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Author: Ryan Trzeciak

The Misguided Hope of Mental Health

  Hope is powerful; so powerful it can radically alter the course of life, just like it did for Steven.[1] Currently in his sixties, Steven lived with anxiety and depression ever since his teen years. Over the decades, he has interacted with numerous doctors who prescribed him numerous medications that seemed to work for a little while, but he soon found himself battling the same feelings of sadness and worry. Although Steven claimed to be a believer, church was not much of a priority for him, and he rarely read his Bible. One of the issues that caused his anxiety to increase dramatically is the fact that he was hiding a significant sinful lifestyle from his wife for years. She thought his bouts with depression and anxiety were due to his mental illness and an imbalance with his medication....

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Six Ordinary Sins

Are you a good person? Our initial gut reaction to this question most likely is to answer in the affirmative. We may even think to ourselves, “Of course I’m a good person! I haven’t killed anyone or robbed a bank, and I don’t cheat on my taxes.” Oftentimes, we look at a list like this as “evidence” to convince ourselves that we are, in fact, a good person. However, upon deeper reflection, we may find that our positive self-evaluation does not match reality. We are sinners who still live in a sinful world where we give in to temptation and do wrong. And if we find ourselves giving in to sin more often than not, we should pause to reassess our commitment to the Lord. Followers of Christ are called to holiness and away from iniquity. Therefore, the believer must battle against sin and turn...

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Grow Up, Men!

Men, there is a problem out in the world today. The world is confused on what it means to be a man. There is a lack of understanding of what a man is and what a man is to do. This confusion has brought about stunted growth in masculinity in general and a lack of male leadership specifically. This confusion has found its way into the church, and we need to face this problem head-on. In times of confusion and misunderstanding, followers of Christ must return to the Bible, for it alone provides clarity and direction. One of the most common metaphors used to describe a follower of Christ in the New Testament is that of a soldier. Christians are described as “fellow soldiers” in Philippians and Philemon, and elsewhere, a faithful disciple is a “good soldier” who aims to please his commanding...

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Caring for Those Stuck in Sin

One year from now, the world will turn its eyes to Paris to watch athletes from around the world compete in the 2024 Olympic Games. While there will be many highlights and plenty to see, what will not be seen is athletes running in combat boots and trench coats, nor will we see runners going the wrong way on the track. That would be ludicrous, but this is exactly what it’s like attempting to live the Christian life while at the same time being enslaved to sin. In Hebrews, we are called to “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run…the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). In the first century, the church at Corinth struggled with many things that spiritually weighed them down and numerous sins that were clinging to them and hindering their race....

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Fathers, We Need You! 

Revival is a mighty work of God where he saves the lost and sanctifies the saved in surprising numbers. This message has been boldly proclaimed for weeks as our church continues to preach through the book of Acts. Here at First Baptist, we have been praying that God would do this mighty work in our congregation, and in the city of Jacksonville, all for his glory. We want to see every man, woman, and child come to know and follow Jesus Christ as Lord. However, in order for revival to happen, we need godly fathers who will stand up and lead their families in worshiping our great Savior.   Now, please hear me, we also need godly mothers, single women, single men, teens, grandparents, great grandparents, and everyone else in between to be engaged. Revival is a work of God that involves all the...

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Five Ways to Love with Our Words

Our tongue is an amazing piece of God’s creative handiwork in our bodies! In one sense, it is an anatomical anomaly. The tongue is the only body part that contains muscles that are not attached to a bone at both ends. Unlike your biceps, which are attached to your elbow and shoulder joints, the tongue is an intertwined matrix of muscles that pull on each other, giving it the flexibility to twist and turn into a seemingly endless array of shapes and sizes. It also possesses tremendous stamina as it works tirelessly throughout the day in the activities of talking, eating, and removing food from your teeth. I mean, when was the last time you said, “Boy, my tongue is tired,” or “Man, my tongue muscles are sore!” Probably never.   But not only is the tongue an intricate mass of muscles,...

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Cultivating Affection in Your Marriage

I am not a gardener, and the only thing that I seem to be able to grow in my yard consistently is weeds. Part of my problem is that I do not take the time to prepare the soil so that plants have a chance of growing. Behind every beautiful garden are hours of hard work. Beautiful gardens do not just happen, they are made to happen. We can say the same thing about marriage. Movies and books lead us to believe that affection and romance just spontaneously erupt between two people who will then live happily ever after in a constant state of marital bliss. However, reality tells a different story. Behind every good marriage are years of faithful effort that produces the sweetness of affection. Good marriages do not just happen, they are made to happen. In the early days of a relationship, affection...

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The Lies of Suicide

Satan is a liar. He is a liar by nature (John 8:44) and became the father of lies when he told the very first lie, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4-5). All he does is distort, twist, and pervert the truth, which brings nothing but heartache and destruction. But one of his greatest and most devastating lies is when he tells someone, “It would be better if you were dead.” Sadly, the troubling reality is that tens of thousands of people every year believe that lie. In the United States, during 2020, almost 46,000 people committed suicide. That’s about 125 people a day, making it the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S., the second among ages 20-34. The Bible tells us that every life is precious to God from the moment of conception to the day of one’s final breath. Therefore, every...

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