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VOTE NOW: What should Republicans' Top Legislative Priority Be?
Repeal the ObamaCare individual mandate
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Stop the ObamaCare bailouts of insurance companies
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Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Psalm 103 :1-22
To all ISIS members and leaders,
I write this letter with the deepest hope that this reaches some of you and that you hear what I have to say. Let me start by pleading with you to please stop the violence and the killing of innocent people. I know you believe that what you are doing is the right thing for your faith and for your cause, but let me say that is far from the truth. There is never any justification for the killing of innocent people, and it is wrong to persecute people for their faith. I want to tell you three things. These three things I am about to tell you is not because I am American, it is because I am a Christian. This is a pastor’s letter to ISIS and I believe that I speak on behalf of all genuine Christians when I say the following.
1. We do not hate you. That’s right, we do not hate you. We strongly disagree with what you are doing and want the killings to stop, but we do not harbor hatred in our hearts for you. The very essence of our faith as Christians is that we love others no matter what they do or say to us. Why? Because that’s what Jesus did for us and commanded us to do also. Your hearts are filled with hate and vengeance, but we refuse to allow those things to be in our hearts and lives. We hate what you are doing, but we do not hate you. We love you no matter what you d0. This is who we are.
2. We are praying for you. We are praying for you every single day. There was a man just like you in the Bible, his name is Paul. Paul also killed Christians in the name of his faith and thought he was doing the right thing. One day Paul had an encounter with Jesus and his heart and life was changed. I am praying that very same thing for you today. I pray that Jesus gets ahold of your heart and shows you that His love is real. I pray that you come to the saving knowledge of Jesus and that you turn away from the things you are doing. We will continue to pray for you no matter what!
3. You will never stop Christianity. No matter what you do to us, you will never stop us. Christianity has stood the test of time and we are not going anywhere. Persecution only strengthens our faith, not kill it. Through the horrendous acts of terror you have inflicted on Christians in the Middle East you have unified Christians worldwide. We are praying now more than ever. Our faith is strengthened more than it has ever been. We are standing with our brothers and sisters who you are killing, and we weep and pray for them. Make no mistake, you are not killing Christianity, you are making it stronger. You can kill our bodies, but you cannot destroy our souls. We have joy and eternal hope that comes from Jesus that abides in our suffering. We are unified; we are one body, the body of Christ. We embrace the sufferings, because it is the way of the cross. We boldly stand for our faith in Jesus Christ!
I hope and pray you heard something that I said in this letter. We do not seek vengeance on you. We love you and are praying for you. I must warn you, if you do not turn from what you are doing, you will answer for what you have done and continue to do. I told you we are not seeking vengeance, which is true. However one day, we will all stand before God and give an account for the things we have done and said. Trust me when I tell you, that you do not want the blood of innocent people on your hands that day. Vengeance is the Lords, and one day He will administrate justice on all of the injustices taking place by the hands of your organization. You may not pay for what you are doing now, but if you do not turn from your ways, one day you will pay for the things you are doing.
It does not have to be this way! There is good news for you! Jesus loves you and died for your sins. You can be forgiven of all of your sins and you can walk away from all of the things you are doing. The Gospel is for you too. I beg you to hear me! Hear the Gospel, believe the Gospel and obey it. Turn from your ways and put your faith in Jesus. Jesus is the only way! It is not too late for you! We are praying for you. I know it doesn’t make sense, but we love you. There is nothing you can do about it!
Thank you for your time and please stop the killing of innocent Christians and people of the Middle East. In case you are wondering why we choose to love you so boldly, I will leave you with these words from Jesus.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,[b] 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren[c] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors[d] do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
This article is somewhat sensationalized, but the numbers do have something to say.
Jesus Can Identify With Your Pain
Private pains, deep hurts, shameful addictions. You may think that nobody understands what you are going through, but God does. He can identify with all your pains and is able to help you. (Hebrews 2:18, 4:15)
In the Old Testament, the grain offering brought to God speaks of Jesus’ life on earth. The fine flour, which the grain offering is made with, is flour that has been pounded, ground, beaten and sifted through to get it consistently even and fine. Therefore, it typifies the humanity and sufferings of Jesus.
One of the ways the Jewish women prepared the grain offering was to bake it. The baking done in the depths of the oven speaks of the “hidden” sufferings that Jesus went through. I believe that Jesus faced sufferings that we cannot fully understand. Even as a young boy, He must have gone through sufferings that prepared Him to die for all humanity at the cross. And during His ministry years, it must have grieved Him when time and time again, He found unbelief not just in the people around Him, but even in His disciples.
Jesus also suffered at the hands of men—slanderers who misunderstood Him. Once, the Pharisees insinuated that He was born out of wedlock because His mother was with child before she married Joseph. (John 8:39, 41) That scandalous remark, probably not the first, must have hurt Him.
Consider also the temptations He faced. There were not only three. God’s Word says that He was tempted for 40 days! (Luke 4:2) Not all the temptations were recorded. Those 40 days must have tried Him sorely.
What do all these mean?
My friend, Jesus went through all those temptations and sufferings for you, yet He did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15) There is no temptation or suffering that you are going through that He cannot identify with. So come to His throne of grace today and receive His superabounding grace to face and overcome those trials in your life!
Thought For The Day
There is no temptation or suffering that you are going through that Jesus cannot identify with or give you His superabounding grace to overcome.
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