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nChrist
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« Reply #90 on: November 04, 2003, 09:16:48 PM »

Oklahoma Howdy to Ambassador4Christ and Brother Love,

Brothers, I love you in Christ and sincerely appreciate the many beautiful Bible studies you have provided. I have made favorites of most of the web sites you like. Several lifetimes would be required to devote the proper attention to many of the beautiful TRUTHS of GOD in these studies.

I subscribed to considerable material pointed out by you. I have more than I can study, but I save them and study them as I get to them. To say that I enjoy the material is an understatement.

Thanks Brothers.

Love In Christ,
Tom
 
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nChrist
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« Reply #91 on: November 04, 2003, 09:25:01 PM »

Oklahoma Howdy to Allinall,

THANKS BROTHER! I really enjoyed the words in that song. I don't recognize the song, but I can certainly see how the message of this song would be uplifting and become special.

Thanks again.

Love In Christ,
Tom
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nChrist
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« Reply #92 on: November 04, 2003, 09:27:45 PM »

Hoekstra Devotion - November 4:

Moses Keeping the Passover, by Faith:

By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.  (Heb_11:28)

When Moses boldly led Israel out of Egypt, his fearlessness was based upon his faith in the true and living God. "By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible" (Heb_11:28). His confidence in the invisible Lord God had been confirmed by what he saw regarding the Lord's faithfulness when he kept the Passover, by faith.

The crushing blow of God's judgment upon Egypt was the death of the firstborn in every household. "The LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt . . . So Pharaoh rose in the night . . . Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, 'Go, serve the LORD as you have said' " (Exo_12:29-31). Israel was delivered from this judgment by trusting in the Lord's protection, which was provided through the shed blood of the Passover lamb. "Now the LORD spoke to Moses . . . every man shall take for himself a lamb . . . a lamb for a household . . . Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it . . . For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt . . . I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt" (Exo_12:1, Exo_12:3, Exo_12:6-7, Exo_12:12-13). Responding in faith, Moses and the Israelites were delivered. "By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them."

We, too, are delivered from judgment by faith in the blood of the ultimate Passover lamb. "Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us" (1Co_5:7). We who trust in the shed blood of Christ are forgiven, delivered from the eternal wages of sin by God's abounding grace. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace . . . For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph_1:7 and Rom_6:23). This eternal life (of endless duration and abundant dimensions) is ours through the New Covenant of grace. "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you" (Luk_22:20).

Lord Jesus, my Passover Lamb, I thank You for Your shed blood that rescued me from the eternal judgment that I deserved. I praise You for the abundance of life that Your New Covenant of grace brings to me, by faith!
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« Reply #93 on: November 05, 2003, 05:23:16 AM »

I thank You for Your shed blood that rescued me from the eternal judgment that I deserved. I praise You for the abundance of life that Your New Covenant of grace brings to me, by faith!

Amen & Amen

Brother Love Smiley
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« Reply #94 on: November 05, 2003, 05:27:01 AM »

Oklahoma Howdy to Ambassador4Christ and Brother Love,

Brothers, I love you in Christ and sincerely appreciate the many beautiful Bible studies you have provided. I have made favorites of most of the web sites you like. Several lifetimes would be required to devote the proper attention to many of the beautiful TRUTHS of GOD in these studies.

I subscribed to considerable material pointed out by you. I have more than I can study, but I save them and study them as I get to them. To say that I enjoy the material is an understatement.

Thanks Brothers.

Love In Christ,
Tom
 

Your more than welcome Brother, and I can say the same to you, thanks Bro for shareing the truth of Gods Grace. And one more thing I love your web-site.

Your Friend & Brother

Brother Love Smiley
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nChrist
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« Reply #95 on: November 05, 2003, 08:25:02 AM »

Oklahoma Howdy to Brother Love,

Thanks for the compliments on my web site. I really enjoyed doing it and have some ideas for future additions. Many in my family are missionaries, and I'm trying to convince them to let me add pages about their ministries. Most of them have very little to do with computers, and I'm not sure what they think about the Internet. Some folks hear "Internet" and think only about the evil in the news.

I'll let you know if they decide to do it. I think that most folks would be interested in hearing about ministries in Columbia, Old Mexico, and Chile, just to name a few.

In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #96 on: November 05, 2003, 08:30:06 AM »

Hoekstra Devotion - November 5:

The Israelites Passing through the Red Sea, by Faith:

By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.  (Heb_11:29)

By faith, Moses called God's people to apply the blood of the Passover lamb that they might be delivered from the judgment that was to befall Egypt. "By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them" (Heb_11:28). Then, Moses led the people out of Egypt, eventually passing through the Red Sea, by faith.

Instead of sending Israel directly north toward the promised land, the Lord sent them eastward toward the Red Sea. "So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea" (Exo_13:18). From the outset of their journey, the Lord became their guide. "And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light" (Exo_13:21).

