United or Divided? – 1 Corinthians 1

Now, dear brothers and sisters, I appeal to you by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so there won’t be divisions in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.NLT  

Time out! Like a frustrated coach watching his team bicker on the court, Paul called for a time-out. He saw the danger of divisions and arguments. The Corinthian believers’ lack of unity was obvious. They may have been playing in the same “uniform,” but they were doing as much as the opposition to bring about their own defeat. The problems weren’t so much differences of opinion as divided allegiances. They were arguing over which position on the team was most important in a way that made them ineffective as a unit. They were on the field, but out of the game.

Divisions between Christians work like brick walls and barbed-wire fences to undermine the effectiveness of the message that believers are to proclaim. Let’s focus on our coach, Jesus Christ, and the purpose he has for us. Let’s strive for harmony and keep arguments about allegiances off the team.

The word for “divisions” that Paul uses here literally means “plowed up.”  That’s what had happened to the “sweet, sweet Spirit” of the church at Corinth. It had been plowed up.

Things were so bad that Paul devoted four chapters of his letter to this one issue. In fact, Paul says, “I appeal to you” —using the same term we find in John 14 when Jesus describes the ministry of the Holy Spirit when he comes alongside of us as Comforter. Paul is saying, “I’m coming alongside of you right now. I’m coming alongside of you as a friend. I’m coming alongside as someone who cares about you and I’m appealing to you. You’ve got to understand that you’ve got a huge problem.”

And notice there are two aspects of this lack of unity he speaks of. He says that they need to be perfectly united in MIND and THOUGHT. Mind and thought. That phrase “perfectly united” comes from a word that was used to describe the mending of broken fishing net. It could also be used to describe a physician who sets a broken bone in order for it to heal. In short, it’s a healing term. It’s the idea of taking something that’s broken and healing it and restoring it.  It tells us that Paul knew there were some relationships in this church that were broken and that needed to be healed, their unity needed to be restored in mind and thought.  When Paul uses this phrase, I believe he was saying two things.  First, when he said “united in mind,” he was referring to the essentials of our faith, the non-negotiables of Christian doctrine, like salvation, issues of the identity of God, issues on sin, etc. And when he said, “united in THOUGHT,” I believe he was referring to the non-essentials, those areas where Scripture is not black and white—areas of opinion that are open to discussion. He was saying he wanted them to be able to agree to disagree; and sometimes to do it without being disagreeable—because thanks to their freedom in Christ, they didn’t have to share the same opinion.

It makes me think of a scene from the Spielberg film, Lincoln. Throughout the film Secretary of war Stanton and President Lincoln had their squabbles, their disagreements. But as they stood in that 19th century “situation room” waiting for the telegraph machines to report the outcome of a major battle—they stopped arguing and grabbed each other’s hand. They disagreed over many things, mostly unimportant, but they were united on the essential belief that the war must be won. The fact is churches don’t usually split over ESSENTIALS.  Sadly, they usually allow their unity to be plowed apart by disagreements over trivial, non-essential things.

When churches have “unity in the essentials, freedom in the non-essentials and love in all things”—when they are united in MIND and THOUGHT—they enjoy a wonderful unity that makes them a powerful tool in God’s kingdom.

We must remember:  Unity is VITAL. Without it we are impotent as a church. Unity is that important. It is a precious thing that must be protected.

The church at Corinth had its fair share of typical quarrels but its main problem was the fact that it had allowed itself to be torn into various factions little subsets or cliques or personality cults or fan clubs—each centered around a particular church leader. In essence they had stopped focusing on the message, the essentials—and had begun focusing on the messenger.

  1. One group rallied around Paul. They were saying: “I follow Paul; Paul rocks!”

And most likely the people who were saying that were the founding members of the church in Corinth, the charter members of the church in Corinth—people who saw Paul as their spiritual father. He was the FIRST pastor and they rallied around him.

  1. Another group came along and said: “I follow Apollos; Apollos is the man.”

We know from other Scripture, that Apollos was an incredibly gifted communicator who started teaching after Paul left town. Many became followers of Jesus under Apollos’ ministry.  Acts 18:24-26 says Apollos had thorough knowledge of the Scriptures—he spoke with great fervor—he spoke boldly and people were just drawn to him.  Evidently that led people to say things like: “We’d much rather listen to Apollos than Paul. Apollos just makes the Scriptures come alive. We are so moved by his warmth and his sensitivity and his charisma and his sense of humor when he teaches. Apollos, he’s the man.”

