Words of Life ~ ATTAIN(ed)

Every search of God’s Word uncovers a treasure. Let us seek to attain to all that He has for us as His people here, now, and forever.
The Old Testament uses the word ATTAIN in many references as it pertains to man’s inability to accomplish ~ always falling short of ~ what is expected of God’s creatures. The New Testament uses the word in reference to attaining the righteousness of Christ. We will look at different meanings of the word.

Old Testament  H7069
Strong’s concordance defines ATTAIN, qanah kä·nä’; to get, acquire, create, buy, possess by extension, to procure.

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;
and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”
Proverbs 1:5

H5381 nasag nä·sag’; to reach, overtake, take hold upon
This word is used in reference to the duties of the priest in offerings.

“And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock,
and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs
according as his hand shall attain unto,
and an hin of oil to an ephah.” Ezekiel 46:7

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“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high,
I cannot attain unto it.” Psalm 139:6

This is a well-known verse in which David speaks of the knowledge of God– whether the truth of God’s knowing him or the wonder of God’s ability to know all things – it is high, beyond his understanding. In search of the meaning of the word attain in this verse, I found a different link from the others.

H3201 yakol yä·kōle’: to prevail, overcome, endure, have power, be able refers to what he cannot do. He is not able to reach high enough, to prevail over his weakness, or to have the power to understand that which is heavenly. In the following quote, we have one of Charles Surgeon’s priceless gems.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. I cannot grasp it. I can hardly endure to think of it. Such knowledge not only surpasses my comprehension, but even my imagination. It is high, I cannot attain unto it. It seems to be always above me, even when I soar into the loftiest regions of spiritual thought. Is it not so with every attribute of God? Can we attain to any idea of his power, his wisdom, his holiness? We are not surprised that the Most Glorious God should in his knowledge be high above all the knowledge to which we can attain: it must of necessity be so, since we are such poor limited beings; and when we stand a tip-toe we cannot reach to the lowest step of the throne of the Eternal.

New Testament H2658
Strong’s Concordance defines ATTAIN, katantaō kä-tän-tä’-ōto; come to, arrive
In Philippians 3:11, Paul desires that he might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

G5348 phthanō fthä’-nō;  to come before, precede, anticipate, to come to, arrive at, to reach

“But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness,
hath not attained to the law of righteousness.”
Romans 9:31

 Phthano referred to Israel who had not attained to the law of righteousness because they trusted only in their own righteousness. But to the Philippian church, he speaks of those who are like-minded in the righteousness of Christ as coming to the same faith as other believers.

“Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained,
let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”
Philippians 3:16

G2983 lambanō läm-bä’-nō; to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it. to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain

“Not as though I had already attained,
either were already perfect: but I follow after,
if that I may apprehend that for which also
I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12

Paul’s purpose was to reach the destination set before him in the gospel. As he continued to preach, teach, and lead others in the way of righteousness, his focus was intentional, not to fall short, but to press on to reach his goal and to train others to follow him until they obtained the promised reward.

G3877 parakoloutheō pä-rä-ko-lü-the’-ō; so to follow one as to be always at his side.

“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things,
thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ,
nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine,
whereunto thou hast attained.”
1 Timothy 4:6

Paul speaks of Timothy having attained the place of a good minister of Jesus Christ through faith and doctrine, following as to be always at His side and bringing others to walk with him.

Dear Father, what joy to know that we have attained to a like-faith with other believers; that we walk together with Christ in our pilgrimage toward our eternal home, encouraging and supporting, as we, like Timothy, are nourished in the words of faith and of good doctrine. Continue to lead us by the presence of your Holy Spirit and power. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

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CHILD Keeping ~ GOD’s Blessing to Parents

 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Psalm 127:3

Why would I want to publish a book on the subject of parenting when there are hundreds out there already?
I wrote the book five years ago before I ever thought of publishing. It was a gift to our granddaughter Ansley and her husband in expectation of their first child, Samantha. Other books have been published in the last two years to establish an online archive for future generations. They are available to anyone who would desire to know how the Lord has worked through eight decades of my life ~ revealing His grace and glory through His Word, His Spirit, and our circumstances. Proceeds from sales are designated for missions and charity.