Yet, Pharoah's heart hardened against Israel once again. "So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea" (Exo_14:9). Soon, the people were trapped between the formidable sea and a mighty army. They were overtaken with fear, so Moses pointed them to the Lord. "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today" (Exo_14:13). Then, as the Lord had instructed him, "Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left" (Exo_14:21-22). Into this intimidating setting, by faith in the Lord, the children of Israel advanced. " By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land."

Again, as the Lord commanded, Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. "Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained" (Exo_14:28). The rebellious Egyptians could not follow where God's people had gone by faith. "Whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned."

Almighty God, when the way is blocked before me and an army of circumstances closes in behind me, help me to stand by faith, looking to You to open a way. Lord, I want to follow You, asking You to lead me where my enemies cannot go, in Jesus name, Amen.
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« Reply #97 on: November 06, 2003, 04:36:10 AM »

Hoekstra Devotion - November 6

Israel Seeing Jericho's Walls Fall Down, by Faith:

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.  (Heb_11:30)

The children of Israel are now poised on the edge of the land that God had promised to give them. By faith, they had kept the Passover and were spared the judgment of the firstborn that befell the unbelieving Egyptians. By faith, they had been delivered from bondage in Egypt. By faith, they had passed through the Red Sea. Now, they would begin to possess the promised blessings of God, seeing Jericho's walls fall down, by faith.

The first great challenge that Israel faced in the land was the fortress city of Jericho. Previously, the doubting spies had discouraged the people by speaking of these impenetrable cities. "The cities are great and fortified up to heaven" (Deu_1:28). Now, the Lord gives words of encouragement. "And the LORD said to Joshua: 'See! I have given Jericho into your hand' " (Jos_6:2). Although these words must have stirred hope, the battle plan may have brought some perplexity. "You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days . . . But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets" (Jos_6:3-4). The natural question would have been, "How can a fortified city be taken by marching in circles and blowing trumpets?" Yet, these unusual battle instructions were accompanied by a divine promise. "When they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat" (Jos_6:5). If the people would trust in the Lord, march around the city as told, and add a victory shout at the end of the seventh day, then the walls would fall down. "And he said to the people, 'Proceed, and march around the city' " (Jos_6:7).

Day after day, they marched on silently. On the seventh day, they marched repeatedly. Many times they may have been tempted to forsake the process as foolish and futile. Yet, patiently and obediently, they pressed on, by faith. Finally, the seventh march was completed on the seventh day. "When the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout . . . the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city . . . and they took the city" (Jos_6:20). How could this be? It was the result of faith in God. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down."

Lord God of the impossible, many times I have been as helpless as Israel was before the impregnable fortress of Jericho. When I tried to knock down the circumstances by my own power or thought, I was defeated. When I trusted in You prayerfully, I was victorious. Please help me to patiently and persistently face such battles in prayer, awaiting Your work, by Your mighty grace, Amen.
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« Reply #98 on: November 06, 2003, 05:21:05 AM »

Please help me to patiently and persistently face such battles in prayer, awaiting Your work, by Your mighty grace, Amen.


Amen!

Brother Love Smiley
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« Reply #99 on: November 07, 2003, 08:15:46 AM »

Hoekstra Devotion - November 7

Rahab, the Harlot, Rescued, by Faith:

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.  (Heb_11:31)

God delivered the fortress of Jericho into the hands of His people, as the walls fell down, by faith. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days" (Heb_11:30). This evil city of abominations was then destroyed, as the holy Lord God had justly required. "You shall utterly destroy them . . . lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods" (Deu_20:17-18). Yet, the family of Rahab, the harlot, was rescued, by faith. "By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe."

In preparation for entering the land, Joshua had sent out two spies, who were eventually received by Rahab. "Now Joshua. . . sent out two men . . . to spy secretly, saying, 'Go, view the land, especially Jericho.' So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there" (Jos_2:1). The king of Jericho searched for the men and could not find them, for Rahab had concealed them. "She had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax" (Jos_2:6). Why would this woman have risked her life to protect these two strangers? She and her family had heard of the reality of the God of Israel. "We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites . . . whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted . . . for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath" (Jos_2:10-11). This heathen family now wanted to turn from their idolatrous ways and identify by faith with the true and living Lord God and with His people. "Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall" (Jos_2:15).

By her confession of faith, confirmed by her actions of faith, Rahab and her family were rescued from the judgment that her unbelieving city experienced. "And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father's household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day" (Jos_6:25). She became a part of the nation Israel, even appearing in the line of Jesus, the Messiah! "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ . . . Abraham begot Isaac . . . Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab" (Mat_1:1-2, 5). What astounding blessings come to those who believe. By faith, Rahab went from judgment to deliverance, from idols to God, from shame to honor!

Lord God of all who believe, I am humbled and encouraged by Rahab's testimony. It is humbling to see how much more revelation I have yet, at times, I wrestle with fears and doubts. However, it is encouraging to see the radical changes that You bring whenever we trust in You!
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« Reply #100 on: November 07, 2003, 10:29:29 AM »


Thank you, bep.  A nice theme you're developing here.

