Be Ready!

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
- Romans 13:14

free-wallpaper-6Wake

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of day:
we are not of the night, nor of the darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others;
but let us watch and be sober.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:5, 6

The word sober in verse 6 means living with our eyes opened.
The Lord’s return is coming someday, my friends, are we ready?

But let us, who are of the day, be sober,
putting on the breastplate of faith and love;
and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation
by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep,
we should live together with him.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:8 - 10

free-wallpaper-6clean

We do not want to be found dressed in dirty garments when the Lord Jesus returns.
As a follower of Jesus, we are privileged to wear the armor of light,
not the deeds of darkness.
We have absolutely NO reason to get involved in the pleasures of the world.

And now, little children, abide in him;
that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence,
and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
that we should be called the sons of God:
therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is.
- 1 John 2:28, 3:1 - 2

free-wallpaper-6Grow

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.
- Romans 13:14

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ means to become more and more like Him,
to receive by faith all that He is for our daily living.
What are we eating? We grow on what we eat
so that is why God warns us not to make provisions for the flesh.

If we feed the flesh, we will fail,
but if we feed the inner man the nourishing things of the Spirit,
we will succeed.
- Wiersbe Commentary

Blessings to each one of you!

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Friends Like Diamonds

It seems to me as if there’s something in the water around here-everyone seems to be getting into relationships, engaged or married! This past Friday I was blessed to witness and celebrate the marriage of a long time friend, Morgan, to a fantastic guy-her Mr. Right, Josiah. I’ve known Morgan since she was five. Now she has not one but two rings on her finger. One of my best friends, Michaela, is Morgan’s older sister, and the maid of honor at the wedding. Both of our ring fingers remain bare-but did that deter us from celebrating, dancing the night away and smiling until our faces hurt? Not one bit. I must’ve hugged Michaela a gazillion times Friday night and we just laughed. I am so grateful that I can laugh with all my friends, no matter what stage of life we find ourselves in. Each of my friends is utterly unique-like a unique facet on each and every diamond. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of them recently on the hands of my friends!

Romans 12:6 says, Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…

Through each of my friends, I have been the recipient of much grace. Each of our unique gifts only enhance our friendships, our relationships with family and everyone we come in contact with. What’s funny is that my dearest friends and I-we don’t even go to the same church. But we all serve, love and worship the one true God and further His kingdom in a myriad of ways. Each of our callings is different-but one thing remains the same, one reason I am eternally grateful to God for MOHL. As God’s daughters, our Christian walks are not meant to be walked alone.

Also like diamonds with many facets are the gifts we have that may have been borne through a difficult time or season in life. Diamonds are mined. Then pounded and broken. Then, slowly but surely, diamonds are refined until they gleam and sparkle in the light. Proverbs 17:17 says, A friend loves at all times, and  a brother is born for adversity. Those friends who have stuck by you in the heartbreaking times, the best times and everything in between? Our gracious God gave them to you so you could be drawn closer to Himself, so gifts and skills could be developed by His perfect plan.

I wrote in the back of my book to two such diamond-like friends, I am forever thankful for all you are, all you give, and how you love. Every person we ever come in contact with impacts us and is used by the Lord for His divine purposes, yes, even those no longer in our lives. But there are those you can count on for a lifetime, who have been there for you all along, thanks to the abundant grace of God.

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A thought or two on Godly friendships

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For many, many years, I prayed that the Lord would send me Godly friends.

Over the past couple of years, the Lord has been so very gracious and answered my prayer in abundance. He has sent specific people into my life at the most perfect moments.

When it seemed as if my family and I were the only ones walking along a particular path, He sent a special group of friends to me that I “met” online. I’m still writing back and forth with several of those ladies, and each one of them hold a special place in my heart. There were many times when I would be having a particularly rough day, and I would have a letter or email from one of them in my mailbox or inbox. It literally brightened my whole day! These ladies have shown the love of Christ to me in incredible ways, and while many of them I haven’t yet had the privilege to meet in person, I pray the Lord will allow me to meet each one of them if it is His will.

Along with these special online friends, over the past year especially, He began to bring ladies into my life that I see in person quite often now. It is so wonderful to get together with them and simply fellowship, or if the situation arises, to stop and pray for one another. There have been a couple of girls in particular who have literally stopped what they are doing right then to pray for me, and made it a point to encourage me if I had been struggling with something. They have prayed faithfully and diligently for us as my family has walked through some rather difficult situations over the past year, many of them making themselves available to help with things as we have had needs arise.

