Friends! 3/14/99

John 15:12-19
Page 1580 Come Alive Bible

JESUS CHRIST said, “No longer do I call you servants…but I have called you friends…” Thus, He paid us a supreme compliment. The word “friend” in English, as in its Greek equivalent PHILOS, conveys the idea of loving and being loved. There is something warm and pleasant about it.

The secret of success in ones search for friends is found in the wisdom of Solomon who wrote: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24). An unknown poet expressed it:
I went out to find a friend,
But could not find one there,
Then I went out to be a friend,
And there were friends everywhere!

An English publication ran a contest seeking the best definition of a friend. The winner was: “A friend — the one who walks in when the world walks out.”

“A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17).

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).

A good friend is the person who gives you the better of the two choices, hold your hand when your scared, helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you, thinks of you at times when you are not there, reminds you of what you have forgotten, helps you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer, stays with you so that you have confidence, goes out of their way to make time for you, helps you clear up your mistakes, helps you deal with pressure from others, smiles for you when they are sad, helps me become a better person, and most importantly loves you! Yes, whether known since kindergarten or just met a couple months ago,

This is MY idea of a GOOD FRIEND.

A true friend is one who ask you how you are and listens to the answer.

A friend is one who doubles your joy and divides your sorrows.

True friends are like spaghetti, they stick together.

Life is a cookie and friends are the chocolate chips.

A true friend is one who watches as you make a mess of things and doesn’t react as though you have done a permanent job.

Jesus perfected the art of friendship; and after patterning it, passed it on to His followers. By example and expression He answered the question: “What is a friend?”

Friendship involves commitment. (Story of four G.I.’s on patrol in Vietnam: “You gotta care baby…you gotta care!”)

However, laying down your life involves more than looking into the grey face of death. There is a principle of slow sacrifice folded into the words of the Savior.

It is hard at duty’s call,
To lay one’s life down day by day,
As to lay it down once for all.

Friendship motivates one to daily help another.
It means to make joy possible for those who walk in the shadow of sorrow.
It is to make goodness possible for those who stand in the darkness of temptation.
It is to venture into the world day by day to minister and not be ministered unto.
It is to let the message of your music become the harmony of your life.

Nineteen hundred plus years ago a man lived a life in Galilee and Judea that is today transforming lives. His secret is no secret. It is found in His statement “I lay down my life for you.” Today those who honor Him most are those who comply with the insight shared by His follower John who wrote:

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (I John 3:16)

The day following Christ sharing the words of our study with His followers in the upper room, He spoke to John from the cross of His mother, Mary: “Behold your mother…” In this utterance our Lord laid on John the duty of laying down his life for Him by caring for a lonely broken-hearted woman to whom life had spoken most harshly. Looking after Mary, thereafter, was an act of laying down His life for Christ. That is a friend.

Jesus said, “You are my friends…” He didn’t say “I am your friend.” For me to say “Jesus is my friend” is to pull Him down to my level. For Him to speak of us as His friends is for Him to pick us up to His level.

James 2:23, “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. And he was called the friend of God.”

Obedience evidences friendship.

Epicetus: “I am free and the friend of God, because I obey Him willingly.”

George Whitfield was asked: “Do you ever tire of your work for God?” He replied, “Sometimes I tire in it, but never of it.”

No one can grow weary in well-doing who lives in the light of a friendship that transforms all
duty into delights.

A friend wants to help and protect a friend. The closest of friends should be husbands and wives. One wife called her husband on his car phone and asked, “Honey, are you on highway 280?” “Yes,” was the reply.” “Well be careful. I have the TV traffic report on and they say there is a car driving in the wrong lane on 280. Be very careful.”

“A car,” came the reply, “there are hundreds going the wrong way.” He alone was going the wrong way and accused those going the right way of going the wrong way. Friends help friends.

Jesus wants us to consider “all things”, that is, the facts of Christianity again and again until they become sun-clear. He has told us all we need to know. We need to do all we know.

