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Posts tagged ‘Not own will’

To follow Christ

Matthew 16:24 (TS2009)
24 Then יהושע said to His taught ones, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow Me.

AND FOLLOW ME:

“Of the three things enjoined, the last is a vital thing: to follow. The other two are utterly essential because through the essential you achieve that which is vital. The reason is this. You can approve, and not follow. You can applaud and not follow. You can understand and preach, without following. You can defend the Truth pugnaciously, without following. You can tire yourself out on busy works – without following.. The central thing is the denial of self. It is utterly radical. Denial of self is the inward thing. Taking up the cross daily is the external manifestation of the inward condition. To talk of it is not to realize it. To write about it is not to achieve it. The use of the word ‘daily’ emphasizes that it is not just a theory but something that is real and practical; facing squarely every new circumstance; confronting bravely every impediment; grasping joyfully every new opportunity. In practice it means giving unhindered access to the Master into every chamber and esp into every dark corner. To think of that possibility might make us feel ashamed but at the same time it may do us good” (GD).

“The sentiment that Christ’s righteousness alone is to be the basis of our acceptance, is one of the countless and pernicious corruptions of clerical theology. It doubtless originated in the misapplication of a certain element of apostolic truth, namely that which informs us that all are under sin, and that our salvation is not of works; but through the righteousness of faith that is in Christ. Men have long ceased to perceive that this principle applies only to unjustified sinners, and not to those who have been placed in a justified or forgiven position, through the obedience of faith. Christ is righteousness for sinners in this sense, that God offers to forgive them for Christ’s sake, and to grant them a coheirship with Christ, of what Christ, as a manifestation of God, has achieved for himself. But when sinners become saints, they come into relation to a new principle. They are responsible to him as servants to a master, and he will judge them according to their works” (SC 164).

“The cross is the symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of the human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down the road had already said goodbye to his friends. He was not coming back. He was not going out to have his life redirected. He was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, spared nothing. It slew all of the man completely and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with its victim. it struck swift and hard and when it had finished its work the man was no more. That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of man is false to the Bible and cruel to the soul of the hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world. It intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our life up on to a higher plane. We leave it at a cross. The grain of wheat must fall into the ground and die. That is the beginning of the gospel” (AWT).

“To give my life for Christ appears glorious. To pour myself out for others.. to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom – ‘I’ll do it. I’m ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory.’

“We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking a $1,000 bill and laying it on the table – ‘Here’s my life, Lord. I’m giving it all.’ But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $1,000 for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid’s troubles instead of saying, ‘Get lost.’ Go to a committee meeting. Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home.

“Usually giving our life to Christ isn’t glorious. It’s done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it’s harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul” (F Craddock).

I think it wouldn’t be going too far to say that there IS a discernible reason for every commandment which we are given.. and that that reason leads, without too much delay or detour, right back to the Atonement.

Christ’s sacrifice is not just about blood, and sweat, and tears.. and it is not just about the cross on that dreadful, but wonderful, day.

It is – and we all know this! – about the life he lived every day, every hour, before he arrived, finally, at that cross. Because it was his own unique life, built up day by day, with the building blocks of a thousand moments of ten thousand days, that made his cross meaningful.

Thousands of Jewish men died on thousands of Roman crosses across the length and breadth of Israel. But only one man died a sacrificial, atoning death on a cross. Because he was the perfect sacrifice, without spot or blemish.

So Christ’s sacrifice is really about a life of many choices, each one in one way or another a choice to deny himself, and his own will, and to serve his Father, and his Father’s will.

A lifetime of choices made the final choice – of the cross itself – a choice of cosmic significance.. a choice which resonates to this day, and echoes in our lives.

The essence of sacrifice is denial of self. And if we choose Christ and his cross, then we are also choosing denial of self.. as a way of life. It is the hardest choice we can make, but it is the most rewarding. Allowed to work in our lives, that commitment and that choice will change us.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his life? Or what can a man give in exchange for his life?’ ” (Mat 16:24-26).

We could run down a list of Christ’s commandments, and the commandments passed along by the apostles as well, and ask:

‘How does this relate to the Atonement?’

And in every case, I venture to suggest, we shall find the answer – and the meaningful example for us, of HOW to keep the commandment, and WHY we should keep it – in the “living sacrifice” of Christ.

Do we wonder why we are commanded this, for example?:

“Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you” (Mat 5:39-42).

Well, of course, reason enough to do this – or (let’s be honest) to try very, very hard – is that Christ has commanded it. But was it just an otherwise pointless requirement plucked out of the air:

‘Let’s test them with this one, while we are at it’?

Of course not. We are told not to resist evil because Christ did not resist evil. And Christ did not resist evil because he had committed himself, wholeheartedly, to his Father who would ultimately judge rightly (1Pe 2:23). If we believe that that final judgment of our Father is sure and certain and righteous, then what does it matter if evil ones misuse us today, or tomorrow, or all the rest of our lives? God will set it right. What does it matter if we lose our coat, or our time, or our creature comforts – the loss of those things which we might hold dear will only reinforce to our minds the one thing that we MUST hold MOST dear – which no thief or bully or evil circumstance can take away from us:

“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?.. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Rom 8:31-32; Rom 8:35).

