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This is Only a Test—It’s Only a matter of Time!  Faith Perseveres and Stands the Test of Time

Remember Joseph who had big dreams from an early age?  Yet his brothers despised and sold him out.

In bondage in Egypt, Joseph was entrusted with his master’s possessions yet the “lady of the house” had other

ideas and sought to ‘have Joseph” for herself.  But Joseph had God’s Word as a Seed growing deep within his

heart and knew that one must Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  Joseph understood that we are not our own; that we are created to bring glory

and honor to our Father in heaven.  So Joseph did not fall into sin but instead was thrown into prison for obeying the LORD

and rebuffing the temptation.

Appearances are deceptive and misleading for FROM what seemingly appeared hopeless place, Joseph ended up in a better position than he could have ever hoped or imagined beyond his wildest dreams! God’s ways are not our ways and neither are

His thoughts ours.  We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we may prove what His good and acceptable Will is.

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Remember David?  He was called, chosen and anointed to be the leader to unite God’s people yet it was many years before

God’s Word was fulfilled.  David lost everything and nearly his own life yet the Lord restored all.

Yet David wrote Psalm 144 which encourages God’s children in revealing the Source of Strength—

Blessed Be the Lord, My Rock

Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle;

My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.  (Psalm 144:1-2)

God is strengthening and hardening us to difficulties so that we may be transformed into His likeness as we go through the fire which is designed to remove every trace of the hardness of heart that is naturally “human” and bring forth His divine

radiance from a heart that is tender and reflects His glorious nature.

He is teaching us the true worth of life and the value only found in Prayer and Praise! 

No matter where you are, whether comfortable, irritable, God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work.  (2 Corinthians 9:8)    Celebrate God no matter the

place or position whether on the highest mountain top or  rock bottom in the deepest valley.

Remember the man with the son who threw himself into the water and fire seeking relief in release?

Lord we believe, help our unbelief!

We are learning to stop seeing all as “lost” but know that the lost are found in Christ!

For truly the Lord is our Rock and Redeemer.
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There is hope for your future”, declares the LORD, “and your children shall come back to their own country.”

(Jeremiah 31:17)

Paul’s test for spiritually immaturity:

Do you argue? Do you compare yourself to others? Are you jealous?

Answer “yes” to any of these, then you are spiritually immature.

  My job was to plant the seed, and Apollos was called to water it. Any growth comes from God,   so the ones who water and plant have nothing to brag about. God, who causes the growth, is the only One who matters.   The one who plants is no greater than the one who waters; both will be rewarded based on their work.  We are gardeners and field workers laboring with God. You are the vineyard, the garden, the house where God dwells.   Like a skilled architect and master builder, I laid a foundation based upon God’s grace given to me. Now others will come along to build on the foundation. Each serves in a different way and is to build upon it with great care. 

 There is, in fact, only one foundation, and no one can lay any foundation other than Jesus the Anointed.  As others build on the foundation (whether with gold, silver, gemstones, wood, hay, or straw),   the quality of each person’s work will be revealed in time as it is tested by fire.   If a man’s work stands the test of fire, he will be rewarded.   If a man’s work is consumed by the fire, his reward will be lost but he will be spared, rescued from the fire.  

Don’t you understand that together you form a temple to the living God and His Spirit lives among you?  

If someone comes along to corrupt, vandalize, and destroy the temple of God, you can be sure that God will see to it that he meets destruction because the temple of God is sacred. You, together, are His temple.

  Don’t let anyone deceive himself. If any one of you thinks he is wise in matters pertaining to this world, he is going to be really disappointed. In fact, one must be deemed a fool by worldly standards in order to become truly wise   because the wisdom of this rebellious and broken world looks like foolishness when put next to God.

So it stands in Scripture, “He catches the wise in their deceitful plotting.” 

And the Scriptures add, “The Lord knows the highest thoughts of the wise, and they are worthless.” 

So there is no reason for anyone to boast in human leaders. You already have it all.   So whether it is Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life or death, the present or the future—it all belongs to you.   You belong to the Anointed One, and the Anointed One belongs to God.  (1 Corinthians 3:6-23)

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 And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household.  You are being built on a solid foundation: the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries  with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone.  The building is joined together stone by stone—all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord. 

In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit.

(Ephesians 2:19-22)

Psalm 18
For the worship leader.

A song of David, the Eternal One’s servant,who addressed these words to the Eternal after He had rescued him from Saul and his other enemies.

This Davidic psalm is also found in 2 Samuel 22. It expresses gratitude to God for saving him.

1 I love You, Eternal One, source of my power.
2 The Eternal is my rock, my fortress, and my salvation;
    He is my True God, the stronghold in which I hide,
    my strong shield, the horn that calls forth help, and my tall-walled tower.
3 I call out to the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised—
    that’s how I will be rescued from my enemies.

4 The bonds of death encircled me;
    the currents of destruction tugged at me;
5 The sorrows of the grave wrap around me;
    the traps of death lay in wait for me.

6 In my time of need, I called to the Eternal;
    I begged my True God for help.
He heard my voice echo up to His temple,
    and my cry came to His ears.

7 Because of His great anger, the earth shook and staggered;
    the roots of the mountains shifted.
8 Smoke poured out from His nose,
    and devouring fire burst from His mouth.
    Coals glowed from Him.
9 He bent the heavens and descended;
    inky darkness was beneath His feet.
10 He rode upon a heavenly creature,[a] flying;
    He was carried quickly on the wings of the wind.
11 He took darkness as His hiding place—
    both the dark waters of the seas and the dark clouds of the sky.
12 Out from His brilliance
    hailstones and burning coals
    broke through the clouds.
13 The Eternal thundered in the heavens;
    the Highest spoke; His voice rumbled [in the midst of hail and lightning].[b]
14 He shot forth His arrows and scattered the wicked;
    He flung forth His lightning and struck them.
15 Then the deepest channels of the seas were visible,
    and the very foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Eternal One,
    at the blast of wind from Your nostrils.

16 He reached down His hand from above me; He held me.
    He lifted me from the raging waters.
17 He rescued me from my strongest enemy,
    from all those who sought my death,
    for they were too strong.
18 They came for me in the day of my destruction,
    but the Eternal was the support of my life.
19 He set me down in a safe place;
    He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.

20 The Eternal One responded to me according to my goodness;
    I kept my hands clean, and He blessed me.
21 I kept the ways of the Eternal
    and have not walked away from my True God in wickedness.
22 All His laws were there before me,
    and I did not push His statutes away.
23 I was blameless before Him;
    I kept myself from guilt and shame.
24 That’s why the Eternal has rewarded me for my right living;
    He’s rewarded me because He saw my hands were clean.

25 You are loyal to those who are loyal;
    with the innocent, You prove to be innocent;
26 With the clean, You prove to be clean;
    and with the twisted, You make Yourself contrary.
27 For You rescue humble people,
    but You bring the proud back in line.
28 You are the lamp who lights my way;
    the Eternal, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 With Your help, I can conquer an army;
    I can leap over walls with a helping hand from You.
30 Everything God does is perfect;
    the promise of the Eternal rings true;
    He stands as a shield for all who hide in Him.

31 Who is the True God except the Eternal?
    Who stands like a rock except our God?
32 The True God who encircled me with strength
    and made my pathway straight.
33 He made me sure-footed as a deer
    and placed me high up where I am safe.
34 He teaches me to fight
    so that my arms can bend a bronze bow.
35 You have shielded me with Your salvation,
    supporting me with Your strong right hand,
    and it makes me strong.
36 You taught me how to walk with care
    so my feet will not slip.
37 I chased my enemies and caught them
    and did not stop until they were destroyed.
38 I broke them and threw them down beneath my feet,
    and they could not rise up again.
39 For You equipped me for battle,
    and You made my enemies fall beneath me.
40 You made my enemies turn tail and run,
    and all who wanted my destruction, I destroyed.
41 They looked everywhere, but no one came to rescue them;
    they asked the Eternal, but He did not answer them.
42 I beat them to sand, to dust that blows in the wind;
    I flung them away like trash in the gutters.

43 You rescued me from conflict with the peoples;
    You raised me up to rule over nations.
    People who did not know me have come to serve me.
44 Strangers come to me, afraid.
    As soon as they hear about me, they serve me;
45 Strangers who have lost heart
    come fearfully to me from behind their high walls.

46 The Eternal is alive! My Rock is blessed,
    and exalted is the True God of my deliverance—
47 The God who avenged me
    and placed the peoples under me,
48 Who rescued me from all my foes.
    Truly, You raised me up above my enemies
    and saved me from the violent ones.

49 For this I will praise You among the nations, O Eternal,
    and sing praises to Your name.
50 He is a tower of salvation for His king
    and shows His enduring love to His anointed,
    to David and his descendants forever.
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Many people fear death; perhaps it’s the idea of the unknown that stirs the imagination. Death is the great enemy that stands before believers; but through Jesus’ own death and resurrection, the power of death is broken. Paul uses the gentle image of the faithful being asleep as a new perspective on the finality of death. One minute you close your eyes to this world; the next you are celebrating with Jesus and experiencing the resurrection of the body. Those sleeping will not even miss a moment; it will all happen in the blink of an eye.

Now, brothers and sisters, you don’t need further instruction from us or anyone else for that matter regarding how the seasons and times will play out.  That’s because you know the truth well enough. The day of the Lord will race onto the scene and surprise us like a thief in the night.  People will be going about their business chanting, “All is well! All is at peace!” and in the next moment, ruin and destruction will suddenly seize them as labor pains grip a woman about to give birth; for them there will be no escape.  My brothers and sisters, it will be different for you. You do not dwell in the darkness, so that day will not surprise you like a thief.   For you are all children of light. You are sons and daughters of the day. We are not created of night, nor are we owned by darkness.  So then let’s not give in to sleep or wander around in a stupor as some do, but let’s stay awake and in control.   You see, sleepers sleep through the night, and drunkards drink the night away;  but since we belong to the day, we should stay sober and in control, covered with a breastplate of faith and love and a helmet of the hope of salvation.   For God has not destined us, His chosen, to face His wrath but to be the heirs of salvation through our Lord Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King,   who died for us. So regardless of whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.   So support one another. Keep building each other up as you have been doing.

Brothers and sisters, we ask you to show appreciation to those who are working hard among you and those who are your leaders as they guide and instruct you in the Lord—they are priceless.  When you think about them, let it be with great love in your heart because of all the work they have done. Let peace live and reign among you.

