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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 10/28/2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sun, 10/28/2012

Joshua 9:1-27
A LITTLE TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, Lesson 16c

V. 22-27- OUR ENEMY CAN BE DEFEATED

V. 22- The Enemy Must Be Confronted - When Joshua found out what these people had done, he went straight to them and rebuked them and confronted them about their sins.

There is a lesson in that for the church today. We do not have to roll over and play dead while the devil molds us to his will! We need to be like the Lord Jesus, Who when He was tempted turned to the Word of God and confronted Satan with the truth of the Book and caused the devil to have to flee from His presence! Friends, Satan cannot stand in the presence of the truth! If you will stand on the Word of God, Satan will be forced to leave you alone. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,”( James 4:7).

V. 27- The Enemy Must Be Controlled - There is no question that Joshua and Israel made a mistake when they dealt with the Gibeonites. However, mistakes to not have to spell permanent ruin. Joshua realized the seriousness of what they had done and he immediately took the necessary steps to control the situation. They can’t kill them, because they have given them their word, (v. 19), but they can control them!

In your life and mine, there will be times when we will step out of the Lord’s will and commit sin. That is just a fact! However, the mistakes we make in following the devil do not have to be permanent, neither do they have to destroy us completely! Thank God, the Lord has promised us complete forgiveness and restoration if we will return to Him in repentance, (1 John 1:9). We must face the fact that our sins carry consequences that must play out completely, (Gal. 6:7). Yet, we can get right with the Lord and we can serve Him faithfully.

We need to learn from our sins and our failures so that we do not fall into those same traps again! Either we will control our sins, or they will control us! Which it is, depends on you and what you want from life. There is forgiveness where there is repentance!
V. 27- The Enemy Must Be Commissioned - Notice what Israel did with the Gibeonites. They took them and they put them to work carrying water and chopping wood for the Tabernacle of the Lord. Joshua took his mistake and used it for the glory of the Lord! The Bible even indicates that these people eventually got right with God and were absorbed into the nation of Israel – (2 Sam 21:2-6). Joshua took his error and used it for God!

Will you and I fail the Lord as we go through life? Probably, and often! However, our sins and mistakes do not have to knock us out of the Lord’s work! When we fail, we need to allow the Lord to use that time of sin, chastisement, correct, repentance and restoration in our lives for His glory. What the devil meant for your defeat can be turned into the source of your greatest victories, if you will allow the Lord to have His way in your sins. You can’t undo the things you have done, but you can bring them to Jesus and He can use them to help you grow in Him. What first looked like a curse to the people of God eventually turned into a blessing as these people were brought to the Lord and lived their lives serving God!

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not trying to glamorize or glorify sin in any fashion. I am trying to tell you that your failures do not have to defeat you forever, and they do not have to define you! God’s grace is bigger than your sin, (Rom. 5:20)! Let Him prove it today!

Conc: Joshua and Israel thought they were making a treaty with people from a far-away land. Instead, they found themselves shackled to the enemy! The people they were to avoid at all costs were now “A Little Too Close For Comfort”.

There is a story about a certain man who wanted to sell his house in Haiti for $2,000. Another man wanted to buy it, but because he was poor, he couldn’t afford the full price. After much bargaining, the owner agreed to sell the house for half the original price with just one stipulation: he would retain ownership of one small nail protruding from just over the door.

After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found the carcass of a dead dog, and hung it from the single nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable, and the family was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail.

The moral of the parable is, “If we leave the devil with even one small peg in our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ’s habitation.”
Has this ever happened to you? Is the enemy A Little Too Close To Comfort? Maybe you are in the middle of some sin situation right now. You listened to your flesh, or the devil and now you are in a mess. Why not bring that thing to the Lord and let Him turn you failure into something He can use for His glory? He still loves you, and He will forgive you and restore you, if you will turn to Him. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).

Maybe you are not saved. The devil has you! If you would like to be delivered from your bondage to sin, come to Jesus right now and ask Him, and He will save your soul and transform your life for His glory.

Not long before she died in 1988, in a moment of surprising candor in television, Marghanita Laski, one of our best-known secular humanists and novelists, said, “What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me.”
Maybe you can remember the times when the Lord stepped between you and your enemies. He delivered you from your sins, and set you free. Wouldn’t you like to come to Him and thank Him today?

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Into The Heart Of Jesus” By: Oswald J. Smith (1914)

Into the heart of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go
Seeking to know the reason why He should love me so
Why He should stoop to lift me up from the miry clay
Saving my soul, making me whole, Tho' I had wandered away

Into the will of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go
Praying for grace to follow, Seeking His way to know
Bowing in full surrender low at His blessed feet
Bidding Him take, break and make, Till I am molded and meet

Into the cross of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go
Following thro' the garden, facing the dreaded foe
Drinking the cup of sorrow, sobbing with broken heart
"O Savior, help! dear Savior, help! Grace for me weakness impart."

Into the joy of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go
Rising with soul enraptured far from the world below
Joy in the place of sorrow, peace in the midst of pain
Jesus will give, Jesus will give; He will uphold and sustain.

