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"Rejoice in the Lord" is more than just Christian niceity.  In Phil 3, Paul discusses what it looks like to rejoice in the Lord and descibes how it is a matter of safety for the follower of Christ.

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Joshua Mohn discussed John 21:1-19.  In the midst of confusion and lack of direction following the crucifixion and resurrection, the disciples when back to fishing, an activity they knew and were good at.  However, they caught no fish until Jesus helped them.  We often don't recognize how much we are dependent on God for our success.  When Peter was broken and aware of his dependence on the Lord, he was able to be raised up to lead the new church. 

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Press On

Salvation through Jesus Christ results in us being adopted into God's new family.  Like human infants, we have a lot to learn and we will make many mistakes along the way.  Jesus is the one driving our maturation process and he promises to bring it to completion but it involves our active participation in his training program.  He gives us a variety of resources including scripture, teachers and other believers to help us grow.

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Expectation is the foundation for our reaction.  Thomas did not expect that Jesus would really rise so he found it difficult to believe the eyewitness accounts of the others.  God gives us enough evidence to believe but rarely enought to convince a skeptic.  We have expectations of God that shape our reaction to his work in our lives.  

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In John 20:19-23, Jesus greets his disciples for the first time after his crucifixion - after they had failed him in numerous ways.  His response, which mirrors the response of the father in the parable of the prodigal son, extends tremendous grace, restores them with renewed vision and invites them to extend the mercy to others the same mercy they received. He responds to us in the same way when we sin.

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It's Friday but Sunday's coming.  The arrest of Jesus represented a crisis for the newly forming Christian religion but Jesus was in control.  It serves to give us hope in the midst of our own challenges of faith as we live in a "Friday" situation, looking forward to "Sunday" when Jesus returns for his church. 

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