Brothers and sisters, we strongly advise you to scold the rebels who devote their lives to wreaking havoc, to encourage the downcast, to help the sick and weak, and to be patient with all of them.  Make sure no one returns evil for evil, but always pursue what is good as it affects one another in the church but also all people.   Celebrate always,  pray constantly, and   give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. (This is God’s will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed.)  Don’t suppress the Spirit.   Don’t downplay prophecies.   Take a close look at everything, test it, then cling to what is good.   Put away every form of evil.

So now, may the God of peace make you His own completely and set you apart from the rest. May your spirit, soul, and body be preserved, kept intact and wholly free from any sort of blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus the Anointed.  For the God who calls you is faithful, and He can be trusted to make it so.

Brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us.  Greet one another warmly with a holy kiss.  Here is my charge to you before the Lord: have this letter read to all our brothers and sisters [in the faith].  May the grace of our Lord Jesus, God’s Anointed, be with all of you.

Paul knows the healing power of touch.

When members of a loving community embrace, the hardest days are easier and no one feels alone.
(1 Thessalonians 5)

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The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.(Psalm 34:18)

But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs…For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken.    (John 19:33-36)

He keeps all his bones: not one of them is broken.        (Psalm 34:20)
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The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones: not one of them is broken.  (Psalm 34:17-20)

The Hebrew word for peace in this scripture is shalom. It basically means “nothing missing, nothing broken,” or wholeness in every area of your life—spirit, soul and body.

Walking in Truth

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1).
   
The Favor of God shows up…

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.    (Psalm 27:13-14)

Again, remember David—Psalm 27 is a song of David.

1 The Eternal is my light amidst my darkness
    and my rescue in times of trouble.
    So whom shall I fear?
He surrounds me with a fortress of protection.
    So nothing should cause me alarm.

The psalms provide us with a way to think about and pray through the various threats we face.

Our enemies today may not be the same as in biblical times, but they are no less real.Consider the threats on the horizon. Some may be national. Others may be more personal.

Still they come to surround us and destroy us if they could only get the chance.

The reality is there are times when our enemies appear to have the upper hand and our cause is lost.

But wait and listen to the psalm! All is not lost because, ultimately, God is our light and salvation. The darkness will lift, and our Savior will come. He will settle all scores, and we will live in the beauty of His presence.

2 When my enemies advanced
    to devour me alive,
They tripped and fell flat on their faces into the soil.

3 When the armies of the enemy surround me,
    I will not be afraid.
When death calls for me in the midst of war,
    my soul is confident and unmoved.

4 I am pleading with the Eternal for this one thing,
    my soul’s desire:
To live with Him all of my days—
    in the shadow of His temple,
To behold His beauty and ponder His ways
    in the company of His people.

5 His house is my shelter and secret retreat.
    It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil.
Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God.
    He will set me on a rock, high above the fray.

6 God lifts me high above those with thoughts
    of death and deceit that call for my life.
I will enter His presence, offering sacrifices and praise.
    In His house, I am overcome with joy
As I sing, yes, and play music for the Eternal alone.
7 I cannot shout any louder. Eternal One—hear my cry
    and respond with Your grace.
8 The prodding of my heart leads me to chase after You.
    I am seeking You, Eternal One—don’t retreat from me.
9 You have always answered my call.
    Don’t hide from me now.

Don’t give up on me in anger at Your servant.
    You have always been there for me.
Don’t throw me to the side and forget me,
    my God and only salvation.
10 My father and mother have deserted me,
    yet the Eternal will take me in.

11 O Eternal, show me Your way,
    shine Your light brightly on this path, and make it level for me,
    for my enemies are lurking in the recesses and ravines along the way.
12 They are watching—hoping to seize me.
    Do not release me to their desires or surrender me to their will!
Liars are standing against me,
    breathing out cruel lies hoping that I will die.

13 I will move past my enemies with this one, sure hope:
    that with my own eyes, I will see the goodness of the Eternal
    in the land of the living.

14 Please answer me: Don’t give up.
    Wait for the Eternal in expectation, and be strong.
    Again, wait for the Eternal.
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The Day of the Lord
 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;  for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;  so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober  (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5) –to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.   (Acts 26:18)
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.  (1 Thessalonians 5:8)

Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.  (1 John 2:8)
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But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.  (1 Thessalonians 5:4; 3)

Isaiah 1:19 says, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

God can do something with a person who has a willing heart. In fact Psalms 25:12-13 in The Living Bible promises that when you fear the Lord, “God will teach you how to choose the best. You shall live within God’s circle of blessing….”

They did not thirst when he led them through the wilderness.  (Isaiah 48:21)

They thirsted not in the desert, when He led them out: He brought forth water out of the rock for them, and He clove the rock, and the waters gushed out.
Speak!

Declare!

Proclaim!

Webster’s dictionary defines faithful as “full of faith, believing, strong or firm in one’s faith, firmly adhering to duty, a true fidelity, loyal, true to allegiance, constant in the performance of duties or services.”

II Chronicles 16:9 says God is looking for faithfulness, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him….The Hebrew word for perfect there means “loyal, devoted, dedicated, faithful.

The Thirsting Soul Satisfied in God.
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Psalm 63,  A song of David while in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O True God, You are my God, the One whom I trust.
    I seek You with every fiber of my being.
In this dry and weary land with no water in sight,
    my soul is dry and longs for You.
    My body aches for You, for Your presence.
2 I have seen You in Your sanctuary
    and have been awed by Your power and glory.
3 Your steadfast love is better than life itself,
    so my lips will give You all my praise.
4 I will bless You with every breath of my life;
    I will lift up my hands in praise to Your name.

5 My soul overflows with satisfaction, as when I feast on foods rich in marrow and fat;
    with excitement in my heart and joy on my lips, I offer You praise.

GIVE THANKS to the LORD for what HE has DONE!

The Scripture plainly says you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7).

If you desire to be a receiver, you have to be a giver.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

Let the REDEEMED of the LORD, SAY “SO!

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” (II Corinthians 4:13).
Foundation for TRUE Success in LIFE

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success

(Joshua 1:8).

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    By yourself you’re unprotected.

With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

My feet are planted on this ROCK and I will not be shaken.  Your praise is always on my lips; Your Word is living in my heart!

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith

(Mark 11:23).
 
But celebrate this: God selected the world’s weak, the foolish to bring shame upon those who think they are strong, wise; likewise, He selected the world’s weak to bring disgrace upon those who think they are strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon their knees. (William Cowper)

intercessor
literally “go-between”.

When I am weak, You make me strong for the eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)
 
Does He not see my ways and count my every step?  (Job 31:4)

STAND in the WATER and TOUCH the FIRE!

Thanks Giving FIRES up our faith! 
  But when I tell myself, I’ll never mention Your name

        or speak for You again, it’s no use.
    The word of God burns in my heart; it is like fire in my bones.
        I try to hold it all in, but I cannot.  (Jeremiah 20:9)
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PATIENCE IN PERSECUTION

 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

GO, REST HIGH ON THAT MOUNTAIN —-

God sometimes allows us to be CHANGED from an active to an inactive PERSON.  But instead of folding up in our confinement, we can take advantage of the OPPORTUNITY to become a POWERFUL INTERCESSOR! 

Worry is sin to a BELIEVER.

Lord I BELIEVE, help my unbelief!

Thank You Lord, I believe You fulfill Your purpose for me. All my children will be taught by You and they will have unlimited SHALOM.

You will increase me more and more, me and my children.  There is no greater joy than that my children are walking in the TRUTH.

Open the eyes of my heart that I might see wondrous things from Your law.

IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS!

I know that You never leave or forsake me and that Your Holy Spirit is given to lead and guide me into all TRUTH every step of the WAY home to You in Christ Jesus.

It’s one thing to SAY that we TRUST GOD and another to manifest OBEDIENT faith through Thanks Giving!

But as Scripture says: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

(1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
REMEMBER IT TAKES BOTH FAITH AND PATIENCE TO INHERIT GOD’S PROMISES!

THIS IS GOD’S MESSAGE!

“This is God’s Message to Zerubbabel: ‘You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,’ says God-of-the-Angel-Armies. ‘So, big mountain, who do you think you are? Next to Zerubbabel you’re nothing but a molehill. He’ll proceed to set the Cornerstone in place, accompanied by cheers: Yes! Yes! Do it!’”  (Zechariah 4:6)
Blessings for Obedience

It is a fearful thing to promise God obedience and break that promise.
The Road to Life Is a Disciplined Life

The number one law of receiving is don’t quit! Stay with the Word. Stay with what God has told you to do. Even if you make a mistake, repent and get back on track. That’s faithfulness. It’s part of the prosperous life because “a faithful man shall abound with blessings.” (Proverbs 28:20)

The blessings  reflect  God’s primary intention toward us: to bless and not to curse.

When the Lord reveals His glory and character to Moses (Exodus 34:6–7), He declares at length that He’s a God of love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness, and only then adds that He will never allow injustice.

ROCK OF AGES CLEFT FOR ME!

The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To base our forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way!  (My Utmost For His Highest)

But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God. (My Utmost For His Highest)

The earth is the LORD’s & the fullness thereof!
The LORD set the earth upon the foundations of the waters.

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OUT OF THE ASHES WE RISE!
THE LORD WILL REBUILD
 
The world is being shaken in these last days.  TIME is short.  Please help us to bring Jesus to this lost and broken world!
 

As I looked, a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman came into view clothed in the radiance of the sun, standing with the moon under her feet, and she was crowned with a wreath of twelve stars on her head.   She was painfully pregnant and was crying out in the agony of labor. Then a second sign appeared in heaven, ominous, foreboding: a great red dragon, with seven crowned heads and ten horns.   The dragon’s tail brushed one-third of the stars from the sky and hurled them down to the earth. The dragon crouched in front of the laboring woman, waiting to devour her child the moment it was born.

 She gave birth to a male child, who is destined to rule the nations with an iron scepter. Before the dragon could bite and devour her son, the child was whisked away and brought to God and His throne.  The woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place of refuge and safety where she could find sustenance for 1,260 days.

The sign that appears in the vision is of a celestial woman who gives birth to a son. While it’s possible this could refer to Mary, the mother of Jesus, it is also possible this is a symbol of God’s chosen people. The faithful remnant of Israel is the womb that carried the Lord and delivered Him to the world. While the great red dragon does his best to destroy and devour Him, God has another plan. Since then, the dragon and his minions have done their best to harangue and persecute the woman’s children. But again he does not have the final word.

