“The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ” 12/18/2016 written by bruce r. mills

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by bruce r. mills @  www.Godsmanforever.com

                       

      “The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ” 

                              (Revised from 7/11/2013)

Here is the truth about sin, and how God’s grace through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ is given by God, to those who understand and obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Romans 5:12… Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (NKJV)

 

Most people believe sin began in the Garden of Eden, but it didn’t.  Sin began when God’s top angel Lucifer, decided to flex his power, and wanted to become equal to God…Isaiah 14:12-14

Sin, by its very nature, is born into every human being, since Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, to the serpent’s (Satan’s) temptations.  This natural sin nature is part of everyone’s natural make-up, from the time they are young children, until the time that they pass on from this life.

That 3 year old, who is told NO by their parents, goes right ahead and disobeys their parents at the first chance they get.  This rebellion against their parents turns into rebellion against God, as a child grows older.  God hates sin, because it is independent rebellion against God; and will devastate the lives of everyone that remains living in sin…in bondage to Satan and the ways of the world…1 John 2:15-16

The sad truth about sin, is that it blinds the unbeliever…

2 Corinthians 4:4… whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (NKJV)   (More about “the light of the gospel” of our Lord Jesus Christ, later)

Satan is the father of sin (John 8:44), and a master of disguise.  The Apostle Paul warns us about false prophets, and Satan himself, in...

2 Corinthians 11:12-14… For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (NKJV)

Thank goodness God sent His Son Jesus Christ, born to the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18)…who’s shed blood on the cross at Calvary, will cleanse the sins of those who are first drawn in by God…

John 6:44… No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (NKJV)

Upon understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the sins of the unbeliever will be replaced with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9…&…2 Corinthians 5:21)…as God’s free gift of grace, through saving faith alone in Jesus Christ, fills the heart, mind, and soul of the new redeemed child of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9… For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)

There is nothing an unbeliever can do on their own merit.  No amount of good works done in the name of the Lord, can cleanse away sins.  All of our own righteousness is absolutely worthless…Isaiah 64:6…  Jesus warns those who falsely believe that their good works done in the name of the Lord (like going to church every week), will forgive sins…when Jesus warns those around Him (and us) about this, in.

Matthew 7:21-23… Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (NKJV)

Having one’s lifetime of sins forgiven, is pure grace given to the unredeemed sinner by God.  God’s grace is given by God to those who seek Jesus Christ to become their personal Lord and Savior, through a personal one on One relationship, that is established between the unredeemed sinner and Jesus Christ.

This is accomplished through saving faith alone in Jesus Christ, through obedience to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the sinner realizes they can in no way save themselves, and turns to the Lord to receive God’s grace… (More about obeying the Gospel of Christ later)

So why should you desire to become a redeemed child of God ??  Very simply, to be in-dwelt with the Holy Spirit by God, to be supernaturally empowered to defeat Satan’s temptations, and our own carnal fleshly desires constantly urging us to sin… 1 John 2:15-16

The Holy Spirit living with-in the “born again” Christian, has been given to them by God to guide and direct EVERY facet of the redeemed child of God’s life…  It is the Holy Spirit that helps the Christian grow and mature the fruit of the Spirit, which the Apostle Paul pens, in…

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (ESV)

Look at this list of attributes the Holy Spirit will empower you with !!

Love, Joy, and Peace, are the most important of these 9 fruit of the Spirit…

How would you like to have a supernatural love that surpasses your mortal knowledge (Ephesians 3:19)…  A love empowered by the Holy Spirit that will enable you to love even someone screaming in your face, as Jesus tells us to do, in…Matthew 5:43-44

And how about having a supernatural  joy that enables you to go through life’s most difficult trial, and still be able to find joy…  The Apostle James tells us about this joy, in…James 1:2-4

 And wouldn’t you like to have a supernatural peace that will allow you to look upon your own death…knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you will be face to face with Jesus in heaven, the instant you breath your last breath here on earth !!  (2 Corinthians 5:8)

This supernatural peace surpasses our mortal understanding, as the Apostle Paul pens, in…

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

All of these God given blessings will be given to you by God, if you understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…  How is this done ??  You must pray to God, with what some call “the sinners prayer”, that should go something like this…

“Father I am sorry for my lifetime of sins…  I believe with ALL my heart, that Your Son Jesus suffered and died on the cross, shedding His blood to cleanse away all of my sins…  I believe that Jesus was buried, and rose again in 3 days…  I repent and turn from my sins with godly sorrow and a repentant heart…seeking Jesus Christ to come into my heart to direct my life…  Father, hear my plea to receive Your grace…  Grant me eternal life with You…  Fill me with the Holy Spirit…and I thank You and praise You in Jesus’ most precious name…Amen”

I can only tell you from my own personal experience…that I made this prayer seeking salvation several times, before God graced me with salvation.  It’s not the prayer that saves us; it is a changed heart that is regenerated by God Himself…  God knows our heart, and He will only grant saving grace to those who seek Jesus with ALL of their heart, mind soul, and strength…

God finally graced me with salvation when I prayed with true godly sorrow and a repentant heart…and I absolutely knew beyond any doubt, that I was just then a redeemed child of God…(Romans 8-16) It is   God’s decision, and God’s perfect timing, to grace someone with eternal life with Him in heaven.

