Posts by Blake Barbera

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The Color That Unites Us

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes,and from where have they come?" I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me,"These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robesand made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:13-14). Every human being on the face of the earth has a unique...

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The Mosaic

In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,the Hellenistic Jewsamong them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widowswere being overlooked in the daily distribution of food (Acts 6:1). So you think we've got problems, huh? The truth of the matter is that problems have existed in the church from the very beginning. God is building a spiritual ...

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Love Your Enemies

But he wanted to justify himself,so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:29) To the first-century Jewish mind, the Parable of the Good Samaritan is scandalous. I remember hearing it as a kid, and without any understanding of the historical setting of the story, it still made sense. Out of three who saw the injured man, only one was willing to love his neigh...

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The People Problem

"The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it." (Genesis 4:6-7) At the root of every sin is a broken relationship. From the beginning of the Bible to the end, God is clear about one thing: ...

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The Flow of Blessing

"Go from your country, your people and your father's householdto the landI will show you."I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:1-3). Have you ever wondered ...

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Acquainted With Peace

"When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help."Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed,suffering terribly." Jesus said to him,"Shall I come and heal him?" The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with so...

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The Subtlety of God's Wisdom

"Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, washyourself seven timesin the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of theLordhis God, wave his handover the spot and cure me of my leprosy So he turned and went off in a rage.Naaman'...

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When Jesus Summons

"'Lord, if it's you,'" Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water.""Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the waterand came to Jesus (Matthew 14:28-29). It is never an easy thing when Jesus summons us. If answering the call was easy everyone would do it, but there is always something to consider before doing so. Often the task at hand ...

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Finding Jesus in the Shelter

"On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders,Jesus came and stood among them and said,"Peacebe with you!"After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.The disciples were overjoyedwhen they saw the Lord. Again, Jesus said,"Peace be with you!As the Father has sent me,I am sendi...

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The Opportunity of Isolation

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailerwas commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.About midnightPaul and Silaswere praying and singing hymnsto God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:23-25). On the surface, being...

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A Survival Guide for Blazing Furnaces

"'But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what godwill be able to rescueyou from my hand?' Shadrach, Meshach and Abednegoreplied to him, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliverus from it, and he will de...

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A Cure for Fear (and many other ailments)

"'Go out and stand on the mountainin the presence of theLord, for theLordis about to pass by.' Then a great and powerful windtore the mountains apart and shatteredthe rocks before theLord, but theLordwas not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but theLordwas not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire,but theLordwas not in the fire. And after...

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Service Reimagined

"As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robesitting on the right side, and they were alarmed."Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene,who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him,ju...

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Unless I Make You Clean

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus replied,"You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered,"Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!" (John 13...

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A Fragrant Offering

Follow God's example,therefore, as dearly loved children,and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved usand gave himself up for usas a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2). My wife loves to cook. Some of her favorite dishes to make are ethnic: Thai beef salad, Korean pork tacos, and Greek chicken gyros, to name a few. My all-time favorite is Hunga...

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The Dividing Wall of Hostility

"For he himself is our peace,who has made the two groups oneand has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility" (Ephesians 2:14). When I was a kid, my favorite thing to do was go to my grandparent's house. It was a land of delicious food and endless amounts of Disney movies. My grandfather's den was known as "the grandkids room," and my sister, cousins and I ...

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Zombies No More

When you were dead in your sinsand in the uncircumcision of your flesh,God made youalivewith Christ (Colossians 3:13). There are no zombies in the family of God. You've all seen your fair share of zombie flicks, right? Zombies are those half-dead creatures, formerly human, who now teeter somewhere between the realm of the living and the dead. They aren't fully consciou...

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The Wisdom of the Cross

God made him who had no sinto be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Have you ever wondered, "Why the cross? Why did the Son of God have to die on a cross in order to forgive my sins?" The answer to that question is at once complex and incredibly simple. The cross reveals God's wisdom through what it allowed Him to ac...

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The God Who Fights For Us

"...Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's" 2 Chronicles 20:15. In the regular army the higher you go up the chain-of-command, the less likely you are to find people who fight. The logic is simple. It's much easier to oversee the execution of a battle plan if you're not on the front lines facing the brunt of the...

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Fighting the Right Kind of Battle

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,against the authorities, against the powers of this dark worldand against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). If ever a person had a right to be angry with people, it was Jesus. Think about it: while he was being nailed to a cross, the blood being spilled with ever...

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When God Does a Download

"Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?" And one of his servants said,"None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israelthe words that you speak in your bedroom" (2Kings 6:11-12). A download is a transfer of information from one system to another, and many people think that downloading started with the age of ...

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If This Fruit Could Talk

If This Fruit Could Talk Blake Barbera "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a disea...

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Casting Your Vision on the Lord

Sermon on the moutn...

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The Unseen Reward of a Devoted Life

Sermon on the mount...

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God Roots for Everyone

Sermon on the Mount...

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God of the Interior

Sermon on the mount: salt ...

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