 A battle broke out in heaven. Michael, along with his heavenly messengers, clashed against the dragon. The dragon and his messengers returned the fight,  but they did not prevail and were defeated. As a result, there was no place left for them in heaven.  So the great dragon, that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was cast down to the earth along with his messengers.   Then I heard a great voice in heaven.

A Voice: Now the salvation and the power
        and the kingdom of our God
        and the authority of His Anointed One have come.
    For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
        who relentlessly accuses them day and night before our God,
        has been cast down and silenced.
  By the blood of the Lamb
        and the word of their witnesses,
        they have become victorious over him,
    For they did not hold on to their lives, even under threat of death.
 Therefore, rejoice, all you heavens;
        celebrate, all you who live in them.
    But disaster will befall the earth and the sea,
        for the devil has come down to your spheres,
    And he is incredibly angry
        because he knows his time is nearly over.

 When the dragon realized he had been cast down to the earth, he pursued the mother of the male infant.   In order to escape the serpent, she was given the two wings of the great eagle to fly deeper into the wilderness to her own special place where she would find sustenance for a time, and times, and half a time.   Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a raging river that chased after the woman, trying to sweep her away in the flood.   But the earth came to her rescue. It opened its gaping mouth and swallowed the river that spewed from the dragon’s mouth.   As a result, the dragon was enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children—those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus.

  And  the dragon stood waiting on the sand of the seashore.
(Revelation 12)

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.  Colossians 1:26-29)

 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”  (Matthew 16:17-19)

Let God’s Wisdom and Truth PREVAIL together with His unfailing Love!

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.”  (Isaiah 62:1)
 
 
Crucified LAID behind a STONE.
Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, He is RISEN just as He SAID!

they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me.” (Psalm 129:2)

To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But You, LORD my God, brought my life up from the pit.  (Jonah 2;6)
 

A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places

“If you get rid of unfair practices,
    quit blaming victims,
    quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
    and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
    your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
    I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
    firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
    a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
    rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
    restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
    make the community livable again.

“If you watch your step on the Sabbath
    and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
    God’s holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’
    making money, running here and there—
Then you’ll be free to enjoy God!
    Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.”
    Yes! God says so!  (Isaiah 58:9-14)

YOU MAKE ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR MY GOOD!
 
   God says in Rom 2:13, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” Profession means nothing but condemnation unless one lives their profession.
 
You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe and tremble, but wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”  Beloved, dead faith  is no faith at all, it is idle and lying talk.  It is a lying profession, and is the same caliber belief all the demons of hell have.  Genuine faith is alive.  Genuine faith works the righteous works of God.  Genuine faith obeys God’s ten commandment law of love.  The Bible warns us in James 1:22-25 to, “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  God’s law of love is the law of liberty to those who hear it and obey all its precepts.  The obedient child of God is especially blessed of God.  Remember beloved the words of Jesus in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  The Word further warns us in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  Finally we find it declared in 1 John 5:2-3, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.”

     You must be one of God’s faithful watchmen giving a loud cry lifting up your voice showing God’s professed people their transgression and sin.  God calls you to love Him and obey all the precepts of His Ten Commandment Law of love and liberty.  You are called of God to be a “Repairer of the breach” warning all both in the world and especially in Christendom to cease living in sin, and obey by the grace of God His law of Love?

     (from God’s FINAL CALL and WARNING)

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 The LORD has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death.
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But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds. 
For You, LORD, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
  (Psalm 73:28; 116:8-9)
 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy.

The living, the living–they praise You, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about Your faithfulness.
 (Psalm 107:22; Isaiah 38:19)

Since the Anointed suffered in the flesh, prepare yourselves to do the same—anyone who has suffered in the flesh for the Lord is no longer in the grip of sin— so that you may live the rest of your life on earth controlled not by earthly desires but by the will of God.

The reality of suffering in the world causes many to question the existence of an all-powerful and all-loving God.

A God of power and love is expected to be both able and willing to remove suffering from our lives.

Ultimately, God will make all things new and end suffering, but for now God allows it and calls us to rejoice in the midst of it. Though we may not understand it, pain and suffering have a purpose in God’s plan, and our Creator is not immune to it. Through Jesus God enters into our suffering; now we are called to enter into His.

You have already wasted enough time living like those outsiders in the society around you: losing yourselves in sex, in addictions and desires, in drinking and lawless idolatry, in giving your time and allegiance to things that are not godly.

When you don’t play the same games they do, they notice that you are living by different rules.

That’s why they say such terrible things about you. 

Someday they, too, will have to give an account of themselves to the One who judges the living and the dead.   (This is why the good news had to be brought to those who are dead so that although they are judged in the flesh, they might live in the spirit in the way that pleases God.)

We are coming to the end of all things, so be serious and keep your wits about you in order to pray more forcefully. 

Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults. Show hospitality to each other without complaint. Use whatever gift you’ve received for the good of one another so that you can show yourselves to be good stewards of God’s grace in all its varieties.   If you’re called upon to talk, speak as though God put the words in your mouth; if you’re called upon to serve others, serve as though you had the strength of God behind you. In these ways, God may be glorified in all you do through Jesus the Anointed, to whom belongs glory and power, now and forever. Amen.

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Dear ones, don’t be surprised when you experience your trial by fire. It is not something strange and unusual,  but it is something you should rejoice in. In it you share the Anointed’s sufferings, and you will be that much more joyful when His glory is revealed.  If anyone condemns you for following Jesus as the Anointed One, consider yourself blessed. The glorious Spirit of God rests on you.  But none of you should ever merit suffering like those who have murdered or stolen, meddled in the affairs of others or done evil things.   But if you should suffer for being a Christian, don’t think of it as a disgrace, as it would be if you had done wrong. Praise God that you’re permitted to carry this name.

People often suffer because of poor decisions that result in shame, but the people of God face persecution for their faithfulness that leads to honor and glory.

For the time for judgment has come, and it is beginning with the household of God. If it is starting with us, what will happen to those who have rejected God’s good news?  It is written in Proverbs,

If it is hard for the righteous ones to be saved,
    what will happen to the ungodly and the sinners? 

 So even if you should suffer now for doing God’s will, continue doing good and trust your futures to the judgment and mercy of a faithful Creator.

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Among the dead no one proclaims Your name. Who praises You from the grave?

(Psalm 6:5)
 
To You, LORD, I call; You are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if You remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.

What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it proclaim Your faithfulness?

 
Is Your love declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Destruction?

 
It is not the dead who praise the LORD, those who go down to the place of silence.

(Psalm 28:1; 30:9; 88:11; 115:17)
 

 For the dead cannot praise You; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in Your faithfulness.  (Isaiah 38:18)

They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.

(Numbers 16:33) 

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 Jude, a slave of Jesus the Anointed and a brother of James, to you, the ones whom God our Father loves and has called and whom Jesus, the Anointed One, has kept.   Kindness, peace, love—may they never stop blooming in you and from you.

 Friends, I have been trying to write you about our common salvation. But these days my heart is troubled, and I am compelled to write to you and encourage you to continue struggling for the faith that was entrusted to the saints once and for all Vile men have slithered in among us. Depraved souls who stand condemned have made a mockery of the grace given to us, using it as a pretext for a life of excess, lived without any thought of God. These poor fools have denied Jesus the Anointed, our one Lord and Master.

 You have heard the stories many times, and the Spirit has enlightened you about their meaning, but you still need to be reminded. Remember when the Lord saved our ancestors from the land in Egypt? He breathed life into their earthen lungs and took back the life from those who did not believe.  And God has kept the rebellious heavenly messengers bound and chained in utter darkness—shadowy gloom—until the time when His judgment arrives, because they failed to keep their rightful positions and abandoned their appointed realms.   Sodom and Gomorrah and all their neighbors were defeated by their own sexual perversions as they pursued the strange and unnatural impulses of the flesh. Let these who went their own way and are experiencing the eternal heat of God’s vengeance—a punishment by fire—be a warning to you.

 These stories are examples to help you understand the fate of those dreamers who have slipped in and defiled your community, rejected those in charge, and insulted the glorious majesty of the heavenly messengers.   Even their chief, Michael, when disputing with the devil over Moses’ body, did not offer his own taunting judgment against him. Michael simply said, “May the Lord’s rebuke fall on you.” 

The deceivers among you despise what they do not understand; they live without reason like animals, reacting only with primal instincts; and their ways are corrupting them.   Woe to these deceivers! They are doomed! They have followed in the footsteps of their father Cain, sold their souls for profit into Balaam’s deceit, and suffered the devastation of Korah’s rebellion.

 These men are cold stones on the warm hearth of your love feasts as they glut themselves without fear, thinking only of their own benefit. They are waterless clouds, carried away by the wind; autumn’s lonely and barren trees, twice dead, uprooted;  violent waves of the sea breaking over the bow, foaming with shame; lost and wandering stars destined to live forever in gloomy darkness.

 During the seventh generation after Adam, the prophet Enoch said, “Look! The Lord came, and with Him tens of thousands of His holy messengers  to judge wicked men and convict the impious and ungodly for all they have said and all the hard things they have done against the Holy One.”   These men are complainers who look long and hard to find the faults of other men. They are led by their own lustful desires like fools down the path of destruction. They are arrogant liars who want only to get ahead of others.

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 But you, friends, remember the words of the emissariesof our Lord Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King:   At the end of time, some will ridicule the faithful and follow their lusts to the grave.”   These are the men among you—those who divide friends, those concerned ultimately with this world, those without the Spirit.   You, however, should stand firm in the love of God, constructing a life within the holy faith, praying the Spirit’s prayer, as you wait eagerly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, which leads to eternal life.

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 Keep being kind to those who waver in this faith.  Pursue those who are singed by the flames of God’s wrath, and bring them safely to Him. Show mercy to others with fear, despising every garment soiled by the weakness of human flesh.

Now to the One who can keep you upright and plant you firmly in His presence—clean, unmarked, and joyful in the light of His glory—   to the one and only God, our Savior, through Jesus the Anointed our Lord, be glory and greatness and might and authority; just as it has been since before He created time, may it continue now and into eternity. Amen.

 I didn’t die. I lived!

    And now I’m telling the world what God did.
God tested me, He pushed me hard,
    but He didn’t hand me over to Death.
Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates!
    I’ll walk right through and thank God!
This Temple Gate belongs to God,
    so the victors can enter and praise.