Failure to obey the Gospel of Christ before you die will result in eternal separation from God, and you will forever forfeit your place in heaven…

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9  in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,  (NKJV)

All Christians who are Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), should absolutely, positively know for sure, that they are indeed a redeemed child of God.  The Apostle Paul tells us this, in…

Romans 8:15-16…  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  16 The Spirit Himself  bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (NKJV)

There should be no doubts for the Spirit filled Christian about where they will be headed upon their death.  No wondering if they are good enough to get into heaven.  Because none of us are good enough…

Romans 3:23…  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (NKJV)    

The power of the Holy Spirit can and will conquer sin, by those who without question, have placed their lives in the hands of the Lord.  The Apostle James says this best, when he penned this, in…

James 4:7-8… Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (NKJV)

My friends, these blessings of spiritual fruit are totally indescribable, and have to be experienced to be believed !!

For those who have been graced with salvation…we must do our best to remain walking in the Spirit…  We see this penned by the Apostle Paul, in…

Galatians 5:16…   I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  (NKJV)

We as Christians can only remain filled with the Holy Spirit (as the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18-20), if we live in obedience to God’s will and God’s ways…  Any unconfessed sin will leave us in a state of broken (or at least hindered) fellowship with God…

To become righteous again in God’s eyes (from a practical standpoint, because we are always positionally righteous before God), we must confess our sins before the Lord…repent of them…and turn from them… We see this very clearly, as penned by the Apostle John, in…

1 John1:9… If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness(NKJV)

Living for the Lord, with the Holy Spirit in total charge of your life, is a blessing that I pray everyone will come to experience…

Heavenly Father, Your Word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…Hebrews 4:12-13… I pray Lord, that You would draw to Yourself those that don’t yet know You as their personal Lord and Savior…John 6:44…  And that the truth from Your Word through obedience to the Gospel of Your Son Jesus Christ, would set them free from Satan’s chains of bondage to sin and shame…John 8:32…  I pray for this fullness of Christ in all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ, bruce r. mills

(Message me here, with any questions)

From the USA, call my cell@  856-430-1448

P.S.  For those who still believe they can earn their own way into heaven, listen to John Piper’s audio on… “Can My Good Works Outweigh My Bad?

https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/can-my-good-works-outweigh-my-bad

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“Who is the Source of Your Success?” 8/11/2020 Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms”

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

phil+4-13 - Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy

Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms” @  https://davidkitz.wordpress.com/

Original post found @ https://davidkitz.blog/2020/07/30/who-is-the-source-of-your-success/

Who is the Source of Your Success?

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Reading: Psalm 44
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil.
(Verses 1-8)

We have heard it with our ears, O God;
our ancestors have told us what you did in their days,
in days long ago.
With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors;
you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish.
It was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them.
You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob.
 Through you we push back our enemies;
through your name we trample our foes.
I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory;
but you give us victory over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.
In God we make our boast all day long,
and we will praise your name forever 
(NIV).*

img_20200713_0856367

The winding path — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
What brings you success? There are thousands of books, blogs and advice columns out there that promise you success. If you will just do this, that and this other thing, success is sure to come your way. Now don’t misunderstand me. Many of those self-improvement tips and success formulas can be helpful, if applied. And educating yourself on sound habits and business practices can be rewarding. But…

But if you succeed, what is the source of your success? The author of Psalm 44 would respond by saying success does not come from a formula, a habit or a tip. Success and victory come from the LORD. In this psalm the psalmist refers to the conquest of Canaan by the children of Israel. It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.

If you succeed in your field of endeavor, what will be the reason for your success? Undoubtedly, hard work, sound practices, wisdom and creativity all play a part, but there are plenty of people who have these character traits in spades, but still they fail to reach their potential. We only succeed—succeed in the fullest sense—when God is working with us. Paul, the apostle, reminds us of this truth, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

We conquer in our field of endeavor when God is working with us. If you succeed, who is the reason for your success?

Response: LORD God, any success I have comes from you. Every triumph is a victory that you bring. Help me to always remember that you are my source. I succeed because of your love, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Your TurnWho deserves the credit for your success? Take a moment to give thanks to God.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“The Love of God” 8/10/2020 Written by Dr. Lawson Murry for “SEIZE The DAY”

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Ephesians 3:17-19 I Pray That You Being Rooted In Love May Have ...

