Friday, June 5, 2015

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Spiritual Infidelity

        Spiritual infidelity is a topic I have previously addressed in one way or another.  And yet, I find that it is one that the Lord is impressing upon my heart once more.  When God created man there was a relationship between God and man, for the Bible tells us that they walked and talked together.  Mankind was never meant to have a sinful nature.  However, God created man with a free will of his own.  He could have made man a robot, which would always do exactly as he was programmed.  However, how could true love exist between God and man, if the love that was between them was compulsory instead of by man’s free will choice?  Due to the fall of mankind and our resulting sin nature, it seems to me that God set priorities, or commandments, that are meant to be written on the tablets of our hearts, not with the intent of using His power to control us, but as an act love, to create a hedge of protection against the evil that exists. It is His intent that we are to be His people and live out our lives in complete surrender to Him as our God out of love for Him.  He commands that we are to love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength.  In addition, the following commandment seems to be linked to the first, revealing that loving Him also means we are to have no other gods before Him; thereby creating mutual trust and faithfulness between God and man. 

          If we want to have that covenant relationship with Him as our God and us as His people, it is only right that we keep our vows of willing obedience unto Him.  Remember that these vows are meant to secure faithfulness between the members who are willingly entering into this covenant relationship with one another.  God is always faithful and keeps His promises to us.  It is we who are forever straying from Him; thereby, disrupting our fellowship with Him at the least, or breaking our relationship with Him entirely at the worst.  We are the ones who are fickle in this love relationship, not Him.

          His commandments are not options or casual suggestions, but rather imperatives.  They are not meant to establish His power over us, for His power over all creation was established from before the beginning of time.  It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.  To aid our understanding that these commandments are meant to be for our good and not an attempt on God’s part to set Himself up as some sort of reigning tyrant, let us consider a simple act of an earthly father as he cares for his child. An earthly daddy will command his child: “Thou shalt not play with fire.”  Is the Daddy trying to be a tyrant, or is he only doing his best to protect and keep the child from being harmed?  The child can use his free will to either obey or disobey his daddy’s command.  He can choose to trust in the wisdom of his daddy, obey and enjoy the blessing of safety.  On the other hand, he can choose to doubt his father’s wisdom, disobey, thinking himself wiser than his dad, play with fire and suffer the consequences of being hurt, or possibly even killed.

Considering all things from that point of view, shouldn’t we conclude that disobeying God, our heavenly Father, is all the more likely to bring harm upon ourselves through our own rebelliousness, and through no fault of His?  God always gives us a choice to trust in Him, receive His blessing, or trust in our own wisdom over His, disobey and suffer the consequences.  This is the principle which demonstrates plainly that, as a result of our own choices in life, we will either receive blessings or curses.  God is completely truthful and honest with us; He’s not wishy-washy, nor does He play around.  Unlike mankind, we can always take Him at His word.   

          God beckons to the heart of every man that we might turn our hearts towards Him in faith.   He has loved us first.  He wants us to know Him, not just with head knowledge, but with the whole heart, in order to establish a covenant relationship, one that is to be stronger than any other bond on earth or in Heaven.  A covenant is far more than a contract; it is to be an eternal agreement made between God and each individual who will choose to believe in Him.  This covenant relationship is to carve out and separate from the world, a peculiar people that will agree to obey Him above all else, not allowing anyone or anything to come between them.  He forewarns us that not all will believe on Him, for some will so harden their heart towards God that they will no longer have ears with which to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit calling out to them.  That condition is known as having a stony heart, one that is no longer able to be pierced by the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of the living God.   It is the Holy Spirit that gives us a new heart and renews a right spirit within us, one that will seek the Lord, to know, love, and worship Him as Savior and Lord.      

