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Posts Tagged ‘A Seeking Heart’

A Call to Prepare

More Given – More Required

“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will,
and prepared not himself,
neither did according to his will,
shall be beaten with many stripes”
LUKE 12:46

A Word to those who feel secure in being part of the remnant. The remnant are they who prepare themselves for the DAY that is upon us. The remnant are they whose obedience is full; for Obedience is the revelation of our submission to Him! God is not interested in what we know or think we know; HE covers those who hide themselves in HIM.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
2 Corinthians 5:17

The depth of our being in Him is correspondingly expressed by the new life which is exhibited in our daily living*. This is a word to God’s people. This is a word concerning today. Somehow we have to come to think that being born again is like a “get out of jail free” card; we no longer have responsibility or accountability for how we live our daily lives. The context of this scripture is one that should cause us to radically consider our ways and our concept of what it means to be His own.

But and if that servant say in his heart, my lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” LUKE 12:45-48

From these very words we can clearly see that HE REQUIRES MORE of His people than of the world. The more we know of HIS Kingdom the more shall be required of us. Greater understanding brings greater accountability. Rather than being puffed up with knowledge we need to be sober and filled with fear and trembling as we walk before Him. The “fear of the Lord is the beginning (chief part) of wisdom”. Men who do not fear Him do not know Him. Men who seek and desire preeminent places of standing, who seek recognition and favor from others, know not God. It is a day to walk lowly and humbly before our God. It is a day to prepare ourselves for the fury of that which is about to break forth in our land.

The Greek word used here for prepare** is the same Greek word translated in the Gospels when speaking of John the Baptist’s ministration as a fore runner to prepare the way of the Lord. It is a warning to us that we are to be prepared. In the Greek it is an active verb which means it is incumbent upon us to be ACTIVE in the fulfilling of this word. The judgment comes to those who do not PREPARE themselves and they who know and do not are in greater judgment than those who knew not. Let us take heed to this. Let us know that our boldness in the day of Judgment is determined by our likeness to Him.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness
in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world
1JOHN 4:17

How we are in this world determines our day of Judgment. The Day of preparation is all about the heart. It is about right motives and intentions; for it is the PURE IN HEART who shall SEE GOD. Our greatest need in this hour is to SEE HIM for that is the only hope we have of becoming like HIM (2 Corinthians 3:18). Malachi prophesying of our day speaks of Him coming to His people as a refiner’s fire…

“But who may abide the day of his coming?
and who shall stand when he appeareth?
for he is like a refiner’s fire,
and like fullers ‘soap: And he shall sit
as a refiner and purifier of silver…”
MALACHI 3:2-3

The DAY of HIS appearing is unfolding before our eyes. The distress of nations is upon us. Fear is beginning to grip men’s hearts. The very foundations of society are being removed and men do not know where to put their trust. It is for this Day that the scriptures warn us to be a people who ARE preparing ourselves and are warning those around us as to the day and the hour in which we are living. It is not the Day for business as usual. This is no time for routine Sunday sermons and fire-less prayer meetings; casual Biblical discussions that do not bring conviction, the fear of the Lord and a stirring of the heart unto love and devotion to Jesus.

Many will say in that day “Lord, Lord…” to which Jesus will respond “I never knew you…”

May God stir our hearts afresh to be vigilant and sober that we be not overtaken by the slumber and apathy of this hour.

“Prepare ye the Way of the Lord”

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”
ISAIAH 40:3-4

*NOTE:
It is in view of these truths that I am sending this out to anyone anywhere who desires to meet together, seek His face and cry out unto Him for change, purity of heart and to be found completely HID in Him.  Many are seeing the apathy all around us but somewhere we MUST come to a new abiding place in Him. A knowing of a fresh new faith which brings His resources to us in order that we may live beyond our own abilities. There is a call going forth to gather ourselves unto Him even as Anna and Simeon who spent their days in prayer for they KNEW HE was coming; and they saw HIM!

God’s Word to me the other day…

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
Genesis 6:8

This was Noah’s portion BEFORE the Flood.