Written by Dr. Lawson Murry for “SEIZE The DAY”  @  https://seizetheday-blog.com

Original post @ https://seizetheday-blog.com/2020/08/10/the-love-of-god/

The Love of God

 

AUGUST 10, 2020

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13

The love of God is immeasurable, uninhibited, overshadowing, all pervading, and everlasting. It’s swifter than the feet of repentance (cf. Luke 15:20). Broader than the measure of a man’s mind. Can never be extinguished. Thinks nothing of trouble, feels no burdens, and is never soured by injustice. It’s never blind, never deaf, and never silent. It’s wider, longer, higher, and deeper than anything anyone can imagine. Even when we think we’re beginning to understand it, we discover it “surpasses knowledge” (cf. Ephesians 3:19).

Billy Graham says, “Orators whose words flow like a rippling brook have been unable to describe it. Artists whose brushes spread untold beauty have been unable to portray it on canvas. Writers whose words drip from their pens like dewdrops from a rose petal have been unable to write” effectively about it.

That’s not surprising. Because we’re right in the middle of it, because it’s washing around us, over us, and under us – because it’s enveloping us, we struggle to see it for what it really is. Even so, even with our limited perspective, the love of God is “like the Amazon River flowing down to water a single daisy” F. B. Meyer. It’s like the wind. It comes from every direction. It’s intimacy set on fire. A living thing. A wonder-worker. Never obsolete. It’s what “makes the world go round” Lewis Carroll. In fact, it puts a new face on a weary world and as it does it enters everywhere – creeping where it isn’t wanted. For the love of God, regardless of what it encounters, can never die.

But then the love of God is more than an accessory, more than an addendum, more than garnish, more than an increment.

There’s no containing the love of God. It permeates creation. Seeps into every crack. Climbs the highest mountain. Reaches into the depths of the sea. Colonizes the atmosphere. Invades the cosmos. Makes life possible.

If you listen, you can’t fail to hear it. It whispers and it shouts. No one can shut it out. Men may rail against it, try to explain it away, seek to distort it, drift away from it, turn their backs on it, be contemptuous of it, neglect it, even run from it, but every effort to silence it is futile. For God’s love isn’t a feeling to be forgotten. It isn’t a memory that can be erased. And it isn’t an experience you can explain away. It’s a person. Not just any person. It’s an exclusive Person – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the epitome, the essence, the full extent, the ad infinitum of God’s love. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What an expression of love! Exemplified on the Cross of Calvary is the love of God for all mankind. Suspended from a wooden beam Christ gave His life so that we might know fullness of life. This is the love of God. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” 2 Corinthians 5:21. This is love that doesn’t hold back.

This is unfathomable love. This is incalculable, unbounded, exhaustless love. For the condemnation that was rightly ours was taken by Him. The judgement of God for our sin, the shame, the suffering we deserved, the death penalty that hung over us, it was all taken by Him. No wonder John 15:13 exclaims, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

That’s a love worth knowing. Isn’t it? If you haven’t done so before, believe in Him today. Turn to Him now. Repent of your sins. Say “Yes” to salvation in Jesus Christ. For when you do, when by faith you cast yourself on Him, then you’ll know the love that surpasses all love, the love that never disappoints, the love that will never let you down . . . the love of God.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“His Death Brings Life” 8/09/2020 Written by Bill Crowder for “Our Daily Bread”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

 

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional   

 

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new ...

Written by Bill Crowder for “Our Daily Bread” @ http://odb.org

Original post @  https://odb.org/2020/08/08/new-creations

August 8

His Death Brings Life

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

 

 

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

 

2 Corinthians 5:14–21

During her ministry to men incarcerated in South Africa’s most violent prison, Joanna Flanders-Thomas witnessed the power of Christ to transform hearts. In Vanishing Grace, Philip Yancey describes her experience: “Joanna started visiting prisoners daily, bringing them a simple gospel message of forgiveness and reconciliation. She earned their trust, got them to talk about their abusive childhoods, and showed them a better way of resolving conflicts. The year before her visits began, the prison recorded 279 acts of violence against inmates and guards; the next year there were two.”

The apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). While we may not always see that newness expressed as dramatically as Flanders-Thomas did, the gospel’s power to transform is the greatest hope-providing force in the universe. New creations. What an amazing thought! The death of Jesus launches us on a journey of becoming like Him—a journey that will culminate when we see Him face-to-face (see 1 John 3:1–3).

As believers in Jesus we celebrate our life as new creations. Yet we must never lose sight of what that cost Christ. His death brings us life. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

By:  Bill Crowder

Reflect & Pray

How has Jesus’ transforming work been evidenced in your life? What areas of your life are still in need of that “new creation” impact?