And suppose the “cross” we are called to bear at this very moment is not the loss of property, or health, or loved ones.. the terrible losses that Job, for example, bore? Suppose the “cross” we are called to bear at this very moment is.. simply.. the harsh word spoken to us, or the little slight we experience, or the brief delay because some driver cut us off in traffic, or the tiny barb that pricks our pride?

Maybe the “cross” that we are called to bear, right now, is not the great mountain of difficulty that looms in front of us.. but the little grain of sand in our shoe!

How do we respond? Do we give harsh word for harsh word, little grumble for silly slight, little whispered curse for minor inconvenience? Do we recoil at the least threat to our pride, or the least questioning of our intelligence, or our strength, or our goodness, or our wisdom?

Or.. do we recall that “even Christ did not please himself” (Rom 15:3)? And do we therefore “turn the other cheek” to the little slap, the little needle, the little attack – even if, and especially if, it comes from a brother or sister?

If we do, and when we do, then we are “living the atonement” in our lives.

Through fits and starts, and stops and blind alleys, sometimes failing but sometimes succeeding, we are learning to be, even in the small things of our lives, “living sacrifices” (Rom 12:1-2).

But the trouble with “living sacrifices” is that – as one writer put it

– “they keep crawling down off the altar”.

°°°

Lord, help me to hold on to your altar, and “die a little bit” every day, so that I might show forth your death until you return.

°°°

Agora on New Testament readings

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Preceding

Meaning of Sacrifice

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”

More than just a man with authority of speaking

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed

Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

Matthew 10:24-31 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Do Not Fear – Preach!

Matthew 10:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: I Came to Cause Division

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

Matthew 16:21-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Think God’s Thoughts

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

Demanding signs or denying yourself

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Additional reading

  1. John 4 exhortation: The one that broke the mould
  2. Lost senses or a clear focus on the one at the stake
  3. Biblical Yeshua/ Jesus or Another European Greco- Roman Jesus ??
  4. The Atonement in Type and Antitype 1 Sacrifices and High Priests
  5. Many were made sinners through one man and justified by one man
  6. Faith coming by hearing and sent preacher gift from God
  7. Redemption #3 The imperfect animal sacrifice
  8. Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb
  9. Redemption #5 The perfect sacrifice
  10. Redemption #6 Partaking his sacrifice
  11. Redemption #7 Christ alive in the faithful
  12. A perfect life, obedient death, and glorious resurrection
  13. To sacrifice our being for Christ
  14. Not everyone in the churches of Christ are “ungodly”
  15. Vision blurred by cumulative burden of divisions
  16. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  17. Who are you going to reach out to today
  18. Wanting to live in Christ’s city

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Related

  1. The Journey Begins
  2. Cut the Ballast!
  3. January 23, 2018: “Denial”
  4. Sent Into A Hostile World
  5. Take up our crosses and follow him
  6. 7 Traits Godly Women Must Have Before Meeting Mr. Right
  7. The Christian’ willingness to follow Christ
  8. Follower of Christ
  9. Don’t Follow Me
  10. Follow the Son
  11. You are Called.
  12. When Life Gets Dark and Dreary – 1 Nephi 8:3-11
  13. Christ Is The Light Of The World.
  14. Our lord’s way – our way is the way of the cross
  15. Take Up Your Cross And Follow Christ
  16. Behold the Lamb of God
  17. Why The Phrase “God Can Only Judge Me” is Toxic to the Soul

Demanding signs or denying yourself

Matthew 16:1-4

We have read in the account of the evangelist Matthew (chapter 16) how once again Jesus was tested and how the Sadducees and Pharisees expressed what many people today also want to see, namely signs of Jesus and/or signs of God.

The religious leaders asked Jesus for a sign from heaven. They wanted proof that Jesus was sent from God (Matthew 16:1). Today there are still many who doubt Jesus was sent by God. There are lots of people who have made Jesus into their god but still are not quite sure what to believe and for sure do not really follow him.

At the beginning of our era the Nazarene master teacher Jeshua was in the midst of the chosen people of God. They had enough scrolls with ancient writings from sent ones from God or prophets who told about the man who would come to save the world. The son of man Jeshua or Jesus gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, cleansed lepers, cast out demons, and preached with astounding authority. It seemed not enough to come to see he was a special man with special gifts which could only come from the Most High God above all gods.  What more did they want?

For those who could see that preacher and miracle maker, many did not come to realise the Son of God was standing right in front of them. Today a lot of people still can not see who Jesus really is.

