Holiness

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Holiness

(John Angell James, “The True Christian” 1846)

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“You ought to live holy and godly lives.” 2 Peter 3:11

Holiness is a very comprehensive word, and expresses a state of mind and conduct that includes many things. 

Holiness is the work of the Spirit in our sanctification. 

Holiness is the fruit of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Holiness is the operation of the new nature, which we receive in regeneration. 

Holiness may be viewed in various aspects, according to the different objects to which it relates. 

Toward God, holiness is . . .
  supreme love;
  delight in His moral character;
  submission to His will;
  obedience to His commands;
  zeal for His cause;
  seeking of His glory. 

Toward Christ, holiness is . . .
  a conformity to His example,
  imbibing His spirit.

Toward man, holiness is . . .
  charity,
  integrity,
  truth,
  mercy. 

Toward sin, holiness is a hatred of all iniquity, a tender conscience easily wounded by little sins, and scrupulously avoiding them; together with a laborious, painful, self-denying, mortification of all the known corruptions of our heart.

Toward self, holiness is . . .
  the control of our fleshly appetites;
  the eradication of our pride;
  the mortification of our selfishness. 

Toward divine things in general, holiness is . . .
  spirituality of mind, 
  the habitual current of godly thought,
  godly affections flowing through the soul.

And, toward the objects of the unseen world, holiness is heavenly-mindedness, a turning away from things seen and temporal, to things unseen and eternal. 

Oh, what a word is holiness! 
How much does it comprehend! 
How little is it understood, and how much less is it practiced!


Not our home

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Not our home 

(David Harsha, “Immanuel’s Land”) 

“For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in Heaven, which is yet to come!” Hebrews 13:14 

We are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. This present world is not our home. We are coming up from the wilderness with our faces Zionward; we are traveling to the Celestial City! 

Our path is rough, but the Savior sustains us. 

Our pilgrimage lies through a wilderness, but faith cheers us with a view of the glorious rest of the redeemed in our Father’s house, in mansions of blessedness! 

Let this consideration animate us amid the conflicts of life. In a little while we shall obtain a joyous entrance into the glorious rest above. The storms of life’s ocean will soon carry us into the haven of peace, where there is no trouble.

The language of Scripture is, “Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined beyond all remedy!” Micah 2:10

Your Savior, pilgrim Christian, has prepared for you a nobler rest than this polluted world! 

In our Father’s house are many spacious mansions, where your happy spirit, after tasting the bitter cup of life’s sorrow, shall rest in eternal blessedness! 

“For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in Heaven, which is yet to come!” Hebrews 13:14 

“We would rather be absent from the body, and at home with the Lord!” 2 Corinthians 5:8 

Looking for direction

Amen! 🙏

-Word- pictures by DLink

Sometimes people make decision they later regret because they listened to ungodly counsel. Here are four suggestions to help you discern what is wise, biblical advice:

  1. Look for counsel that references God, the Bible, and Jesus. If it neglects or contradicts the principles of Scripture, the best thing to do is retreat.
  2. If there’s a lot of talk but little prayer, think twice. Even with a great exchange of ideas and wisdom, a prudent advisor should ultimately defer to God and pray for His direction. Prayer is essential for attaining the whole counsel of God.
  3. Avoid a counselor who compromises Scripture. People sometimes soften God’s requirements by saying things like, “Nobody’s perfect, so a little gossip, gambling, or other ‘fun’ won’t hurt.” Such rationalizing can quickly lead to destruction.
  4. Beware of counsel quick to criticize the church. Someone who readily discredits the church may have a hurtful bias and a…

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❤️ Blindman Advent For Change Step Challenge training: Update #8 – Shine

An Ultra bright thanks to my lovely wife Sarah! ☀️ 💪🏼 😀 ❤️

FitBlitz

1 Dortmun Jacket Yellow

Hi friends…

Wow…With only 12 days to go, I just had to show you this fantasicly bright rain jacket that my lovely wife Sarah Rebus bought me for smashing my 4 stone weight loss goal yesterday! What an amazing surprise! 💪🏼 😀 

I think Sarah and my sister must have been chatting about me being careful when i’m out walking, lol! I don’t think the cars will have any trouble seeing me now!  

An Advent For Change…❤️

OH…Have you heard about my ‘Blindman 20,000 steps, every day, for 24 days (during advent 2020) for Blood Pressure UK!’ That’s around 252 miles!! 

If not, lol…Please read my story and DONATE and help me smash my £1,000 target! 💪🏼 

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your loved ones and the world this Christmas…Is a healthier you! ❤️ 💪🏼 😀 

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November 14

Amen! 🙏

patientlyhopeful

Today’s prayer:

Psalm 28:7 KJV — The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your care. Lord, thank You for watching over us and giving us so much. Lord Jesus, thank You for guiding our lives and allowing those things we do not like to teach us. Lord, thank You for revealing those things which are hidden. Lord, thank You for loving us so much that You allow things which are hard to stretch and grow us. Lord, thank You for teaching us compassion and humility. Thank You for showing us how dependant we are upon You for all things. Lord, I love You, thank You for first loving me. Lord, I trust You, thank You for…

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Though we mourn, we must not murmur