Loving Father, thank You that, because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, I am a new creation. Forgive me for the times I return to the old things that need to pass away.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ALeKk03Ij9kD_6c_xK-5-wWffD2rxCNKTA:1596892808313&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=image+2+cor5:17&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwirvNWk2YvrAhXsRd8KHeI8BQEQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1407&bih=879#imgrc=hsQvrqe2SytE9M

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The Church during the days of Corona Virus: Provisional Table of Contents

Here ia a whole list of all posts related to “This Sunday at Church” Corona Virus edition.  Blessings in Christ,  bruce

via The Church during the days of Corona Virus: Provisional Table of Contents

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“Those who oppose their own souls” 8/08/2020 Written by Mel Wild for “In My Father’s House”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

MY TREASURE BOX" : BIBLE QUOTES: ROMANS 8:14

Written by Mel Wild for “In My Father’s House” @ https://melwild.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://melwild.wordpress.com/2020/08/06/those-who-oppose-their-own-souls/

Those who oppose their own souls

 

A funny thing about human beings. We will only hear what our heart is open to hearing. A closed heart can make you believe and do very foolish and harmful things. This is what the religious spirit and the political spirit do to us. They make us think emotionally rather than rationally. It’s what drives the cancel culture today. We simply will not tolerate what we don’t want to hear.

The very thing that would heal our wounded soul could be the very thing we’re vehemently fighting against. It’s the proverbial cut your nose off to spite your face. One example: when I was appointed as senior pastor of our church many years ago (after the former pastor had resigned), I wanted one of the former staff pastors to continue on with me in a position that would’ve been perfect for him. But because he was angry about the transition, he left and told everyone I fired him (which made several other people angry at me). It wasn’t until years later that he admitted that what he had thought he heard was wrong. What he heard was “rejection” because that’s what his wounded soul was telling him.

A closed heart might even make us think we’re doing God a service when we’re actually fighting against Him. This was the case with the religious leaders who came against Jesus. I like how the Passion Translation brings this out in Hebrews 12:

So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls, so that you won’t become worn down and cave in under life’s pressures. (Heb.12:3 TPT*)

This is the reptilian ‘GroupThink’ of the angry mob, and the nature of endless arguments and heated debates. Our fear-based anger over perceived injustices or need to be always right and protect our fragile pride is the very thing that stops our hearts from hearing…and ironically, from finding freedom or justice. Fear of the mob also makes us rationalize lies.

It’s also one reason why I believe Jesus could sincerely ask His Father to forgive His persecutors. They had stopped their ears and had made themselves blind because what they were looking for didn’t come in a way they expected.

Because of these things, the people who opposed Jesus, who thought by opposing Him they were serving God, became their own worst enemy. For they were railing against the very freedom they were hoping and praying for.

This is the sad commentary for those who will not hear:

14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’ (Matt.13:14 NKJV*)

A verse I often quote on my blog is Proverbs 4:23:

23 Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life. (Prov.4:23 NLT)

Notice that it doesn’t say that we should guard our religious dogma or political ideology. It says, guard your heart—the gatekeeper to your soul. Your heart is the rudder by which you navigate the course of your life. And the condition of your heart determines the quality of that life.

Keep your heart open, free from offense, so that you see and hear things as they are, not as you might perceive them to be.  The path to continual spiritual growth is to always be teachable, pliable, ready to understand instead of demanding to be right.

And we can do this without compromising the truth, because the Truth is a Person. The truth that frees us is revelatory and relational. From our human standpoint, truth is progressive in our understanding because it’s much bigger than the echo or of our own thoughts and opinions. God never changes…but we must!

We also see Hebrews 12:3 above that we should not become weary because people’s hearts are not open to us. They may even hate us. Our main concern is our own heart. Are we open to the truth?

Beloved, do not be like those who oppose their own souls. Don’t be led by circumstances, be led by the Spirit. You will never regret it!

* All emphasis added.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

 

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“Satan Hinders Us” 8/07/2020 Posted by Alister Begg for www.truthforlife.org

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

How to Overcome Temptation - Lesson 23 in New Life in Christ course 3

Posted by Alister Begg   for   www.truthforlife.org

Original post  @  https://info.truthforlife.org/devo-aug7-2020?ecid=ACsprvs2MpWwC3LUEkDkpkgkPVgIEkN28wgAH1geTepa2SHXahpdG_I6nnTKhR6KYC2p_td4BIre&utm_campaign=Daily%20Devotion%20Emails&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=92753535&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_Ow63ehdpBb24Vw8mrh_BlV9-lHqSekAZk_92QubdI9_slMGZ074ZMIZISDj0eBLNoEHT68LDw93JJi7uvvFUHr4xLo2ZGZccClzShBti19y1LBL4&utm_content=92753535&utm_source=hs_email

 

Satan Hinders Us

Satan hindered us.

