Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #238

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #238
Description
The Servant exalted
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 52:13
Behold, my servant shall act wisely;[a]
    he shall be high and lifted up,
    and shall be exalted.
New Testament Fullfillment
Acts 1:8-11
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,

and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
 Eph 1:19-22
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,
 Phil 2:5-9
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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New Testament · Philippians · Unity · Joy

Philippian Bits – 1:13

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse each post, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

1:13   so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.

Paul’s imprisonment was common knowledge. Nothing was hidden from those who were in his vicinity. Of course, some of the imperial guard would know of Paul’s imprisonment through their direct orders to guard him. The remaining imperial guard depended on gossip through the ranks.

Yet, it is hard to imagine (and this is my imagination!) the soldiers in the imperial guard, hardened disciplined men of the highest caliber of soldier, would be susceptible to common gossip. Paul’s imprisonment caused a major stir that rippled through the ranks, primarily due to the conversions of those guarding him. Those who had no contact with Paul, were in contact with guards that had become believers.

This, if understood by the leadership of the Romans, would give reason for concern, for the Caesar was to be considered god, and the guards were changing their allegiance.


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 43 – A

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 43:1-2

1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people, from the deceitful and unjust man deliver me!
2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Vindicate me. Judge me. Of course David is praying with an assumption of innocence, and that his aggressors to be guilty. Yet this is somewhat of a strange plea if I am honest with myself.

Let me try to explain.

How often have you sought the Lord, and asked Him to judge you? To vindicate includes the concept of judgement, and being used in this passage, must mean that David see’s himself as the offended party, the one who is “guiltless” in the conflict that he is in the middle of.

If anything can be said about King David, he was an honest soul with the Lord. He is looking for a judgement by God, declaring himself to be in the right, and pleading for a defense against the ungodly, deceitful and unjust man.

And yet, I may have spoken somewhat to early, for as I read the first verse, David does not clearly state he is innocent, but as he enters into the second verse, states the reason for his expectation of a good judgement.

Note that verse two starts with “For”. For you are the God in whom I take refuge. Notice that he doesn’t state that the reason he expects a positive judgement is based on his actions directly, but on who he takes refuge in. It is his faith in the covenant keeping God that he is claiming as his defense.

And as I type that, it occurs to me that as modern believers, we tend to use this defense without considering some of the back story to what it means to take refuge in the Lord. Some may have a mental acceptance of the truth of the gospel, and yet in their lives, they take no refuge in Him.

To Take Refuge

As David is writing this psalm, he is obviously in trouble. His enemies are seeking him out, and he is looking for deliverance. Remember my friend, he is a man of war, yet he seeks the Lord for his protection, his refuge from danger.

And that is the point.

To take refuge implies danger, stress, conflict, a storm in your life. David is a man of war, yet he is not depending on his wits, or strategic abilities, his past victories or his command of any army. No, he is taking refuge in the Lord, as opposed to his own strengths, wisdom or abilities.

Let me try to explain this as I understand it.

I was at work the other day, and had a meeting to go into, which may have become somewhat of a storm for myself, a “difficult” meeting. Admittedly, I was tempted to be quiet on a matter of importance for the group. I asked for grace to refrain from “little white lies” which in my opinion, would be taking refuge in my methods. I asked God for strength to tell the truth, though it may cause myself harm. In this minor, tiny, little itty bitty decision, looking back, I think I was taking refuge in the God of my salvation. I trusted Him to provide strength to be factual, and to bring about His will in the midst of the meeting. (By the way, the Lord gave me strength, and provided a wonderful resolution for all!)

To take refuge in Him is to seek to honor the character He displayed while on this ball of dirt and muck. To trust His word, and to practice the outworking of His word in our lives is the message I am getting from this wonderful psalm.

As a believer, if we constantly fall back to our reasonings, our methods, our defenses, and not on His revealed character as displayed in the life of our Messiah, we may have to ask ourselves if we are really following. Of course none of us follow perfectly, (as least speaking for myself), and yet there comes a confidence in trusting in His will, and in asking for the strength to perform his wishes.

So, when I read that David takes refuge in the God of Israel, I read that he is following the Lord, hearing the voice of God, and responding positively in times of danger, in the storms of his life. Did he know all doctrine, pure teaching and all truths? Not at all, and again we are in good standing with the King of Israel. But to the truth he had revealed to him, he sought to follow the will of God as opposed to his own will, though the danger was staring him flat in the face.

Will you?


