As Jesus was approaching the area of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His Apostles an unusual question: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” They claimed they had heard people say that He was “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, and even one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:13, 14)  Notice that the names were of deceased people.  It was basically an elevation of reincarnation.   Instead of looking at the possibility of a uniquely living individual, people focused on the past and its possible effect on the present.  There had been some speculation that Jesus might be the long awaited Christ, the Messiah, but it was more of a possibility than a statement of fact.  To whom were the Apostles listening?  It was almost like a poll taken by the liberal faction of the Jewish religionist.  (Even today, polls tend to reflect the pollster and his pre-determined political leaning, rather than the actual consensus of the people.)  I wonder if Jesus was a little surprised by the result of His inquiry.  Jesus then hones in on what really matters: “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter quickly responds, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15, 16)  I wonder how many of His Apostles had publicly declared who Jesus really was.  They assisted Jesus in His ministry, and even went out by twos healing and casting out demons, but is there any recording that they divulged who Jesus really was?  As Jesus’ ministry gained momentum, He seemed to shield His identity due to the direction the crowds were taking.  People were more concerned with miracles, signs, and wonders.  Jesus realized that if the multitudes believed He was the Messiah, they would revert to their preconceived notion that the Christ would deliver them from Roman rule.

When is the last time we simply meditated on who Jesus is?  When is the last time we focused on His personage, rather than the miracles?  When is the last time we dwelt on His attributes, rather than on the benefits we received from Him?  Let us spend a day just pondering on who Jesus is, and when we do, let us display to others the Jesus we have grown to know.

When Peter made his proclamation, Jesus told him that the only way he could know that was by a revelation from God Himself. (Matthew 16:17)  The Apostle Paul stated that the Gospel he proclaimed was not a result of someone teaching him or of hearing it from some individual, but through revelation from God Himself. (Galatians 1:11-15)  TRUTH IS REVEALED FROM THE HEART UPWARD, NOT FROM THE HEAD DOWNWARD.  It is not horizontal, but vertical revelation that solidifies the Believer.  When we reverse the procedure, we open the door to potentially misinterpreting God’s Word.  When we start from the head, our feelings and emotions will have a strong influence.  When Paul received revelation, he did not “confer with flesh and blood,” but obediently acted without hesitation. (Galatians 1:16)  How many of us have questioned our own actions?  One moment we are convinced of the validity of our actions, and within a short time we question if we are doing the right thing.  When we act as a result of head knowledge, we will more than likely question some of our actions.  May the Holy Spirit reveal God’s Word and, when He does, let us pursue life without a rear view mirror!


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Beware of Leaven

In an area north of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus turned a “revival meeting” into a family picnic.  Multitudes filled the hillside as He ministered to the people.  At the conclusion of the “crusade,” He fed the masses a meal of fish and bread. (Matthew 15:32-38)  Dismissing the throng, He boarded a boat and set off for an eight and half mile trip to the sea port of Magdala.  There Jesus was confronted with the “religious police.” (Pharisees)  They wanted Him to show some sign from Heaven that would verify He was whom He claimed to be.  Jesus “sighed deeply in His spirit,” disturbed that His generation was always seeking signs, (Mark 8:12) and offered them a crumb by saying the only sign they would get was, “the prophet Jonah.” (Matthew 16:4)  He then left Magdala and headed back to Bethsaida.

It was on that boat ride back that Jesus warned His Apostles about the dangers of the Pharisees and Sadducees doctrines.  Their teachings would be like leaven that would continue to rise and dilute the rightful intent of the Word.  His men misinterpreted what Jesus was saying and thought they were being called out due to forgetting to bring bread for the trip.  Jesus gently rebuked them by calling out their lack of faith.  He reminded them of the two buffets they had attended.  How soon they had forgotten.  Jesus then repeated about the leaven of the religious leadership.  This time, they realized He was talking about the doctrines of the Pharisees. (Matthew 16:5-12)

