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Getting to the Heart, Part 3

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By Mike Kelsey, Campus Pastor @MBCSilverSpring

The Heart Is An Idol Factory

We were created to worship and therefore even when we are not actively engaged in “religious” activities, worship is still at work in our hearts. This is where the biblical teaching of idolatry becomes very important. For most of us, the word idolatry conjures up images of statues and shrines. And this is certainly an external form of idolatry. But Scripture also addresses internal idolatry, which happens when we make anything in life more important and necessary than God and His will. The elders of Israel were rebuked for setting up “idols in their hearts” (Ezek. 14:1-8), and the apostle Paul diagnoses coveting and…

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Peacemaking and the Gospel, Part 2: Negative Narratives

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By Joey Ruyter, MBC Prince William Discipleship Pastor

I hope my post on where conflict begins was encouraging, challenging, and helpful. Today, I want to discuss what happens after conflict begins. Typically, if we miss that the conflict really began in our own heart, we enter into a phase where we allow our imaginations to run rampant. There is damage that comes from this, but as with everything else, if we cling to the Gospel, there is hope to overcome.

NARRATIVES

Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these…

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6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before a High School Reunion

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By Bethany Goodman, MBC Tysons Attendee

Ten years can fly by in a flash.  That realization hit me recently when the invitation came for my 10-year high school reunion – via Facebook, of course, which was just coming into existence in 2004! Times certainly change.

I began thinking about not only my senior year, but my entire high school experience. Was I living for the Lord or what other people thought of me? Did I treat everyone the way God sees them or according to their social group? Did my fellow students and my teachers see Christ in me? Even more deeply, I started to think about who I was as an 18 year-old kid versus a 28 year-old woman. Had…

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Getting to the Heart, Part 2

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By Mike Kelsey, MBC Silver Spring Campus Pastor

Self-pitying comparisons. Outburts of anger. Refusal to share the Gospel. What do all of these have in common?

Our hearts.

While we are all influenced by different factors (e.g. past history, physical causes, etc.), Scripture teaches that our behavior ultimately flows from the heart. This is why Proverbs 4:23 warns us, “Watch over your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs of life.” In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus gives us a picture that illustrates the relationship between our behavior and our heart (cf. Mark 7:20-23). Just as roots that are hidden beneath the surface produce observable fruit, our hearts produce our behavior. In other words, if we really want to…

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Getting to the Heart, Part 1

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By Mike Kelsey, MBC Silver Spring Campus Pastor

When it comes to understanding what causes us to do (or fail to do) certain things and respond in certain ways, we may give many explanations: physical causes, circumstances, Satan, willpower (or the lack thereof), etc. All of these are certainly factors for Christians to consider when evaluating behavior. However, none of these penetrate the problem deeply enough to offer genuine freedom.

In this fallen world, our bodies are prone to dysfunction and decay (Romans 8:20-23). This explains why physical and chemical processes in our bodies, when not functioning properly, can affect us in negative ways. Physical remedies like medicine, exercise or sleep can often be necessary components in our efforts to experience…

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