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Devotional
March 04 2006 By virtueonline A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN

It is for the protection of marriage and children, that the seventh commandment is given: "You shall not commit adultery." As the Letter to the Hebrews tells us: "Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex." (13:4 The Message)

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February 25 2006 By virtueonline WHY ARE YOU ANGRY?

Because of our belief in eternal life, Christians understand that all human beings, no matter what their state of development, their mental capacity, their health, or the length of their mortal life, will be raised from the dead. The eternal destiny of every human being, according to Holy Scripture is Heaven or Hell. Termination of mortal life is not the last word. Life is a gift of God, and not ours to dispose of as we will.

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February 18 2006 By virtueonline HONORING THE PAST AND SECURING THE FUTURE

The crudity of the fairy tale illustrates the point of the Fifth Commandment: honor your parents lest your children dishonor you. Or, a society that destroys the family destroys itself. The Bible assumes the existence of a family, with a father and mother. The Bible knows nothing of a family with same sex parents, or children born from anonymous sperm or egg donors, or surrogate mothers. Does that mean such combinations are incompatible with Christian teaching?

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February 17 2006 By virtueonline HONORING THE PAST AND SECURING THE FUTURE

There is a Grimm's fairy tale about a family in which there were three generations living together in the same house. The old grandfather's hand began to shake when he was eating at the table, and food would spill on his shirt and the tablecloth. The daughter-in-law began to be offended by his messiness and prevailed upon her husband to move his father to the kitchen where she would not have to watch him eat.

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February 15 2006 By virtueonline ENTERING GOD'S REST

Genesis chapter two begins with these momentous words: "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating he had done."

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February 07 2006 By virtueonline THE ULTIMATE AND THE INTIMATE

He addresses his people as the one who has not only created them, but also saved them from slavery. He is the Maker and the Redeemer, the Creator and the Savior. He doubly owns them by virtue of his original creation and his subsequent redemption of them. They are to have no other God except him. They owe everything to God. God is their source of life and salvation.

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February 01 2006 By virtueonline Reverence & Irreverence

Reverence is to be found in the humility which is characteristic of the prayer of Abraham: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes." (Genesis 18:27) It is the hesitancy, the reticence, the stumbling prayer of the tax-collector, who, in contrast to the Pharisee who prayed about himself in a self-congratulatory way, would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God have mercy on me, a sinner." Jesus commended that man as j

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January 28 2006 By virtueonline IMAGES OF THE DIVINE

God is love - a passionate lover - who, in his fierce zeal to create and redeem his loved ones, does not want anything to come between him and them. He wants them to know him as he truly is. Anything less is a corruption. Although we talk about God in anthropomorphical terms: as Father, Bridegroom, Shepherd, Son, we know how limited those terms are for God is Spirit, and those who worship him must do so in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

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January 18 2006 By virtueonline THE VALUE OF THE COMMANDMENTS

However, since the twentieth century, and particularly the 1960's, the commandments have been criticized as restrictive of personal freedom. Love, rather than law, has been interpreted as freedom to do what one likes as long as it does not hurt someone else. But such freedom has ended up as a license to do what one wants without regard for others. It is time to review again the ten commandments to see how they are still valuable for us individually and as a society.

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December 21 2005 By virtueonline SEEING GOD - by Ted Schroder

Jesus is a window into God. He is the light of God who has come into the world to illuminate it, and who lets us see God. Through Christ coming in human form, God is suddenly made available for us in a new way. Many of us know what it is like to get up early in the morning, stepping out of bed into a dark room - when we open the curtains, the room is suddenly flooded with light and the outside world beckons to us.

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