A member of a small country Missionary Baptist Church who calls himself

a regular guy, who loves God and God’s Word. {About Me}

got to see how Jesus was

not a shy retiring type of man who always spoke words designed to make everyone feel “included.” {Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him}

and writes

He sometimes told it just as it was, without mincing words. He rebuked evil and demanded obedience. No one was excluded from following, but those who chose to do so found the company to be exclusive. {Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him}

Jesus knew for what reason he was here on earth. He knew very well his chosen position and wanted to do God His Will instead of following his own will. Naturally in case Jesus would have been God than Jesus would always have done His own will. But Jesus knew he had to deny himself and asked the same of his followers. They too had to become one with him and one with his God, the God of Israel, Who is Only One God Who is One and God of gods.

Jesus was willing to give his life for others and required this too from those around him. Jesus said to his disciples and to the people around him

“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” {Matthew 16:24}

Anyone who wants to call himself “Christian” should followChristJeshua the Messiah. We must know it is not so easy as many think because discipleship is costly. As followers of Christ Jesus we must deny ourself [set aside selfish interests], and “take up his cross (or his stake)” [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow him, which mean we have to believe in him and be conforming to his example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in him. That last bit may be not something we have to face in these times, but in several countries many believers still have to do, plus it can well be we shall have to face a time where it shall happen or that we shall be tested in very fearful circumstances.

After Jesus had died and had shown himself after his resurrection, the apostle Paul was ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the master Jesus. {Acts 21:13} His knowledge of Christ led Paul to reassess the ways of truly pleasing and serving God. His re-evaluation indicates the profound and lasting effect of his experience of the meaning of Christ on the way to Damascus some twenty years before (Gal 1:15–16; Acts 9:1–22). He therefore wrote

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. {Philippians 3:7}

What are the things you would not mind counting a loss or to consider as worthless for Christ, with the knowledge that Christ has shown you that what you once thought was valuable is worthless. We are surrounded with a lot of materials which seem to be very valuable, costing a lot. Lots of people give a lot of attention to what they have and like to show off their earthly goods. Today there is not so much interest in Jesus or in God.

For those who are interested in Jesus, the majority consider him to be God and do not see that he is the sent one and the anointed one from God (Moshiach; Mashiach; Messiah; Kristos or Christ). Jesus is anointed to be ‘King‘ in the Kingdom of God. This is a huge deal and a turning point for the disciples of which Peter recognised him as the Kristos or Christ and said

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” {Matthew 16:16}

Those who want to call themselves Christian should, like the apostles, grasp that Jeshua or Jesus of Nazareth is Messiah, or recognise Jesus as the Kristos – Christ or Messiah and as the son of the Living God. At the same time they should try to come to live and to be like Christ and should take him as their foundation of the church (not Peter). Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 3:11 ,tells us:

“For other foundation can no man lay, then that is laid, which is”,

not Simon Peter, but Jesus Christ.

“No other foundation can man lay, but that which is”.

From the early Messianic writings we learn the disciples of Christ talked about the gatherings they had and of small groups or congregations that formed. Jesus wanted that people became united under him and would come together to congregate, to gather, to meet as brothers and sisters. At their meetings they had to learn about the Word of God, studying the Scriptures. That would be the best way to come to learn the truth and to have a thoroughly grounded faith. And the roots have to go deep and become strong. Therefore each member in the group has to help the others. One of the difficulties being not to focus any-more on the worldly goods and aspects but on the heavenly matters.

The biggest thing Jesus wants from us is….us. As we grow in faith we put what we think we want aside, and come to see what He wants. Ultimately we will come to desire the same for ourselves as He desires for us. {Jesus’ Challenge To Follow Him}

To get to know what Jesus wants we have to read the gospels and learn from them. In a certain way it is also a matter of wanting to become a slave Of Jesus instead of being a slave of this world. When you want to call yourself a Christian you too should want to become a disciple, which means to be a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of Jeshua (Jesus Christ), making them his rule of life and conduct. The Pharisees prided themselves in being disciples of Moses (John 9:28) but they had entered a lot of human teachings and rules in their teachings, like the contemporary churches also have done. The majority of so called Christian churches give more importance on human teachings and church doctrines instead of Biblical doctrines. As members of such churches people, like in the time of Jesus, are also confronted with the choice they should make.

The church in our Western capitalist society a is undergoing historical realignment. Until recently Christians have been divided mostly along denominational lines. But now Christian denominations are dividing within themselves between those who believe the Bible and those who do not.

Today we are confronted by the same choice the disciples of Jesus  and the people around Jesus had. We can either keep following those who keep to human doctrines and heathen rites or go for those who want to follow Jesus in all aspects. We can see that those who trust Scripture are now a remnant in many denominations. In some cases they are leaving their institutions behind because they can no longer participate in the disobedient course being taken by spiritually darkened leaders.

Our times are characterized by increasing scepticism towards God’s word and expanding secularism in every facet of life. As a result, biblical illiteracy is growing by leaps and bounds, and church participation is faltering.

We should know that Jesus should be our most important teacher, but that all the words of the other prophets are also of importance and that we, like Jesus, should always follow God’s Word and do the Will of God.