(Psalm 118:17-20)

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Psalm 135

Praise the Eternal!
    Praise and glorify the name of the One who always has been and always will be;
    praise Him, servants of the Eternal!
2 Join in the chorus, all you who minister in the Eternal’s temple;
    in the courts of our God’s temple,
Glorify the Eternal, for He is good!
    Sing praises, and honor His name for it is delightful.
For the Eternal made His choice; He selected Jacob as His own;
    He claimed Israel as His possession.

5 Now I know this: the Eternal is great; His power is unmatched.
    Our Master is above any so-called god.
He does whatever He pleases,
    in heaven, on earth,
    in the seas, and in all the ocean depths.
He draws up the clouds that rise over the whole earth,
    He causes rain and the lightning to strike,
    and He summons the wind from His storehouses.

He took the lives of Egypt’s firstborn,
    human and beast alike.
O Egypt, He worked wonders and signs before your eyes,
    signs against Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s servants.
10 He destroyed nation after nation
    and killed mighty kings:
11 Sihon, the Amorite king;
    Og, the king of Bashan;
    and even all the kingdoms of Canaan.
12 He conquered their land and gave it as an inheritance—
    an inheritance for His people, Israel.

13 Eternal One, Your name is everlasting.
    Your legacy, Eternal One, will be known through all the ages.
14 For the Eternal will judge His people,
    He will show compassion to those who serve Him.

15 The nations have idols of silver and gold,
    crafted by human hands!
16 They shaped mouths for them, but they cannot speak;
    they carved eyes into them, but they cannot see;
17 They placed ears on them, but they cannot hear;
    they cannot breathe, not even a puff of air from their mouths!
18 The artisans who made them
    are just like them,
    and so are all who mistakenly trust in them, no exceptions.

19 House of Israel, praise the Eternal;
    house of Aaron, praise the Eternal;
20 House of Levi, praise the Eternal;
    all those who revere the Eternal, praise Him!
21 Blessed be the Eternal from Zion,
    the One who has made Jerusalem His home.
Praise the Eternal!

Psalm 146

Praise the Eternal!
    Praise the Eternal, O my soul;
2 I will praise the Eternal for as long as I live.
    I will sing praises to my God as long as breath fills my lungs and blood flows through my veins.

Do not put your trust in the rulers of this world—kings and princes.
    Do not expect any rescue from mortal men.
As soon as their breath leaves them, they return to the earth;
    on that day, all of them perish—their dreams, their plans, and their memories.

5 Blessed are those whose help comes from the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is centered in the Eternal their God—
Who created the heavens, the earth,
    the seas, and all that lives within them;
Who stays true and remains faithful forever;
Who works justice for those who are pressed down by the world,
    providing food for those who are hungry.

The Eternal frees those who are imprisoned;
He makes the blind see.
    He lifts up those whose backs are bent in labor;
    He cherishes those who do what is right.
The Eternal looks after those who journey in a land not their own;
    He takes care of the orphan and the widow,
    but He frustrates the wicked along their way.

10 The Eternal will reign today, tomorrow, and forever.
    People of Zion, your God will rule forever over all generations.
Praise the Eternal!

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Psalm 147

Praise the Eternal!
It is good to sing praises to our God,
    for praise is beautiful and pleasant.
The Eternal, Architect of earth, is building Jerusalem,
    finding the lost, gathering Israel’s outcasts.
He binds their wounds,
    heals the sorrows of their hearts.
He counts all the stars within His hands,
    carefully fixing their number
    and giving them names.
5 Our Lord is great. Nothing is impossible with His overwhelming power.
    He is loving, compassionate, and wise beyond all measure.
The Eternal will lift up the lowly
    but throw down the wicked to the earth.

Psalm 147 is a postexilic hymn of praise to God as Creator and Sustainer. It celebrates the rebuilding of the walls and gates that protect Jerusalem. God secures the city, grants peace to the border towns, and controls the elements.

Open your mouths with thanks!
    Sing praises to the Eternal!
    Strum the harp in unending praise to our God
Who blankets the heavens with clouds,
    sends rain to water the thirsty earth,
    and pulls up each blade of grass upon the mountainside.
He opens His hands to feed all the animals
    and scatters seed to nestlings when they cry.
10 He takes no pleasure in the raw strength of horses;
    He finds no joy in the speed of the sprinter.
11 But the Eternal does take pleasure in those who worship Him,
    those who invest hope in His unfailing love.

12 O Jerusalem, praise the Eternal!
    O Zion, praise your God!
13 For His divine power reinforces your city gates,
    blesses your children in the womb.
14 He establishes peace within your borders,
    fills your markets with hearty golden wheat.
15 His command ripples across the earth;
    His word runs out on swift feet.
16 He blankets the earth in wooly snow,
    scattering frost like ashes over the land.
17 He throws down hail like stones falling from a mountain.
    Can any withstand His wintry blast?
18 But He dispatches His word, and the thaw begins;
    at His command, the spring winds blow, gently stirring the waters back to life.
19 He brings Jacob in on His plan, declaring His word—
    His statutes and His teachings to Israel.
20 He has not treated any other nation in such a way;
    they live unaware of His commands.
Praise the Eternal!

Psalm 148

Praise the Eternal!
All you in the heavens, praise the Eternal;
    praise Him from the highest places!
All you, His messengers and His armies in heaven:
    praise Him!
Sun, moon, and all you brilliant stars above:
    praise Him!
Highest heavens and all you waters above the heavens:
    praise Him!

Let all things join together in a concert of praise to the name of the Eternal,
    for He gave the command and they were created.
He put them in their places to stay forever—
    He declared it so, and it is final.

Everything on earth, join in and praise the Eternal;
    sea monsters and creatures of the deep,
Lightning and hail, snow and foggy mists,
    violent winds all respond to His command.

Mountains and hills,
    fruit trees and cedar forests,
10 All you animals both wild and tame,
    reptiles and birds who take flight:
    praise the Lord.

11 All kings and all nations,
    princes and all judges of the earth,
12 All people, young men and women,
    old men and children alike,
    praise the Lord.

13 Let them all praise the name of the Eternal!
    For His name stands alone above all others.
    His glory shines greater than anything above or below.
14 He has made His people strong;
    He is the praise of all who are godly,
    the praise of the children of Israel, those whom He holds close.
Praise the Eternal!Image

Psalm 149

Praise the Eternal!
Write new songs; sing them to Him with all your might!
    Gather with His faithful followers in joyful praise;
Let all of Israel celebrate their Maker, their God, their friend;
    let the children of Zion find great joy in their true King.
So let the music begin; praise His name—dance and sing
    to the rhythm of the tambourine, and to the tune of the harp.
For the Eternal is listening, and nothing pleases Him more than His people;
    He raises up the poor and endows them with His salvation.
Let His faithful followers erupt in praise,
    singing triumphantly wherever they are, even as they lie down for sleep in the evening.
With the name of God and praise in their mouths,
    with a two-edged sword in their hands,
Let them take revenge on all nations who deny God.
    Let them punish the peoples.
Kings and nobles will be locked up,
    and their freedom will be bound in iron shackles.
This judgment against them, decreed by a holy God, will be carried out.
    It’s an honor for all His faithful followers to serve Him.
Praise the Eternal!

Psalm 150

If Psalm 150 is any indication, then the worship of the one True God ought to be full of life and energy. Consider what it must have looked and sounded like in those days: voices lifted, shouting for joy, trumpets blaring, stringed instruments playing, people dancing, pipes humming, tambourines keeping rhythm, cymbals crashing. There are times when worship ought to break out in joy. Is it possible that our worship is too quiet, too reserved, too structured?

Praise the Eternal!
Praise the True God inside His temple.
    Praise Him beneath massive skies, under moonlit stars and rising sun.
Praise Him for His powerful acts, redeeming His people.
    Praise Him for His greatness that surpasses our time and understanding.

3-4 Praise Him with the blast of trumpets high into the heavens,
    and praise Him with harps and lyres
    and the rhythm of the tambourines skillfully played by those who love and fear the Eternal.
Praise Him with singing and dancing;
    praise Him with flutes and strings of all kinds!
Praise Him with crashing cymbals,
    loud clashing cymbals!
6 No one should be left out;
    Let every man and every beast—
    every creature that has the breath of the Lord—praise the Eternal!
Praise the Eternal!

This doxology not only closes Book Five, but it also closes the entire Book of Psalms. Up until now, the songs in this book have reminded us of all the reasons we should praise God. Some songs have even commanded us to praise Him. But this closing remark takes the command to praise one step further: everything alive—humans, animals, and heaven’s creatures—must praise Him. Praise is what God created us to do; it is one of our highest purposes in life. So it is no wonder that the longest book of the Bible is purely devoted to helping us do just that.

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The Creator of All You Can See or Imagine

 Who Has scooped up the ocean in His two hands,
    or measured the sky between His thumb and little finger,
Who has put all the earth’s dirt in one of His baskets,
    weighed each mountain and hill?
Who could ever have told God what to do
    or taught Him His business?
What expert would He have gone to for advice,
    what school would He attend to learn justice?
What god do you suppose might have taught Him what He knows,
    showed Him how things work?
Why, the nations are but a drop in a bucket,
    a mere smudge on a window.
Watch Him sweep up the islands
    like so much dust off the floor!
There aren’t enough trees in Lebanon
    nor enough animals in those vast forests
    to furnish adequate fuel and offerings for His worship.
All the nations add up to simply nothing before Him—
    less than nothing is more like it. A minus.

(Isaiah 40:12-17)

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LONGING FOR HER BELOVED

The Lord knows those who are His. (2 Timothy 2:19)  I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.
Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.
As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s approval. They will be satisfied.

(Proverbs 21:21; Matthew 10:7; Matthew 5:6) 

I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me find Me.  (Proverbs 8:17)
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
  (Isaiah 12:3)
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Who is this coming up from the wilderness LEANING on her beloved?

Beneath the apple tree I AWAKENED you; There your mother was in LABOR with you, There she was in LABOR and gave you birth.
Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the LORD

(SoS 8:5-6)

For seven days present food offerings to the LORD, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the LORD. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work. 
‘On the eighth day hold a closing special assembly and do no regular work.

 (Leviticus 23:36; Numbers 29:35)
 
“Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.

(Isaiah 66:9)
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.

 Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son.

  (Isaiah 66:8b, 7)

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A Pilgrim Song 

If God doesn’t build the HOUSE,
    the builders only build SHACKS.
If God doesn’t guard the city,
    the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
    and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know He enjoys
    giving rest to those He loves?

 Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
    the fruit of the womb His generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
    are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
    with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
    you’ll sweep them right off your DOORSTEP.

(Psalm 127)

To Love, to Be Loved

God is love. When we take up PERMANENT RESIDENCE in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.

This way, love has the RUN OF THE HOUSE, becomes AT HOME and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is NO ROOM in love for fear.

Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.  (1 John 4:17-18)

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You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
    spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: God, You’re my refuge. I trust in You and I’m safe!
That’s right—He rescues you from hidden traps,shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—under them you’re perfectly safe;
    His arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,drop like flies right and left,no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge,
    the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,  harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered His angelsto guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

 

 If you’ll hold on to Me for dear life,” says God,I’ll get you out of any trouble. i’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust Me.
Call Me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;  I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,  give you a long drink of salvation!

(Psalm 91)

What can I give back to God for the blessings He’s poured out on me?
I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!
I’ll pray in the name of God;
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it together with His people.
When they arrive at the gates of death, God welcomes those who love Him.
Oh, God, here I am, Your servant,
Your faithful servant: set me free for Your service!
I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of God.
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it in company with His people,
In the place of worship, in God’s house, in Jerusalem, God’s city.
Hallelujah!
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DO YOU TAKE THIS MAN TO BE YOUR LAWFULLY WEDDED HUSBAND?
FOR WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER LET NO MAN TEAR ASUNDER
FOR THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD
WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS!

Israel’s Only Savior

 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    He who created you, Jacob,
    He who formed you, Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.
  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush  and Seba in your stead.
 Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.
 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’  and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.
Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth—
 everyone who is called by My name,  whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.”

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,who have ears but are deaf.
 All the nations gather togetherand the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,so that others may hear and say, “It is true.
 You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He.
Before Me no god was formed,  nor will there be one after Me.
 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no savior.
 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am He.
No one can deliver out of My hand.   When I act, who can reverse it?

(Isaiah 43:1-13)

Who is it He is trying to teach? To whom is He explaining His message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?  (Isaiah 28:9)

Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction. (Isaiah 29:24)

You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit–

Fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.

(John 15:16)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)  All your children will be taught by the LORD, and your children will have unlimited peace.  (Isaiah 54:13)

No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.  (Hebrews 8:11)

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INVITATION TO THE NEEDY

Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.

“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.

(Isaiah 55:1-2) 

Cure the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse those with skin diseases, and force demons out of people. Give these things without charging, since you received them without paying.

  (Matthew 10:8) 

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”  (Matthew 4:17)

but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.  (John 4:14) 
He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me– God sends forth His love and His faithfulness.  (Psalm 57:3)

MY HEART WILL FOLLOW AFTER YOU

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”  (Matthew 4:19)

 

 

Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.
Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds–like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.   
Gather to Me this consecrated people, who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
(Ezekiel 47:9-10; Psalm 50:5)

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending“, saith the Lord, “which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

It is written in the Prophets:They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to Me.”  (John 6:45) 

His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me.  (SoS 8:3) Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!  (Psalm 85:10)

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  (Revelation 1:8; 2 Peter 1:16-21)
Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.
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Do not withhold Your mercy from me, LORD; may Your love and faithfulness always protect me.  (Psalm 25:5; Psalm 40:11) 
He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.  All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. (Psalm 25:9-10)

YOU SHOWED FAVOR TO THE LAND

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, And righteousness looks down from heaven.

 

Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

(Psalm 23:6; Psalm 85:9-11)

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which lives and abides for ever. 

(1 Peter 1:23)   Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.(Acts 2:39)    But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)   It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they  are spirit, and  they  are life.  (John 6:63)

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.

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On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink.


Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-38)

THERE MUST BE A MORNING AFTER

We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.

 (John 9:4)

The People Are to Turn from Their Sin

 Come, let us return to the Lord. He has hurt us but He will heal us. He has cut us but He will cover the sore.  

After two days He will give us new life.

He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.  

So keep on trying to know the Lord.

His coming to us is as sure as the rising of the sun.

He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain giving water to the earth.

(Hosea 6:1-3)Image

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You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.

(James 4:2)

People often suffer because of poor decisions that result in shame, but the people of God face persecution for their faithfulness that leads to honor and glory.

 For the time for judgment has come, and it is beginning with the household of God. If it is starting with us, what will happen to those who have rejected God’s good news?   It is written in Proverbs,

If it is hard for the righteous ones to be saved,
    what will happen to the ungodly and the sinners? 

So even if you should suffer now for doing God’s will, continue doing good and trust your futures to the judgment and mercy of a faithful Creator. (1 Peter 4:17-19)

If the righteous can expect to be repaid on earth,
    how much more can the ungodly and the sinners?  (Proverbs 11:31)

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Therefore, doing what the law prescribes will not make anyone right in the eyes of God—that’s not its purpose—but the law is capable of exposing the true nature of sin.

But now for the good news: God’s restorative justice has entered the world, independent of the law. Both the law and the prophets told us this day would come. This redeeming justice comes through the faithfulness of Jesus the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who makes salvation a reality for all who believe—without the slightest partiality. You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail. Yet they are now saved and set right by His free gift of grace through the redemption available only in Jesus the Anointed.

(Romans 3:20-24)

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 Instead, credit God with your new situation: you are united with Jesus the Anointed. He is God’s wisdom for us and more. He is our righteousness and holiness and redemption.(1 Corinthians 1:30)

Asking is the rule of the kingdom
“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom. If you may have everything by asking in His Name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is.”

C. H. Spurgeon

Ask and ye shall receive!!

Ask, Seek, Knock!
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Do Not Judge
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.  Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure– pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”  (Luke 65:37-38)
“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)

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God will give you the best
“God will either give you what you ask, or something far better.”

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

(Psalm 34:4; 37:4)

Pray with all your might
“You must pray with all your might. That does not mean saying your prayers, or sitting gazing about in church or chapel with eyes wide open while someone else says them for you. It means fervent, effectual, untiring wrestling with God…This kind of prayer be sure the devil and the world and your own indolent, unbelieving nature will oppose. They will pour water on this flame.”

General William Booth

And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.


No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,
Says the Lord.

(Isaiah 54:17)
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And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:1; 27) 

The first sign of revival
When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying. -

Matthew Henry

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.  (Psalm 34:17) 
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

Prevailing prayer
Prevailing or effectual prayer is that prayer which attains the blessing that it seeks. It is that prayer which effectually moves God. The very idea of effectual prayer is that it effects its objects.

Charles Finney

Prayer KEEPS a family together for what God joins together, no man can tear asunder.

Who would dare to accuse us, whom God has chosen? The judge himself has declared us free from sin. Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us!

(Romans 8:33-34) 

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  (Romans 8:31)

The Life-Light

The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
    God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
    in readiness for God from day one.

 Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.

The Life-Light was the real thing:
    Every person entering Life
    he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
    the world was there through him,
    and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
    but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
    who believed he was who he claimed
    and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
    their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
    not blood-begotten,
    not flesh-begotten,
    not sex-begotten.

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.

 John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”  (John 1:1-15)—-and the LAST Word—

 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heavenand he sat at the right hand of God.  (Mark 16:19)
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The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3)

When you focus your whole attention, thought, time and heart upon the Person
and character of Jesus Christ, BELIEVING–things CHANGE!

Now Jesus returns to prayer, an important and sometimes difficult topic. Here He gives the very essence of prayer.

Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you

All who ask receive. Those who seek, find what they seek. And he who knocks, will have the door opened.

Think of it this way: if your son asked you for bread, would you give him a stone? Of course not—you would give him a loaf of bread. If your son asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? No, to be sure, you would give him a fish—the best fish you could find. So if you, who are sinful, know how to give your children good gifts, how much more so does your Father in heaven, who is perfect, know how to give great gifts to His children!

This is what our Scriptures come to teach: in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you.

There are two paths before you; you may take only one path. One doorway is narrow. And one door is wide. Go through the narrow door. For the wide door leads to a wide path, and the wide path is broad; the wide, broad path is easy, and the wide, broad, easy path has many, many people on it; but the wide, broad, easy, crowded path leads to death. Now then that narrow door leads to a narrow road that in turn leads to life. It is hard to find that road. Not many people manage it.

(Matthew 7:7-14)

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“God has no greater controversy with His people today than this, that with boundless promises to believing prayer, there are so few who actually give themselves unto intercession.”

“Wherever the Church is aroused and the world’s wickedness arrested, somebody has been praying.”

A. T. Pierson

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

 (Hebrews 12:2)


“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  (Matthew 18:19)

A spirit of grace and supplication precedes revival
Jonathan Edwards comments that when God has something very great to accomplish for His church, it is His will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of His people, quoting from Ezekiel 36:37 ­ “I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do this for them.” In Zechariah 12:10 it is revealed that, when God is about to accomplish great things for His church, He will begin by a remarkable pouring out of “the Spirit of grace and supplication.” It is the invariable constitution of the kingdom of heaven that blessings of great magnitude are not imparted except to prayers of the deepest urgency.

Errol Hulse

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  (Matthew 21:22)

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He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees.
 (Luke 21:29)
When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.
  (Luke 21:30)
 He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!
  (Isaiah 50:8)
Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.  (Luke 21:31)
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  (Luke 21:28)

Faith grows as we live move and have our being in the Lord; as His powerful
Holy Spirit fills us to overflowing in His abundant Life.

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.

(Jeremiah 29:13)

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Live to Please God

Among the dead no one proclaims Your name. Who praises You from the grave?  (Psalm 6:5)  Is Your love declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Destruction?  (Psalm 88:11)

The dead do not praise the LORD, nor do any who go down into silence. For the dead cannot praise You; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in Your faithfulness.
(Psalm 115:17; Isaiah 38:18)

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The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.”

You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance. 

(Psalm 66:12)
  
“When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm;
        you will not be engulfed in raging rivers.
    If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs,
        keep going; you won’t be burned. 
(Isaiah 43:2)
 
Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.  (1 Peter 5:7)
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Jesus Comforts the Disciples
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
And you know the way where I am going.”  (John 14:2-4)
 
He Listens To My Voice
What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me?  I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the LORD. I shall pay my vows to the LORD, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people. (Psalm 116:12-14)
 
LORD, You alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure. 
I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the LORD.
(Psalm 16:5′ Psalm 116:17)
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
 (Joshua 1:8)Image
 
“I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”  (Isaiah 49:26)

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

I couldn’t do anything on my own, whether good or bad, that went against God’s command.  Never betray His trust, get over “it” and keep walking in His will.

