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Afflicted

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Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful, with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy five years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained. … This, of course, is what the Cross signifies. And it is the Cross, more than anything else, that has called me inexorably to Christ. —Malcom Muggeridge

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. (Psalm 119:67-68, NIV)

We can stand affliction better than we can stand prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God. —Dwight L Moody

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. (Psalm 119:71-72, NIV)

Those who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls. — C.H. Spurgeon

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, NIV)


Happy Father’s Day Robin Roberts!

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Happy Father’s Day Robin Roberts!

𝐹𝑜𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑒 𝑑𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑓𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑑𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑤𝑛 𝑐ℎ𝑖𝑙𝑑𝑟𝑒𝑛, 𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑢𝑟𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑠 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑡ℎ𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝐺𝑜𝑑, 𝑤ℎ𝑜 𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑑𝑜𝑚 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑔𝑙𝑜𝑟𝑦. (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, NIV)

Happy Father’s Day Dad! I am a blessed man to have you as my father. I so appreciate your constant love and support—in life and in the Lord. I thank God for you. - Ryan


Presumption

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Presumption: overstepping due bounds, taking liberties. - Merriam Webster Dictionary

Grace invites presumption as surely as security invites carelessness. Be careful that you do not allow your understanding of grace to lead you into presumption.

                                                                            —Walter Henrichsen

God said, “Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” (Numbers 20:8-12, NIV)

Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. (Psalm 19:13, ESV)

Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Romans 2:4, ESV)


Gently

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Then the Lord spoke to me again and said, “My care for the people of Judah is like the gently flowing waters of Shiloh. (Isaiah 8:5-6, NLT)

The Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14, KJV)


Anger

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Anger is the enemy of reason. Men do in the heat of passion what their reason, in a moment of objectivity, abhors. You are never in greater danger of living in regret than when you find anger beginning to take its awful hold on you.

                                                                            — Walter Henrichsen

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. (James 1:19-20, NIV)

Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end. (Proverbs 29:11, NIV)

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. (Psalm 37:8, NIV)

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. … Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4: 26-27, 32, NIV)


Wall

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You are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall. (Isaiah 25:4, NLT)

The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10, NLT)

He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. (Psalm 121:3-4, NLT)

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. (Psalm 34:7, ESV)

If we ever needed a wall, it is now. ... We have a fortress, a hiding place, a Rock of Ages. Are you hid with Christ in God? — Vance Havner


Vessel

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Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-21, ESV)

You need personal holiness in order to help other people. To become involved in the ministry is to invite people to drink deeply from your life, and who wants to drink from a dirty vessel? — Walter Henrichsen

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8, NLT)

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways;
reclothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise. — John Greenleaf Whittier

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. (1 Corinthians 1:30, NLT)


Undone

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Then Isaiah said , “Woe is me! for I am undone.” (Isaiah 6:5, KJV)

Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” (Exodus 3:11, NIV)

So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground. (Daniel 10:8-9, NIV)

I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-8, NLT)

Blessed is that hour of holy desperation when a man reaches that extremity which is God’s opportunity and moves out of the wreck of himself into Christ. Nothing in his hand he brings, but just as he is without one plea he takes up residence with Christ in God. He puts no value on anything he has or is, attaches no importance to his feelings or faith or prayers. Christ is everything. We waste many years trying to construct some sort of refuge out of the rubbish of ourselves, until we abandon it all and dwell in Another. — Vance Havner


Importunately

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importunate: troublesomely urgent : overly persistent in request or demand.

                                                        — Merriam-Webster

We can do nothing without prayer. All things can be done by importunate prayer. That is the teaching of Jesus Christ. — E.M. Bounds

Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’
“He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. But because this widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding.’”
Then the Master said, “Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?” (Luke 18:1-8, MSG)

Nothing makes Satan quite so fearful as a Christian who understands the power of prayer, because he knows that God holds nothing back from His friends.

                                                                            — Brother Andrew