Though we can not be a direct disciple of Jesus, by his teachings, given to us by the Bible, we have enough instructions and guidance to become a real follower.

Christian discipleship is summed up in the Great Commission. After the resurrection and before Jesus ascended into heaven, the master teacher appeared one last time to his disciples (they were eleven in number at that time, since Judas Iscariot had betrayed Jesus and hanged himself). Christ had given such convincing proofs of his resurrection, as made their faith to triumph over doubts. He now solemnly commissioned the apostles and his ministers to go forth among all nations. This is the moment that he delivered the famous calling for disciples known as The Great Commission:

18 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Amen. {Matthew 28:18-20}

Christian discipleship continued to grow when the followers of Jesus gathered in Jerusalem and Peter outlined criteria for selecting a twelfth disciple to replace Judas Iscariot. The Scripture says they drew lots and the lot fell to Matthias. These men, who had previously been disciples, or followers of Jesus, were now to become apostles, or messengers. Their intention was to spread the Word, and beginning with Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came and indwelt them for the first time, they did! (See Acts 1 and 2.) The purpose of the church of Christ is to teach the words of Jesus and bring unbelievers to belief in Christ as their Lord and Saviour; baptizing them, and teaching them to lead other unbelievers to saving faith in Jesus. A Godly environment of each community or church is key to the good health and continued success of the congregation.

even when you are only with a few nothing should resist to come together in somebodies house, like the first Christians did. They gathered in private as well in public houses. We too still can hold a gathering in our own house or find a place to meet with others. No matter our nationality, gender or bloodline we can call others to join us in peace to study the Word of God and to praise the Most High. We should spread the message of Christ and get others to believe they should have faith in the sent one from God.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. {John 3:16-17 New International Version}.

We should show to others the one who can be a light for everybody. We can proof to them that when they together with us want to follow Jesus they don’t have to walk in darkness any more, because they will have the light that leads to life. {John 8:12}

Thanks to the faithfulness of those apostles, who clearly understood their role as messengers of Christ, we have their gospels and letters to go by. Later, when Paul was added to their number (by virtue of his Road to Damascus encounter with the risen Christ), he wrote letters to all the churches he helped create. These books and letters became part of the New Testament of God’s Word, and unlike those first disciples, we have all of Christ’s instructions at our fingertips!

Sharing the message of Jesus we can give everybody around us the opportunity to come to see that Jesus is the way to God and God’s ultimate means of revealing Himself to us.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. {Hebrews 1:3 New International Version}

We have Jesus now as our mediator between God and us. We need no other mediator between God and us. He is also our best high priest. For making “church” we all have to work together in the spirit of Christ. Our faith in Jesus and in his heavenly Father should be the fuel that keeps our aircraft of our life flying.

With faith, you are on the go, there is no stumbling block on the way. All mountains are made plains. {Understanding the power of faith}

United as brethren and sisters, as sons and daughters of God, you shall find you shall be able to accomplish more than on your own. Surrounded by big institutions or well-known denominational churches it demands courage to step out of them and to go for a smaller church or just for meeting with other people who prefer just to keep to the inspired and infallible Word of God. But be sure it pays to choose the right path and to believe in the sent of God who gave his life for sinful humanity.

Are you a person who wants more signs than the one God has given the world? Do you need other proofs that Jesus is the sent one from God, His only begotten son, who by giving his life brought salvation by paying the full ransom price?

Are you preferring to belong to the main churches which keep to human doctrines, feasts and rites, or do you prefer to follow Jesus and keep to the God given feasts and rituals?

Are you willing to keep following the world or willing to follow Jesus?

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Preceding

Ezekiel 18:4 – What the Bible teaches about Soul and Spirit

More than just a man with authority of speaking

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed

Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

Matthew 10:24-31 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Do Not Fear – Preach!

Matthew 10:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: I Came to Cause Division

Matthew 12:46-50 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Family of Messiah

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

Matthew 16 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 16:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Signs of the Times

Matthew 16:5-12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Watch Out for the Leaven of False Teaching

Matthew 16:13-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Building a Hades-Proof Congregation

Matthew 16:21-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Think God’s Thoughts

Matthew 16:24-28 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Disciple Must Disown Self