May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones.  Just as you drank on My holy hill, so all the nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink and be as if they had never been.

(1 Thessalonians 3:13, Obadiah 1:16)

Jesus: “If any of you is thirsty, come to Me and drink.  If you believe in Me, the Hebrew Scriptures say that rivers of living water will flow from within you.”

 Jesus was referring to the realities of life in the Spirit made available to everyone who believes in Him. But the Spirit had not yet arrived because Jesus had not been glorified.  (John 7:38-39)

The Holy Spirit connects believers to the Father and His Son. So any fear about being disconnected from God may be abandoned; the Creator of the Universe dwells within His people, sustains them, and will accomplish the impossible through them.

 

I will anoint you with oil so your cup overflows.  (Psalm 23:5)

God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.  (2 Corinthians 9:8)

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For just as Jacob (the deceiver, the supplanter)
was transformed in the process as “Israel” (a prince with God, an overcomer)
as he held on in wrestlings in prayer, prevailing with God and man
likewise we do not sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.
We wrestle in prayer.  We hold on by faith.  We persevere by standing firm in all the will of God,
as befits the mature and fully assured
true sons and daughters of the Living God!
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Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

Then Jesus told his disciples, If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.

For whoever would save his life  will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”  (Matthew 16:24-26)

We Are Christ’s Ambassadors

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.  (Isaiah 53:12)

My Soul Rests in God Alone

On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.  (Psalm 62:7-8)

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 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry.

(Psalm 34:15)

 

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. (Psalm 116:15)

In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior.‘  (Jeremiah 33:16)
“For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.  “Because just as you drank on My holy mountain, All the nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow And become as if they had never existed. \’”But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, And it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.
(Obadiah 1:15-17)
Then my enemy will see it and will be covered with shame, she who said to me, “Where is the LORD your God?” My eyes will see her downfall; even now she will be trampled underfoot like mire in the streets.  (Micah 7:10)

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 
For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.

(Ephesians 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 4:2; Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD.


This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.”
(Jeremiah 25:15)

 

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Decree of the man with 20/20 vision,
    Decree of the man who hears godly speech,
        who knows what’s going on with the High God,
    Who sees what The Strong God reveals,
        who bows in worship and sees what’s real.
    I see him, but not right now,
        I perceive him, but not right here;
    A star rises from Jacob
        a scepter from Israel,
    Crushing the heads of Moab,
        the skulls of all the noisy windbags;
    I see Edom sold off at auction,
        enemy Seir marked down at the flea market,
        while Israel walks off with the trophies.
    A ruler is coming from Jacob
        who’ll destroy what’s left in the city.

(Numbers 24:15-19)

 

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

 

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.  (1 Corinthians 13:12-13)

 

 

The Way of Love

 

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

 

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

 

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

 

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

 

When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

(1 Corinthians 13:1-11)

Love Your Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’  “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  (Matthew 5:43-45)

 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. AS I have loved you, SO you must love one another.”  (John 13:34)  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.  (Luke 23:34)
 

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  (Luke 6:28)

 By now Balaam realized that God wanted to bless Israel. So he didn’t work in any sorcery as he had done earlier. He turned and looked out over the wilderness. As Balaam looked, he saw Israel camped tribe by tribe. The Spirit of God came on him, and he spoke his oracle-message:

 

 Decree of Balaam son of Beor,
        yes, decree of a man with 20/20 vision;
    Decree of a man who hears God speak,
        who sees what The Strong God shows him,
    Who falls on his face in worship,
        who sees what’s really going on.
    What beautiful tents, Jacob,
        oh, your homes, Israel!
    Like valleys stretching out in the distance,
        like gardens planted by rivers,
    Like sweet herbs planted by the gardener God,
        like red cedars by pools and springs,
    Their buckets will brim with water,
        their seed will spread life everywhere.
    Their king will tower over Agag and his ilk,
        their kingdom surpassingly majestic.
    God brought them out of Egypt,
        rampaging like a wild ox,
    Gulping enemies like morsels of meat,
        crushing their bones, snapping their arrows.
    Israel crouches like a lion and naps,
        king-of-the-beasts—who dares disturb him?
    Whoever blesses you is blessed,
        whoever curses you is cursed.

(Numbers 24:1-9)

The Cup of Wrath

Thus says your Lord, the LORD, even your God Who contends for His people, “Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, The chalice of My anger; You will never drink it again.  “I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, Who have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you.’ You have even made your back like the ground And like the street for those who walk over it.”  (Isaiah 51:22-23)

 

 

 

Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” -(Ruth 2:10)

 

 

and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? (Luke 24:5)

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

  (Romans 1:17)

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Resurrection

Friends, let me go over the Message with you one final time— this Message that I proclaimed and that you made your own; this Message on which you took your stand and by which your life has been saved.
(I’m assuming, now, that your belief was the real thing and not a passing fancy, that you’re in this for good and holding fast.)

The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; and that he finally presented himself alive to me. It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.

But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste. Haven’t I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others? Even then, my work didn’t amount to all that much. It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it. So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it’s all the same: We spoke God’s truth and you entrusted your lives.

Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren’t raised, then all you’re doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.

There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ. But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming, the grand consummation when, after crushing the opposition, he hands over his kingdom to God the Father. He won’t let up until the last enemy is down—and the very last enemy is death! As the psalmist said, “He laid them low, one and all; he walked all over them.” When Scripture says that “he walked all over them,” it’s obvious that he couldn’t at the same time be walked on. When everything and everyone is finally under God’s rule, the Son will step down, taking his place with everyone else, showing that God’s rule is absolutely comprehensive—a perfect ending!

Why do you think people offer themselves to be baptized for those already in the grave? If there’s no chance of resurrection for a corpse, if God’s power stops at the cemetery gates, why do we keep doing things that suggest he’s going to clean the place out someday, pulling everyone up on their feet alive?

And why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work? I look death in the face practically every day I live. Do you think I’d do this if I wasn’t convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus? Do you think I was just trying to act heroic when I fought the wild beasts at Ephesus, hoping it wouldn’t be the end of me? Not on your life! It’s resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live. If there’s no resurrection, “We eat, we drink, the next day we die,” and that’s all there is to it. But don’t fool yourselves. Don’t let yourselves be poisoned by this anti-resurrection loose talk. “Bad company ruins good manners.”
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Think straight. Awaken to the holiness of life. No more playing fast and loose with resurrection facts. Ignorance of God is a luxury you can’t afford in times like these. Aren’t you embarrassed that you’ve let this kind of thing go on as long as you have?

Some skeptic is sure to ask, “Show me how resurrection works. Give me a diagram; draw me a picture. What does this ‘resurrection body’ look like?” If you look at this question closely, you realize how absurd it is. There are no diagrams for this kind of thing. We do have a parallel experience in gardening. You plant a “dead” seed; soon there is a flourishing plant. There is no visual likeness between seed and plant. You could never guess what a tomato would look like by looking at a tomato seed. What we plant in the soil and what grows out of it don’t look anything alike. The dead body that we bury in the ground and the resurrection body that comes from it will be dramatically different.

You will notice that the variety of bodies is stunning. Just as there are different kinds of seeds, there are different kinds of bodies—humans, animals, birds, fish—each unprecedented in its form. You get a hint at the diversity of resurrection glory by looking at the diversity of bodies not only on earth but in the skies—sun, moon, stars—all these varieties of beauty and brightness. And we’re only looking at pre-resurrection “seeds”—who can imagine what the resurrection “plants” will be like!

This image of planting a dead seed and raising a live plant is a mere sketch at best, but perhaps it will help in approaching the mystery of the resurrection body—but only if you keep in mind that when we’re raised, we’re raised for good, alive forever! The corpse that’s planted is no beauty, but when it’s raised, it’s glorious. Put in the ground weak, it comes up powerful. The seed sown is natural; the seed grown is supernatural—same seed, same body, but what a difference from when it goes down in physical mortality to when it is raised up in spiritual immortality!

We follow this sequence in Scripture: The First Adam received life, the Last Adam is a life-giving Spirit. Physical life comes first, then spiritual—a firm base shaped from the earth, a final completion coming out of heaven. The First Man was made out of earth, and people since then are earthy; the Second Man was made out of heaven, and people now can be heavenly. In the same way that we’ve worked from our earthy origins, let’s embrace our heavenly ends.
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I need to emphasize, friends, that our natural, earthy lives don’t in themselves lead us by their very nature into the kingdom of God. Their very “nature” is to die, so how could they “naturally” end up in the Life kingdom?

But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:

Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?

It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!

With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.
(1 Corinthians 15)

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

The Lord is RAISING up a generation of harvest laborers who walk with Him in spirit and in truth in all that they think, say and do for His glorious name’s sake! All to Jesus, they surrender. Joined as ONE to the LORD that is where the LORD commands the Blessing even life forever more.

This is the abundant life–there is no lying, thievery in their midst as they give all glory, honor and praise to the LORD Christ Jesus! His house (family) is a house hold (family) of prayer for the nations. We draw near to God in perfect submission coming together as One in the LORD for what God has joined together no man can tear asunder. The prayer of faith will heal the sin-sick and raise the dead for the dead praise not the Lord.

I will not die but live to declare the Word of the LORD!

We resist the devil and he must flee! We release the Spirit of the Risen Lord of Life! There is none good but God and we live to see the dead

Raised in newness of life in Christ Jesus who is our life.
In the midst of a great famine the likes of which the world has never SEEN,
Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not hurt the oil and the wine!” Rev 6:6

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)

O taste and see that the LORD is good; and blessed are all who trust upon Him. (Psalm 34:8)

I will authorize my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days dressed in sackcloth, the clothes that mourners wear.

These two witnesses are the two olive trees and two lampstands standing in front of the Lord of the earth. If anyone wishes to harm the witnesses, fire spews out of the witnesses’ mouths and consumes their foe in flames. Anyone who wishes to harm them is destined to die this way.

(Revelation 11:3-5)
Do not lay a hand on My anointed people;

do not do any harm to My prophets.”

(Psalm 105:15)bth photo

Do not fear or worry. Tomorrow, face the army and trust that the Eternal is with you.

The Eternal has responded to your pleading:Do not fear or worry about this army. The battle is not yours to fight; it is the True God’s.”

Trust in the Eternal One, your True God, not in your own abilities, and you will be supported. Put your trust in His words that you heard through the prophets, and we will succeed.

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. . . whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
For it is IN Him that we live, move and have our being.