For generations, there has been a “rising” (leaven) of false doctrines and teachings that has defiled the purity of the Gospel.  More and more Christians are following the “pied pipers” of extra Biblical interpretations.  Some “Pipers” urge the label wearing Christians to follow the “greenback” road to prosperity and materialistic growth.   Selected Scriptures are ripped from the Holy Book showing that accumulated financial gain is tied to the evidence of one’s Faith.   The “Pipers” lifestyles evidence the result of what they claim their Faith brought.  It is interesting to note that their Faith is tied into the financial giving of their followers.  Recently, a prosperity personality took to the airwaves to announce that he was exercising his faith to receive a fifty million dollar jet to help him spread the Gospel around the world.  Justifying his quest, he said that if Jesus were alive today He would have a jet.  Jesus’ lifestyle was anything but opulent.  I guess He could have believed for a “Rolls Chariot,” or a “Purebred” Roman raised horse, or even a pedigree donkey so He could reach any place in Israel in the shortest amount of time.  But He chose to walk.  He could have had a house worth two hundred talents of gold ($5,256,600), or a summer home on the Sea of Galilee, or wore tailored clothes from “Robes by Armodi.”  But he became a “nomad” who traveled about sharing God’s love.  Whenever a “Piper” lives a lifestyle beyond the reaches of those he is serving, there is an ever present danger he is producing a self-serving kingdom void of the Truth.

As Jesus warned His Apostles about the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees, so the warning should be loud and clear for our generation.  The age of blind acceptance of what we are being taught through hearing and seeing must be challenged.  Let us receive the promoted Word through whatever venue, but let us also verify its validity.  Whenever teachings promote self over others, there should be yellow lights flashing.  May the dollar sign never overshadow the Cross!

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At the age of thirty, Jesus entered the religious arena with a message of hope and assurance.  To the populist, it was an awakening of spiritual truth.  For generations, their religious leaders had bound them with traditions based on misinterpretations of the Holy Scrolls.  The teachings that Jesus brought were like a breath of fresh air.  People proclaimed with excitement that they had never heard teaching like that before.  They would use words like “astonished,” “marveled,” and “amazed.”  Soon the crowds grew into multitudes that caused gridlocks in the communities where He appeared.  People began to label Jesus as a Teacher, then a Prophet, and soon speculation abounded that He might be the long-awaited Messiah.  At first, the Pharisees put up with His teachings, but when He exposed their hypocrisy they had to do something about it.  The Pharisees had experienced other false prophets and had dealt with them accordingly, so Jesus should be no different!  Quickly, they realized He was no ordinary disillusioned individual.  There was no denying the validity of the miracles and wonders that He was performing.  They knew that if they seized Him there could be a physical conflict with the people and this could not be tolerated, especially with Rome overseeing their occupied land.  The religious leaders tried sending a small group of soldiers to take Him quietly, probably after a teaching seminar, but the soldiers were taken back with His teachings and disobeyed the order. (John 7:46)  The leaders needed another approach.  If they could get Jesus to ignore, and even contradict the Scriptures, they would be able to expose Him as a heretic.

To set Jesus up, the Pharisees needed a situation where there was no possibility of misinterpretation of the Law.  Someone suggested using adultery as a point of reference.  The penalty for such an act was death by stoning. (Leviticus 20:10)  The gamble the Pharisees were taking was that Jesus would reject the Law in favor of His previous compassionate displays.  Finding an adulterous situation took some effort and time.  Finally, they discovered a couple in a flagrant display of extra-marital activity.  Immediately, they took the woman to the Temple where Jesus was teaching.  They interrupted the class by shoving the woman in front of Jesus.  They claimed that Moses commanded “that such should be stoned,” so what was His feeling on the subject?  Jesus, completely ignoring them, simply stooped down and wrote on the ground.  They continued to demand an answer, and finally He rose up and said that anyone without sin should cast the first stone.  He then stooped down and continued to write.  The Bible states that the accusers started leaving from the oldest to the youngest.  Jesus asked the woman where her accusers were.  She told Him they were gone.  Jesus then told the adulteress that He did not condemn her and that she should not sin again. (John 8:1-11)

Today, being a true representative of the Gospel is a very difficult road to travel.  Whenever the Truth is proclaimed, people will try and trip up the shepherd so that their flocks will be scattered.  Many good leaders, in both the world and the church, have fallen due to consistent efforts of others to destroy their mandates.  Politicians and Spiritual leaders will always be the target of the enemy.   Jesus knew that according to the Law, both the adulterer and the adulteress were to be stoned, but the Pharisees were selective in their interpretation.  Never enter into debate with Biblically illiterate people.  Learn to forgive instead of condemn.  Never condone sin, but always warn of continual sin.