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Additional reading

  1. Jehovah God Almighty greater than all gods
  2. What sort people of faith do we want to be
  3. Truth, doubt or blindness
  4. Knowing The Truth and Loving The Truth
  5. The true light in recorded words
  6. A Book to trust #2 Book of Truth
  7. A Book to trust #6 True God and true words
  8. Torah hanging on two commandments and focussing on a Mashiach
  9. Messianic prophesies 1 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  10. Messianic prophesies 2 Adversary – Root of the first prophecy
  11. Fog, brass and light for the eyes
  12. The Right One to follow and to worship
  13. Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special
  14. Concerning Christ #1 A god or the God, a son of man and son of God
  15. Concerning Christ #2 Divine source, connection and divine human being
  16. The sent one from God
  17. Jesus begotten Son of God #3 Messiah or Anointed one
  18. Anointing of Christ as Prophetic Rehearsal of the Burial rites
  19. What Jesus did: First things first
  20. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  21. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  22. A call easy to understand
  23. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  24. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  25. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  26. Fellowship
  27. Seeds and weeds for being the greatest nation
  28. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  29. Jesus, A way given to find the right way to God
  30. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  31. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil
  32. That everyone may honour the Son and sent one from God
  33. Thought for Wednesday Believe in the one God has sent
  34. The saviour Jesus his human side
  35. Not being saved by faith in Christ alone
  36. Memorizing wonderfully 70: Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God
  37. The habitual misreading of John 1 and the ‘Word being God’ #1
  38. The habitual misreading of John 1 and the ‘Word being God’ #2
  39. Memorizing wonderfully 42 Equality with God & doing nothing of himself
  40. Memorizing wonderfully 44 Showing the works from his Father
  41. Memorizing wonderfully 46 Believe in the sent one from God, who is the Way to God
  42. Memorizing wonderfully 49 John 17:1-11 The sent one from God and eternal life
  43. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  44. Our life depending on faith
  45. Which is worse–works without faith, or faith without works?
  46. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  47. An atoneless religious system or a hope giving religious system
  48. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  49. Christianity primarily a matter of imitation
  50. United people under Christ
  51. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  52. Jewish and Christian traditions of elders
  53. A House for God in our 21st century

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Related

  1. You are Invited
  2. The Set Up
  3. Sent by Christ; March 27, 2018
  4. 15th Sunday of the Year: Sent by God for work in the world.
  5. 15th Sunday of the Year: Called by God. Catholic Inspiration
  6. Are You Willing to Submit Your Will to God?
  7. Submitting Your Will to God Simplifies Your Life
  8. God First, Then Extras
  9. Discipleship
  10. Why Discipleship Weirds Me Out
  11. The Tree of Life: thoughts on discipleship and roots
  12. “Evangelism” or “telling God’s story”?
  13. A Worthy Life
  14. Out of the Abundance of the Heart
  15. Saved, healed and delivered
  16. Grasping the Gospel
  17. Get Down With the Program, Preacher!
  18. When Process Stops So Progress Can Happen
  19. The Theology of Jesus: Part 9 Ecclesiology
  20. Christ Is The Light Of The World.
  21. Following Jesus
  22. Take Up Your Cross And Follow Christ
  23. Lenten readings – Christ is the way to the light – the truth and the life
  24. Follow, Carry the Cross

When a person looks for or has the need to Choose the Right Church

When encountering the article “Tips to Choose the Right Church Inner West Sydney to Visit” we first were surprised that in the region of the article writer all churches seem to

preach the same thing and they are bible based, still there are a few things that you may not find it to be comfortable or you may expect something higher. {Tips to Choose the Right Church Inner West Sydney to Visit}

It would be nice if all those churches are Bible base, but according what we could see at other writings is that perhaps more churches were “Church based” or based on church (read) human doctrines.

The Bible Based Church, Sydney has been formed in Australia. They claim

to lead people in an honest way; {Lead Life to the Way of God with the Bible Based Church Sydney}

and write that they

teach Bible to give the ultimate inspiration to search for the truth. {Lead Life to the Way of God with the Bible Based Church Sydney}

Like us they seem to understand the necessity of a life with God, and as such write

One cannot live life without God; you should keep the faith always in the God.  {Lead Life to the Way of God with the Bible Based Church Sydney}

For choosing the right church they give following advice: (please take note: the bold writing is presented by us)

The church you want to choose should be the place that encourages you for worship. It should make you feel the spirit and enjoy the divineness in you. There are number of churches across the city, which will create a wonderful environment for you to worship and share your love with others.

We would say be careful for choosing for the creation of a wonderful environment and lovely entertainment.

• You should also find about how many people prefer to visit the church you choose. If there are many people showing interest to visit the church, then there should be something interesting and best to offer you. Therefore you can choose to visit that church

It is not the quantity that should count but the quality.

• Check if the church you choose to visit will suit your interest and your family interest. Most importantly, your children should feel comfortable visiting this church. This is crucial to gain the best experience from the church when you visit. Moreover, by visiting the church where there are many families and children visit will enable your children to find good and new friends of their ages. This is an other encouraging factor to ensure before you find the church to visit
• It is not only these factors but you should also check with the church time, which you should also feel comfortable to visit. Some churches will have a specific timing, however, most of the churches will have the prayer time and special events conducted on Sundays. Therefore, you should also ensure your time to visit the church regularly without missing
• Events in the church. Most of the churches will conduct special events to keep the people and members encouraged and entertained. Such activities will motivate you and makes you get freed from the tension filled lifestyle. You will absolutely feel stress free and gain peace of mind by taking part in these events. Besides all this will be an encouraging break from the busy schedule and spend a good time with your friends and known people in the church
It is not only these factors that you need to take into your consideration while selecting a church, but you should also consider other factors like the distance from your home, your possibility to visit often, their praying method, preaching bible and many others.