He said, “To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God” (Mark 4:11).

A friend enjoys helping a friend. That includes making decisions.

Many are familiar with the board game chess. Chess requires imagination and the capacity to think of most moves before made. Moves in chess are often compared to moves by two generals on a battlefield. Chess resembles war in that it requires attack and defense. The object is to move the king into a position in which it has to surrender.

It is possible for a skilled player to make such moves as to put the opponents king in a no-win position, defeat is unavoidable. At that point several moves in advance, check-mate can be declared. The game is over though not finished. The outcome is determined.

A skilled chess player who was also an outstanding artist painted a scene depicting a young man playing chess with the devil. Artistically the artist had portrayed the devil as moving his queen into position making it impossible for the young man’s king to survive. Check-mate was announced four moves in advance. The outcome was determined, the
devil wins.

The work of art hung in a major museum for years with chess players and art afficionados alike marveling over it.

An aged chess player from New Orleans, Paul Morphy, saw a picture of the painting. His intrigue drew him to Cincinnati to view the classic work.

The old undefeated supreme chess master studied the painting for the longest. It is said he studied it for a least thirty minutes. He would raise and lower his hands as though making moves. Suddenly his hands paused, his eyes burned with the vision of an unthought of combination. Suddenly he shouted, “Young man, make that move. That’s the move!”

To the amazement of all, the old master, the supreme chess personality, had discovered a combination that the creating artist had not considered. The young man had defeated the devil at last.

Apart from Christ the devil has us check-mated. Thee is no way for us to win. Then the Master devised a move that enables us to win. That move took Him to Calvary and takes us to heaven.

Do you recall the thrill of being chosen when playing childish games? What an exhilarating thrill to be chosen. There was the classic, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send …. right over.” That’s ME!

Chosen on a team, what a thrill.

You who are married, do you remember? What a moment it was when the person who is your spouse said “Yes” to your proposal. The two of you chose each other. WOW!

Perhaps there was a job you wanted and after all the interviews you were chosen as the one for
the job. An upper!

Maybe, there are bitter memories of not being chosen also. Don’t dwell on them. If you are chosen for the greatest why be concerned about not being chosen for that which is not as important. You have been chosen for the greatest of all things.

“God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world.” (Ephesians 1:4).

That is, long before the dawn of creation God the Father determined that those who would put their faith in Christ as Savior would share His eternal destiny. In Christ you are chosen to inherit a heavenly home. The plus, is you have a
Companion for the journey home, Christ Himself. He chose us for…

Joy, Vs. 11, “…My joy remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” A gloomy Christian is a contradiction of terms. How can a person fail to be joyous while walking in His will?

Love, Vs. 12, “…love one another as I have loved you.” To profess to love Christ Who we cannot see and
not love those we can see is a contradiction.

I sought my soul,
But my soul I could not see.
I sought my God, but my God eluded me,
I sought my brother and found all three.

Be Friends, Vs. 15, “I have called you friends.” This was a term used in kingly courts and in the Roman Empire. The confidants of the king were called “friends of the king.” They could see Him at any time. They ranked in importance above even his generals.

We are not sterile slaves who must cower in His presence. We are not members of the remote crowed which must strain to see Him. We are His friends.

Partners, Vs. 15, “friends.” Inherent in the meaning of the word “friend” is the meaning “partner.” A slave was defined as “a living tool.” We are His partners in His task.

As a child I was privileged to be reared in one of those typical old southern homes with a front and back porch. For years the virgin pine of which it was made was never painted. As the porch aged it became obvious it needed painting. I remember my dad laboring to paint it. As it grew late I passed and he said, “Son, get that other brush and help me so we can finish before dark.” I still remember the pride of being a fellow-worker with my father. That is what Jesus wants of us.