Grace logo Though we mourn, we must not murmur
(John Angell James, “Sorrow for the Death of Friends”)
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of the Lord! Job 1:21
“See, I am the only God. There are no others. I kill, and I make alive. I wound, and I heal, and no one can rescue you from My power.” Deuteronomy 32:39
When a holy and beloved object of our affection is removed by death, we ought to sorrow–humanity demands it, and Christianity, in the person of the weeping Jesus, allows it. The man without a tear, is a savage or a stoic–but not a Christian.
God intends when He bestows His gifts, that they should be received with smiles of gratitude; and when He recalls them, that they should be surrendered with “drops of sacred grief.” Sorrow is an affection implanted by the Creator in the soul for wise and beneficent purposes; and it ought not to be ruthlessly torn up by the roots, but directed in its exercise by reason and piety. 
The work of grace, though it is above nature–is not against it. The man who tells me not to weep at the grave–insults me, mocks me and wishes to degrade me! Tears are the silent, pure, sincere testimony of my heart to the excellence of the gift He gave in mercy; and in mercy, no doubt, as well as judgment, He has recalled.
But then, though we mourn, we must not murmur. We may sorrow, but not with the violent and uncontrolled grief of the heathen who have no hope. Our sorrow may flow as deep as we like–but noiseless and still in the channels of submission. 
It must be a sorrow so quiet as to hear all the words of consolation which our Heavenly Father utters amidst the gentle strokes of His rod.
It must be a sorrow so reverential as to adore Him for the exercise of His prerogative in taking away what and whom He pleases. 
It must be a sorrow so composed as to prepare us for doing His will, as well as bearing it. 
It must be a sorrow so meek and gentle as to justify Him in all His dispensations. 
It must be a sorrow so confiding as to be assured that there is as much love in taking the mercy away, as there was in bestowing it. 
It must be a sorrow so grateful as to be thankful for the mercies left, as well as afflicted for the mercies lost.
It must be a sorrow so trustful as to look forward to the future with hope.
It must be a sorrow so patient as to bear all the aggravations that accompany or follow the bereavement, with unruffled acquiescence. 
It must be a sorrow so holy as to lift the prayer of faith for divine grace to sanctify the stroke. 
It must be a sorrow so lasting as to preserve through all the coming years of life, the benefit of that event, which, in one solemn moment, changed the whole aspect of our earthly existence.

Yay -55lb Weight Loss Badge! 💪🏼

Whoop Whoop! 💪🏼

FitBlitz

55lb weight loss badge

Yay my next fitness goal smashed! Being lighter will help me on my stupendous advent walking challenge. I can’t believe the journey so far and all of the walking i’m doing as preparation for my step challenge is making it even easier to stay in the healthy calorie deficit! 💪🏼 😀 

OH…Have you heard about my ‘Blindman 20,000 steps, every day, for 24 days (during advent 2020) for Blood Pressure UK!’ That’s around 252 miles!! 

If not, lol…Please read my story and DONATE and help me smash my £1,000 target! 💪🏼 

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your loved ones and the world this Christmas…Is a healthier you! ❤️ 💪🏼 😀 

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❤️ Blindman Advent For Change Step Challenge training: Update #4 – “Ouch”

Woah, it doesn’t half make you jump when you hit a post…Especially when you’re blind and everything is so blurry or just vanishes! 🤕
Read more about my adventure on FitBlitz!

FitBlitz

Fitbit Walking Stats 9 Nov

Yay i did it!! 😰

Hi friends! Yesterday i completed the whole 20,000 steps as my ‘Blindman Advent For Change Step Challenge’ starts in only 21 days!

The accident and the AirPods…?

Woah, it doesn’t half make you jump when you hit a post…Especially when you’re blind and everything is so blurry or just vanishes! 🤕

As i walk i have only 1 AirPod in which plays my audiobook really low so i can hear my surroundings with my other ear. Also it plays the important announcements from my Fitbit app as the GPS is tracking me along my walk. So when i suddenly felt the cold hard post graze the side of my forehead then hit me square on the right shoulder that stopped me in my tracks…You could say it made me jump, lol!

A photo taken from the pavement of the road lined with green trees and a black Audi on the road

Photo of the road i was walking down ⇧ 

As it didn’t…

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❤️ Blindman Advent For Change Step Challenge training: Update #3

Please head on over to my new blog “FitBlitz” and join me on my brobdingnagian challenge! 💪🏼
Also it’ll stop me posting on here and annoying everyone! 🙄

FitBlitz

Fitbit 05 11 2020

Wow…That was hard…😰

Hi friends! Today i did about ⅔ of my total steps i need everyday for 24 days during my ‘Blindman Advent For Change Step Challenge’ which starts in only 27 days! 

I’m happy i managed to walk for 2 hours without getting too mentally tired. The sun was so low and bright which gave me such a headache, as it took so much more concentration for me to focus on where i was going whilst not falling into the road etc. 😨

As i use a Fitbit Inspire HR that my lovely wife Sarah bought me for our wedding anniversary in July…All of the hills along my route are not counted or the stats page, and although this sounds like an excuse, lol it really does take it out of you! I’m planning on hitting the 20,000 steps mark very soon and i’m adjusting my…

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❤️ Blindman Advent Step Challenge training: Update #2 – THANKS

Simply humbled by all or your support, generosity and kindness! ❤️

FitBlitz

Click to rea about my challenge and donate to Blood Pressure UK Wow…I only posted my challenge & fundraising page 2 weeks ago and i’ve already been blessed with 20 donations! 💪🏼 

I’d like to give a gargantuan amount of thanks to my Sister Ambber for her understanding, support and encouragement…Especially as she’s just been into hospital with severely high blood pressure! ❤️

A colossal thanks to Charis & Adam for their donation and relentless kindness. 😀 

A huge thanks to Dora for always believing i can do it…Whatever the challenge!  💪🏼 

A heart warming thanks to Christine for always being here to cheer me on! 

A massive thanks to Alan for completely silencing  me with a mind blowing donation that equates to £20 a day for 24 days!  

