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Dates: July 27-29
Scripture: Matthew 6:1-8

In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus took on the hypocrites with both guns blazing! Drawing on common examples of showy righteousness, He instructed us on the importance of being people of quiet sincerity, seeking to glorify God rather than impress others.

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Laughter, Volume 2: The Essential Ingredient for a Great Attitude

When our days are at their darkest, a great attitude can bring encouragement and joy, not only to ourselves but to those around us. Chuck reminds us that the quickest way to joy comes through that most powerful of ingredients—laughter!

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Read Esther 8:9-14

ESTHER

The law of the Medes and Persians couldn't be changed. The law Haman had written had to stay on the books. But because the heart of the king had been softened by the pleas of Esther, he provided a way by which that law might never come into effect—or would at least be neutralized.

The Jews could protect themselves. In fact, they could do more than that. They could take the lives of anyone who might attack them, including women and children, and they had a right to plunder and take ownership of their possessions. So at least it was an even playing field. The Jews now had their own defence, established of all things, by the Persian law. "The couriers, hastened and impelled by the king's command, went out, riding on the royal steeds; and the decree was given out at the citadel in Susa" (Esther 8:14).

Amazing! And to think these rights provided for all the Jews were granted by the same man who earlier had virtually sealed their doom.

You may have some person after you. You may have some document, something that's been written that seems irrevocable—some magazine article, some newspaper article, some transcript, some occupational report, some lawsuit, whatever. Because it's in writing, it looks so intimidating, so unerasable, so legal. And you're reading these words, thinking, Yeah, but if you only knew who's behind that. That's my whole point here! Who is anybody compared to the living Lord? I don't care who's behind that document. We serve a sovereign God who has yet to go "Ahh!" when He finds anything on this earth. Nothing frightens Him. Nothing causes Him to do a neck jerk. He's in charge! We live "in the shelter of the Most High." We "abide in the shadow of the Almighty" (Psalm 91:1).

Nothing is too hard for Him! Nothing!

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Is This Real Life?

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Understanding Our Troubled Times

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30 Days to Finding and Giving Encouragement
This inductive study is designed to create a better understanding of finding and giving encouragement. For the next 30 days read the questions and allow them to spark deeper personal reflection and life change.
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