“The Lord Our God The Lord Is One”

In Indonesia He is “Allah,” in Assyrian, “Eleah,” in Dutch “Godt,” in modern Egyptian, “Teun.” In Flemish He is “Goed,” in French, “Dieu,” in German, “Gott,” in Greek, “Theos.” In Hebrew, He is “Elohim” and “Eloha,” while in English, we call Him “God.”
Around the world people worship because it is just in man to do so. Humanity has always looked intently upon God’s creations, the sun and moon, and the stars — now, with the advanced technology of the Hubble Telescope, we peer deeply into other galaxies. Conversely, with electron microscopes, we see the beginnings of life itself. Through the smallest to the greatest of His creations, He shows us that He is truly marvelous and beyond comprehension.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4). “In the beginning,” He created, and what He created, was “good” (Genesis 1).
There is no comparing God. With what would you compare God? What picture, drawing or carving can capture Him for viewing? All attempts have failed, and fall under His condemnation, (Exodus 20:3-5). We need to learn one basic thing, He is God, and we are not.
There is no comprehending God fully. Science cannot explain Him. History cannot reach back far enough to reveal everything about Him. Mathematics cannot figure Him out. Language cannot find the words to express Him fully… He is God!
There is no debating God, and those who tried have found themselves embarrassingly unprepared and inept. Job tried, and God said to him, “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me” (Job 38:2-3). For the next three chapters God questions him, but he cannot answer. (The challenge still stands.)
There is no one like God for He is the one true God. “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). “The wise fear the Lord and shun evil…” (Proverbs 14:16).
There is no one who is Holy like God “I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy. (Leviticus 11:45). Nadab and Abihu did not respect Him, and died for it. The Lord said, “Among those who approach me I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.”(Leviticus 10:3).
A little girl woke one night crying. Her Mom came in to console her saying, “God is watching over you.” She replied in a way that expresses many hearts. “I know, but I need a God with flesh on Him.” Phillip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus replied, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father…” (John 14:8-9).
God in any language is awesome, powerful, incomprehensible, all knowing, and beyond comparison. Jesus shows us not only these things, but also shows us what is expressed best by the simple song, “Jesus loves me, this I know…”

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God Of Wonders

Growing up, I remember times when we would gather on the porch and watch as storms could be seen ‘coming in’. The temperature would drop, dark clouds would cover the sky, and the thunder could be heard along with the flashes of lightning. We would say “Wow! Did you see that lightning dad?!” Just sitting in our rocking chairs, we were all amazed at God’s grand power.  
   Now mom and dad are gone, we still sit and watch the storms roll in. Sometimes we go out on the porch at night and look at the sky, filled with stars and are so amazed at God’s creation. We sat and watched the program the other night called, “God of Wonders” narrated by Creation Scientists, and I just wanted to mention a few things that were mentioned on this great program.
   In Romans 1:20 Paul says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
    The sun’s core is twenty seven million degrees Fahrenheit. Five million tons of energy leaves the sun every second. One million earths would fit into the sun, and yet our sun is average in size compared to other suns. “Arturis”(?) is the brightest star (one hundred times brighter than ours). “Betelgeuse” is one hundred times brighter than that. Yes, “The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure” (Psalm 93:1). “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6). Without the sun, all life would just disappear! So, “Let all the earth fear the LORD;  let all the people of the world revere him” (Psalm 33:8). There are hundreds of billions of galaxies, maybe a trillion billion galaxies… how great is that?!  “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:5).
   All of this is circling and spinning, and moving in sync and design and by plan!  To try and cross our  galaxy would take an estimated twenty eight billion light years. (Light travels about 671 million miles per hour.  I am reminded of what Isaiah says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in”  Isaiah 40:21-22. 
   Truly, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.  In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun” (Psalm 19:1-4).
    “God of Wonders” is the name of the program, look it up, watch it, think about it… Our God is an Awesome, Awesome God…. He reigns!!! He loves you!!! He gave His one and only Son just for you and me. 