We may not forget that the praying method is with the method of following the Scriptures the most important factor we should keep in mind, remembering that we should worship God in the way He wants to be worshipped.

These factors can help you easily choose the right church that will fulfil your expectations in best ways. You can also ask your friends to refer the best church to visit with your family and children. {Tips to Choose the Right Church Inner West Sydney to Visit} (emphasis our editorial choice)

To their hints to choose a right church we would like to ad:

First question people should ask themselves is what do I want to follow: Biblical Truth (with the true faith in only One true God) or human doctrines (like the Trinity).

Secondly then they should ask in which way they want to follow Jesus, who put his own will away to do the will of God, and also would love to do God’s Will.

Then they should wonder how far they would like to go in following Jesus and going to worship the Only One True God of Jesus, the God of Israel, Who is an eternal Spirit God no man can see.

When knowing that Jesus is the way to God, and that he asked his followers to gather and to spread the Word of God and the Good News of the Kingdom of God a person should ask himself in which way he or she would like to take up that task given by Christ Jesus.

When that person does not find a right church nearby he or she should think about creating a home-church or something like that in his own neighbourhood. And to gather with others a real believer should not mind to go now-and-then far away (if physically and materially possible) to find and meet with like minded people to worship the Divine Creator The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods.

++

Additional reading

  1. 2020 years ago, the road was opened
  2. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  3. Where to learn the truth
  4. Willing to do and we willing to learn everything that the Elohim has spoken
  5. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  6. Church sent into the world
  7. Biblical Yeshua/ Jesus or Another European Greco- Roman Jesus ??
  8. Ability (part 7) Thought about the ability to grow as a member of the Body of Christ
  9. Jewish and Gentile Disciples
  10. The Field is the World #4 Many who leave the church
  11. This fighting world, Zionism and Israel #6
  12. This fighting world, Zionism and Israel #7
  13. Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1
  14. The Reformation shows us why we need expository preaching
  15. When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation
  16. That brotherly love may continue and have people join hands

+++

Related

  1. Review of ‘A Nearly Infallible History of Christianity’
  2. Strengthening the Community of Kingdom Citizens, An Excerpt from My New Book
  3. Theia koinoonia from sacred koinon, community
  4. The set apart life….for a Most Holy God
  5. On Individual Responsibility
  6. Christian Church
  7. Praise is Not the Same as Applause
  8. The Art of Ending Church Apostasy: Let’s talk about confrontation
  9. Introduction to the Church Community In Contemporary Culture
  10. Crosstalk “Our Pastor Said …” | Who Should We Listen to as We Believe in God? (English Dubbed)
  11. Short Sketch From the Christian Church | “The Police Pay a New Year Visit” (English Dubbed) | The Church of Almighty God
  12. A classic documentary from the Christian Church “The One Who Holds Sovereignty Over Everything”| Eastern Lightning
  13. Who’s your favorite preacher?
  14. A Review of Scot McKnight’s Kingdom Conspiracy
  15. Can I Ban Remember When?
  16. The Gathering at the Table
  17. When Knowing Jesus Is Depressing #christianityanddepression
  18. How I Met Jesus in High School: A Personal Testimony
  19. Growing Up Black in America, A Conversation with my Son-in-Law #blacklivesmatter #policeshootings
  20. Positive and Negative Sides of Multicultural Church Sydney Benefits
  21. Approach An Holistic Way While Visiting Multicultural Church Sydney
  22. The Growth of Church Services in Church Sydney Helps Develop Society Effectively
  23. Two Characteristics of Christian Identity
  24. Christians Behaving Badly and How to Change That
  25. Listening intently to Truth>

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Chapter Four:
Three tests and Kingdom preaching

Matthew 4:1-4 – A Wilderness Temptation: ‘If you are a son’

|| Mark 1:12, 13; Luke 4:1-4

MT4:1 Then Jesus was led[1] up into the wilderness by the Pneuma to be tempted[2] by the Devil.[3] MT4:2 After fasting for forty days[4] and forty nights he felt hungry.[5] MT4:3 And the Tempter approached Jesus and said to him, “If you are a son[6] of The God tell these stones[7] to become loaves of bread.”[8] MT4:4 But, Jesus replied and said to the Devil: “It has been written[9] [by Moses]: ‘Not on bread alone will humans live, but upon every utterance[10] coming forth through God’s Mouth.’” [Deuteronomy 8:3]

*

Temptation of Jesus in desert. HOLE, WILLIAM: ...

Temptation of Jesus in desert. Hole, William: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth. Eighty Pictures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The sent one from God after he was baptised went into the desert to meditate. Being alone with his thoughts did not liberate him from bad thoughts coming up in his mind. Jesus was allowed into the wilderness to be tested, like all of us are allowed to be tested and to prove ourselves.

