Miracles · Supernatural

Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus #6 – Jesus Provides a Catch of Fish

After my series on the parables, I found I was drawn to look into the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. I have never studies the mighty works of Jesus as a focused effort before and am looking forward to finding nuggets of truth that we can be encouraged by.

I have provided a general introduction, with an opportunity to download two files for your reference in my initial post Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction. I found that the format I used for the parable posts were useful to keep me on track, and will continue to use them for this series, with some minor tweaks. With that said, let’s take a look at

Jesus Provides a Catch of Fish

Luke 5:1-11

On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

General Observations

This is the first time Jesus provides a catch of fish for His disciples. It is the only time He provides a catch of fish prior to His resurrection, and only Luke records this miracle. The fact that this is the only gospel that records a catch of fish was somewhat surprising to myself. I expected multiple gospel accounts.

The miracle was intended for the disciples, for the Lord told His disciples to put out into the deep, implying the miracle occurred away from the crowds on the shore He had been teaching earlier.

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

As I mentioned above, the principal audience was the disciples, and all others on the two boats that were to push out to the deep. Whether the crowds could see or understand what was going on is not clear, and is not disclosed as to it’s impact other than the disciples that were initially dumbfounded by the mighty work.

When did the Lord perform this mighty work?

See https://www.bibletimelines.net/timelines/jesus-ministry

Where did the Lord perform this mighty work?

See Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction for downloadable reference file.

Why did the Lord perform this mighty work?

I understand Jesus to perform His miracles for specific purposes, some of which are clearly identified within the text, and some of which are somewhat veiled. By that I mean, each of the miracles are intended to exhibit the identity of this Rabbi that was speaking new words, that He was the One that the nation waited for, longed for and hoped for.

Yet, this one miracle has a specific purpose. The purpose was not to supply food to the disciples family, for as the test states…

And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

The mighty catch of fish may have simply rotted in the sun, which I highly doubt, but the point is that the focus of the disciples lives took a major turn here. They no longer identified themselves as fishermen, for they left everything behind them. It is interesting that though the text states they left it all, this is not to be understood as they gave it away, sold it or in some way gave up ownership. No, we need to remember that later in the gospels (John to be specific), Peter is out fishing again, presumably on his boat with his equipment.

What was the message for the original audience?

What was the message. Let’s read it once more.

“Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”

The message was directed to Peter, yet I am confident the other disciples heard the message. Can you imagine the Lord looking you in the eye and telling you “Do not be afraid”? Afraid of what though? They had just experienced a gold rush of profits!

When I first read this passage years ago, I thought Peter’s initial reaction was ludicrous. Pull those fish in, bank the profits and buy your wife a Maserati. How wrong was I in seeing earthly gain as the intent of the message. Peter’s ears were of a different ilk. Peter reacted properly.

…when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

The fish were simply a vehicle to stir Peter’s conscience and soul. He ignored the fish, and confessed Jesus as Lord. The text does not state that Peter simply was astonished, but that he recognized the source of this miracle, understood the authority of the One who stood beside him and confessed Jesus as Lord.

And Peter told the Lord to depart. To go away, for he was sinful. He had the natural reaction that anything (anyone) holy could not be with the unholy. He surely did not understand, as we most likely do not understand, the great desire of the Holy One to be with His creation, to find a way to be with His people. He has sought us out since the garden, and continues to seek us as we wander away. Seeking us to the point of death, even death on the cross.

Peter also confessed his sinfulness. What specifically was Peter confessing to at this time? Was it that he argued with the Lord about His initial command to set out into the deep? Maybe. At least that would be the immediate thing in my mind. Yet he didn’t confess an act of sin, but that he was a sinful man. This is instructive in my mind, since his confession spoke of his condition, and not just a single act of omission or commission.

I am of the understanding that when we recognize who Jesus is and His character, power and grace, the natural reaction is to see ourselves in the light of that understanding, to see our weakness, rebellion, and general disregard for God and His ways.

What is the message for us today?