Picture 18

This Gospel begins not with Jesus’ birth or John’s baptism but with a deliberate echo of the creation story in Genesis. It takes us back before time began to the moment when God interrupts the silence and speaks the cosmos into existence. Only John’s Gospel names Jesus as the Logos and declares that He existed long before time was measured. This Greek word carries a variety of meanings, all relating to the act of speaking. It could be translated “word,” a thought that comes to expression, message, declaration, reason, or the content of preaching; most are found in various translations. It is clear that John means that logos is declared to all creation.

John’s use of logos is unique and has often been rendered as “Word.” While this is a useful translation, even a casual understanding demonstrates that “Word” reflects only part of its meaning. Most readers will interpret “word” as a unit of language—a combination of sounds generally spoken but also written—that carries meaning. To understand what John means, readers need something more than their cultural understanding of “word”; they need a new way of thinking about it. This is why we have chosen to offer another rendering, an interpretive, poetic translation, of what may be one of the most theologically loaded words in Scripture. Since logos essentially refers to the act of speaking or bringing thoughts to expression, we have decided to use the word “voice” to capture that reality. John declares that truth has culminated in the person of Jesus. No single word captures the complete meaning of logos, but “voice” has a number of advantages.

First, “voice” manifests the act of speaking. Voice is that which is spoken and that which is heard; it comes on both sides of any communication event, bridging the gap between sender and receiver. John intends that in Jesus God is speaking and revealing Himself to the world.

Second, a voice is distinct and personal. We can distinguish people from one another simply by their voices. In John 10 Jesus describes the fact that the sheep hear the voice of the shepherd when he calls and they follow, but they refuse to follow a stranger because they do not know his voice (John 10:1-5). John desires that we know Jesus as the Son of God and believe in Him personally as the Good Shepherd.

Third, “voice” is dynamic in that it reflects the robust and powerful activity of a living God.
It is historical in that any act of speaking comes to expression and takes place in the real world as a “voice” calling, demanding a response. It challenges any notion that the Christian faith can be reduced to rules, propositions, or doctrines that can be merely believed or dismissed and not lived out in our lives. Since in Jesus God is speaking and revealing Himself to the world, and since in Jesus we hear the Voice of God, then this new reality changes everything so we, too, must change.
Jahaziel
In the beginning
Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking.

The Voice was and is God.
This celestial Word remained ever present with the Creator;
His speech shaped the entire cosmos.
Immersed in the practice of creating,
all things that exist were birthed in Him.
His breath filled all things
with a living, breathing light—
A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot and will not be quenched.

A man named John, who was sent by God, was the first to clearly articulate the source of this Light. This baptizer put in plain words the elusive mystery of the Divine Light so all might believe through him. Some wondered whether he might be the Light, but John was not the Light. He merely pointed to the Light. The true Light, who shines upon the heart of everyone, was coming into the cosmos.

Jesus as the Light does not call out from a distant place but draws near by coming into the world.

He entered our world, a world He made; yet the world did not recognize Him. Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him. But for all who did receive and trust in Him, He gave them the right to be reborn as children of God; He bestowed this birthright not by human power or initiative but by God’s will.

The Voice took on flesh and became human and chose to live alongside us. We have seen Him, enveloped in undeniable splendor—the one true Son of the Father—evidenced in the perfect balance of grace and truth. John the Baptist testified about Him and shouted, “This is the one I’ve been telling you is coming. He is much greater than I am because He existed long before me.” Through this man we all receive gifts of grace beyond our imagination. You see, Moses gave us rules to live by, but Jesus the Anointed offered us gifts of grace and truth. 18 God, unseen until now, is revealed in the Voice, God’s only Son, straight from the Father’s heart.

Before Jesus comes along, many wonder whether John the Baptist might be the Anointed One sent by God. But when Jesus appears in the wilderness, John points others to Him. John knows his place in God’s redemptive plan: he speaks God’s message, but Jesus is the Word of God. John rejects any messianic claim outright. Jesus, though, accepts it with a smile, but only from a few devoted followers—at least at first. Of course John is crucial to the unfolding drama, but he isn’t the long awaited One sent to free His people. He preaches repentance and tells everybody to get ready for One greater to come along. The One who comes will cleanse humanity in fire and power, he says. John even urges some of his followers to leave him and go follow Jesus.
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The scroll John eats is taken from the hand of the powerful messenger who announces the fulfillment of all the prophecies. Just as it did for the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel (2:8–3:4), the scroll represents the message John is required to proclaim; but first he must take it in and it must become a part of him. Initially it tastes sweet, but as it settles deep within him, it becomes bitter. God’s message is always bittersweet. It is sweet joy for those who turn to God, but bitter sadness for those who do not accept it.

Then I received a measuring rod. It resembled a staff, and I was commanded to take measurements.

A Voice: Get up, and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship in it. However, do not measure the court outside of the temple. Separate that area out because it has been handed over to the nations. They will trample over the holy city for 42 months. I will authorize my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days dressed in sackcloth, the clothes that mourners wear.

These two witnesses are the two olive trees and two lampstands standing in front of the Lord of the earth. If anyone wishes to harm the witnesses, fire spews out of the witnesses’ mouths and consumes their foe in flames. Anyone who wishes to harm them is destined to die this way. They have the authority to shut up the sky so that no rain may fall during the time of their prophecies. They also have authority to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with any plague whenever they desire.

The two witnesses bear a striking resemblance to the faithful prophets of Israel and the faithful martyrs of the churches. Together they stand speaking God’s message as the nations rant and rave and trample the holy city. The lampstands, which signify the churches, are not the light, but they welcome the light and present it to the world. The olive tree, even today, is a symbol of Israel. Olive trees supply the oil for the lamps so that they may burn brightly in the darkness. For a season, the two witnesses enjoy God’s protection, but a time is coming when they will fall victim to the nations and then lie silent.

On the day they finish their testimony, the beast from the abyss will declare war on them and win victory by killing them. Their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city (which, spiritually speaking, is called Sodom and Egypt) where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days, representatives of the peoples and ethnicities, languages and nations stare down at their lifeless bodies and refuse them a proper burial. Because these two prophets tormented the earth dwellers by speaking God’s message, the people will rejoice over their dead bodies and celebrate their deaths by exchanging gifts with one another.

At the end of the three and a half days, the spirit of life that comes from God entered their corpses, raising them, and they stood again on their feet. Those who looked on were terrified by what they saw. Then they heard a great voice from heaven.

A Voice: Come up here!

Their enemies watched the spectacle as the witnesses ascended into heaven in a cloud.

In that same hour, a great earthquake shook the earth causing one-tenth of the city to crumble into dust, and 7,000 people were killed in the earthquake. Then the rest who were left alive, quaking in fear, turned and glorified the God of heaven.

The second disaster has passed; watch as the third disaster comes quickly.

The seventh messenger sounded his trumpet, and great voices in heaven confessed:

Voices from Heaven: The kingdom of the world has given way to the kingdom of our Lord
and of His Anointed One.
He will reign throughout the ages.

When the seventh messenger blows his trumpet, the kingdom of this world comes to an end. The rule and reign of God and His Anointed has arrived in full to eclipse the rogue kings who rebelled against the Creator and mocked His good name. God’s kingdom entered our world in the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It slipped in almost unnoticed beneath the noses of the powers that be. It grows silently as a seed in the earth until it fills the cosmos.

Today Christians live between the times: we live as aliens and strangers rescued from this present darkness, but we also live as citizens who long for the Kingdom that is to come. Until then we are to seek His kingdom and help carve out the territories for Him.

Then the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell prostrate and worshiped God.

Elders: We give You thanks, Lord God, the All Powerful,
who is and who was.
For You have wielded Your great power

and have begun Your reign.
The nations have raged against You,
but Your wrath has finally come.
It is now time to judge all of the dead,
To give a just reward to Your servants, the prophets,
and to the saints and all who honor Your name,
both the small and the great,
And to destroy those who cause destruction to the earth.


Then God’s temple in heaven was opened up, and His covenant chest could be seen within His temple
. Lightning flashed all around. Noises and thunder rumbled. The earth trembled. Heavy hailstones fell from the sky.
(John 1; Revelation 11)

You Are What You Eat

  1. For fools speak folly, their hearts are bent on evil: They practice ungodliness and spread error concerning the LORD;
  2. the hungry they leave empty and from the thirsty they withhold water.  (Isaiah 32:6)  Some people make cutting remarks,
        but the words of the wise bring healing  (Proverbs 12:18)  Kind words heal and help;
        cutting words wound and maim.  (Proverbs 15:4)  Image
  3. Do not let me be persuaded to do anything evil or to become involved with wickedness, with people who are troublemakers. Do not let me taste their delicacies.  (Psalm 141:4)   Jesus answered, It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’  (Matthew 4:4) 
  4.  

    The Life-Light

     The Word was first,
    the Word present to God,
        God present to the Word.
    The Word was God,
        in readiness for God from day one.

    Everything was created through him;
        nothing—not one thing!—
        came into being without him.
    What came into existence was Life,
        and the Life was Light to live by.
    The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
        the darkness couldn’t put it out.

    (John 1:1-5)

Thy Word
…Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.  Incline my heart to Your testimonies And not to dishonest gain.  Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways.…(Psalm 119:35-37)

  1. Image
  2. Standing by a purpose true,
    Heeding God’s command,
    Honor them, the faithful few!
    All hail to Daniel’s band!
    • Refrain:
      Dare to be a Daniel,
      Dare to stand alone!
      Dare to have a purpose firm!
      Dare to make it known.
  3. Many mighty men are lost,
  4. Daring not to stand,
  5. Who for God had been a host
    By joining Daniel’s band.
  6. Many giants, great and tall,
    Stalking through the land,
    Headlong to the earth would fall,
    If met by Daniel’s band.
  7. Hold the Gospel banner high!
    On to vict’ry grand!
    Satan and his hosts defy,
    And shout for Daniel’s band. 

