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Your Light Will Shine....

Let Christ Jesus light shine in you that every hidden knowledge will be quicken and every hidden gift will be revealed and every hidden mystery will unfold and every hidden treasure will open up and begin to flow out of your belly, out of your mouth, out from your thoughts, even from your heart. Let it flow. Don't hide your gift show it to the world.

For we are the light of the world that sitteth upon a hill and cannot be hidden.

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I ran across this article and wanted to share it with you.  I strongly believe in confessions, but along with action.  Confessions helps, in my opinion, to remind the believer of God's promises on a daily basis.  In other words, it kicks the garbage out that satan has tried to put in!

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Our Master was a man of sorrows; He was acquainted with grief; and those who suffer with Him will reign with Him. When the Lord appeared to Saul in his conversion, He did not purpose to show him how much good he should enjoy, but what great things he should suffer for His name. Suffering has been the portion of the people of God from the days of the martyr Abel. The patriarchs suffered for being true to God and obedient to His commandments. The great Head of the church suffered for our sake; His first apostles and the primitive church suffered; the millions of martyrs suffered, and the Reformers suffered. 

And why should we, who have the blessed hope of immortality, to be consummated at the soon appearing of Christ, shrink from a life of suffering? Were it possible to reach the tree of life in the midst of the Paradise of God without suffering, we would not enjoy so rich a reward for which we had not suffered. We would shrink back from the glory; shame would seize us in the presence of those who had fought the good fight, had run the race with patience, and had laid hold on eternal life. But none will be there who have not, like Moses, chosen to suffer affliction with the people of God. The prophet John saw the multitude of the redeemed, and inquired who they were. The prompt answer came: "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

Ellen G White (1827-1915)
Testimonies to the Church, Volume 1, Chapter 11 (1855 – 1868)
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My mother was a lover of flowers and took much pleasure in cultivating them and thus making her home attractive and pleasant for her children. But our garden had never before looked so lovely to me as upon the day of our return. I recognized an expression of the love of Jesus in every shrub, bud, and flower. These things of beauty seemed to speak in mute language of the love of God.  

There was a beautiful pink flower in the garden called the rose of Sharon. I remember approaching it and touching the delicate petals reverently; they seemed to possess a sacredness in my eyes. My heart overflowed with tenderness and love for these beautiful creations of God. I could see divine perfection in the flowers that adorned the earth. God tended them, and His all-seeing eye was upon them. He had made them and called them good.  

"Ah," thought I, "if He so loves and cares for the flowers that He has decked with beauty, how much more tenderly will He guard the children who are formed in His image." I repeated softly to myself: "I am a child of God, His loving care is around me.

Ellen G White (1827-1915)
Testimonies to the Church, Volume 1, Chapter 2 (1855 – 1868)
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By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. There are many who realize their helplessness, and who long for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God; they are vainly striving to obtain it. In despair they cry, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, "Wilt thou be made whole?" 

He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. Believe His word, and it will be fulfilled. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. He will impart life to the soul that is "dead in trespasses." Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin.

Ellen G White (1827-1915)
The Desire of Ages, Chapter 21 (1898)
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"The hour cometh," [Jesus] said, "and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth."  

Here is declared the same truth that Jesus had revealed to Nicodemus when He said, "Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3, margin. Not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple are men brought into communion with heaven. Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit every sincere prayer is indited, and such prayer is acceptable to God. Wherever a soul reaches out after God, there the Spirit's working is manifest, and God will reveal Himself to that soul. For such worshipers He is seeking. He waits to receive them, and to make them His sons and daughters.

Ellen G White (1827-1915)
The Desire of Ages, Chapter 19 (1898)
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Esther - A study of Divine Providence

The book of Esther opens with a swirl of events that quickly see Queen Vashti deposed from her position and essentially exiled from her husband the King of Persia.  God did not ordain that this should happen to Queen Vashti.  Generally the messes we make of our family relationships, whether we are the ruler of an empire or just a lowly commoner, are of our own making.  God is not in the business of breaking up relationships.  God is not in the business of separating husbands and wives.  But although God did not ordain that this should happen, God did in His divine providence, take and make use of the situation.  God often takes the messes the world makes and overrules it to cause it to work out for the good of His people.  As it is written; “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). The Lord reigns

Now trouble was on the way for God’s people.  Yet there was no one who knew, no one who even suspected the deep scheming of Satan.  But before any of God’s people even suspected the need of prayer, He who knows the end from the beginning was already in action turning the course of events to work for the good of His people.  “And it shall come to pass” God says, “that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24).