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Loving Father, Awesome God! We come before You with many failures in our priorities. Many things that seem perfectly natural to us are not always really natural, nor are they even good. Cleanse us and set us on a path of love and peace. Enable us to understand priorities: that where are treasures are, there will hearts be. Point us then in the direction of heavenly things and not earthly things. Grant us Your wisdom and Your Word. Help us to walk in Your Will for us. These things we ask and pray in the name of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!

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MELTEAGUE 10/28/2012 9:26PM

    Thankfully His mercies are new every morning for you and for me!

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BABY_GIRL69 10/28/2012 5:50PM

    This was really good Vic!! I mean, I was just reading some of this blog....Our service today was about Ezekiel & can the dry bones live again.....we both know that all things are possible through Christ that strengthens us. Thank you for this reminder that we must put on the FULL armour of Christ...the enemy is ever busy we must remain diligent in prayer, reading the word & bring more people to Christ.

God bless & enjoy everyday!

Dee

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TONYVAND1 10/28/2012 5:00PM

  Another great lesson. Why is it that we do not want to confront sin any longer espeacially in the body of Christ. We need to resist like you said and confront as well. Thanks for your prayer and message today.

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MARYJOANNA 10/28/2012 3:33PM

  Your prayer ending the blog was powerful. If God is for us who can be against us!

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EDITOR 10/28/2012 3:27PM

    As always, a powerful lesson, Vic, for Christians and non Christians. Thank God for His grace and for His forgiveness. Thank God for the Word. Thank God for those that teach and preach. Thank God that the devil must flee if we resist him and submit to God.

Thank you for the goodie and note.



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ALEXSGIRL1 10/28/2012 9:21AM

    I so loved the prayer at the end your message is Love emoticon

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ANHELIC 10/28/2012 8:45AM

    Thank you Vic for lesson that helped me today. Your message , hymn and prayer touched my heart as I carry on today with God's work. You made my sin and God's forgiveness so real that I know realize God will forgive us for our sins as long as we repent and follow His way. God bless you Vic and thank you for being God's messenger to us.

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MNABOY 10/28/2012 7:31AM

    Amen

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/28/2012 7:10AM

    I love Jesus! He is in my heart! I follow his path as he guides me!

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WENDYSPARKS 10/28/2012 6:51AM

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 10/27/2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sat, 10/27/2012

Joshua 9:1-27
A LITTLE TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, Lesson 16b

V. 14 -21 OUR ENEMY IS DESTRUCTIVE

V. 14- Their Ability To See Clearly Was Destroyed - Notice that in verse 7, Joshua initially was a little skeptical of these so-called ambassadors. He questioned them about their origin again in verse 8. Joshua is to be commended for his caution, but he gave up just a little too soon! When the Gibeonites showed him their clothes, their food and the broken wineskins, Joshua was more than impressed and he believed their story!

If the Lord has done anything for His children, He has given us a perfect Book and powerful Spirit. These two gifts give us a distinct advantage when it comes to fighting the devil! Using the Bible and the inner leading of the Spirit of God, we can do what 1 Pet. 5:8 says and we can be “sober and vigilant”. These words carry the idea of being in control of ourselves and of being watchful. You do not have to fall for everything the devil tells you! He is a liar and the father of it, ( John 8:44). Hey folks, we do not have to fall into his traps! Thank God, we can walk in victory over the devil if we will be sober and vigilant!

When your spiritual vision gets dim through neglect of the Word of God and prayer, you are very susceptible to the tricks and traps of the enemy. It is impossible to have the victory over him when we neglect the very things which are designed to make us strong! The Bible tells us in Eph. 4:27, that we are not to give “place” to the devil in our lives. This word refers to a beachhead. If we give the devil room in our lives to attack us, you can count on the fact that he will! We must always be on guard to avoid his attacks. Don’t even let him have so much as a foot in the door!

V. 14- Their Ability To Seek Counsel Was Destroyed - Notice that Israel ate with the Gibeonites and did not even take the matter to the Lord in prayer. To break bread with someone in that day was considered to be a sign of unalterable friendship. But what they considered to be the right thing to do turned into a problem because they did not take the time to take the matter to the Lord in prayer first and neither did they take the time to wait on His answer. As a result, they stepped out of the will of God and had to suffer the consequences!

How many times has this been true in your life and mine? We look at what the devil has to offer us and we join up with him without even seeking the Lord’s will in the matter. At other times, we stack the deck in our favor so that even the Lord’s attempts to speak to us and change our direction are made to appear like His blessings on our decision. I am encouraging you to be sure that it is the Lord’s voice you are listening to and not the devil’s voice, or even the voice of your own heart!

God’s will is that we seek His face and that we give Him time to give us His answer! What does the Lord say?

Ex. 14:13; “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord...”
Isa. 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
You get the idea! God expects His people to seek His will and wait on His answer!

V. 15-21 Their Ability To Stay Clean Was Destroyed - In these verses, we see that the Israelites ability to be God’s separated people was hindered by their decision to make a covenant with the Gibeonites. God had told them to utterly destroy the inhabitants of Canaan and to make no covenants with them at all. Deu 7:2 says, “And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:” However, Israel disobey this command and as a result they sinned before the Lord.

