Tag Archives: Daily Bread

May we see our sins

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May we see our sins

(
Henry Law, “Family Prayers”)

O God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us miserable sinners. Move, we beseech You, in our disordered hearts. Remove the deformities of unruly desires and hateful lusts. Chase away the mists and darkness of unbelief. Brighten our inner man with the pure light of truth. Sow abundantly the seeds of righteousness. Make our souls fragrant as the garden of the Lord. Enrich them with every godly fruit. Beautify them with heavenly grace. Be our comforter, our guide, our light, our sanctification. 

Especially take of the things of Christ, and show them with enlarged power to our longing souls. May we daily learn more of His love, His grace, His tender compassion, His faithfulness, and His beauty. May we delight ourselves in Him with increased delight. Lead us to the cross, and show us in His wounds–the hateful character of sin. May we see our sins, as . . . 
  the nails which transfixed Him,
  the cords which bound Him,
  the sword which pierced Him,
  the thorns which tore Him,
  the taunts which stung Him. 

Help us to read in His cruel death, the reality and immensity of His love. 

Open to us the wondrous volumes of glorious truth in the cry, “It is finished!” 
Our atonement is forever achieved, 
our debt is fully paid, 
all our guilt is washed away,
all our sins most righteously forgiven,
our souls saved,
Hell vanquished,
the devil crushed,
Heaven won, and 
eternity of glory our rightful home!

Holy Spirit, deepen in us these saving lessons. 
Write them with Your finger on the tablets of our hearts. 

May our walk be . . .
  sin-loathing,
  sin-fleeing,
  Christ-loving,
  God-fearing!

Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil

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Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil

(Charles Spurgeon)

“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 

The Christian does not merely hold this truth as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet. 

The poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions, have worked the cure. 

The sharp cuts of the lancet, have cleansed out the infected flesh and facilitated the healing. 

In every event of your life, God has always worked out the most divinely blessed results.

Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil–the believer’s heart is comforted, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine! Send me what You will, my Father, so long as it comes from You!”

The crying evil of both the Church and of the world!

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The crying evil of both the Church and of the world! 

(Thomas Reade, “The Desire of More”) 

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 

“You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or covetous person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a covetous person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world.” Ephesians 5:5 

The love of money
 under every form, insinuates itself into every heart. 

A day is fast approaching when it will be clearly seen whether Christ or Mammon has swayed our affections. 

Covetousness
, in the language of Scripture, is the desire of having more. If we are habitually desirous of riches, for their own sake, we are, in the estimation of God, covetous people, idolaters, the servants of mammon. Our station may be exalted; our profession of religion may be outwardly strict, but still our destruction is sure. 

There are, perhaps, few sins which assume so plausible an appearance; and for which so many excuses are made as for that ofcovetousness. And hence it is that we have need to guard so much the citadel of the heart. 

Covetousness
, eating like a canker, upon the vitals of our religion–is the crying evil of both the Church and of the world! 

What advantage did Lot’s wife, Achan, Gehazi, Judas, and Ananias and Sapphira, gain by their desire for more? They reaped shame and death; and now stand as beacons in the Word of God to warn us against their soul-destroying sin! 

For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?” Luke 9:25 

As foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music!

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As foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music! 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes!” Romans 1:16 

To try to win a soul to Christ by keeping that soul in ignorance of any truth, is contrary to the mind of the Spirit. To endeavor to save men by mere claptrap, or entertainments, or excitements, or oratorical displays–is as foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music! 

The best attraction is the gospel in its purity. The weapon with which the Lord conquers men, is the truth as it is in Jesus. The gospel will be found equal to every emergency. The gospel is an arrow which can pierce the hardest heart–a balm which will heal the deadliest wound. Preach it, and preach nothing else. Rely implicitly upon the old, old gospel. 

You need no other nets when you fish for men; those your Master has given you are strong enough for the large fish, and have meshes fine enough to hold the little ones. 

Spread those nets and no others, and you need not fear the fulfillment of His Word, “I will make you fishers of men.”

The diamonds of Heaven!

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The diamonds of Heaven!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
 You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
 You have recorded each one in Your book.” Psalm 56:8

“Behold, he is praying!” Acts 9:11 

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray, the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. Oftentimes a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears; yet that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has been caught by God and treasured in the lachrymatory of Heaven. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.” This implies that they are caught as they flow! 

The suppliant, who groans out his words, will be well understood by the Most High God. He may only look up with misty eye; but prayer is the falling of a tear! Tears are the diamonds of Heaven! Sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court, and are numbered with the most sublime strains which reach the majesty on high!

Do not think that your prayers, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Our God not only hears prayers, but also loves to hear them. “He does not forget the cry of the humble.” 

True, He does not regard proud looks and lofty words. 
He no concern for the pomp and pageantry of kings. 
He does not listen not to the swell of martial music. 
He does not regard the triumph and pride of man. 

But wherever there is a contrite heart full with sorrow, or a lip quivering with agony, or a deep groan, or a penitential sigh葉he heart of Jehovah is open! He marks that prayer down in the registry of His memory! He puts our prayers, like rose leaves傭etween the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last there shall be a precious fragrance springing up therefrom!