I’d like to give a huge thanks to Sheila for her support and encouragement. 💪🏼  

A massive thanks to Andrew & Jenny!  

 A colossal amount of thanks to Sarah A who…

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God’s all wise, gracious, and adorable providence!

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God’s all wise, gracious, and adorable providence!

(Frank Hall)

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28

We often find ourselves in . . . 
  trying circumstances,
  inexplicable difficulties,
  and perplexing situations. 
Experience teaches us daily that life is filled, not with joy and happiness only–but with troubles, heartache, and pain. We prove the words of brother Job every single day of our lives, that, “Man who is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble!” 

Is there consolation to be had in such times of trouble? Indeed there is! If there is a verse of Scripture that ministers comfort to my doubting fearful heart, it is the verse before us. Romans 8:28 is . . .
  help for the helpless,
  comfort for those in trouble, and
  a beacon of light that guides believers on the tumultuous sea of life. 

My beloved brothers and sisters in trouble and strife–all remains well with our souls.
  Not only has the Father elected us unto salvation, 
  not only has the Son redeemed us from our sins, 
  not only has the Spirit regenerated us and given us spiritual life, 
but God our Father works all things together for our eternal good! God is our Father, and our God is on His throne ruling all things for the glory of His name, and the everlasting salvation of our immortal souls! 

Who knows? Paul begins this comforting verse with two precious words, “WE know!”  
  The people of God know, 
  believers know, 
  the redeemed of the Lord know, 
  those who are “the called according to God’s purpose” know. 
This is knowledge that only the saints of God have. 
They know, not with a bare theoretical head knowledge–but by faith rooted in their hearts. 
They know because God has taught them this knowledge effectually by His Spirit and grace. 
They know because they believe His infallible Word of truth. 
They know in such a way as to find solace and comfort in what He has revealed. 

God’s people are here identified by two distinct characteristics:
  they love God, and 
  they are called according to His purpose. 

1. All of God’s people love God! They love His glorious person and rejoice in all of His perfections as God:
  His righteousness,
  His immutability,
  His holiness,
  His sovereignty,
  His wisdom,
  His power,
  His love,
  His grace. 
They love . . . .
  His will, 
  His Word, 
  His ways, 
  His gospel, 
  His Son, 
  His Spirit, 
  His purpose, 
  His providence, 
  and His people. 
God’s people love God–and all that pertains to God. 

2. All of God’s people are “called according to His purpose!” They are a particular, distinct, special people, here named the “called.” They have been graciously and effectually called in grace, by God’s Spirit through the gospel–not according to their works, merit, or choice–but according to God’s eternal purpose which He purposed in Himself before the foundation of the world.   

All things do not work together for the good of ALL men–but for God’s people alone, because their God providentially rules over all things for their eternal good and salvation. God rules . . .
  all things,
  all men,
  all angels,
  all demons,
  all circumstances,
  all events,
  in every place,
  at all times–
and He does so for the good of His people! 

What do we know? “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!” Things may appear to be against us, but it only seems that way. We should not judge God’s purpose by His providence–but His providence by His purpose. If we judge using the former method, we are sure to misjudge and we will never have peace in this life. 

All pleasures, joys, and delights are certainly ruled by our God–but that’s only half of His rule. He rules all evil–as well as all good
All death, 
all opposition, 
all sickness,
every disaster, 
every problem, 
all our pain, and
all our sorrow–
are sovereignly ruled, governed, ordered, and controlled by our God–to bring about eternal good for our souls. God does not tells us how He does this–only that He does. 

Whatever my God brings to pass in time, is the outworking of His purpose of grace–and it’s for my good, whether it be in my little sphere of existence, or in the universe at large. 

Oh God help me to believe Your Word! Teach me not only to submit to your providential rule–but to rejoice and rest in it! Set a watch upon my mouth, that I murmur not!  Arrest my heart by your grace, and give me peace! Keep me from sinning with my lips and complaining against Your all wise, gracious, and adorable providence, for it is good! 

God controls and directs all things with . . .
  infinite power,
  absolute sovereignty, and
  unfailing wisdom and grace!
Nothing can . . . 
  hinder Him from doing His will,
  keep Him from having His way, or
  stop Him from accomplishing His purpose. 

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28

💪🏼 Blindman Advent Step Challenge training: Update #1

I asked my lovely wife Sarah to help guide me along a new route today. I thought (in my head) that it would be pretty straight forward and a nice …

💪🏼 Blindman Advent Step Challenge training: Update #1

My New Blog “FitBlitz” Please Like & Follow!! 💪🏼 😀

Hey friends! I’ve been a little quiet on here for the last couple of months, as i’ve been losing weight, eating healthy and exercising…And i wanted to start a new blog to share all of my adventures in the health & fitness area without bombarding you with too many topics on here! OOooo you can follow my advent walking challenge over there too!

As a blindman, please could you check it out for me to see if i’ve missed anything, need to change anything please give me some suggestions. Oh you could even like, comment and say hi which would be fantastic! 😀

Please click the photo below to visit my brand new blog….

The FitBlitz About speed…

Me portrait Jamaica 2

I want to stop digging my grave with my own knife and fork…🍽

Hi, i’m Steve. 

