The Plan and Purpose of God for Everyone

The Plan and Purpose of God for Everyone

The Plan and Purpose of God for Everyone

One of the biggest misunderstandings within Christianity is that the notion that God has a plan for every single person. Christians and Atheists both misinterpret this idea in ways that the Bible does not teach. God does have a plan for everyone, but it isn’t as commonly heard or is just outright ignored in favor of the other so–called plan of God. What I’m referring to is the mentality that God wants all his children to be financially, socially or physically successful.

 

Misinterpretations at Fault

As with most doctrinal issues misinterpretation is the issue. The most commonly over–quoted passage used is Jeremiah 29:11. I already wrote an article for focusingonthemarkministries regarding the logical fallacy of Jeremiah 29:11 but I’ll give it a brief overview here. The passage reads, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11 The problem is when you put it into context and read Jeremiah 29:10 it reveals the recipient of this message are the Jews about to go into Babylonian exile not modern–day Christians.

Earlier I referenced Atheists having a misunderstanding of this idea. Well they rightfully mock Christians who teach this idea. Why? Because there are starving children in Africa. In America there are children and teenagers dying of cancer. Men and Women are dying at wars overseas. Paul makes an important statement on this topic in 1 Corinthians 15 when talking about the importance of believing in the resurrection of Christ. “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” –1 Corinthians 15:19 (ESV) Our hope is not in worldly things in the present life.

 

God’s Plan for All.  

So where is the hope for the starving children, those with cancer and those dying at war and pretty much every human being suffering the curses of this world? It is in Christ. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16 (ESV) This is God’s plan for all. In Revelation 4:11 and Acts 17:26–27 it further teaches that all of humanity is to seek God.

 

Closing

Paul teaches in 1 Timothy that God wants all of humanity to come to the knowledge of him.  “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” –1 Timothy 2:3 (ESV) Whether or not you are successful or a failure; rich or poor is irrelevant to the Gospel. All people will face death at some point. What matters and what God has planned for all people is that they come to a knowledge and faith in Him and the atoning sacrifice of His Son on the cross. That is the plan and purpose of God.

The Word of the Lord for 2018

The Word of the Lord for 2018

The Word of the Lord for 2018

Last year I was a little late getting the Word of the Lord out for 2017. This year I am well aware of what the Lord is trying to get out for 2018. Interestingly enough it’s the same as what he taught in 2017 and 2016 and 2015 and literally every year since the canonization of the New Testament. It’s called the Bible.

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Live Everyday Like it’s Christmas

Live Everyday Like it’s Christmas

Live Everyday Like it’s Christmas

It’s become more or less a Christmas tradition that I rant about how people act around the holidays should not be just for the holidays. For about three to four weeks of the year everyone is jolly, charitable and treating others with honor and respect. Yet magically after New Years resolutions fall through almost everyone is back to being all about themselves. A similar situation happens with “getting right with God” around Christmas. Christmas is one of the three statistically most attended days for Church, but that attendance is not there for long. When I say live everyday like it’s Christmas I don’t mean putting a tree in your house or lights outside as a permanent decoration. What I mean is treat others and behave like you would around the holidays. Serve God and read the Bible like you would around the holidays.

 

Christians Should be like this Year Round

“For the grace of God had appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self–controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

–Titus 2:11–14 (ESV)

This passage is a very encouraging one until you try to put it into practice. Christians are called to live godly lives not a godly holiday season. My hypocrisy level is over 9000 right now. I don’t know a single person who does live a perfectly upright and godly life but I can generally tell when people are actually making the effort to do so and when people aren’t. I’m sure most people reading this can too and have their own list of people who become magically reasonable around the holidays. Point is Christians are to live godly lives out of the gratitude of the salvation Christ provided as the atoning sacrifice for our sin. Not to be saved but because we are saved.

