Madness – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – 1 Samuel 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Matthew 7 – 8; Proverbs 4; Psalms 16 – 20)

Read the “0404 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath. And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me? Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?” (1Samuel 21:10-15)

“And when he [JESUS] was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.” (Matthew 8:28-32)

Good morning. Here we have two examples of madness. David made himself mad to save his life. The herd of swine went mad when possessed by devils, and they lost their lives.

I use to work security in a casino, on the graveyard shift. You notice many things on this shift. Mainly around the slot machines. People stare, glassy-eyed into the machine watching the numbers and symbols spin around. Their only movement is to hit the spin button. The cocktail waitresses come around serving drinks and alcohol, which being a depressant just adds to the miserable look that is on their faces. From what I understand many are regular customers: they come there all the time. Can I ask you something? Is this the kind of life you planned on having? Something happened to draw these people into the madness of gambling.

I walked by a roulette table, and saw three separate gray chips placed as bets. The wheel was turned and the ball raced around. When all was said and done, those three gray chips went to the house: that’s $15,000 ($5,000 each): that’s madness. Is there a madness in your life?

“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” (Proverbs 4:20-27)

The Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who can save people from this madness, as well as other madnesses. The Reformers Unanimous Addictions Program has a slogan: “Only the Truth makes free!” We can show you from the Scriptures how to end the madness. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is the only Way: every other path is a dead end. Jesus is the Truth: He doesn’t sugar-coat your problem, but will stand right by your side, and face it with you. Jesus is the Life: He will help you with your life, and keep you from throwing it away. Jesus said…

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15: 4-5)

“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” (John 15:8-9)

If Jesus didn’t think your life was precious, why would He allow Himself to be beaten, spit upon, whipped by a whip that had sharp bones and metal pieces that ripped right through His skin, and then be nailed to a cross shedding His precious blood for your precious soul? He is able, and will stop whatever madness you have.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Peace!


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The Hand Of The Lord – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Ruth 1 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Revelation 7 – 9Proverbs 28Psalms 136 – 140)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 92:1 – 4

Read the “0328 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband. Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people. And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.” (Ruth 1:1-13)

Good morning. Naomi was at quite a low point in her life. Her husband died, then her two sons died. All she had left were her two daughter-in-laws. And she told her daughters. “…it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me.”

When things go wrong, do you blame God? I must have sinned for this to happen to me. Woe is me for the hand of the Lord is gone out against me. But we forget…

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

And that…

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

So what happened with Naomi? God had to turn her around and get her out of Moab. He needed her back home. She didn’t leave Moab when her husband died. When her two sons died, she left Moab. There was a divine appointment waiting in Bethlehemjudah. And Ruth stayed with her.

Did you know your face changes when your countenance drops, when you’re depressed?

“So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?” (Ruth 1:19-21)

The people had to ask if this was Naomi. And Naomi said to call her Mara. Mara means bitter. Naomi was bitter, but she was home, and Ruth was with her. But it was all part of God’s plan. And to make a long story short…

“So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David. Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.” (Ruth 4:13-22)

It took some sorrow to get Naomi and Ruth to Bethlehemjudah, but Ruth had to get there to meet and marry Boaz, so they could have a child, and Ruth would be the great grandmother of king David.

Are you going through something bad? Don’t blame God. Here are three verses to remember…

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

I’m sorry, but in this world ye SHALL have tribulation. I don’t care what the prosperity preachers tell you, believe the Bible. Tribulation is going to come. Bad things happen to good people and bad people. Maybe God is just trying to turn you in the right direction like Naomi. Just remember our second verse also…

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

That’s ALL things: the good and the bad. Bad things happen in life. But what we perceive as bad, God may be using that for His good, and our good. Before you become bitter, and blame God, go to Him with your problem. “Lord, things look pretty bleak. I don’t know why I’m going through this, but You do. Help me to understand. Show me what to do.” And that leads us to the third verses…

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Trials and tribulations should not separate you from God, they should draw you closer. When bad things happen, don’t get bitter; run to God where all things work for good.

Peace!


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Praying Leaders – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Judges 4 – 6 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – James 1 – 5; Proverbs 21; Psalms 101 – 105

Read the “0321 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.” (Judges 6:1-6)

Good morning. The word – impoverished – means (of a person or area) made poor – deprived of strength or vitality. Kind of like the shelves at Shop Rite. Kind of like the toilet paper aisle. Kind of like Venezuela after the Socialists took over. It’s long food lines. It’s food kitchens and food banks. It’s dumpster diving for your needs. Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. America is doing evil in the sight of the LORD. Killing babies. Lusting after strange flesh. Whoring after Godless Socialism, Communism, and Fascism. We are getting a taste of Socialism now with shortages at the grocery store, curfews, and no toilet paper. The world has gone crazy. Did you ever imagine you would see a fight break out in a store over a roll of toilet paper? And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. America is becoming impoverished, but what can we do? We can do as Israel did, and cry out unto the LORD.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chronicles 7:14)

If My people, which are called by My name, Christian. You call yourself a Christian, a follower of Christ, and yet you will not fight for what is right. What does light have to do with darkness? Your voter registration says Democrat. The Democratic Party is for killing babies. That alone should make you change parties.