People who already know me (from my other blogs) know I’ve been struggling to beat all kinds of obstacles since I was registered blind 20 years ago, at age 24….. BUT now it’s time to face my nemesis… Health & Fitness and it’s many enemies – overeating, obesity, excuses not to exercise and many more…

This year (2020) I finally said “enough is enough” and I’m arming myself with the knowledge about the right nutrition, exercise and learning how, as a blind man, I can break free from what feels like inescapable immobility – So that I’m ready to stand up and fight back for my health…AND i’ve never felt better and more energised …..despite being on beta-blockers that slow me down but help keep my blood pressure low enough not to cause more health problems and further sight loss.I know from personal experience that any “diet” is often short lived. I’ve always enjoyed eating super processed, high calorie  foods and my love of burgers, bacon, kebabs and pizza is well known amongst my friends and family …this has continued and my seemingly endless attempts at dieting over the numerous years I’ve tried and failed to lose weight, have resulted in me often putting on more weight than I lost…Read more

💪🏼 Blindman 20,000 Steps, Every Day, For 24 Days This Advent Challenge!

Click to rea about my challenge and donate to Blood Pressure UK

An Advent For Change…❤️

Blindman 20,000 steps, every day, for 24 days (during advent 2020) for Blood Pressure UK! That’s around 240 miles!! 💪🏼   

Hi friends!

I’ve chosen to raise funds this advent for Blood Pressure Uk. I want to help raise awareness of how vitally important it is that we all know what our blood pressure is and understand that we need to take action now to keep it at a healthy range and protect our hearts. I would love everyone who donates to me to “know their numbers!”. It will only take five minutes to get a check but could change everything and help you live much healthier and happier lives. 

When I was 24 (and fully sighted) I had two brain haemorrhages that burst my optic nerve and left me blind due to Grade 4 severe hypertensive retinopathy (caused by my high blood pressure, that I’ve since discovered is something my family suffers with). So I can’t stress enough how important it is to be aware of this creeping death! Please don’t be complacent about your blood pressure, and if your numbers are too high please do something about it. I know I was very lucky to survive this silent killer…But you might not be”.  

The Challenge…1st Dec – 24th Dec 2020… 

I found a safe local road about half a mile long, near my home, that could work as my walking route (and I can follow without guided help). I then thought it would be great for me to do an ‘advent positive pressure challenge’ …and i’d only have to do 20 laps every day! 🤣  So I quickly set up this fundraising page and created a challenge that would raise funds and generate awareness for this very important message! 💪🏼😀  

Then…It slowly dawned on me that this challenge will include walking nearly a half marathon a day for 24 days…Awww that’s going to hurt and take a lot of effort/strength/energy/discipline to complete. But before I had time to change my mind, i’d created this page and notified the charity…Please help me complete what feels like and impossible challenge, lol! 🤣  

I’m using my Fitbit to count the steps, and upload the screenshots  to keep you updated each day with my progress on here, and my other social media sites…

Follow me and my challenge and say hi! FacebookTwitter  Share and make everyone aware…😀   

Blood Pressure UK… 

Blood Pressure UK, is the UK charity dedicated to lowering the nation’s blood pressure to prevent disability and death from stroke and heart disease. Our vision is that everyone will know their blood pressure numbers, and take steps to keep them healthy both now and in the future. Funds raised from events like this make a huge difference to the work we can do, helping us to offer advice and support to more people, preventing strokes and heart attacks. 

Know your numbers and help me to help others know theirs, thanks in advance – Steve. 

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity….DONATE NOW 

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your loved ones and the world this Christmas…Is a healthier you! ❤️ 💪🏼 😀 

Who am I that God should be so mindful of me?

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Who am I that God should be so mindful of me?

(Frank Hall)

“What is man that You are mindful of him?” Psalm 8:4

What is man that God should even look in his direction? Who am I that the infinite, glorious, triune God should glance my way–much less be mindful of me?

Beloved in Christ, understand that your God is without a doubt ever-mindful of you. He has . . .
  numbered every hair on your precious head,
  appointed the bounds of your habitation, and
  determined the very second of your death. 

He . . .
  bottles your every tear,
  knows your every sorrow, 
  records your every work, and 
  remembers every cup of cold water given in His name. He is deeply concerned for your immortal soul, has purposed to do you good, and has staked His glory on your everlasting salvation. Your God is more mindful of you, your soul, your life, and your welfare than you will ever understand in this life. 

In the light of such staggering knowledge–who God is, and what you are–do you not ask yourself in utter astonishment, “Who am I that God should be so mindful of me?” 

As mere creatures such a thought is beyond profound, but as guilty sinners the thought surpasses the unthinkable! 

“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated!” Romans 9:13 

God loved Jacob, and hated Esau. Who am I that I should be identified with the former, and not the latter? Christ died for His elect and put away their sins forever by the sacrifice of Himself–and the rest of humanity He leaves to themselves. 

Who am I that my name should be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world? The Sovereign dispenser of all grace and all blessedness has mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardens. Who am I that I should be a vessel of honor prepared for glory, and not a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction? 

Who are we, brothers and sisters, that we should . . .
  partake of the boundless provision of grace in Christ,
  be redeemed, justified, and forgiven,
  should live forever with Him in glory? 

Who are we that the incomprehensibly glorious God would be so mindful of us, that He not only took on our nature, but . . .
 lived a perfect life for us, that we could never live, 
 died a sin-atoning death for us, that we could never die, and 
 satisfied a Law for us, that we could never satisfy? 

“By the grace of God I am what I am!” 1 Corinthians 15:10 

The only difference between a saved sinner and a lost sinner–is the difference that God makes by His distinguishing grace! It is not our decisions, lives, prayers, or works that make the difference, but God and God alone.

Though all who read these lines deserve to be in Hell for their sin–God has been pleased to save some freely by His grace. Though all are equally sinful, equally guilty, and equally deserving of everlasting torment–God has been pleased to save some for no other reason than His own glory.