The message for us today is “Do not be afraid”. From a stance of boldness, of a proper fearlessness, the result will be that we will “catch men”. You see, I don’t understand the phrase “You will be catching men” as a command so much as a result of understanding Who Jesus is.

So was Jesus telling Peter (and the other disciples) to not fear Him? Would that be consistent with the Biblical narrative of God’s desire to be with His people, to be in relation with Him? Peter obviously reacted in fear, as I know I would have, seeing this miracle occur in front of my very eyes. The fact that Jesus could produce an overabundance after Peter and the gang had failed, must have caused a multitude of emotions, but the overarching one was of fear.

How often the disciples must have asked each other – “Who is this that can…..”

For us today, the message seems clear. Understand who this One is, who God is, and the unbounded power and love He has expressed in the cross.

Peter began to understand because of the experience of the miraculous fish. He experienced many miraculous events. Yet Peter would admit that the greater proof of Jesus’ deity and our relation to Him must be based in the prophetic Word. Peter truly was an eye witness of His power. He actually heard the voice from the heavens, declaring the identity of Jesus. And what does Peter tell us to do? Should we seek our own miracles, dreams, or visions, finding a basis to believe in Jesus through miracles?

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,”
we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, – 2 Peter 1:16-19

With his witness of all the miracles, Peter directs believers to the prophetic word. This “knowledge” needs to find it’s roots in the Word of God, and to be understood through prayer, meditation and obedience to the known will of God.

Don’t seek miracles. Give the Lord freedom to grant at His pleasure. Crack open a Bible and find a foundation safe and secure for your faith. Gain a boldness through understanding the strength and power of the Lord Jesus, of His desire to be with you. Reject the attitude of telling Jesus to depart. Admit your sinfulness to the Lord Himself, and admit to yourself that Jesus is seeking you.

He is good, all the time!

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #208

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #208
Description
He will come to reward
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 40:10
Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
    and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
New Testament Fullfillment
Rev 22:12
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.

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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Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:4

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

1:4   always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

Prayer

Paul prayed for his church. No, that statement is not true, if I understand Paul.

He prayed for his friends. He prayed for individuals that were on his heart. I do not understand Paul as thinking of the church in Philippi as an organization that needed to meet some arbitrary budget, or that his authority in the church needed to be stengthened, or that the expansion plans were not hitting goals.

Nope. He prayed for people. And in those prayers, the predominant theme he naturally expressed was that of joy. Joy is the theme of this letter and I find it interesting, even revealing that it is associated with prayer at it first occurrence.

Pray for people, and remember the joy of loving those you pray for.


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 40 – G

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 40

16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”
17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!

The Lord is great, but I am poor and needy.

Let’s recount the historical reason for David writing this psalm. Many believe this psalm was written after the revolution of Absalom, and that David was back on the throne of Israel, nearing the end of his life.

He had experienced the greatest of betrayal in his life, and had been brought to the very edge of defeat and death by his son and a trusted friend. The depth of despair David experienced also brought with it a humility and gratefulness that is expressed in the final verses of this great psalm.

Also, it is instructive to note that the last two verses have two subjects, that is those who seek God and the author himself. The author looks to those who seek God, and desires joy and gladness for them in their chasing after God. He desires the best for them as they seek God.

For himself, he admits to his poverty and need. Please remember that the author is King David, and is near the end of his rule, where he rules over the most prosperous and militarily mighty nation in the area. His expansion of his rule saw few limits and the Lord gave him victory many, many times. He was the king of Israel, and is considered the greatest king that ruled over the nation.

Yet he saw himself as poor and needy. The word poor may be translated as afflicted. To be afflicted is to be in need, subject to oppression or abuse, and admitting to the need for deliverance.

How is it that David could honestly say these things, while sitting on the throne of Israel, and reigning over God’s people?

David was in the enviable position of understanding where he stood in relation to the great God we serve. Although he is considered one of histories greatest kings, he considered himself as poor and needy, a man before God, stripped of his earthly strength, and bowing before Him. David was great because he did not consider himself.