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God Is Missing

   Two little boys, ages 8 and 10, were always getting into trouble. The parents had tried to deal with them but had little success. Their reputation was, if there was any trouble in town, these 2 boys were probably involved. One day, the boys mother heard that a preacher in town had been very successful in dealing with children like this, so she asked if he would help by speaking to her boys.
   The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually. So the mother sent the 8-year-old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon.
   The preacher, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and ask him sternly, “Do you know where God is, son?” The boy’s mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there wide–eyed with his mouth hanging open. So the preacher repeated the question in and even sterner tone, “Where is God?!” Again, the boy made no attempt to answer.
   The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger and the boys face and bellowed, “Where is God?!!!”
   The boy screamed and ran from the room, and went directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, “What happened?” The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, “We are in BIG trouble this time.” GOD is missing, and they think we did it!”
   Have you ever been blamed or punished for something you never did?  I guess everyone has at some point in their life. Usually our response is “That this isn’t fair!” One things for sure people are not perfect, parents are not perfect, and life is not fair all the time. Someone said, “Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to chase you because you’re a vegetarian.” 
   Doing the right thing at the right time, doesn’t guarantee a good outcome, but it does mean you have done right. More times than not it means you will have a good outcome, yet still some will judge your motives and thoughts, as if they knew what was in your heart… 
   They did this to Jesus. They did this with His disciples. He said, “They hated me, and they will hate you.” He performed miracles, and people said he did it with the devil’s power. Go figure. No matter what you do some people will think bad. Do the right thing anyway! Do the right thing at the right time! 
   This may mark a change in your life’s direction, and save much pain. It takes strength of character, and holy determination, but it will make a difference in the most important place…. your heart. There is no better feeling, than knowing you are right, no worse feeling than, you are wrong.  
   For the Christian, it really is not an option, for Christians “march to a different Drummer”, His name is Jesus.

   “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (I Peter 2:12).

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What’s With The Clay Pot?


Clay Pot

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” 2 Cor. 4:7

   A pot is a pot, right? Not necessarily. This one is dated 670AD, and is from Pre-Columbian times in Mexico. Probably used for water or something. It use to have decorations which can be seen if you look closely, but time and wind blown sand has done it’s work. It’s value now, we don’t really know.

   Paul, in 2 Corinthians 4:1-12 Paul speaks about a “ministry” and a “treasure” and “pots of clay”.  The treasure, the ministry of Jesus is given to us, not just to hold it. But of course to share with others. Don’t worry, the pot won’t go empty. It seems the more you share, the more you have. But there is more… because he repeats thoughts like “we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord” and “the power is….not from ourselves”. The pot is only important as the container, it’s the content that’s important.  The power is from Jesus, living within. The “pot” may be, “hard pressed on every side”, “perplexed”, “persecuted”, “struck down”… The purpose of the pot is that “his life may be revealed in our mortal body”.

   Yes Paul spoke of himself, but the principle is clear and applies to us, that we are to “go into all the world and make disciples of every nation”. The best sermon, is truly the one we live. We are 21st century clay pots of God.


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Dear Father, Can We Talk?

   Have you ever had to try and change something on your phone service? You call, and the first thing you get is a recording of a man or a woman stating that “this is a new voice system and so they can direct your call to the right person please state why you called.” They give you several options. They ask for the number you are calling about. They repeat the number and ask is this the correct number, or they state, “oops, I didn’t understand that, can you repeat it?”Then you find out that the “lady” has transferred you to the wrong department, and you have to go through the whole thing over again, giving out your name, address and last four of your social security number. After going through that two or three times, your Christian virtue of patience is out the window.

   Well, what happens when we call on God in prayer? Happily, gratefully, David says in Psalms 86:7 ”In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.” It doesn’t matter about the time, Morning (Psa. 5:1-3; Mk. 1:35), Evening (Gen. 24:63), Always (Lk. 18:1; Rom. 1:10; I Thess. 5:17). Doesn’t matter where you are!!! In secret (Mt. 6:6), in bed (Psa. 63:6) , out in the open (Gen. 24:11-12), on the battlefield (Joshua 10:12-13), anywhere (I Tim. 2:8).

   We go through one man, who doesn’t ask questions, JESUS,

   ( I Tim. 2:5).  Through Jesus, direct to the Father…. and because of the Spirit who indwells us, He knows exactly what we need. WOW!


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I Want To Speak With A Real Person

   How many times have you called and after the ring, ring is done, you get a welcome message, and “Please press one for English”, Press 9 for Spanish”, Press 2 for Chinese”, “Press 4 for Indonesian” etc… Then, “Please listen to our list of options carefully, because they have been changed.” Then you get six or seven choices. Then after choosing one of these choices, “Please listen carefully to these options… ” Then you get another four or five options. You choose one. “PLEASE WAIT, YOUR CALL WILL BE ANSWERED IN THE ORDER IN WHICH IT CAME.” Then you get this mechanical lady on line asking for your account number or SS number or something. You you ready to be tied by now, and you give the number. The mechanical lady cannot understand, so you GIVE IT AGAIN!!! You finally just say, “Representative please!” Then this ‘lady’ says, “I understand you want to speak to a representative. Please tell me what your problem is so I can direct you to the right department.” By this time your Christianity is really being tested, and you are ready to just give up to say the least.