If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves. Realize that abortion is the murder of innocent babies. Realize all the sin that abounds in your life, all the abominations that surround you, humble yourselves. You can’t save yourselves. Humble yourselves and seek help.

If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face. God is the only one who can repair corrupted hearts, open the eyes of those blinded by sin, and remove the abominations around us. We need to humble ourselves, and seek God’s help through prayer: seek His face.

If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways. We can sometimes see the sin of others around us, but do we see our own?

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1John 1:8-10)

So if we humble ourselves, and pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways, what will God do? The LORD tells us then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. The only way to heal our nation is through the LORD. He is our only hope.

Peace.


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Love Not Lust – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 19 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Galatians 4 – 6; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7)

Read the “0307 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.” (Deuteronomy 22:22-30)

Good morning. The Beatles sang all you need is love. The Grass Roots had a song about the bass player’s love for a married woman. Crosby, Stills, and Nash told us that if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with. Gangster, Al Capone died of Syphilis. Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, died from Aids. Arthus Asch, the first black man to win the Wimbeldom US open (Tennis); and Rock Hudson, both died of Aids. Writer Oscar Wilde, and Artist Paul Gaugin, both died of Syphilis. This was a lust, not a love for just one woman as God intended. Lust can be for other things also. In 1771, Adolf Frederick, king of Sweden died after eating a meal of Lobster, caviar, saurkraut, smoked herring, champagne, and 14 servings of deserts. This was a lust for food. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison died in their lust for drugs. What do you love? Or is it a lust.

Love is an action word…

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

God also tells us how to love…

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

And Jesus said…

If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John14:15)

You can kick a tire, but you may break your toe. You don’t test drive a woman.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:25-31)

Lust will eventually lead to sin, and sin to death.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15)

It takes time to get to know someone. If you can’t wait, you are probably lusting and not loving. If you love someone, you will not want to hurt them. If you follow the instructions that God has given you in His Word, you will be happy.

Peace.


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The Rocking Horse – The Saturday Morning Post

A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)

Good morning. Happy Leap-year. There is no scheduled reading for February 29th, so Preacher said I could use any scripture I wanted. When my wife, Camille, found out, she put in a request to repeat this blog: The Rocking Horse. This was a few days after the death of our daughter, Melissa. (It was February 16, 2012, at 1:15 am Thursday morning. Some things you don’t forget.)

It’s been a long week. Monday was the funeral for my daughter, Melissa. The first two verses of Psalm 121 say, “ I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”

And all I can say is thank you. I have never seen an out-pouring of Christian love like that, ever. From the one who may have prayed once or twice, to those who helped with the cooking, to those who helped my family out financially, all I can say is thank you. My help cometh from the LORD, and He sent you. Thank you, also to the Wimberg Funeral Home. We went there the week before Melissa went home to be with the Lord. We went there nervous, confused, not knowing where to turn. We left there happy, having our burdens lifted, having a set direction in which way to go, and having new Christian friends. My help cometh from the LORD, and He sent us to the Wimberg Funeral Home. Thank you Loyd, Brian, and all the others there, and God bless them for allowing themselves to be used for His glory. And what can I say about all Melissa’s friends and relatives; the funeral home was packed. My help cometh from the LORD, and He sent you all. Thank you. Jimmy Dilley (Melissa’s father), and Diane his fiance made it there from Arkansas. The weirdest thing to happen was Jake. Jake was married to one of Camille’s friends, and she hadn’t seen him since Melissa was one. He came down from Lakewood. Only God could arrange something like that. Everything went great. Even Ed’s chili was great! My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

There were 104 families who signed the book at the funeral home. That’s probably around 200 people who filed past the coffin to say goodbye (not forever, but only for a season). I wonder if anybody noticed the little wooden rocking horse in the casket? Well, I put it there for a reason. I had dated another woman who had a 2 year old daughter. Me and my dad build her a rocking horse for Christmas. I had taken a picture of it and put it in a photo album. Melissa came across it one day, and since that day she would always bust on me saying, “How come you never built me a rocking horse?” The Saturday before the funeral, I knew what I had to do. I went to several stores to find a rocking horse the size of a Christmas tree ornament. Nothing. I know what happened: Melissa and the Lord were looking down at my situation. She was telling the Lord, “Don’t let him find one – he’s got to build me one!” So I picked up some Balsa wood, glue, and paint, and I built her one. Why? To say thank you for being my daughter for 30 years.