God has given mankind the freedom to think and to take decisions for him self. God is no dictator Who prohibits man to think and to decide for himself. Though we should know that already from the beginning of times man has shown to have a sort of weaknesses, doubting those who are higher placed than they. The first human beings rebelled against the Most High Maker. They took adversary against God. The adversary of God or satan is in each of us and Jesus as a man of flesh and blood had this also in him.

Satan or the the ‘tempter’ brings man to question the relationship with God. He also caught Jesus to be a prey. A young man starting his public life and having to prove himself for the community. Fasting, having hunger, knowing we need our daily bread, the tempter tried to seduce Jesus with the offer of ‘bread’.

We may not forget what is the cause of the temptation  of man, they wondering if God had the right to be their ‘dominant’ or their ‘Father‘. Many do forget that is the whole key to the fall of man. Man not willing to accept God as their Father, Who may tell them what to do.

Satan wants us to believe that we’re not children of God. When the adversary of God tours around us, in our mind, temptation will come in the form to make use doubt the position of the Most High God. Man gets blinded by his own thoughts which try to mislead him.The adverser will use our relationship with God as a weapon against us. He also wants us to believe we do not need God, but that we are able to live on the material of the earth, like bread, and that those goods will keep us alive.

From this chapter we also can see that baptism is no liberator of temptation. When we are baptised it does not mean that we would not any more be tempted or would not sin any more. Be not mistaken, the adversary of God is always there to get us away from God. Even when we are sometimes doubting he will be more at work.

English: Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness

Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps the moments we take time to think about everything and to be just on our own, meditating, are the most dangerous moments to become tempted, doubting ourselves, our own ‘I am‘ and the Most High ‘I Am’ the ‘I Am that I Am‘ or the ‘I Am Who is‘.

Too many people do forget that Jesus could be and was tempted many times. God cannot be tempted, but Jesus as an ordinary man (though specially made by God) was like any man able to sin, but never did sin. Jesus never went against the wishes of God. He could put his own will aside for doing the Will of God.

**

[1] Was led: Mark 1:12 says the Spirit “drove” so that Jesus became “driven” into the desert.

[2] Tempted: God cannot be “tempted” (James 1:13,) though Jesus is here, three times.

[3] Devil: The Greek is DIABOLOS. Meaning “Slanderer,” or “Liar,” this name for Satan occurs 36 times, never in the Hebrew Bible and first here. Note that the Dragon is on hand when the “woman gives birth” to a spiritual Son (Revelation 12:4).

[4] Forty days: An experience shared by only two others: Moses and Elijah (Exodus 24:18; 1 Kings 19:8).

[5] Hungry: Jesus becomes hungry several times in the Gospel accounts (Matthew 21:18; Mark 11:12). May it be assumed that God cannot become hungry?

[6] If you are a son: Two things are noticed here: the word “if” is an attempt to create doubt; and, the Devil calls Jesus “a son” knowing full well he is “the Son.”

[7] Stones: These have already been mentioned when John spoke of God’s ability to make sons of Abraham from stones (Matthew 3:9).

[8] Bread: Self-denial was the law of our Lord’s mission (Philippians 2:6-8).

[9] Written: The first Bible verse quoted by Jesus (Deuteronomy 8:3).

[10] Utterance: The Greek is RHEMATI. Or, KJV: word; RHM: declaration; KNX: words.

 

+

Preceding articles

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:21-23 – The Baptism of Christ

2015 the year of ISIS

Next:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:5-7 – A Temptation to Test God

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:8-11 – A Temptation to Gain World Rule

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:12-17 – Galilee Saw A Great Light

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:18-22 – The Calling of the First Disciples

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

++

Additional reading

  1. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  2. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  3. What we do
  4. The I Am to explore
  5. Just One More Minute
  6. satan or devil
  7. Satan the evil within
  8. The Son can do nothing of his own accord
  9. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  10. Sayings of Jesus, what to believe and being or not of the devil

+++

Further reading

  1. Jesus is tested – In the wilderness
  2. Temptation in the Desert
  3. The Temptation of Jesus
  4. Dealing With Temptation
  5. But Deliver Us from the Evil One
  6. Watch Over Us
  7. Does God Love Satan? (1 of 2)
  8. The Devil Made Me Do it…
  9. Getting Testy
  10. When we stumble
  11. Love Came Down in Obedience/L’amour est descendu dans l’obéissance
  12. 40 days
  13. 40 days and 40 nights
  14. SMS 144 Matthew 4:2-3
  15. Stones Into Bread
  16. My Life As An Itchy Man
  17. The Camera

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Save

Save

Christians having the right heart to call others to go to God

When calling yourself a Christian this has to mean you are following Christ Jesus, the Nazarene Jew who God declared to be His only begotten son.

Calling yourself Christian also means you want to become one with Christ, like Christ is one with his Father, the Only One True God. Such oneness shall not make you into God like it did not make Jesus into God. But your condition of your heart should come close to the condition of Jesus’ heart, full of joy in the willingness not to do your own will, like Jesus did not do his own will (which he would have done when he is God) but prepared at all times to do the Will of God.