  1. Then there were those who followed Cephas or Peter.

These were probably the traditionalists in the church, those who had deep Jewish roots. They probably weren’t too comfortable with those Gentile believers who had been converted out of paganism and paid very little attention to their Jewish traditions and customs. Maybe they followed Peter because they knew he was one of the original twelve that Jesus handpicked. And Peter preached at Pentecost! He helped BIRTH the church so he was their man.

  1. The final group followed Jesus.

We may hear this and think, “Finally somebody’s finally got a little maturity and perspective here. That’s what it’s about, just follow Christ.”  But in reality in the church in Corinth, this was the most dangerous group of all because they actually claimed to be more spiritual than everybody else. They were the spiritual elitists who were saying they didn’t need to submit to human spiritual authority like Paul or Apollos or Peter; they could just listen to Jesus. And they were just as divisive as the other three cliques, probably even more because they weren’t really focusing on Jesus. They were focusing on a holier than thou self.

We still struggle like this today.  With so many churches, programs and styles of worship available today, believers can get caught up in the same game of “my preacher is better than yours!” “My church offers more than yours.” They follow personalities and even change churches based on who what program is popular.  To act this way is to divide Christ again. But Christ is not divided, and his true followers should not allow anything to divide the church.  Lets’ not let our appreciation for any teacher or writer, program or ministry lead us into thinking that one church is better. Believers’ allegiance must be to Christ and to the unity that he desires.

Paul goes on to explain that the Corinthians needed to do away with these factions—and unite around Jesus.  He asks, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” In other words—they needed to get back to keeping Jesus and His cross the main message.  If our church ever stops focusing on the message of the cross, if we orient ourselves around anything else, we are in trouble and cease to be a church.

In 1914, not long after the sinking of the Titanic, Congress convened a hearing to discern what had happened in another nautical tragedy. In January of that year, in thick fog off the Virginia coast, the steamship Monroe was rammed by the merchant vessel Nantucket and sank. Forty-one sailors lost their lives in the frigid winter waters of the Atlantic. During cross-examination it was learned, as the New York Times reported, that the Monroe’s captain, navigated with a personal compass that deviated from the standard magnetic compass. He had never adjusted it so that it steered true. This tragedy illustrates the consequences of mis-orientation.  The reminder for us is this: we need to constantly make sure our church is oriented around Jesus Christ and His message of salvation through faith.  In other words, Jesus is every church’s magnetic north.

Let’s be united in Christ!


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Messed Up Church – 1 Corinthians Intro.

Jesus, yes! The church, no!” This slogan was popular among young people in the ’60s. They definitely could have said that in Corinth back in A.D. 56, because the local church there was a messed up church. Unfortunately, the problems did not stay within the church family; they were known by the unbelievers outside the church.

How did this happen? The members of the church permitted the sins of the city to get into the local assembly. Corinth was the original “sin city, filled with every kind of vice and worldly pleasure. The lowest cut down would be to call someone “a Corinthian.” People would know what you were talking about.

Corinth was also a proud, philosophical city, with many itinerant teachers promoting their speculations. This philosophical approach was applied to the Gospel by some members of the church, and this fostered division. The congregation was made up of different “schools of thought” instead of being united behind the Gospel message.

The Christians in Corinth were struggling with their environment. Surrounded by corruption and every conceivable sin, they felt the pressure to adapt. They knew they were free in Christ, but what did this freedom mean? How should they view idols or sexuality? What should they do about marriage, women in the church, and the gifts of the Spirit? These were more than theoretical questions—the church was being undermined by immorality and spiritual immaturity. The believers’ faith was being tried in the crucible of immoral Corinth, and some of them were failing the test.

Paul heard of their struggles and wrote this letter to address their problems, heal their divisions, and answer their questions. Paul confronted them with their sin and their need for corrective action and clear commitment to Christ.

