The LORD is our stronghold

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Nahum 1

An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.

God’s Wrath Against Nineveh

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God;
    the Lord is avenging and wrathful;
the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries
    and keeps wrath for his enemies.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
    and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
His way is in whirlwind and storm,
    and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and makes it dry;
    he dries up all the rivers;
Bashan and Carmel wither;
    the bloom of Lebanon withers.
The mountains quake before him;
    the hills melt;
the earth heaves before him,
    the world and all who dwell in it.

Who can stand before his indignation?
    Who can endure the heat of his anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire,
    and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
The Lord is good,
    a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.
    But with an overflowing flood
he will make a complete end of the adversaries,[a]
    and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
What do you plot against the Lord?
    He will make a complete end;
    trouble will not rise up a second time.
10 For they are like entangled thorns,
    like drunkards as they drink;
    they are consumed like stubble fully dried.
11 From you came one
    who plotted evil against the Lord,
    a worthless counselor.

12 Thus says the Lord,
“Though they are at full strength and many,
    they will be cut down and pass away.
Though I have afflicted you,
    I will afflict you no more.
13 And now I will break his yoke from off you
    and will burst your bonds apart.”

14 The Lord has given commandment about you:
    “No more shall your name be perpetuated;
from the house of your gods I will cut off
    the carved image and the metal image.
I will make your grave, for you are vile.”

15 [b] Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him
    who brings good news,
    who publishes peace!
Keep your feasts, O Judah;
    fulfill your vows,
for never again shall the worthless pass through you;
    he is utterly cut off.


Footnotes:

a. Nahum 1:8 Hebrew of her place

b. Nahum 1:15 Ch 2:1 in Hebrew

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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With skillful hands he led them

Here is another great devotional from Streams in the Desert.1 This one  really adds weight to all those times when we feel like God is not hearing us when we’re waiting for certain things to happen. I like what what J. Vernon McGee has to say about this passage:

David is a type of Him who is David’s Lord and David’s Son. God was faithful to them, and He is faithful to us today, my friend.2

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And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
   with skillful hands he led them.
—Psalm 78:72
 
When you are unsure which course to take, totally submit your own judgment to that of the Spirit of God, asking Him to shut every door except the right one. But meanwhile keep moving ahead and consider the absence of a direct indication from God to be the evidence of His will that you are on His path. And as you continue down the long road, you will find that He has gone before you, locking doors you otherwise would have been inclined to enter. Yet you can be sure that somewhere beyond the locked doors is one He has left unlocked. And when you open it and walk through, you will find yourself face to face with a turn in the river of opportunity—one that is broader and deeper than anything you ever dared to imagine, even in your wildest dreams. So set sail on it, because it flows to the open sea.
 
God often guides us through our circumstances. One moment, our way may seem totally blocked, but then suddenly some seemingly trivial incident occurs, appearing as nothing to others but speaking volumes to the keen eye of faith. And sometimes these events are repeated in various ways in response to our prayers. They certainly are not haphazard results of chance but are God opening up the way we should walk, by directing our circumstances. And they begin to multiply as we advance toward our goal, just as the lights of a city seem to increase as we speed toward it while traveling at night.
—F. B. Meyer
 
If you go to God for guidance, He will guide you. But do not expect Him to console you by showing you His list of purposes concering you, when you have displayed distrust of even half-trust in Him. What He will do, if you will trust Him and go cheerfully ahead when He shows you the way, is to guide you still farther.
—Horace Bushnell
 
As moves my fragile bark across the storm-swept sea,
Great waves beat o’er her side, as north wind blows;
Deep in the darkness hid lie threat’ning rocks and shoals;
But all of these, and more, my Pilot knows.
 
Sometimes when dark the night, and every light gone out,
I wonder to what port my frail ship goes;
Still though the night be long, and restless all my hours,
My distant goal, I’m sure, my Pilot knows.
—Thomas Curtis Clark

1 Copyright © 1997. Streams in the Desert, by L. B. CowmanZondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530

2 Copyright © 1982. Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, by J. Vernon McGee. Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers.

