PROVERBS

Pr 23 DUPLICITY
Thursday, October 22, 2020.

Pr 23:7 NASB

For as he thinks within himself, so he is: it is our inner belief system that forms who we are on the outside. It is the Holy Spirit’s role to renew our minds to God’s truth Ro 12:2 and as we grow in the knowledge of God to become more like Christ Ro 8:29.

He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you: there is a type of man who demonstrates duplicity in his being: On the outside, he pretends to care for and encourages us to eat his food and drink, however, on the inside, he doesn’t want us to partake of his meal. He has an ulterior motive, to benefit in some way and hides his real feelings on the inside. This outward hospitality is only a ruse. Jesus expects us to be transparent and honest when interacting with others Mt 5:37.

 

BUCKLE UP

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Pr 22 DISCIPLINE
Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

Pr 22:15

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child: children are born with a sin nature Ps 51:5 and must be taught and encouraged to do right and avoid evil.

but the rod of discipline will drive it far away: trying to reason with a toddler to do good is futile as he or she is not yet capable to reason rationally––they only know that they want what they want and reason won’t be a deterrent to stop their quest. God has provided a good fat cushion for parents to drive their point home for immediate obedience. I have been on the wrong end as a child and can attest to its effectiveness. I never received a spanking that I didn’t deserve and it always brought obedience into fruition. However, as a child grows and develops reasoning skills, so should the discipline evolve. One of the best kinds of discipline is through the use of sports, especially team sports. Here the child learns that he or she is not the center of attention, as the team’s goals take priority. They also learn skills and discipline is required to be successful. God created us to be social creatures so it is natural for children to want to please their teammates and their coach and normally will place the team’s goal ahead of their own purposes. As parents, we need to encourage our children and if sports is not their bent then other avenues of disciplines should be explored such as music, art or dance.

A SERVANT’S PRAYER

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Pr 21 THE OBJECT OF TRUST
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pr 21:31

The horse is made ready for the day of battle: trusting in the world’s resources for victory is foolishness. Misdirected  faith can look unsinkable like the Titanic, however, wisdom is only found in God.

but victory rests with the Lord: the Lord has a plan for each life Eph 2:10 and victory lies in recognizing His sovereignty. Pharaoh trusted in his magicians, but even they eventually recognized their inadequacy and inferiority Ex 8:18,19. Satan believed he could defeat Jesus but lost Rev 20:10. The most important battle is for our souls. Trusting in Jesus will bring victory over death but relying on yourself will lead to eternal punishment Ro 6:23.

BLIND SIGHT

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Pr 20 OBTAIN GUIDANCE
Monday, October 19, 2020.

Pr 20:18

Plans are established by seeking advice: if you want to be successful with any type of plan, input from others is crucial. Rather than viewing the project only through your eyes, there is a wealth of information and wisdom that can be available by tapping into other human resources.   

so if you wage war, obtain guidance: in our spiritual battle against Satan, he is too intelligent for us to defeat him on our own resources. However, we can have victory over the evil forces by being guided by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. One piece of advice the Bible gives believers in battle with Satan is to first submit to God’s commands, then resist the devil and the result will be that he will flee from you Jas 4:7.

DANCE IN HIS LIGHT

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Pr 19 GOD’S PLAN
Sunday, October 18, 2020.

Pr 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart: many of my plans that I believed were brilliant ideas have failed miserably. It was only after the fact that I had realized it wasn’t God’s purpose.

but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails: whenever it had been God’s will, my efforts had been successful.

I know it was God’s purpose for me to get involved with fundraising for the orphans of Uganda. He confirmed the initial proposal by Bill sharing with our prayer group two unrelated E-mail requests for financial help from a pastor and a student from Uganda. To make His purpose clearer, Gordon had recently received a video from his nephew, who had finalized a documentary on the “Child Soldiers” of Uganda. We played the trailer and the brutality of “The Lord’s Resistance Army” made me cry. For the next eight years I raised over $50,000 for these orphans. I had feared that God would call me to Africa ever since I became a Christian in 1983. Shortly afterwards, Melody Green’s concert had frightened me, as her message was that we were all called to be missionaries. I told the Lord, I’d do anything that He asked of me but to please not send me to Africa. Then, in 2014, after eight years of fundraising, pressure from my home church caused me to promise that if God wanted me to go to Africa, someone from my school would ask me. I felt that was an impossibility, but with God all things are possible, and yes, a fellow teacher wanted to take his students to Africa and asked me to come and help him. I had to honor my vow and after this teacher had changed his mind about the trip, I ended up leading the adventure. We ended up starting a Christian school for the poorest of the poor in Njeru, Uganda. To read the whole story, order my book “If God Gave Me A Voice.”