 

Closing

While there is debate on the meaning of Chapter 2 of the epistle of James, any way you read it works are tightly connected to salvation. Part of salvation is doing works. Ryan and I both agree that works act as an indicator that you have in fact repented of your sin and turned to Christ. They do not save you in of themselves however they do evidence salvation. If Christians (Including myself) are only engaging in good works around the holidays the non–Christians are going to pick up on that. If the more mature Christians are only engaging in good works around the holidays the less mature Christians are going to repeat it. Live every day like it’s Christmas; it’s live a godly life not live a godly holiday season.

Christian Confrontation 2: Scripture is God-breathed

Christian Confrontation 2: Scripture is God-breathed

The Section headed with “Scripture is God Breathed” was actually an mini-article I wrote for FocusingOnTheMarkMinistries DevoBlast email newsletter. This article in its entirety was put onto my blog originally before moving to focusingonthemarkministries. With that being said this is still on Christian Confrontation.

Scripture is God Breathed

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete equipped for every good work.”

–2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)

   Bible study is one of the most crucial parts of a Christians walk with God. Without it we as Christians have no solid foundation for our belief in Christ, we have no solid sense of morality and we lose our sense of truth. Paul in his first letter to Timothy says this, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” –1 Timothy 4:13 (ESV) After referencing the anointing of pastor Timothy he continues, “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” –1 Timothy 4:15-16 (ESV)

In those passages we just read we see the importance of reading the Word of God. Number one, we see Timothy, as a pastor, was commanded to publically read and teach the Scripture. Next we see that the public reading of Scripture is part of the sanctification process and the salvation process. As a part of the sanctification process it is seeking to become closer with God by studying what he has revealed through his written Word. Through the reading of the Scriptures to others it serves as a kind of primary source reference to aid in evangelizing others.

Scripture is THE Primary Source

   It’s just been established in the previous section that Scripture is God-breathed. This is how we know both whether someone is doing right or wrong and teaching truth or the doctrines of demons. As Christians the Bible should be where we get all but at the very least the major portions of our worldview including our morality and truth. Any and all confrontations with other Christians should be grounded in solid passages of Scripture that still mean what the author intended it to mean. Historical examples, parables, wisdom, and law are all valid as long as they are in their proper context. If the passage’s proper meaning means something completely different or does not apply to the modern Christian then the argument built on the passage falls through.

 

Old Testament Extremism

People tend to get confused or give up their faith when studying the Old Testament practices. I will attempt to quickly explain why we still have some practices and not others. Essentially there are two parts of the law one involving ceremony and one involving morality. The Moral Law teaches not to lie, steal, kill, etc. whereas the Ceremonial Law were to show they were God’s chosen people. The Moral Law and Ceremonial Law are still connected and although the ceremonies were no longer required after Christ fulfilled the Law the morals they represent still stand and are restated as the moral truth in the New Testament. Technically there is a third category for Judicial/Civil practices that doesn’t really apply to Christians in other countries today but still serves to help us understand the Ancient Jewish culture and again there are still moral principles that are used in those laws.

For a more in depth explanation click the following link and visit gotquestions.org or click the link below.

What is the differencebetween the ceremonial law, the moral law, and the judicial law in the OldTestament?

Needless to say that there is still value in studying the Old Testament Law since it was the Law Christ followed. And as recently stated there are still morals attached to them that we are to follow.

 

Other Faiths

When confronting people of other beliefs who reject the Bible, the Bible can only be used to defend your own beliefs and actions. They have made the choice to defy and disobey the Bible’s moral guidance in their lives. The next section deals with audience and who we are to confront about what is right or wrong both morally and doctrinally.

Christian Confrontation 1: Judgement and Intolerance

Christian Confrontation 1: Judgement and Intolerance

I would like to leave a note here that this article is not to say go judge and condemn frivolously for no reason. This article is to make the point that judgement and intolerance are not always bad. In addition to this this was originally a standalone article that seemed to fit well on the general theme of confrontation and so I used it as a starting point for the Christian Confrontation series.

Judgement and Intolerance

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

-Proverbs 31:9 (ESV)

   Within the American culture judgement is a word that is not so pleasantly received. Judgement as the culture seems to define it is always bad, negative, harmful emotionally and other unpleasant things. Yet in the verse above it says “judge righteously.” Not only does command us to judge but it also says there is a righteous form of judgement. Judgement itself is amoral. Let’s take a look at some of the Webster 1828 definition of judge.