Come together, make everyone come together, O nation without shame; Before the Lord sends you violently away in flight like the waste from the grain; before the burning wrath of the Lord comes on you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath comes on you. Make search for the Lord, all you quiet ones of the earth, who have done what is right in his eyes; make search for righteousness and a quiet heart: it may be that you will be safely covered in the day of the Lord’s wrath”
Zephaniah 2:1-3 (BBE)

**NOTE: ἑτοιμάζω
1. To make ready, prepare
2. To make the necessary preparations,
get everything ready
3 Metaphorically drawn from the oriental custom of sending on before Kings on their journeys persons to level the roads and make them passable (Isaiah 40:3-4)
To prepare the minds of men to give the Messiah a fit reception and secure his blessings.
BLB Greek Lexicon

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Discovering God’s Ways

THE SEALED BOOK AND OUR BOAZ

“…and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet,
and laid her down”
Ruth 3:7

We live in a day of information overload with data available at the click of a finger. This data, transferable at incredible speeds, can be accessed from anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. A whole Bible translation can be downloaded in less than a minute. One would think if ever there was a day where men could know God surely this is would be that day. Yet there has never been a day of greater darkness upon the world. The Word itself testifies of this day…

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words,
and seal the book, even to the time of the end:
many shall run to and fro,
and knowledge shall be increased”
Daniel 12:4

We read here that “even to the time of the end” Daniel’s words are shut up and the book sealed (ready to be revealed in these days Ephesians 3:5) while men run from place to place and knowledge is increased. Knowledge will never pry open the mysteries of God. Men in their pursuit of knowledge will never access those Holy places of Divine Revelation and Understanding. We have seen endless books written about such things but with the passage of time they are often found futile and obsolete. Time itself is the verification of all truth. Men peering into the pages of the sacred scriptures (without an eternal view) will always seek to bend truth to the moment in which they live to support their agendas. God will not reveal His ways to such. The Greeks sought God by wisdom and the Jews through religious works and miraculous signs (1 Corinthians 1:22). Our world is now filled with a multitude of religions and Christian sects comprised to varying degrees of the mixture of these two carnal ways; an effort to conciliate the unfulfilled cry within their hearts and the search for value and meaning.

“…the world by wisdom knew not God”
1 Corinthians 1:21

The discovery of God’s ways is out of reach to the carnal man. It is not to be found in the accumulation of data, nor in the religious works of men, nor in the “running to and fro” of men to conferences, teachers and sages. For Truth is a person (Jesus said “I am the Truth”) not a teaching or doctrine (John 14:6). He is the living TRUTH, (1Timothy 2:5) Eternal, Just and True and His ways are past finding out. Truth is, in all reality, the life of Jesus living within man. The measure of truth within a man is revealed in the life that he lives!

“Ye shall know the truth
and the truth will make you free”
John 8:32

No amount of teaching or the accumulation of data will set a man free from himself and the world around Him. No more than a man by jumping with all of his strength can free himself from the law of gravity. It takes a power and a life to so invade a man as to effect such a radical change from within that men are able to know this freedom of which Jesus spoke. This power is found in only One and His name is Jesus. It is in Him that men “move and have their being” (the Greek here is literally “are”). It is to this end “that all creation is groaning and travailing” (Romans 8:19-23). Through man’s disobedience, enticed by the promise of eating of the tree of knowledge, the Book of Life was sealed and man became subject to the “law of sin and death”. The sealing of this Book was in accordance to the law of Righteousness just as a man who disobeys earthly laws is subject to imprisonment and loss of liberty. This Book of Life was sealed in heavenly places out of the reach of fallen man.

The Sealed Book
Revelation 5:1-14

When John saw the “sealed book” in heaven he wept for there was no man who was worthy to open it!

“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne
a book written within and on the backside,
sealed with seven seals

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
Who is worthy to open the book,
and to loose the seals thereof?

And no man in heaven, nor in earth,
neither under the earth, was able to open the book,
neither to look thereon

And I wept much,
because no man was found worthy
to open and to read the book,
neither to look thereon”
Revelation 5:1-4

This Book of Life was sealed through man’s disobedience and the only way for it to be opened was by a Man whose obedience was perfect and complete. While John wept over the “sealed book” an Elder spoke to him…

“Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book,
and to loose the seven seals thereof.