Life is short. Nobody knows how long or how short their lives will be. Maybe we should treat everyone we meet today as if they were not going to have a tomorrow.

“Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.” (Mark 9:50)

“My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”

Peace.


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What Do You Need? – The Saturday Morning Post

February 22 – Numbers 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers read – Acts 25 – 28Proverbs 22; Psalms 111 – 115)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song –Proverbs 27:15

And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink. And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.” (Numbers 20:2-13)

Good morning. Here we have a situation where the children of Israel were thirsting and needed water for themselves and their livestock. So what did they do? They complained to their leader. What did their leader do? He fell on his face before the LORD. What did God do? He gave them water. Even though the people rebelled and Moses ruined the picture God was painting by striking the rock instead of just speaking to it, He still gave them water.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:12-13)

God was painting a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. And Moses smudge the painting. That happens many times when we step in and try to do God’s job on our own. As a result, Moses and Aaron were not allowed to cross over into the promised land. It is easy for us to get ahead of God. We want, we want, and try to get it on our own. Even when God has it already prepared for us.

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:1-3)

We have not because we ask not. God told Moses to speak to the rock. God said to pray.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Pray like Elisha…

And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.” (2Kings 2:11-14)

Pray like Jonah…

Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” (Jonah 2:1-10)

Pray like King David…

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.” (Psalm 51:1-19)

Pray like Job…

And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job. And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:7-10)

And most of all pray like Jesus prayed…

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” (Matthew 26:36-42)

Pray that whatever your need, it is God’s will. If it is, He will deliver either now or later.

Peace.


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Does This Mean I Can Retire? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Numbers 3 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Acts 4 – 6; Proverbs 15; Psalms 76 – 80

Read the “0215 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“All those that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after their families, and after the house of their fathers, From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation, Even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore. According to the commandment of the LORD they were numbered by the hand of Moses, every one according to his service, and according to his burden: thus were they numbered of him, as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Numbers 4:46-49)

Good morning. I am 66 years, and 4 days old today. I like it that way: each day brings me closer to my going to be with the Lord. In our text, God told Moses that those from thirty years old to fifty years old are to do the service of the ministry. Does this mean I can retire? No. I’ll retire when the Lord takes me home. There are dangers to quitting. Here are a few verses to consider…

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

Since the gifts God gives us are to edify others, we both suffer if you quit. And if God’s calling is without repentance (He will not change His mind), well, just look at Jonah and watch out for great fishes…

“Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. (Jonah 1:1-4)

And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows. Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:7-17)

1) Quitting not only affects you, but others also.

“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” (John 15:8)

“There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.” (John 21:2-3)

Peter, and those who followed him, went fishing and caught nothing…

2) Quitting does not glorify God.

“And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” (1Kings 19:1-4)

“And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.” (2Kings 2:9-14)

3) Quitting could end in an untimely demise.

What if? Let me give you this ‘what if’ here. What if Elijah would have kept going, and the Lord performed a few more miracles through Elijah, say five more. Elisha saw Elijah depart, and Elisha did get his request granted and performed twice as many miracles as Elijah. This would mean that there would have been ten more miracles done by Elisha. Considering quitting? Consider the consequences it will have on you and on others.

Peace.


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The Four R’s – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Leviticus 14 – 15 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – John 9 – 10; Proverbs 8; Psalms 41 – 45

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest: And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water: As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days. But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean. And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil. And the priest that maketh him clean shall present the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is the priest’s, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy: And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand: And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD: And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering: And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD. And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering: And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean. And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil; And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and the other a burnt offering. And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the LORD. And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand: And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the LORD: And the priest shall put of the oil that is in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering: And the rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD. And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get; Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD. This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his cleansing.” (Leviticus 14:1-32)

“Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.” (Proverbs 8:32-33)

Good morning. Aren’t you glad that God’s salvation is a gift: you don’t have to earn it? In today’s reading of Leviticus 14 and 15, God’s Law is revealed on dealing with leprosy in man, leprosy in houses, and other “issues.” This is what the people had to go through to make themselves and their houses clean. But even back then God had taken care of everything. All those sacrifices had pointed to the one Sacrifice that was to come: the Jews were looking forward to the coming of Christ just as we look forward to His coming when we will meet Him in the air.