Ambassadors, Vs. 16, “you are appointed.” Knights in the court of King Arthur were not chosen to perpetually revel at the banquet table or attend fancy affairs of state. They delighted to be sent on missions of courage for their king. We are His ambassadors sent on a special message like that of the man healed of his demon possession in Mark 5:19, to whom Christ said, “Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how he has had compassion on you.” The mandate: “Go…tell.”

Advertisements, Vs. 16, “bear fruit”. We were not chosen to be pets but patterns. We are to bring our friends to Christ.

The route of friendship with Jesus is the road of servanthood. He must first be trusted as Savior before becoming your constant companion and friend.

A friend is CHOSEN. Christ has chosen you to be His friend. Will you choose Him?

You can’t go back and make a brand new start, but you can begin now and make a wonderful new conclusion.

God Blessed America

This time gives America an opportunity for renewal. If you know how to pray, pray.

In 1746 the fledgling colony of Massachusetts was threatened by a French invasion force never seen in this hemisphere. Ninety six French vessels were assembled off the coast of New England, prepared to attack Boston. The armada consisted of forty well armed war ships and fifty-six troop transports. Their mission was to destroy all coastal cities from Massachusetts to Georgia. 

Aboard  the transports were 13,000 soldiers awaiting their assignment to go ashore after the ensuing bombardment and burn what remained. 

Governor William Shirley issued a proclamation calling on the people to pray.

It was a bright sunny day, October 16, when hundreds made their way to the Old South Church to pray. 

Reverend Thomas Prince ascended the high pulpit and began an impassioned fervent prayer. “Deliver us from our enemy,” he entreated. “Send Thy tempest, Lord, upon the waters to the eastward.”

His booming voice resonated through the building as he continued to pray. “Rise Thy right hand. Scatter the ships of our tormentors and drive them hence.”

The people enjoined the plea for divine aid asking not only that they be protected, but that the French oppressor should be destroyed.  Suddenly the bright sunlight that illuminated the church faded.  A wind of such force rattled the windows. Pounding rain on the roof reverberated in the church. 

Prince continued undisturbed to pray, “Sink their proud frigates beneath the power of Thy winds,” he cried out.

Eerily the church bell moved by the wind tolled twice prompting Prince to pray: “We hear Thy voice, O Lord! We hear it! Thy breath is upon the waters to the eastward, even upon the deep. The bell tolls the death of our enemies!”

As the storm abated Governor Shirles sent the sloop, “The Rising Son” to obtain news of the French fleet.

The captain reported nearly the entire fleet was destroyed. Distraught by what had happened to their mighty fleet, the Admiral and Vic Admiral committed suicide. Of the 13,000 soldiers only 1,000 had survived. The badly crippled fleet set sail for France.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned his famous poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” also wrote of this miraculous event in his poem, “The Ballad of the French Fleet.”

This is but one of several instances we as a nation have been blessed by God. Pray for the next.

God’s Pro Video

The following addresses the mood of the moment in America. It is an indirect appeal to pray for America.

Concurrent with freedom must be responsibility. If not, liberty is lost.

Former President James Madison, an advocate of liberty, knowing it had limits stated: “Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power.” Liberty abused is obviously self-destructive. They who use liberty as license to do and/or say whatever they want are endangering liberty.

Liberty and libertine seem to be synonyms for some. This is about the libertine attitude many seem to have. This is not about the Libertarian Party. As defined, “libertine” means to be free of moral restraint, a profligate or dissolute person. They act as though freedom grants license to do whatever they desire.

Danish author, Soren Kierkegaard, considered to be the first existentialist philosopher observed, “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought that they seldom use.”

Max Lerner, noted historian and journalist, observing our culture wrote: “We are living in a Babylonian society more Babylonian than Babylon itself. It is what is called a late sensate period. The emphasis in our society today is on the senses and the release of the sensual. All old codes have been broken down.”

The codes have been broken under the guise of freedom. This freedom has come to be more license than liberty. Liberty is wonderful, but so is law. Freedom is a blessing, but so is appropriate restraint.