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One of the most challenging aspects of my ministry has been to get Believers to evaluate what they believe;  to see if what they confess as truth stands up to the challenges to their Faith.  Too many Christians operate only in their “comfort zones” and are diametrically opposed to any Biblical excursions that might cause their basic beliefs to come under scrutiny.  Lukewarmness becomes a reality when we become content with the basic tenets of our Faith, and are unwilling to grow in the Faith.  A lukewarm Christian becomes a spectator rather than a participant in the Kingdom of God.  It is so tragic to see Believers walking with limited Biblical knowledge.  I thank God for the foundational truth of Jesus, for without the Cross, His Resurrection, and Ascension there would be no Church.  The question is what have we done to build upon that foundation?  Scriptural ignorance has caused many Christians to simply accept what they have been taught without personal Biblical confirmation.  Why are we so afraid of revisiting our “comfort zones” to see if what we have believed truly lines up with the Word of God?

For many years, I studied at some great theological schools.  I attended Methodist, Lutheran and Catholic seminaries in quest of understanding God’s Word.  I pursued pastorates with churches affiliated with three major denominations as well as independent fellowships.  I taught against things that conflicted with my “adopted “beliefs.  For years, I preached to peoples’ wants instead of their needs.  Finally, one day the Holy Spirit took me to the Scriptures for the first time and my eyesight went from 20/20 to 39/27 and I saw things as they really are.  From that moment on, I began to preach under God’s direction.  No longer was I going to teach to appease the “itching ear syndrome” of my fleshly “employers.” (I Timothy 4:3)  It has not been an easy road, for people that are entrenched in unbiblical traditions are almost impossible to budge; Satan sees to that!

My prayer is that Biblical ignorance can be eradicated.  I pray that people will get back to personal Bible study under the tutorage of the Holy Spirit.  We need to make sure that Scriptures compliment each other.  In other words, follow the continuity thread throughout the Word.  If a verse says something, find co-existing verses which will compliment and elaborate on its significance.  The Word will never conflict itself.  Don’t be quick to read; use a soaking action.  Read a verse and then meditate on it until you are released to move on.

I challenge every reader of this article to join me in opening your Bible and making sure that what you have defended for so long lines up with the Word.  If it doesn’t, make the corrections; if it does, press on to even greater truths.  Whatever you do, do not remain complacent.



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I am sure many of us have used prayer lists as an aid to remind us to pray for certain individuals.  Most of the names on our lists had been requested by concerned petitioners.  Sometimes we would take the initiative and write our own concerns.  It was exciting to be able to be the representative of other Believers in bringing their requests before God.  Through the mentioning of the name of Jesus, we were given immediate access to the Throne Room of God where we would petition for a response from God on our concerns and those of others.  The “rush” we would experience would be almost unparalleled in spiritual excitement.  What an honor it was to talk with the God of eternity!  It was so edifying that we tended to wander into prayer at the slightest moment.

I wonder how many Believers are still of the “old school” where prayers of intercession are still being practiced!  I wonder how many still carry “prayer lists?”  For those who are still using those soiled pages of petitioned names, make sure those in spiritual leadership are on your list; also pencil in those that are excelling in their Faith and zeal for the Lord.  It is these types of people that Satan is dedicated to bringing down.  He does not care about the lukewarm Christians for they are no threat to him; rather, it is Pastors and Teachers that are the target of his “fiery darts.”  Satan is looking for any Believer that holds the potential to bring havoc to his kingdom.  Never assume that your Pastor/Teacher is so close to God that he is immune from the attacks of the enemy.  So many “prayer list” carriers spend the majority of their prayer time praying for the requests issued from the spiritually immature, and leave the mature Believers exposed to Satan’s tactics.  (Clarification: Many Christians request from God what He has already given them authority to achieve.  Christianity is not a spiritual welfare system where God gives us everything while we lay in our spiritual hammock quoting Scripture; it is “going to work” and achieving what He has already given us.)  We need to pray for those in need, but we must never ignore the potential danger that faces those on the “front line.”

