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The Revelation Of God’s Love In The Cross

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It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God. Romans 8:34.

The revelation of God’s love to man centers on the cross. Its full significance tongue cannot utter, the pen cannot portray, the mind of man cannot comprehend. Looking upon the cross of Calvary, we can only say, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Christ crucified for our sins, Christ rose from the dead, Christ ascended on high, is the science of salvation that we are to learn and to teach…

“It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God” (Romans 8:34). “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25)…

It is through the gift of Christ that we receive every blessing. Through that gift there comes to us day by day the unfailing flow of Jehovah’s goodness. Every flower, with its delicate tints and its fragrance, is given for our enjoyment through that one Gift. The sun and the moon were made by Him. There is not a star which beautifies the heavens that He did not make. Every drop of rain that falls, every ray of light shed upon our unthankful world, testifies to the love of God in Christ. Everything is supplied to us through the one unspeakable Gift, God’s only-begotten Son. He was nailed to the cross that all these bounties might flow to God’s workmanship.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1)…

The knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge that all who are saved must have. It is the knowledge that works the transformation of character. This knowledge received, will re-create the soul in the image of God. It will impart to the whole being a spiritual power that is divine…

Of His own life, the Saviour said, “I have kept my Father’s commandments” (John 15:10). “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (chap. 8:29). As Jesus was in human nature, so God means His followers to be. In His strength, we are to live the life of purity and nobility which the Saviour lived.—The Ministry of Healing, 423-426.

In the rock, Christ Jesus is our only safety.

Christ’s Compassion Knew No Limit

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This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Matthew 8:17, R.S.V.

Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man’s necessity. He “took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses,” that He might minister to every need of humanity. The burden of disease and wretchedness and sin He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character.

Varied were the circumstances and needs of those who besought His aid, and none who came to Him went away unhelped. From Him flowed a stream of healing power, and in body and mind and soul men were made whole.

The Saviour’s work was not restricted to any time or place. His compassion knew no limit. On so large a scale did He conduct His work of healing and teaching that there was no building in Palestine large enough to receive the multitudes that thronged to Him. On the green hillslopes of Galilee, in the thoroughfares of travel, by the seashore, in the synagogues, and in every place where the sick could be brought to Him was to be found His hospital. In every city, every town, every village through which He passed, He laid His hands upon the afflicted ones, and healed them. Wherever there were hearts ready to receive His message, He comforted them with the assurance of their heavenly Father’s love. All day He ministered to those who came to Him; in the evening He gave attention to such as through the day must toil to earn a pittance for the support of their families.

Jesus carried the awful weight of responsibility for the salvation of men. He knew that unless there was a decided change in the principles and purposes of the human race, all would be lost. This was the burden of His soul, and none could appreciate the weight that rested upon Him. Through childhood, youth, and manhood, He walked alone….

Day by day He met trials and temptations; day by day He was brought into contact with evil, and witnessed its power upon those whom He was seeking to bless and to save. Yet He did not fail nor become discouraged….

He was always patient and cheerful, and the afflicted hailed Him as a messenger of life and peace. He saw the needs of men and women, children and youth, and to all He gave the invitation, “Come unto me.” …

As He passed through the towns and cities, He was like a vital current, diffusing life and joy.

First Things First

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33.

This promise will never fail. We cannot enjoy the favor of God unless we comply with the conditions upon which His favor is bestowed. By so doing there will come to us that peace, contentment, and wisdom that the world can neither give nor take away…. A humble mind and a grateful heart will elevate us above petty trials and real difficulties. The less earnest, energetic, and vigilant we are in the service of the Master, the more will the mind dwell upon self, magnifying molehills into mountains of difficulty….

The burden of God’s work, laid upon Moses, made him a man of power. While keeping, for so many years, the flocks of Jethro, he gained an experience that taught him true humility…. The command to deliver Israel seemed overwhelming; but, in the fear of God, Moses accepted the trust. Mark the result: He did not bring the work down to his deficiency; but in the strength of God he put forth the most earnest efforts to elevate and sanctify himself for his sacred mission.

Moses would never have been prepared for his position of trust had he waited for God to do the work for him. Light from heaven will come to those who feel the need of it, and who seek for it as for hidden treasures. But if we sink down into a state of inactivity, willing to be controlled by Satan’s power, God will not send His inspiration to us. Unless we exert to the utmost the powers which He has given us, we shall ever remain weak and inefficient. Much prayer and the most vigorous exercise of the mind are necessary if we would be prepared to do the work which God would entrust to us. Many never attain to the position which they might occupy, because they wait for God to do for them that which He has given them power to do for themselves. All who are fitted for usefulness, in this life must be trained by the severest mental and moral discipline, and then God will assist them by combining divine power with human effort….