When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it

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When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it

(Charles Spurgeon)

“The LORD said:
  I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt.
  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers,
  and I am concerned about their suffering.
  So I have come down to rescue them . . .” Exodus 3:7, 8

Perhaps no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light, than when He is spoken of as stooping from His throne and coming down from Heaven to attend to the wants and woes of His redeemed people. 

How can we but love Him, when we know that He . . .
  numbers the very hairs of our heads,
  marks all our paths, and
  orders all our ways?

When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it
, for . . .
“You keep track of all my sorrows.
 You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
 You have recorded each one in Your book.” Psalm 56:8 

Your sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah, 
your whisper can incline His ear unto you, 
your prayer can stay His hand, 
your faith can move His arm!

Do not think that God sits on high taking no account of you. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him.

There is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life!

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There is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life!

(Charles Spurgeon

“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age!” Matthew 28:20 

It is well that there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us. It is well that there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life. O my soul, do not set your affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures–but set your heart upon Him who abides forever faithful to you. Do not build your house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world–but found your hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure!

My soul, I charge you–lay up your treasure in the only secure cabinet; store your jewels where you can never lose them. Put your all in Christ; set . . .
  all your affections on His person,
  all your hope in His merit,
  all your trust in His efficacious blood,
  all your joy in His presence,
and so you may laugh at loss and defy difficulties. 

Remember that all the flowers in the world’s garden wither and die–and the day is coming when nothing will be left but the black, cold earth. Death’s black extinguisher must soon put out your candle. Oh! how sweet to have sunlight–when the candle is gone! The dark flood must soon roll between you and all you have! 

So wed your heart to Him who will never leave you. Trust yourself with Him who will go with you through the black and surging current of death’s stream, and who will land you safely on the celestial shore, and make you sit with Him in heavenly places forever! 

Go, sorrowing son of affliction–tell your secret troubles to the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Trust all your concerns with Him . . .
  who never can be taken from you,
  who will never leave you, and
  who will never let you leave Him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” 

“I am with you always,” is enough for my soul to live upon–though all others forsake me!

Praise The Lord!

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Psalm 150:6 (ESV) 

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Tiger

Job 12:7-10 (ESV) 

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

 Description…

This is another photo taken on our day trip to Chessington world of adventures a few years ago. The crazy thing is…I had no idea that this Tiger(or any of the creatures in my recent posts) were looking at me until i returned home and zoomed in on the photos whilst viewing them on my iMac, lol! 😀 

I hope this beautiful Tiger puts another smile on your face,? 😀 

 

🎶 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all. 🎶

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” 20 Years Of Sight-loss!

Me playing my Taylor K22ce at church and in front of a cross on the wall

Hi friends. As it is 20 years to the day since i went blind…I thought i’d share one of my older posts(yet updated) from 4 years ago when i was asked to share a little of what i went through when i lost my sight at 24.

I really hope that you’ll have the time to read it, and that it blesses you in some small way?! 

Here Goes…

I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in the parade service. The theme was ‘Faith through Adversity’, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)” “Yeah, ok, if you think it will help?”.

Sunday 8th May 2016…

Walking into the church building Sunday morning, it was quite full, as it was parade service, the scouts and other uniformed groups were there, but Nik found us seats at the front, then showed me up the steps and where i’d stand to speak, after testing the microphone i remembered the steps and sat back down. 

As i’m blind, i can’t use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i’d not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i’d use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i’m not ashamed of the Gospel, it’s the power of God unto Salvation to all who believe…please make it real(be careful praying this, lol).

It;s time…

Steve, we are looking at people who have showed faith in difficult circumstances and I have asked you to share some of your story with us.

Many people here, even those who have seen you around at various church events may not know that you are blind.

My Testimony…

Nik stood next to me at the microphone and started with the first 2 questions:

Have you always been blind? How and when did you loose your sight?

I explained i’d been fully sighted until i was 24, and after 2 brain haemorrhages(March – July 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said “I can only scratch the surface this morning, but if ever you see me walking around here or in town, please ask me anything. But now i’ll try and sketch you a quick picture and give you a flavour of what happened…”

“I went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy.  I wasn’t a Christian, i hadn’t been born again, or even been inside a church building…so…As i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i’d be blind for the rest of my life, it was out of character but i collapsed on the floor sobbingg my eyes out. And as my crying out got a little too loud they pulled me into a small empty room….And this was the easy bit”.

“Following this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car and ability to do anything…i lost everything, i was completely broken, and on top of that i was left to my acusing thoughts “Nobody wants you, you’re useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!”

Suddenly, as i was telling my story…

My mouth was silenced, an image of Jesus in Glory(Revelation 1) filled my mind, it was so clear(not blurred by my blindness) I could see His flaming eyes of judgment…then…the image changed, it was Jesus on the cross, now His eyes were filled with Mercy, Compassion & Grace, and while looking down straight at me he said “I did this for you, so that you can live. I…LOVE…YOU!!!

I started sobbing uncontrollably, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone. But these tears were different!