It’s really made me think a lot about the blessing that the Lord has given us through Godly friendships, so I was excited to see that our topic for the month here at Meditations of His Love is “Godly Relationships”. I’m going to focus specifically on Godly friendships today.

In the scriptures, there is a lot of value placed upon having Godly relationships with others.

We are encouraged to seek out relationships with those who are of like-mindedness to us. We, as Christians, should be constantly seeking to encourage other believers to strive ever more in the pursuit of Christ, and in becoming more like Him each and every day. We need to love each other. REALLY love each other. Not the lovey-dovey sort of love portrayed in sappy Hallmark movies, but with a sincere, sacrificial  love. A mirror of the love the Lord showed us when He took upon Himself the burden of *our* sins, that we might live a life unshackled by the chains and bondage of sin, so that we will go one day to live with Him in heaven for eternity. We should seek to show the beautiful, sacrificial love of Christ however we can to encourage and edify other believers, encouraging them to seek the higher things of the Lord.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” - Hebrews 10:24-25

Sometimes, it is difficult to put aside our wants, needs or desires to be a servant to others. To love them, even when they are at their most unlovable. However, it’s not up to us to choose whom we will show love and grace to and whom we won’t.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud,but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” - Romans 12:9-16

“You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.- Romans 14:10

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” - Romans 14:13

We are to put aside our selfishness and pride, and endeavor to show our brothers and sisters the love and mercy the Lord has shown to us.

“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”  For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” - Romans 15:7

“No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.” -1st Corinthians 10:24

I’m so thankful for the grace the Lord showed us when He chose us to be His very own. I feel overwhelmed with joy and awe that He would choose us, despite our wickedness and sinful natures. I’m awestruck that He continues to pour out His love and mercy. To even further demonstrate how much He loves us, He set apart a people for Himself, and equipped them to minister and love one another so that we might all be mutually encouraged in the faith. What an extraordinary blessing! <3

May we all seek to show the love of Christ to one another in our relationships with others, faithfully seeking to show His mercy and grace in our day-to-day walk alongside each other. Remember to pray for one another, and look for ways you can be an encouragement in someone’s life. You may never know how big of a blessing you are to them while they are struggling.

~Miss Court

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Lessons from Romans: Glorious Hope

A Post by: Melinda

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)

I love the word hope.  It isn’t a wonder then that my blog is named Abounding Hope. :-) God’s hope, which never fails, brings me constant and abiding joy.  When I get discouraged, I think of the hope I have in Christ.

The verses above bring such insight into the Christian life and why we have hope.

We’ve been justified by faith.
We have peace with God through Jesus Christ.
We have access into God’s grace.

And because of all those, we can rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Beautiful.

How is hope best developed?

Through rejoicing in our suffering.

Why do we rejoice in suffering?

Because suffering produces endurance.

Why is endurance important?

Endurance produces the character of Christ in us.

What does the character of Christ produce?

Hope.  Hope that doesn’t put us to shame.  Hope against hope and without reason.

Why does hope not put us to shame?

Because God has poured His love into our hearts.

Wow.  Isn’t that beautiful?

That’s why I love hope.  I hope you learn to love it too. :-)

“May the God of hope, fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.”  Romans 15:13 (ESV)

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Lessons from the Book of Romans; Justified

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.


And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:29-30 (NIV)
I love this verse. God has a process for us to be glorified. He doesn’t just save us from eternal death and sin, He predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies us.

Before the creation of the world God choose me to be His child. He set me apart before time began to be His ambassador to the world. God knew everything I would do right and wrong and He still made me part of His family.

My earthly dad only knew about me about 8 months before I was born. Yet He loved me even then. He accepted me into His family and dreamed about who I would be. I hadn’t done anything good or bad, but still my dad loved me and accepted me into the family before I was even born.

Do you see the similarity? Our earthly dads loved and accepted us even before we were born. In a way they predestined us to be brought into our family. But with our heavenly Dad, He planned to adopt us even when we were children of sin. Isn’t His love amazing?

Then He called me. He calls with a small wonderful voice. A voice that doesn’t call out our sins or accuse me. He calls out that my sin has been paid. My life has been redeemed. I am His and He will help me. In whatever happens He continues to call, sometimes I tone Him out, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t call.

And it doesn’t end there. He justifies. He came down in the flesh and reconciled me to Himself. He took my sin and threw it into a bottomless sea. Now I stand justified before God, not because of my own righteous actions, but because of what God has done for me. I’ve been made whole.