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5 Birthmarks of the Christian: How to be Certain of Your Salvation

This is a great piece by David Jeremiah which I read at Crosswalk.com. He breaks this down into five C’s: Confession, Change, Compassion, Conflict and Conduct.

5 Birthmarks of the Christian:
How to be Certain of Your Salvation

While the entire Bible stresses certainty and assurance, there’s one section of Scripture that stakes out this theme as its central focus—the letter of 1 John.

As we carefully read through 1 John, we notice a five-fold argument for the assurance of salvation—five of the birthmarks of the Christian.

The Birthmark of Confession

The first is the birthmark of confession, described in 1 John 5:1: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” Before you can have assurance of salvation, you have to believe and be saved. You have to confess Jesus Christ as Lord. Some people assume they are saved because they grew up in a Christian culture, or they have gone to church all their lives, or they have been baptized, or they have tried to live a good life. Yet they’ve never distinctly and personally confessed Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

The Bible teaches that we are sinners, separated from God by a sinful nature. We can never earn, buy, or climb our way into heaven. By our own efforts or goodness, we can never be saved. That’s why God became a man who lived a wholly righteous life, died on the cross, shed His blood for us, and rose from the dead. He paid our penalty, took our judgment upon Himself, and He offers us the opportunity to be born again.

Read the rest here.

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We will glorify the great I AM

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Here we are on another beautiful Praise and Worship Sunday!

Beloved, no matter what you’re going through today, I want to encourage you to ponder the infinite love of our great I AM as you watch the wonderful video below, “We Will Glorify,” sung by Twila Paris. I’m sure many of us have often sung this in church over the years.

I’m sure we can all agree that our great I AM is more than worthy to be glorified!

Then Moses said to God,
“Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them,
‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’
and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”

And God said to Moses,
“I AM WHO I AM.”
And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel,
‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
—Exodus 3:14-14

If for any reason you cannot view the video, you can read the lyrics here


New King James Version (NKJV) 
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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The Marriage Triangle: Love and Respect

Please visit TRC to read more of the great articles in this issue!

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The Marriage Triangle:
Love and Respect

by Anna Popescu

A vital aspect of a mutually happy marriage is when a couple treats each other as God intended. God created men and women with different talents, desires and relationship needs. Husbands and wives need to honor each other by assuming the marital roles as God designed them.

Women crave love from their husbands.

Men need to feel respected by their wives.

Add “no matter what” to both of those statements!

A key element in this is the dreaded word, “submission.” I’m sure all Christian married couples have read Paul’s lessons on this, and let’s just say that many of us cringe when the Ephesians passage about this comes up in a sermon. It never fails to cause many husbands to elbow their wives when the words “submission” and “respect” surface.

So let’s review what Paul has to say on this subject in Ephesians 5:21-33, below (all emphasis is mine). This is where we learn about submission as it relates to marriage. Ladies, bear with me as I uncover several parts of this important topic. It isn’t only about us needing to submit to our husbands!

 

21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

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This love and respect aspect of the marriage relationship is a huge part of biblical submission in marriage, and not just for the wives. Husbands and wives are to love and respect each other as partners in the covenant union they share with Jesus Christ.

That is what the Marriage Triangle is all about, and this is clearly shown in verse 21. Husbands and wives are to be subject to (submit to) each other.

Note that the command of verse 21 (submit to one another) actually applies to every member of the body of Christ. Paul is saying there is a mutual submission in the body of Christ that carries over into the family relationships. The husband shows his submission to the wife by his sacrificial love for her. His role is like that of Christ in John 13, where He girded Himself and washed the disciples’ feet, accepting the lowest task it was possible for Him to perform on their behalf.1

Though not submitting to his wife as a leader, a believing husband must submit to the loving duty of being sensitive to the needs, fears, and feelings of his wife. In other words, a Christian husband needs to subordinate his needs to hers, whether she is a Christian or not.2

Now we move on to how wives are to be subject to (submit to) their husbands. Don’t stop reading yet, Ladies!