I already knew He’d given His life so i could live. He’d come down so far to save me it is immeasurable. His blood washed me clean, white as snow. He’s forgiven me all my sins, past, present and future, and there is no more condemnation for me, it is finished!

I’d been  praying for so long for God to “Break my heart for what broke His” and sang the songs many times, but rarely had i caught a glimpse of the true cost of His Love, and His free gift of Grace to those who Repent and Believe in Him. I knew He wanted me to share the True Gospel to people listening(and now reading), as it alone is the only Hope. It is the Power of God unto Salvation for anyone that believes.

Still sobbing, i continued…

My every word was a different pitch but i said “My pit was so dark, my accusing thoughts were too heavy, and this led to a daily cycle of waking up and trying to kill myself…failing, which made me feel worse…then drinking so much i could drown them out for the rest of the day, until i woke the next day, then it started again. 

I didn’t have the strength to kill myself, and i didn’t have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who’s hand was rested on my shoulder asked question 4 “I know you were deeply unhappy at the time, what changed that?”

The world followed it’s pattern and sent me to Counselling, then Psychotherapy & finally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, they didn’t work, they all had no answer for me, they couldn’t reach far enough down to pull me out. I needed a Saviour, I needed the light of the Gospel! 

The Good News & Lovely Sarah

Meeting Sarah changed my life! I have no idea how she’s put up with me. She’s  been so patient and long suffering as i tried attacking her Faith and this Jesus! But she kept on loving me. Sarah always seemed to have a rock to stand on no matter how bad things got for her, and i was being dragged deeper into the sinking sand. She always had this Blessed Hope that i didn’t,

Jesus worked through Sarah to shine the light of the Gospel, the Good News i was dying for. 

Words failed me as i was trying to describe how much i love Sarah, so when my mind filled with thoughts of how far we’ve grown together in love…i broke down again. 

The sobbing was still making me pause every few words, but mentioned Jesus doesn’t want to see anyone perish, but he pursues you, He has come to seek and save that which is lost. He loves you and no matter how bad or hopeless you think you are, He’ll keep coming with His free gift of Salvation!

Nik asked Question 5 “some people would say that your life must be worse now, would you agree with them?”

I’d gone way over my time slot, and i was almost pulled away from the mic as i was so overwhelmed…BUT i knew these tears were not about me, or my losses. I had 1 focus and that was to share the Truth that sets us free. I had no feeling of sorrow or pain. I knew it must have seemed like this to the congregation, and i thought they’d stick me in a counselling room when i’d finished!

The Holy Spirit was filling me like never before, and made the Power of the Gospel so real to me i almost exploded.

I continued “I wouldn’t agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I’d lead them to 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 where it talks about living by Faith, not by Sight, and now that we are born again in the Spirit, we should walk by the Spirit. Not living for things that are seen which are temporary(like my sight loss), but living for the unseen which is Eternal”

“I used to hate this song, but now i’d play it every service if i could…have you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you’ll normally hear me singing or humming these words:”

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. My chains are gone I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace”.

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” This is one of my fave sayings. 😀 

Nik then walked me back to my seat next to Sarah. The church was completely silent, it had been silent since i first started sobbing. I could feel Sarah was upset as she didn’t react for a while, then she said “People kept on running up and passing me tissues”. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said “You’re not borrowing him again to speak”. 

After the service people came over and said they really connected with the things i said, although i think everyone thinks i’m back in dark depression again, lol.

He showed me the reality and Power of transformation in His Gospel, and how vital it is to share it, as Jesus is the  Way, the Truth and the Life and no-one gets to  the Father but by Him. He’s the forgiver of Sins, breaker of chains, and the only Salvation for Eternal Life in Heaven.

John 3:14-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

I felt i needed to share this post to try and explain a little more of what was happening to me, and maybe reach out to someone who is struggling with the creeping death called Depression,or who is just simply lost and without God, and without Hope.

Related Post: My Full Testimony 

You Guide Me

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Psalm 73:23-26 (ESV)

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength[a] of my heart and my portion forever.

We are tossed upon an ocean of troubles, fears and temptations!

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We are tossed upon an ocean of troubles, fears and temptations!

(John Flavel)

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” John 16:33 

The way to Heaven lies through much tribulation. All our troubles are not over when we are saved by Christ; nay, then commonly our greatest sorrows begin! Nor are we to expect freedom from our troubles, until harbored in Heaven.

This winter weather shall be useful to destroy those noxious weeds, which the summer of prosperity bred. By wintry trials, God will mortify and purge our corruptions!

At present we are tossed upon an ocean of troubles, fears and temptations–but these will make Heaven all the sweeter. Cheer up, then, O my soul, your salvation is now nearer than when you first believed! Yet a few more days, and then comes that blessed day you have so long waited and panted for!

God will shortly put a blessed end to all of your soul troubles, cares and watchings. The time is coming, when your heart shall be as you would have it, when you shall be discharged of all these cares, fears and sorrows, and never more cry out: “O my hard, my proud, my vain, my earthly heart!”

The time is coming, when all vanity shall be purged perfectly out of your thoughts–and they will be everlastingly, ravishingly, and delightfully entertained and exercised upon that supreme goodness and infinite excellency of God!
 