CHILD Keeping is an EBook and paperback (70 pages) offered as a wee bit of encouragement to Christian parents who want to know what it means to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In this little book, I share things that I did not know when I was bringing up my own children but learned while keeping four of our granddaughters over a period of fourteen years. I am still learning as the Lord continues to teach me.

The guidance we give our children should lead them to know the heavenly Father. CHILD Keeping ~ GOD’s Blessing to Parents

A free PDF is available to anyone who desires a copy. Leave your request in the comment section.

Here is the link to the book on Amazon.
Fran

Words of Life ~ ATTENTIVE

(We are blessed to have Valerie Caraotta as our guest writer for this week’s Word of Life. Visit her Facebook page and encourage her to start her own blog at WordPress.)

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When I studied the word attentive, what struck me most was our responsibility and necessity as believers to heed the Word and draw closer to the Lord. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia describes ATTENTIVE as: Expresses the direction of thought and interest towards some one point.

The KJV, from which we find our list of Words of Life, uses the word ATTENTIVE six times. We will look first at the five references found in the Old Testament.

Old Testament H7183
Strong’s Concordance defines ATTENTIVE; qashab kash·shäv’ attentive.
The same word is used for attend; to hear, hearken, incline, heed (you can find these references at H7181).

Three of the verses are prayers that appeal to God for Him to be attentive to His servants.
 Nehemiah 1:6 is a prayer for the sins of the children of Israel.

Let your ear now be attentive and your eyes open that you may listen to the prayers of your servant, which I pray before you at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel your servants while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against you; both I and my father’s house have sinned.

Then, in Nehemiah 1:11, he prayed before he went before the king of Babylon that God would grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer. He prayed again before he answered the king’s question of his sadness which was for the affliction of his people in Jerusalem.

Psalm 130 is a short Psalm of degrees and worth reading these eight verses to understand where the Psalmist is in relationship to the Lord.

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. Psalm 130:1-2

The fourth reference is also from Nehemiah after he had come to Jerusalem to help rebuild the wall — when the people were attentive to the book of the law.

And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. Nehemiah 8:3

Elihu speaks of the power and greatness of God in Job 36 and continues in Job 37:

At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place. Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. Job 37:1-2

“The Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silent before Him“ Hab.2:20 — evidence of souls that long to be attentive to his Word and promptings.

Attentiveness is not forcing God but posturing ourselves so that when He speaks we are more apt to hear.

Samson was spiritually blind before the Philistines blinded him physically. He didn’t know the Spirit of God had left him. How long does the Lord have to be absent before we miss him? Being aware of His presence in our lives requires our constant attention.

New Testament G1582
Strong’s Concordance defines ATTENTIVE ekkremamaie k-kre’-mä-mäi to hang from, hang upon (the lips of a speaker).

There is only one reference to the word ATTENTIVE in the New Testament.
The chief priests were already envious of Jesus’ popularity and when He turned over the money tables in the temple, they sought to destroy him.

And could not find what they might do; for all the people were very attentive to hear him. Luke 19:48

Are we carriers of the anointing to break yolks off others or mere noise — clanging symbols that have no eternal significance.

Where is our zeal? Did we once burn with passion to spend time in His presence and Word? Has it waned over time or do we love Him more today than ever?

The more attentive we are to the presence and activity of God, the more clearly we will discern His will. He is our Father, attentive to what we need before we ask (Matt.6:8)

We may not perfectly interpret God’s will, but it pleases Him when we stay in His Word, desiring His presence as we grow in our relationship with Him.

As believers, we are called to cultivate attentiveness to God. His Word and prayer are given for us to gain His perspective. This is vital because, in our own thinking, things may appear right, but the wisdom gained from above is far greater than we can imagine. In His leading, we can accomplish more in less time and gain strategies we need for the hard issues of life.