          For the longest time, I could not understand why the word of God referred to those who go astray from God as prostitutes and whoremongers?  Furthermore, if He had already said that we must love Him with the whole heart, why was it necessary to add that we are to have no other gods before Him?  In an effort to gain a better understanding, I looked upon the marriage relationship between a man and a woman.  Being the closest relationship that exists on earth, perhaps it may provide partial insight into the relationship between the groom, Jesus, and the church, His bride.  As a husband guards over his wife to care for and protect her, so does God watch over His bride, the body of believers, with an even more jealous or vigilant zeal. This personal relationship and bond of love is meant to be so strong that nothing in heaven or on earth could separate or sever it.

          Perhaps the present day statistics of marriages ending in divorce, and couples living together outside of the bonds of matrimony, is a contributing factor to our lack of understanding as to why God requires us to believe in and worship Him alone and no other.  I am not hereby trying to condemn anyone who has had the misfortune of having been divorced.  Sin is sin, but there is also forgiveness of sin through faith in Christ when we repent, turn from it, and seek to practice it no more.  However, what I am saying is that if we do not view our marriage vows as a covenant before the Lord, but merely as a civil contract that can be broken easily, forsaken, and dissolved at the drop of a hat, then perhaps having multiple partners and relationships makes infidelity appear to be the norm rather than the exception.  If we can view a marriage as something to be easily discarded simply because it no longer “makes me happy,” then maybe that’s one reason we find it easy to discard God simply because He too seemed to fail to grant us everything that was on our list of “things that God must do to make ME happy.”  In our arrogance, we have busily made ourselves the center of all things rather than making God the center of everything in our lives.  No wonder, in our own state of confusion and egotistical self centeredness, we have found it easier and easier to redefine sin as good.  In this  present man centered secular society, we think we have the right to usurp God’s authority and redefine right and wrong to suit ourselves.  Thus, we simply redefine sexual immorality, whether it is of the homosexual or heterosexual nature, there is no difference; sin is sin. Cohabitating outside the bonds of marriage is no less sinful than homosexual behavior is.  Yet, today, in order to hide the fact that such behavior is sin and unpleasing to God, we merely redefine both as alternative and acceptable lifestyle.  All of a sudden, we think that we have the right to disagree with Him.  How ridiculous of us!  We are in the process of redefining marriage as being between any two persons regardless of gender, instead of between a man and a woman as it is described biblically.  How long do you think it will take before it becomes acceptable to include any number of people, as long as they are consenting adults?  What makes us think it will stop there?  There are those who are already at work trying to change the law so that your twelve year old daughter may be considered as a “consenting adult.”  The family unit is quickly being destroyed, enabling mankind to redefine it as anything you want it to be, instead of what God has designed and meant it to be.  We have discarded the acknowledgment that God alone has the rightful authority to determine what sin is; instead we have given man that authority.  Man is totally focused on being tolerant of everyone and everything, except God.  Through our pursuit to forget God and His ways, we think it is a good idea to rid the world of any such idea of sin.  Man is diligently at work forsaking the very existence of moral absolutes for right and wrong; instead all things become relative and subject to change at the drop of a hat.  Ah yes, man’s ways are so dependable and trustworthy, right?  NOT!  Oh but we can say one good thing about ourselves; we are well on our way to becoming totally inclusive and tolerant!  That one pesky thing, God and His ways, that have always hindered man from having the freedom to make up his own rules to suit himself, is quickly being removed.  Out of sight, out of mind!  Surely we will have very soon created a great utopia for ourselves.  If that were true, why are evil and violence on the increase?  Or have we become so blind that now evil appears to be good?  Isn’t that found in the scriptures?  “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5: 20) 

          Tolerance becomes the last standing “virtue” in every decadent society.  Once again, we must remind ourselves that tolerance redefined becomes unique in that it eventually erodes into tolerance, or acceptance, of everything except God and His ways.  Therein is revealed to us the Big Lie!  “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1: 21- 25) Are we not exchanging the purity of God’s truth for the lies of Satan, in order to escape the responsibility of acknowledging our sin before the Lord?  Is this not all a part of the great delusion that is straight from Satan, the Father of all lies?    