Thomas Jefferson noted: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis — the conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?” 

E. Stanley Jones observed, “If we lose our sense of being led, we become victims of circumstances.”

The framers of our Declaration of Independence left us the legacy of these lines: “With firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Our predecessors spoke often of “the providence of God.” The term comes from the Latin prefix “pro,” meaning “before” combined with the root “video,” meaning “to see.” Providence means God sees before the action the consequence thereof. For that reason He gives us guidelines.

The God who foresees the result of actions has said: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach.” That is, righteousness exalts a nation, but sin degrades, meaning  it results in a disgraceful condemnation. 

When God sees a nation that honors Him, He knows the result will be blessings. When He sees a nation that is living in sin He knows the consequences.

Scriptural Certainty

Unaccustomed and uncommon fear has crept into the lives of many as a result of the uncertainty in our country. Apprehension is unabated. Not having an answer to what is next has caused even some normally assured and intrepid believers to be unsettled. This is a time to reflect on Scripture promises and calmly claim them.

To start, focus your mind on “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Psalm 56:3)

Unbridled fear can cause the strongest believer to do a Simon Peter act and get eyes off the Lord and on the troubled water. Refocus.

People who lived in Bible times were not strangers to uncertainty. However, many were also well acquainted with the character of God—a loving, compassionate  Father quick to console His people. He comforted them. The same comfort is offered to us in God’s Word. Let your mind marinate on these truths.  

One of my favorites is “The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble;

And He knows those who trust in Him.” (Nahum 1: 7) I have that one posted on the tack board of my mind.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

The word “dismayed” means to quit or give up. “Do not” appears before it in the text. As in the text, so in our life, the Lord takes precedence enabling a person not to be dismayed. 

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22, 23)

Like the people who got that promise initially you, too, can take comfort in it. Your lamentation may be as great as theirs. Your God is as great as the one who comforted them. They accepted His comfort. You have need and cause to also.

The disciples in the swirl of trauma heard this promise from Jesus and passed it on to us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Though times are uncertain you have no cause to be. As a person of faith you have a firm foundation in the earthquake of skeptical oscillation. 

The potential of further riots, questionable government, COVID, personal financial health, and numerous other unknown and uncertain things may come your way. Don’t act surprised, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Here is the bottom line regarding the stability factor: 

“He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13: 5)

This is one of my hallmark lines, “That is a forever never with no exception ever.” That means right now the Lord is near you to comfort you. That can make you an oasis of faith in a barren land of uncertainty.

Let Freedom Ring 6/27/99

Leviticus 27:17-19

Jesus Christ said, “… you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

He said this in the context of His disciples of all ages knowing and abiding in His Word. Spiritual and political freedom aren’t always arm locked twins. Spiritual freedom can exist regardless of externals. However, those who enjoy it are best suited to create and cultivate social, political, and moral freedom.

Etched on the rim of our nations revered Liberty Bell are the words of our text: “Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill, and dwell there in safety” (Lev. 25:19).

What a marvelous promise and provision. Globally few nations have ever enjoyed the bounty of the land and freedom from oppression as we. Yet, every civilization is only one generation away from losing such heritage. Let’s not be that generation.

As we rejoice in the promise of our text we must look at the preceding verse to find the reason for such.

“So you shall observe My statutes and keep My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety.” (Leviticus 25:18)

These are the conditions for the blessings. How are we doing?

II CHRONICLES 7:14 is an amplification of the text: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Recently Lady Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain spoke in our community. Among the many wise statements she made was this: “For freedom to prevail there must be the honorable and just application of the law.” Her thesis was that freedom is only possible when bordered by protective law and order. Our founding fathers knew this and designed for us a government of law and order.

In our rush for freedom we have broken many of God’s laws and distorted the laws of our predecessors which were based on our Constitution. Our Constitution was emphatically based on Biblical principles. When we violate the laws of God we do not break them, we break ourselves.