Dear Father in heaven, how blessed we are to have ears to hear – ears that are opened to your calling. We praise you for wisdom and knowledge through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and your Holy Spirit. Draw us closer so that we do not miss anything you have prepared for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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Focus, Love, and Rejoice

The words focus, love, and rejoice came clearly from time in prayer, meditation in God’s Word, and in my circumstances. The first word, focus, is included in the title of a book I started a few years ago. Focus, Balance, and Order came during a time when things were difficult to sort through. Still working on this book, my hope is to finish it soon as the Lord continues to show me these three facets of the Christian life. In the meantime, the Lord placed Focus, Love and Rejoice in my heart to experience the outcome of our focus on God our Father, the balance of life through our Lord, Jesus Christ and the order of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

It is the work of a triune God that produces the focus, love, and joy in us as His children. Briefly, let us look at this fruit that shows His work in and through us.

Concentration has never been my nature. The Lord knows my weakness and blesses me to know my need for Him — to seek His presence to accomplish in me what He desires. I would venture to say that we all are distracted by the physical world, with difficulties in training our minds to look to and keep our eyes upward, looking to Him for all things. Focus is not within from birth. Some may say that we are all focused on something.

We, as earthlings, are prone to switch from image to image looking for something new, something different every day. We are easily entertained by whatever comes in view of our senses.

The focus we speak of here is a steady, non-altering gaze that is immovable from its one object.

In the book Focus, Balance, and Order, we survey that on which we focus, the object of our focus. Of course, we will ascertain that it is the Lord God, our heavenly Father who is our focus and why it is must be Him alone on which we set our sight, our desires, our hopes, and our faith. There, the word focus is a noun as is balance and order. Here, focus is a verb, just as love and rejoice. I hope this post will encourage and excite you to pray for me and to look forward to how He will develop this project through me
In the meantime, let’s think of what He wants to work in us as a result of His focus, balance, and order in our lives.

If ye then be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:1

Focus
He wants us to focus — to continually keep our eyes — upon Him. We can love and rejoice as we receive His Words by a direct concentration and meditation on Him and His Word. We receive from Him with open hearts and minds. Imagine a thirsty man holding a cup to receive water without focusing on the source. The stream of water is the life of Christ given to us from our heavenly Father by His Holy Spirit. In prayer and through His Word, we direct our hearts and minds to receive the life He gives. But our eyes are on the Father, the giver of all life. Jesus directs us to the Father in His prayer on the mount.

Love and Rejoice
When He says, focus, love, and rejoice, He teaches us that love is the fruit, the life of Christ poured in and through us as we receive it from Him. Both love and joy are His character traits shared with His children. He gives us His love and His joy— the fruit of His Spirit within us. We, therefore, love as He loves, unselfishly. His joy causes us to rejoice.

Most will say they cannot keep such a focus. None of us can. Like humility and all that He requires of His children, He teaches what He wants to do in us. He gives us the desire of His heart until it becomes our heart’s desire. We pray and wait for Him to do His work in us. As Andrew Murray says in Waiting on God — we can afford to wait. These are parts of our inheritance given to enjoy here on this earth and preparation for eternity with Him.

When we learn to focus upon Him, it will not matter what may be our circumstances. Focus enables us to keep steadfast in the life of Christ, not changing our actions based on what is happening around us. The world cannot change our character when we know who we are in Christ. We continue to love the unlovable and rejoice through the most difficult times of this life when we set our affections on Him and the things above.

Dear Father in heaven, we are most blessed when we keep our eyes heavenward, knowing you lead us through the most difficult places by your Spirit of love and joy. Bring us to desire with all our hearts to focus upon you. Make us a channel of your love and joy, we pray, In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Fran

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John Bunyan on the Lord’s Day

 For he waited for the city which has foundations,
whose builder and maker is God.

Hebrews 11:10

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OF THE LORD’S DAY, SERMONS, AND WEEK DAYS
John Bunyan

 “Have a special care to sanctify the Lord’s day; for as thou keepest it, so it will be with thee all the week long.

Make the Lord’s day the market for thy soul; let the whole day be spent in prayer, repetitions, or meditations; lay aside the affairs of the other part of the week; let thy sermon thou hast heard be converted into prayer: Shall God allow thee six days, and wilt not thou afford him one?

In the church, be careful to serve God; for thou art in his eyes, and not in man’s.