What a pillow on which to rest your aching head

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What a pillow on which to rest your aching head 

(John MacDuff

“Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through many trials.” 1 Peter 1:6 

“If need be!” Three gracious words! 

Not one of all my tears has been shed for nothing!

Not one stroke of the rod has been unneeded, or that might have been spared! 

Your heavenly Father loves you too much, and too tenderly, to bestow harsher correction than your case requires! 

Is it loss of health, or loss of wealth, or loss of beloved friends
Be still! there was a needs be! 

We are no judges of what that “needs be” is. Often through aching hearts we are forced to exclaim, “Your judgments are a great deep!” 

But God here pledges Himself that there will not be one unnecessary thorn in the believer’s crown of suffering!

No burden too heavy will be laid on him. 

No sacrifice too great will be exacted from him. 

God will temper the wind to the shorn lamb. 

Whenever the “need be” has accomplished its end, then . . . 
  the rod is removed; 
  the chastisement is suspended; 
  the furnace is quenched. 

“If need be!” Oh! what a pillow on which to rest your aching head–that there is not a drop in all your bitter cup but what a God of love saw to be absolutely necessary! 

Trust His loving heart–even though you cannot trace His mysterious hand!

Do not be too curious to prying into the “Why it is?” or “How it is?” 
But satisfied that “So it is,” and, therefore, that all must be well.

“What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” John 13:7  

Broken people!

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Broken people! 

(Don Fortner)

Play Audio  Download Audio
You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you READ the text below. 

“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18

broken heart, a contrite spirit, and a subdued will are rare things, especially in this age in which men everywhere are taught to demand their rights; and the church has become a place where man is exalted and enshrined as though he were God. Self-esteem, self-worth, and self-promotion are the cry of the day. Every man does that which is right in his own eyes. All men by nature are exceedingly proud, selfish people.

Preachers today, knowing man’s natural pride, have capitalized upon it. They have developed a flesh-pleasing theology of pride. Our forefathers exalted the dignity, the majesty, and the supremacy of the eternal God. But the smooth-tongued preachers of deceit in our day have set themselves to exalt the dignity, majesty, and supremacy of puny man! It seems that religion today is dedicated not to the honor of God, but to the honor of man. Its purpose is to make man feel good about himself. Therefore we hear little about . . .
  brokenness of heart, 
  contrition of the soul, and
  the subduing of man’s will.

The Lord God declares, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at My Word!” (Isaiah 66:2). God will have broken hearts with which to build His kingdom. Sooner or later, the Lord God will bring us to nothingness before His presence. God’s people, all of God’s people are a broken people.

No man has ever experienced the grace of God in salvation, until his heart is thoroughly broken before the holy Lord God, revealed in the crucified Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. If ever a man finds out:
  who he is,
  who God is,
  who the Lord Jesus Christ is,
  and what He has done for sinners
–he will be a broken man!

When Job saw himself in the presence of his three miserable friends, he vindicated himself. But when he stood in the presence of God, he was a broken man; and he spoke as a broken man. He saw himself in all the hideousness of his sin; and he saw God in all the holiness of His glorious majesty. Then he said, “Behold I am vile! I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes!” There is no pride and egotism here, no haughtiness, no self-vindication. Once Job had seen the Lord–he was broken, he loathed himself and blamed himself. Once Job saw the Lord–he honored God and vindicated Him. The truly broken heart will always vindicate God, no matter the cost.

This brokenness can be produced in proud, stubborn, sinful men and women–only by the saving revelation of Christ in our hearts. Brokenness is found at the cross–only at the cross. Have you been to the cross? Have you had the crucified Christ revealed in your heart? Has your heart been broken by the knowledge of the Lord? O Lord, evermore break our hearts before You!

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17

☀️ Sunflower Challenge Update: And The Winner Is…??? 🌻

Yay! My lovely wife Sarah smashed the challenge!! 💪🏼 A huge thanks to all of you guys who sponsored, encouraged and followed the process of this great challenge to help people power up to prevent cancer…Thank you! 😀 🌻 ☀️

☀️ Sunshine & Sunflowers 🌻

🌻 The first sunflower to bloom in our challenge was Steve’s ‘brobdingnagian’Steves sunflower

🌻 But Steves sunflower certainly wasn’t the tallest and didn’t reach the required 2.6m 😭

🌻 BoB, Musical joy, Liz, Audrey2, Ben turbo and Southern Palms all raced past… and all reached over 2.6m 💪🏼 

Sarahs winning sunflowers

🌻 Our good friend Dora visited and we took the chance to get a proper measurement for the sunflowers in your challenge… so that we could let you know the winner. ….which was Liz (Sponsored by Ruth Penny to encourage her friend ‘Liz’ who is going through cancer treatment at the moment). What a great result

Dora measuring sunflowers

🌻 Liz not only reached 2.6m first but grew to a stunning height of 3.35m…. closely followed by Audrey2 who reached 3.2m and BoB, who reached 3.15m

🌻 The sunflower that didn’t grow tall but had an amazing 15 sunflower heads on the one plant was ‘Weed’…

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Repent

Amen! 🙏

The Fathers Feet

Repent defined is to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin. The word repentance in the Bible literally means“the act of changing one’s mind.” True biblical repentance goes beyond remorse, regret, or feeling bad about one’s sin. It involves more than merely turning away from sin.

Acts 3:19 NASB

Thereforerepent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order thattimes of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord

Matthew 3:2 NASB

Repent, forthe kingdom of heavenis at hand.