“Then the King will say to those on His right: Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world!” Matthew 25:34

The one indispensable book!

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The one indispensable book!

(Daniel March, 1870)

The Bible is the oldest–and the newest of books.

The Bible surveys the whole field of time–and it looks farthest into the infinite depths of eternity

The Bible lends the most vivid and absorbing interest to the scenes and events of the past–and it keeps us in the most active sympathy with the time in which we live. 

The Bible gives us the most reliable record of what has been–and it affords us our only means of knowing what is yet to be. 

The Bible is holy enough to denounce the very shadow and semblance of sin–and it is merciful enough to save the chief of sinners. 

The Bible is full of God–and must therefore be read with a pure heart, or its true glory will not be seen. 
The Bible is full of man–and must therefore always be interesting and instructive to all who would know themselves.

The Bible is the plainest of books–and yet it has depths of wisdom which no created mind can fathom. 

The Bible is set up as a beacon to show all wanderers the safe way–and yet its light shines forth from thick clouds of mystery, and from abysses of infinite darkness. 

The Bible describes all conditions of life–and it gives utterance to all desires and emotions of the soul. 

The Bible has a song of triumph for the overcomer–and a wail of defeat for the overcome

The Bible . . .
  sparkles with the fervor and gladness of youth,
  celebrates the strength and glory of manhood,
  bewails the sorrows and infirmities of old age

The Bible . . .
  exults in the mighty deeds of kings and conquerors, 
  sympathizes with the poor and lowly, 
  lifts up the fallen, 
  delivers the oppressed, and 
  breathes the blessing of peace upon the quiet homes of domestic life. 

The Bible describes with startling clearness . . .
  the seductions of temptation,
  the conflicts of doubt and
  the miseries of skepticism

The Bible . . .
  searches the secret chambers of the heart
  brings to light its purest love and its darkest hate, 
  reveals its highest joy and its deepest grief. 

The Bible compasses the utmost range of thought and feeling and desire–and it sounds the utmost depth of motive and characterand passion.

Thus in the Bible, 
  God and man,
  earth and heaven,
  time and eternity–
speak with one voice and teach the same truth. 

The Bible sets forth the most spiritual and heavenly truths–in the lights and shadows of earthly scenes and human characters. 

Thus the Bible is the one indispensable book . . .
  for all ages–and all nations,
  for all classes of men–and all states of society,
  for all capacities of intellect–and all necessities of the soul!

You must be born again!

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You must be born again!

(Don Fortner)

“You must be born again!” John 3:7

In order for God to save a sinner two things must be done: 
God must do something FOR you, and God must do something IN you.

  Redemption is the work of God FOR sinners. 

  Regeneration is the work of God IN sinners. 

Both are the works of God. Man has nothing more to do with regeneration, than he has to do with redemption.

“You must be born again” because by nature we are fallen, sinful, depraved children of human flesh. All flesh is defiled. All flesh is corrupt. All flesh is sinful. All flesh is condemned. All flesh must die. Unless we are born of the Spirit, we will die in our sins, and our flesh  shall be justly damned.

“You must be born again!” 
You can reform your life without the new birth. 
You can be baptized without the new birth. 
You can join the church, be zealous in religion, teach a Bible class, serve as a deacon or elder; you can even preach with great success without being born again. 

“You must be born again” for without the new birth . . .
  you will never enter the kingdom of God, 
  you will never be a part of the family of God, 
  you will never have eternal life, 
  you will never be admitted into the presence of God’s glory in the bliss of Heaven. 
Only new creatures will enter the New Jerusalem. 
Only holy men will walk into the Holy City. 
Only Heaven born citizens will possess the bliss of Heaven.

To be born again is to be made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). 
In the new birth, God the Holy Spirit gives chosen, redeemed sinners . . .
  a new heart to love God,
  a new will to bow to the rule of Christ,
  a new mind to understand the things of God,
  a new spiritual nature to know, enjoy, and live upon spiritual things,
  new eyes, eyes of faith, with which to see Christ,
  new ears with which to hear His voice,
  new hands, hands of faith, with which to lay hold of Christ and do His will,
  new feet, with which to flee to Christ and walk with Him in the newness of life.

John 3:3, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again!” 

We need the teaching of the Great Expositor!

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We need the teaching of the Great Expositor!

(“Every Day!” Author unknown, 1872)

“Lead me in Your truth–and teach me!” Psalm 25:5

What a mercy it is, in the midst of prevailing errors, to possess the truth of God–the sure word of His testimony–the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. May we read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the truth–that we may find it profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness. 

Too frequently the Word of God is read with little profit, because it is read with little prayer. We need Divine illumination! We need the teaching of the Great Expositor, in order rightly to understand the Word of God, and to receive it in the love of it. 

May the prayer of the psalmist be my prayer: “Lead me in Your truth–and teach me!” 

Lead me into the knowledge and experience of it–let it dwell in my heart, and influence my life. 

Lead me into the enjoyment of it–may I find Your Word, and eat it; may it be sweet to my taste, yes, sweeter than honey–than honey from the comb. 

