She Kept Her Promise

I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life. 1 Samuel 1:11.
Elkanah, a Levite of Mount Ephraim, was a man of wealth and influence, and one who loved and feared the Lord. His wife, Hannah, was a woman of fervent piety. Gentle and unassuming, her character was marked with deep earnestness and a lofty faith.The blessing so earnestly sought by every Hebrew was denied this godly pair; their home was not gladdened by the voice of childhood; and the desire to perpetuate his name led the husband—as it had led many others—to contract a second marriage. But this step, prompted by a lack of faith in God, did not bring happiness. Sons and daughters were added to the household; but the joy and beauty of God’s sacred institution had been marred and the peace of the family was broken. Peninnah, the new wife, was jealous and narrow-minded, and she bore herself with pride and insolence. To Hannah, hope seemed crushed and life a weary burden; yet she met the trial with uncomplaining meekness….The burden which she could share with no earthly friend she cast upon God. Earnestly she pleaded that He would take away her reproach and grant her the precious gift of a son to nurture and train for Him. And she made a solemn vow that if her request were granted, she would dedicate her child to God, even from its birth….Hannah’s prayer was granted; she received the gift for which she had so earnestly entreated. As she looked upon the child, she called him Samuel—“asked of God.”
As soon as the little one was old enough to be separated from its mother, she fulfilled her solemn vow. She loved her child with all the devotion of a mother’s heart; day by day her affections entwined about him more closely as she watched his expanding powers, and listened to the childish prattle; he was her only son, the especial gift of heaven; but she had received him as a treasure consecrated to God, and she would not withhold from the Giver His own. Faith strengthened the mother’s heart, and she yielded not to the pleadings of natural affection.
Conflict and Courage p. 137
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Prayer Requests
—–Please pray for Carol and her family as her mother died yesterday. Rose
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Dear Friends,

When Ronnie Jay was still going to Union College, he bought three hamsters. He and his friends had so much fun watching them running on their exercise wheel. The three creatures would often try to run on it at the same time—-sometimes in the opposite direction! This would cause one or more to be slung out of the wheel. Whereupon that little creature would jump right back on and begin the process all over again.

How often we feel as if we are like those hamsters—always busy but accomplishing nothing. When we fail to keep the connection with the Great King of the Universe, we feel like a hamster on a giant exercise wheel—ever running but getting nowhere. How many times we can get ourselves into circumstances where there seems to be no way out, no future. How it must break our Great Redeemer’s heart to see us struggling futilely in our own strength, when He is there to help us disentangle ourselves from the mess we have gotten ourselves into, to deliver us out of the cage we are in. All we need to do is ask Him. He assures us, “Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matt 7:7,8 When we cry unto the Lord in our trouble, He will save us out of all of our distresses. He will deliver us from the exercise wheel of life and open a plain path of escape before our feet for He is faithful Who has promised, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Ps 32:8

How important then, that we” pray without ceasing.” 1 Thes 5:17 How vital that we keep in touch with our Dear Saviour moment by moment. When He was upon this earth, our Loving Redeemer felt the need for His Father’s guidance. Indeed, He often spent all night in earnest prayer with strong crying and tears. Heb 5:7 That very same Jesus is yearning for us to earnestly desire to get off life’s exercise wheel and pray to Him for the guidance and strength that He so freely offers.

May we listen to His pleading voice bidding us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matt 11:28, 29