Luke 5:31-32

31And Jesus answered and said to them,“It isnot those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick.32I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Heavenly Father,

You are so good. I cannot say enough how wonderful You are and how much I love you. Thank…

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Ten Reasons to Read the Bible Every Day

Amen! 🙏

Already Not Yet

John Piper:

I have never met a mature, fruitful, strong, spiritually discerning Christian who is not full of Scripture, devoted to regular meditation on Scripture, and given to storing it in the heart through Bible memorization —and that’s not a coincidence. So, what I want to do is persuade our new believing friend that it is absolutely essential, after coming to faith in Christ, to be radically, deeply, experientially devoted — unshakably, unwaveringly persuaded — that reading and meditating on and understanding and memorizing and enjoying the Scriptures is absolutely essential for the Christian life, which would include being in the word every day with the aim that we will meet God there and, little by little, the glory of his truth will fill and transform our lives.

And that may seem obvious to them or to others, but it isn’t obvious, because I know fairly well-along Christians who…

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Living Sanely in a Topsy-Turvey World

Amen! 🙏

New Creations Ministries

What a topsy-turvey world we’re living in – Lord, please come soon! Right is wrong and worshipping rebellion is king. If Christians defend Truth, professing “wait that’s against God’s Word!” we are vilified. Therefore the majority remain silent and fearful. Isn’t silence compliance? We allow that unknowing frog in the frying pan to get cooked without even realizing the frog is us.

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)

Even if I knew I could riot and break into an establishment, snatch money, merchandise, destroying and taking someone livelihood and get away with it, I wouldn’t! Have you noticed some condone this? People resort to crime and the police are supposed to be the bad guys? All of them??? (Isn’t that the definition of prejudice which the lawbreakers profess to hate?)

I don’t care what someone looks…

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All men everywhere are to repent.

Amen! 🙏

-Word- pictures by DLink

Acts 17;30

The Judge is still withholding judgement.

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Sons of the Night, Sons of the Day

Amen! 🙏

-Word- pictures by DLink

1 Thes 5;7

Unbelievers are in darkness, engulfed in mental, moral, and spiritual darkness because of sin and unbelief.


1 Thes 5;5a

Believers live in a completely different sphere of life than those who remain in darkness.  Because believers have been delivered from the domain of darkness, they are taken out of the night of sin and ignorance and put into the light of God and under the control of the truth.  Because Christians are in the light, they should not sleep in spiritual indifference and comfort, but be alert to the spiritual issues around them.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 1 Thessalonians 5:4,5,6.

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Why me, Lord?

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Why me, Lord? 

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

“By the grace of God I am what I am!”

Oh, what was I, that God should set His love upon me before time; and in time to call me to the saving knowledge of His Son, whom to know aright is life eternal? Why me, Lord? 

And what am I even now, since I have felt something of the power of His precious gospel? Why me, Lord? 

What was I, what am I–that I should be eternally chosen and effectually called and perfectly accepted in the Beloved? Not unto me, in the least, not unto me, but unto Your sovereign grace be all the praise!

“Oh, help me to ascribe to You the glory due to Your great name; for I am surrounded, I am loaded with Your benefits. All Your dealings with me show forth Your loving-kindness. In temporals, as well as spirituals, I am singularly favored. Oh, let me never be allowed to rob You of Your glory, but help me to give it all where it is due, in life and death and to all eternity–to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.” 


“The Spring Keeper”

Amen. “One wouldn’t throw trash on the floor of Jerusalem’s temple – so why do we trash our earthly one?” 🙏

New Creations Ministries

Last Sunday, our pastor included a wonderful illustration which I also found epitomizes our relationship between Christianity and nutrition.

The illustration by the late chaplain of the US Senate, Peter Marshall, was entitled, “The Keeper of the Spring.” Perhaps you’ve heard it before. Here’s the Cliff note version of it:

“It seems a spring at the top of an Austrian mountain provided water to a charming, picturesque village down below. The village council hardly saw the keeper and began questioning why they were paying for a service when they never saw the benefit. So they fired the Spring Keeper.

As time went on, leaves and debris began to clog the source of the well. Then downstream, leaves, twigs and debris muddied the water. It smelled and tasted badly. Tourists stopped coming, restaurants served less tasty food and the town lost its beauty and charm.

Finally the council realized its mistake…

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The Hilly Straight and Narrow

Working Out As many of you know, I have committed to exercise and to lose weight. In other words, I want to look like Tom Cruise. But even more …

The Hilly Straight and Narrow

#28 ✞ 28 Motives to Love Jesus!

Red Love logo with reflection 

28 Motives to Love Jesus!

(Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!” 1693)

#28. Will not love to Jesus best help us to PERSEVERE in the Christian race?           

When trials, suffering and persecution come, only those who truly love Jesus will be able to endure.

 

CONCLUSION 

What shall I say to advance Jesus in your esteem, that you might love Him? Is He not a comprehensive good? Is He not eminently all? There is no goodness in the creature, but it is formally, or virtually, in Jesus. 

Is there wisdom in the creature? There is more in Jesus. 
Is there beauty or power in the creature? There is much more in Jesus. 

“For it pleased the Father, that in Him should all fullness dwell.” Jesus is “full of grace and truth.” This is the One whom I beg you to love. This is He who is altogether lovely and desirable

Consider now, I plead with you–can you ever imagine a better offer than Jesus? Can you find a better match for your soul? Can you say all this, or any one of all these things–concerning the objects you have loved previous to Jesus?

Oh then say, “I never understood the loveliness of Christ before this! How has sin fooled me! How has the world bewitched me! How has my foolish wicked heart deceived me–that I have lavished my love upon the creature and sin–when there was a Christ to love! Such a Christ to love! Such a good as is not to be found in all the world! Now He alone shall have my heart, my love–my all!”