   If you cannot tell by now, I hate speaking to these mechanical answer services. Come on… give me someone that is REAL!

   A little girl was having some nightmares one night. Her dad came in and sat beside her to comfort her. “Don’t worry”, he said. “God is here and is watching after you.” She looked up at her dad and said, “I know dad, but I need someone with flesh on him.”

   John records, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared Him.” John 1:18. “The next day John sees Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

   Thank the Lord, we have a God who has flesh and blood. What would you expect of the Man/God? Well, something out of the ordinary for sure. We would expect to see someone who lived right, stood up for the weak, gave teachings and principles on living right. We would expect someone who could heal the sick and raise the dead. Someone who was unafraid of facing those people and situations that scare us. We would expect someone who loved people. We would expect someone who understood the problems and feelings we go through every day.

   Well, Jesus did all this and MORE. Paul says, ” Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; BUT MADE HIMSELF OF NO REPUTATION, AND TOOK ON THE FORM OF A SERVANT, AND WAS MADE IN THE LIKENESS OF MEN; AND BEING FOUND IN FASHION AS A MAN, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF AND BECAME OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH, EVEN THE DEATH OF THE CROSS.” Phil. 2:5-8.

   The Hebrew writer says, “Seeing then that we have a GREAT high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. FOR WE HAVE NOT AN HIGH PRIEST WHICH CANNOT BE TOUCHED WITH THE FEELING OF OUR INFIRMITIES; BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN.” Hebrews 4:14-15

   Over all, the prophet Zechariah says, speaking of Jesus the Messiah, “FEAR NOT, daughter of Zion; Behold your king is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” Zech. 9:9; John 12:15.

   Don’t be afraid, we have “a God who has flesh on him”. He is always ready, willing, able to hear when we call. Always there when we need Him.


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“Free Indeed”

Nothing thrills the heart like ‘being free’. Our own history is all about ‘freedom’. A freedom that millions round the world long for. Martin Luther King Jr., fought hard for freedom for racial equality, he was assassinated. Sir William Wallace, fought for freedom of Scotland in 1300’s. He was beheaded, drawn and quartered. Today Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and more are struggling for freedom from oppression. Freedom isn’t cheap.

Even more precious is our ‘freedom in Christ’. Being free ‘INDEED’ in Christ means, “entirely, absolutely, completely, and fully free, not partially, maybe, ‘probationally’ free… “FREE INDEED”.
Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed,” (Luke 4:18). Not ‘freedom’ from Rome! Slavery, as bad as it is, was not the focus of Jesus. The freedom Jesus came to give is spiritual freedom. Freedom from a far worse ‘master’ than man can be to someone else … sin and Satan.

Paul spoke of Jesus and said, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil. 2:7-8.

In Hebrews 2:17-18 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 17 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

In Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


Now, let’s look at three things regarding our freedom.

    John 8:31-36 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”What are you talking about Jesus?!” “We have never been enslaved! (I guess they forgot about Egypt, and the period of the Judges, and what about the Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Greeks, and Romans!) How could they say, they had never been slaves. But Jesus ignores this and gets to the heart of their slavery… IF YOU SERVE SIN, YOU ARE THE SLAVE OF IT. But Jesus came to set mankind free. They just couldn’t (wouldn’t) get it. Maybe this is understandable, since they felt ‘righteous’ before God anyway. So what’s with this salvation from sin. Keeping the Law was ‘their thing’. Jesus challenged this. So the message of “Repentance” went out, Lk. 3:1-3.

    The fact was that they were indeed NOT FREE, they were the SLAVES OF THEIR MASTER SATAN.

    Paul says in Romans 6:11-12, 16-18, 20, 23.
    11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
    17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

    20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

    23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Sadly, being free from sin doesn’t interest everyone. In spite of the awful cost of Jesus dying on a Roman cross. Yet the sacrifice remains viable, and redemption, open for all who would ‘come’ to Jesus.
    If we could just see the ‘sinfulness of sin’, the pain and suffering and the terrible guilt that follows. If we could just see how great His grace and forgiveness. We would run to Him. He offers FREEDOM FROM SIN.

    Paul says in Galatians 3:13-18
    “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. “

Is something wrong with law? No, because without law we don’t have guidelines, (Gal. 3:21-22), but because of Jesus, we are not saved by our ability to keep law. We are saved by faith, Gal. 3:26.
Baptism (Gal. 3:27) is an act of faith, the response of faith, which puts us into Christ.
Law provides a ‘rule of action’, ‘governs’, ‘commands’, but it does not save. Not the law’s fault, it’s good. God gave it. We just don’t obey perfectly. Since the promise to Abraham was given before the Law, it continues after the Law, above the Law, and in spite of the Law. By grace we are saved, through faith, (Eph. 2:8).