Thou mayest hear sermons often, and do well in practicing what thou hearest; but thou must not expect to be told thee in a pulpit all that thou oughtest to do, but be studious in searching the Scriptures, and reading good books; what thou hearest may be forgotten, but what thou readest may better be retained.

Forsake not the public worship of God, lest God forsake thee, not only in public, but in private.

In the weekdays, when thou risest in the morning, consider,

1. Thou must die.
2. Thou mayest die that minute.
3. What will become of thy soul.
4. Pray often.

At night consider,

1. What sins thou hast committed.
2. How often thou hast prayed.
3. What hath thy mind been bent upon.
4. What hath been thy dealing.
5. What thy conversation.
6. If thou callest to mind the errors of the day, sleep not without a confession to God, and a hope of pardon.

Thus every morning and evening make up thy accounts with Almighty God, and thy reckoning will be the less at last.” John Bunyan’s Dying Sayings.

Gracious Father, as you spoke through your servant in centuries past, speak these truths in our hearts today. Fill us with your Holy Spirit as we live in your presence every day — in our private devotions as well as our public worship. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

 

For to speak the truth, there are
but few that care thus to spend their time.
John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress

Words of Life ~ ATONEMENT

As we discover the centrality of Jesus Christ in all the Bible, atonement is central to the Old and New Testaments and the one subject most important to all who call themselves Christians. No other theme is as important to a believer as this one, therefore, we ought to study to clearly understand its meaning.

As I realized this to be my next word on the list, I knew it would be a most arduous undertaking. It is truly too high for me. To pretend to understand and define this word is not what I want to do, lest I lessen the impact of its true and powerful meaning. My best attempt will be to share my simple understanding and include two links to aid those readers who earnestly want to have a deeper knowledge of the major work of our Lord Jesus Christ. You may have other sources to add in the comment section.

The purpose of publishing Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian is to focus on the language of those who are born into God’s kingdom through Jesus Christ.

We can only carry so much from the Old Testament to bring understanding to a Christian vocabulary, so where books have been written on one particular word, we are using more of the references that pertain to our position as a child of God in the New Testament.

Old Testament H3722
Strong’s Concordance defines ATONEMENT kaphar kä·far’ to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch
to cover over, pacify, propitiate
to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites
the same word is used for appease, cleansed, pardon

The Old Testament records the Lord’s commandments for sacrifices to be offered for certain Israelite occasions – for childbirth Leviticus 12; for leprosy Leviticus 14; uncleaness Leviticus 15. These are not relative to a Christian.

We will use the references that relate to the understanding of the sacrifice made as an atonement for the forgiveness of sins – the type and the atonement that foreshadowed the atonement that would be made for us through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Atonement for Forgiveness of Sins

“And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.” Leviticus 16:34

Leviticus 16  speaks of the many facets of the atonement made by the priests once a year for the nation of Israel. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews compares these to the one sacrificial atonement Jesus made once for all. (Every Christian should study this book for these comparisons.)

The everlasting statute made for the children of Israel was no longer necessary when Jesus died for the sins of His people.

New Testament G2643
Strong’s Concordance defines ATONEMENT, katallagē kä-täl-lä-gā’ adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favor,
The same word is used for reconciliation in the N.T. of the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ

For if, when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled,
we shall be saved by his life.”
Romans 5:10

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom we have now received the atonement.”
Romans 5:11
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”
2 Corinthians 5:18

Ephesians 2 is a must read for us to understand how both the nation of Israel and other nations are brought together and reconciled to God.

“And that he might reconcile both unto God
in one body by the cross,
having slain the enmity thereby:”
Ephesians 2:16

Specific Elements
In my meager understanding, there seem to be specific elements relating to Jesus’ atonement: a perfect life, sacrificeblood, death, and resurrection.

 A Perfect Life was required to appease the wrath of God (1 John 4:10).

“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” 1 Peter 1:19

Sacrifice in the willingness to give His life (Ephesians 5:2).

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” Hebrews 10:12

Blood is shed on behalf of His people.

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:12

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22

the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Revelation 1:5)

the blood of the everlasting covenant (Hebrews 13:20).

Death is the result of His sacrifice made for atonement–the finished act on His part to take our punishment upon Himself.

