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September 23 2016 By dvirtue What Does it mean to be Reverent? (Matthew 7:15-23)

The name of God represents his character, his person. It was regarded as so holy in Israel that it was rarely to be directly pronounced for fear of being irreverent. When it was used it was meant to carry with it the power of God. When the LORD gave Moses the blessing Aaron and the priests were to use he said, "Say to them: The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

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September 17 2016 By dvirtue Two Ancient Saints of Immense Charm

The emergency of human salvation may call for sharp warning and alarming exhortation but there is no sin in seeking for elegance of expression as we present the Lover of souls to those lost without him.

Of the many saints adept at attractive advocacy of the Savior, Augustine of Hippo and Bernard of Clairvaux are conspicuous. Their eloquence is inviting, their enthusiasm for Christ enlivening and enjoyable.

One delectable quote from each as an appetizer:

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September 13 2016 By dvirtue Thought for the day: Isaiah 5:8-30

3) The Bible reveals God's 'truth unchanged, unchanging', including his moral values (Ps. 119:8,9). The world feels free to make up the rules as it goes along (v. 20a) and to consider that one man's meat is another man's poison (v. 20b). Not so with the Word of God (Isa. 40:8).

4) The proper administration of justice, exactness in sentencing, making the punishment match the crime, is God's recipe for a sound and purged society (Deut. 19:18-21).

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September 13 2016 By dvirtue WHAT DO YOU WORSHIP?

"Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship." It is unconscious -- what we gradually slip into without ever being fully aware that's what you're doing! What do you think you worship? Give the highest value to? Respect and reverence the most? Privacy? Self-sufficiency? Freedom? Security? Comfort? Health? To be needed? Work? What is our default setting? Worship of self?

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September 06 2016 By dvirtue The Ultimate And The Intimate: (Exodus 20:1-3)

The first commandment lays out the way God wants us to think about him. "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:1-3)

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August 31 2016 By dvirtue The Purpose of the Ten Commandments

How did Jesus view the commandments? In his introduction to his Sermon on the Mount he made himself clear. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17-20) Jesus is referring here to the entire Old Testament. When we are tempted to think that the Old Testament is outdated and no longer relevant to us we must remember these words of Jesus. True, the Old Testament is only a partial revelation.

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August 25 2016 By dvirtue Reports from Citizens of Heaven

When we read and hear of the stories of the saints of the church, we are hearing reports from citizens of heaven. Until our time of arrival there, we have opportunity to eavesdrop on these who have gone before. The writer to the Hebrews recognized the special value of their stories by including this great eleventh chapter. We can only imagine the taste of ambrosia and manna, but the stories are the stuff of real life.

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July 29 2016 By dvirtue The Pain and the Horror

The shoulder's location next to the brain amplifies the pain of a shoulder injury. If you've got knee pain, you can choose not to walk. If you've got back pain, you can lie down. But there's absolutely no way to avoid shoulder pain. It simply won't go away. Any sudden, unexpected motion can put you into involuntary paroxysms.

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July 06 2016 By dvirtue Grace and Glory

I have always regarded these distilled teachings of the reformers as undeniably true. It is easy to find scriptures to back them up. However, they also have been obviously incomplete, not providing the full picture of the process of salvation (for example, there is no emphasis on agape love, the role of Church traditions and sacraments, or the role of the Holy Spirit). I have discussed this elsewhere. But in this short article I wish to focus only upon God's glory and grace.

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June 29 2016 By dvirtue I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever: Ps. 23:6

But what is the nature of that eternal life? Jesus said that he came that we "may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). "Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent" (John 17:3). Eternal life is life in God's kingdom. It begins now as we enter God's kingdom and is fulfilled in the resurrection. David describes it as dwelling in the house of the Lord forever.

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