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Devotional
August 08 2004 By virtueonline Continuity and Surprise

My parents were not much interested in their antecedents. When I Asked them questions about the family they gave vague answers that obscured rather than illuminated. It made me wonder whether I was descended from a long line of undesirables! But I doubt whether they were that interesting.

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August 08 2004 By virtueonline Being on the Way: The Normal Christian Life

You probably know people who live at either of the extremes; those who with an attitude of, "Well, we all sin," seem to live in a permanent state of cheap grace, and those who seem to live in a state of perpetual self-condemnation show little of the joy of knowing Jesus. I suspect most of us don't dwell constantly at one extreme or the other, but rather, we bounce back and forth between the two.

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August 08 2004 By virtueonline Biblical Prayer - Jacob

Jacob is returning home after twenty years in Mesopotamia. He left in a hurry after stealing his brother Esau's birthright and his father Isaac's blessing. He fled from his father-in-law Laban, whom he has deceived. He arrives on the borders of his family's land, and sent messengers to Esau to announce his arrival. He hears that Esau is coming to meet him with 400 men. Jacob is in great fear of his brother.

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August 08 2004 By virtueonline Biblical Prayer - Hannah

If you do not identify with such a person, you may know someone who does. Such a person was Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, whose story is told in 1 Samuel 1 and 2. Her husband loved her very much, but she was barren, unable to bear him any children. We are told that "the LORD had closed her womb." Because of her childlessness, Elkanah had taken a second wife, Peninnah who bore him children. Peninnah was mean to Hannah.

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August 08 2004 By virtueonline Biblical Prayer - Daniel

Daniel, with other members of the royal family and the nobility of Judah, was carried into exile by King Nebuchadnezzar, in 605 B.C., had risen to leading government posts on the basis of his intelligence and wisdom. In 586 B.C. Jerusalem was finally destroyed by the Babylonians, and Jeremiah had departed to Egypt with the remnant of the surviving leadership. His prophecies had been written down and somehow Daniel obtained a copy.

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August 08 2004 By virtueonline Tempted by the Devil

Michael Green in his classic work, I Believe in Satan's Downfall, says that the Scriptures seriously warn us of a malign power of evil standing behind the pressures of a worldly culture without and a sinful human nature within the Christian. This does not mean that we can excuse responsibility for bad human behavior by blaming it on the devil. The world, the flesh and the devil, as three separate sources of evil, have formed a crucial part of Christian teaching from the very beginning.

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August 08 2004 By virtueonline Biblical Prayer - Our Father

Jesus came into the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him as the Messiah. He came to his own special people, but they rejected him. "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." (John 1:12,13)

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August 08 2004 By virtueonline Biblical Prayer In Heaven

C.S. Lewis wrote, "I fully agree that the relationship between God and a man is more private and intimate than any possible relation between two fellow creatures. Yes, but at the same time there is, in another way, a greater distance between the participants. ...

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August 08 2004 By virtueonline Biblical Prayer: Forsaken - Alone?

This is known as the prayer of dereliction. Dereliction means being abandoned. It evokes the sense of a building that is uninhabited, long deserted by its former owners, fallen into disrepair. Jesus, the Son of God, experienced real abandonment by his Father. There is a tear in the heart of the Trinity that reflects the alienation in the universe between a holy God and a sinful human race.

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August 08 2004 By virtueonline Having Life to the Fullest

But what if there was something more than just a material description of the good life? What if there was a fuller life beyond material prosperity? What if you were missing out on something that you didn't even know about? What if God intended more than just a good life for you but intended a fuller life? Wouldn't you want to experience it? Of course you would, and so would I.

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