 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight“: Colossians 1:20-22

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30

Resurrection is the means for His ascension as our High Priest–ever living to make intercession for us, saving to the uttermost those who come to God by faith in Christ (Hebrews 7:25).

How blessed we are to study and meditate on the truths of Jesus’ life and His purpose for being here on earth —to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). I am both amazed and humbled. The power of His holy will to secure a people for Himself by providing all that is needed for our salvation is incomprehensible. To believe that He included me in this covenant of redemption can only be a work of His Holy Spirit within me. I am powerless to do anything in this atoning work. Atonement planned and executed by a Triune God leaves nothing to the imagination of man nor of his will to help or add anything to it. Atonement in the life and work of Jesus Christ is the only means to obtain at-one-ment with God our heavenly Father.

Dear Father, we can only know the power of your love that secured a new life for us through the atoning work of your Son, except as you work it in each of us. Continue to show us, teach us, and lead us as the God of our salvation. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran

What is Atonement?
The Day of Atonement Charles Spurgeon

Living Sacrifices

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.”
Romans 12:1-2

These verses in Romans 12 cannot be taken out of context but in relation to the whole letter to the Roman Church. Paul gives the means and the reason for His beseeching. Presenting our body (our whole being) is our response to the mercies of God. Afterward, we see the results of the presentation and the commitment of ourselves to Him.

The Reason
Here, Paul brings the believer to consider the truths he has presented in the previous eleven chapters. The key words in this verse are by the mercies of God. Before we do can anything with or for God, there has to be a revelation of Him and the work of His mercy for us.

In Romans 11:29-36 we find the capsule of God’s mercies opened–the door–therefore–for Paul’s beseeching the reader to consider and respond. He calls us as brethren–believers and followers of Christ–to bring to God the Father, the gift of His mercies in earthen vessels for His use. When, by His mercies, He gives us new hearts (Ezekiel 36:26) and lives in Christ, our only reasonable response is to bring ourselves in dedication and commitment to His service and worship

Peter speaks of God’s abundant mercy that has given us new life in Christ.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 
1 Peter 1:3

A Covenant Relationship
We are made holy and acceptable unto God through Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Before the foundation of the world, the covenant of redemption was planned between the Father and the Son. In the power of His Holy Spirit, through the knowledge of His Word, this covenant–the covenant of grace as we know it–is revealed as God’s plan to win us to Christ, His Son.

We are betrothed to Him through His sacrifice for us.
Paul’s teaching in Romans 12:1-2  show how we are to accept and enter into this covenant with Him. As a wife submits to her husband in the covenant of marriage, we submit to His covenant for life here and for eternity.

It is our agreement with Him that we are His temple, His building, His people, His children.

This is His means to accomplish all He desires in and through us.

“For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:20

Paul’s purpose of ministry to the Gentiles was that they might glorify God for his mercy (Romans 15:9).

In Romans 10:3 Paul speaks of those who have not submitted themselves unto Him.

We must be humbled to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. The proud cannot present themselves; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5-6).

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:
but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
Romans 6:13

Living Sacrifices for a Living God
Paul speaks to the Thessalonians of how they turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1 Thessalonians 1:9

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14

For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. Luke 20:38

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 2 Corintians 3:3

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, Hebrews 12:22

 But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

The Results

“And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good,
and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” 
Romans 12:2

When we read all of Romans 12, we find the results of the whole body of Christ living sacrificially for His glory. Except for the offering of ourselves to Him, the remainder of the chapter would mean nothing to us.

When we understand the love and mercy in the sacrifice of our Lord, we willingly bring all to Him to do what He wills in and through us. He died, sacrificing all in His death for our salvation. We sacrifice all to Him to live and prove His perfect will in us. He performs His covenant in our lives when we enter into His covenant with Him, agreeing to His working to conform us to His image (Romans 8:29).

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:4 

 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 21

Dear Father in heaven, Only you, by your Holy Spirit, can draw us to Christ. Only through your Holy Word, do we know who you are and your purpose for us. Do your holy, acceptable and perfect will in our lives for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
Image and Song
Related Article: Radical Mercy