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #237

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #237
Description
Published good tidings upon mountains
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
    who publishes salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 5:12
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matt 15:29
Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there.
 Matt 28:16
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Christian Security · Interpretation · OSAS · Doctrinal · Conditional Security · Bible

Conditional Security – James 1:21-22

James 1:21-22

21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

With the book of James (as in all of the Scripture) it is imperative to understand who the apostle is writing to. For our passage today, is this passage directed to those outside the church, or to believers? If we look at the passage independently of the context, it may appear to be addressed to non believers, especially when James speaks of receiving…

with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

But let us not be single verse believers and consider the context. James makes sure we are to understand this passage as applying to believers in verse 19.

Jas 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

Ok – So we know that James intends for his brothers in the faith to be hearing this message, but what does the passage have to say in regards to conditional security?

Receive with Meekness

Believers are to receive with meekness the implanted word. If the Word is implanted (another nod to James speaking to believers), we have received it already, correct? What more do we need?

Let’s consider the term “recieve”. As I have mentioned in this blog previously, I am no Greek geek, but depend on desktop studies of others to try to understand the implications of the original language for our studies.

For the word “receive” I refer to BLB (Blue Letter Bible) as a resource for our study. Under the tools button for each verse, a tab shows up allowing for an interlinear data base to come up. Using the reverse tab, the following data comes up for our word “receive”

At this point, since receive is a verb, I click on the right hand button (V-XXX-XX) to find the “parsing” of the verb.

One more step to understand what all this means. Each of the underlined terms are hot links to help us understand the verb we are looking at.

An easy one for myself is the mood of the verb in this instance. Our verb has the imperative mood. This is a command. Believers are to actively take part in receiving the Word.

Voice speaks of who is performing the action. A middle voice notes that the subject (the beloved brethren in this case) is the agent of the action. The believer is performing the action of receiving. All of this is simply stating what seems obvious from the English translation.

The aorist tense is what helps me to understand that this action as not limited to a past decision or act of faith. The aorist tense has no regard to the past present or future. It defines a point in time, sometimes referring to the past, and yet this is too limiting.

If I understand the passage correctly, James is telling the believers to receive (at some point in time) the Word of God, which is already implanted in our souls as believers. To receive the Word, we must remove filthiness and wickedness, (another action of the believer).

I have previously seen this passage as a call to sanctification, a passage that speaks of our responsibility to understand and obey God’s will for our lives. Without the next phrase, I would be certain it is a sanctification passage. It’s just that I kinda struggle with what James is telling believers about saving their souls.

Able to Save your Souls

Saving your soul. What in tarnation is that? I thought our souls were saved at the point of conversion, when we first believed.

Maybe other translations translate this term differently? All of the popular English translations use the phrase “save your souls” in this verse, except for the NIV, which translates it as “save your life”. So what is James trying to tell us?

Notice that the implanted word is “able” to save our souls. Ability is an interesting word when it comes to reading the Word. Some that I have interacted with on other blogs interpret the ability to perform an act as synonymous with the completion of the same act.

When I think of the ability to save, I think of the boys in the furnace back in the book of Daniel.

Daniel 3:17-18
If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Notice that the boys confessed God’s ability, but not the outcome (in relation to the furnace). The young Hebrew men spoke of God’s ability to save His children, but allowed for God to choose how to save his children.

To be able to do a task is to have sufficient power to accomplish that task. In relation to our passage today, I understand James is telling believers that the Word has sufficient power to save our souls. I am not convinced James is speaking of the final result, that is the saving of our soul, but of a potential result.

So is this a sanctification verse or a security passage?

But let us not end with simply a question but an affirmation that comes shining through this passage. God is able and has supplied all the needs of the saint. He is the provider of everything the believer requires to save our souls. He is the Savior and we are the ones who need Him so.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #236

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #236
Description
He was spat upon
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 50:6c
I hid not my face
    from disgrace and spitting.
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 27:30
And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – “Frank” our Neighbor

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

Recently I penned a short post – ECT & Passage 1 – Matthew 5:43-44, 48, in relation to eternal torment. In the post, I asked if a believer may find some condition or circumstance to wreak vengeance on a neighbor. A bit of a foolish question, but bear with me.

Currently, I have superb neighbors, but such was not the case in our past. This story will present to you a neighbor we lived beside years back, and of the mercies (and humor) of the Lord in teaching His children.

I’m going to tell you of a past neighbor, whom I shall call “Frank”, (in order to protect the guilty).