I WILL TRUST

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Pr 18 GOD OR GOLD
Saturday, October 17, 2020.

Pr 18:11

The wealth of the rich is their fortified city: wealthy people believe that money can buy security. It can also buy friends, fun and fame. Who needs God if one has wealth?

they imagine it a wall too high to scale: these people believe they are safe from the storms of life; their money can insulate them from all disasters. However, they are forgetting that eternity is a much longer time than this temporal life on earth and God will require an accounting of their actions Ro 2:6. Jesus will separate the people like a shepherd separates the goats from the sheep Mt 25:32 and then He will pronounce judgment on all Mt 25:41,42,43. Is trading gold for God a good investment­­––a few years of comfort for an eternity of regret? There is no wall too high that God cannot scale!

STORM THE WALL

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Pr 17 EMPTY WORDS
Friday, October 16, 2020.

Pr 17:28

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues: empty words will often expose one’s lack of wisdom. It is better not to say anything when you are uninformed on the issue rather than exposing your ignorance through your many words. Your silence may also be interpreted as discerning, as one pondering the significance of the words that were spoken.

Solomon warned us to be careful to control our speech in God’s presence for He knows the motive behind our words Ecc 5:2. Rash oaths Ecc 5:5,6 can lead to unfortunate consequences Jdg 11:30,31,35.

Some believe using repetition while spending much time petitioning God will manipulate Him in answering their prayer. God is too wise for that. Jesus taught not to use empty repetitive words in prayer Mt 6:7. When speaking to God, our words should be sincere and our motives pure. Acceptance of His will should be our goal as it was Jesus’ Lk 22:42.

LOOK AT ME NOW

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Pr 16 CHOOSE WISELY
Thursday, October 15, 2020.

Pr 16:25

There is a way that appears to be right but in the end it leads to death: We can explain away anything, but there will be ramifications for these actions. For many that live to please the flesh, to overcome their nagging consciences they place their faith in evolution, an attractive belief system, for those who desire to eliminate God and His commandments.  Rationalizing truth in the physical domain can be fatal. To decide that the law of gravity isn’t true, then step off the fiftieth floor balcony of a high rise will reap deadly consequences.  Similarly, denying God in the spiritual realm will forfeit your choice to attain eternal life. Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life Jn 14:6. There is no alternative route to heaven. Jesus is the Door  Jn 10:9 KJV and failure to recognize this truth will lead to the second death Rev 21:8. To place feelings over truth is the most foolish mistake one can make. If you have been deceiving yourself, please come to your senses like the prodigal son Lk 15:17,18 and repent of sin while you still have time.

WE’RE CARRYING HIS MESSAGE

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Pr 15 HIGHWAY OF OPPORTUNITY
Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

Pr 15:19

The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns: at least this is what a lazy person thinks. He believes it’s his circumstances, the thorns in life, which prevent him from achieving success. The spiritual sluggard says he believes the Gospel but does little to demonstrate faith. He’ll complain that the Bible is too confusing to understand and therefore will not put effort to discover truth. Getting rid of sin is near impossible, so he succumbs from pursuing righteousness. He is like the foolish virgins, who appear to have salvation (oil) but this is only an outward profession, not an inward reality. He is spiritually asleep when he needs to be awake Mt 25:8,13.

but the path of the upright is a highway: the spiritual alert believer sees his future full of opportunities to serve God Eph 2:10. He doesn’t fear obstacles because he trusts in the Lord Pr 3:6 to work them out for his good Ro 8:28. He keeps his eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of his faith Heb 12:2.

FOREVER AND EVER

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Pr 14 SADNESS
Tuesday, October 13, 2020.

Pr 14:10 

Each heart knows its own bitterness: Paul taught that no man can know the depth of what I am feeling 1 Co 2:11. Eli misinterpreted Hannah’s sorrow 1 Sa 1:10,13,14; Job’s friends didn’t believe his words Job 4:7, 8:20, 11:14; Peter didn’t grasp the gravity of Jesus’ pain Mk 14:34,37.

and no one else can share its joy: Others can empathize with me but since I am unique, as each snowflake that God created, only my Creator can enter into the fullness of my pain Heb 4:15.  The Bible teaches that Jesus cares for me like no other 1 Pe 5:7; He, alone can lighten my heavy burdens Mt 11:28,30; is my strength Php 4:13; is always present Heb 13:5 and nothing can separate me from His love Ro 8:38,39.  

Thank You, Jesus for being my closest friend Pr 17:17 and that You understand and help me through all my anxieties.