Thus we are free because of the WORK of Jesus, and with this come privileges, but we cannot and must not ignore RESPONSIBILITY. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

Let’s look at another passage. Galatians 5:1-13 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. 11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

Someone has said, “We have the freedom to give up our rights, be WE NEVER HAVE THE RIGHT TO GIVE UP OUR FREEDOM.”
Take your freedom SERIOUSLY. Guard your freedom COURAGEOUSLY. Use your freedom LOVINGLY.

We are free to:
THINK, reason, ponder
GROW, become, mature, learn from mistakes
STUDY, learn, question, be stronger
PRAY, praise, worship
CONSCIENCE, personal conviction, opinions
TRADITIONS, accept or change
CREEDS, written or unwritten, we follow Jesus.
ORGANIZE, methodology, programs
DISCIPLE, follow and serve.

We need to understand, “congregations are made up of VOLUNTARY CHRISTIANS BONDED TOGETHER” in love for Jesus and each other, AND WE ARE FREE INDEED.

A congregation in California put this in their bulletin, “Penitent, immersed believers are free to believe anything they want in their effort to grow up… As long as they don’t disturb others with it.”

In the end, love is the bond.


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   The most obvious difference in the mind of man and computers are emotions and feelings. Of course this is what computer genius’ are trying to create… they call it artificial intelligence, which at it’s best is still artificial.

   James says, “Is any merry, let him sing psalms” (James 5:13). Our feelings are truly important, for they come from the ‘heart’. Feelings can be expressed in different ways, and thanks to ‘self-control’ some feelings are ‘toned down’ or ‘put on hold’. Jesus speaks of the heart as being the source of many of our troubles due ‘feelings gone wild’, (cf. Matt. 15:1-20). However, the heart of man is also the source of many good things, and again feelings are involved.

   Paul writes, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (feelings), kindness (feelings), humbleness of mind (feelings), meekness (feelings), long-suffering (feelings), forbearing one another (feelings), and forgiving one another (feelings), and if any man have a quarrel against any (feelings), even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye (feelings) and above all these things, put on charity (love feelings) which is the bond of perfection.” (words in brackets mine, JHE), Colossians 3:12-14.

   Feelings are limited. Some religious ‘zealots’ allow their feelings to become extreme and authoritarian, and some have reacted to this by sub-dividing and going to the opposite extreme in Christianity.

   Many equate ‘quietness’ with ‘reverence’ and ‘out-ward polish with inward praise’. The old joke(?), “You can’t praise God in here” may apply all to well to the average assembly of the saints. In doing away with all “shouts of joy”, clapping, raising hands, “hallelujahs”, and verbal “amens” as evident signs of emotionalism… our extreme silence may become only a counter balance to other people’s extreme noise. Both extremes when artificial are empty and distracting.

   Feelings and truth. Feeling good does not make us good. Feeling right does not make us right. Truth belongs to God. He alone is “good” and “right”. He has revealed truth and good, not through feelings but by revelation. Yet there is no virtue in not feeling, or discarding feelings altogether. Understanding feelings in relation to truth is important. Feelings do not precipitate truth, nor confirm truth. A good conscience may even be misleading, (Acts 23:1), and many who are lost, “feel right”. Feelings should not lead – they should follow. They do not act – they re act. So when truth is known and believed through evidence, FEELINGS SHOULD SURROUND, EMBRACE AND SUPPORT TRUTH.

   “And they went on their way rejoicing” is recorded again and again as an aftermath of conversion. “By grace – through faith – in Christ – praise God!” Seeing ourselves as saints, living in the temple of God as well as being the temple of God, offering ourselves as living sacrifices, (I Peter 2:5; I Cor. 6:19-20; Rom. 12:1-2).

   The eunuch went on his way rejoicing after he had been taught about Jesus, believed it, and come out of a watery grave (baptism), (Acts 8:36-39).

   No one rejoices in dying, and the burial scene is hardly the place for “shouts of joy”. But brother let us sing praises at the resurrection – the beginning of the new life.

   Knowing truth, believing truth, obeying truth brings that ‘deep gut feeling’ (bowels of mercies) and knows no other way of expressing itself than to praise God in every waking moment.

   Spiritual computer? That’s not us.

   Automatic worshipers? That’s not us.

   Praiseless, laughless, joyless Christians? That’s not us.

   To the contrary, when we are in Christ, saved by grace, serving from a heart filled with love, there’s little left but to sing and shout His praises.

   Sing it again James! “Is any merry, let him sing psalms.” This is saving power – converting power. People may not hear us preach, but they always hear us sing.


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