 

22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Did you get that?

We wives are to be subject to our husbands as the head of our marriage, just as we are to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church (His bride). If we are believers in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, we are a part of that Church. As such, we are all to submit to Jesus out of reverence and respect for Him and His position as head of the Church.

The wife shows her submission to her husband by following his leadership, “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church” (v. 23).

The marital relationship is more intimate, personal, and inward than that of a master and slave. That is indicated in Ephesians 5:22 by the phrase “your own husbands.” The husband-wife relationship is built on an intimate possessiveness.3

I love this next part:

The verse seems to imply that it is assumed the wife would willingly respond in submission to one whom she possesses.3

Wives, you possess your husband as much as he possesses you! Have you ever thought of it that way before? Not as in a material possession. It is more in the manner of belonging completely to each other.

By the same token, husbands are instructed to love their wives.

I know; you’re probably wondering why Paul needed to tell husbands what they already know and feel: that they love their wives. But read on to see exactly how husbands are supposed to love their wives.

 

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;

29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

30 because we are members of His body.

31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

The husband is to love his wife “just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (verse 25). Yes, a husband loves his wife, but this is a different facet of that love, deeper and more a part of that covenant marriage relationship we share with Jesus.

A husband is to love his wife with the same selfless love that Jesus had for His bride when He willingly died for our sins. This kind of love means the husband is to cherish his wife, treating her with tenderness, treasuring her and desiring to nurture her.

First, the loving husband gives of himself. In his leadership role as head, he seeks to lead by giving of himself to his wife in ways analogous to how Christ gave Himself to His bride. Christ’s giving of Himself was personal and sacrificial. This great principle of self-giving sets the tone and points toward the many ways in which this love can be manifested and realized.

Second, Christ’s giving of Himself was for the benefit of His bride—He gave Himself up “for her.” Just so, the husband’s self-giving should be for his wife’s benefit. In short, we may speak of this love as a giving of oneself for the benefit of the other.4

 

And the wife is to “see to it that she respects her husband” (verse 33).

All of us who are believers in and followers of Jesus Christ should respect Jesus’ role as the Head of His bride, the Church. But in this verse, Paul is particularly speaking to the wives and encouraging us to respect our husbands and esteem them as the head of our marriage—just as we respect and esteem Jesus Christ as the Head of His Church.

33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

The respect asked of a wife recognizes the God-given character of the headship of her husband and thus treats him with dutiful regard and deference. Just as husbands have been asked to display their headship through likeness to Christ’s headship over His church, that is, through a love that cherishes and nourishes (verse 25, 28, 29), so now wives are asked to render their submission in a way that is most like that of the submission of the church to Christ, that is, a truly respectful submission because it is rendered voluntarily from the heart.

A wife’s respecting her husband and his headship therefore implies that her submission involves not only what she does but also her attitude in doing it. As with the husband, so with the wife, it is the heart’s attitude of grateful acceptance of the role God assigns to each and the determination to fulfill the particular role with all the graciousness God gives that Paul is urging on both wives and husbands in this last verse of his instruction.4

This is admittedly a hard lesson to learn when all around us society is eroding the concept of Biblical marriage as created by God.

Rick and I were talking about this recently, about how the media (especially TV) loves to portray the husband as a doofus who has no control over his household, and the wife, as the one who is in charge of the family because she always knows what is best. These are dangerous role models for men and women to follow because they are the exact opposite of what God has ordained for husbands and wives.

StLoveEachOtherCoupleEmbracingrive to stay strong in your marriage. Love each other with the kind of love Jesus has for His bride, the Church.

Husbands, love your wife as Jesus loves His Church. Wives, respect your husband just like you respect Jesus as the Head of the Church.

