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Devotional
February 01 2017 By dvirtue Questions Jesus Asked: Why Do You Entertain Evil Thoughts in Your Hearts? Which Is Easier: To Say 'Your Sins Are Forgiven,' Or to Say, 'Get Up and Walk?' - Matthew 9:4,5

Yet here in the healing of the paralytic Jesus explicitly claimed divine authority. "So that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." How do we know that this claim is true? It seems to be an assertion that cannot be verified. How can you know whether sins are forgiven? You are not issued a written pardon by anyone.

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January 26 2017 By dvirtue A Prayer for the President of the United States and the new Administration

Give to him, Vice President Michael Pence, and the national security team, discernment and courage as they seek to preserve us from danger and maintain peace. May his role as Commander-in-chief be executed with consideration for all members of our armed forces. Protect us from our enemies in this dangerous world and from those who are opposed to the Gospel of Christ.

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January 23 2017 By dvirtue FEAR AND FORGIVENESS

"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: be terrified of Him who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted.
Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows."

- Luke 12:4-7

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January 18 2017 By dvirtue QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED - Whose Image is This? Matthew 22:15-22

Government is instituted “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty” (Preamble, The U.S. Constitution). “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States” (Article 1, Section 8).

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January 12 2017 By dvirtue THE QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED: What is this I hear about you? (Luke 16:1-15)

While we may be saved by grace through the Cross of Christ, we are still to be judged on how we have lived our lives. Jesus said, "The Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done" (Matt.16:27). It is not our salvation, but our judgment, which will be according to our use of what has been given to us.

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January 10 2017 By dvirtue PRAYER: 'By God's will...'

The purpose of prayer is emphatically not to bend God's will to ours, but rather to align our will to his. The promise that our prayers will be answered is conditional on our asking 'according to his will' (1 Jn. 5:14). Consequently every prayer we pray should be a variation on the theme, 'Your will be done' (Mt. 6:10).

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January 04 2017 By dvirtue THE QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED: Why Are You So Afraid? (Matthew 8:23-27)

When tornados strike without warning there is a swath of destruction throughout the community destroying homes and lives. When earthquakes occur the buildings shake uncontrollably throwing cabinets off the walls, smashing windows, cracking foundations and roads are blocked by the earth rupturing and fissures forming. When wildfires race across country driven by winds they devour forests and homes that stand in their way.

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December 29 2016 By dvirtue QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED: Why do you worry? - Matthew 6:24-34

Soren Kierkegaard in his six expositions of this passage in the Sermon on the Mount defined anxiety as "the next day". Jesus said, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." He urges us to get rid of the "next day." All earthly anxiety is about the next day. We must get free of the next day -- let it look after itself.

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December 25 2016 By dvirtue Christmas: The Feast of the Nativity

I never tire of the prologue to St. John's Gospel. This is the Gospel for the first Mass of Christmas, which is also the last Gospel of almost every High Mass. These words are hakadesh hakadeshim - the holy of holies - in all of scripture. Even We cannot hear it too much. It cannot become tiresome though we were to read it daily. In fact, listen to the words of our hymns this day.

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December 21 2016 By dvirtue The Christmas Message: What is Essential to Being a Christian? - 1 John 1:1-4

Christmas celebrates the fact of God's entry into history. Christianity is not the message of some abstract doctrine about Jesus, or the importance of preaching about Jesus, it is the story of the creative self-expression of God, by whom the cosmos was made. The Word of life gives the universe coherence and purpose. He who existed from limitless eternity entered time and space and took up residence here on earth. This appearing in history was not imagined.

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