          From the beginning of time, mankind has forever acted as though God doesn’t say what He means, or mean what He says.  I don’t think God plays head or word games as man does.  What part of no other gods is ambiguous or hard to understand?  Doesn’t ‘no other’ mean exactly that: zero, none, zilch, and absolutely no other?  In our foolishness, we try to turn the word of God into some kind of a semantics game; whereby we can twist and turn His words into meaning something that is more convenient and pleasing to our individual way of thinking to justify our own thoughts or ways, even when they are contrary to the word of God.  Nevertheless, I reiterate; Sin is what God says it is, and not what man says it is, or is not.  Like it or not, whether we believe it or not, God is still in control.  “For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Romans 3: 3, 4)

          Christians today are no different than the Israelites, whom God first called them out to be a special and peculiar people unto Him.  They professed to believe in Yahweh, and yet they thought they could treat Him as if He was only one of many gods.  They thought they could profess Him with their lips to be their God, and yet go out and fool around a bit with the foreign gods of the nations around them.  As it was then, so it is now, for Christians profess to believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but think God is going to turn a blind eye to their adulterous unfaithful hearts as they go out and indulge in the practice of a bit of Buddhism meditating, a bit of witchcraft, paganism, New Age channeling, and even throwing in a bit of necromancy; involving themselves with false gods and idols (such as materialism and career idols); thereby dabbling in Satan’s playground.  Doesn’t the word of God tell us not to give place to the devil, and not to give any appearance of evil, and to resist the devil?  Doesn’t it also tell us that the fear of the Lord is to hate evil? (I Thess. 5:22; James 4: 7; Prov. 8: 13)  Why are we acting like the spoiled child who refuses to listen to his Daddy, playing with fire, and then is consumed by the fire?  Will we never learn that His ways are only meant to be for our good?

            In our own deceitful hearts, we connive to deceive by convincing ourselves that we aren’t straying from God, as we seek to incorporate such things as seeking “positive energy”, or sending out “positive thoughts,” reading horoscopes, Buddhist style chanting of prayers, etc., as if the word of God was somehow lacking in power, and therefore must be added to in order to make up for it’s insufficiency?  By such sinful practices, we contaminate and weaken the power of God in our lives, turning ourselves into hypocrites, having the name of God on our lips, but removing Him far from our hearts.  We have become so comfortable with witchcraft that we don’t even recognize that we are spoon feeding it to ourselves and our children through such conduits as the Harry Potter novels.  Open the door to our hearts to such tools of the devil, no matter how innocent they may appear to be as just little tales of fantasy, and before you know it, our conscience will have become so seared that discernment between good and evil will become clouded and unrecognizable.  Play around with false gods and idols and you play with fire, the kind that could very well lead you and me into the fire of eternal Hell.

          I don’t claim to be self righteous, sinless, or holier than thou, for I have fallen into the pit of sin just like every other human being, with the exception of Jesus, the only sinless man, being all God in the form of man.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I too am a sinner, saved by the grace of God.  There is no sin that any of us could ever say, “Oh I would never do that!”  Temptation is always present, but it can be overcome, as the word tells us, “not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord.”  The Lord warns us time and time again, “BE NOT DECEIVED!”  Repent, turn away from evil, have nothing to do with the wickedness of false gods and their evil ways, lest you find yourself ensnared and trapped by them.  The devil is nothing to be played around with; he can take many forms and is always seeking whom he may devour.  His ways may appear as a path to light, strength, enlightenment, and even improvement and healing for a temporary period of time.  But he can not provide anything good or permanent, for he only offers a temporary fix, not a cure; a deceiving counterfeit substitute that eventually turns against you to destroy you.  Remember, Satan is the father of all lies.  Open your mind and heart to another “power” other than the power of God, and you open your mind and heart to every demon and false god that prevails in the powers and principalities of the darkness of this world.

