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AskMe #2675194 10/18/12 04:44 AM
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Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
�Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.�

David urges us to bear up and be prepared for adversity, despair and other afflictions that might come our way. Matthew Henry writes of this verse, �Keep close to God and to your duty. Wait on the Lord by faith, and prayer, and a humble resignation to his will; wait, I say, on the Lord; whatever you do, grow not remiss in your attendance upon God. Keep up your spirits in the midst of the greatest dangers and difficulties: Be of good courage; let your hearts be fixed, trusting in God, and your minds stayed upon him, and then let none of these things move you. Those that wait upon the Lord have reason to be of good courage.



Archbishop of Calcutta Henry D'Souza knows that at times in her life, Mother Teresa felt abandoned by God. She wrote in her diary, "I wandered the streets the whole day. My feet are aching, and I have not been able to find a home. And I also get the Tempter telling me, 'Leave all this, go back to the convent from which you came.'" She found her home, and the rest is history. The Missionaries of Charity feeds 500,000 families a year in Calcutta alone, treats 90,000 leprosy patients annually, and educates 20,000 children every year. [Citation: Kevin A. Miller, Vice President, Christianity Today International; source: CNN]

King David also knew the frustration of waiting on God, which we can see from this in Psalm 13:1-6.
�How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord,for he has been good to me.�

There are none of us exempt from feeling alone and abandoned. We all face times of frustration mostly because we want to react instead of allowing God to direct our paths. We want something now, which is in our sinful nature. But God knows what He is doing and plans things to work according to His time.

Pray God would give you the strength and endurance to face what may come into your life. Sometimes we face painful things, but God is always faithful to strengthen us when we ask. Pray that you might be patient as to not rush God�s timing. My hope just as King David�s is that you can wait for the lord; be strong and take heart and again wait on the Lord.

AskMe #2675545 10/19/12 06:45 AM
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When you refer to the Tempter tempting Theresa, I compare that to the what Dr Harley refers to as the "taker"
I think the "taker" referred to by Dr Harley is Satan and his demons.
The bible says our war is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness and powers in high places.


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Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
4 �Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.�

We must not only depend upon God, but solace ourselves in him. We must be well pleased that there is a God, that He is such a one as He has revealed Himself to us, and that He is our God in covenant. We must delight ourselves in His beauty, bounty, and benignity; our souls must return to Him, and repose in Him, as their rest, and their portion forever. Being satisfied of His loving-kindness, we must be satisfied with it, and make that our exceeding joy.



Chuck Swindoll shares the following story about a conversation with a Christian leader who started a new ministry for the Navigators in Uganda. The man told Swindoll that after much discussion and prayer, he and his wife were convinced God wanted them to move to Uganda. So they uprooted their family and flew to Kenya, where he put his family up in a hotel so he could rent a Land Rover and travel across the border into Uganda. The man told Swindoll, "One of the first things that caught my eye when I came into the village where I was going to spend my first night were several young kids with automatic weapons, shooting them off into the sky. As I drove by, they stared at me and pointed their guns." Naturally he started to wonder if God was really in their decision. Finally, after a long day exploring Uganda, he pulled up to a dingy, dimly lit hotel. Inside, he went up to the registration counter. The clerk, who spoke only a little English, told him there was one bed available. So he walked up two flights of stairs and opened the door and turned on the light -"a naked light bulb hanging over a table. He saw a room with two beds, one unmade and one still made up. He immediately realized, I am sharing this room with somebody else. A chill went down his spine. At this point he definitely needed the kind of encouragement only God can give. The man told Swindoll, "I dropped to my knees, and I said, 'Lord, look, I'm afraid. I'm in a country I don't know, in a culture that's totally unfamiliar. I have no idea who sleeps in that bed. Please, show me that you're in this move!'" And then, he said, "Just as I was finishing my prayer, the door flung open, and there stood this six-foot five-inch African frowning at me, saying in beautiful British English, 'What are you doing in my room?'" "I kneeled there for a moment, and then I muttered, 'They gave me this bed, but I'll only be here one night.'" "What are you doing in my country?" the African asked. "Well, I'm with a [Christian] organization called the Navigators." "Ahh! The Navigators!" Suddenly the tall African broke into an enormous grin, threw his arms around his new roommate, and laughed out loud as he lifted him up off the floor and danced around the room with him.
"Praise God, praise God," said the African. "For two years I have prayed that God would send someone to me from this organization." And he pulled out a little Scripture memory-verse pack and pointed to where, at the bottom of each of the verses, it read, "The Navigators, Colorado Springs, Colorado."
"Are you from Colorado Springs, Colorado?" he asked. "I was. But I'm coming to Uganda to begin a work for the Navigators in this country." This Ugandan eventually became a board member for the new Navigators ministry in Uganda. He helped the American leader find a place to live, assisted him with the language, and became the Navigator staff member's best friend. [Chuck Swindoll, Embraced by the Spirit (Zondervan, 2011), pp. 111-114]