And lead me into the practice of it–may my ways be directed to keep Your statutes, and may I be a living epistle, read and known by all men.

May Your Word come to me with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction!

“When He, the Spirit of truth, comes–He will guide you into all truth.” John 16:13 

Here we see what is in every human heart by nature!

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Here we see what is in every human heart by nature!

(Don Fortner)

“What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. 
They shouted back, “Crucify Him!” Matthew 27:22 

Oh, what a revelation of man the cross is! 
Man hating God, and hating Him most when God displayed His love most fully. 
Man acting like the devil, taking Satan’s side against God! 

Yes, the cross was a public declaration of man’s hatred for God and His Son. 

The cross is proud man spitting in God’s face and saying, “I am holy. I need no Savior. To Hell with God and His Son!” 

Our Savior asked, “What do you think you of Christ?” 
Man’s answer was, “Crucify Him!” 

Man’s heart, his hands, his tongue all combine to scream out hatred for God and His Son. 

Calvary’s hill displays man’s utter hatred for God!

How deep, bitter, universal, and vile is the hatred of the human heart for God! Oh, how fallen man hates God! 

The arrest, the scourging, the mockery, the spitting, the smiting, the cries, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”, the wagging the heads, the cruel nails, the thieves’ railing–everything was but the outpouring of man’s utter hatred for God

Here we see what is in every human heart by nature!

Man declared his heart, in the crucifixion of God’s darling Son.

God seems to have said, “Vent the feelings of your heart.” And he did, taking God by the throat, as it were, man snatched the only begotten Son from His Father’s heart and crucified Him with hellish delight.

Reckoning the death of the cross the worst of all deaths, man said, “This is the best way to show my contempt for God. This is exactly what I think of the Son of God!” Thus, the enmity of the natural heart speaks out, and man not only confesses publicly that he is a hater of God, but he takes pains to show the intensity of his hatred. 

The cross interprets what is in man’s heart. 

The cross rips the mask of pretended religion off of the face of our race. 

The cross of Christ exhibits man’s heart as a cesspool overflowing with the malignity of Hell. 

O for a spirit of habitual prayer!

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O for a spirit of habitual prayer!

(James Smith, “The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion” 1859)

“But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress–and He hears my voice!” Psalm 55:16-17 

The well taught Christian carries everything to God–and in so doing, obtains relief, enjoys peace, and grows in grace. 
For all that we need–we should call upon God. 
And from all that we fear–we should flee unto God. 

At the close of every day, it is our mercy to call upon the Lord.
We must make confession of sin–and obtain pardon. 
We must carry to Him our burdens–and obtain relief. 
We must tell out before Him our needs–and obtain a supply.

Oh, how precious it is to go to the Lord at the close of each day, and tell Him all that has . . .
  vexed us,
  grieved us,
  cast us down, or
  disquieted our spirits! 

And how blessed to go to him each morning, and seek grace to live holily and happily through the day! 

Nor is it less blessed to have a few minutes with God at noon–breaking, as it were, the day in two, and keeping short accounts with God. 

O for a spirit of habitual prayer
, that at evening, and at morning, and at noon–we may pray, and cry aloud to God! 

If we were more with the Lord in prayer, we would have . . .
  more strength to carry our crosses,
  more patience to bear our troubles,
  and more comfort amidst life’s sorrows. 

Holy Spirit, take up your residence in my heart as a Spirit of prayer, and lead me daily, hourly, yes, very often–to the mercy-seat. Let me find the hours of prayer to be precious seasons. And especially at eventide, when worn and exhausted with the toils and troubles of the day–let me find sweet solace and refreshment in pouring out my soul unto God. 

Precious Lord Jesus, draw our souls to You evening by evening, and lead us into the presence of Your Father, that we may have sweet and hallowed fellowship with God! Let our devotions ascend as sweet incense to God.


Nothing is more helpful and practical in Christian living!

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Nothing is more helpful and practical in Christian living!

(J.R. Miller)

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 

The habit of treasuring up a text of Scripture in the morning, to be meditated upon while engaged in the business of the world through the day–is both profitable and delightful. It is as a refreshing spring to a weary traveler!

Nothing is more helpful and practical in Christian living, than the habit of getting a verse of Scripture into the mind and heart in the morning. Its influence stays through the day, weaving itself into all the day’s thoughts and words and experiences.

Every verse in the Bible is meant to help us to live–and a good devotional book opens up the precious teachings which are folded up in its words.

A devotional book, which takes a Scripture text, and so opens it for us in the morning–that all day long it helps us to live, becoming a true lamp to our feet, and a staff to lean upon when the way is rough–is the very best devotional help we can possibly have. What we need in a devotional book which will bless our lives–is the application of the great teachings of Scripture–to common, daily, practical life!

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night!” Psalm 1:1-2

The one unfailing source of help and comfort!

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The one unfailing source of help and comfort!

(Francis Bourdillon, “Come unto Me!” 1864)

Come unto Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!” Matthew 11:28 

Jesus invites all who labor and are heavy laden, to come unto Him. Not sufferers of one kind only–but all sufferers. Not those alone who feel the weight of this particular burden or that–but all the heavy laden. 