          It never ceases to amaze me just how arrogant and prideful man is in our natural state when we refuse to recognize that the Bible is God’s map, or book of directions, by which we are to live out our lives.  So few of us truly seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who is meant to be our guide and source for strength to help us live out our lives as God has planned, that all may go well for us.  Some search the scriptures at times, not to seek God’s truth, but in an attempt to pervert and twist it to fit their own vain imaginations.  Unfortunately, many will never truly turn to Christ to know, serve, obey, love, and receive Him as Lord and Savior.  As a result, many will gradually become more and more like Satan, who knows the word backwards and forwards, but who will never worship the Creator God and giver of life itself. 

          I can not exclude myself from the band of believers that are always falling short of the mark.  At times, I can only imagine how God must be shaking His head and thinking, “There she goes again.  I’ve given her directions how to stay on the right path.  I even sent her the Holy Spirit to make the written word come alive in her heart, to live in her to be her special guide.  Yet, she keeps on following one detour sign after another.  How often is she going to continue to go down one wrong path after another?  She knows she’s going to suffer the consequences of her own foolish choices.”           I think of a GPS in a car and its continual warnings telling the driver to “recalculate,” or turn around and go back.  It seems I constantly have to go around and around the same route, because I fail to listen and follow His directions.  Every time I’ve stepped outside of the protection of His Word and guidance of His Holy Spirit, either through the idiocy of following my own desires, as if I knew better than Him, or due to ignorance, because I didn’t first seek His wisdom and knowledge.  I’ve been caught time and time again in a trap that spirals downward into chaos and confusion, instead of “moving on up” to run the race of life according to His best plan which is always for my best.  Thank God for His mercy and grace, patience, and unconditional love!  He never gives up on you or me.  Dear Lord, help us not to give up on you due to doubt and unbelief.  “…Lord, I do believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9: 24)

          Why is obedience, to the One who has loved us first, often perceived as a hindrance to our liberty?  When, in truth, it is really the very key to our liberty and freedom from the law of sin and death.  “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (II Cor. 3: 17)  Why is it that we want to hold fast to our own will, instead of learning to submit our will to His, which is far superior to ours?  Thank God, He keeps a vigilant watch over us with a steadfastness that never ceases; He never slumbers or sleeps, and we are carved in the palms of His hands.  “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy (dull), that it cannot hear.” (Isa. 59:1)

          The following is inserted from a previous writing.  As we revisit it, may our hearts be that much more impressed with its importance in understanding what, or rather WHO makes Christianity unique and like no other religion:

          All religions have teachers, preachers, prophets, and philosophies. Christianity, which includes Messianic Jews, is singled out as different, having no other religion equal to it, because it is the only religion that provides the Savior, Jesus Christ.  Though He taught, preached, and prophesied magnificently, He came not for that purpose.  Instead, He came to die on the cross to pay our sin debt, and be the Savior of all who would choose to believe in Him.  If we are truly born again believers, we no longer belong to ourselves, for we were bought and paid for by His atoning blood.  Therefore, our obedience unto Him is a reasonable sacrifice unto Him for all He has provided for us, which includes the benefit that no other can give – forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Him in Heaven.  No other religion promises forgiveness or salvation but only a “maybe,” not a promise, and even that is based upon a faith in our own good deeds.

          If all you want is good teaching, preaching or philosophy, you can find that in any other religion, and maybe through a few of those self help books.  However, if you are seeking forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God the Father, salvation, and eternal life in Heaven, that can only be found through a personal relationship and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  There is no forgiveness of sins except through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross, and belief in His resurrection.  Without His resurrection, our faith is all in vain.  Yes, Christianity can have no equal, for there is no other Savior than Jesus Christ.  All other religions are in vain for they offer only teachings and dependence upon good works which are insufficient to enable mankind to reach God’s standards for perfection.  All men fall short of the mark; no man can lead a sinless life to earn his own salvation.  Therein lies the key; we are saved by the grace of God through faith, and even that is a gift of God, lest any man should think he has a right to boast concerning himself.  Jesus himself has informed us that there is no other philosophy or religion that is equal to or acceptable in the eyes of God.  Exclusiveness (“having no other gods before me”), not inclusiveness, is commanded, not suggested, by the God of the Bible; His offer to trust in Him is His selected choice, for it is open to whosoever will believe in Him. That is how one becomes included in the gift of His Spirit.