Dr. Kyle Yates had two beloved grandchildren who had their tonsils removed at the same time. The loving grandparents gave them a gift of two goldfish. Like creative children they named them in light of their own experience. What else? Tonsils and Adenoids.

When the children went home they took Tonsils and Adenoids with them. A few days later one of the children was looking out the front window when the grandparents came for a visit. He shouted to his brother the good news they were there. One of them picked up the bowl with the two fish and went racing through the house to show their prize pets. And he ran down the sidewalk he tripped. See it in slow motion. The bowl floats through the air with the child reaching for it as water begins to spill. Dramatically it crashes onto the sidewalk and shards of glass scatter as water splashes. There on the hot pavement are Tonsils and Adenoids flopping around. Good news! They are free at last. They are free…. free, free to die.

Individuals and societies that break God’s laws are free, free to die.

God’s Word appeals for His people to humble themselves. In light of our public disgrace, our virus of violence, lewd and vulgar entertainment God’s people should find it easy to humble themselves.

Humility does not preclude convictions and courage. The men who signed the Declaration of Independence were humble but brave men. They had the courage of their convictions.

Humility does not imply having an offend no body, tolerate everything, and stand for nothing attitude. It might mean having to face those who shout at you “bigot,” or “radical,” or “reactionary.”

Our word patriotism comes from the Latin root “pater,” which means “father.” Our country is our fatherland. We call those who forged the foundations of our country our Founding Fathers.

As America was being birthed there walked among the Founding Fathers a mousy little wisp of a man. He was about 5’6″ and weighted around 100 pounds. His weak voice didn’t have the resonance of Patrick Henry, nor the dynamism of Ben Franklin. He was brainy and bookish enough to graduate from Princeton in two years. He lacked social skills, never participated in sports, nor distinguished himself in any way. Eleven of the twelve boys in his graduating class had a part in the exercise, he didn’t.

Being shy around girls he didn’t fall in love and become engaged until 31. The engagement lasted six weeks and the girl broke it off. This increased his feeling of inferiority and he didn’t marry until 43.

It wouldn’t appear that such a person could achieve. However, I have only noted his weaknesses. He had two primary strengths his great mind and humble spirit.

At the age of 36 he represented Virginia at the Constitution Convention in Philadelphia. Here he stood with the greats: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, George Mason, and Alexander Hamilton. They physically towered over him. Him being, that mousy little James Madison.

Later when the Virginia Legislature met to ratify the proposed Constitution the big guns opposed ratification. The silver-tongued orator Patrick Henry who had roused the colonies earlier with his “give me liberty or give me death” address thundered against ratification of the Constitution.

The clerk of the Convention wrote, “Mr. Madison responded, but his voice was so low that he could hardly be heard.” Then Henry would roar again. The clerk wrote, “Mr. Madison brought out some facts, but his voice was very weak.”

Who prevailed? That’s right the mousy little weak voiced James Madison. Virginia ratified and James Madison became known as the “Father of our Constitution.”

Later he served for eight years as Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson. When he succeeded Jefferson as president, Jefferson said of him he was a man of “pure and spotless virtue.”

In 1821 as President he issued a proclamation which called upon the people to do what God has called on us to do, “humble themselves and pray.” In that proclamation he appealed for people to “acknowledge their transgressions which might provoke Divine displeasure.”

One of the primary prayers that needs to be offered over and over is a prayer of repentance and confession. Confession is an apology to God that results in happiness. He deserves an apology. It is His law we have broken, His love we have spurned, His purpose we have subverted.

The portion of Scripture on our Liberty Bell states, “the land will yield its fruit…” It speaks of dwelling in the land in “safety.” II Chronicles 7:14 speaks of God healing the land of His repentant people.

Safety is lacking in the land because people having violated God’s standards have little regard for others.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Warren E. Burger stated, “America is being reduced to the status of an impotent society, whose capability of maintaining elementary security on the streets, in the schools, and for the homes of our people is in doubt.”