And I beheld, and, lo,
in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts,
and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb
as it had been slain,
having seven horns and seven eyes,
which are the seven Spirits of God
sent forth into all the earth.

And he came
and took the book
out of the right hand of Him
that sat upon the throne”
Revelation 5:5-7

We must pause here and give all Glory to Jesus for He has prevailed! He came and took the Book out of the Hand of God Almighty and opened it on our behalf! The reason we have life is because He overcame and in the ministration of His Life into us we are also to overcome. His desire is to bring forth a people who will rule and reign with Him; not on the basis of a teaching but because of the operation of His Life within us producing and bringing forth His Victory in our own experience.

“And when he had taken the book,
the four beasts and four and twenty elders
fell down before the Lamb,
having every one of them harps,
and golden vials full of odours,
which are the prayers of saints.

And they sung a new song, saying,
Thou art worthy to take the book,
and to open the seals thereof:
for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us
to God by thy blood
out of every kindred, and tongue,
and people, and nation”
Revelation 5:8-9

The drama of this transaction being played out in the heavens resulted in all of heaven worshipping and glorifying Jesus, the Lamb of God! The scriptures declare “Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” We see here the fruit and reward of His Obedience and Suffering. Shall we not in this hour find in Him the strength, virtue and ability to overcome the trials in our day? Knowing this on a doctrinal level is not sufficient to impart the ability to abide in these living truths. Jesus said that the “words He speaks are Spirit and Life”. As such they can only be received by a heart which is compliant to His Will and abiding in His Spirit.

“And we are his witnesses of these things;
and so is also the Holy Ghost,
whom God hath given to them that obey him.”
Acts 5:32

The depth of our receiving of His Holy Spirit is determined by our obedience and the yielding of our lives to His Will. The reason for the Holy Spirit being sent into this world is to guide us into all truth. He has come to lead us into the very life of Jesus by a new and living way. It is by way of relationship; taking His Yoke upon us, learning of Him and following and abiding within Him. These are not intellectual concepts but a discipline and a surrender of our will to His. The discovery of His Ways will not be by the efforts of men trampling through His Word with carnal wisdom but rather by a heart which has been broken and acknowledges its own condition.

“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembleth at my word”
Isaiah 66:2

We live in a day in which few “tremble” at His Word. To believe His Word and obey it is not only unpopular but scorned in those who would uphold it in the midst of a “crooked and perverse generation”. Men who do not tremble at His word treat it as a historical document, a book of instructions and good sayings, a source of religious sermons and quotations. Men who see His Word as Holy, walk carefully through its sacred pages with a desire to be instructed, comforted, reproved and made right by its ministration. The heart that finds its sole source of hope and salvation in His Word seeks to grow into a life of yielding to it. It is to such that the Word becomes living and vibrant. It is they who see the face of God in His glory and hear the voices of the prophets in its substance (Acts 13:27).

Our Boaz

Those who tremble at His word gaze upon it with awe and wonder. They approach it in prayer and with reverence.

“…and she came softly,
and uncovered his feet,
and laid her down”
Ruth 3:7

What a beautiful picture this is of Ruth who, though not belonging to the House of Israel, an outcast by the Law, her husband dead and therefore in need of someone to redeem her portion in the earth, came in to Boaz (who had the right of redemption by virtue of marriage to an Israelite) softly (not upon the grounds of a right but upon the grounds of mercy); uncovered His feet (desiring to learn of His Way); and laid herself down (resting from her own works) to rest in His. Boaz means “In Him who is strength” (in the Hebrew) rises upon her behalf to redeem her inheritance. This same Moabite woman became a part of the very lineage of Christ. So it is that those who walk softly, and with contrite hearts, seek to lay themselves down in His presence and uncover His ways will so find themselves with a redeemed inheritance in Him!