The Bible tells us when God is for us who can be against us? When we delight in God and we delight in the work He has put before us, God will see to it that our hearts are also delighted.

AskMe #2676136 10/22/12 05:18 AM
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Proverbs 15:23 (NIV)
23 A person finds joy in giving an apt reply�and how good is a timely word!

From Matthew Henry�s Commentary: Note, 1. We speak wisely when we speak seasonably: The answer of the mouth will be our credit and joy when it is pertinent and to the purpose, and is spoken in due season, when it is needed and will be regarded, and, as we say, hits the joint. Many a good word comes short of doing the good it might have done, for want of being well-timed. Nor is anything more the beauty of discourse than to have a proper answer ready off-hand, just when there is occasion for it, and it comes in well. 2. If we speak wisely and well, it will redound to our own comfort and to the advantage of others: A man has joy by the answer of his mouth; he may take a pleasure, but may by no means take a pride, in having spoken so acceptably and well that the hearers admire him and say, "How good is it, and how much good does it do!��



Christian businessman and author John D. Beckett shares the following personal story about the redemptive power of speaking the truth in love:

I was in a dental chair being prepped for the replacement of a filling. Just as my mouth was filled with dental hardware so I could only mumble, the dental technician said, out of the blue, "You're Mr. Beckett, aren't you?" I grunted assent.

"Well, I want to thank you for firing my husband."

I was stuck. I couldn't move. I couldn't speak. I could only listen to the ensuing monologue.

"It happened ten years ago," she said. "A few days after your company hired my husband, he was notified he had failed a drug test. You may not recall," she continued, "but you called him into your office before he left. You said, 'I realize I don't have any choice but to terminate you, but I want to tell you something. You're at a crossroads. You can keep going the way you are, and the results are very predictable. Or you can take this as a wake-up call. You can decide you're going to turn your life around.'"

I'm sure the technician couldn't see the beads of perspiration on my forehead under all the paraphernalia as she continued: "I want you to know, my husband took your advice. Today, he's a good father, a good husband, and he has a fine job. Thank you for firing my husband!"

I wish I could say that all our terminations have turned out this way. � Regardless of the outcome, however, we must be prepared to take action when a situation can't be brought around. In a strange way, it's an aspect of our care for people. [John D. Beckett, Mastering Monday (Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2006), pp. 157-158]


We never know when the right word, the right action will have a positive and timely effect in someone�s life. Look for opportunities to share God�s words of truth that may help others and bring you a reward of kindness in the process.

AskMe #2676431 10/23/12 05:06 AM
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Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
2 �Carry each other�s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.�

In this verse we are told to sympathize with those who face weaknesses, improprieties, burdens, temptations, infirmities and other various trials and troubles that each of us may face. Christ commanded us to love one another and therefore in performing this duty we are fulfilling the law of Christ to see to it that out fellow man and brothers and sisters in Christ are cared for. Pride, conceit, idolatry and covetousness often get in our way of compassion for others; therefore we must take care to abide in God�s care, His love and His mercy and grace. Our duty is to carry other�s burdens so they too may one day carry ours.