He was a kind fellow at the start, and would refer to my little daughter as a “widdle wabbit”. He kept to himself for the most part, and was without work, being on a disability pension.

I think the descent into madness began when I dug a hole on our property to install a cloths line for my favorite wife. Being in Canada, this hole had to be a minimum of 4 feet deep, to miss the frost line, and the effort was more than I first imagined. After a period of time digging and temporarily placing the excavated material between the hole and the park land to the south. I went in to have supper, letting my wifey know I would set the pole after work on Monday.

Turns out I didn’t get a chance to set the pole, since Monday afternoon I received a call from wifey to come home immediately – the police were in the back yard. Police? On arriving home, I met my wife, two police officers and Frank in the back yard. Frank had filled in the hole with the dirt I had piled to the side, and then called the police to have me charged with trespassing or something silly. Mind you, the pile of dirt was near the public land to the south of our property, but for the life of me, I have no idea why he did this.

In the interest of brevity, what follows is only a few of the highlights of Frank’s acts against our family over the course of three years. He claimed my wife had threatened him and drug her through the court system for a number of months. Please understand, my wife is 5′ 4″ and 110 lbs, dripping wet, while Frank was a 6′ 2″, 240 lb man. He tried multiple methods of intimidating my wife through the courts, though lying about our children, through writing foul letters to our neighbors and signing my name to the letter, through sitting in front of our home with his headlights shining into our bedroom, having the federal police (RCMP) come to our door to question us. You get the idea?

One action that Frank took, though not the most serious, typified his mind set. We had a 4′ hurricane fence between our properties, and he strung barbed wire along the top. He added barbed wire to the little 4′ fir trees on the public land behind his house.

Mind you, we had 5 youngins by this time, and my three oldest boys loved playing in the back yard. What was wrong with this fellow?

During our time in the courts, my wife and I “happened” to be reading the story of David and Saul, and how David would not hurt his king. Out of this reading, we were encouraged greatly to exercise no revenge upon Frank, but to pray for him and to ask the Lord for safety from him.

Don’t misunderstand. We did not consider him to be a chosen king (like Saul), or that he deserved any mercy from anyone. Not at all. What we began to see was our responsibility before God to let God be God and for us to do as He directs His children to do.

A passage that we referred to often through this period is found in Romans 12:17-21.

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Many in the neighborhood told us stories after our ordeal, of Frank threatening young children prior to our moving into the neighborhood. It was a difficult time to say the least. At one point, Frank actually phoned into a radio show to complain of the “foreigners” that lived beside him. He ranted about how we should have stayed in our nation of origin, how we were lazy, destructive and of no use. (Both my wife and I have a minimum of five generations in the land of the Great White North.)

Looking back, it is hard to believe of some of this man’s actions toward us. Truly amazing. But as I started this posting, I mentioned the Lord’s humor in all of this trial.

It turns out that after graduating university with my degree – oh yes, this ordeal was going on while I was back in school, spending 60 – 70 hours a week in my studies, that Frank suddenly put his home up for sale. The rumor had it that he wanted to move to a “childless” neighborhood to the north. I am convinced that God had been working behind the scenes and that Frank simply could not find a better solution for his poor troubled soul. Nevertheless, his home sold within a few months, and he eventually moved, but not before seeing our home on the market also.

You see, after receiving my degree, we found employment in the state of Texas. My wife and I had looked to move south for years and an opportunity came up that allowed us to make the jump to a land of sun and heat!

Frank had lost his position of intimidator within the neighborhood, and the story goes that the neighborhood he moved into actually became a young family centric neighborhood. Oodles of little children!

We saw the hand of the Lord many times during this trial, protecting our family, giving us opportunity to speak of the mercy of the Lord, and experiencing a bit of the humor of the Lord. You got to admit, for Frank to sell his house just before us must have been a great frustration to him.

But, the Lord is on His throne. He is watching over His children. He cares and provides, even to the weakest of His followers.

For us, we are to look to the direction He has provided through His word. His witness while He walked on this earth speaks loudly, if we want to hear it. He exercised massive mercy toward those who lied about Him, made outrageous claims against Him, drug Him through the courts, physically beat Him and eventually murdered Him. All the while seeking forgiveness for His very tormentors.

Consider the high calling we have in Jesus. He is our example.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #235

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #235
Description
He was smitten on the cheeks
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 50:6b
I hid not my face
    from disgrace and spitting.
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 26:67
Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him,

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

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Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:12

For this series in Philippians, I am going to limit each post to one verse each post, and hopefully produce a short, succinct read for my friends who follow.