”I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
by the roes, and by the hinds of the field,
that ye stir not up, nor awake my love,
till he please”
Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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KNOWN OF GOD

“But if any man love God,
the same is known of him.”
1Corinthians 8:3

At first glance it seems superfluous to speak of God knowing a man as a result of that man loving God. We reason that God knows all things so why consider this verse to hold some lofty thought of Him who does know all things. The knowledge spoken of here is of an intimate and personal nature. It speaks of relationship and interaction. It is a very high, very deep knowledge borne out of friendship and the flow of the life of the Son. It is the very Spirit of Christ enveloping and binding the redeemed man to the bosom of the Father through the efficacy and power of the blood. Out of this growing union of such depth and wonder comes the reality of being known of God Himself. This knowledge is not available by the intellect; the religious man will never tread upon such holy and sacred ground. It is something that can only be apprehended through the medium of LOVE; a love that transcends knowledge, a love that is born of God, given by God and received by the man who is being transformed by the seeing of Him. We read of this at the end of the Love Chapter of 1Corinthians 13:12 “…but then shall I know even as also I am known”. The knowing of Him is in direct proportion to Him knowing us. It springs from being so overwhelmed with this LOVE of God that we give Him the reigns of our hearts to discipline, chasten and to freely work within our hearts the desire to do His Will. This knowledge of which God speaks here is the fruit of relationship with Him. There will be many who do great works for God, even those which seem of a spiritual nature, who will not know of this intimacy.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity”
Matthew 7:22-23

Though God knows all things and is a discerner of the thoughts, intentions and actions of men, it is those who LOVE Him who shall be known of Him. Love is not only the end and fruit of God’s work within a man; it is the very cause of a man knowing and being known of God. John goes on to say concerning this great mystery and the assurance that can be ours…

“And hereby we do know that we know him,
if we keep his commandments”
1John 2:3

“But whoso keepeth his word,
in him verily is the love of God perfected:
hereby know we that we are in him”
1John 2:5

“And he that keepeth his commandments
dwelleth in him, and he in him.
And hereby we know that he abideth in us,
by the Spirit which he hath given us”
1John 3:24

In the scriptures Faith and Love are synonymous with obedience and the keeping of His commandments. The one who loves God keeps His commandments because of the great desire to please Him.

“But if any man love God,
the same is known of him.”
1Corinthians 8:3

Brian Troxel

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LET US DRAW NEAR

“Draw near to God,
and He will draw near to you”
JAMES 4:8

Being a child of God has great privileges. One of the awesome rights we have in Christ Jesus is to draw near to Him at all times. This right of entrance into His Holy Presence has been secured for us by the merit and blood of the precious lamb. True relationship is only known by the free choice of the ones involved. This requires an expression of desire to interact with one another in order to deepen and grow that relationship. In this verse the action of drawing near to God is initiated by the child of God! In drawing near to HIM we have the promise that God will reciprocate by drawing near to the one who is seeking HIS presence. The Father will always respond to HIS beloved child! Love ever seeks out the object of its desire. It is that LOVE of HIM in us that initiates the drawing closer to HIM! How God loves those who seek HIM out; it is the fruit of His love in us.

“Jehovah is with you while you are with Him.
And if you seek Him, He will be found by you.
But if you forsake Him, He will forsake you”
2 CHRONICLES 15:2

We have a promise given by God himself that if we draw near to HIM, we can expect the ever faithful ONE to draw near to us. In weakness, temptation and trial HE is our portion. HIS promises stand as a beacon in the midst of all of our troubles. DRAW NEAR to HIM and we will surely find that HE has already been moving toward us. Even as the father of the prodigal son saw him afar off and ran out to meet him, so the God of all Grace responds to the one who is drawing near unto Him.

Let us rise every morning and start the day with a true heart that draws near to Him. The provision of that fresh touch of His Spirit is ours by the very Covenant of God Himself. This opportunity of drawing near is secured for us; it rests not upon feelings or merit. These provisions have been eternally secured by the God who cannot lie. The inherent right of every child of God is there for us to appropriate!