My 4-month-old daughter and I took a trip to the library. She babbled softly as I browsed through the books. I overheard an older man say gruffly, �Tell that kid to shut up, or I will.�

�I am very sorry for whatever has caused you to be so disturbed by a happy baby,� I angrily shot back, �but I will not tell her to shut up, and I will not let you do so either.�

I braced myself for an outburst but he looked down, took a deep breath, and said softly, �I apologize.� He had tears in his eyes, and we remained silent. Then he looked at my daughter. She smiled at him and happily kicked her arms and legs. Slowly, he said, �My son died when he was 2-months-old.�

I moved to sit in the chair next to him. He went on to explain that his son died from SIDS over 50 years ago. He described how his anger grew, leading to a failed marriage and isolation. I asked him to tell me about his son. As he did so, he smiled back and forth with my daughter. Eventually, he asked to hold her. As he held her, his shoulders relaxed, and he briefly laid his cheek on her head. He returned her to me with a heartfelt �Thank you.� I thanked him for sharing his story, and he quickly departed. [Written by Karisa Smith, Wheaton, Illinois]


How often do we encounter people who are abrupt, curt, angry and ill-tempered towards us for no reason and we are ready to punch back? Maybe, just maybe they need someone to reach out to them in compassion. Maybe the burdens of life have weighed them down so heavily they no long have any joy in their life. Maybe they need to see the love of Christ in someone.

When you meet someone smile. When you hear someone in a foul mood provide some encouraging words. When you see someone in need provide what you can. God will honor your good deeds and the fruit of your labor will prosper. Try it and see what happens.

AskMe #2676775 10/24/12 06:04 AM
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Titus 3:3-8 (NIV)
3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

The apostle writes about the changes that take place in a Christian�s life. For at one time all were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures; living in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. God�s grace and mercy of salvation through Jesus Christ however frees a person from the bondage of sin. They are allowed to live free from guilt and shame trusting God to bring about goodness in their lives. Their freedom even affects the lives of others by ending malice, envy and hatred. It�s not good deeds that make a person righteous, but God�s salvation and because of that salvation we can do good deeds which please God and make us right with God and people.



God 100% righteous
100%---------------------------------------------------
|
| Pope Billie Graham
| Priest
| Church Leader
+
|
| Good Neighbor
|
|
0%-----------------------------------------------------

QUESTION: If you had to chart your righteousness on the chart above where would you place your name and what reason would you give for the ranking you chose?

Romans 3:10 tells us �there is none righteous�. Isaiah 64:6 says, �We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.� Romans 3:23 says, �For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God�s glorious standard.�

So if we all have fallen short of God�s standard for righteous how can we ever be in God�s presence?

There is only one way and that is by repenting of our sin and placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For Jesus Himself told us, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If not why are you waiting?

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AskMe #2677126 10/26/12 05:41 AM
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2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Matthew Henry writes about the words of the bible: It is given by inspiration of God (v. 16), and therefore is his word. It is a divine revelation, which we may depend upon as infallibly true. The same Spirit that breathed reason into us breathes revelation among us: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men spoke as they were moved or carried forth by the Holy Ghost. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but what they received of the Lord that they delivered unto us. That the scripture was given by inspiration of God appears from the majesty of its style,�from the truth, purity, and sublimity, of the doctrines contained in it,�from the harmony of its several parts,�from its power and efficacy on the minds of multitudes that converse with it,�from the accomplishment of many prophecies relating to things beyond all human foresight,�and from the uncontrollable miracles that were wrought in proof of its divine original: God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.



The Bible, which is God�s word, is living and breathing. Each of us can use The Bible to prepare our lives, help us find meaning, and to direct us in the good work we do on behalf of God. The Bible is unique and stands apart from any other book written. It covers a wide period of time. The words were penned by many people and yet the Bible flows continuous because God was the author and directed each word penned.