If this was the only one we might consider in the final verses, it would be enough, but I ask you to consider the greater David, the Lord Jesus Christ, for as we have seen though this psalm, the subject turns to the Messiah, and we can see glimpses of His life throughout the passage.

Consider Jesus, in relation to the claim of being poor and needy, One who voluntarily left all power and glory to be brought to a point of poverty and need, to being one who needed deliverance from God, who experienced affliction, poverty, humiliation and ultimately death.

David was rescued from the pit, but Jesus entered the grave, having prayed for deliverance. This exercise of trust in the Father is unexplainable, if He was not continually and always in the presence of the Father, communing with the Father, being One with Him.

His trust in the Father during His experience of poverty and affliction is amazing, and His willingness to enter death, while not deserving the condemnation is beyond any sense of logic or understanding.

The psalmist, at the end of this psalm, prayed for God not to delay. The Lord also prayed for deliverance. God delivered David. All appearance of deliverance for Jesus, in the eyes of the disciples was snuffed out at the point of death. It seemed the Father had delayed, had not delivered the greater David.

We must understand that the deliverance that was expected and the deliverance that was supplied was dependent on our understanding of the goal. Any one of us, being in the sandals of the disciples, would have seen this as the disciples did, as a great failure, a massive disappointment. If only God had not delayed in delivering Jesus from death.

But love is like that.

He truly is the leader of our salvation, the One who loved first, best and always.

We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #207

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #207
Description
“Behold your God”
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 40:9
Go on up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good news;[a]
lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;[b]
    lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Behold your God!”
New Testament Fullfillment
John 1:36
and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
John 19:14
Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

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

Conditional Security – Romans 6:11-23

Why are you bringing this passage into the topic of conditional security Carl? This verse is obviously in the Bible for the sake of evangelism.

How often have you used Romans 6:23 in presenting the gospel to the lost, or heard someone refer to it in a gospel presentation. Romans 6:23 is a critical verse in the common “Romans Road” method of sharing the gospel.

With that background to the passage, how can the topic of conditional security become associated with it? Am I simply looking for any verse to wrap up into a conditional security teaching? I hope not – You be the judge!

Let’s consider the passage by first reading it.

So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:11-23

Take a look at that last verse. Yes – Romans 6:23. I will wager a penny that many of my readers have this verse committed to memory. I know I do, and have had it wobbling around in my head for close to 40 years. But many years ago, a brother by the name of Jim challenged me to consider the passage above.  He asked a very pointed question (further below) that I fought against for years.  After hearing the question, and when this passage came to mind, I simply ignored Jim’s question, it and referred to passages that seemed to support my “unconditional security” understanding of the Scriptures.

Paul is discussing the servant-hood of the believer in this passage.  It is commonly accepted that by this time in the epistle, he has laid the foundation of the gospel and is dealing with the present condition and sanctification of the believer.

What was the question Jim asked?

“Why did Paul mention death in verse 23 of this passage?”

It can not simply refer to physical death, can it?  Notice that Paul begins to conclude his thoughts on service to God by defining the fruit of our service (unto holiness) and the end being everlasting life.  All through the passage, Paul is referring to believers and suddenly brings the topic of death into the mix.

Why?

The thing that really confused me, even as a young believer, was that as evangelicals, we use verse 23 to evangelize the lost, which is in the middle of an extended teaching on the Christians responsibility to serve God.

The question above was put to me over 25 years ago, but God is faithful and in my many wanderings and detours, some things just kept hanging on in my mind. The idea that death is an option by way of choice for the believer is a fearful thought, and yet I sense an authority I welcome and a growing respect that I have lacked far too long towards Him.

As always, your thoughts on this passage are always welcome.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #206

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #206
Description
Preceded by forerunner
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 40:3-4
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 1:23
He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

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 – Courage & Strength

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

If you have been following my ramblings for the past few months, you may remember that I spend some time in a parking lot, walking to the top and back down, praying for my family and friends, or memorizing a verse that I am trying to master. During my walks, as many of you may remember, I tend to wander in my thinking, ending up in a place in my mind I hadn’t intended. This post is the result of such wandering.