Before we judge them too harshly, let’s look at ourselves for a minute. How many times have we been guilty of following Satan instead of the Lord? The Word of God plainly tells us what the Lord’s will is for our lives, (2 Cor. 6:17), “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”. Yet, all too often, we will allow the flesh, the word and the devil distract us and defeat us.

If you let him, the devil will get you into such a shape that the Lord cannot bless and use you at all! I can think of many, many individuals who listened to the siren song of the devil and found themselves castaways as far as the Lord’s work is concerned. Maybe you don’t think that can happen in your life. Just ask David, the sweet singer of Israel, the man after God’s own heart, what the devil can do to your life. You follow the devil and you, like David, might find yourself in a place of prayer begging God just to restore the joy of your heart and life,( Psa. 51:12). Don’t let that happen in your life! Our enemy is very deceptive and disruptive, and given the change, he will defeat and destroy your life. The good news is this: Our enemy may be deceptive and disruptive, but he can be defeated!

V. 14- Their Ability To See Clearly Was Destroyed - Notice that in verse 7, Joshua initially was a little skeptical of these so-called ambassadors. He questioned them about their origin again in verse 8. Joshua is to be commended for his caution, but he gave up just a little too soon! When the Gibeonites showed him their clothes, their food and the broken wineskins, Joshua was more than impressed and he believed their story!

If the Lord has done anything for His children, He has given us a perfect Book and powerful Spirit. These two gifts give us a distinct advantage when it comes to fighting the devil! Using the Bible and the inner leading of the Spirit of God, we can do what 1 Pet. 5:8 says and we can be “sober and vigilant”. These words carry the idea of being in control of ourselves and of being watchful. You do not have to fall for everything the devil tells you! He is a liar and the father of it, (John 8:44). Hey folks, we do not have to fall into his traps! Thank God ,we can walk in victory over the devil if we will be sober and vigilant!

When your spiritual vision gets dim through neglect of the Word of God and prayer, you are very susceptible to the tricks and traps of the enemy. It is impossible to have the victory over him when we neglect the very things which are designed to make us strong! The Bible tells us in Eph. 4:27, that we are not to give “place” to the devil in our lives. This word refers to a beachhead. If we give the devil room in our lives to attack us, you can count on the fact that he will! We must always be on guard to avoid his attacks. Don’t even let him have so much as a foot in the door!

V. 15-21- Their Ability To Stay Clean Was Destroyed - In these verses, we see that the Israelites ability to be God’s separated people was hindered by their decision to make a covenant with the Gibeonites. God had told them to utterly destroy the inhabitants of Canaan and to make no covenants with them at all. Deut 7:2 says, “And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:” However, Israel disobey this command and as a result they sinned before the Lord.

Before we judge them too harshly, let’s look at ourselves for a minute. How many times have we been guilty of following Satan instead of the Lord? The Word of God plainly tells us what the Lord’s will is for our lives, (2 Cor. 6:17), “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”. Yet, all too often, we will allow the flesh, the word and the devil distract us and defeat us.

If you let him, the devil will get you into such a shape that the Lord cannot bless and use you you at all! I can think of many, many individuals who listened to the siren song of the devil and found themselves castaways as far as the Lord’s work is concerned. Maybe you don’t think that can happen in your life. Just ask David, the sweet singer of Israel, the man after God’s own heart, what the devil can do to your life. You follow the devil and you, like David might find yourself in a place of prayer begging God just to restore the joy of your heart and life, ( Psa. 51:12). Don’t let that happen in your life! Our enemy is very deceptive and disruptive, and given the change, he will defeat and destroy your life. The good news is this: Our enemy may be deceptive and disruptive, but he can be defeated!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Teach Me Lord To Wait” By Stuart Hamblen (1953)

Teach me, Lord, to wait down on my knees
'Til in your own good time, you answer my pleas
Teach me not to rely on what others may do
But to wait in prayer for an answer from you
Refrain:
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings as eagles
They shall run and not grow weary
They shall walk and not faint
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait

And teach me, Lord to wait while my heart's all aflame
Let me humble my pride and call on your name
Keep my faith renewed, my eyes only on Thee
And let me be on this earth what you want me to be
Refrain:
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength
They shall mount up with wings as eagles
They shall run and not grow weary
They shall walk and not faint
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, Most Holy God! Help us to stand in the freedom You have secured for us. Thank You Jesus for giving Your life so that we could be set free from the yoke of slavery to the enemy of our soul. Help us to not become entangled in it again. Make us aware when we are accepting some bondage in our life for which You died to set us free. Enable us to stand firm in Christ Jesus and to follow Him only. It is with a humble spirit and a grateful heart that we pray and ask these things in His name. Amen!

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HAGIN2010 10/27/2012 6:51PM

    Thanks Vic for a great lesson. I needed it and applied it earlier today. There are some injustices at work right now and I spent much of the day feeling sorry for myself instead of leaning on jesus for strength. I recognized it at work though and asked Gods forgivness and will pray to do better tomorrow.