1 Thessalonians 2:18

Since the first hour in which goodness came into conflict with evil, it has never ceased to be true in spiritual experience that Satan hinders us. From all points of the compass, all along the line of battle, in the advance party or in the rear, at the dawn of day and in the midnight hour, Satan hinders us. If we work in the field, he seeks to break our implements; if we build a wall, he tries to cast down the stones; if we are serving God in suffering or in conflict—everywhere Satan hinders us. He hinders us when we are first coming to Jesus Christ. We had fierce conflicts with Satan when we first looked to the cross and lived. Now that we are saved, he tries to prevent our growth in Christian character. You may be congratulating yourself: “So far I have walked consistently; no one can challenge my integrity.”

Beware of boasting, for your virtue will soon be tested; Satan will direct his energies against the very virtue for which you are most famous. If you have to this point been a firm believer, your faith will soon be attacked; if you have been meek like Moses, expect to be tempted to speak unadvisedly with your lips. The birds will peck at your ripest fruit, and the wild boar will dash his tusks at your choicest vines.

Satan is sure to hinder us when we are faithful in prayer. He hinders our persistence and weakens our faith in order that, if possible, we may miss the blessing. Satan is equally vigilant in obstructing Christian effort. There was never a revival of religion without a revival of his opposition. As soon as Ezra and Nehemiah began to work, Sanballat and Tobiah were stirred up to hinder them. What then? We are not alarmed because Satan hinders us, for it is a proof that we are on the Lord’s side and are doing the Lord’s work, and in His strength we will win the victory and triumph over our adversary.

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

 

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ALeKk02cVcD82SiWNcpN8uunY5WfR_JIgA:1595763148886&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=image+overcome+sin+with+God%27s+grace&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi86Yn96OrqAhWOJjQIHZJICqoQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1208&bih=928#imgrc=Hia253KPwlIZHM

 

 

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“Hiding God’s Word” 8/06/2020 Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots”  @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/hiding-gods-word/

See the source image

Hiding God’s Word

 

POSTED ON AUGUST 3, 2020 BY BETH ANDREWS

Quick! What Scriptures have you memorized? Fire ‘em off!

If you’re like most good church folks you can quote John 3:16 at least. And if you’re like me, you may have a fair amount of Scriptures sorta memorized. I don’t always know them word-for-word and often don’t know their address, but I’ve gathered some favorites and stored them up in my heart. I have verses to remind me of God’s love and patience and kindness and grace. I have verses to challenge me and encourage me.

There are a few verses in there to remind me who I am and Whose I am. I have verses that etched themselves on my heart in difficult times.

But the Bible gives us the most important reason for memorizing Scripture: “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). It’s great to know lots of Scriptures for lots of different reasons, but if you’re not using it to resist the devil and keep you from sin, you’re fighting a battle you probably won’t win. The Word of God is the power of God to stand firm against the enemy and to turn away from sin.

You need to put Scripture on the walls of your heart like a teenage girl pastes posters of her idols. (Donny Osmond, anybody?)

Here’s a few that I have papering my heart:

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing” (Psalm 101:3).
“He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity” (Proverbs 21:23)
“I have resolved that my mouth will not sin” (Psalm 17:3)
“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies” (Psalm 34:13).

This whole section from Ephesians 4:

“Put off falsehood and speak truthfully” (25).
“In your anger, do not sin; do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (26).
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth (29). (Are you detecting a theme in my life?)

Paul and the writer of Hebrews called the Word of God a “sword:” “Take up . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword . . .” (Hebrews 4:12). If all you have stored up in your heart is John 3:16 – which is a great verse – you’ve got a mighty short sword.

Beloved, I encourage you – no, I implore you – get into God’s Word and let God’s Word get into you. Learn to fight temptation and sin with all the power of God in your hands and in your heart.

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P.S (from bruce) Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“WHY, GOD?” 8/05/2020 Written by Pastor Randy Burbank for “Kingdom Pastor”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Pastor Randy Burbank  for “Kingdom Pastor”  @  https://kingdompastor.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://kingdompastor.wordpress.com/2020/08/03/why-god/

WHY, GOD?

This is the first in the most recent series of messages I have been sharing

1 This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.  2 How long, O Lord, must I call for help?  But you do not listen!  “Violence is everywhere!”  I cry, but you do not come to save.  3 Must I forever see these evil deeds?  Why must I watch all this misery?  Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence.  I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.  4 The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts.  The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.