The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years. Manuscripts came from three different continents. There different languages were used in the writing of the Bible: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Forty different writers penned the words: a doctor, a fisherman, a rabbi, a military general, a king, a tax collector and others. And yet the Bible remains consistent in its message and theme, which is about God�s love for us and his redemption of mankind through the work of Jesus. The words of The Bible have been preserved for thousands of years and have been passed from generation to generation.

The Bible is trustworthy. The Bible is from God. The Bible is about God. But we don�t worship a book -- We worship the One who wrote the book. Jesus accused the Pharisees of missing the point of Scripture in John 5:39: �You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.� The Bible leads us to the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. It is not the Bible that saves us, but Jesus Christ Himself.

Take time to read the Bible and learn from it. There are lessons on how to live life. There are words to guide us. The Bible tells us God created us. It tells us that we fell into sin because of our own desires. The Bible tells us this sin separates us from God. But most importantly the Bible is about The Gospel, or Good News of Jesus Christ who died for us so that we can live an eternal life with God.

AskMe #2679841 11/04/12 01:42 PM
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Indeed the heavens and the earth shall pass away but the Word of God shall endure forever

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Originally Posted by HDW
Indeed the heavens and the earth shall pass away but the Word of God shall endure forever
Amen

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Thank you!

Pineneedle #2680200 11/05/12 09:18 PM
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AskMe didn't post today, so I hope he doesn't mind me posting the following. Hopefully he will return tomorrow.
This was written by Ilias the Presbyter around the 12th century (from the Philokalia);

"No Christian believing rightly in God should ever be off his guard. He should always be on the lookout for temptation, so that when it comes he will not be surprised or disturbed, but will gladly endure the toil and affliction it causes, and so will understand what he is saying when he chants with the prophet: 'Prove me O Lord, and try me' (Ps 26;2 LXX). For the prophet did not say, 'Thy correction has destroyed me', but, 'it has upheld me to the end' (Ps 18:45-LXX).

The first step towards excellence is fear of God, the last is loving desire for Him.

The first step towards spiritual perfection is spiritual knowledge put into practice and practice imbued with spiritual knowledge. For practice without such knowledge is of no value, and so is such knowledge when unaccompanied by practice.

Practice where the body is concerned consists of fasting and vigil; where the mouth is concerned it consists of psalmody. But prayer is better than psalmody, and silence is more valuable than speech. In the case of the hands, practice I what they do uncomplainingly; and of the feet, it is what they do as soon as they are urged to do it.

Where the soul is concerned, practice is self control accompanied by simplicity, and simplicity animated by self control.

In the case of the intellect, practice is prayer in contemplation and contemplation in prayer.


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Ephesians 5:25-33 (NIV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church� 30 for we are members of his body. 31 �For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.� 32 This is a profound mystery�but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Here we find the apostle writing about the responsibility of husbands in marriage. The apostle also relates the covenant of marriage to the covenant Jesus made with the church. Just as a husband is to watch over his wife, Christ watches over the church.



This past weekend our daughter got married in a lovely wedding ceremony. The beautiful part of a Christian wedding is the reminder that the wedding symbolizes what Christ has done for the church. Jesus several times referred to Himself as the bridegroom of the Church. Even John the Baptist said that the bride belongs to the bridegroom referring to those who have placed their faith in Christ in as the bride and Jesus as the bridegroom who would receive them unto himself as their protector.

While many debate the meaning of marriage we all need to remember that Christ promises to be the bridegroom who will love, honor, cherish and protect us as our lord and savior. It is a promise we should never forget.

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Originally Posted by HDW
AskMe didn't post today, so I hope he doesn't mind me posting the following. Hopefully he will return tomorrow.
This was written by Ilias the Presbyter around the 12th century (from the Philokalia);

I would be happy for others to post words of encouragement! We were preparing for my daughter's wedding last week and I wasn't back from family until today. So please anyone who has encouraging words from the Bible, short devotions that encourage please post. After all The Bible says in Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another�and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

God bless all of you and thank you HDW for your postings!