To compare facts or ideas, and perceive their agreement or disagreement, and thus to distinguish truth from falsehood.

To discern; to distinguish; to consider accurately for the purpose of forming an opinion or conclusion.

To doom to punishment; to punish.

Definition Link

Looking at these definitions we can already see that judgement is not a bad thing. Number one when making decisions we have to make judgements because we judge that one path is better than another or even both are equal. When we compliment someone we judge that whatever it is we compliment is good. Next is the discernment. I have never stuck my hand on an active chainsaw yet I can discern that it would be a stupid thing to do. The last is punishment. Just imagine how bad of a world it would be if literally no one ever got punished for doing bad things no matter the severity. Point made.

 

Jesus Saves but Jesus also Judges

“The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

John 2:13-16 (ESV)

   Here is a passage that is rarely acknowledged anymore. Jesus was so angry that he took the time to make a whip to drive the money-changers out. He flipped their tables over and poured out the money as well. Why? It was an act of righteous judgement. He was angry that they had defiled the temple by making it a market. As such he judged their unrighteous actions.

Before I continue to the next point Jesus also says in John 8:15-16, “You judge according to the flesh but I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgement is true for it not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.” –John 8:15-16 (ESV) This passage was not saying that Jesus does not judge but that he does not judge people themselves. He does judge their actions, as he did in the case of the money-changers but he did not judge the person themselves.

The other thing I wanted to make clear is that we are not supposed to condemn the world aside for the sake of the Gospel where we tell them they are in sin(as is everyone but Chirst) so they see the need for a savior. We are first supposed to bring them to Christ so they don’t have to endure the coming judgement of God. More on this in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13. Even within the Church there are certain things to be considered such as awareness of their unrighteousness, frequency of the sin and if they are already working to remove the sinful habit from their life.

 

Intolerance

Tying into judgement is intolerance. Yet another word that the American culture isn’t overly fond of for much of the same reasoning the American culture despises judgement. Intolerance according to the Webster 1828 edition is defined as…

Intolerant

INTOL’ERANT, adjective [Latin in and tolero, to endure.]

  1. Not enduring; not able to endure.

The powers of the human body being limited and intolerant of excesses.

  1. Not enduring difference of opinion or worship; refusing to tolerate others in the enjoyment of their opinions, rights and worship.

INTOL’ERANT, noun One who does not favor toleration.

Definition Link

 “And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

–Mark 11:15-17 (ESV)

This event wasn’t just recorded once to fade into obscurity. Three of the four gospels have this event recorded. The writers were compelled to write about this moment by the Holy Spirit. Why? Because it shows that there will be things we aren’t supposed to tolerate. Jesus was furious about the money-changers, if we believe Christ is perfect then we have to believe his motive and actions were justified. He judged the money-changers actions as unrighteous and was intolerant of them.

 

Final Note: The Hypocrisy

In America if you believe certain things people will call you judgmental. This is hypocritical since in order for them to come to that conclusion they have to judge you as judgmental. Further than that they have to judge that judgement is bad. So when someone says you’re being judgmental they themselves are being twice as judgmental. If someone says you’re being intolerant. They have made an action of intolerance to what you believe. Further than that they also have to be intolerant of intolerance. Therefore if someone calls you intolerant they themselves are being twice as intolerant. Judge with right judgement.

God Himself Is Your Purpose

Another older article from 2015. It has been updated quite a bit. It used to be titled seek God not your own desires but I generally found the new title to be more on topic than the other one. In the past I used to believe that, generally with most major and some extremists would teach it with all decisions, unless God divinely inspired someone to do something it was sinful. This concept has been coming up a lot in recent discussions so I may perhaps write an article reviewing the teaching itself. Instead this article was a much more positive message as it was mainly trying to teach that humanity is made to seek God. Here is God himself is your purpose.