Wrong habits are not overcome by a single effort. Only through long and severe struggle is self-mastered.

“Love One Another”

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1 John 4:7-21

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:10, 11.

After the ascension of Christ, John stands forth as a faithful, earnest laborer for the Master…. The love for Christ which glowed in his heart led him to put forth earnest, untiring labor for his fellow men, especially for his brethren in the Christian church.

Christ had bidden the first disciples love one another as He had loved them…. After the descent of the Holy Spirit, when the disciples went forth to proclaim a living Saviour, their one desire was the salvation of souls. They rejoiced in the sweetness of communion with saints. They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. In their daily association with one another, they revealed the love that Christ had enjoined upon them….

But gradually a change came. The believers began to look for defects in others…. They lost sight of the Saviour and His love…. John, realizing that brotherly love was waning in the church, urged upon believers the constant need of this love…. It is not the opposition of the world that most endangers the church of Christ. It is the evil cherished in the hearts of believers that works their most grievous disaster and most surely retards the progress of God’s cause. There is no surer way of weakening spirituality than by cherishing envy, suspicion, faultfinding, and evil surmising. On the other hand, the strongest witness that God has sent His Son into the world is the existence of harmony and union among men of varied dispositions who form His church….

Unbelievers are watching to see if the faith of professed Christians is exerting a sanctifying influence upon their lives; and they are quick to discern the defects in character, the inconsistencies in action…. Christians are all members of one family, all children of the same heavenly Father, with the same blessed hope of immortality. Very close and tender should be the tie that binds them together…. “Let us not love in word,” the apostle writes, “but in deed and in truth.”

The Race Before Us.

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1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:1, 2.

In the epistle to the Hebrews is pointed out the singlehearted purpose that should characterize the Christian’s race for eternal life…. Envy, malice, evil thinking, evilspeaking, covetousness—these are weights that the Christian must lay aside if he would run successfully the race for immortality. Every habit or practice that leads into sin and brings dishonor upon Christ must be put away, whatever the sacrifice…. “Know ye not,” Paul asked, “that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?” However eagerly and earnestly the runners might strive, the prize could be awarded to but one….

Such is not the case in the Christian warfare. Not one who complies with the conditions will be disappointed at the end of the race…. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. The weakest saint, as well as the strongest, may wear the crown of immortal glory….

That he might not run uncertainly or at random in the Christian race, Paul subjected himself to severe training. The words, “I keep under my body,” literally mean to beat back by severe discipline the desires, impulses, and passions….

It was this singlehearted purpose to win the race for eternal life that Paul longed to see revealed in the lives of the Corinthian believers. He knew that in order to reach Christ’s ideal for them, they had before them a life struggle from which there would be no release. He entreated them to strive lawfully, day by day seeking for piety and moral excellence. He pleaded with them to lay aside every weight and to press forward to the goal of perfection in Christ.

In view of the issue at stake, nothing is small that will help or hinder. Every act casts its weight into the scale that determines life’s victory or defeat. And the reward given to those who win will be in proportion to the energy and earnestness with which they have striven.

While You are Young, December 4

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Don’t let people look down on you because you are young; see that they look up to you because you are an example to them in your speech and behavior, in your love and faith and sincerity. 1 Timothy 4:12, Phillips.

He [Timothy] was a mere lad when chosen by God as a teacher; but so fixed were his principles by a correct education that he was fitted for this important position. He bore his responsibilities with Christlike meekness. He was faithful, steadfast, and true, and Paul selected him to be his companion in labor and travel. Lest Timothy should meet with slights because of his youthfulness, Paul wrote to him, “Let no man despise thy youth.” He could safely do this, because Timothy was not self-sufficient, but continually sought guidance.

There are many youth who move from impulse rather than from judgment. But Timothy inquired at every step, “Is this the way of the Lord?” He had no specially brilliant talents, but he consecrated all his abilities to the service of God, and this made his work valuable. The Lord found in him a mind that He could mold and fashion for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

God will use the youth today as He used Timothy, if they will submit to His guidance. It is your privilege to be God’s missionaries. He calls upon you to work for your companions. Seek out those you know to be in danger, and in the love of Christ try to help them. How are they to know the Saviour unless they see His virtues in His followers?