I have said at other times that no message or series has been more difficult for me than the one I am sharing.  And this new series is proving itself to me, to be the most difficult one ever.  I’m calling it Why, God?  Notice the use of the comma.  It would be much easier for me to talk about Why God?  Why God speaks about our need for God.  But that pesky comma, Why, God? speaks into the season we are in today.

We are living in a season like none other before.  We have this Pandemic of Covid-19 and we are seeing a lot of racial unrest.  I also see that the core of this season of racial unrest is a symptom of something else that has been going on for some time now— and that is Social And Political Unrest.  The fabric that is meant to hold us together in a common society is being cut and ripped apart.

I am compelled to speak into this chaos.  I would rather not and tackle an easier word.  But I Firmly Believe This Mess We Are In Has A Message.  Unfortunately, it may not be the message that people inside and outside of church want to hear.

We are going to begin this series with an honest discussion around the question that many are asking out loud, and many more that are wondering about inside their hearts and minds but are afraid to ask.  Why, God?  Why Are Things Like They Are Right Now?  Why This Covid-19, This Racial, Social, And Political Unrest?

I believe this is a question that needs to be asked and explored.  So be prepared for some hard or difficult things I will share with you.  And at the risk of losing some of you—I will honestly say upfront that I may not have a neat answer to the question—I may not even have a good answer for the question.

And let me be upfront and honest with this disclaimer:  I Am Not An Expert On The Ways That God Thinks.  My answers may not be your answers as to the Why Question.  Know that I am not expecting you to agree with anything I say.  I won’t be disappointed with anyone who disagrees with me.

My personal goal, and the goal of this Series, is that you will not be afraid to ask God questions, and that you think through your own answers—without using the standard issue replies that are dressed in a Polly Anna or The Born Loser view of life.  I am convinced that oversimplified answers to the Why Question are only adding to the frustrations and fears.

Posting things on Social Media with the line “Repost if you believe in Jesus” aren’t helping.  Reality Check folks: Reposting And Quoting Scriptures Isn’t Going To Help!  So What Will Help?  I believe raw honesty helps more than posting and quoting Scriptures.

Look, it’s not that life Could Be difficult and hard.  If you can handle the truth, then here it is—The Truth Is That Many Times Life IS Difficult And Hard.  None of us are exempt from the troubles and pressures of life.  And if anyone tells you that you can live a happy and pain-free life as a Christian—they are lying to you and they should be ashamed of themselves for deceiving you.

I have been a pastor for nearly 46 years, and in those 46 years I have read and studied the Bible extensively.  In that same 46 years I have had a lot of personal experiences and I’ve been a part of other people’s experiences.  I have seen joy—and I’ve seen the doubt and deep pain brought on by life as it really is—the fear and hurt that comes with those difficult experiences.

I am going to try, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to be totally Honest with you.  And sometimes coming face to face with Honesty is not very easy.  And know ahead of time that my Honesty may not fit in with The Truth.

If anything, the writers of the Bible are Honest—more than Honest, they are Painfully Honest.  There is page after page, story after story, which speaks Honestly—but not always be The Truth.  Think about Job—not everything in there is The Truth—but everything there is Painful Honesty.  In Ecclesiastes Solomon writes Honestly about His Feelings—though some of his conclusions about God are not true.  But His Conclusions About The Pain And Difficulties Of LifeThey Are Most Definitely True.

There’s the book of Lamentations—where Jeremiah blames God for everything that happened to Jerusalem.  And there’s this passage we begin with from Habakkuk.  Habakkuk, this prophet of God, Honestly believes that God isn’t listening and that He has forgotten all about him.  And true to human nature, it’s easier to blame God than accept responsibilities for our choices.

That’s exactly what Adam did—he blamed God.  And here’s the truth that many will disagree with me—God Didn’t Destroy Jerusalem.  God didn’t point His finger at Babylon and manipulate them into doing what He wanted to be done.  The blame for the destruction of Jerusalem lies squarely at the feet of those who rejected God by choosing another way.  God didn’t have to punish them—they punished themselves by rejecting the ageless truth of God—and that rejection reaped them a whirlwind and a hurricane of consequences.

And all of this that’s going on all around us?  I am about to say something that many may disagree with—and remember I warned you.  I want you to think deeply.  This is it:  God Is Not Causing Any Of This To Happen.  Covid-19 Is NOT God Punishing Our Nation And World.  God Is Not Pointing His Finger To Manipulate People To Create This Hate And Chaos.

What I see happening here in the U.S. with the unrest, what I see happen in the U.S. and around the world with Covid-19 is The Consequences Of Generations Of People Abandoning God’s Principles For Another Way.  We are reaping the same whirlwind and hurricane that Habakkuk and Jeremiah were seeing in their day.

