Living a Submitted Life to God

Have you ever wondered why you were experiencing hardships as a Christian? Sometimes it seems as though we go through so many struggles in our Christian life. Many times we wish we could bypass the hardships and oppositions of life to savor the easy life. Yet that is not what God wants for any of our lives as His children. In Matthew 16:21-28, we see Christ's example to follow as Christians.

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Since the very first man and woman in the Garden of Eden, we have been trying to hide our sin and guilt from God. When God questioned them about their sin, Adam and Eve were quick to shift the blame and attempt to avoid the responsibility of their disobedience. To this day, not much has changed. You and I struggle with the same fallen sin nature.

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For almost two decades, providing able men has been a hallmark of Pastor Duttry's leadership and vision for First Baptist Church. A great many men and women have gone into full-time ministry during these years. I have been blessed to watch this training and sending take place both under a microscope and through a telescope. For eight years from a distance, April and I continued to watch this church send out people into the harvest fields. And we have also had two opportunities to watch this training and sending take place up-close and in-person.

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TEXT: Nehemiah 3:14, "But the dung gate repaired Malchiah ..."

The men in chapter 3 were rebuilding a wall; each had a different assignment. Some worked on the sheep gate; others the fish gate; some the water gate; and others the east gate. But in verse 14, we met a man named Malchiah with an unwanted assignment: his was the dung gate.

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Text: Isaiah 8:11-14

Isaiah 8 is set in a period of spiritual and physical calamity. Israel, the northern Kingdom, has forsaken the Lord and is on an irreversible path to ruin. Judah, the southern Kingdom, is in spiritual blight under the reign of wicked King Ahaz. Both nations are being threatened by the dominant world power Assyria, a country known for its cruelty and ruthlessness. Having carried into captivity Israel's tribes east of the Jordan, Assyria is threatening the remainder of Israel and her sister kingdom, Judah. Israel has established a confederacy with Damascus to oppose the Assyrian threat and is pressuring Judah to join them. Neither nation is seeking their God, The LORD of Hosts Himself, at a time when they need Him most!

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