Matt. 22: 37

 “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” 

Deut. 5: 7

“Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”

John 14: 6

 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” [It does not say ‘a way,’ ‘a truth,’ or ‘a life’.  He made it clear, with no ambiguousness, that He is not one of many paths or options; He is the only choice, path, or option.] 

Acts 4: 12

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

I Cor. 15: 14

“and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and our faith is also vain.”

I Cor. 1: 17- 19

“For Christ sent me [Paul] not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words; lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish [die in their sins, not born again of the spirit] foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

          To the finite mind, especially of the person who has not been born again, it may appear that the word of God is nothing more than a bunch of legalistic rules written by men.  And so it may very well remain, that and nothing else for the person who attempts to follow all the customs and traditions of man in the “practicing” of a religion, as if salvation was gained through the letter of the law, instead of through faith by the grace of God.  For some people, even for many who go to church every time the door is open, they may know a lot about Jesus, but that is the extent of their connection with Him.  Some how, they have been deceived into thinking, like the song says, “Is that all there is?”  If legalism is all there is in a relationship with Jesus, one may never move from the point of knowing about Jesus to the point of knowing and receiving Him personally.  God forbid! 

          Even when limited to just the human level of understanding, the key element to any lasting and caring relationship is that word “love.” However, that word has been so lightly taken and misused, that it clouds our ability to understand the magnitude of God’s great love towards all of mankind.  We throw the word love around so flippantly that it has almost lost its true meaning. We say things like:  I just love spaghetti; don’t you just love my new dress; I love my little dog.  People have come so far from understanding what true love is; they confuse passion and lust, mistakenly believing them to be love.  No wonder so many marriages fall apart in such a state of confusion, leading to total disillusionment.  Many couples get married, discovering too late, that true love never even existed in their relationship; they were deceived and accepted a poor substitute in place of the real thing.

          My husband and I started dating when he was 15, and I was 16.  We dated for seven years, off and on even through the years when I went away to college, before getting married.  He had told me that he loved me, but I had never expressed that back to him.  Taking such a step for me would be a very serious thing.  I don’t mean to suggest that it was not just as serious to him.  However, the first time I did tell him that I loved him is one of those moments that I can see in my mind just as vividly as if it were a video that  could be viewed time and time again.  We returned from a date, and stood just inside the door of my parents’ home. As we stood together in an embrace with our arms around one another, he told me once again that he loved me.  I knew I loved him too, and finally responded as I whispered in his ear, “I love you too.”  I put my arms around his neck, and held on as tight as I could.  I was inwardly convinced that just speaking those words to him would surely make the earth shake, or, at the very least, a bolt of lightening was going to shatter the prominent sound of silence around us. 

          We’ve now been married for almost fifty years.  So often, when I tell him that I love him, he responds by saying, “I love you more.”  I never argue with him, for during our dating years, I would often break off our “going steady” relationship with him and say, let’s just be friends.  Yes, it was always me that drew away from him.  Over those years, we did stay friends, even when we were not dating.  He kept pursuing me, and never gave up on me.  For that I will forever be grateful, for I could have missed out on the greatest love that Jesus could have blessed me with here on earth.  Oh yes, we’ve gone through our storms, but that is just the point.  When the two of you are bound together with cords of true love, that love will stand the test of time, “in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, as long as ye both shall live,” just as our marriage vows declared.