Rose

God Remembered

And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, Remember me. Judges 16:28
In suffering and humiliation, a sport for the Philistines, Samson learned more of his own weakness than he had ever known before; and his afflictions led him to repentance. As his hair grew, his power gradually returned; but his enemies, regarding him as a fettered and helpless prisoner, felt no apprehensions.
The Philistines ascribed their victory to their gods; and, exulting, they defied the God of Israel. A feast was appointed in honor of Dagon, the fish god, “the protector of the sea.” From town and country throughout the Philistine plain the people and their lords assembled. Throngs of worshipers filled the vast temple and crowded the galleries about the roof. It was a scene of festivity and rejoicing. There was the pomp of the sacrificial service, followed by music and feasting. Then, as the crowning trophy of Dagon’s power, Samson was brought in. Shouts of exultation greeted his appearance. People and rulers mocked his misery and adored the god who had overthrown “the destroyer of their country.” After a time, as if weary, Samson asked permission to rest against the two central pillars which supported the temple roof. Then he silently uttered the prayer, “O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines.” With these words he encircled the pillars with his mighty arms; and crying, “Let me die with the Philistines!” he bowed himself, and the roof fell, destroying at one crash all that vast multitude. “So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”
The idol and its worshipers, priest and peasant, warrior and noble, were buried together beneath the ruins of Dagon’s temple. And among them was the giant form of him whom God had chosen to be the deliverer of His people.
The contest, instead of being between Samson and the Philistines, was now between Jehovah and Dagon, and thus the Lord was moved to assert His almighty power and His supreme authority.
Conflict and Courage p. 136
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Prayer Requests
—–Pray for some very important decisions and God’s leading. Marie
—–This is for my first cousin he is studying with the __’s he is really searching for answers to the bible and does not want to be mislead. he will not take any literature from me but he will take Scriptures from the bible. please keep him in prayer he is the last of the clan besides myself and my kid brother and sister. his name is Eddie please pray that he will lose interest in the __’s thanks Mary
—–Breann, the young gal we have been praying for was able to return to college in time for the semester to start and on her way down someone crashed into her and took the whole front bumper section of her car off. Amazing the luck that family has had this year, but they said to tell you again how grateful they are for keeping her on the prayer chain.
—–Please pray for Shannon who is having surgery today. Esther
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Dear Friends,

Oh, the love of our Heavenly Father for us! He loves each one as though there were no other being in all of the universe. Our Dear Saviour gave us an illustration of that love in the parable of the prodigal son. “A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land, and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry. For this my son was dead, and is alive again, he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” Luke 15:11-24

Think of it! From the day that his son left home, that broken-hearted father watched for his son’s return. Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year went by with no sign of the boy’s return. Yet, the lonely father did not give up hope. Finally, his vigil was rewarded and he rejoiced as fully as if his son were given back to him from the dead.

How often we are like that prodigal son. How often we break our Redeemer’s Great Heart of Love by leaving His presence and following the ways of the world. How few return to His outstretched arms. How many never return. Even when we break His heart, our Great Father in Heaven does not stop loving us. Indeed, He tenderly watches over us, longing, hoping, yearning, for us to return. He assures us, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.” Isa 49:15,16 “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jer 31:3 Wonderful Saviour!

Sadly, those who refuse to come to Him, must be destroyed. With breaking heart, our Great Creator thinks of what might have been if they had only listened to His loving voice, if they had only turned away from sin and accepted His Grace. As He walks through His beautiful creation of the earth made new, He thinks of those who would have so loved being there, but who chose to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season instead of choosing the inexpressible joy of His companionship throughout all eternity.

“Choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Josh 24:15

Rose

A Sure Crop

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. Proverbs 1:10.
Samson in his peril had the same source of strength as had Joseph. He could choose the right or the wrong as he pleased. But instead of taking hold of the strength of God, he permitted the wild passions of his nature to have full sway. The reasoning powers were perverted, the morals corrupted. God had called Samson to a position of great responsibility, honor, and usefulness; but he must first learn to govern by first learning to obey the laws of God. Joseph was a free moral agent. Good and evil were before him. He could choose the path of purity, holiness, and honor, or the path of immorality and degradation. He chose the right way, and God approved. Samson, under similar temptations, which he had brought upon himself, gave loose rein to passion. The path which he entered upon he found to end in shame, disaster, and death. What a contrast to the history of Joseph!
The Lord has in His Word plainly instructed His people not to unite themselves with those who have not His love and fear before them. Such companions will seldom be satisfied with the love and respect which are justly theirs. They will constantly seek to gain from the God-fearing wife or husband some favor which shall involve a disregard of the divine requirements. To a godly man, and to the church with which he is connected, a worldly wife or a worldly friend is as a spy in the camp, who will watch every opportunity to betray the servant of Christ, and expose him to the enemy’s attacks.
The history of Samson conveys a lesson for those whose characters are yet unformed, who have not yet entered upon the stage of active life. The youth who enter our schools and colleges will find there every class of mind. If they desire sport and folly, if they seek to shun the good and unite with the evil, they have the opportunity. Sin and righteousness are before them, and they are to choose for themselves. But let them remember that “Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.”
Conflict and Courage p. 135
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Prayer Requests
—–Pray for me as I work through some things. DD
—–Please pray that both E and B can find good jobs. L
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Dear Friends,
Memories. Sometimes just a little thing will trigger them. As I was talking to Eileen who was reminiscing about her childhood, it brought back memories that normally lie hidden deep within. As I listened, I could feel myself getting in a sad and nostalgic mood that was hard to shake off.