And yet God goes one step further, He glorifies me. Because I am united with Him, I share in the glory of God. Now I may look like ordinary country girl, but one day I will glorified. All that I have done will be set as jewels on a crown. God will take away all the pain and shame. Nothing will be left except Him and His glory.

One day we will see all of this clearly. Until that day comes, trust and rest in God and He will lift you up.

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Lessons from the book of Romans: A lifestyle of serving God

A post by Julia

Before you read my post, I would love to encourage you to read Miss Rachel and Sarah’s excellent posts first. I know they blessed me very much and believe that the same would be true for you! :)

Our family has recently begun attending a new church closer to home, instead of driving an hour away to visit a homechurch, and it has been so good for me to be stretched in new areas, like meeting new people and getting out of my comfort zone to talk to people I didn’t know yet. I’ve been enjoying the sermons our pastor has preached lately, and was convicted by many of the things he said about living a life for God. So my post today was for the most part inspired by the things I’ve been thinking on recently. :)

Romans chapter 6 verses 13 through 18 says…

(13) Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
(14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
(15) What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
(16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousnes?
(17) But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you.
(18) Being then made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness.
Now, I hope you did not do what I do sometimes on a busy day (much to my regret) and skip over the scripture to read only what the author of the blog post is writing. if you did that, please go back and carefully read through the verses. ;)
I loved reading what Paul was writing to the christians in Rome. He was so encouraging and uplifting, yet at the same time his message was powerful and convicting. You can sense that he had a tender heart for these fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, but he didn’t mince words or tiptoe around where the word of God was concerned.
In verse 13 of that passage of scripture up there, Paul was saying “Don’t yield your members (I believe that’s our hands and feet, and our physical efforts) as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin” We cannot become tools of the enemy. Don’t let him use you for evil works! Instead… “…yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. “
That gives me such a good feeling inside, when I yield myself unto God! It is such a safe thing to do - God knows what is best for us and loves us unconditionally, so serving him with everything that is within us is the best thing we could do.
Who are we serving right now? Are we honoring the Lord with our actions every day, or just for a little while out of the week on Sunday morning, or Wednesday night?
Romans chapter 6 verse 23 says…
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
What are you doing to uplift the circle of influence around you? We see a select group of people often. Family, friends, the regular clerks at the grocery store, the tellers at the bank…  We don’t think about it, but there is a circle of people around each one of us that we can either reach out to, or ignore. What will others see reflected in the style of your life? What does your lifestyle look like to them? We need to be thinking about the things we can do to be a positive influence.
The world is watching you - what will you show it?
Let’s keep up the good work, endeavoring to be a servant of the Lord in all we do.
Love & Blessings,
Julia
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Lessons from the Book of Romans: Sin’s Grasp

Written by: Miss Rachel

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” ~ Ephesians 6:12


The battle for souls is great in this world. God wants us to be part of His glorious kingdom and satan will do everything he can to make us a part of his…or at least, to displease our Father in heaven. For those who are not saved and do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they will not have these “spiritual battles” in their lives, as they already belong to satan, not to God. But we as Christians deal with sin and temptation on a daily basis.


Temptation is defined as ~ …enticement to evil by arguments, by flattery, or by the offer of some real or apparent good.”

“Solicitation of the passions; enticements to evil proceeding from the prospect of pleasure or advantage.”

“The state of being tempted or enticed to evil. When by human weakness you are led into temptation, resort to prayer for relief.”

(quotes from Webster’s 1828 dictionary)

“That which tempts; an inducement; an allurement, especially to something evil.”

(quote from Webster’s 1913 dictionary)

Sin ~ paraphrased it means
whatever is contrary to God’s commands or law.”


Sin may not seem like so great a thing at times. But, the bible says that if we do not deal with the sin we have in our lives…the spirit won’t be able to work (1 Thes. 5:19). We can develop a hard heart against God and the things of God as well (Psalm 95:8). When we know we have sinned, we MUST confess our sins…not because God needs to hear it, but we need to admit our own wrong ways!!! How can we continue to work in God’s kingdom if our hearts are filled with evil desires, or our minds are filled with wrong thoughts? :( The first step to dealing with sin…is admitting that you did wrong, that you failed. ONLY then, can we come back and begin again

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. ~ Galatians 6:7-8

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~ Romans 6:2


“The Blame Game”

Blaming others for our own sin is not new in any sense. From the beginning in the garden of Eden, after the first sin was committed, Adam blamed his wife Eve, who in turn blamed the serpent (devil in the form of a serpent) - [Genesis 3:12-14].