We love to sing of the “Sweet Land of Liberty.” We need to revive the concept that only “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

If the Spirit of the Lord isn’t in control liberty becomes licence. A person without the controlling dynamic of the Holy Spirit may be uninhibited but liberty is lost.

Jefferson’s voice cracks like a whip across the face of disrespect and disobedience in these words inscribed in the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.:
“Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are a gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, That this justice cannot sleep forever.”

Our culture has lost its sense of awe and awareness of the blessings of God inherent in His will. A German theologian, Martin Buber, wrote a book, the thesis of which is the “I – it” relation. He stated we have things we love and speak of loving “it.” Things are loved.

He then broadened his thought to include an “I – thou” relationship. This speaks of interpersonal relationships. We are to love “thous” not “its.” Having dehumanized human life from the moment of conception we have degenerative regard for it at any stage. Considering people as “its” violence has erupted. In this sea of violence there needs to be islands of love, harbors of concern and the people of God must provide them.

If God’s people, His remnant, regardless of how few will do as He has commanded they can still be the salt, the preservative of our society. God has saved America more than once and can do it again. A classic example involved General George Washington. On the west end of Long Island in the area now known as Brookline, General Washington’s army of 8,000 was trapped by the 32,000 man army of the British General Howe. Cut off by the mile wide East River the final blow to the emerging union was poised. Unexplainably, General Howe, poised and ready to strike, delayed anticipating the final assault at the next dawn.

All around the people in their homes and churches prayed. Repentant hearts and saintly souls called upon the Lord.

In his diary Major Ben Tolmedge described what happened. In small boats and on rafts the army of Washington rushed to attempt a withdrawal during the night. It soon became apparent the night would not be long enough to effect the withdrawal. Then a weather phenomenon uncharacteristic of that season occurred. During the night a “Peculiar fog rose from the ground and river and settled over both camps until the last boat containing General Washington evacuated.”

God let the people dwell in the land in safety. No less a miracle is needed today.

Facial expressions are a dead give away of ones thoughts. This reality is employed to appeal to us to seek to understand God’s will.

God’s will is no more clearly revealed than in His written word, the Bible.

Of it Andrew Jackson said, “That Book, Sirs, is the rock upon which our Republic rests.”

Daniel Webster noted, “If we go on abiding by the truths taught in the Bible we will go on prospering, but if we do not, catastrophe may suddenly overwhelm us.”

It is not that we do not know God’s will it is that many have chosen to disregard it.

Not only is our nation in general failing to seek God’s face there is a concerted effort to exclude His face from every public place under the misunderstanding of the term “separation of church and state.” Ten Baptists got the principle included in the Bill of Rights. Now it appears 10,000,000 Baptists and their allies can’t keep it there. The principle was fostered to prevent there from being favoritism paid to any one denomination as was being done in England and Europe at the time.

Evidence of how far we have come is seen in that Thomas Jefferson, as chairman of the school board in Washington D.C., led the body to purchase Bibles for distribution in the public schools. They established the chaplaincy and authorized prayer in the Congress.

James Madison had no intention to exclude God from the public forum. He was a primary figure in writing the First Amendment with the intent to insure religious freedom.

History records that Madison was to run for public office against a Baptist preacher, John Leland. Surveys indicated Leland would win 5 to 1. However, he didn’t want to run. The two met under a tree on the corner of what is now Madison and Leland Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. There Leland educated Madison on separation of church and state. He assured Madison he would not oppose him in the election if Madison would include the principle of separation of church and state in the Bill of Rights. Leland didn’t run, Madison was elected, and the Bill of Rights was written. The purpose was not to expel God from government and society, but simply to insure no one denomination would be given preference over any other.

We must return to the God of our fathers and seek His face.

Living without God’s plan in our lives is like sewing without thread. It is like writing our name in water.

It is God’s plan that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance. That is His will. Have you ever aligned your will with His at this point of conjunction?