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ANHELIC 10/27/2012 3:22PM

    Thank you Vic for another awesome lesson, hymn and prayer. I prayed that the God would help me after my day where Satan got hold of me. I am now following God's path and waiting for his guidance. I know He will lead me in the direction away from Satan and I praise His Holy name for it. God bless you Vic for sharing and teaching God's loving word.

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EDITOR 10/27/2012 3:09PM

    Thank you for caring enough regarding presenting all facets of the Word. In agreement with your lesson and how the devil is our enemy.

Thank you for the note and goodie.

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CAVEPRINCESS65 10/27/2012 1:43PM

    Amen emoticon Vic for another great lesson
With His Grace!

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TONYVAND1 10/27/2012 1:42PM

  Anothe rgreat blog. Jesus has set us free. Praise Him Standing firm in Him


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DIANER2014 10/27/2012 7:34AM

    Amen! Thank you Vic! emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 10/26/2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is my Prayer, Fri, 10/26/2012

Joshua 9:1-27
A LITTLE TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, Lesson 16a

There are certain kinds of ants have a passion for the sweet, glandular substance given off by the caterpillar of a species of large blue butterfly. They can become so “addicted” to it that they even seek out “the supplier” and carry him to their nest with delight.
In doing so, they unwittingly bring home an enemy in disguise, because the caterpillar gorges himself exclusively on one food item: ant larva. Usually such a threat to the colony would be repelled with great vigor, but the adults enjoy the tasty secretions of the “guest” so much that they are oblivious of the fact that their young are being devoured in the process. The ants find out far too late that their enemy is “A Little Too Close For Comfort”.

As I read this story of the foolish ants, I began to see a similarity between this story and what the Bible tells us about Joshua and Israel in Joshua, chapter 9. In these verses, we see Israel becoming a little too cozy with their enemies.

After decisive victories at Jericho and AI, and after a special time of worship and recommitment to the Law of God at Mounts Ebal and Gerizim, the people of Israel are preparing to march deeper into Canaan to claim the land the Lord had given to them. As I said, they are fresh from a victory. In fact, they now have a couple of impressive victories under their belts. They have seen the great walled city of Jericho defeated and they have witnessed the pesky little town of Ai defeated too. Before they can move forward to future victories, Israel must learn a valuable lesson about themselves and about the enemies they face.

In the battles and stories related to Israel’s conquest of Canaan, we can see a picture of our lives as children of God as we struggle to obtain the victory in our lives. As I look at the Bible’s record of these events, it is not too hard for me to see the parallels between the battles Israel fought in the flesh and the ones which we fight in the spirit. The cities that they faced teach us some spiritual lessons.

1. Jericho - A type of the world - It was defeated, and we have the promise of victory over the world in our walk with the Lord Jesus, (1 John 5:4), “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

2. Ai - A type of the flesh - It, too, was defeated, and we have the promise of victory in the flesh as we battle for the Lord Jesus, (Romans 7:24-25), “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

3. Gibeon - A type of the devil - This is a battle that still must be fought. However, we have been promised victory in this area as well. To obtain it, we must trust the Lord Jesus Christ and walk in His will day by day. He can be defeated – ( James 4:7), “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Eventually, the devil will get exactly what he deserves, (Rev. 20:1-10)
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Today, however, we must still contend with Satan and his attacks. Thankfully, the Lord has not left us without a word in this matter. In this passage, we can see a portrait of Satan and the way he works. As we will see, there is a danger in letting our spiritual guard down. Let’s take some time today to study this passage and learn more about how the enemy operates. There are some lessons in this passage we need to take to heart when the enemy gets, “A Little Too Close For Comfort”.

V. 1-13- OUR ENEMY IS DECEPTIVE
Note verses 1-2. When all the kings of Canaan heard what had happened to Ai and to Jericho, they joined forces to seek to defeat Israel. Isn’t it amazing how the devil’s crowd will join up to fight God’s people? Just look at the way Jesus was treated by His enemies. The Pharisees and the Herodians hated one another, but they came together in the common effort of seeing Jesus put to death. Another friendship that was formed over the death of our Lord was that which was formed between Herod Antipas and Pontius Pilate. We are still seeing these same kind of alliances formed in our day!

V. 4 He Uses Deceptive Wiles - When the Gibeonites heard that the Israelites were headed in their direction, they devised a scheme to trick Israel into making a peace treaty with them. They dressed in old clothes, carried old bread and wine and pretended that they were from far away. They did everything in their power to trick Israel.

What a picture of our enemy, the devil! The Bible tells us in Eph. 6:11 that we fight an enemy that uses “wiles” to get his way in our lives. The word “wiles” refers to “deceit, trickery, cunning arts.” You see friends, Satan would like nothing better than to trip you up and cause you to fall into one of his traps. Just before Jesus died, He told Simon Peter that Satan desired to have him that he might sift him as wheat ,( Luke 22:31-32). Satan wants to do the same to you and me. He wants us to fall. He wants us to fail, and he will stop at nothing to bring that to pass. 1 Tim. 3:7 tells us that Satan uses “snares” to catch his prey. This word refers to “a trap set by a hunter in order that he might capture his prey.” So, Satan uses deceptive wiles, just like the people of Gibeon did.