Here’s verse 33 once again, but I’ve emphasized certain parts to make a point:

33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

The point? Husbands and wives each have God-mandated responsibilities in marriage so that they will get along better and resolve disagreements in a God-honoring way.

Sure, there will be times when it will not be easy to remember how we are to Biblically treat or respond to our spouse. Those are the times to take our focus off of ourselves and the difficulty we’re going through, and instead, place that focus on Jesus Christ, the head of our marriage.


1Grace to You, “The Role of Women”

2Grace to You, “What Does it Mean to Dwell With Your Wife With Understanding?”

3GraceToYou.org, “Answering the Key Questions About the Family”

4Bible.org, “Husbands and Wives as Analogues of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:21 and Colossians 3:18-19)”

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The Lord has done great things for us

Psalm 126

A Song of Ascents.

When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter
and our tongue with joyful shouting;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
 The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.

Restore our captivity, O Lord,
as the streams in the South.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
he who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.1

It seemed too good to be true that they were able to return to Jerusalem. It was like a dream—they couldn’t believe it. Now they want to give a testimony to the world.

The remnant of Israel that returned to their land after the Babylonian captivity does not exhaust the meaning of this psalm. It also looks forward to their national restoration when their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns.

Let me quote Dr. Gaebelein’s comment at the conclusion of this Psalm. “Beautiful is the ending of this Psalm of prophecy. We must think first of all of Him who came in humility and sowed His precious seed with tears, our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Only His Father knows the many tears which He shed in His presence in secret prayer . . .  And it is perfectly proper to apply this to ourselves also. So let us weep and scatter the seed! ‘Let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not’ (Gal. 6:9)” (The Book of Psalms, p. 456).2

1New American Standard Bible (NASB)Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

2J. Vernon McGee, Through the Bible with J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983).

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Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations…

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Therefore GO and make disciples of all nations… —Matthew 28:19

Rick and I are blessed to belong to Full Throttle Biker Church, which was founded in 2005. We have met as a church in several previous venues, and are currently located in Prescott Valley, Arizona. However, we’ve been praying lately about where the Lord wants us next because we seem to be busting the seams of our small church area. Here’s a little more about our church, so you can get a feel for what we believe. The photo above is from one of our ministry runs.

Celtic Cross Motorcycle Ministries, is a Christian outreach ministry founded by our church, with a mission of evangelism. Matthew 28:19 is the Scripture upon which our church and our ministry is based.

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The statements below are shared by Full Throttle Biker Church and Celtic Cross M/M.

Mission Statement

We are a church dedicated to serving the community in the Prescott/Quad Cities Arizona area. We are mission and field-oriented, and believe in delivering the undiluted Word of God “in plain ol’ English.” We are a Patriotic American church that supports the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and firmly believes that the United States of America is a Christian Nation. We are a 2nd Amendment-supporting church, so firearms are welcome.

Statement of Faith

What we believe about the Bible

We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as verbally inspired of God, and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are the supreme and final authority in faith and life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Acts 17:11; and Isaiah 8:20)

What we believe about God

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT.

GOD THE FATHER: We believe in God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth, perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom and measureless in power. We rejoice that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Matthew 5:48; Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3; Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:2-3; Psalm 103:19; Ephesians 1:11; 1 Kings 8:27; and Psalm 90:2)

THE SON: We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, sinless in His life, and making atonement for the sin of the world by His shed blood and death on the cross. We believe in His bodily resurrection, His ascension into heaven, and His high priestly intercession for His people. We believe in His personal, visible and triumphant return to the world according to His promise. (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:14; Hebrews 10:9; John 1:29; 1 John 2:1-2; John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; and Acts 1:11)

THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from God to convict the world of sin, to convince the world of righteousness and of judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and comfort those who believe in Jesus Christ. (John 15:26; John 16:8-11; Romans 6:3-6; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; and 1 Peter 1:1-3)