Geographically, Corinth was at a crossroads. It was located on an isthmus that connects northern Greece—where Athens is—with southern Greece—which was called Achaia. So if you wanted to travel from the southern part of Greece to the northern part, you had to travel through Corinth. If you wanted to travel north to south, you traveled through Corinth.   Julius Caesar was right because all roads in the area led to and through Corinth. There are bodies of water on both sides of this strip of land on which Corinth sat but it was so treacherous sailing around it that often ships would stop at Corinth—and the captain would hire slaves to put the ship on a skid and move it on land the four-mile trek across from one body of water to the other.

Even though it was expensive to take your ship overland, it actually saved lives and time.  This of course benefited Corinth because sailors and merchants were in town longer. Not only was Corinth a port—ships literally rolled through its streets, it also became a very rich city with products from all over the world flooding its markets—things like: Arabian balsam wood, Phoenician dates, Libyan ivory, Babylonian carpets, and Lycaonian wool. One scholar referred to it as “the Vanity fair of the ancient world.” With all this commerce flowing through its streets it is no wonder that the leaders of the city were wealthy merchants who worshiped money.

Corinth was also home to the Isthmian Games—athletic contests that were second only to the Olympics. But Corinth was primarily known—not for its commerce or for these athletic games—but for its sin. People who came to gamble on the Isthmian games stayed and indulged their every appetite.  Like our Las Vegas, Corinth became a mecca of sexuality. In fact, the leading “religion” of that city promoted prostitution.  Corinth had a temple that was the center of worship for the goddess Aphrodite.  And in the evening, the temple would have thousands of sacred priestesses, who were actually prostitutes, flood into the streets of Corinth to sell their bodies to business travelers—to sailors, to tourists, to athletes, to residents, to just anybody who wanted a so-called “religious experience” in Corinth.

We could describe it as “temptation on steroids” because there was so much immorality there. The Greeks actually coined a term from the name of this city. To “Corinthianize” something was to make it sexually charged, to make it sexually immoral, sexually unrestrained. For a woman to be referred to as “Corinthian” was the same as being called a loose woman.

With all this in mind, picture Paul entering the city alone to start a church. What an unlikely place to do that—what a challenge that was.  The same is true today, the job we are called to do as a local church is usually not easy.  Following our Head as a local body means we seek and save the lost—and that is often a difficult thing to do because the lost can be difficult themselves and are often found in difficult places.  The fact is God calls us to the “Corinths” of the world. He calls us to join Him in seeking out the people who don’t know Him. He calls us to follow Paul’s example and enter into difficult places—difficult conversations—He calls us to love difficult people. Think about that for a moment—where or who is your “Corinth?”  Is it a family member who rejects God? Is it a workplace filled with co-workers who embrace sinful behaviors? Is it a neighbor? Where is your “Corinth?”

Like many Christians today, the Corinthian believers had great difficulty in not mimicking the unbelieving and corrupt society around them. They wanted to be in God’s kingdom while keeping one foot in the kingdom of this world. They wanted to have the blessings of the new life but hang on to the pleasures of the old. They wanted to have what they thought was the best of both worlds, but Paul plainly warned them that that was not possible.

Paul heard of their struggles and wrote this letter to address their problems, heal their divisions, and answer their questions. Paul confronted them with their sin and their need for corrective action and clear commitment to Christ.   Paul gives us a Christian approach to problem solving. He analyzed the problem thoroughly to uncover the underlying issue and then highlighted the biblical values that should guide our actions.

To me it’s comforting that our churches today face many of the same problems that the New Testament church faced.  We are still messed up, yet we have a choice.  Which will we choose? To be Divided or United, to indulge in Sexual Immorality or choose Purity, to be a Good Influence or a Bad Influence, to be Drunk or Reverent to be Selfish or Serving, to be Apathetic or Loving?

I hope that you can join us for our series, Messed Up Church from 1 Corinthians.