V. 4-5 He Uses Deceptive Wares - The Gibeonites had taken every step possible to deceive Israel into believing that they were from a far- away country. They carried old sacks on their donkeys, broken and bound up wine skins, patched shoes, shabby clothing and even some moldy bread. Their entire aim was to trick Israel
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When the devil comes against you, he will not do so in a red suit with a pointy tail and horns. He will not be carrying a pitchfork and he will not smell like sulphur. When the devil comes to your life to cause you trouble, he will appear as an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14), “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” He will make his plan appear to be the perfect thing for your life. So, beware of every impulse that comes into your mind. Check out everything by the Word of God and by the will of God, listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, (John 16:13), and the Lord will always lead you in the right way!

V. 6-13 He Uses Deceptive Words - Notice that in these verses, these men from Gibeon lied, (v. 6, 9, 11-12); they used claimed to be something they were not, (v. 8-9); and they were careful in what they said and in what they referred to, (v. 10). They did not mention any of the events that had taken place since Israel had crossed the Jordan River. This gave the impression that they had indeed been traveling for some time, and did not know about Israel’s victories at Jericho and Ai.

This is a perfect picture of how our enemy, the devil, operates. He will use slick and enticing speech to get you to yield to his plans for your life. He practiced this kind of trickery in the Garden of Eden when he talked to Eve, (Gen. 3:1-6).

He taught Eve that she should question God’s Word, (v. 1)
He taught Eve that God did not really mean what He has said, (v. 3)
He taught Eve that God was keeping His best blessing for Himself, that He was holding out on her, (v. 5).

In other words, the devil will give you every reason in the world to justify the things he wants you to do. Then when you have followed him and are out of God’s will and in trouble, he will discard you like a piece of trash and leave you to rot in your sins!

I wonder:
1. What did the devil tell Cain to get him to kill Abel?
2. What did the devil tell David to get him to sleep with Bathsheba?
3. What did the devil tell Judas to get him to betray the Lord Jesus?
4. What has the devil told you in the past; and what is he telling you now?

2 Cor. 2:11 says, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” This verse teaches us that Satan desires to gain an “advantage” over us, and to do this, he will use every trick in the book to get us to follow him into failure. Be careful!

1 Peter 5:8 tells us what the devil is up to today. He wants you. He wants your family. He wants your marriage. He wants your children. He wants your testimony. He wants your church. If you have it, and you got it from the Lord, he wants it; and to get it, he will do anything.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Jesus Is Coming Soon” By R. E. Winsett (1942)

Verse 1
Troublesome times are here, filling men's hearts with fear,
Freedom we all hold dear now is at stake
Humbling your heart to God saves from chast'ning rod,
Seek the way pil-grims trod, Christians, a-wake.

Chorus
Jesus is com-ing soon, morning or night or noon,
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound;
All of the dead shall rise, Righteous meet in the skies,
Going where no one dies, heavenward bound.

Verse 2
Love of so man-y cold, losing their home of gold,
This in God's Word is told, evils abound;
When these signs come to pass, nearing the end at last,
It will come ver-y fast, trumpets will sound.
Chorus

Verse 3
Troubles will soon be o'er, happy for e--ver-more,
When we meet on that shore, free from all care;
Rising up in the sky, telling this world good-bye,
Homeward we then will fly, glory to share.
Chorus

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Father of Mercy, God of Truth and Grace! Help us not to be concerned with outward appearances, selfish pursuits, and the conditions of our house, but rather to be concerned with spiritual growth, unselfish service, and the condition of Your House. Enable us to have our priorities in the correct order so we may walk with You and continue to grow closer and deeper with You. These things we ask and pray in Jesus’ most Holy name. Amen!

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CAT-IN-CJ 10/27/2012 12:31AM

    emoticon (pretend this emoticon is singing Hallelujia

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EDITOR 10/26/2012 3:12PM

    Vic, thank you for the note and goodie.

How appropriate for this upcoming Halloween that today's blog mentions and explains the deceiver. Thank you for presenting his many forms in an all Scriptual lesson. God bless you.

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WANTSZU 10/26/2012 12:25PM

    Thanks for reminding us that there is victory in Jesus and even though Satan tries to be sly and deceive us that there is forgiveness in Jesus Christ. The battle belongs to the Lord and he will protect his believers.

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HAGIN2010 10/26/2012 10:41AM

    Thanks again for another wonderful informative lesson.

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SUNSETBREEZE05 10/26/2012 10:26AM

    Thanks Vic! Prioritizing is important..

Blessings upon your day!

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TONYVAND1 10/26/2012 9:24AM

  Vic

Thank you again for the reminder that victory can be ours through Christ Jesus. Also the reminder that Satan loves to attack us and is very sly in the way he approaches us. Yet we know that Jesus is Coming and the battle has been won.