1:12   I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,

With this verse we listen in on the apostle Paul’s interpretation of the trials he has entered into, through his travels and the current imprisonment he was experiencing. It is important to understand that Paul wants to encourage his friends with progress in the midst of trials, and not simply for the sake of his friends, but to see through the eyes of Jesus, what is actually happening for the sake of the gospel.

Paul is not going to dwell on his personal sufferings, other than to inform his friends that he is in prison. He does not describe the condition of the prison, the lack of food or clothing, the loneliness or any other aspect that he may be experiencing, since this is not the focus of his message.

Paul is so focused on advancing the gospel, that he does not accept his current condition as a set back, but actually understands the benefit of his imprisonment for the sake of the gospel.

His imprisonment is advancing the gospel.

How crazy is that? How upside down is the kingdom of God in comparison to our modern way of thinking. It is too much for me at times.

In your own life, has there been a set back? A seeming defeat? Consider a refocus.

Story Time

Years back, a brother spoke of the reason the Dead sea is dead. You see, the dead sea receives water from the Jordan, but has no natural outlet and is unable to provide water to any other body of water. There is no outlet from the dead sea, other than by evaporation, which causes all the salts carried by the Jordan to remain in the Dead Sea, making it useless for life.

Life requires expression, an outlet to give to others in order to maintain, even expand our life. Receiving, or focusing only on ourselves, is a great way to die!

Paul looked for an outlet in his circumstances. May we also take on this attitude, and find life in the giving.


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 42 – D

Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich. I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Forgotten

Psalm 42:9-10

I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”

Even in the midst of claiming God has forgotten him, the saint refers to God as his rock. This speaks volumes to me, not in the fact that I am experienced in the depth of this saints trial and the resulting settled conviction. No no no. It is that the saint is possibly accepting the blame of his condition, since God is the never changing, stable, dependable rock of his life. It cannot be God who has changed!

He feels forgotten, and I can definitely relate to this condition. I have felt alone and “abandoned” (I speak as a fool) many periods in my life, and as a testimony, looking back, I realize God was protecting me, guiding me and providing for us as a family. He has not forgotten you, yet at times the feeling of aloneness is unquenchable.

Mockery

On top of the internal struggle of claiming God’s stability in the midst of an emotional low, the saint speaks of his adversaries again, of their oppressions, taunting and mockery. Our psalmist paints a vivid picture of the pain inflicted on him through the taunting. The mockery is as a knife buried deep into his bones, a wound that is intended to kill.

What is the taunting about? Is it about his stature in life, a condition of poverty, a lack of education, minimal skill levels, mental disabilities? The taunting focuses on one central topic.

“Where is your God?”

The saint has definitely claimed to know the living God and at this point, the enemy, with their presupposed understanding of God, interprets the saints condition as being proof that God has abandoned him. Get this if you can. The saint has claimed allegiance to the true God, and the taunting is based on a wrong understanding of God.

This is reminiscent of the siege of Jerusalem when Sennacherib claimed the ability to overthrow the True God since he had overthrown the false gods of the land surrounding Jerusalem. (Consider 2 Chronicles 32:9-15)

The taunting of the enemy was based on lies they believed about the True God. This is often the source of mockery and taunting believers have to endure, and the New Testament addresses a proper response in 2 Timothy 2:24-25

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth

Note that we are not to argue, but to be kind to others, looking to teach truth. It is interesting that Paul speaks of patience in this very verse. We should not teach in a demeaning demanding way but understand we all have need understand our own fallibility. Out of this understanding, a genuine humility towards others allows us to be of a patient teacher, knowing we are of the same frailty of knowing truth.

Refocusing on God

Psalm 42:11

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Finally the saint comes to a summary thoughts, still questioning the condition he finds himself in, even though he has recounted his relationship with God through the good times and bad times. (Albeit, this psalm definitely speaks of the bad times more than most psalms!)

He admits to his downfallen condition, and the turnoil within. Denying his condition and putting on a “happy face” was not a solution based in reality for this saint. Admit the struggle, the truth, and ask the hard questions.

In the end, hope in God, for it is inevitable that the saint shall again praise Him. The saint looks forward to the time of rejoicing, even in the middle of sorrow, struggle and pain. This is a great hope, and the Great Hope is our Lord Jesus, for He does carry us through our trials, as we keep our eyes on Him.


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