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June 24 2018 By virtueonline THE PURPOSE OF SUFFERING -- THE END IN VIEW

It tells us that we should look at suffering in terms of purpose, its end, its healing, its redemption. Philosophers would call it a teleological perspective: Greek, telos = end; the doctrine of final causes, the view that developments are due to the purpose or design that is served by them, e.g. a telescope brings the object in view, the end in view, it gives you a closer perspective on what is far away.

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April 30 2018 By dvirtue THE BATTLE FOR THE MIND

Paul teaches that, when our minds are receptive to the Spirit, we have access to the life in all its fullness that Jesus came to bring, and we experience peace with God, others, and within ourselves. Life in its fullness is to be found in living according to the Holy Spirit, and setting your mind on the things of the Spirit. Each person has a choice in life. We can set our minds on what our lower nature desires, or on what the Spirit of God desires for us.

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April 15 2018 By dvirtue FAILURE IS NOT FINAL

The Bible has a word for this condition: it is one of the words we translate for "sin". The Greek word 'hamartia' means missing the mark, or falling short. It means aiming for something and missing it. It is like lining up your ball on the 18th green. If you sink your putt you will win the match. If you miss it, you lose. You aim, putt ...... and miss! You know the sinking (no pun intended) feeling of failure. It is the word St. Paul uses in Romans 8.

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April 14 2018 By dvirtue The Body Incorruptible

I am not a doctor so I don't know whether the three days in the tomb would have closed up the wounds, nor whether the week between Jesus' first appearance to His Disciples and His re-appearance to Thomas would have started the healing process. Without the pressure from a beating heart, and the body's natural healing mechanisms, the wounds would likely have crusted over, but that is not what scripture says. These wounds were still open, and yet they were neither bleeding nor suppurating.

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I read a letter by Benjamin Franklin to a friend who had lost a loved one.

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March 16 2018 By dvirtue ISRAEL'S MANNA AND JESUS' MANNER: Exodus 16 : 2 - 7a

This is Jesus' ultimate role in the purpose of God - to fashion a righteousness on behalf of those who are consciously and contritely moral failures and into which righteousness we can enter by the portal of faith and receive the favor of the Lord.

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March 07 2018 By dvirtue THE FOURTH TEMPTATION: James 1:12-15

We live in a culture where the prevailing wisdom is that we are justified in our actions if we believe that God or Nature has made us the way we are. "We are born this way...." This is the justification for many who choose alternative lifestyles, differing sexual identities, and genders. It is also the justification for anti-social behavior and refusal to accept the work requirements necessary for education attainments, occupational training, and healthy family life.

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Malachi "the messenger" through divine inspiration announces the ministries of two future messengers yet to come: "See, I will send my messenger who will prepare the way before me.* Then suddenly the Lord* you are seeking will come to his* temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the Lord Almighty (Malachi 3:1). * Divinity of Christ.

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February 21 2018 By dvirtue THE FIRST TEMPTATION: Matthew 4:1-11

But in this instance Jesus prioritized his mission to proclaim the Word of God, "It is written: Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." The Gospel of the kingdom, which Jesus came to proclaim, has to do with spiritual needs and not just material needs. The church is not supposed to be primarily a social agency. Meeting physical needs is the necessary consequence of the Gospel, but it is secondary to the ministry of the Word.

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February 06 2018 By dvirtue REPENTANCE AND REDEMPTION: Luke 15:11-32

This call to repent was continued by Jesus in telling people that they had to leave their former ways of life and follow him.

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