Tony

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TONYVAND1 10/26/2012 9:24AM

  Vic

Thank you again for the reminder that victory can be ours through Christ Jesus. Also the reminder that Satan loves to attack us and is very sly in the way he approaches us. Yet we know that Jesus is Coming and the battle has been won.

Tony

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ANHELIC 10/26/2012 8:32AM

    Thank you for this awesome lesson, hymn and prayer Vic. I can now see how satan attacked me and I fell short of God's will two days ago. I am now praying for forgivness and know God will be here for me to lead me in the right direction. Thank you for everything. God bless you. You are a great man of God.
Joan

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/26/2012 7:51AM

    God doesn't care what the inside of my house looks like; just the inside of me! I don't need to show up wearing a new Easter bonnet! He just wants me to show up!

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DIANER2014 10/26/2012 7:16AM

    Amen! Thanks Vic! emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 10/25/2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Prayer, This Is My Prayer, Thu, 10/25/2012

Joshua 8:1-35
VICTORY IS YOURS, IF YOU WANT IT, Lesson 15c

V. 27-35- VICTORY OVER AI IS PRESERVED

At this point in this story, Israel has followed God’s plan and that have achieved the victory. Now, they must maintain their victory. They take two steps that make this a reality for them.

We can achieve the victory over the flesh! We can walk in the will of God and be truly spiritual. We can be holy. We can live right. If we are going to maintain that victory, when God gives it, we must follow Israel’s example and do what they did at Ai. Let me share those steps with you.

V. 27-29- Victory Is Preserved By Death - Please notice that they did not leave a single person alive in Ai. No one, from the king down to the humblest servant, was spared from death in this battle. God knew that this enemy had to be totally eradicated or there would be problems down the road.

The lesson for us today is this: Your flesh is still alive and well, but it must be put to death! Some say that when a person gets saved, their flesh is put to death. I’ve got news for you, they are wrong! Your flesh is as alive today as it ever has been. It still likes all the things that it used to like, and if you turned it loose, it would run to sin like a pig to a wallow. Your flesh is not saved. Your flesh is not holy. Your flesh is rotten and it hates God and everything He stands for!

Now, we need to understand some things about our flesh if we are to have the victory over it today. Allow me to share some truths with you about your flesh.

Your flesh is at war with the Spirit of God, Who is in you – (Gal. 5:16-24). This is a struggle that the Apostle Paul dealt with in great detail – (Rom. 7:14-25).

Your flesh was crucified with Jesus Christ – (Rom. 6:6-7). This is our positional standing. In the eyes of God, our flesh, all it’s works and everything it stands for was crucified with Jesus at Calvary. God considers the wicked, sinful natures that we possess crucified with Christ. The flesh was reckoned dead when Jesus died on the cross.

We are to reckon the flesh dead daily – (Col. 3:1-10). This is how we are to live practically every day. The secret to victory over the flesh lies in seeing the flesh as God sees it. It lies in being able to reckon the flesh dead – (Rom. 6:11-14; Gal. 2:20). When we come to the place that we can look at our flesh and its lusts and live as if it is dead then, and only then, can we expect victory in our lives.

We don’t crucify the flesh by gratifying it! You cannot feed every lust that enters your mind and claim to be living a life that is pleasing to the Lord. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof,” (Rom. 13:14). The flesh must be reckoned dead every day we live. Listen, this is a conscious decision we must make in every situation we face in life.

The fact is, we never truly fall into sin; we usually walk into it with our eyes open.

We sin because we do not flee sin.
We sin because we allow the flesh and its lusts to control us.
We sin because we do not yield to the Spirit of God in everything!
We are told to flee those things that tempt us – (2 Tim. 2:22).

There will come a day when the battle with the flesh will end. One day, the Lord will deliver us from this vile flesh and we shall be changed to be like Him. God says that our flesh is dead to sin.

Practically speaking it can be, but only as we take the initiative to reckon it dead day by day.

One day, we will be changed and we will be delivered from the very power and presence of sin, (Rom. 7:24-25).

The altar was a place of death. It was a place of sacrifice. It served to remind them that they did not achieve anything by their own power; they only won the victory because God gave it to them. They were only victorious because they sacrificed their will, their pride and their ability at the feet of the Lord.

They built the altar without tools, reminding them that their victory over Ai was entirely the work of the Lord. They used rocks God Himself created to build a place to honor Him. The victory was not about them; it was about Him!

If we intend to enjoy God’s blessings in this life, we must learn to walk in the will of God. Before we can ever shout on the mountain, we must first kneel at the altar and acknowledge that we are incapable of fighting the battles, winning the victory, or hanging on to it after it has been won! If we are to win and preserve the victory day by day, then we must learn to live by the Word of God. We must learn to depend on the Lord. We must learn that we are helpless without Him!

V. 30-35 Victory Is Preserved By Devotion - After the enemy had been eradicated and victory had been preserved, Israel finished by doing what the Lord had told them to do in (Deut. 27:1-28:6).

