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PAUL'S SHIPWRECK AND GOD'S PROVIDENCE

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Paul the Apostle was headed to Italy to be brought before Caesar, along with other prisoners.  They set sail under beautiful soft billows of wind.  It was not long, however, that a great tumult, a northeaster of a storm, tossed the ship so violently that there was very little hope of surviving.  It is impossible to think that anything but the Hand of God saved 276 souls, every single one aboard this ship.


Acts 27:33-44

 "Until the day was about to dawn, Paul was encouraging them all to take some food, saying, 'Today is the fourteenth day that you have been constantly watching and going without eating, having taken nothing.Therefore I encourage you to take some food, for this is for your preservation, for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish.'

Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of all, and he broke it and began to eat.All of them were encouraged and they themselves also took food.All of us in the ship were two hundred an…

TO YOUNG MOTHERS

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“The aged women likewise, that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children...that the Word of God be not blasphemed”-
Titus 2:3-5.

 What associations with all that is lovely are connected with that blissful word mother! To that sound the tenderest emotions of the human heart, whether in the bosom of the savage or the sage, wake up. The beauty of that term is seen and its power felt alike by the prince and the peasant, the rustic and the philosopher. It is one of the words which infant lips are first taught to lisp, and the charm of which the infant heart first feels. It is a note to the music of which it is difficult to say whose soul most responsively vibrates, that of the parent or the child.

Humanity, however semi-brutalized by oppression, ignorance, or even vice, has rarely been sunk so low as to have the last spark of maternal love extinguished or the last sensibility of this kind crushed out of it. This strength of woman’s love for …

DO YOU FEAR DYING?

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Truthfully, I do not.  The basis for my non-fear of dying, death, is this:  Christ, Lord and Savior, died for those who believe in Him.  I believe absolutely and completely in Christ alone for eternal life, which means that if I were to die today, I know without hesitation where I will wake up: in Heaven.

So, what does "believe" really mean?  Trusting that He and He alone paid the ransom for my life when I was deadin my sins.  I am redeemed. 

Some "believe" in Christ, but do not really know Him, and do not put their complete trust in Him.  Scripture tells us that even the devil believed. 

Many believe that Christ existed, but they do not believe He is Deity.

He is the second person of the Triune Godhead (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit).

Here is an excerpt from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon, "Fear of Death": 

It is a very natural thing that man should fear to die, for man was not originally created to die. When Adam and Eve were first placed…

THANKFUL IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

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Discontent! Was there ever a time when there was so much restlessness in the world as there is today? We very much doubt it. Despite our boasted progress, the vast increase of wealth, the time and money expended daily in pleasure, discontent is everywhere. No class is exempt. Everything is in a state of flux, and almost everybody is dissatisfied. Many even among God's own people are affected with the evil spirit of this age.

Contentment! Is such a thing realizable, or is it nothing more than a beautiful ideal, a mere dream of the poet? Is it attainable on earth or is it restricted to the inhabitants of heaven? If practicable here and now, may it be retained, or are a few brief moments or hours of contentment the most that we may expect in this life? Such questions as these find answer, an answer at least, in the words of the apostle Paul: "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content" (Phil. 4:11).  The force o…

THE HALLWAY

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Well-intended advice from the world: "When God closes one door, He opens another..." 

I've been stuck many times in what I call the hallway. 

It's a place where some of us lose hope. We don't know why He makes us wait there, or why He even closed the door. 

I've pounded my fists on that door and demanded He let me out. I've learned that He does, He will, in His time. 

Being in the hallway forces me to think deeply about why I'm here.  My heart is drawn to repentance, and having an honest conversation with the Lord. 

I'll tell you the truth, the last time the door opened, and I realized what He chose for my life, I truly thought that maybe I should have stayed in the hallway. Maybe I wasn't ready for what He wanted from me: personal daily sacrifice, and being isolated from a vibrant world I had once been a part of many years ago. 

So where am I now? In the hallway again? Yes.

But this time I am quiet, humble, and willing to accept what awaits me.






BE ALL THE MORE DILIGENT

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The Apostle Peter wrote his second and final letter to his disciples when he was well aware of his imminent death.

In his first heart felt letter, He made reference to his "departure" revealed to him prior to Christ's Ascension.  John 21:18.

Now Peter implores the disciples to remember "if ye do these things, ye will never stumble."

Peter pleads for the disciples to be "all the more diligent".

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 2 Peter 1:10-12


John Calvin:

He draws this conclusion, that it is one proof that we have been really elected, and not in vain called by the Lord, if a good conscience and in…

BE NOT FAITHLESS

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The complexity of the divine events after the crucifixion, entombment, and resurrection of Christ is recorded in all of the gospels.  It is John the Evangelist who brings us a more intimate glimpse of the disciples' emotions when their Master appears to them individually and collectively.

John tells us that it was evening on this particular day, the first of the week, in the place where the disciples were.  The doors were firmly shut.  Remember, they had been scattered about when Christ was arrested.  They were meeting probably at an unknown house near Jerusalem, behind locked doors.  They were in fear of the Jews.

Suddenly, Jesus stood in their midst. He appeared before the disciples in the room and said to them, "Peace be unto  you."  When He said this, He showed them His hands and His side.

Once more He said, "Peace be with you!"  He reminded them that as the Father sent Him, He also sends them. Then, He breathed on them.  "Receive the Holy Spirit.&quo…