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1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NLT)
1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.

Here we find Paul urge Timothy along with the Christians for which he is responsible to pray for all people. There are to be prayers for ourselves. There are to be prayers for our family. There are to be prayers for our neighbors; and there are to be prayers for those foreign to us. Leaders and those in authority should also be prayed for so that God can supply all needs and make our lives peaceful and quiet.



The election results are in and some may be overly exuberant in their wins while others may be overly disgruntled in their losses. However, now is time for all people to come together, praying for one another and especially praying for our leaders that the right decisions might be made. Don�t allow your personal feelings on election results go towards hurting others, but instead allow yourself to do good for others. Give congratulations where congratulations are due. Give accolades for those who lost in their attempt to do what they felt was right.

Pray such as this: Heavenly Father we are a country that was formed for freedom of worship. Let us not forget that we are not to exclude you Father from our daily lives nor exclude you from our country. Lord please bless each person in this country. Help those who are in need. Help our neighbors who might be struggling with financial or personal issues. Lord guide our leaders and help them to be good examples of what a leader should look like. Let us put aside our personal feelings and instead work together to do Your will. God bless this country and continue to make it a country that stands firm against evil and has the best interest of people at its heart. Amen.

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That is a very good prayer

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Synaxis of the Archangel Michael & the other Bodiless Powers: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, & Barachiel

Reading from the Synaxarion:

All the Angels, according to the Apostle Paul, are ministering spirits, �- sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation - (Heb. 1:14). �God set them as overseers of every nation and people, and guides to that which is profitable (Deut. 32:8); and while one Angel is appointed to oversee each nation as a whole, one is also appointed to protect each Christian individually. �He commands them to guard them that hope on Him, that nothing should harm them, neither should any evil draw nigh to their dwelling (Ps. 90:10-12). �In the Heavens they always behold the face of God, sending up to Him the thrice-holy hymn and interceding with Him in our behalf, seeing they rejoice over one sinner that repents (Esaias 6:2-3; Matt. 18:10; Luke 15:7). �In a word, they have served God in so many ways for our benefit, that the pages of Holy Scripture are filled with the histories thereof. �It is for these reasons that the Orthodox Catholic Church, wisely honouring these divine mi
nisters, our protectors and guardians, celebrates today the present Synaxis that is, our coming together in assembly for their common feast to chant their praises, especially for the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, who are mentioned in the Scriptures by name. �The name Michael means "Who is like God?" and Gabriel means "God is mighty." �The number of Angels is not defined in the divine Scriptures, where Daniel says that thousands of thousands ministered before Him, and ten thousands of ten thousands attended upon Him -(Dan. 7:10). �But all of them are divided into nine orders which are called Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, Dominions, Powers, Authorities, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.

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Isaiah 1:18 (NLT)
18 �Come now, let�s settle this,� says the Lord. �Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

Through Isaiah God tells the people that though their sin covers them as one covered in blood He is willing to cleanse them if they are willing to draw close to God and repent of their sin. It is hard to reason against such a generous gift. They are stained by sin and for their willingness to turn from sin God is ready to restore them to a pure and clean life.



For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. � Romans 6:23

Dorothy Sayers, the mystery writer, was also a devoted Christian. Dorothy Sayers was attempting to explain the moral law of God. She pointed out that in our society there are two kinds of laws. There is the law of the stop sign, and there�s the law of the fire. The law of the stop sign is a law that says the traffic is heavy on a certain street, and as a result the police department or the city council decides to erect a stop sign. They also decide that if you run that stop sign, it will cost you $25 or $30 or $35. If the traffic changes, they can up the ante. That is if too many people are running the stop sign, they can make the fine $50 or $75, or if they build a highway around the city, they can take the stop sign down, or reduce the penalty, making it only $10 if you go through. The police department or city council controls the law of the stop sign.

