Saved by grace through faith alone

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Before continuing in the Ten Commandments, I feel compelled to once again declare this truth, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Just want to be sure that there is no misunderstanding regarding salvation based on work. It can not happen. The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible so two other verses are below:

Galatians 2:16, “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”

Romans 3:20, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

So thankful that Jesus paid it all and salvation is not by being good. If salvation is by being good, it begs the question that I have heard preached and taught many times before…”if salvation is by being good, how good is good enough? Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

The law proves to us that all our self-righteousness acts are an empty and dirty offering before a Holy, Righteous, Pure and Perfect God. The law reveals our need for a Savior. There is no way that we could ever be good enough for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” Romans 3:23-25

Matthew 5:17-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

 I am reminded of the old hymn, “What can wash away my sin?” in Gos­pel Mu­sic,
by Will­iam Doane and Ro­bert Low­ry (New York: Big­low & Main, 1876)

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain: Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

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Worthy is the Lamb!

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11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”

13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. Revelation 5:11-14

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,

who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

“Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”

13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

14 I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,
“they are before the throne of God

    and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
    never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
    nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”  Revelation 7:9-17

22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

“Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. 11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. Revelation 22

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Chosen by God

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Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”Exodus 19:5-6

We see today that the Lord was calling the people of Israel into a covenant relationship. Verses 5 and 6 gives three titles that God gave to this nation: 1) a treasured possession, 2) a kingdom of priests, and 3) a holy nation. We also see that the covenant was conditional…”If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant.”

Here we are facing the Sovereignty of God one time. In the midst of these titles the Lord declares “for all the earth is Mine.” Amen! I Am God! You may still have memory of all those foreign ‘g’ods in Egypt but please know and understand that there is no God but Me. Isaiah 43 comes to my heart:

10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
    “and My servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe Me
    and understand that I Am He.
Before Me no god was formed,
    nor will there be one after Me.
11 I, even I, Am the Lord,
    and apart from Me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
    I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I Am God.
13     Yes, and from ancient days I Am He.
No one can deliver out of My hand.
    When I act, who can reverse it?”

I am God and I choose you as My treasure and desire to set you apart unto Myself as a holy nation dedicated to intimate relationship with Me as a display of My glory. The Lord instructed Moses to return to the people and put the Lord’s loving, gracious, and merciful proposal before them. We will look at the people’s response later but on today we give God thanks that He gives the believer a similar proposal.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

God has called those who placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to be:

  • A chosen race – I can’t help but smile even as I type this in the midst of times when the enemy is firing his darts of division and confusion, pitting one race against another…not just black and white but all races. God says, I call the believer into one race, the Christian race.
    So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:26-29) .” I can remember as a child when we would rebel against what our mama said she would tell us, “You better get over yourself.” So it would seem that any believer caught up in a movement of supremacy over other races or personally thinking such about themselves, best examine themselves before the Lord and His Word. As we sung as children, “Red, yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Selah.
  • A royal priesthood – a people who have access to God, who do not have need of another priest. Jesus is our High Priest and He mediated this at the cross. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5-6). We are granted the privilege of His presence at all times and whatever we do should be in His service and for His glory. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession (Hebrews 4:14).” Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship (Romans 12:1-2).
  • A holy nation – a people set apart to Him and for Him, new creatures in Christ. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. We are transformed into His character and because He is holy, we are holy and we surrender our lives to Him as He transforms us from glory to glory.
  • A people for His own possession – He is our God and we are His people. As verse 10 declares, Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. This is truly a Shout Now, Hallelejah! Truth! Selah.
  • A people to proclaim the excellencies of Him – the people the Lord created for Himself that we might declare His praise. Oh my, what a privilege!

HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!!!
SELAH!

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The Lord called to him

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Moses went up the mountain to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain: “This is what you must say to the house of Jacob, and explain to the Israelites: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Me. Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.” Exodus 19:3-5

The Word of God repeatedly reveals God’s heart of compassion and mercy. The very fact that He did not create us and then leave us on our own and has a plan and purpose for our lives. I am blessed that the Lord doesn’t leave us to figure it out on our own but in His grace and mercy, He calls us unto Himself into an intimate, personal relationship. 

In verse 3, we see the Lord called to Moses from the mountain. First, I am thankful that the Lord calls and draws man unto Himself. We see Jesus speak this in John 6:44 as well,

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

This truth gives us reason to rejoice for man comes into the world separated from the God who created him and placed him on the earth. Our very nature apart from Christ is sin and depravity as the Scriptures make plain:

As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one; 11there is no one who understands;

    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good, not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”  Ephesians 2:1-3

And ssssooooo…was having a conversation the other day with another believer about the immorality that runs rampant in the world today. The person said that they just didn’t understand how it could be. I responded that we come into the world that way  and quoted the verses above. This person responded but at some point you would think they would change. I responded with 2 Corinthians 4:4, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

You see, I believe as believers in Jesus Christ, especially those who have been in relationship for a long while, we sometimes let it slip pass us that there is a real battle going on for the soul of man. We look right pass this truth as we shake our heads and say they ought to give their lives to Jesus. I just don’t get it. Why would they? We fail to remember that just as the Father draws, there is an enemy who blinds eyes and whispers lies…just as he did with Eve. You will not die, surely God did not say, and if he did-are you sure you want him for your God?