    Dare to Be a Daniel (Philip P. Bliss, 1873)


    Main subject: Steadfastness 

  8. Daniel’s Faithfulness
    But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials,  (Daniel 1:8-9)

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  10. If you really believe God is Who He says He is, you would dare to trust God with your life.
  11. Imagine how much God has entrusted you with!  He is trusting you with His gifts and our times are in His hands.
  12. He is watching over His Word in you to bring it to pass as you give heed to Him.  He enabled you to think.  He
  13. placed you right where He desires His Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven as you stand for Him.  He
  14. has given you incredible liberties to advance the Gospel.  He trusts you!
  15. Do not neglect the gift that is within you.  (1 Timothy 4:14)
  16. Never betray My trust, get over “it” and keep walking in my will (again I hear the Lord Jesus say this today).
  17. O Father God, I thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in Your image and that You are bringing forth
  18. Your Son, Your Word of Truth from my innermost being to the outside as testimony of Your grace and glory as I
  19. walk in agreement with You every step of the Way in newness of Life.  I know You watch over Your Word to bring it
  20. to pass at the Time You have set and I will not be disappointed by the wait but continue to redeem the Time knowing
  21. that they days are evil.  Thank You for releasing me from darkness to walk in Your marvelous light in fellowship with
  22. You and the brethren.  I will not disappoint You, Father.  I will keep the faith.   I will purpose to live in agreement with Your Word which is the Way, the Truth and the Life in Christ Jesus by the power of Your Holy Spirit.  I joyfully entrust all my days into Your hands as we walk together in spirit and in truth,  Amen.
  23. Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship.  Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.  (Romans 12:1-2)
  24.  

    Every word You give me is a miracle word—how could I help but obey?

    Break open Your words, let the light shine out,let ordinary people see the meaning.
    Mouth open and panting,I wanted Your commands more than anything.
    Turn my way, look kindly on me,as You always do to those who personally love You.
    Steady my steps with Your Word of promiseso nothing malign gets the better of me.
    Rescue me from the grip of bad men and womenso I can live life Your way.
    Smile on me, Your servant; teach me the right way to live.
    I cry rivers of tearsbecause nobody’s living by Your book! 

    (Psalm 119:129-136) 

    Sift and Weigh Every Word

    A mean person gets paid back in meanness,
        a gracious person in grace.  (Proverbs 14:14)

As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me . . . (Genesis 24:27) 

Sift and Weigh Every Word

14 A mean person gets paid back in meanness,
    a gracious person in grace.

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And why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work? I look death in the face practically every day I live.
Do you think I’d do this if I wasn’t convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus? Do you think I was just trying to act heroic when I fought the wild beasts at Ephesus, hoping it wouldn’t be the end of me? Not on your life! It’s resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live. If there’s no resurrection, “We eat, we drink, the next day we die,” and that’s all there is to it. But don’t fool yourselves.
Don’t let yourselves be poisoned by this anti-resurrection loose talk. “Bad company ruins good manners.”
(1 Corinthians 15:30-33)
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.  (Revelation 2:7)  
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.   (Proverbs 4:13)
 
Then I will change the people of the nations, and they will pray to Me alone and not to other gods. They will all obey Me.
Because then I will {make the speech of the nations pure}; that all of them might call on the name of Yahweh, to serve Him
{in unison}.  (Zephaniah 3:9)

A Song of Praise

Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing,
    ordains eternal life.  (Psalm 133:3)
I will praise the Eternal in every moment through every situation.

    Whenever I speak, my words will always praise Him.
 Everything within me wants to pay tribute to Him.
    Whenever the poor and humble hear of His greatness, they will celebrate too!
Come and lift up the Eternal with me;
    let’s praise His name together!

When I needed the Lord, I looked for Him;
    I called out to Him, and He heard me and responded.
He came and rescued me from everything that made me so afraid.
Look to Him and shine,
    so shame will never contort your faces.
This poor soul cried, and the Eternal heard me.
    He rescued me from my troubles.
The messenger of the Eternal God surrounds
    everyone who walks with Him and is always there to protect and rescue us.
Taste of His goodness; see how wonderful the Eternal truly is.
    Anyone who puts trust in Him will be blessed and comforted.
Revere the Eternal, you His saints,
    for those who worship Him will possess everything important in life.
 Young lions may grow tired and hungry,
    but those intent on knowing the Eternal God will have everything they need.

Gather around, children, listen to what I’m saying;
    I will teach you how to revere the Eternal.
 If you love life
    and want to live a good, long time,
Take care with the things you say.
    Don’t lie or spread gossip or talk about improper things.
 Walk away from the evil things of the world,
    and always seek peace and pursue it.

For the Eternal watches over the righteous,
    and His ears are attuned to their prayers. He is always listening.
But He will punish evildoers,
    and nothing they do will last. They will soon be forgotten.
When the upright need help and cry to the Eternal, He hears their cries
    and rescues them from all of their troubles.
When someone is hurting or brokenhearted, the Eternal moves in close
    and revives him in his pain.

Hard times may well be the plight of the righteous—
    they may often seem overwhelmed
    but the Eternal rescues the righteous from what oppresses them.
He will protect all of their bones;
    not even one bone will be broken.
 Evil moves in and ultimately murders the wicked;
    the enemies of the righteous will be condemned.
 The Eternal will liberate His servants;
    those who seek refuge in Him will never be condemned.

(Psalm 34)

 

 

 

Jesus’ Prayer for His Followers

 Jesus said these things. Then, raising his eyes in prayer, he said:

Father, it’s time.
Display the bright splendor of your Son
So the Son in turn may show your bright splendor.
You put him in charge of everything human
So he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know you,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in your presence
Before there was a world.

I spelled out your character in detail
To the men and women you gave me.
They were yours in the first place;
Then you gave them to me,
And they have now done what you said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything you gave me is firsthand from you,
For the message you gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from you.
They believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those you gave me,
For they are yours by right.
Everything mine is yours, and yours mine,
And my life is on display in them.
For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world;
They’ll continue in the world
While I return to you.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That you conferred as a gift through me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As we are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life you gave through me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).

Now I’m returning to you.
I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing
So my people can experience
My joy completed in them.
I gave them your word;
The godless world hated them because of it,
Because they didn’t join the world’s ways,
Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.
I’m not asking that you take them out of the world
But that you guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I’m consecrating myself for their sakes
So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.

I’m praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you’ve sent me and loved them

Father, I want those you gave me
To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you,
But I have known you, and these disciples know
That you sent me on this mission.
I have made your very being known to them—
Who you are and what you do—
And continue to make it known,
So that your love for me
Might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.

(John 17)

  1. The River and the Tree of Life

    Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of  the Lamb, 

  2. in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve]kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  

  3. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;   they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.

  4. And there will no longer be any night; and theywill not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.  (Revelation 22:1-5)

  5. The Final Message

    And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 

  6. Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”

      Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 

  7. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

     Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.   Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

      I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things]for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

      The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “ Come” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

     I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;   and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and  from the holy city, which are written in this book.

      He who testifies to these things says, Yes, I am coming quickly. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

     The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.  (Revelation 22: -22)

The POINT of POWER

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But He knows the course I have traveled.
        And I believe that were He to prove me,
        I would come out purer than gold from the fire.
My foot has been securely set in His tracks;
        I have kept to His course of life without swerving;
I have not departed from the commands of His lips;
        I have valued everything He says more than all else.
He alone is one True God; who can alter Him?
        Whatever He desires within Himself, He does.
For He will carry out exactly what He has planned for me,
        and in the future there are more plans to come.

(Job 23:10-14)

ImageWe must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith.

He saw the joy ahead of Him, so He endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought Him.

Then He received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God.  (Hebrews 12:2)

God’s POWER POINTS are not empty gestures but are teachable moments of TRUTH
concerning His heart’s desire that none perish but that all come to salvation in Christ.

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire– but my ears You have opened — burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require.  (Psalm 40:6)

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.  (Psalm 51:16)

Abraham Tested

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!

Here I am,” he replied.

 

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

 

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

 

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?

 

Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?

 

Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

 

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!

 

Here I am,” he replied.

 

 Do not lay a hand on the boy,” He said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

A Call to Persevere
BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

(Hebrews 10:38-39)

 

 

 

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Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.

 

The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by Myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,  I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,  and through your offspring  all nations on earth will be blessed,because you have obeyed Me.

 

Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.

 

Does the Eternal One delight in sacrifices and burnt offerings
        as much as in perfect obedience to His voice?
    Be certain of this: that obedience is better than sacrifice;
        to heed His voice is better than offering the fat of rams.

 

(1 Samuel 15:22)

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.
This is what the ancients were commended for.

(Hebrews 10:36; 11:2)

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  (Hebrews 11:1)
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  (Hebrews 11:3)  By the Word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth.

(Psalm 33:6)  For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.  (Psalm 33:9) 
Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.  (John 1:3)

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Abraham Receives the Promise

For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,  (as it is written, “A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU“) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.  In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.” 

(Romans 4:16-18)

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And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!

(Philippians 2:8)  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  (1 Corinthians 1:18)

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.  (Hebrews 1:3)

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it.

(John 5:21)

Look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was only one man, and I blessed him and made him many.”  (Isaiah 51:2)

The Eternal One speaking to Abraham:  “…through Isaac your covenant children will be named.”  (Genesis 21:12)

God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are,

(1 Corinthians 1:28)

If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.’

(Matthew 12:7)

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You are wondering: What has provoked the nations to embrace anger and chaos?[a]
    Why are the people making plans to pursue their own vacant and empty greatness?
Leaders of nations stand united;
    rulers put their heads together,
    plotting against the Eternal One and His Anointed King, trying to figure out
How they can throw off the gentle reign of God’s love,
    step out from under the restrictions of His claims to advance their own schemes.

At first, the Power of heaven laughs at their silliness.
    The Eternal mocks their ignorant selfishness.
But His laughter turns to rage, and He rebukes them.
    As God displays His righteous anger, they begin to know the meaning of fear. He says,
 “I am the One who appointed My king who reigns from Zion, My mount of holiness.
    He is the one in charge.

I am telling all of you the truth. I have heard the Eternal’s decree.
He said clearly to me, “You are My son.
    Today I have become your Father.
The nations shall be yours for the asking,
    and the entire earth will belong to you.
They are yours to crush with an iron scepter,
    yours to shatter like fragile, clay pots.”

So leaders, kings, and judges,
    be wise, and be warned.
There is only one God, the Eternal;
    worship Him with respect and awe;
    take delight in Him and tremble.
Bow down before God’s Son.
    If you don’t, you will face His anger and retribution,
And you won’t stand a chance.
    For it doesn’t take long to kindle royal wrath,

But blessings await all who trust in Him.
    They will find God a gentle refuge.

(Psalm 2)

 



To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.   (Mark 12:33)

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All of us, with no covering on our faces, show the shining-greatness of the Lord as in a mirror. All the time we are being changed to look like Him, with more and more of His shining-greatness. This change is from the Lord Who is the Spirit.

(2 Corinthians 3:18)

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