The poor and needy, 
the weak and sickly, 
the toiling father, 
the anxious mother,
he who feels the weight of his sins, 
he whose conscience testifies against him, 
he who finds no comfort in this world, and yet fears that he is not prepared for the next
–all are invited to come to Jesus!

Their cases are widely different, the burdens that press upon them are by no means alike–yet all are invited to one Helper and Comforter, “Come unto Me!” He does not bid one sufferer go for comfort to this source–and another to that. He invites all to Himself–as the one unfailing source of help and comfort! 

“Come unto Me!” We do not deserve to be thus invited. Many are suffering the consequences of their own sins–and all of us are sinners. If we met with only what we deserve–then He might justly say to us, “Go away from Me!” Instead of this, Jesus bids us come to Him. Whatever we may have been–however thoughtless, however ungrateful, however wicked–yet if we are now in need or trouble, that is enough. He bids us come to Him.

We are not to stop and think about our own unworthiness. He says nothing here about that. He only says, “Come unto Me.” That is what He invites us to do–that is what we are to do, and we are to do it at once!

‘Tom Thumbs’ in grace!

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‘Tom Thumbs’ in grace!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden” 1883) 

“Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” Hebrews 5:12 

“An infant, if he should continue an infant always, would be a monster!”


However pleased the parents had been with the little one when it was a babe, they would soon be deeply distressed if year after year it still remained a tiny thing. Indeed, they would consider it a great calamity to be the parents of a dwarf.

What, then, shall we say of those professors who never grow? They are no more holy after fifty years! They are infants at sixty years of age!

I have in my house, pictures of my twin sons, taken on their birthdays for twenty-one years. They begin in the cradle, and end as full-grown young men.

But, alas, I have spiritual children whom I wheeled about in the stroller twenty years ago–and they are babies still, needing as much care as ever, and are not able to walk alone! Ah me, that so many who ought to be warriors, are weaklings; that those who should be men of six feet tall, are so stunted as to be mere ‘Tom Thumbs’ in grace!

O for grace to grow in grace, and especially in the knowledge of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God save us from a life which does not grow, and from a growth which is not healthy!

“For this very reason, make every effort to add . . .
  to your faith, goodness;
  and to goodness, knowledge;
  and to knowledge, self-control;
  and to self-control, perseverance;
  and to perseverance, godliness.” 2 Peter 1:5-6 

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation!” 1 Peter 2:2 

Your daughter is dead!

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Your daughter is dead!

(J.C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Luke” 1858)

“While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. ‘Your daughter is dead!‘ he said.” Luke 8:49 

Let us notice in this verse–how universal is the dominion which death holds over mankind. We see death coming to a rich man’s house, and tearing from him the desire of his eyes with a stroke! 

Such tidings as these, are the bitterest cups which we have to drink in this world. Nothing cuts so deeply into man’s heart–as to part with beloved ones, and lay them in the grave. Few griefs are so crushing and heavy–as the grief of a parent over the death of an only child.

Death is indeed a cruel enemy! He makes no distinction in his attacks. He comes to the rich man’s mansion–as well as to the poor man’s cottage. He does not spare the young, the strong, and the beautiful–any more than the old, the infirm, and the grey-haired. Not all the gold of Australia, nor all the skill of doctors–can keep the hand of death from our bodies, in the day of his power. When the appointed hour comes, and God permits him to smite–then our worldly schemes must be broken off, and our darlings must be taken away and buried out of our sight.

These thoughts are melancholy, and few like to hear of them. The subject of death is one that men shut their eyes at, and refuse to look at. “All men think all men mortal, but themselves!” But why should we treat this great reality in this way? Why should we not rather look the subject of death in the face, in order that when our turn comes–we may be prepared to die? 

Death will come to our houses, whether we like it or not. Death will take each of us away–despite our dislike to hearing about it. Surely it is the part of a wise man to get ready for this great change. 

Why should we not be ready? There is one who can deliver us from the fear of death. Christ has overcome death, and “brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” He who believes on Him, has everlasting life. Though he dies–yet shall he live.

Let us believe in the Lord Jesus–and then death will lose his sting. We shall then be able to say with Paul, “To me, to die is gain!”Philippians 1:21

Fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety!

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Fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety!

(J.R. Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)

“Whoever humbles himself like this child, is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:4 

It is very sweet just to nestle down in the bosom of Christ–to be as a little child with Him. Those who come otherwise do not get near to Him–but the child-like always find a close place in His heart. So the more like children we can be in our trust and in the simplicity of our faith, in humbleness of disposition, in willingness to do His will and to learn of Him–the nearer to Him shall we get, and the more shall we enjoy of His love. 

Some years ago, as I was passing along one of our streets one afternoon, I heard a fluttering of birds over my head and, looking up, saw a little bird flying wildly about in circles, chased by a hawk! The bird flew down lower and lower, and then darted into my bosom, under my coat. I cannot quite express to you, the feeling which filled my heart at that moment–that a little bird, chased by an enemy, had come to me for refuge, trusting me in time of danger. I laid my hand over the bird, which nestled as quietly and confidently under my coat, as a baby would in a mother’s bosom. I carried the little thing along for several blocks until I thought the way was clear of danger, and then let it out. It flew away into the air again, but showed no fear of me. Ever since that experience, I have understood better what it is to fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety in time of danger, or in time of distress. 

