was preparing great blessings for her and her faithful Moabitess daughter-in-law, Ruth.

Everyone needs encouragement. Just as important, every believer is called to encourage others. But what is encouragement? What does it accomplish? How does being encouraged affect us? How can we become better and more consistent at encouraging others?

These are the questions we’ll be exploring in the ReVision series entitled, “Encouragement.” We begin by looking a two really great encouragers at work, and then briefly examining the work of the great Encourager.

This first week in the Gospel of John is logical instead of chronological. Jesus is introduced as the Word. Then John tells us that the Word is the Life and the Life is the Light that gives light to all men. John also brings in John the Baptist to testify to who this Light is. Those who receive this Light are given the right to become children of God!

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