One of the blogs I read is Walking With A Limp.  Here’s what the writer, Joe Misek, had to say about his title:  “The reason why I title my blog Walking With a Limp is because I believe our faith and our humanity is meant to be lived out not hiding our brokenness.  In fact, the Bible even has an entire genre of literature dedicated to expressing pain, grief, anger, and brokenness:  Lament.”

In a recent blog he wrote:  “We don’t do Lament well in the modern American church.  In fact, we often arrange our entire experience of corporate worship to be happy.  Lament sounds dark and depressing; it is uncomfortable if you hear it and you are in a ‘happy place’ in your life.  But the Lament is not in the entertainment business and doesn’t appeal to consumers.  It is reality.  It is healing.”

Joe is right—unlike Job, Solomon, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk we don’t handle Lamenting very well.  We either hold all our pain, doubts and questions in—or we adopt a lifestyle of being happy all the time while masking what’s really going on inside us.  Many often chastise others and themselves for even thinking about that question of Why, God?

I don’t really know all the whys about why we aren’t truthful with ourselves and with God in this time.  Maybe it’s because we’ve had long years of comfort here in the United States.  We have forgotten or never really learned how to Lament.  It seems we would rather find someone or something To Blame than to become broken over our own lives and the world.

The Ability To Lament Comes Out Of 2 Things:

  1. The Pain Of Realizing Something Isn’t Right.  It’s being broken over what’s wrong to the point that makes us restless and deeply hurting.  And here is another hard truth:  We Don’t Like To Hurt—we avoid pain as if it were some sin.  But it’s not.  Many today are trying to make their hidden pain go away by not admitting something isn’t right and then justifying themselves.  In the LBGTQ community, they blame their pain on those who will not agree with their justification.  Racial Unrest is the result of blaming history for their pain and the reality that some still hold on to racist views.  Political Unrest is the result of blaming those who don’t see things their way.  And the Social Unrest is the result of blaming others rather than accepting responsibility for our own choices.

  2. Then It Takes An Honest Vulnerability To Express That Pain Of Being Broken And Living In A Broken World.  I’m talking about raw emotions—like the raw emotions we see in the lives of Job, Solomon, Jeremiah and Habakkuk.  I’m not talking about finding out who or what is to blameBlaming isn’t the same thing as Lamenting.

I’m not talking about moaning and groaning, whining and complaining—God knows we are good at that.  Many have taken this to an art form or made it a science.  Whining and complaining, moaning and groaning are cheap substitutes that help us avoid confronting the real issues—issues that are eroding our culture, our own hearts, and are hurting others.  It takes little effort and even less thoughtful reflection to moan and groan or whine and complain.  It just gushes out of us without any effort.

And here is the one thing you need to remember from today’s message:  The Only Way To Find Our Way Forward And Navigate This Broken Culture Will Only Begin When We Recover The Ability To Lament.  Lamenting requires a different focus for us.

This week I came to a most unusual, perhaps unorthodox view about Lamenting.  Lamenting is another learned Spiritual Discipline.  Spiritual Disciplines never happen automatically.  They require both intentions and diligence.  I can’t remember ever studying about Lamenting as a Spiritual Discipline or reading a book that taught Lamenting as a Spiritual Discipline.

I’m not saying I haven’t—maybe I have and it these times that are bringing it up in my spirit and heart.  Quoting Scriptures and motivational phrases will not change our culture.  The Key is to become broken, and then Lamenting—about ourselves and our world.  Do you need an example?  Good, because there is the best example ever.

It’s Jesus!  In Luke 19:41-44 we see:  But as He came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep.  “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace.  But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you.  Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.

It was too late for Jerusalem, but it’s not too late for us and the world.  And because WE can’t follow Jesus and stay where we are, we need the Next Step.

In Our Hearts And Minds, Replace The Idea Of Blame With The Truth  That We And Our World Are Broken And Hurting.

Are you really broken over our world?  Or are you frustrated?  Are you angry?  And are you wanting to escape by desiring the return of Jesus more than the return of people back to Jesus?

For the next few weeks, I want us to look at how we can reclaim the Art And Discipline Of Lamenting.  Admit it, nothing we are doing now is making a difference.  Maybe, just maybe, a good old fashioned Lament will make a difference.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“TAKE A BREATH & COUNT TO TEN” 8/04/2020 Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional   

 

 

                                 

Written by Kathy Boecher for “atimetoshare” @   http://atimetoshare.me

Original post @  https://atimetoshare.me/2020/08/03/take-a-breath-count-to-ten/

When-Stress-Mounts-Breathe-by-Jonny-Diaz-Isaiah-26-1

TAKE A BREATH & COUNT TO TEN

Posted on August 3, 2020by atimetoshare.me

“Take a breath and count to ten.”  We’ve all said it at one time or another.  It sometimes works with children, but what about  adults?  How do we control our anger when faced with so much of it every day?  Anger usually comes from frustration, inability to communicate what we feel and a lack of compassion for one another.