All this helps me to understand better what it means to Jesus when we, hunted and chased by enemies, or suffering from weakness or pain–fly to Him and hide ourselves in His love.

That is all we need to do–just to creep into the bosom of Christ, and lie down there, with no fear, no anxiety, but with simple trust.

The lines of Wesley’s old hymn have meant more to me ever since:

“Jesus, lover of my soul,
 Let me to Thy bosom fly,
 While the nearer waters roll,
 While the tempest still is high.

 Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
 Till the storm of life is past;
 Safe into the haven guide;
 Oh, receive my soul at last.

 Other refuge have I none,
 Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
 Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
 Still support and comfort me.

 All my trust on Thee is stayed,
 All my help from Thee I bring;
 Cover my defenseless head
 With the shadow of Thy wing.”

I Will Make Darkness Light

Isaiah 42:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them.

He flatters himself in his own eyes

Psalm 36:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, When he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; He sets himself in a way that is not good; He does not abhor evil.

You Have Kept Me Alive

Psalm 30:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

Are You Hungry?

Are you hungry?

from Spurgeon’s sermon, “BREAD FOR THE HUNGRY”

We should come to hear the Word, like baby birds in the nest— when the mother-bird comes with the worm, they are all stretching their necks to see which one shall get the food, for they are all hungry and want it.

And so should hearers be ready to get hold of the Word, not wanting that we should force it down their throats, but waiting there, opening their mouths wide that they may be filled, receiving the Word in the love of it, taking in the Word as the thirsty earth drinks in the rain of heaven.

Hungry souls love the Word.

Perhaps the ‘speaker’ may not always put it as they may like to hear it, but as long as it is God’s Word, it is enough for them.

They are like people who are sitting at the reading of a will— the lawyer may have a squeaking voice, perhaps, or he mispronounces the words, but what does that matter? They are listening to see what is left to them.

So is it with God’s people. It is not the preacher, but the ‘preacher’s God’ that these hungry ones look to.

Why, if you were very poor, and some benevolent neighbor should send you a loaf of bread by a man who had a club foot, you would not look at the foot, you would look at the bread.

And so is it with the hearers of the Word– they know if they wait until they get a perfect preacher, they will get no preacher at all, but they are willing to take the man, imperfections and all, provided he brings the Master’s bread.

And though he be but a lad, and can bring but a few barley loaves and fishes, yet since the Master multiplies the provision, there is enough for all, and they feed to the full. 

Monsters Of Cruelty!

Monsters of cruelty!

(“Solitude Sweetened” by James Meikle, 1730-1799)

Now that I am a father, and know the affection of a parent–would I not defend from every danger–would I not bestow every truly good thing–would I not implore every blessing–on my tender children? Would I not nourish their infant state–correct and educate their childhood–inspect, reprove, and admonish them in youth? Would I allow the dear little creatures–to play with sharp pointed knives–to frolic on the brink of a rapid torrent–or dance around a pit’s mouth? Would I permit them to eat deadly berries–or to put a cup of poison to their tender lips? However indulgent, would I allow them to disobey my commands? And if they labored under any disease which threatened their precious life, what pains or expenses would I spare to procure them relief? If assured that a physician lived somewhere, who could heal them without fail–would I not send to the uttermost corner of the land? would I not travel to the ends of earth?

But, hear me, O parents! If our concern for our children ends only with their bodies–we are monsters of cruelty! Would we pluck them from fire and water–and yet permit them to plunge into the fire of hell, and lie under the billows of Jehovah’s wrath? Will we snatch from them sword, pistol or knife–and allow them to wound themselves to the very soul, with sin? Will we chastise their disobedience to us–and wink at their spitting in the very face of God, by open acts of sin? Are we fond to have them educated and well-bred–and yet let them live in the neglect of prayer, which is the highest disrespect that can be put on the Author of our being?

In a word, is this the sum of our kindness, is this the height of our concern for our dear children–to see them happy in time, flourishing in the affairs of this life–though they end up being miserable beyond description through eternity itself? Will their bodily pain excite our sympathy, and will we do all in our power to have their diseases healed–and yet have no concern that their souls pine under sin, and they suffer all the pangs of hell? Will we not bring them in our prayers, to the Physician of souls, to the Savior of sinners?

I have but one request for all of my children, and that is–that they may fear and serve God here–and enjoy him forever! No matter though they sweat for their daily bread–only let them feed on the hidden manna! Let them toil and spin for their apparel–but let them be covered in Christ’s righteousness! How would I count my house renowned, and my family ennobled, if there sprang from it–not wealthy princes or kings, (let potsherds of the earth strive for such earthly vanities)–but pillars for the temple of God in glory–who shall dwell in the presence of the King of kings–when time is no more!

Daily Prompt: Uncanned Laughter

The Daily Prompt

Tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.