Sources:  Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – New Testament – The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 1.   MacArthur New Testament Commentary, The – MacArthur New Testament Commentary – 1 Corinthians.,  Life Application Study Bible.
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Redeeming Love – Hosea 3

In Hosea chapter 3, Hosea is dealing with the bitter reality that Gomer has left him AGAIN and this time she in sexual slavery. Hosea has to go get his wife and buy her back from her pimp. Can you imagine what this would have been like for Hosea? Hosea 3:2, records “I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and lethek of barley.” A lethek weighed about 430 pounds.  If you put it all together it would have been about thirty shekels in the ancient world. Thirty shekels was the price that was paid for a slave. Hosea went to his unfaithful wife who chose sexual slavery over him and bought her back. Can you imagine the emotions? Can you imagine the pain, the embarrassment, the humiliation on both parts? Can you imagine her feeling like she couldn’t accept his love or kindness towards her? Then he takes her to be with him. The picture that we see in Hosea 3 is one of redemption. Redemption is a term used throughout the Bible. Redemption is an economic word. In the Old Testament for someone to be redeemed it literally means to buy them back.

To buy someone back, just like Hosea bought Gomer back at least three different things had to be in place:

  1. That person had to be in bondage or slavery.
  2. There had to be a price that was paid to get them out of bondage or slavery.
  3. There had to be a mediator that would go and pay the price to get the person out of bondage or slavery.

Those three conditions were met in the Old Testament when someone was redeemed or bought back. It’s fascinating that as we read this story about Hosea and Gomer (that happened almost 3 thousands of years ago) that God looking towards the future when the day would come when Jesus Christ would come into our world and literally do what Hosea did for Gomer. Jesus would come and live and die and buy us back – redeem us from slavery to sin and death. It’s a picture of God’s love for us.

God is a just God. Sin had to be punished. He couldn’t just forget all the things that had happened. God was willing to put the punishment for sin on the shoulders of Jesus so that the mercy and free grace could be delivered to us. That’s the good news! That’s what the Christian message is all about. That’s what makes it different from every religion in the world. In every religion in the world you boil it down fundamentally – it’s about “DO.” What will you do to earn and accomplish God’s favor in your life? The Christian faith is about “DONE.” What God has already done two thousand years ago in the person of Jesus Christ is what accomplishes our salvation in our life.

In my life I have wrestled with this many times and have felt unworthy of God’s love. I felt like perhaps God can forgive everyone else but He can’t forgive me. Do you know what that feeling is like? God can forgive that person but not me. I can’t forgive myself; God can’t forgive me. Not for the things I’ve done. It took me awhile to realize that when I was thinking that way ultimately what I was doing was I was showing pride in reverse. When we say, “God can’t forgive me, we are saying, “God, you are going to have to pay a higher price for me.”  Apparently Jesus wasn’t enough.” If Jesus wasn’t enough then you and God can start working out what the price will be for you. What hit me is who am I to tell God how much the price is? God set the price and the price was His very son. The price, if it’s good enough for God, then it better be good enough for me.

Since we were bought with a price, it means we must think differently so we can live differently.

We have begin to live as one who has been bought by with a price. It means we hold our heads up a little higher and sit up straight.  It means we stop telling ourselves in our inner voice that we‘re worthless and God is against us – because He isn’t. We start looking in the mirror in the morning and say, “I was bought with a price!” Then go out the door with a sense of esteem that’s not based in ourselves but based in God.

Then we begin to respond to God with action.  In chapter 3 we see that Hosea goes and buys Gomer back. He takes her back to be with him but there is some action that follows this grace. We see it in 3:3: “Then I told her that you are to live with me many days and you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man and I will live with you.” He doesn’t just go and take her back and say, “Do whatever you want and be my wife.” No, there are some qualifications here. No longer be a prostitute. No longer be intimate with another man and you can live with me.

At Upwards we have asked ourselves questions like, “with so much noise in our world and so much going on, how do we as a church partner with people to help you respond to God with action in your life?” We have boiled it down to three simple things:

  1. LOVE GOD in our weekend services. I believe that church attendance is something we all mark on the calendar. Some weeks you’ll think the message and music is good. Some weeks you’ll think we stink. Some weeks you’ll be mad. That’s okay. We show up because God meets us in the community of believers, in the worship, the music, and the prayer. We show up because of who He is. That consistency will make a difference in our lives. LOVE GOD in our weekend services.
  2. LOVE PEOPLE in a Connect Group. As we gather with a group of people who are meeting in homes or restaurants talking about our faith, what God is doing and praying for one another we are changing and growing spiritually. Find a group of people that can watch our backs and pray for us and walk the road of life together.  LOVE PEOPLE to become like Christ in a Connect group environment.
  3. SHARE JESUS by serving in the church, the community or mission trips.