The Holiness of God

Amen! 🙏 😀

Already Not Yet

alpamayo-peru-worlds-most-beautiful-mountainSam Storms:

What does it mean to say that God is holy? Most people think of moral rectitude or righteousness or goodness, and that is certainly true. To be holy is to be characterized by purity and blamelessness and integrity, both in terms of one’s essence and one’s activity. In this sense, God’s holiness and his righteousness are somewhat synonymous. He is described in the OT as “too pure to behold evil” and intolerant of evil (Hab. 1:12-13). But this is only a secondary way in which God is said to be holy. We need to understand the primary thrust of the word.

  1. The Biblical evidence

God is regularly identified in Scripture as “the Holy One“. See Job 6:10Isa. 40:2543:15Ezek. 39:7Hosea 11:9Hab. 1:123:3. He is also called “the Holy One of…

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#27 ✞ 28 Motives to Love Jesus!

Red Love logo with reflection 

28 Motives to Love Jesus!

(Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!” 1693)

#27. Is not love to Jesus the best help against the TEMPTATIONS of Satan?         

Is not Satan your enemy? Is not your heart sometimes anxious to yield to him? But love to Jesus would garrison your hearts, fortify your souls, and make you courageous and resolute against all the batteries of Satan and the assaults of sin. It would make you watchful against the allurements and amusements of the world, so that you would say, “Shall I offend my dearest Lord? Shall I displease Him who has done me such good, such everlasting good? Oh! how can I do this great evil, and sin against Him whom I love!” Do you not find that love forbids, and exceedingly restrains–from grieving, offending or wronging the one whom you entirely love? 

Riches and Poverty!

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Riches and Poverty! 

(J.C. Ryle, “Riches and Poverty!“)

Many in every age have disturbed society by stirring up the poor against the rich. But so long as the world is under the present order of things, universal equality cannot be attained.

So long as . . .
  some are wise, and some are foolish;
  some are strong, and some are weak;
  some are healthy, and some are diseased;
so long as children reap the fruit of their parent’s misconduct;
so long as sun, and rain, and heat, and cold, and wind, and waves, and drought, and blight, and storm, and tempest are beyond man’s control–so long will there be inequality in this world.

Take all the property in England by force this day, and divide it equally among the inhabitants. Give every person over twenty years old an equal portion. Let all share alike, and begin the world over again. Do this, and see where you would be at the end of fifty years. You would just have come round to the point where you began! You would just find things as unequal as before!

   Some would have worked–and some would have been lazy;
   some would have been always careless–and some always scheming;
   some would have sold–and others would have bought;
   some would have wasted–and others would have saved.
And the end would be that some would be rich–and others would be poor.

We might as well say . . .
  that all people ought to be of the same height, weight, strength, and cleverness;
  or that all oak trees ought to be of the same shape and size;
  or that all blades of grass ought to be of the same length
–as that all people were meant to be equal.

Settle it in your mind that the main cause of all the suffering you see around you, is sin. Sin is the grand cause . . .
  of the enormous luxury of the rich–and the painful degradation of the poor;
  of the heartless selfishness of the highest classes–and the helpless poverty of the lowest.

Sin must be first cast out of the world;
the hearts of all people must be renewed and sanctified;
the devil must be bound;
the Prince of Peace must come down and take His great power and reign
–all this must be before there ever can be universal happiness, or the gulf be filled up which now divides the rich and poor.

Beware of expecting a millennium to be brought about . . .
  by any method of government,
  by any system of education,
  or by any political party.

Labor to do good to all men; pity your poorer brethren, and help every reasonable endeavor to raise them from their low estate. Do not slacken your hand from any endeavor . . .
  to increase knowledge, 
  to promote morality,
  to improve the temporal condition of the poor.

But never, never forget . . .
  that you live in a fallen world,
  that sin is all around you,
  and that the devil is abroad.


#26 ✞ 28 Motives to Love Jesus!

Red Love logo with reflection 

28 Motives to Love Jesus!

(Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!” 1693)

#26. Is not love to Jesus the most universally NECESSARY love?        

One man loves one thing, and a second another, and a third another. But there is no necessity that all men should love any one thing–except for Jesus, and things pertaining to our having and enjoying Him. Love to Jesus is absolutely necessary for poor and rich, for great and small, for noble and low-born, for learned and unlearned, for slave and free. 

A Faithful Influence

Amen! 🙏

-Word- pictures by DLink

2 Corin 2;15

Wherever God’s servant is faithful and is an influence for the gospel, God is pleased.  There is a twofold effect of gospel preaching.  To some, the message brings eternal life and ultimate glorification.  To others, it is a stumbling stone of offense that brings eternal death.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 2 Corinthians 2:15,16.

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The plague of unsatisfiedness

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The plague of unsatisfiedness

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness“, 1662)

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of covetousness; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15 

Covetousness is . . . 
  a very great and grievous sin;
  a mother sin;
  a breeding sin; 
  a sin which has all sin in its womb; 
  a very vile and heinous sin;
  the root of all evil.

Covetousness makes the soul earthly–which should be celestial. 

Covetousness is an evil which subjects men to the basest and vilest evils. 

Covetousness makes a man a fool! “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Luke 12:20

Covetousness robs a man of all true peace, comfort, contentment and quiet. 

Covetousness brings men into snares which drown their souls in perdition.

Covetousness renders men unsatisfied under all their outward enjoyments. Though a covetous wretch has enough to sink him–yet he can never have enough to satisfy him. First he wishes for a bag full, and then a chest full, and then a room full, and then a house full, etc. 