When spiritual leadership does not have a “demilitarized zone” between themselves and the enemies of the Cross, it will not be long before their ministry will become ineffective.  Prayer is that DZ.  When Believers stop praying for their Pastor/Teachers, they will start talking about them and finding faults.  When the intercessors vacate their position, the door to deception will be opened.  Once Satan gains entry, the “cosmetic church” will be birthed.  It will move from a Theocracy to a Democracy where carnal people control its actions.

I call upon all true Believers that if you have not already equipped yourself with a Prayer List, please step up and be counted as an intercessor.  If you are a card-carrying intercessor, make sure you have those in spiritual authority listed.  We are losing too many good Pastor/Teachers and churches due to intercessors that have gone AWOL!


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There are a growing number of Believers that continue to try and get their heads around the changes in societal norms.  Things that once rang of normality are quickly disappearing into a society of abnormality.  The difference between what is right and what is wrong is now left up to personal interpretation.  The public media no longer produces unbiased reporting, but, rather, platforms of opinions that support biased agendas.   What alarms me is not the changing atmosphere of our Country, but the lack of a positive response from Believers to these negative times.  In fact, Christians have become so involved in the slippery slope of human ignorance that they have taken to Facebook and other social medias to offer a smorgasbord of responses. Through keeping negative issues alive, the Word slips down our priority list.  Instead of wasting our time by attacking and exposing, let us use tact and start imposing the Truth of His Word!  If Satan can get the Believer to use his tactics, he has the advantage.  What is needed is Christians to use the social outlets as a tool of Truth, rather than assisting in the fire of division.

Instead of trying to get our heads around what is happening, let us get our spirits around the Truth of His Word.  The Christian should not be taken by surprise by what is happening in this world, unless he is ignorant of God’s Word.  We have been forewarned and even forearmed to face these changing times.  We must stop looking at things in the natural, and start seeing things through God’s perspective.

Paul commanded the Ephesians to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”  Facing difficult times, Paul urged them to put on the “armor of God.”  Instead of the early Believers trying to get their “heads around” the challenges confronting them, they were to prepare to resist the enemy with six aspects of Kingdom living.  Paul used a metaphor to explain how they were to combat the enemy.  The soldier’s attire was a representative figure of spiritual Truth.  Paul emphasized that by wearing God’s covering, which is Truth, Righteousness, Gospel of Peace, Faith, Salvation, and the Word of God, accompanied by praying in the Spirit, they would have victory. (Ephesians 6:10-18)  Yet today, we take the offensive against Satan’s kingdom by using Satan’s own tactics!  When will we learn?  Is what we put out on the social media striving to bring healing or are we adding to the rift in our Country?  To define evil and not confront it under God’s direction is to play according to Satan’s rules.  I challenge every Believer to promote God’s Truth and Righteousness through love and compassion and abstain from carnal responses to spiritual conflicts.  Remember, it is not flesh and blood that we battle against, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual hosts of wickedness.



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Many Believers love to surf through the Scripture in hope of finding spiritual gems that they can add to their vault of edification verses.  If they underline in their Bibles it is usually with multi colored markers.  Exclamation points emphasize the exceptional verses that carry a higher degree of personal worth.  The interesting thing is that the Scriptures point out more about commitment and personal sacrifice than a “shopping flyer” promoting spiritual “deals.” We get excited about the incoming blessings, but fail to identify our obligation to disperse blessings.  I would never minimize who we are in Christ, but I believe the evidence of our spiritual standing is how we are affecting the lives of others.