Half of the nation was to stand on Mount Ebal and the other half on Mount Gerizim. The Levites were to stand in the valley between these mountains and were to read the curses and the blessings. As they read the curses, the crowd on Mount Ebal was to shout “Amen.” When they read the blessings, the crowd on Mount Gerizim was to shout “Amen.” This exercise was to remind them what God would bless and what He would not bless. They were also reaffirming their commitment to live by the Word of God every day!

So, in obedience to the command of the Lord, Israel made the 30 mile trip to those mountains and they stood there facing one another across a valley that was 2 miles wide. As the commandments were read that day, they shouted “Amen!” Imagine what that scene must have looked and sounded like that day! There’s was a devotion to living by the Word of God.

By the way, the name “Ebal” means, “The Heap Of Barrenness.” Ebal was a barren, deserted rock. Ebal was the mountain of cursing. “Gerizim” means, “Cutting Off.” This was a beautiful, wooded mountain, surrounded by a fertile valley. Gerizim was the mountain of blessing.

Ebal reminded Israel that disobedience to the Lord would result in barrenness.
Gerizim reminded Israel that they were to be a separate people, and that if they walked in the ways of the Lord, they would receive His blessings in the Promised Land.
Conc: Before Israel worshipped on the mountain they built an altar, and Joshua wrote the words of the Law of God in the presence of all the people,( vv. 30-31).

The path to lasting victory begins in the altar, in the place of sacrifice, on your knees!
Who would be honest today and say, “You know preacher, this message has been for me. I have a terrible battle with my flesh and all the things that it lusts after. I need help to overcome it today”?

If that describes you, there is victory in the Lord, if you want it.
If you have lost the battle and the flesh has whipped you again and again, there is forgiveness in our Lord, 1 John 1:9.
If you need to lay an ambush for your Ai, God has a strategy to help guide you to victory.

Some here deal with lust, some with anger, some with bitterness, some with that besetting sin.
Some here have been sneaking around doing and saying things that aren’t right.
Some here know that you are messing around in dangerous territory today.

I warn you now that if you keep letting your flesh feed itself and grow stronger, there will come a day real soon when it will take over your life.

Today would be a good day to come before the Lord and seek His help in reckoning your flesh to be dead.

Others here have never been saved. You don’t need to reckon your flesh dead, you need to know that your spirit is dead. What you need is a salvation experience. You need to be born again. It’s no wonder that you can’t achieve a place of victory in your life, you need to be saved.

I would just remind you that Victory Is Yours, If You Want It!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Battle Hymn Of The Republic” By Julia Ward Howe (1862)

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, Sovereign God! In peace will we lie down and sleep, for You alone make us dwell in safety. May our trust and hope in you increase and expand the borders of our faith and spirituality. Keep us safe all through the night and wake us with the morning light. May our morning prayers be bookends to our evening prayer. Guide us, O Lord, both day and night, and when we awake in the morning light, teach us the path of love to take. This we pray today in the blessed name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

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EDITOR 10/26/2012 5:14AM

    The Battle hymn is one of my favorites. The lessons are always written in God's love. I am sorry that after your surgery and vacation, and then mine we couldn't catch up, other than your kind goodie and comment about where am I.

Today's lesson describes us ALL, somewhere in our walk and somewhere in an honest moment with the Lord and others

I praise God we both can physically get on our knees, not forgetting our brothers and sisters that now must do it spiritually.





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LOOKINGUP2012 10/25/2012 2:14PM

    Open our eyes Lord! emoticon

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ANHELIC 10/25/2012 1:10PM

    Thank you Vic for this lesson. It was for me indeed. My flesh took over yesterday and I am repenting today for it. Holy Spirit has been guiding me down the right path of eating. I went to the Bulk Barn to buy candies to give to a few of my neighbor's children. I weakened in there and bought a large bag of Cheetos. I felt I was OK with the candies, but the Cheetos, I couldn't resist. After I finished my work, they were staring me in the face and I ate nearly 3/4 of the bag. Flesh won, I lost at the moment I filled the bag in the store. To make matters worse, I ate a couple candies as well. This morning, I was up 1.2 lbs. and felt defeated. the rest of the Cheetos have gone in the garbage, but it's too late. I have this taste for them now and am afraid they will take over again after I have been working so hard to follow God's way. Please pray for me to be able to get back on God's path today. I am just hoping that there was not a lot of potassium in these Cheetos, I now call satan food for me. Between my tears as I read your lesson, I realized how weak I was. I am printing your message and keeping it to read whenever I feel weakened. I don't want to lose what level God has helped me get to.
Thank you Vic, you are my savior in helping me today realize what I have done.
God bless you.

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HAGIN2010 10/25/2012 10:11AM

    I learned so much today. A lot of this is what I have been going through.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/25/2012 8:11AM

    I pray Jesus walks with me and you through this day and always! I start my day mindful of him! thank you Vic! emoticon

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SANDRALEET 10/25/2012 7:35AM

    WE have to examine our self not the white washed version we tell our self and see around us.