WONDERFUL TO ME

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Pr 13 JESUS OUR HOPE
Monday, October 12, 2020.

Pr 13:12

Hope deferred makes the heart sick: We all have hoped for things and were disappointed when they were delayed or did not materialize. It then brings on depression and can lead to a state of hopelessness. So, what is the solution to man’s dilemma?

but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life: Jesus, is the remedy to hopelessness. He is the Tree of Life that was in the Garden of Eden Gen 2:9; 3:22; Ro 6:23 and was transplanted to Calvary Jn 12:32. He meets all of our needs Php 4:19 and can change hopelessness into contentment Php 4:12,13. He can empathize with whatever we are struggling with because he had experienced life as a man Heb 4:15. He had lost loved ones like John the Baptist Mt 14:13 and shared the grief experienced by Mary and Martha Jn 11:33,34,35. He had compassion for His mother, even when undergoing His own pain on the cross Jn 19:26,27 and He’ll be with you in your struggles Heb 13:5.

TREE OF LIFE

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Pr 12 HEAL OR HARM
Sunday, October 11, 2020.

Pr 12:18

The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing: our words can be compared to a surgeon’s scalpel. In the hands of a seasoned expert they can bring healing but controlled by an incompetent physician can do great harm. In every conversation, we can be a blessing and fill our listener with hope and encouragement or pierce his heart with fear, pain or anguish. James says the tongue can set a whole forest on fire Jas 3:5,6. We may never comprehend the damage our words can do to another. As a parent or teacher, our words can wound a child for life or they can be his or her inspiration to greatness.

A doctor takes an oath not to do any harm to his patients but as Christians our calling is even more critical. Our words have the power of life or death Pr 18:21. The goal of every ambassador for Christ 2 Co 5:20 is to win souls Mt 28:19. Let’s carve out blessings rather than curses: build, love, encourage, sooth, support rather than criticize, undermine, ridicule, shame, enrage.

HOPE

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Pr 11 INNER BEAUTY
Saturday, October 10, 2020.

Pr 11:22 

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout: a pig’s nature is to be dirty, it loves to bathe in the mud. It doesn’t befit a pig’s character to place an expensive gold ring in its nose. Jesus said, “Don’t throw pearls to swine” Mt 7:6. Imposters of the Christian faith, who disregard God’s commandments are those that have taken the Gospel message (gold ring) and have trampled it into the ground, ruining the reputation of the Bride of Christ. 

is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion: the beautiful woman  who does show good judgment is the true bride of Christ, the Church. She should reflect her Lord in all she does by letting her light shine Mt 5:16 and be a faithful, righteous helpmate Eph 5:27, obeying her Master’s requests. It’s her inner beauty that makes her beautiful 1 Pe 3:3,4. We are to be Christ’s ambassadors 2 Co 5:20 and therefore need to demonstrate discretion to attract the lost to our Lord.

A LONG, LONG WAY

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Pr 10 TIME MANAGEMENT
Friday, October 9, 2020.

Pr 10:26 

As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes: wine vinegar Ruth 2:14 used alone is bitter and can cause teeth to ache whereas smoke can make eyes burn and become irritated.

so are sluggards to those who send them: in the same way, employers who hire lazy people will experience irritating results.

God has ordained the number of my days Ps 139:16 and expects me to use them wisely. Time is a depleting asset in which I will be judged by God on how well I have used this resource. Everyone has exactly the same amount of hours in a day to utilize, however he or she wishes. A sluggard will foolishly be wasteful with this gift but there will be an appraisal for Christians on how effectively we have used our talents and resources 1 Co 3:13,14,15.

I thank You, Father, for the time You have given me to use for your grandeur. Holy Spirit, teach me wisdom that I may use my time wisely.

NEVER GOING BACK AGAIN

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Pr 9 STOLEN WATER
Thursday, October 8, 2020.

Pr 9:16; Pr 9:17 

“Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense: all who don’t believe in God are foolish, without any discernment and can easily forfeit their lives by listening to the tempter. They’ll end up like the tragic fly, who was enticed by the spider.

she says “stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious:” In hot climates, a well is a protected luxury and able thieves, having stolen its contents, will drink satisfyingly, proud of not having had to work for it. Similarly, stolen food will be consumed in secret, tasting better than a regular meal because it was procured without payment.

The simple, who decide to explore sex outside of marriage are drinking stolen water and through the experience believe it to be a pleasurable one, however, in the end they will reap its wagesdeath.