When is the last time we scanned the Scriptures in search of verses that we may have over looked, either intentionally or unintentionally?  What about those Biblical salvoes that hit us between the eyes, but we glossed over them because it caused us to be uncomfortable?  Do we need to be reminded that the same Holy Spirit who gave us the defined riches also gave us the defining truths?  When we were new Believers, it was like Christmas and our birthday all rolled up together.  Opening our Scriptural presents brought unparalleled excitement.  The problem is that many Believers stayed in that environment.  There was no maturing, just the enjoying of the “presents” with no thought of sharing with the others. We all know kids that are spoiled.  They always want something.  Everything is about them.  Sadly, that has become a picture of some Christians today.  They think everything is around them.  They want the blessings, but have a hard time being a blessing.  They want to be “slain in the spirit,” instead of being alive in the spirit.  The reason the church is having a hard time being The Church is because of ignorance of Scripture.

Jesus’ teaching on the Vine and branches (John 15: 1-8) has been tampered with to the degree that it has been misrepresented and even “burglarized.”  Verse 7 has been a favorite of the “selfianity” group.  They claim that verse gives them the right to ask whatever they want and it will be done for them.  Those who have taken this approach have found themselves scrambling to explain why it has not always worked.  In the Gospels it is important to understand the setting and who is involved in the exchanges.  In the case of the Vine and Branches, Jesus is talking to His chosen men who are about to have the “torch” passed to them.  He wants them to make sure they understand that the success of their ministry will be because of their unity with Him.  They are in fact like a branch that is alive because of the vine.  The more fruit they produce, the more God will trim away obstacles in their lives so they will produce even greater results.  If they fail to be fruitful, God will remove them from their positional authority.  Jesus used branches and their effects as a metaphor to their lives.  Abide in Him, grow by Him, reproduce through Him, otherwise; they will become as useless as a dead branch.

Jesus told them they were clean through the Word given to them.  In other words the branches were ready to produce.  All that was lacking was the Holy Spirit which would indwell them after Jesus ascended into Heaven.  They were given permission to ask for anything that would help them in their ongoing quest of representing the Kingdom of God.

The question bids to be answered as to what is the role of the Believer when it comes to asking and receiving.  I believe we can ask, but it must be in line with God’s Word.  Our asking is never for personal edification but for the glory of God to be issued through us.  There are many other Scriptures that deal with asking and receiving.  But all must be taken in the setting in which it is expressed.  It is by abiding in Jesus and His Word that brings validity to our asking.

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The Church seems to be so wrapped up in the Second Coming of Christ that it has blinded its eyes to a very clear and present danger.  Satan has released an unparalleled attack against our country.  Everything that this country was founded upon is under a well orchestrated assault.  Our morality has given way to immorality.  Spiritual reality has yielded to secular humanism.  Right has become wrong.  Truth is no longer relevant.  God’s two gender creation has given way to many different gender identities.  Freedom of Godly expression has been censored from much of the social media outlets.  Life was defined by God’s directive, but today man determines what is acceptable.  The reality that all living beings are determined by God has dwarfed to the point where man decides who is to live or who is to be aborted.  Satan is alive and well.  His methodology has completely snookered the Christian Church.

My concern is that some Believers are actually using the tactics that Satan has used to equip his pawns.  Personal attacks on individuals have been the spear point of his carefully devised plan of divide and conquer.  He has proposed that the wide doors of liberalism will soon over-shadow the narrow way of conservatism.  In response many Christians shoot their arrows of judgment against individuals instead of taking aim at what motivates their agendas.  When Believers attack people instead of representing the Kingdom of God through love, grace, and peace, we have lost our way.  This is not the time to point out the flaws on the stained robes of past politicians; rather a time to promote the God whom we are to represent.  Instead of using the social media to expose the already obvious imperfections of others, why not spend the time pecking the keys promoting who God really is!

We need to be the illustrators of the Truth.  There needs to be a consciousness as to what God wants to attain through our commitment to Him.  We must never use the tactics that Satan has trained his followers to use.  Instead of putting down the soldiers of darkness, let us lift up the light that will cause an exposure to the real truth.  We have all the weapons necessary to curtail the enemies’ assault.  It is time for the Church to act like the Church.

Our country is under attack.  There has been corruption at its highest levels, and the Church is well aware of it.  We do not need to reiterate the obvious.  It is not time to top each other with new revelations of corrupt individuals.  Instead of standing out with our exposures of the enemy, let us stand up and display God’s uncompromising Truth!