We all have those kinds of memories and regrets. We all wish at times that things had been different. Praise God! There will come a time when those memories will not haunt us. All of the sorrow of this world will be a thing of the past. John speaks of this time, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” Rev 21:2-5 Precious promise! The Great King of the Universe will personally wipe away all tears from our eyes! Sorrow, sickness, painful memories, and the like will be gone and we will be filled with joy unspeakable.

Peter speaks of the time preceding that wiping away of tears. He says that “the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, [unexpectedly] in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” 2 Peter 3:7-14

May we “give diligence to make [our] calling and election sure” that we may see God face to face, hear Him as He rejoices over us with singing, and feel His loving embrace is my prayer. 1 Peter 1:10, Zeph 3:17

Rose

This is the Secret

And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. Judges 16:20.
Day by day Delilah urged him, until “his soul was vexed unto death;” yet a subtle power kept him by her side. Overcome at last, Samson made known the secret: “There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: If I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.” A messenger was immediately dispatched to the lords of the Philistines, urging them to come to her without delay. While the warrior slept, the heavy masses of his hair were severed from his head. Then, as she had done three times before, she called, “The Philistines be upon thee, Samson!” Suddenly awaking, he thought to exert his strength as before, and destroy them; but his powerless arms refused to do his bidding, and he knew that “Jehovah was departed from him.” When he had been shaven, Delilah began to annoy him and cause him pain, thus making a trial of his strength; for the Philistines dared not approach him till fully convinced that his power was gone. Then they seized him and, having put out both his eyes, they took him to Gaza. Here he was bound with fetters in their prison house and confined to hard labor.
What a change to him who had been the judge and champion of Israel!—now weak, blind, imprisoned, degraded to the most menial service! Little by little he had violated the conditions of his sacred calling. God had borne long with him; but when he had so yielded himself to the power of sin as to betray his secret, the Lord departed from him. There was no virtue in his long hair merely, but it was a token of his loyalty to God; and when the symbol was sacrificed in the indulgence of passion, the blessings of which it was a token were also forfeited.
Had Samson’s head been shaven without fault on his part, his strength would have remained. But his course had shown contempt for the favor and authority of God as much as if he had in disdain himself severed his locks from his head. Therefore God left him to endure the results of his own folly.
Conflict and Courage p. 134
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Prayer Requests
—–Please continue to pray that God will lead B. L
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Dear Friends,

Over the years, we have enjoyed spending time in nature. In whatever part of this vast country we have lived we have hiked or camped in the mountains or beside a stream or lake or in a pine forest. Sometimes, we just took a nice long drive and reveled in the beauty of God’s great creation. Even here in Kansas, we can find some beauty, although we have to look harder for it than in other places we have lived.

How important it is that each of us leave the city behind and go out into nature whenever we have the opportunity. Even after 6000 years of sin, there are scenes of grandeur that are breathtakingly beautiful. As we walk beside a river whose rushing water is splashing over great rocks worn smooth by its action, we can think of the works of the Lord upon our heart, constantly bringing about circumstances to mold us into His image. When surrounded by great, snowcapped mountains dotted with evergreens nearly to their summit, we can meditate upon the Rock Christ Jesus, Who veiled His glory and majesty and came to this dark and sinful world to live a life filled with all the troubles and trials the evil one could heap upon Him. He is our “chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” He is “the stone which the builders disallowed,” Who is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient.” <1 Peter 2:6,8> As we gaze upon the colorful clouds at the close of the day, we look forward to our Heavenly Home where all is light and beauty, “and the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Rev 21:23 Even as we marvel at our Great Creator’s handiwork, we can see signs of the enemy’s work in dead and dying flower, leaf, and animal. This makes us look forward to the time when “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Rev 21:4

David exclaimed, “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done, he commanded, and it stood fast.” “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands, thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field, The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Ps 33:6-9,19:1-6,8:3-9

May praise the Lord for His marvelous creation as we spend time viewing His handiwork is my prayer.