For some unknown reason, I began to consider the concept of courage, and the many commands in the Word of believers told to “fear not”. I have found that the Word actually speaks the words “do not fear” (or some similar phrase) over 100 times. Some of these verses are directed to individuals in specific historic circumstances, but the example provided can be very instructive. Other passages, especially in the gospels or epistles can be applied directly to us as believers. This is incredible, and reveals to me that fear is a huge issue that God often addresses with in His people.

As an aside, it is important to understand that if you are in a dangerous situation, fear is a healthy emotion, and is not to be rejected. Fear in an unsafe condition actually may save your life.

No, this post is about a non-defined, non justified fear that has no basis in truth, paralyzing (or controlling) us without any clear danger defined. Out of this condition of fear, God has a solution. Don’t be afraid. Be courageous.

It seems incredibly obvious to me now that fear is a decision to live in. Now don’t get me wrong, that when I am in the midst of fear, when the panic hits and the terror strikes, making a simple decision to be courageous, and reject fear is not my first consideration. I usually fall into the fear trap, get wrapped up in it’s tentacles and tremble. Usually, I actually feed the fear monster, by thinking of or listening to fear mongering. This is very easy to do in this society of social networking. Bad news sells!

But Good News heals. Only after I spend some quiet with the Lord, do I regain my sense of control over this emotion.

Let’s consider the emotion of anger. In the past I have grown in my rejection of unjustified anger. How is it that fear is any different in the way the Word addresses a solution for believers. The Word tells us to not be angry.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. – Col 3:8 ESV

It seems to be a straight forward command. A decision that one can make to humbly admit our weakness and depend on Him. And yet, in the midst of the sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, there appears to be no escape, no other way. (Consider Gal 5:19-21 for this list of sins)

A walking with the Lord rescues us from these debilitating choices, these temptations that are overpowering for the one who is seemingly alone!

But let us return to the topic at hand.

When I finally recover from an “attack of the fearries”, I usually think of the time I went back to college in my mid 30’s, when I once again fell into fear. Paralyzed by fear if my memory serves me right.

I was a latecomer in the class, starting the semester a week late, one of the older students, with the peer clicks firmly established and the pecking order obvious. I don’t recall any reason fear crept up my spine and nestled in my mind, but it settled in for a long stay. For weeks, I was quiet, not looking at anyone, or entering into any conversations with other students. It seemed hopeless.

The fear that had controlled my actions for weeks was literally shattered while I was in the hallway next to my soils class, and I read the following Scripture.

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” – Isa 12:2

All I could hear was that my fear was revealing my lack of faith. There were two attitudes the prophet spoke of. Either trust or be afraid. Trust resulted in not being afraid. I will trust, and not be afraid. This was a seminal moment for me and I have often thought of this time in future periods or fear.

Is there a time in your life when you could state you exercised faith and experienced fear at the same time. The Bible tells us that fear is something we can reject through trust in the Living God.

Can it be that believers want it to be more complicated? Let me know of your experiences with fear and how the Lord has provided deliverance for His child.


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

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #205

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #205
Description
To have a ministry of miracles
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 35:5-6
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
    and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
    and streams in the desert;
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 11:2-6
Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples

and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:

the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.

And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

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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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Joy · New Testament · Philippians · Unity

Philippian Bits – 1:3

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

1:3   I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

Thankfulness.

I was sitting with my favorite the other night and began to tell her how thankful I was for the many things she does for me, and for her strength and love. I didn’t let her reciprocate, since it was naturally coming from my heart. It was a very enjoyable chat for me, but after a while I sensed she became a bit uncomfortable.

Many reasons are possible for her discomfort, but I think primarily that she is one who gives without thinking of receiving. Maybe I just haven’t been the thankful husband she deserves.

Either way, it was a bit surprising to me that she became uncomfortable, and it made me think of believers thanking God. I do not think God is ever uncomfortable in receiving thanksgiving, for He truly is the source of all good things.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. It is an enjoyable experience to give thanks!


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