LOVE God in the weekend. LOVE PEOPLE in Connect Group an SHARE JESUS in a Ministy Team or Mission Team. If we do those things we’re responding to God with action.

I love Victor Hugo’s, Les Miserable, A powerful book, Broadway play and a movie starring Liam Nielsen. There is a scene in that movie that I’ll never forget. Jean Valjean is a criminal. He’s been in prison for twenty years because he stole a piece of bread when he was starving. After twenty years of hard labor, suffering he gets out but he’s not really accustomed to being free. He meets this pastor, a bishop who is nice enough to take him into his house and let him sleep there. He feeds them at his own table. He shows him kindness. But that night, Jean gives into his past, leaves the house and steals some of the Bishop’s silver.  As he goes out, the authorities catch him. They take him back to the Bishop. There is this scene where the Bishop comes out.  It’s so powerful. He looks at Jean Valjean who is literally waiting for his words that will send him back to prison for the rest of his life. He will never wake up a free man again. This is his last chance and he is guilty. They say to the Bishop, “We found this silver in his bags.  It belongs to you. We’re assuming he stole this from you.” The Bishop looks at him and says, “No. No, this was a gift. This was my gift to him. Jean Valjean what you forgot is the most important thing. You forgot the silver candlesticks too.” He takes the silver candlesticks and he gives them to him. There is this dumbfounded look on the face of this criminal who has only known hate and violence for the last twenty years. He’s shown kindness. He takes the candlesticks in his hands. The authorities walk away. I think the most memorable scene in the movie and the book is when the bishop walks over and puts his hand on Jean Valjean’s shoulder, looks him in the eyes and says, “You must never forget this moment. You are not your own. You were bought with a price. Now you live toward God.” Jean Valjean was marked by that moment for the rest of his life. He was never able to get over it. He was never able to go back from that place. In fact, he lived a completely different life from that moment on because he lived as if he was bought with a price. Victor Hugo is weaving into his story biblical imagery and truth.

Les Miserable is exactly what the story of Hosea and the story of Jesus tell us today. You and I were bought with a price.  We were guilty, but set free. We are not our own.  Since we are not our own we must live differently.


PS.  Join us for our next series, “Messed Up Church” from 1 Corinthians

Sources:  Life Application Study Bible, Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – Old Testament – The Bible Exposition Commentary – The Prophets, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee,  Pursuit Ministries, Beyond Boundaries, Jud Wilhite,


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Forgiving Love – Hosea 2

We have such interesting perceptions of God. Some people think God is up in heaven waiting for us to make a mistake. And when we do, He’s quick to judge us and mess up our lives.  God’s up there watching and as soon as we mess up He’s going to zap us.  But in reality as we read the Bible the facts are very different.  We have to have our facts right. I love this story reported by the Associated Press: Linda Burnett, a 24 year old woman pulled into a grocery store parking lot. When a guy pulled up next to her he noticed she was sitting with hands up over behind her head. She wasn’t moving. He thought that was odd. He taps on the window and says, “Ma’am are you alright?” She exclaimed, “I’ve been shot in the head and I’m holding my brains in. Call 911!” He calls 911.The paramedics and police come. She has her hands up on her head and she won’t roll the window down. They bust through the window to get through the car. Here are the facts: She pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store and a can of biscuits in the back seat of her car exploded due to the heat. When it exploded it made a sound like a gun. It hit her in the back of the head with significant force.  When she reached back to touch the back of her head she touched the biscuit dough on her hand and was convinced someone shot her on the back of the head!

There are people in our world that are paralyzed by their view of God. It’s like they are sitting in life with their hands locked behind their head saying, “I can’t go to church. I can’t serve God because of what I’ve done, because of who I am or what has happened in my past. I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy.” I talk to believers who are paralyzed with a sense of guilt because, “I should know better. I’ve been a Christian my whole life but I still fall. I’ve been a believer but I still make mistakes.” Many people carry this guilt around. What God desires for us when we fall is to return to Him. He doesn’t want us to be paralyzed with fear. He is ready to forgive us.  We have to get our facts straight when we think about God.