Rose

What’s the Secret?

And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth. Judges 16:6.
The Israelites made Samson judge, and he ruled Israel for twenty years. But one wrong step prepares the way for another…. He continued to seek those sensuous pleasures that were luring him to ruin. “He loved a woman in the valley of Sorek,” not far from his own birthplace. Her name was Delilah, “the consumer.” … The Philistines kept a vigilant watch over the movements of their enemy, and when he degraded himself by this new attachment, they determined, through Delilah, to accomplish his ruin.
A deputation consisting of one leading man from each of the Philistine provinces was sent to the vale of Sorek. They dared not attempt to seize him while in possession of his great strength, but it was their purpose to learn, if possible, the secret of his power. They therefore bribed Delilah to discover and reveal it.
As the betrayer plied Samson with her questions, he deceived her by declaring that the weakness of other men would come upon him if certain processes were tried. When she put the matter to the test, the cheat was discovered. Then she accused him of falsehood, saying, “How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me?” … Three times Samson had the clearest evidence that the Philistines had leagued with his charmer to destroy him; but when her purpose failed, she treated the matter as a jest, and he blindly banished fear.
In the society of this enchantress, the judge of Israel squandered precious hours that should have been sacredly devoted to the welfare of his people. But the blinding passions which make even the strongest weak, had gained control of reason and of conscience….
Samson’s infatuation seems almost incredible. At first he was not so wholly enthralled as to reveal the secret; but he had deliberately walked into the net of the betrayer of souls, and its meshes were drawing close about him at every step.
Conflict and Courage p. 133
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Prayer Requests
—–Please pray that God will overrule and that that which is intended to hurt B will help instead. L
—–Stenio Gungadoo, who died this past Sabbath just before he was to preach. What sad news to receive. Please pray for Stenio’s wife, Maryse, his son Daryl and his family.
—–Pray for the people on the other side of the river where the fire is raging. On one site it said over 5,000 acres were already burned and it’s going fast because of these high winds. Debbie
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Dear Friends,

Some years ago when we had our van. Ron and I were driving along, one day, when, suddenly, we heard something hit our van. We wondered where it had hit, but soon forgot all about it. Later, we noticed that a crack had formed from the very top of the windshield. Then we remembered the incident of a few weeks earlier. Because it was blocked by the large, multilane rear view mirror that we had in it, we did not see the crack in time to get it repaired, so we had to replace the whole thing.

As I was driving along after it was fixed, I couldn’t help but notice the new windshield. It was so clean and new that it seemed like it was not there at all. There were no little nicks from errant rocks thrown by passing cars, no splashes from unfortunate insects, nothing but clearness.

On my way home, however, I was facing the sun which was about an hour from setting. I was very surprised to find that the windshield was not clean at all. In the light of the sun, I could see where the installer had attempted to wipe the dust from it with a damp rag. What had looked so clean and perfect when driving away from the sun’s rays, looked badly smeared and streaked and in need of a good washing when facing them.

How much like that windshield we are. Although we might appear to be outwardly righteous, “the LORD seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7 Indeed, we may think that we are righteous and in need of nothing as did the rich, young ruler who “asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.” Luke 18:18-23 It was only by the sunlight of the Ten Commandments that this young man’s “dirty windshield” was visible.

So it is with us. Paul explains that the law is our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. Yet, the law cannot cleanse us: it has no power to save us. It shows us our “dirty windshield,” our lack of obedience, our great need of God’s amazing grace, our great need of a Saviour from sin. “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Rom 7:12 David tells us, “the law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Ps 19:7-11

Moreover, it was prophesied that our Dear Saviour would “magnify the law, and make it honourable.” Isa 42:21 So He did. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matt 5:17 The word, “fulfil,” means “to make full, fully preach.” Our Great Redeemer taught us, that keeping His law was more than just an outward compliance, it was an inward keeping of it that was important to Him. He declared, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. . . . Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. . . . It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” vs 21-32

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb 4:12 This is why we need the new covenant experience so much. Our Great Redeemer promises, “I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them, And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” 10:16,17 Praise the Lord! He has promised, “new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Eze 36:26,27

May we keep God’s Holy Word, not to be saved, but because we are saved is my prayer.

Rose

Daily Devotionals & Prayer Requests