We also can not blame God for our own sin. God is not evil minded…He will not lead us into temptation and sin, but into goodness. It would completely go against God’s character and all that He is.

James 1:13 ~ “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way…” Isaiah 53:6a

Just like sheep, we will turn into whichever way we desire. We will not always listen to the Master’s voice, but will choose to listen to the voice of another. We need to choose to listen only to God’s guiding voice. We can do that by reading our bibles faithfully and really studying His word for ourselves, by prayer and talking to Him, and by keeping those things that are worldly out of our lives and heart and minds.

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” ~ Romans 13:14

Satan’s Only Power - Deception

At times we like to blame Satan for our troubles as well. “It’s his fault, he made me do it!”, we might say. But that is not true at all! Satan can not make us sin. He can only tempt and deceive us. (Genesis 3:13; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 18:23; Father of lies - John 8:44)

We make our own choices to sin. Though satan may lie to us and lead us astray, we are the ones who “allow” ourselves to be so weak in our faith and in our Christian walk as to follow after him and listen to him. :( We are held responsible for the sins we do. And, WE are the ones who must pay the consequences in this life for our own sinful hearts and actions.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” ~ Galatians 6:7-8

You see, if we are growing sinful, fleshly things in our lives, then we will only produce fleshly and sinful things in our words, thoughts, and actions. :( BUT, if we grow and plant good godly things in our lives, then we will produce (with God’s help) a life worthy of praise to our Lord. :)

So, how do we deal with sin and temptation? Pray. Read the bible. Follow God’s word. :) Jesus told His disciples to pray that they would not be lead astray. So I think that is excellent advice and a good model to follow. ;) (Matt. 26:41; Matt. 6:13; Luke 22:39-40)

God has promised that we will never be tempted to sin in a way that we can not handle. He will only allow us to be tempted in ways that will help us to become better. That should give us confidence to know that God already knows we can handle this situation! AND, it should give us confidence to know that God is always right there with us, helping us and guiding us…so we can overcome the temptation to sin. :) God allows things to enter our lives to challenge our faith so that we can become strong through Him in the overcoming of it. :) He is ever changing us to be more like His Son, Jesus Christ, and through trials, we are made strong in our faith and are ever growing more like Christ. :)

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” ~ James 1:2

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” ~ James 1:12

Victory!
At times, I know how difficult it may seem to conquer these flaws and sins we have. :( Satan seems to tempt and lead us astray at each and every turn and at every crossroads we come to! But let me tell you dear sisters…we can have victory over our sins! Oh, this does not mean we will never sin again…but we can choose not to sin and through Jesus, we can win some of the battles. ;) Hebrews 12:1-3 tells us to lay aside every weight and sin that comes to us and run with patience…looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (through His blood and work on the cross). :)

You see, we can be conquerors through the blood of Jesus Christ. He has already paid for your sins and mine, all we have to do is accept Him in our life (Romans 10:9-12; 13). If we have done this, then we are FREE from the grasp that sin has over us and we are God’s children. The only battles we lose are the ones that we try to fight in our own strength.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” ~ Romans 8:1

Romans 6 tells us that we are dead to sin. We are dead to sin, because Jesus has paid the price already.

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” ~ Romans 6: 6-11

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:37-39

Do you see that? NOTHING can separate us from the love of GOD! :D (See Miss Sarah’s post from this week). No matter how many times we may fail Him…remember, God loves you soo very much, and nothing we could ever do can keep Him from loving us! :) If you keep your eyes fixed on Him, and you continue to read His word each day and continue to work on the area’s of weakness that you struggle with…then He will help you and guide you. He will never leave you as you are, but is ever changing you to for good. :) You can have peace and joy in your heart and mind my friends by knowing this! :) God doesn’t lie, so trust HIM to save you from yourself. ;)

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” ~ Philippians 1:6



God Bless!
~Miss Rachel~

Inspiration for this post came in part from the book “Winning the War Within: Facing Trials, Temptations, and Inner Struggles” by Charles Stanley. It is meant for a slightly “older” audience, but I would highly recommend it for anyone dealing with these spiritual battles and inner struggles right now. It was very eye opening, helpful, and encouraging to me. :)

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Lessons from the Book of Romans: The Love of God

By Sarah H.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”



“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39 NIV


Did you see it? Nothing can separate you from the love of God. Not your failures, not Satan, not the government, not your uncertain future or your questionable past. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, can separate you from the love of God!


“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29 NIV

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