The highest aim of our youth should not be to strain after something novel. There was none of this in the mind and work of Timothy. They should bear in mind that, in the hands of the enemy of all good, knowledge alone may be a power to destroy them. It was a very intellectual being, one who occupied a high position among the angelic throng, that finally became a rebel; and many a mind of superior intellectual attainments is now being led captive by his power. The youth should place themselves under the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, and weave them into their daily thoughts and practical life. Then they will possess the attributes classed as highest in the heavenly courts.

A Holy Purpose

Nehemiah 1

O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, … and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Nehemiah 1:11.

Nehemiah, one of the Hebrew exiles, occupied a position of influence and honor in the Persian court. As cupbearer to the king he was admitted freely to the royal presence…. Through this man … God purposed to bring blessing to His people in the land of their fathers….

The Hebrew patriot learned that days of trial had come to Jerusalem, the chosen city. The returned exiles were suffering affliction and reproach…. The work of restoration was hindered, the temple services were disturbed, and the people kept in constant alarm by the fact that the walls of the city were still largely in ruins….

Nehemiah had often poured out his soul in behalf of his people. But now as he prayed a holy purpose formed in his mind. He resolved that if he could obtain the consent of the king, and the necessary aid in procuring implements and material, he would himself undertake the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem….

Four months Nehemiah waited for a favorable opportunity to present his request to the king…. He had a sacred trust to fulfill, in which he required help from the king; and he realized that much depended upon his presenting the matter in such a way as to win his approval and enlist his aid. “I prayed,” he said, “to the God of heaven.” In that brief prayer, Nehemiah pressed into the presence of the King of kings and won to his side a power that can turn hearts as the rivers of waters are turned.

To pray as Nehemiah prayed in his hour of need is a resource at the command of the Christian under circumstances when other forms of prayer may be impossible…. In times of sudden difficulty or peril the heart may send up its cry for help to One who has pledged Himself to come to the aid of His faithful, believing ones whenever they call upon Him. In every circumstance, under every condition, the soul weighed down with grief and care, or fiercely assailed by temptation, may find assurance, support, and succor in the unfailing love and power of a covenant-keeping God.

The Battle Song.

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2 Chronicles 20:22-30

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 Chronicles 20:21.

It was a singular way of going to battle against the enemy’s army—praising the Lord with singing, and exalting the God of Israel. This was their battle song. They possessed the beauty of holiness. If more praising of God were engaged in now, hope and courage and faith would steadily increase. And would not this strengthen the hands of the valiant soldiers who today are standing in defense of truth?

They praised God for the victory, and four days thereafter the army returned to Jerusalem, laden with the spoils of their enemies, singing praise for the victory won.

When we have a deeper appreciation of the mercy and loving- kindness of God, we shall praise Him, instead of complaining. We shall talk of the loving watchcare of the Lord, of the tender compassion of the Good Shepherd. The language of the heart will not be selfish murmuring and repining. Praise, like a clear, flowing stream, will come from God’s truly believing ones….

Why not awake the voice of spiritual song in the days of our pilgrimage? … We need to study God’s Word, to meditate and pray. Then we shall have spiritual eyesight to discern the inner courts of the celestial temple. We shall catch the notes of thanksgiving sung by the heavenly choir around the throne. When Zion shall arise and shine, her light will be most penetrating, and songs of praise and thanksgiving will be heard in the assembly of the saints. Little disappointments and difficulties will be lost sight of.

The Lord is our helper…. No one ever trusted God in vain. He never disappoints those who put their dependence on Him. If we would only do the work that the Lord would have us do, walking in the footsteps of Jesus, our hearts would become sacred harps, every chord of which would send forth praise and thanksgiving to the One sent by God to take away the sin of the world.

The Battle is the Lord’s, July 30

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2 Chronicles 20:1-30

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. 2 Chronicles 20:12.

Toward the close of Jehoshaphat’s reign, the kingdom of Judah was invaded by an army before whose approach the inhabitants of the land had reason to tremble…. Jehoshaphat was a man of courage and valor. For years he had been strengthening his armies and his fortified cities. He was well prepared to meet almost any foe, yet in this crisis, he put not his trust in the arm of flesh. Not by disciplined armies and fenced cities, but by a living faith in the God of Israel, could he hope to gain the victory over these heathens who boasted of their power to humble Judah in the eyes of the nations.

“Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.” Standing in the temple court before his people, Jehoshaphat poured out his soul in prayer, pleading God’s promises, with confession of Israel’s helplessness….

With confidence Jehoshaphat could say to the Lord, “Our eyes are upon Thee.” For years he had taught the people to trust in the One who in past ages had so often interposed to save His chosen ones from utter destruction; and now, when the kingdom was in peril, Jehoshaphat did not stand alone; “all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.” Unitedly they fasted and prayed; unitedly they besought the Lord to put their enemies to confusion, that the name of Jehovah might be glorified….

God was the strength of Judah in this crisis, and He is the strength of His people today. We are not to trust in princes or to set men in the place of God. We are to remember that human beings are fallible and erring and that He who has all power is our strong tower of defense. In every emergency, we are to feel that the battle is His. His resources are limitless, and apparent impossibilities will make the victory all the greater.

Overwhelmed by Discouragement.

1 Kings 19:1-8

And he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 1 Kings 19:4.

It would seem that after showing courage so undaunted, after triumphing so completely over king and priests and people, Elijah could never afterward have given way to despondency nor been awed into timidity. But he who had been blessed with so many evidence of God’s loving care was not above the frailties of mankind, and in this dark hour, his faith and courage forsook him…. Had he remained where he was, had he made God his refuge and strength, standing steadfast for the truth, he would have been shielded from harm. The Lord would have given him another signal victory by sending His judgments on Jezebel….

Into the experience of all there come times of keen disappointment and utter discouragement—days when sorrow is the portion, and it is hard to believe that God is still the kind benefactor of His earthborn children; days when troubles harass the soul, till death seems preferable to life. It is then that many lose their hold on God…. Could we at such times discern with spiritual insight the meaning of God’s providences we should see angels seeking to save us from ourselves, striving to plant our feet upon a foundation more firm than the everlasting hills, and new faith, new life, would spring into being….

For the disheartened, there is a sure remedy—faith, prayer, work. Faith and activity will impart assurance and satisfaction that will increase day by day…. In the darkest days, when appearances seem most forbidding, fear not. Have faith in God. He knows your need. He has all power. His infinite love and compassion never weary…. And He will bestow upon His faithful servants the measure of efficiency that their need demands….

Did God forsake Elijah in his hour of trial? Oh, no! He loved His servant no less when Elijah felt forsaken of God and man than when, in answer to his prayer, fire flashed from heaven and illuminated the mountain top

Waiting Upon God, July 24

 

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1 Kings 18:41-46

And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. 1 Kings 18:41.

It was not because of any outward evidence that the showers were about to fall, that Elijah could so confidently bid Ahab prepare for rain. The prophet saw no clouds in the heavens; he heard no thunder. He simply spoke the word that the Spirit of the Lord had moved him to speak in response to his own strong faith…. Having done all that was in his power to do, he knew that Heaven would freely bestow the blessings foretold. The same God who had sent the drought had promised an abundance of rain as the reward of rightdoing; and now Elijah waited for the promised outpouring. In an attitude of humility, “his face between his knees,” he interceded with God in behalf of penitent Israel….

Six times the servant returned with the word that there was no sign of rain in the brassy heavens. Undaunted, Elijah sent him forth once more; and this time the servant returned with the word, “Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.”

This was enough. Elijah did not wait for the heavens to gather blackness. In that small cloud he beheld by faith an abundance of rain; and he acted in harmony with his faith…. As he prayed, his faith reached out and grasped the promises of Heaven, and he persevered in prayer until his petitions were answered. He did not wait for the full evidence that God had heard him, but was willing to venture all on the slightest token of divine favor. And yet what he was enabled to do under God, all may do in their sphere of activity in God’s service….

Faith such as this is needed in the world today—faith that will lay hold on the promises of God’s word and refuse to let go until Heaven hears….

With the persevering faith of Jacob, with the unyielding persistence of Elijah, we may present our petitions to the Father, claiming all that He has promised. The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfillment of His word.

Praise Where it Belongs.

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1 Kings 10:1-13

Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice. 1 Kings 10:9.

A Greater than Solomon was the designer of the temple; the wisdom and glory of God stood there revealed. Those who were unacquainted with this fact naturally admired and praised Solomon as the architect and builder, but the king disclaimed any honor for its conception or erection.