The plague of unsatisfiedness–is the great plague which covetous men are under. Certainly you shall as soon fill a triangle with a circle, and a chest with grace–as you shall be able to fill and satisfy a covetous mind with money. 

A covetous man is like a swine–which is good for nothing while it lives. 
The horse is good to carry, 
the ox is good to draw, 
the sheep is good for cloth, 
the cow is good to give milk, 
and the dog is good to guard the house–
but the hog is good for nothing while he lives! 
Just so, a covetous man is only serviceable when he is dead. That scripture often proves true, “the riches of a sinner are laid up for the just.” Job 27:17 

No sin lays men under greater woes! 

“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs!” 1 Timothy 6:9-10 


#25 ✞ 28 Motives to Love Jesus!

Red Love logo with reflection 

28 Motives to Love Jesus!

(Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!” 1693)

#25. Is not love to Jesus the most PROFITABLE love?      

“What is a man profited, if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” By loving Jesus you shall have such a gain that no man can value, that no mind can estimate, that no mathematician, by all his numbers and figures, can compute–even . . .  pardon of innumerable sins,   the favor of an infinite and holy God,   deliverance from inconceivable torments,   possession of endless bliss, and   more than I, or any man, can describe or comprehend! 

Murder all his hearers at once!

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Murder all his hearers at once!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness“, 1662)

“The leaders of the people have led them down the path of destruction!” Isaiah 9:16

Take heed of settling yourselves under an unholy minister–of one whose life gives the lie to his doctrine. An unholy preacher is the greatest destroyer of the souls of men! He who preaches well, but lives bad–does what he can, to murder all his hearers at once! There is no greater bar to holiness, than ministers’ unholy lives. An unholy life mars the soundest and the sweetest doctrine. The sins of teachers are the teachers of sins! 

An unholy minister is the greatest pest, the worst plague, and the greatest mischief–that can be to a people; for his enormities, his wickednesses, will have the strongest influences upon the souls and lives of men–to make them eternally miserable. His falls will be the fall and ruin of many; for people are prone to . . .
  live more by examples–than by precepts;
  mind more what the minister does–than what he says;
  eye more how he walks–than how he talks

Let a minister be ever so learned, solid, quaint, elegant, zealous, judicious, sententious, etc.–yet if he is carnal, covetous, worldly, vain, and loose in his life and walk, his hearers will rather slight and abhor the holy things of God.

When the preacher departs out of the way of holiness, the people will quickly wander from all that is good. He whose life is not a standing reproof to sin–will, by his life, encourage sinners more and more in a way of sin. There is nothing which keeps men so off from the love of holiness, and from the pursuing after holiness–than the unholy lives of their ministers.

“Watch your life and doctrine closely.” 1 Timothy 4:16

“Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” Titus 2:7

#24 ✞ 28 Motives to Love Jesus!

Red Love logo with reflection 

28 Motives to Love Jesus!

(Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!” 1693)

#24. You should never have any cause or reason to be ashamed to love Jesus.    

Is not the time coming, and the day hastening, when . . .  covetous men shall be ashamed of loving the world,   and voluptuous men ashamed of loving their pleasures,   and ambitious men ashamed of loving their honors? For is it not a horrid shame, that a rational creature should be so debased as to love sin which is most loathsome, and not to love Jesus who is most lovely? That he should love deformity, and not beauty?

Oh shame, shame! It is a shame that sin should have such esteem, and Jesus such great contempt put upon Him. But shame shall before long confound these now shameless wretches, when they shall cry out, “We are ashamed that we loved filthy lucre, and not Jesus–that we loved houses, lands, lusts, and not Jesus. This is the confusion of our faces, and shame covers us–that we should be so foolish, and so blind, that we had not sense, nor reason, to distinguish between sin, which is the greatest and most odious evil–and Jesus who is the greatest and most lovely good.” 

But the time will never come, the day will never be–that a gracious soul shall be ashamed of his sincere love to Jesus Christ. 

Repentance: the Lost Doctrine of the Twenty-First Century

Amen! 🙏

Already Not Yet

UPDATE_Repentance_620Grant Castleberry:

When I came to Capital Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina in August of last year as its senior pastor, the elders and I thought it would be best to begin my ministry in the church with a series of eight evangelistic messages. The evangelistic sermons I preached focused on the “new life” in Christ that is offered to us in the gospel. Sermon topics specifically covered the essence of lostness, the gravity of our sin, Christ’s work on the cross, the necessity of the new birth, and justification by faith alone.

After these messages were preached last fall, I came across a William Booth quote that shook me. He said, “The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.” The phrase “forgiveness without repentance” particularly convicted…

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These Gergesites had rather lose Christ, than lose their porkers!

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These Gergesites had rather lose Christ, than lose their porkers!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness“, 1662)
 

“When they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region.” Matthew 8:34

A man bewitched with the world will prefer the most base and contemptible things before the Lord Jesus Christ. He will, with the Gergesenes, prefer his swine before a Savior, Matthew 8:28-34. 

When they saw what a sad market their hogs were brought to, they desired Christ to depart out of their country. These Gergesites had rather lose Christ, than lose their porkers! They had rather that the devil should possess their souls–than that Jesus should drown their pigs. They prefer their swine, before their salvation!

They present a wretched petition for their own damnation; they pleaded with Him to leave their region. Though there is no misery, no plague, no curse, no wrath, no Hell–compared to Christ’s departure from a people; yet men bewitched with the world will desire this. “When they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region.” Matthew 8:34


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