In the last post we saw that the story of the prophet Hosea is a story of him and his unfaithful wife, Gomer.  God uses their relationship as a picture of His relationship with us.  Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea again and again and again, but he took her back despite anyway. Here’s a description of her activity in Hosea 2:5,

Their mother is a shameless prostitute and became pregnant in a shameful way.  She said, ‘I’ll run after other lovers and sell myself to them for food and water, for clothing of wool and linen, and for olive oil and drinks.’

I can’t imagine the heartbreak of seeing my wife Niki chase after other men.   Some of you know what unfaithfulness feels like.   God does too.  This is why Hosea was written.  It shares how God feels.   The important question is, “what now?”  What will God do?  Will he zap us?   No, God is faithful and forgives us when we are unfaithful.  Let’s look at God’s response to His people and even our own unfaithfulness.

In Hosea chapter 2 he shares some very powerful imagery. In Hosea 2:7 speaking of His people: “She will chase after her lovers but not catch them. She will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as it first for then I was better off than now.’” God is saying that she will get to a place, my people will come to a realization that what they are looking for, outside of Me, ultimately will not satisfy their lives and they will come back to Me. Then you get to 2:14 this is so powerful: “Therefore, I’m going to allure her.” The word allure in the Hebrew language throughout the Old Testament is a romantic term. God is saying, “I’m going to romance my people.”

Wait a minute, they just had another spiritual affair on You. They have turned their backs on You repeatedly. They have forgotten about You. They have denied You. They have worshiped other gods. And, God says, “I will allure my people and bring them back.” He says, “I will lead her into the desert and I will speak tenderly to her.” God says metaphorically speaking, “I will not turn my back on them. I will remain faithful and they can return to me when they fail.”  Isn’t that amazing? I don’t know about you but that fires me up. I start thinking if there is hope for them then there is hope for me. If there is hope for me then there is hope for everybody. No matter where we are in life, if we return to God when we fail, He’ll be there. No matter what ways we have been unfaithful to God, no matter what terrible things we have done, what God asks of us is that we return to Him and He will forgive us.  He will allure us to Him; He will speak tenderly to us.

That word return when it says that she’s gone after her lovers but she won’t find them and return to me. It has the idea of repentance. We’re going to turn around and live toward God now. We are going to live different lives. He gives us the option and freedom to do that. We can return to God when we fail. Then we can enjoy God forever. In Hosea 2 there is more powerful imagery in verses 19-20. God says this, “I will make you my wife forever.” In that culture there was a bride price. A groom would pay a price to the father of the bride for the bride. He says, “I will make you my wife.” How long? Forever! Showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion.” I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as the Lord.  That word know is used in the Hebrew language for intimate/sexual relations. To know someone – He’s saying you will know me in a personal intimate way. I will marry you forever. That’s incredible imagery.  It means we can have an intimate relationship with God for forever.

Glen Wolf is a guy who died at eighty-eight years of age in Los Angeles. He died as many people do in our world, alone. There was no one to take care of him and no one to attend to his funeral. He didn’t really have a funeral. He was buried alone. It was a tragic way to end a life. But Glen Wolf had a very unique distinction. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the man who has been married the most in his life. Twenty-nine times he walked down the aisle with a different woman. Twenty-nine times he stood and said, “I do.”  Twenty-nine times he watched a relationship explode. He died alone. He never learned that love has to be cultivated, nurtured, and matured in the midst of the heartaches and difficulties of life.

What the book of Hosea is teaching us is that God, unlike Glen Wolf, will never walk out on us. God will never turn His back on us. He’s there. We may run out on Him, but we should to return to Him.  Return to Him when we fail. Enjoy Him forever because He’s there for us. He loves you and me and wants to be in this relationship with us.  Can we accept God’s forgiveness and unending love?  I want to and hope that you can too.


Sources:  Life Application Study Bible, Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – Old Testament – The Bible Exposition Commentary – The Prophets, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee,  Pursuit Ministries, Beyond Boundaries, Jud Wilhite,
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