Thus it was when the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon. Hearing of his wisdom and of the magnificent temple he had built, she determined “to prove him with hard questions” and to see for herself his famous works. Attended by a retinue of servants, and with camels bearing “spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones,” she made the long journey to Jerusalem. “And when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.” She talked with him of the mysteries of nature; and Solomon taught her of the God of nature, the great Creator, who dwells in the highest heaven and rules over all. “Solomon told her all her questions: there was not anything hid from the king, which he told her not.”

“When the Queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon’s wisdom, and the house that he had built, … there was no more spirit in her.” “It was a true report,” she acknowledged, “which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it:” “and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.” …

By the time of the close of her visit the queen had been so fully taught by Solomon as to the source of his wisdom and prosperity that she was constrained, not to extol the human agent, but to exclaim, “Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loved Israel forever, therefore made He thee king, to do judgment and justice.” This is the impression that God designed should be made upon all peoples.

“More Blessed to Give”.

1 Kings 17:8-24

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19.

Read the story of the widow of Sarepta. To this woman in a heathen land, God sent His servant in time of famine to ask for food…. Wonderful was the hospitality shown to God’s prophet by this Phoenician woman, and wonderfully were her faith and generosity rewarded….

God has not changed. His power is no less now than in the days of Elijah…. To His faithful servants today as well as to His first disciples Christ’s words apply: “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me” (Matthew 10:40). No act of kindness shown in His name will fail to be recognized and rewarded. And in the same tender recognition, Christ includes even the feeblest and lowliest of the family of God. “Whosoever shall give to drink,” He says, “unto one of these little ones”—those who are as children in their faith and their knowledge of Christ—“a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).

Poverty need not shut us out from showing hospitality. We are to impart what we have. There are those who struggle for a livelihood and who have great difficulty in making their income meet their necessities; but they love Jesus in the person of His saints and are ready to show hospitality to believers and unbelievers, trying to make their visits profitable. At the family board and the family altar the guests are made welcome. The season of prayer makes its impression on those who receive entertainment, and even one visit may mean the saving of a soul from death. For this work the Lord makes a reckoning, saying: “I will repay.” …

“Man doth not live by bread only,” and as we impart to others our temporal food, so we are to impart hope and courage and Christlike love…. And the assurance is ours: “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

What an Epitaph! 

1 Kings 3:11 Kings 11:1-8

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. 2 Corinthians 6:17.

Many who started out in life with as fair and promising a morning, in their limited sphere, as Solomon had in his exalted station, through one false and irrevocable step in the marriage relation, lose their souls, and draw others down to ruin with them. As Solomon’s wives turned his heart away from God to idolatry, so do frivolous companions, who have no depth of principle, turn away the hearts of those who were once noble and true, to vanity, corrupting pleasures, and downright vice.

Solomon flattered himself that his wisdom and the power of his example would lead his wives from idolatry to the worship of the true God, and also that the alliances thus formed would draw the nations round about into close touch with Israel. Vain hope! Solomon’s mistake in regarding himself as strong enough to resist the influence of heathen associates was fatal. And fatal, too, the deception that led him to hope that notwithstanding a disregard of God’s law on his part, others might be led to revere and obey its sacred precepts.

Let the sad memory of Solomon’s apostasy warn every soul to shun the same precipice…. The greatest king that ever wielded a scepter, of whom it had been said that he was the beloved of God, through misplaced affection became contaminated and was miserably forsaken of his God. The mightiest ruler of the earth had failed to rule his own passions. Solomon may have been saved “as by fire,” yet his repentance could not efface those high places, nor demolish those stones, which remained as evidence of his crimes. He dishonored God, choosing rather be controlled by lust than to be a partaker of the divine nature. What a legacy Solomon’s life has committed to those who would use his example to cover their own base actions. We must either transmit a heritage of good or evil. Shall our lives and our example be a blessing or a curse? Shall people look at our graves and say, He ruined me, or, He saved me?

The Place Of Prayer In The Life Of Our Children…(Pt 2) — When I’ m With You… Whitney Ibe Blog!

My very close female friend whom i love dearly shared her experience with me on why we need to pray for our children. She revealed to me that when she wanted to leave her home town (Osun state in Nigeria) for the city (Lagos state in Nigeria) the parents kicked against it, saying she won’t […]

via The Place Of Prayer In The Life Of Our Children…(Pt 2) — When I’ m With You… Whitney Ibe Blog!