We all need to take a moment to compose ourselves, before we speak or do something we will eventually regret.  But how do we do that when everyone else is so angry?  It might work to count to ten, but anger often rears its ugly head at about five.

We, the adults, are supposed to be setting the example for future generations.  Are we doing that?  Take a look at our current division in the political arena.  Take a look at most television shows, pitting one against another.  Observe the bullying going on in the workplace.  Watch the daily news filled with road rage, murder, assault, etc.

Why can’t we live in harmony?  Where’s the compassion for one another? Why does everything have to be a competition to see who’s the best?

Take a breath.

Count to ten.

Take another breath.

Keep your mouth shut for a while.

Count to a hundred if necessary,

or a thousand.

We all need to look for some balance.  We as human beings are going to get angry.  It’s part of our sinful nature.  However, if we look at the perfect example for what human behavior should look like, all we need do is turn to Jesus, the Son of God.  In His humanity, he displayed anger.  His anger was righteous however, since His house of worship was being infested by money changers and thieves. Corruption seems to show its ugliness even in the supposedly purest of places.

Still, Jesus the man also is God.  He inherited His Father’s righteous indignation, but He also was merciful.  Mercy seems to be a word that isn’t used much today, except in a court of law.  Mercy is akin to compassion, grace, leniency, kindness or sympathy.  Those terms have given way to cold heartedness, mercilessness, inhumanity, retribution and revenge.  We’ve been exposed to a lot of those terms lately.

What if Jesus showed no mercy to His accusers and simply zapped them straight to hell?  What if He never went to the cross and took on the burden of our sin so that we wouldn’t have to?  What if He was never born?  Think of the state our world would be in today, had He not taken on human form and died for us.

Have we become so ingrained with anger that our opinion is the only one that counts?  Are we so bold as to think, we’re better than others?  Are we willing to listen, to communicate, to work together to solve problems, or are we looking only to make others look bad?  The world will always be ugly.  Sin still exists, but we have been bought and paid for by the blood of our Savior. We should start reflecting His personality.

Take a breath.

He took His last breath,

So that we could breathe forever.

*********************************************************************

P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Posted in Daily Devotion, TAKE A BREATH & COUNT TO TEN | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

“What Do You Do in the Midst of Defeat?” 8/03/2020 Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms”

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Psalm 44:1 | Psalms, Bible psalms, Faith bible

Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms” @  https://davidkitz.wordpress.com/

Original post found @ https://davidkitz.blog/2020/08/03/what-do-you-do-in-the-midst-of-defeat/

What Do You Do in the Midst of Defeat?

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Reading: Psalm 44
(Verses 17-26)

All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you;
we had not been false to your covenant.
Our hearts had not turned back;
our feet had not strayed from your path.
But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals;
you covered us over with deep darkness.
If we had forgotten the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
would not God have discovered it,
since he knows the secrets of the heart?
Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, LORD! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.
Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression?
We are brought down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love 
(NIV).*

img_20200709_0811207

Photo by David Kitz

Reflection
As previously noted, Psalm 44 begins in a very positive fashion as the psalmist recalls the goodness of the LORD and the great victories Israel has won because of the LORD’s help. But that is not the present reality. The present reality is filled with defeat, death and destruction. The psalmist moves from rejoicing over past victories to lamenting over present-day tribulations. Hear his words of anguish: Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

What do you do in the midst of defeat? Do you put on a brave face and pretend all is going well? There may be occasions when putting on a brave face is warranted, even necessary—but inside, when we are alone with our thoughts we question why God would allow such things. Why would God allow a child to die? Why would He allow a global pandemic or a natural disaster like an earthquake to claim countless innocent lives? Normally, these life-shattering matters don’t come with pat answers in tow. We are left in a state of grief and bewilderment.

Often believers see such events as retribution for sins committed against a holy God. But note the psalmist’s complaint: All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant. Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path.

The brutal truth is bad things happen to good people. Sometimes Christians are martyred on a beach in Libya. Sometimes a cruel disease hems us in on every side and there is no escape, aside from death and heaven’s door. Sometimes all we can do is pour out our complaint before a God of unfailing love.

Response: LORD God, when life is hard, help me to remember to bring my complaints and travails to you. You are bigger than any agony or grief I may face. I call out to you, my Savior and my God. Amen.

Your TurnIn your opinion has God been unfair to you? How do you respond?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ALeKk03eKwH16bQoeo4p63XVMaWOi-9xwA:1596455623762&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=image+psalm+44&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj6iurS_P7qAhWSHzQIHSw9A2EQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1208&bih=928#imgrc=AS0Bfc8S2MwWjM

Posted in Daily Devotion, evotions, Psalm 44, Psalms | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
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