BLIND SIGHT

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Pr 8 THE WISDOM OF GOD
Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

Pr 8:22; Pr 8:23 

The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works; before his deeds of old: this passage is personifying me/wisdom, as a woman Pr 8:1. The feminine name Sophia means wisdom in Greek. The NASB and the KJV use the word “possess” which gives a clearer meaning, as God has possessed wisdom throughout eternity. He didn’t “create” (as in the GNT) wisdom just before Creation or His intelligence would have been previously lacking.
In many prophecies there is a second, greater future fulfillment in Christ. In Psalm 2:6, David is prophesied as the king whom God would install, but the final realization would be in Jesus Ps 2:7,12;Ac 13:33. In our passage in Proverbs, wisdom is the immediate subject, but Jesus, the God-Man is the culmination of wisdom Col 2:3, as He possesses all wisdom. He was appointed Heb 3:2, sent to earth to reveal salvation, God’s wisdom 1 Co 1:30.

I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be: The Hebrew word for installed (Ps 2:6) and formed (Pr 8:23) come from the same root nā-saḵ-tî and Pr 8:23 nis-saḵ-tî and in the technical sense, it means to birth as installing royalty in a kingly office (Ps 2:6: David with an earthly kingdom and Jesus, after His ascension with a heavenly kingdom Heb 1:3) and in Pr 8:23, setting up/installing Jesus as the agent of Creation. The Father and the Son  were co-creators. The Son, the master craftsman Pr 8:30 NKJV; Col 1:16, while the Father, the architect  Heb 3:4) and later, Jesus was installed as the mediator between man and God 1 Ti 2:5. Jesus as the God-Man willingly submitted to the Father and therefore was economically subordinate in the role He played. However, ontologically (personal being) Jesus is God, the Son equal to God, the Father and God, the Holy Spirit.

HOLY TRINITY

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Pr 7 TEMPTATION
Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

Pr 7:18 

Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning: Satan is the master of temptations. He relies on appealing to our flesh. He used Potiphar’s wife to try to seduce Joseph Gen 39:7, but Joseph was wise to understand that pleasing the flesh in the short term over the spirit in the long term was a bad trade-off bringing shame, guilt and physical consequences Gen 39:8. He wanted God’s eternal approval rather than sin’s temporal pleasure as did Moses Heb 11:25. Unfortunately, too many make the mistake of David 2 Sa 11:2,5 and Samson Jdg 16:1,21.

let’s enjoy ourselves with love: Satan deceives his victims by calling lust, love. The enjoyment is quite brief but the pain from this foolish decision can be everlasting 1 Co 6:9,10.

NO SAFER PLACE

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Pr 6 DETESTABLE TO THE LORD
Monday, October, 5, 2020.

Pr 6:16   

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: Haughty eyes believe they are superior to others. Pride was the reason that Satan fell from grace as he wanted to be like God Isa 14:14. Pride also, is the major stumbling block that prevents many from coming to know the truth of the Gospel. A lying tongue comes from the father of lies Jn 8:44 as Jesus taught that our yes, should be yes, and our no, no Mt 5:37. Hands that shed innocent blood are murderers, like Satan, who was a murderer from the beginning Jn 8:44.  A heart that devises wicked schemes is also a slave to Satan, who schemes against the body of Christ 2 Co 2:11. Feet that are quick to rush into evil are inspired by Satan, the evil one Mt 6:13. A false witness who pours out lies is influenced by Satan, the father of lies Jn 8:44 and a person who stirs up conflict in the community is doing Satan’s bidding in opposing God’s will, which is for all to live in harmony Ro 12:16.

Thank You, Father for your righteous character and opening my eyes to the Gospel to escape from being a slave to Satan and his evil agenda. I pray for favor to share Your Gospel with those still in bondage to Satan.

HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN

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Pr 5 GIFT OF MARRIAGE
Sunday, October 4, 2020.

Pr 5:19 

A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always: there is no better earthly gift than the gift of marriage. You said it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone so You made him a helpmate Gen 2:18. To get to know one another intimately, You allowed Julia and I to morph into one flesh Gen 2:24, caring more for each other than ourselves. It made trials more manageable knowing we weren’t alone Ecc 4:9,10,11. The gift of  children created in our own image was satisfying, exciting and challenging. I praise You, Father for preparing for us the wonderful adventure of life.

may you ever be intoxicated with her love: our love grew deeper and more devoted with time. I enjoyed meeting Julia’s needs, as she did mine. As we aged, I became more intoxicated with her love than when I first was attracted to her physical beauty. But it was knowing You that changed both of us, from loving conditionally to the self- sacrificing kind. It also gave us a better understanding of the spiritual relationship You desired. Both Julia and I were faithful and loyal to each other, a necessary quality to bond .any relationship. I now, daily offer my body, a living sacrifice to You, Father, for Your splendor.