          Does it appear to you that I have rather veered from my original subject? Well, I haven’t.  I couldn’t figure out a better way to explain to you the difference between knowing about Jesus, and truly knowing and loving Him so much that there is nothing and no one that could ever take His place.  I praise the Lord that He blessed our marriage and kept us ever faithful and true to one another.  We never wanted to corrupt or defile the loving relationship that God had blessed us with by cheating on one another either by having an affair, or by placing a career of any other thing in a position of greater importance than our love for one another.  Having said that, how much more should we be committed to being faithful to the Lord our God?  He has loved us first, and is forever faithful towards us.  Let us be diligent to keep our relationship with Him undefiled, allowing no other gods or any shape or form of their ways to have any place in our life, for they will draw us away from Him.  Don’t place any idols before Him, not careers, materialism, pleasures, nothing and no one. 

          One night years ago, I remember praising the Lord with all that was in me.  In response to an overwhelming realization of His great love for me, I was finding it hard to come up with enough of the kind of words that could possibly express how much I adored and loved Him.  Suddenly an awful sense of guilt came over me as a thought came into my mind: if I loved God more than anything or anyone, did that lessen my love for my husband?  Those are the kinds of thoughts and feelings that come straight from the pit of Hell.  Satan will try to throw into your mind every lie imaginable in an attempt to deceive and draw you away from the Lord.  Thank God, the Holy Spirit within us is far more powerful, and ever present to guide and lead us into His truth.  At that moment, He spoke to my heart and revealed a far greater truth than I had understood before.  God had loved me first, and a demonstration of part of that love was shown to me when he gave me my husband to love and be loved by in return.  Our love for one another was not diminished but putting God first.  Instead, because we had both chosen to love God first, He gave us a greater love for one another than we could have ever had.  God is a God of order: God, spouse, family, and others.  It is written: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (Matt. 6: 33)  He is always proving to me that no one can ever out give the Lord!

          By telling you this personal story, I hope it will help us understand more fully why it is so important for every believer to stand strong in our love for the Lord, and no other gods!  Our covenant with Him, within the limitations of a finite mind, may have started out with some vague idea about abiding in obedience to a certain set of ethics and moral rules.  But that kind of relationship may at best be limited to a legal status at best,  possibly resembling a civil union held together by a piece of paper, or contract, through which we may know about Jesus, but the element of true mutual love for one another has not yet arrived.  Jesus is the Living Word.  Jesus, the Living Word, is He who saves and sends the Holy Spirit to live within every believer.      

          He has always known and loved us. It is we who have dragged our feet and have not yet turned the key to unlock the door of our heart.  When we finally do open the door, it is up to us to invite Him to come in.  He comes in with such an all consuming love we can not possibly comprehend and take it all in at once.  Like a newly married couple, they think their love for one another could not possibly be greater.  Yet, over the years, they come to realize that the love they had for one another, when they first began, was only a glimpse of the greater love to come.  So it is with our Lord.  As we spend more and more time with Him, out of a heart filled with love towards Him, we hold on tight to Him, whisper in His ear, I love you too, and then take the next step to willingly and whole heartedly turn over the key to our heart to Him.  We learn more about Him, and as we do, He draws us nearer and nearer to Him.  As He does, we find ourselves falling deeper and deeper in love with Him, no longer with just head knowledge, but with a love that continues to grow and will endure from now and into eternity.  And as for His love for us: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15: 9, 10, 13)  “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12: 2)  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3: 16)    As I said before, we can never out give the Lord.  How can anyone resist so great a love and the gift of salvation?  Have nothing to do with any other gods; that is, do not corrupt and defile your love towards Him, but in all your ways- in thought, word, and deed- remain ever faithful to Him and Him alone, for He is ever and always faithful to you.  It is His delight to pour out His love towards you, and make His joy full and complete within you.  Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength, not because you have to, but because loving Him with all of your being is your greatest desire. Delight thyself in the Lord our God.  Give all glory and honor unto Him. “O taste and see that the Lord is good!”  “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say REJOICE!


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