But then she said there is also the law of the fire. And the law of the fire says if you put your hand in the fire, you�ll get burned. Now imagine that all of the legislatures of all the nations of the entire world gathered in one great assembly, and they voted unanimously that here on out that fire would no longer burn. The first man or woman who left that assembly and put his or her hand in the fire would discover that the law of the fire is different than the law of the stop sign. Bound up in the nature of fire itself is the penalty for abusing it. So, Dorothy Sayers says, the moral law of God is like the law of the fire. You never break God�s laws; you just break yourself on them. God can�t reduce the penalty, because the penalty for breaking the law is bound up in the law itself.

We would like to delude and comfort ourselves by thinking that God�s laws are all just like the law of the stop sign, and not like the law of fire. They�re not. We think that we may just bruise ourselves a bit when we violate one of His laws, but Romans 6:23 says it�s a far more serious thing to violate His law and put our hand into the fire of sin: the result of that is death. And that�s a lot more serious than a bruise or two.

PRAYER: Father, give us the gift of discernment and wisdom to grasp the seriousness of our sin. Let us be thankful for Jesus who cleanses us of our sin. Let us never forget what Jesus did for us!

In Jesus� name, Amen.

AskMe #2681722 11/10/12 07:08 AM
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Orestes the Martyr of Cappadocia

Reading from the Synaxarion:

Saint Orestes was from Tyana of Cappadocia. During the persecution of Diocletian, this Martyr's ankles were pierced with long nails; being bound to a wild horse and violently dragged by it, he gave up his spirit in the year 289.


Gospel Reading

The reading is from Luke 9:37-43

At that time, as Jesus had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. And behold, a man from the crowd cried, "Teacher, I beg you to look upon my son, for he is my only child; and behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him till he foams, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not." Jesus answered, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here." While he was coming the demon tore him and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God.

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Saint Victor and Stephanie

Reading from the Synaxarion:

Saints Victor and Stephanie contested in Damascus in 160, during the reign of Antoninus Pius. The pagans arrested Saint Victor as a Christian and cut off his fingers, put out his eyes, and beheaded him. As Saint Stephanie, the wife of a certain soldier, and a Christian, saw Victor's nobility in his sufferings, she loudly cried out to call him blessed and to say that she saw two crowns prepared, one for him, and one for herself. She also was taken, and was tied to two palm trees which had been bowed down; when they were released, she was torn asunder

Gospel Reading

The reading is from Luke 10:25-37

At that time, a lawyer stood up to put Jesus to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to
�him, "Go and do likewise."

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Philippians 4:8 (NLV)
8 Christian brothers, keep your minds thinking about whatever is true, whatever is respected, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever can be loved, and whatever is well thought of. If there is anything good and worth giving thanks for, think about these things.

The apostle exhorts us to dwell upon the true and good things of life. Keep those things close to our hearts for others to see the goodness of truth and righteousness in us so it also becomes their desire. Matthew Henry gives these observations: Observe, 1. The apostle would have the Christians learn anything which was good of their heathen neighbors: "If there be any virtue, think of these things�imitate them in what is truly excellent among them, and let not them outdo you in any instance of goodness.�� We should not be ashamed to learn any good thing of bad men, or those who have not our advantages. 2. Virtue has its praise, and will have. We should walk in all the ways of virtue, and abide therein; and then, whether our praise is of men or not, it will be of God.


According to a 2006 study, our circle of close friends is getting smaller. Over the past twenty years, the number of people we can discuss "matters important to us" dropped nearly a third. The number of people who said they had no one to talk to about important matters more than doubled, to nearly 25 percent. It's an amazing conundrum; in a world of increased communication and higher technical advances, people feel more isolated and alone when it comes to real, legitimate friendship. "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24 Even on days when it seems like our "friendship circle" is closing tighter and tighter, we still have a friend in Jesus! Thank goodness for Christ walks with us each day, listens to our problems, and speaks to our hearts about what we must do. We need friends, but when our friends are not with us remember Jesus always is!

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