IT’S YOU THAT WE ADORE

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Pr 4 GUARD YOUR HEART
Saturday, October 3, 2020.

Pr 4:23 NASB

Above all else, guard your heart: Solomon stressed the importance of guarding the heart. Why am I to protect it?

for everything you do flows from it: Jesus said out of the heart came all sorts of evil thoughts Mt 15:19, and Jeremiah stated that the heart was deceitful above all things and beyond cure Jer 17:9. Ezekiel prophesied that God would give a new heart, one that was tender rather than hard like stone Eze 36:26. Jesus described four kinds of hearts when man was presented with the Gospel: a hardened heart that rejected the Good News because this heart wouldn’t allow truth to penetrate the inner man Mt 13:19. A fickle heart that believed for a little while then fell away from serving God Mt 13:21. A divided heart that allowed money to control him Mt 13:22 and finally a good and noble heart that produced much fruit Mt 13:23. To guard my heart means to keep evil from entering it and to remain faithful. I am to have your heart, Father, which You said David had 1 Sa 13:14. It was David’s passion to please You and do what was right and repent when he did wrong Ps 51:10. Similarly, in marriage, each spouse must guard his or her heart to prevent an outsider from ruining their love and faithfulness that they had pledged to each other.

HEART OF PRAISE

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Pr 3 DISCIPLINE VS PUNISHMENT
Friday, October 2, 2020.

Pr 3:12

because the Lord disciplines those He loves: there is a big difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline looks forward to correct, to improve, or to teach a lesson with the goal of bringing out the best in one. On the other hand, punishment looks backwards to impose a penalty on the perpetrator without regard to one’s welfare. Parents will discipline their children for their good Heb 12:9, such as spanking their small child for wanting to run out into the street. A spanking is much better to receive to learn a safety lesson than to pay with their life for a foolish whim. On the other hand punishment is meted out for a wrongdoer without any regard to mercy or love for the person. If you were caught by a camera, speeding, there is no favoritism, you will pay the penalty for breaking the law.

as a father the son he delights in: Father, You discipline your children while You will punish those who reject You Ro 12:19. Your discipline is because You love me and want to see me grow in holiness Heb 12:7,8,10,11. In the case of Jesus, You loved Him but punished Him for my sins. This demonstrated the amazing love both You and Jesus have for me. I am eternally grateful, Father, for the love displayed in Your Son’s sacrifice.

HE LOVES YOU

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Pr 2 BECOMING WISE
Thursday, October 1, 2020.

Pr 2:6 

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding: The book of Proverbs is all about shrewdness. It begins with knowledge which leads to understanding then finally produces the fruit of wisdom. Knowledge is knowing facts such as “God is love” 1 Jn 4:8. I memorize Bible verses to store up knowledge in my heart to be used whenever the proper situation arises. Understanding is knowing what the verse means. “Don’t cast pearls to swine” Mt 7:6 means: don’t give valuable information like the Gospel to people who  don’t appreciate or value it. Finally, wisdom is the proper application of understanding. “Don’t answer a fool’s silly argument or you’ll be like him” Pr 26:4, is followed by “Answer a fool’s silly argument so he won’t think he’s so smart” Pr 26:5. This seems like a contradiction but the solution is found in the following book, “There is a time for everything” Ecc 3:1. Wisdom is knowing the right time to correct a fool and when the occasion is not appropriate to speak to the fool’s folly. Thank You, Father for Your wisdom contained in Your Word and the guidance from Your Holy Spirit to allow me play my part in furthering Your kingdom.

BEAUTIFUL WORDS

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Pr 1 STUBBORNNESS TO THE SON
Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

Pr 1:23 

Repent at my rebuke: Jesus, You said: unless one repents, he will perish Lk 13:5. Some fools oppose You because they want to please their flesh rather than find freedom in the life You have prepared for all 2 Pe 3:9, while others are stubborn in letting go of their religious rules placing heavy loads on their naïve followers Mt 23:4.

then I will pour out my thoughts to you: You now pour out living water to all, just as You did in the wilderness for the Israelites 1 Co 10:3,4. You exhort all who are weary and burdened to come to You and receive rest Mt 11:28 and confidently proclaim, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” Jn 8:36.

I rejoiced at the Good News and now I ask You to soften other stubborn hearts; that they too, would repent of their sinful ways and experience true life as a new creation in Christ 2 Co 5:17.

CHILD OF THE LIVING GOD