Yesterday at the church morning meeting during Holy Communion, Sarah and i were the last to receive the bread plate (Sarah usually reaches and passes me a piece as i can’t really see the plate etc) It is sometimes cut into nice little squares but this time it was a loaf of bread. Then……to my surprise Sarah dumped a massive chunk of bread into my hand (the biggest communion bread i’ve ever had!) This made me start laughing, and as the chuch was silent and somber i quickly switched my laugh into a smile.

I then started thinking how i was participating in an outward sign of an inward grace freely given from God through Jesus. It is an act celebrating Jesus’ gift of new life through his death and his resurrection. It is a celebration of the coming of the new creation first witnessed in and through Jesus. And if this is also a celebration of the FREE gift of new life, then why is everyone so somber? We seem to be so good at focusing on his death, and not so good at focusing on His amazing act of love that gives new life to anyone who chooses it.

Then my thoughts went to what Jesus Did, and continues to do 24/7 as he loves me (and you) that much! This always completely blows my mind as i really am not that special in my eyes, yet he created us and loves and values us more than we can comprehend!! 🙂

Quote from Rev. Edward F. Markquart

Jesus is the source of life, the source of eternal life, the source of the values of our daily lives, the source of love for our daily lives. The basic food staple of the world is bread and Jesus is the basic spiritual staple of the world.

Jesus is never just bread. Jesus is always the bread OF LIFE. Jesus is always the LIVING bread. As we consume bread, it gives us nourishment and energy for our physical lives. As we consume Jesus into our lives, he is the nourishment and energy for our spiritual, emotional and moral lives.

Is Holy Communion a joyful or somber celebration for you? Can it be both?

See more of my Daily Prompts

A know-It-All Attitude

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Holy Spirit, bring familiar passages from Your living Word to mind. By Your power, make them living and active in my soul! Oh Lord, break me of any know-it-all attitude, so that I can experience You in fresh and new ways today, Amen.

Be Joyful & Do Good

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Ecclesiastes 3:9-15 The Voice

What good comes to anyone who works so hard, all to gain a few possessions? I have seen the kinds of tasks God has given each of us to do to keep one busy, and I know God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity; we look back on the past and ponder over the future, yet we cannot understand the doings of God. I know there is nothing better for us than to be joyful and to do good throughout our lives; to eat and drink and see the good in all of our hard work is a gift from God. I know everything God does endures for all time. Nothing can be added to it; nothing can be taken away from it. We humans can only stand in awe of all God has done. What has been and what is to be—already is. And God holds accountable all the pursuits of humanity.

The contrast between God and humanity could not be starker. The teacher drives this point home by reminding his reader that human lives and earthly accomplishments are fleeting. Nothing tangible is permanent. No work lasts. It all slips away and vanishes into thin air. Compare that to God. Everything God does is substantial. Everything God accomplishes lasts forever. Every word God speaks makes a difference. And so, God places within every person a sense of eternity to know yet not understand Him. This world with all its goodness and beauty is not as good as it gets. There is more, so much more, and we are made for that reality too. But not now, not yet.

Overflowing With Hope

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“The Samaritan woman grasped what He said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She has come with a bucket. He sent her back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God Himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them.”

Ravi Zacharias

A Fresh New You

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Colossians 3:5-10 The Voice

So kill your earthly impulses: loose sex, impure actions, unbridled sensuality, wicked thoughts, and greed (which is essentially idolatry). It’s because of these that God’s wrath is coming [upon the sons and daughters of disobedience], so avoid them at all costs. These are the same things you once pursued, and together you spawned a life of evil. But now make sure you shed such things: anger, rage, spite, slander, and abusive language. And don’t go on lying to each other since you have sloughed away your old skin along with its evil practices for a fresh new you, which is continually renewed in knowledge according to the image of the One who created you.

I Am Your Servant

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Father, I fall on my face before You in worship this morning. Please forgive me for those times I’ve treated You as though You were my servant, somehow expected to meet my demands. I am Your servant, Lord, and I humbly bow before You today. Amen.

The Way You Should Live

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Ephesians 4:17-32 Easy-to-Read Version

The Way You Should Live

17 I have something from the Lord to tell you. I warn you: Don’t continue living like those who don’t believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. 18 They have no understanding, and they know nothing because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. 19 They have lost their feeling of shame and use their lives to do what is morally wrong. More and more they want to do all kinds of evil. 20 But that way of life is nothing like what you learned when you came to know Christ. 21 I know that you heard about him, and in him you were taught the truth. Yes, the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to leave your old self. This means that you must stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self gets worse and worse, because people are fooled by the evil they want to do. 23 You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. 24 Be that new person who was made to be like God, truly good and pleasing to him.

25 So you must stop telling lies. “You must always speak the truth to each other,”[a] because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 “When you are angry, don’t let that anger make you sin,”[b] and don’t stay angry all day. 27 Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you. 28 Whoever has been stealing must stop it and start working. They must use their hands for doing something good. Then they will have something to share with those who are poor.

29 When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you. 30 And don’t make the Holy Spirit sad. God gave you his Spirit as proof that you belong to him and that he will keep you safe until the day he makes you free. 31 Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. 32 Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.


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