God Himself Is Your Purpose

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

-Colossians 3:1 (ESV)

This article is about seeking after God. Contradictory to what you may think God didn’t create you just to spend your whole life to find your ‘purpose.’ Or even seek out some divinely inspired dream destiny. Much to the contradiction of relevance preachers, He did not create you to seek out status riches or romance. In fact if you would spend a little time studying the New Testament you would find two passages that give a clear answer to humanities purpose.  Acts 17:26-27 and Revelation 4:11 both teach that all of humanity’s purpose is to seek God. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,”

-Acts 17:26-27 (ESV) Further in Revelation 4:11 it reads, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” -Revelation 4:11 (ESV) In the King James it says all things are created to please God. With that theological block in place now I can move on to the bulk of this post.

God is not a Puppetmaster

To some I may have just changed their whole view on the world and life. That may sound boastful but that’s exactly how I felt when I had found these two passages. Everything was different. Finding out my life purpose was to please God simplified everything for me. There is a weight that comes with believing that every action you make has to be inspired by God. And finding these two passages and applying them threw that weight off for me. As long as you live to please God you can be as rich or poor, popular or anti-social, it doesn’t matter as long as you live to please God by what his Word defines as pleasing you will be achieving your purpose in almost any profession you are in. Christ further gives this concept of seeking God fist in the gospel of Matthew, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” -Matthew 6:31-33 (ESV) Now Christ likely is not referring to giving them these things on Earth as there are many Christians dying of starvation. Instead, he is telling them that as a reward for their faith through which they obediently served him they would have these things in Heaven.

Faith from Hebrews

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”

-Hebrews 11:1-13 (ESV)

This passage shows that faith is always followed by works. Not so much in a save your soul sense as the legalistic types believe but as an outward sign of such faith. These people would not have received their commendation had it not been for works but there would have been no works if there was no faith in God. Now in the whole of history it was very rare that God would ever speak to someone directly outside of when Christ walked on the Earth. Even if it was an everyday occurrence it was not something that happened to each person. Now with literacy being an academic standard and the Bible being pretty much free on the internet there is no excuse to being totally ignorant of the Word of God. More than that in the epistle to the Roman church Paul teaches that the law is written on the hearts of even the unbeliever. Seeking God does not require a voice telling you what to do. If you think it does then read your Bible out loud because according to 2 Timothy all Scripture is God-breathed.

Closing

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

-Matthew 7:21 (ESV)

This is the final proof we aren’t supposed to live for ourselves. Jesus Christ himself said no one will enter the kingdom of Heaven, except the one who does the will of the Father. James 2 shows that faith without works is dead. I like to call my mid teens my fake Christianity phase because that is what it was. I would go to Church multiple times a week and then proceed to do nothing of service to Christ aside from some rather heretical writings and absolutely nothing for others.

Who do You Follow? 

Who do You Follow? 

   Yet another article I’ve moved from my personal blog that deals with the issue of pastor worship. Apparently a similar issue like this happened with the early Church as well. People would be claiming to follow their preferred teachers rather than Christ.

Who do You Follow? 

“For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul Crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? 

1 Corinthians 1:11-13 (ESV)

I was doing some topical study yesterday morning and thought this to be an interesting passage. The reason I find it interesting is that it is a quarrel about who we follow. You can swap out Paul and Cephas with two pastors, preachers or anyone who teaches the Word of God; the message is still the same.  Christ died for you, and you were baptized in the name of Christ. Christ should be the only one worth following. Yes, God raises up pastors and other ministers but Christ is ultimately the one we are following.