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CAM2438 10/25/2012 6:49AM

    Thank-you for those wonderful words.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 10/24/2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Prayer, This Is My Prayer, Wed, 10/24/2012

Joshua 8:1-35
VICTORY IS YOURS, IF YOU WANT IT, Lesson 15b

V. 3-26 VICTORY OVER AI IS PURSUED

V. 3-17- They Embraced God’s Plan - God told them in exact detail how they were to mount their attack against Ai. They were to lay an ambush for Ai and they would take the city and all its inhabitants. Israel learned at Jericho what happens when you do things the Lord’s way. They had also learned what happens when they refused to do it God’s way. They learned that failure awaits that person who goes against the will of the Lord.

We need to learn this lesson today! When you fight the battle God’s way, you cannot fail. When you do it your way, you are headed for trouble.

We are talking about fighting this flesh and its lusts. If you are going to pursue victory over your flesh, and if you ever expect to gain the victory, then you must go about it God’s way. No other plan will work! I will say more about God’s plan for dealing with the flesh in a moment, but for now, you need to know that if you will win the victory over your flesh, then you need constant contact with spiritual supports God has given us. We are strengthened spiritually when we are exposed to the spiritual blessings the Lord has given to us to help us walk in His will.

God’s spiritual support system must be made a huge part of our lives:
We need the Word of God – (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Tim. 2:15).
We need prayer – ( Luke 18:1; 1 Thes. 5:17; James 4:2).
We need faithful church attendance – (Heb. 10:25).
We need the constant fellowship of the saints – (1 Cor. 12:27).

None of these things will give victory in and of themselves, but we need each of them to strengthen us and to help us grow in the Lord. When we begin to neglect even one of these essential areas, then we are headed toward spiritual trouble. When we feed the flesh and ignore our spiritual needs, it is a sign of impending problems in our spiritual lives!

V. 18-23- They Experienced God’s Power - Israel fought the battle, but God gave the victory! The first time Israel went to Ai, they went in their own power and they suffered terrible, humiliating defeat. This time they went to battle walking in the power of God and they were victorious.

There is a lesson here for those who struggle with their flesh.
The battle with your flesh will not be won by your ability to say “no” to sin, because you can’t say “no” all the time.
The battle will not be won because you are more powerful than the temptations you face, because you are not.

The fact is, if you try to fight the spiritual battles of life in your own power, you are headed for terrible defeat in your life. You might as well plan now for a string of sins and defeats in the flesh.
There is just one way for us to prevail in this battle, and that is for us to learn to appropriate the power of God in our lives. We are unable to fight the flesh, sin and the world in our own power. We need to realize that when we cannot win the battle, only He can!
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might,” ( Eph. 6:10).
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” ( Phil. 4:13).
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” (1 Cor. 10:13).
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” ( 1 John 4:4).
The only way any of us will ever see victory over this flesh is through the power of God!
V. 24-26- They Enjoyed God’s Performance - These verses tell us that Israel trusted in the Lord and absolutely prevailed over their enemy. God did what He said He would do!
We are serving the very same God that gave Israel the victory. He hasn’t changed! He is still the same God today that He always has been and always will be. You can count on God to keep His Word, (Rom. 4:21; Psa. 119:89; Matt. 24:32).
When we are engaged in a battle with this flesh, we must be able to count on God, and we can! He is all powerful and He is able to help you as you fight the flesh and the battles of life. “14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,”( Heb. 4:14-16).
TODAY’S HYMN!
“Victory In Jesus” By E. M. Bartlett (1939)

I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory (how He gave His life)
How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning, (of His blood's atoning) of His precious blood's atoning
Then I repented (repented) of my sins (repented of my sins) and won the victory

Chorus:
Oh victory in Jesus (victory in Jesus), my Savior (my Savior) forever (forever)
He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood (bought me with His blood)
He loved me 'ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing
How He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit"
I then obeyed His blest command and gained the victory

Repeat Chorus

I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory
And I heard about the street of gold beyond the crystal sea (beyond the crystal sea)
About the angels singing (the angels are singing) and the old redemption story
Oh and some sweet day I'll sing up there the song of victory

Repeat Chorus (x2)

He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Loving Father, Gracious Lord! It is with a humble spirit and a grateful heart that we come into Your presence by means of this prayer. Hear us when we petition You. Make us aware of the way Satan works that we may be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Vengeance is Yours and we willingly relinquish it to You. May our days be filled with Your Love and Peace. This we pray in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen!

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ANHELIC 10/24/2012 6:36PM

    Thank you for another great lesson, hymn, one that I really enjoy singing, and prayer. I start every day with God along side me and ask for His guidance and when I have trouble laying before me, I turn it over to God. He will walk me through it. I am so grateful to have God in my life for my difficult times and to be able to praise him for all the blessings He sends my way. Thank you again for sharing Vic. God bless you.

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FEMISLIM 10/24/2012 5:36PM

    Glory!!!

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SUNSETBREEZE05 10/24/2012 3:35PM

    Amen!

I love praying with you emoticon

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HAGIN2010 10/24/2012 12:43PM

    Since I am avery new Christian I just need to trust God and that he will be there when I need it and the Holy Spirit will be there for advice if I will stop and just listen to it.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/24/2012 7:49AM

    I start my day with the lord in my heart and no other!

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