Posts in Sanctification

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The Mark of Manhood

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By Charlie Thomas, @MBC Arlington Leader

We’ve all done what David did, and, unfortunately, it’s not defeating Goliath. So, what have we done? At the 2014 MBC Men’s Conference, speaker Jonathan “JP” Pokluda challenged us by bringing to life the greatest triumph and the greatest tragedy of David’s life: Victory over Goliath and his fall with Bathsheba. While David’s sin with Bathsheba was certainly egregious, Christ tells us, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” Matthew 5:28.

As I sat in the conference listening to JP talk about David’s fall and read that verse, my stomach churned at the thought of cheating on…

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Getting to the Heart, Part 5

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By Mike Kelsey, Campus Pastor @MBCSilverSpring

The Heart Is Always Trusting Something
In addition to our desires, we are also motivated by our beliefs. In fact, our beliefs usually dictate how we handle our desires. This is clearly seen in the account of the Fall in Genesis 3. Eve desired the nourishment, beauty and divine wisdom that would come from eating the fruit of the forbidden tree (Genesis 3:6). But she didn’t eat it until she believed the serpent’s proposal to be more reliable than God’s promises (Genesis 3:1-5).

The same dynamic is at work in our hearts. Our minds are filled with thoughts that have been accumulated from and influenced by different sources: media…

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Getting to the Heart, Part 4

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By Mike Kelsey, Campus Pastor @MBCSilverSpring

The Heart Is Always Seeking Something

For the most part, our behavior is our attempt to attain what our hearts desire. Christian counselor and author David Powlison explains, “My daily behavior is my attempt to get what is important to me in various situations and relationships. My choices and actions always reveal the desires that rule my heart.” These can sometimes be inherently sinful desires, but usually even those can be traced to legitimate desires that are not necessarily sinful but that can begin to take the rightful place of God (approval, companionship, success, respect, etc.). In fact, this is what the writers of the New Testament mean when they use the…

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PURSUING CHRIST

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By Rachel Thomas, Director of Discipleship for Women & Ministry Teams @MBCLoudoun

Many of you may be aware of the Alcan Highway. It was built during World War II to connect Alaska with the lower 48 states. Up until the 1960’s, it was all gravel and a challenge only a bold driver with a tough truck would want to tackle. The difficulties of the Alcan Highway in those days are captured in a story told by Ray Stedman, an evangelist in the Bay Area. He told of crossing the border into Alaska and seeing a sign that read, “Choose your rut carefully – you’ll be in it for the next 200 miles.” Choose your rut carefully. Choose your rut…

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A Dose of Grace in a Simple Question

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By Will Pavone, Former Young Adults and Edge Community Pastor @MBCTysons

In our summer preaching series, we’re talking about recapturing a zealous love for the Lord Jesus and how we need to live a life of ongoing repentance from everything that tempts us to stray in our fidelity to Him. One of the steps in the process of repentance is having a “holy resolve” to walk in obedience to Christ. I have found that in my Christian life I need the sanctifying grace that God dispenses in the context of biblical community to overcome the many ways my heart is tempted to sin.

Below is one of the best and most practical tools I’ve ever used in order to…

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The Most Important Thing

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By Rachel Thomas, Director of Discipleship for Women & Ministry Teams @MBCLoudoun

Why should we know Christ? If we have accepted the free gift of grace through Jesus’ death and resurrection, live a good and moral life, read our Bible every now and then on our own, pay attention enough during the sermon to recite facts about the Bible and who Jesus is, then we can pass as a Christian, right?

In Philippians 3:4-6 Paul says, “…If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor…

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35 X-Ray Questions for the Heart

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By Mike Kelsey, Campus Pastor @MBCSilverSpring

These questions, from David Powlison’s book, Seeing with New Eyes (pages 132-40), are very helpful in identifying the “functional gods” that drive your life.

  1. What do you love? Hate?
  2. What do you want, desire, crave, lust, and wish for? What desires do you serve and obey?
  3. What do you seek, aim for, and pursue?
  4. Where do you bank your hopes?
  5. What do you fear? What do you not want? What do you tend to worry about?
  6. What do you feel like doing?
  7. What do you think you need? What are your ‘felt needs’?
  8. What are your plans, agendas, strategies, and intentions designed to accomplish?
  9. What makes you tick? What sun does your planet revolve around? What do you…
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