What we believe about People

MAN: We believe that man was created in the image of God; that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; and that all human beings are sinners by nature and by choice. (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:15-17; and Romans 3:10-12, 23)

SALVATION: We believe that God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV) We believe that all who receive, by faith, Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are born again of the Holy Spirit and therefore become children of God. We believe that justification means that a person is declared righteous in the sight of God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. (John 1:12; Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 1:13; 2:8-10)

STATUS IN ETERNITY: We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting, conscious punishment of the lost. (Matthew 25:46)

HUMAN RESPONSIBILITY: We believe that every human being has responsibility to God alone in all matters of faith. (Romans 14:11-12)

What we believe about the Church

 THE CHURCH: We believe in the Church—a living, spiritual body—in which Christ is the Head and of which all regenerated people are members. We believe that a visible church is a company of believers in Jesus Christ, buried with Him in baptism and associated for the purpose of leading believers toward maturity through worship, instruction, fellowship and evangelism. We believe that Christ has committed to the local church the ordinances of Baptism and Communion to be observed until He comes, and that Christ has committed to the church the responsibility to proclaim to a lost world their need to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and to recognize Him as Lord. We believe that human betterment and social improvement are essential products of the Gospel. (Ephesians 1:22-23; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; and John 8:31-32)

ATTITUDE TOWARD CIVIL GOVERNMENT: We believe that each church is independent and autonomous, and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; therefore, Church and State must be kept separate, as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from the dictation or patronage of the other. We also believe that it is the responsibility of the church (individually and corporately) to live in submission to the government, as long as that does not violate Scripture or conscience and to pray for those who are in authority over us. (1 Timothy 2:1-3; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14; Acts 5:29; Matthew 23:10; Romans 13:1-7)

The Not-So-Fine Print

  • Full Throttle Biker Church is located at 8680 E. Highway 69, Suite A, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314.
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Part of our church family

  • Leadership: Pastor “Psycho” Joe Dugan, Pastor “Digger” Tim Roeder and Pastor “Smokey” Larry Kimmel.
Pastor Joe

Pastor Joe

Pastors Tim and Larry

Pastors Tim and Larry

  •  We are a fellowship that supports our Veterans, our Troops, and prays constantly for the return of God to our country and government.
  • Church hours:
    • Sunday —Praise, Worship and Fellowship: 9:30 am – 11:30 am
    • Monday —Veterans’ Coffee Hangout: 8:00 am – 11:00 am
    • WednesdayBible study: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Our worship team

If you live in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, or Paulden, Arizona, please visit us to see what we’re all about.  You do not have to be a biker to be part of our church. You can find out more about Full Throttle Biker Church here and Celtic Cross M/M here.

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How to strengthen your faith

There is a great question and answer section on Billy Graham’s site titled “Answers.” Today’s post is from there and is an excellent reminder for all of us. While you’re there, please check out the wealth of resources at Billy Graham’s wonderful site.

Q: I admit my faith is weak, but I know it would be strong if I could only see Jesus with my own eyes, even for just one minute. Why shouldn’t I ask God to do this for me?

A: God has already given you everything you need to make your faith stronger. Instead of praying for Jesus to appear to you somehow (which He never promised to do), you should be praying instead for the discipline to use the means He has given you to strengthen your faith. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

I often think of the similarity between physical strength and spiritual strength. What do we need to stay physically strong and healthy? We need two things: food and exercise. If we don’t eat, we’ll grow weaker, waste away and eventually die. And if we don’t exercise, we’ll also grow weak and won’t be useful or helpful to others.

Read the rest here.

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God is Looking for Intercessors

This is another of Greg Laurie’s great daily devotionals on his Harvest.org site. Why not browse his site while you’re there reading the rest of his post?

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God is Looking for Intercessors

By Greg Laurie

Then the Lord said, “I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.”

 

Moses had many frustrations with the Israelites. He had complained to God on multiple occasions about them. But when God told Moses that He was going to wipe them out, Moses pleaded with God to relent.

Read the rest here.

Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

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