Before we even know to pray, God has already heard.  Before we even suspect danger, God is already making a way of escape. But God kept his purpose hidden.  To Mordecai and Esther it must have seemed like events were spiraling out of control.  A decree came that the most beautiful women in the kingdom must be brought to the king.  The command is definite, it could not be disobeyed.  One can only imagine the intensity of prayer these two sent up pleading for deliverance from this decree, but none came.  This was a most trying time for both Mordecai and Esther, but little did they know that in all this God was answering a prayer that they did not even yet know to pray.  He was working out a deliverance that they did not even yet know they needed. And He was delivering not just them, but their whole people from a danger that they did not even suspect existed.  How often is it so with us?  The very thing we pray so earnestly for deliverance from is the very answer to a most urgent prayer we do not even know to pray.

And God allows the wicked to prosper.  God allowed Haman to be exalted above all of the other attendants of the king.  God allowed Haman to be granted special favors and honors.  God allowed Haman to obtain a decree from the king condemning all Jews to death on a certain date.  God allowed Haman all the resources of the Persian state to put this decree into action.  God allowed Haman to build a king-sized gallows on which to hang Mordecai. “I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a native green tree.” (Psalm 37:35).

By this time Mordecai, Esther, indeed the whole Jewish world may have been wondering where God was.  Didn’t He know?  Didn’t He care?  All appears lost.  In outward appearance all God’s people have on their side is hopeless hope and unanswered prayers.  But at that very moment when their enemies are celebrating their anticipated triumph, God lifts the veil and reveals His providential workings.  And suddenly, apparently out of nowhere, the enemies of God’s people suffer a most complete and most humiliating defeat.  They are wholly overthrown.  All of their plotting and scheming come to nothing.   God’s people are delivered.  And more than that -- God is glorified. 

Psalms 37:12 The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth. 13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming.

Elden Miller
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His name was Claes, and after studying the Bible in his Belgian home he came to the conclusion that salvation was through faith in Christ alone.  Overwhelmed with God’s love, his heart filled with joy, he could not keep silent.  His love for Christ compelled him to share his discovery with others.

The year was 1556, and neither state or church would tolerate the slightest dissent from its doctrines.  Claes was arrested and sentenced to be burned alive at the stake.  But before they torched him they first attempted to compel him to renounce his faith.  Claes full well knew that his only hope of escaping the flames was to give up his belief in salvation through faith in Christ alone, but he held fast against all attempts to sway him.  Claes was not intimidated by either the power of the state or the church.  He could not be coerced.

When asked “What is your faith?” Claes answered, “I believe only in Christ Jesus, that He is the living and true Son of God, and that there is no other salvation, whither in heaven or on earth.”  Like the apostle Paul before him, Jesus stood by Claes in the darkest hours, and in the last moments of his life he was able to write, “My heart kindled within me with joy to the Lord my God, so that all my trouble and anxiety were driven from me as dust swept from the street.”  Not even the prospect of death by burning at the stake could dim his joy in Christ.

Claes went to his death in perfect peace, secure in Jesus’ love.

Adpated from Mark Finley’s “Solid Ground”
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Her name was Sotgen.  In 1559 she too was arrested for her faith.  After Claes her husband was executed she looked out at life going by outside her cell window knowing that she would never be a part of it again.  Sensing that she would never see her children again she wrote a letter full of calm assurance and encouragement to them.  In it she wrote, “Since it pleases the Lord to take me out of this world, I will leave you a memorial, not of silver or of gold, for such jewels are perishable, but I would like to write a jewel into your heart, if it were possible, which is the word of truth.”  In these, her final days her greatest longing was that her children remain faithful to the truth.  Her letter continues with these words, “I commend you to the Lord. … May He keep you to the end of your lives.  May He lead you to the New Jerusalem, that we may see each other with joy on the day of the resurrection.”  There was nothing of helplessness or of sorrow or of woe in her letter - but only words full of the grace of God.  A few days later, just before her death, Soetgen received a letter from her daughter that the light of truth still burned in her heart and that the love of Christ still filled her life.

On November 27, 1560 Soetgen was burned as a heretic.  Her parting words to her children, hastily written with a trembling hand were. “Hereafter I commend you to the Lord, and to the work of His grace.”  

Faithful to the end, her faith in Jesus, her faith in His free salvation, could not be shaken even by the prospect of being burned to death.

Adapted from Mark Finley’s “Solid Ground”
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Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:13

Thank You Holy Spirit
For being with me
For guiding me
And helping me
To know and understand
The Ways of Our Lord
Amen.
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