Ephesians 2:8 and 9 say…

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

So what should we do in the time we are here on earth? Here are the Four R’s…

1) REALIZE. Realize that you are a sinner without any hope of saving yourself.

Twice in Ezekiel 18 God warns…

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4)

And…

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:20)

Romans 3:10 and 3:23 tell us…

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…” (Romans 3:10)

And

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)

2) REPENT. Change your mind about how you can get to heaven. Turn from unbelief to belief.

“And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:23-31)

Romans 10:13 says…

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

3) REMAIN.

Being sinners, we are always going to mess up during our life here on earth. 1John 1:9 reminds us that…

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9)

This “R” is the easy “R.” Jesus is the one that holds onto us. Jesus said…

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

4) REPRODUCE.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30)

Peace.


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Don’t Spare Me The Details – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Exodus 36 – 38 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 19 – 20; Proverbs 1; Psalms 6 – 10

Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.” (Exodus 36:1)

Good morning! It always amazes me the amount of people that say they dread reading this portion of Exodus: the building of the Tabernacle, and the items therein. Too many details, they say. But our God is a perfect God, and as the only perfect God, He is concerned about the details. For instance, when Israel complained to Moses that there was no water to drink, God told Moses to smote a rock, and water would come out. Moses did, and life giving water flowed freely from the rock that he smote. God painted a great picture of how Jesus would be smitten, and His blood would flow freely, giving life to all who would drink from this Most Holy Fountain. The next time, the details were marred. God told Moses to only speak to the rock, and water would flow. But Moses didn’t. In his anger at Israel, he hit the rock as he spoke, and once again water flowed. Moses had smudged the painting God was making: the details were ruined. God was painting a picture of Romans 10:13…

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

As a result of him messing up the details, Moses was not allowed to enter into the promised land. God is concerned about the details.

We should be glad that God is concerned about the details too. He knows me and you better than we know ourselves. Just think, a perfect God, who supplied the perfect salvation, is building me the perfect mansion in the perfect place. My mansion is just for me, and it will be the perfect place for me: don’t spare me the details!

According to our verse, God gave wisdom and understanding to those building so they would know the details, and create the items exactly how God wanted them. What were they building?

1) They were building a witness for the Lord.

There was a TV commercial years ago that stated how amazing the human eye is. It can see the flickering light of a candle that is 10 miles away. How much more the fire of the Lord by night and the cloud of the Lord by day covering the Tabernacle? Exodus 40:38 tells us that it was in the sight of all Israel. If your eye can see a candle flickering 10 miles away, the surrounding nations may have saw also that God was with Israel.

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30)

2) They were building up riches in Heaven.

Jesus said…

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

They gave out of the abundance that the Lord had given them when they spoiled the Egyptians. They gave so much that Moses had to tell them to stop giving (Exodus 36:4-7). I ain’t never heard that one happening in any of today’s churches. God can stretch your 90% more than you can stretch your 100%.

3) They were building a legacy for their families.

The Tabernacle would be the place to worship God, and offer Him sacrifices, for 480 years when Solomon would build the first Temple. That’s five, or so, generations that would meet with the Lord here.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)

What have you built lately? Don’t spare the details.

Peace.


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The Wilderness Of Sin – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Passage – Exodus 16 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers also read – Luke 5 – 6; Proverbs 25; Psalms 121 – 125

Read the “0125 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 16:1)

Good morning. Did you know Sin was a real place? It’s located between Elim and Sinai. Sin is a real place: we wander around in it all the time. It’s not a fun place to be. It’s an easy place to get to, but sometimes a very hard place to get out of. And Israel was faced with the wilderness of Sin right in front of them. And they stepped into Sin.

“And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” (Exodus 16:2-3)

As soon as they entered the wilderness of Sin, the sin started. The children of Israel murmured about those in charge. You blame them or others for your troubles, but it was your walk into Sin. So, number 1, Sin brings Sedition.

Number 2, Sin does not bring Satisfaction. When all of Israel were in Sin they were hungry. Sin does not satisfy, and that added to their sedition.

1) Sin brings Sedition

2) Sin does not bring Satisfaction

And thirdly, Sin brings Sacrilege…

“And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.” (Exodus 16:8)

Israel did not have to murmur. Israel did not have to walk around hungry. Israel did not have to blaspheme God. But they did. And God loved them enough that He took care of their needs by giving them quail, and manna to eat. They didn’t have to do all those things. All they had to do was ask God and He would have fulfilled their needs.

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Just ask…

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

The next time you decide that you want to take a walk in the wilderness of Sin: DON’T! Just remember…

1) Sin brings Sedition

2) Sin does not bring Satisfaction

3) Sin brings Sacrilege

Peace.


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