And ssssooooo…back to today’s verses. Our God is just as faithful today as He was in Moses’ day when He brought Moses back to Mount Sinai, drew him up the mountain, and called to him the work the Lord had for Moses to do. It begins with verse 3, “This what you must say…and explain.” The Lord is still drawing unto Himself and His instructions to us remain. He said it a little differently but they are essentially the same:

Matthew 28
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

2 Corinthians
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

Matthew 5:13
“You are the salt of the earth….”

Matthew 5
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Heavenly Father,
You are the Sovereign God who still draws man unto yourself, the loving, compassionate and merciful God who gave Your only begotten Son to make it possible. If we had ten thousands tongues, we could not thank You enough. We pray in the Name of Jesus that you would lift the blinders that man could see the all surpassing glory of Jesus and come to saving faith. Strengthen us in these times to be faithful in the harvest of souls so that none in our sphere of influence would perish! Thank you for your love, grace, and mercy!
In Jesus Name, Amen!

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love, faith, mercy, and praise

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Jude

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

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“I am God, and there is none like me”

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“remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
    I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
    and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
    and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
    the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
    I have purposed, and I will do it.” Isaiah 46:9-11

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Remember…

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And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24

Blessings today! It’s Wisdom Wednesday!

I pray that you will be blessed with some quick and easy things worth remembering to the glory of God! Enjoy your day!

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Remember 1

“I remember your name in the night, O Lord, and keep your law.” Psalm 119:55

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Remember 2
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Remember 3

“Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:2

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Remember 4
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Remember 5

“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel…” 2 Timothy 2:8

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Remember 6
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Remember 7

“”In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35

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Remember 8
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Remember 9

“Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced…”
Psalm 105:5

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Remember 10
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Remember 11

“I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11

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Remember 11

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:” Psalm 103:2

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Remember 12

Let’s trust God as remember His wonderful grace, mercy, and goodness
and give Him the highest praise, Hallelujah!

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Jesus, the Name Above All Names

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“Therefore God has highly exalted him [Jesus] and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

“Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12

“He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Daniel 7:14

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The Son’s desire…

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Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me,
may be with me where I am,
to see my glory that you have given me
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

John 17:24

What a blessed and wonderful verse to meditate upon in this Christmas season, into the new year, and each and every day! I have to admit that verses like this bring tears of wonder, joy, and expectation when I do not just read them…but meditate upon them.

What a loving and gracious God Jesus is, none other like Him, nobody greater!

He is about to be arrested, He is about to be beaten beyond recognition, He is headed to Calvary…and Jesus has you and me in His heart and on His mind! It is His will, want, strong and earnest desire that those the Father has given Him would be with Him where He is and He is willing to pay the price. Blessed is the Name of the Lord!

The wonder and joy:

  1. “whom You have given Me”whom You have given Me – now please, please, please don’t get me wrong – Jesus is God’s gift to the world, He is the Greatest Gift Ever Given... … … … … and I, in fact, each person that accepts God’s most gracious gift of so love and mercy demonstrated in Jesus, is the Father’s gift to Jesus! Say what? Read it again, “whom You have given me.” Blessed is the Name of the Lord! Certainly more than I could conjure up, I am God’s gift to Jesus! That’s a Shout Now…Hallelujah!

    You see, I know that I WAS everything the Word of God says wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked (Revelation 3:17)” and despite all of that, the Father gave me as a gift to His Son who He loved before the foundation of the world. Just can’t help it, Shout Now – Hallelujah!
    Now listen, if you are feeling down today, this Word ought to stir your heart and shake that spirit right off of you! I pray you will receive the Lord’s report. You are so important to God that He gave His most precious Son to redeem you into a love relationship with Himself. So valuable that the Father saw/sees you as the perfect gift for His Son. Just doesn’t get any better that these truths! Selah!

  2. Jesus wants me, in fact, every believer to be with Him. This gift of relationship is not a long distance one. It is the ultimate reason Jesus came, “to destroy the work of the devil (1 John 3:8).”  What is that work? Sin. The very thing that separates man from His Creator. Jesus came to “seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).” Jesus said, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord (John 10:18).” Why? So the separation could be removed. Immanuel, God with us now and forever. Jesus wants His gifts with Him forever, in eternity. “He [Jesus} died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:10).” And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:3).” Shout Now! Hallelujah!
  3. Jesus wants me, in fact, every believer to see His glory! That’s the “you ain’t seen nothing yet” dayBeloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2).” Shout Now! Hallelujah!
    The hymn writer penned, “Oh I want to see him look upon His face
    There to sing forever of his saving Grace.
    On the streets of Glory, Let me lift my voice.
    Cares all past, home at last
    Ever to Rejoice.”

    SHOUT NOW! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

GLORY TO THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD, THE GREATEST GIFT EVER GIVEN! PRAISING GOD for gifting me back to Him! Selah!

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His children…

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

So love, great love, lavished love!

Certainly not that we have been so good our deserve it! 

Selah!

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