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Friday, June 10, 2005

12 June 2005, Sunday Service

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Acts 20: 20 - 38;

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, "
It is more blessed to give than to receive. "

And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship
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If we truly believe God, how should we live?

The few years spent on this world do not compare to the joys of eternity that are prepared for us. I remember hearing the story of an early martyr for Christ. He was the first of his group to be publicly burned at the stake. His friends asked him, if he could, to give a sign if God kept him in peace in the flames that might devour his mortal husk. They requested that he hold up a finger if God's grace was sufficient. The early saint was ignited, he held up his fist, he then raised a finger as the flames engulfed him. The saint then kept raising his fingers until his open hand had all five fingers raised; and then he died. God's grace was more than enough.

You will not have to bear more than you are able to withstand. You are not alone.

If you are going through hard times, seek God. He will be there with you, his grace is more than enough. Seek out God's will and direction; then follow it. Keep close to Jesus, let him lead you through or out of your current situation. Jesus loves us more than we love ourselves, he is smarter and wiser than we are. God is seeking the opportunity to prove his love and power for and through us. Follow his direction, stay in his perfect will.

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

The short definition of grace is: unmerited favor.

A longer definition is: a free gift of forgiveness, love, joy, blessings, and relationship; a gift that we did not earn through our own work.

Accept that gift now.

Run the course with God, finish the course with joy


Jesus is Lord.

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