FOOT NOTE: I am concerned over the number of Believers that are staging on the “rapture runway,” instead of arming themselves with the Word for what could become very difficult days ahead.  We sing, “I’ll Fly Away,” when we should be singing, “Onward Christian Soldiers.”  Is it asking too much to have Believers prepare themselves just in case the snatching away may not be when we hoped for?

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I never cease to be amazed at the continual speculations as to when will be the culmination of life as we know it.  What are the signs of “end times?”  When will the Lord return?  What about the “rapture?”  The continuum of theories keeps alive an anticipatory interest from generation to generation.  Even today, sincere and dedicated theologians promote their theories on the “termination of the ages.”  What is interesting to note is that the theorists are simply echoing what the generations of the past have predicted.  The danger of speculating about end times is that if people are making predictions which fail to materialize, there is a danger that the “cry wolf syndrome” will materialize.   Also, by continually centering on end times, which only God knows about, we lose focus on the here and now.  Jesus will come back again, but instead of putting a case together as to when that will be, we need to major on presenting the Gospel in word and deed.   We claim our Country has never been in such bad shape, and this alone points to the culmination of the age.  I image the people in the Civil War felt the same way.  What about the Depression and the Viet Nam War generation?  The books of Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation, along with other Scriptures, have been dissected through the ages with a convincing rhetoric that the end is near.

Instead of adjusting our ears to the coming sound of the Trumpet, let us hear Jesus tell us that He will never leave us.  Instead of scaring people through end time promotions, let us draw people to the finished work of Jesus.  Instead of doom and gloom, let us sound the message of forgiveness, hope and assurance.  Until the Lord returns, let us serve Him with every ounce of strength that He has enabled us to have.  If Believers were as concerned about presenting the Gospel as they are in trying to figure out the end time scenario, we would have a Christian Country again!

I am not minimizing the Second Coming of Christ, for HE IS COMING BACK!  What we need to know is that Jesus’ return is determined by God and God alone.  Until that day comes, let us keep focused on His calling.  Instead of looking up, let us look out to the need of others.  Let us keep our interests based on serving instead of trying to figure out when Jesus will return.






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I am amazed at the number of Christians involved in extra curricular activities.  One of those areas of interest is politics.  In a number of social outlets, the platform of negative reporting is spear headed by Believers.  If they dislike a politician, they illustrate their contempt with negativity.  If they endorse a political party, they will sound the trumpet of praise and adoration.  If it’s a political ideology they disagree with, they will express it with carbon monoxide rhetoric.  I am not interested in whether someone is Republican, Democrat, or whatever.   What concerns me is that the harvest fields are ripe for harvesting, but the harvesters seem more concerned with issues unrelated to reaping. (John 4: 35)  The last thing I want to do is to turn off a potential Believer by expressing a political viewpoint that might add to the further polarization of our society.  The majority of our political understanding is determined by what we read or hear from the media.  Can we honestly promote something as truth, when all we know is from biased reporting?

Our Country is in a mess, but I am at rest because God is in control.  This is a time for Christians to stay the course.  This is the time to stay focused.  This is the time to pray for those in authority. (I Timothy 2:1, 2)  This is the time to make sure our priorities stay in line with God’s Word.

I don’t believe there is a Biblical subject that has not been written or verbalized about.  The redundancy of theme writing and publications has inundated the social platforms.  Faith shared articles and quips have continued to be popular with the faithful.  My concern is that those outside of the Faith have little or no understanding of what our jubilation is all about.   While the Christians encourage each other with the Word, the unbelievers remain in the dark searching for the allusive answer to what life is all about.   It is time for Believers to leave their spiritual “Disneyland” and share their lives with those that are living day by day.  It is exciting to feel the spiritual goose bumps in our closed communal gatherings, but the real excitement is releasing the “rivers of living water” to those in our communities that are looking for something to quench their thirst from the heat of sin.

The Life Book is what Believers need to tweet about.  We need to share what God is doing in our lives, and what our lives are doing in serving God!



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