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Times are tough for the Holy Spirit among mainline Protestants. A 2008 Barna Research Group poll found that 2 out of 3 Americans regard the Holy Spirit as merely a symbol of God's presence and not a living reality. But Paul testifies that the Spirit lives and has a real job to do. Sinners that we are, we would not be following Jesus were it not for the Holy Spirit. It is like Martin Luther once wrote: "I believe that by my own reason or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him.

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The Immediate Word

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Christopher Keating
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George Reed
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For March 31, 2019:

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David O. Bales
Contents
“Second Cutting” by David O. Bales
“Everything Has Become New” by David O. Bales


Second Cutting
by David O. Bales
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

When Rod answered the phone his mother was talking and her voice blasted him, “—elp in the hay.”

“Mom,” he raised his voice into the phone.

She hadn’t heard him and talked over him, “… broke the contract and your dad’s been trying to do everything himself.”

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Arley K. Fadness
“he was lost and has been found.”

Good morning boys and girls,

I am so happy to see you this morning. How are you? (children may respond)

Let's play a game I call “Lost and Found.” Okay? (children respond)

(presenter role plays) Uh, oh, I lost something for today's message. Hmm, I wonder where it could be. It's a box like this. (shows approximate dimensions) (instruct the children to look around the immediate area) (then presenter or child finds it)

Emphasis Preaching Journal

Mark Ellingsen
Since the Fourth Sunday in Lent has been historically identified as Laetare (Rejoicing Sunday), it is most appropriate that the lessons collectively testify to a theme for which we can rejoice — God saves us by his grace!  

Joshua 5:9-12
Bonnie Bates
Bill Thomas
Frank Ramirez
Bob Ove
Ron Love
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Joshua 5:9-12

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
In this familiar and well-loved story of the Prodigal Son, I often wonder what happened to the mother of the family. She's totally ignored. So are any daughters. It seems like a completely male stronghold. So much so that I wonder whether perhaps the mother had died some years previously, and that was the cause of much of the unhappiness displayed by both the father and the sons. Or whether the father was such a domineering character that his wife played no real part in family life, but simply bowed her head in compliance with all his wishes, no matter how extreme they were.

SermonStudio

Stephen P. McCutchan
And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them."
-- Luke 15:2

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