You could start this as a "By Faith..." thread.


It is a wonderful theme, that we have, "by faith", in Jesus.
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« Reply #101 on: November 07, 2003, 09:03:28 PM »

Oklahoma Howdy to Symphony,

I love the subject of faith. It is the key to our acceptance of the Gospel of God's Grace and the beginning of a beautiful fellowship with Jesus. The most beautiful and uplifting TRUTHS in the Holy Bible all involve FAITH.

It is interesting how the Faith of HIS children becomes so much more than the flimsy dictionary definition. Faith does become a rock-solid, unmovable ROCK when we think about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I think that a thread dedicated to Faith is a great idea.

Thanks be unto God for HIS unspeakable GIFT!

Love In Christ,
Tom
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« Reply #102 on: November 08, 2003, 03:54:43 PM »

Hoekstra Devotion - November 8

Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah by Faith:

And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah.  (Heb_11:32)

So much has been noted in these chronicles of faith concerning the extensive consequences that appear as faith accesses grace. As our present verse implies, days and pages seem too short to also relate the testimonies of Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah who many might view as "unlikely examples" of living by faith.

In Gideon, God was calling an unlikely leader as His instrument for delivering His people. His humble reply was, "O my Lord, how can I save Israel? . . . I am the least in my father's house" (Jdg_6:15). The Lord's promise was, "Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites (Jdg_6:16). When 32,000 Israelites rallied for battle (see Jdg_7:3), God diminished Gideon's army to an unimpressive, outnumbered 300. "Then the LORD said to Gideon, 'By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you" (Jdg_7:7). Gideon went forth by faith, and the Lord was faithful to His word. "When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the LORD set every man's sword against his companion . . . and the army fled" (Jdg_7:22).

Again, in Barak, another unlikely leader was selected by the Lord. First, he would not go forth to battle unless the prophetess Deborah accompanied him "And Barak said to her, If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go' " (Jdg_4:Cool. Also, his godless opponent was actually defeated by another woman. "Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber . . . Then Jael . . . took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand . . . and drove the peg into his temple . . . for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died" (Jdg_4:17, Jdg_4:21).

In Samson, we have another unexpected example of faith. Although he did many mighty exploits, he often proved to be a vain and foolish man (especially, concerning women). Yet, in his death, he won his greatest victory of all. "O Lord God, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once, O God . . . So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life" (Jdg_16:28, Jdg_16:30).

In Jephthah, we have one more unlikely example of faith. He was the "son of a harlot" (Jdg_11:1). He made what appeared to be an unwise vow (Jdg_11:1). Still, on occasion, his trust in the Lord was evident. "Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah . . . and the LORD delivered them into his hands" (Jdg_11:29, Jdg_11:32).

Lord God of the "unlikely servant," I thank You for these testimonies of those "likely to be overlooked by many." Yet, at various times and in many situations, their faith in You was demonstrated. Lord, I am encouraged that you are not looking for the spectacular performer or the capable achiever. You are looking for people who will trust in You, as You deal with their shortcomings. I praise You, Lord, for such lovingkindness!
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« Reply #103 on: November 08, 2003, 06:53:59 PM »

You are looking for people who will trust in You

Amen

He is Faithful
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« Reply #104 on: November 09, 2003, 11:11:00 AM »

Hoekstra Devotion - November 9

David and Samuel by Faith:

Time would fail me to tell . . . also of David and Samuel.  (Heb_11:32):

Our divinely inspired author sensed that time was running out in his epistle to elaborate upon the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah. He was also impressed to record that time was not sufficient to include specific testimony about the faith of David and Samuel. This is surprising, since they would be viewed by many as likely candidates for extensive consideration.

David was such a notable man of faith. He faced the giant Goliath by faith. "Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts' " (1Sa_17:45). When Saul wanted to destroy him, David entrusted the King into the hands of the Lord. "Let the LORD judge between you and me, and let the LORD avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you" (1Sa_24:12). He confidently confessed the Lord as his strength, his joy, and his comprehensive salvation. "The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation" (Psa_118:14). He even turned to the Lord in humble dependence at the lowest spiritual point in his life (after he sinned tragically in adultery and murder). "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin" (Psa 51:1-2).

Samuel was another notable man of faith. He began to trust in the Lord as a young boy. "Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel answered, 'Speak, for Your servant hears' " (1Sa_3:10). Then, he grew spiritually and faithfully served the Lord throughout the nation of Israel. "So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD" (1Sa_3:19-20). Also, he courageously rebuked King Saul for not fully carrying out his instructions from God to destroy the Amalekites. "Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king" (1Sa_15:23).

David and Samuel were outstanding servants of the Lord. However, the noteworthy distinctive in their lives was the same spiritual factor that caused some men of lesser renown to be listed here as well faith. "For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah" (Heb_11:32).

Lord God of the "likely servant," in many ways, I can identify with Barak and Jephthah more readily than with David and Samuel. Yet, I am encouraged to see that what pleases You in any person is always the same faith. Teach me to trust You, Lord.
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