As a follower of Jesus (what being a Christian also would mean), your heart should be full of love for others like Jesus had an incredible love for other people, even willing to die for them. All things were delivered unto Jesus of his Father. This man we should follow revealed the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Jesus asked us to come unto him, all that labour and are heavy laden, and he will take care that we may find rest. As followers of Christ we do have to take Jesus’ yoke upon us and learn of him, for he was meek and humble of heart, and we shall find rest for our souls.

“27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:27-29 NIV)

We have our heart which functions as the source of thought and reflection.

“Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”” (Isaiah 6:10 NIV)

“21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’.”” (Mark 7:21-23 NIV)

As Christians we should hear and try to understand what Jesus Christ tells the world and may we not ignore those things he says, like about his heavenly Father being greater than him. With our heart we should come to understanding

“Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.” (Deuteronomy 8:5 NIV)

“So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.” (Isaiah 42:25 NIV)

The biblical truth we should take at heart and not the human doctrines which bring fog in our eyes and ears and wants us to believe doctrines which are not written in the Bible.

Therefore let us take the words of the Bible at heart in the knowledge that they provide wisdom to understand but also to rule justly and wisely, and discerns good and evil.

“I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” (1 Kings 3:12 NIV)

“The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.” (1 Kings 10:24 NIV)

“The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the LORD will repay you for your wrongdoing.” (1 Kings 2:44 NIV)

Following the master teacher rabbi Jeshua, like the son of David, his ancestor and the other prophets send to the world, our heart should also represents the idea of will and conscience.

“Afterwards, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.” (1 Samuel 24:5 NIV)

“David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”” (2 Samuel 24:10 NIV)

Let us request for a pure heart as a centre for decisions, obedience, devotion, and intentionality, which is the desire for a new and more perfect conscience.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10 NIV)

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NIV)

“For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.” (2 Samuel 7:21 NIV)

His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885...

His Only-begotten Son and the Word of God 1885-1896 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Within the heart we can meet God’s word, listen to it and take it at heart. It is there where it has to ripen and grow and where the seed has to be planted to become a disciple of Jesus, following his tasks, like going out into the world to preach that Word of God, bringing the Good News of the coming Kingdom. Like Jesus feared his heavenly Father and was a faithful servant to Jehovah, the God of Abraham, we too should become such a faithful servant and consider all the great things which come over us by the Grace of God.

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24 NIV)

“I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.” (Jeremiah 32:40 NIV)

“O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains.” (Psalms 116:16 NIV)

“”Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” (Matthew 12:18 NIV)

“Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”” (Acts 4:30 NIV)

“”No-one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV)

“But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’” (Matthew 24:48 NIV)

“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”” (Luke 17:10 NIV)

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—” (Romans 6:6 NIV)

“But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” (Romans 7:6 NIV)

“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.” (1 Corinthians 7:23 NIV)

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13 NIV)

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14 NIV)

“”You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”” (John 18:37 NIV)

“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Revelation 12:17 NIV)

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42 NIV)

We may have be bound by the world but our heart should leave that world of human beings who have no interest in God. Our heart should be open for them to call them to come to Jesus and his God, the only One true God, the God of Israel.

In our heart should be the location where conversion takes place.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalms 51:10 NIV)

“”Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”” (Joel 2:12 NIV)

“When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”” (Acts 2:37 NIV)

When our heart is at the right place, sharing the love of Christ with others, making us to a good example for others, we shall be able to bring those who may come open to receive the call of God, closer to the gates of the Kingdom of God, which is open for all those who come by Christ and live according to the Wishes of God.

+

Preceding articles:

Words to push and pull

As Christ’s slaves doing the Will of God in gratitude

Life is too precious

++

Additional reading

  1. A book of life and a man born more than two thousand years ago
  2. Letter to a Non-Christian Nation
  3. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  4. First mention of a solution against death 4 A seed for mankind
  5. Outflow of foundational relationship based on acceptance of Jesus
  6. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  7. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  8. The God of hope filling us with all joy and peace
  9. Counterfeit Gospels
  10. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core
  11. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  12. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  13. A disciple of Christ “hating” the world
  14. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  15. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  16. The Mountain: Radical Love
  17. To be chained by love for another one
  18. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  19. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  20. Church has to grow through witness, not by proselytism
  21. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  22. Blogging in the world for Jesus and his Father
  23. Preaching by example
  24. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  25. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  26. Honor your own words as if they were an important contract
  27. If You want to start winning the war
  28. Let us make sure we are not stiff-necked
  29. What’s church for, anyway?
  30. Following the leader
  31. Followers with deepening
  32. Called Christian
  33. Only I can change my life
  34. Foundation to go the distance
  35. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  36. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  37. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  38. A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2
  39. Not he who prays most or fasts most is the greatest saint
  40. Life is like a ten-speed bike.
  41. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  42. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  43. Life and attitude of a Christian
  44. Hope does not disappoint us

+++

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