The day I write this article is the day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, therefore I thought it would be a good time to ask this question. Who do you follow? I like to listen to Ryan Marks speak and also read his ministry writings. He has been a mentor in some aspects and one of my closest friends for the last six years. This does not mean I follow his teachings specifically. I follow Christ’s teachings that are spoken through him. If the Word of God is interpreted accurately within its proper context then I will continue to listen. If however, he were to use verses out of their proper context to warp scripture to work for his own agenda then I would have to stop listening to his ministry. And I would hope he and others think the same of my writing.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God and what is good and acceptable and perfect.  –Romans 12:2 (ESV)

   The second point I would like to make is that we are not to follow world either. I hear more stories than I would prefer of people enter the Church, say, “In Jesus name, Amen.”, and then go home and indulge in the culture the same way the unsaved do. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV) says, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.”  If we are to follow Christ then we should not be imitating the world. Ephesians says we were darkness at one point but after we are saved we are light. (“Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness but now you are the light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),”) 

  The last point I would like to make is that this does not mean be isolated from the culture. Look at the phrase “be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” Too often people argue about what genre of music God likes. Two of the most ostracized are rap and metal. Rap tends to be about girls, parties, and drugs and metal about devils, death and destruction. However that is secular, worldly rap and worldly metal. There are Christian rap and metal artists that do not sing about these things. They were “transformed by the renewal of our minds” because our minds should no longer be focused on worldly things but on the Lord who saved us.

If you are reading this on Easter Sunday or in the updated version in the Christmas season. Be sure to spend time with your family.

 

God isn’t a Genie to Grant your Wishes

God isn’t a Genie to Grant your Wishes

Another older article reworked from 2015. The theme is very similar to “Ask and Ye Shall Receive?” in that it deals with unanswered prayers however the article is focusing more on the sin of putting other desires before the will of God which is a form of idolatry.

 

God isn’t a Genie to Grant your Wishes

I’ve been hearing a bit from people about the “name it and claim it” section of Christianity. These people treat God like some genie in a lamp to ask for whatever they want. Sure we’ve all had selfish prayers, but did we ever get what we asked for? And if so what was the price? Because we know God doesn’t always answer every single prayer. He also doesn’t give you status, money or romance just because you ask for it.

 

One of the Less Observed Examples of Christ

In the Gospel of Luke 22:39-46 Jesus asked the Father for another way to save us in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus did not want to face death. Despite the fact that God can do all things, he wanted the sacrifice of Christ to be the way of saving humanity of their sins. In the end Christ’s sacrifice was the most powerful expression of love that has ever existed. But it puts something into perspective. God’s son, being like God in every way, obediently stepped into death, on a cross, after the answer was no. That is not just contentment that is called obedience. On top of this he told his disciples twice to pray not to enter into temptation.

 

What Causes Fights?

“What causes quarrels and fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

-James 4:1-4 (ESV)

   The sentence ‘You do not have, because you do not ask.’ is one that gets twisted by the “name it and claim it” crowd. What I don’t normally see is the very next sentence, ‘You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.’ Or the one after, that explicitly states that friendship with the world is to become an enemy of God. Vain desires are the root of many unanswered prayers as well as what starts fights.  However I recall a certain verse in the book of Luke.

“And he said to all “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

-Luke 9:23 (ESV)

   If our cross is not having the latest toys we should consider ourselves lucky. Download Foxes Book of Martyrs. It should be in the public domain, meaning free. You’ll find the Christians before us had it way worse than us. My hope is that people who read this article will make people more thankful for where they’re at.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive?

Ask and Ye Shall Receive?

The following article was an article I wrote for the June 2016 issue of DevoBlast. I did have to remove a small portion because it made prayer to God look like a contract rather than humble service but other than that I think it turned out to be a good article.

 

Ask and Ye Shall Receive?

“And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

-Matthew 21:22 (ESV)

“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

-John 16:24 (ESV)

   The verses above are often used by those trying to manipulate God. These two verses are often used as the centerpiece of a message. People are essentially told teachings that claim God will give them anything they want if they have faith and ask in his name. Of course when a new believer or a visitor tries to ask something in the name of God that does not happen they have a tendency to leave the Church thinking it’s all fake.

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If you Claim to be a Child of God be Ready to be Disciplined like a Child of God

If you Claim to be a Child of God be Ready to be Disciplined like a Child of God

If you Claim to be a Child of God

     be Ready to be Disciplined like a Child of God

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”

Proverbs 12:1 (ESV)

   This article was originally posted on my personal ministry blog in June of last year however much like my other articles is moving to FocusingOnTheMarkMinistries.

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