“Let us draw near with a true heart
in full assurance of faith”
HEBREWS 10:22

Brian Troxel

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“Captivated by Beauty”

“After this many of his disciples
turned back and no longer walked with him.
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life”
JOHN 6:66 – 68

The “seeing” of Him is the essential element of TRUE discipleship. Discipleship on any other basis is simply religious fervor that leads to legalism and fanaticism. On the other hand, men who have not seen the unparalleled beauty of the Son pursue nothing. They are quite satisfied with the knowledge of being a child of God without any real desire for a deeper relationship with Him than what they have now (Philippians 3:7-14).

We see here in Peter’s response to Jesus that they could not go away for they had discovered in Him the words and the source of eternal life; their hearts had been captivated by a beauty beyond compare. In one of the parables of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of God Jesus said…

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it”
MATTHEW 13:45 – 46

The ardency of the pursuit of Christ is the revelation of what one has seen. The fruit of seeing is a life of following and seeking. The true beauty of Christ ruins us for the trappings of religious contentment that knows not the cry for a knowing of Him. It is in the FINDING OF HIM that the merchant goes and sells all that he has to purchase this great treasure.

Men who have not truly found Him do not pursue Him; there is no compulsion within to know this ONE PEARL of great price. It is only in KNOWING HIM that we are privileged to see the surpassing beauty of His Glory. To such an end have the promises of God been given…

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled”
MATTHEW 5:6

“Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth;
and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”
MATTHEW 7:8

Let us take note of the tremendous assurance of His promises; Ask… IT WILL BE GIVEN, Seek…YOU WILL FIND, Knock… IT WILL BE OPENED! The real beauty of these promises is “for EVERYONE that…”! How can we sit idle or find comfort in simply knowing Him from afar? How can we linger with such promises given?

We live in a day of such apathy and ungodly contentment; where men and women hold the “knowledge” of God in a lukewarm and casual manner. We speak of salvation as a one -time event that having now been born again the work of God is complete and I can live my life with very little ongoing growth or development. We are content with remaining servants without any desire to grow from servants to friends with God.

“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants;
for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:
but I have called you friends;
for all things that I have heard of my Father
I have made known* unto you”
JOHN 15:14 – 15

Friendship with God requires obedience and hearing. It requires one who is coming to know the heart and the ways of God. It is a RELATIONSHIP that is ever growing and it necessitates change on my part. It requires a seeking and a desire to know HIM who is the ONE GREAT LOVE of the FATHER.

Where else can we go, to whom else can we turn? Nowhere but to Him who is the source of all life, hope and glory!

*γνωρίζω gnōrizō; to make known; it is used here as an aorist verb. See John 17:26 where Jesus in speaking to His Father said “…I have declared unto them thy name, and will (continue to) declare it”

To learn is to grow and to to grow is to live.

Brian Troxel

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CURIOSITY

“…the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him,
Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not;
but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then?
Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet?
And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou?
that we may give an answer to them that sent us”
I JOHN 1:19 – 22

The individuals quoted here were not interested in truth; they merely asked questions of John that they could satisfy the curiosity of the religious leaders of that day. Apparently the leaders of that day had such little interest in the things of God that they could not even be bothered to seek out the substance of these things for themselves. History has a tendency to repeat itself. Man’s unregenerate heart at its basic state remains unchanged throughout the history of man. The rhetoric remains; the terminology may change, and the thing that God is doing may be different, but the response is the same, Religion prefers the historical account of an event rather than the current manifestation, or as Peter would state “the present truth”, of God’s will in the earth. The true seeker is one whose passion is to know HIM more today than was known of HIM yesterday. In the glimpses we are afforded there is a grace that compels us to cry out for a truer and deeper seeing of HIM. Men seek that which they love and pursue the things on which their heart is set.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single,
thy whole body shall be full of light”
MATTHEW 6:21

In this day of information overload we see and hear much curiosity in the “teaching” that some ascribe to; as if truth were simply an arrangement of scriptures arbitrarily put together with which we can substantiate any given lifestyle. This type of religion has very little (if any) effect upon the ones who hold such views. For truth to be true it must necessitate a CHANGE in the one who holds it. It must first of all CONVICT an individual of the absolute necessity for the REDEMPTIVE act of God; an ongoing CRY for CHANGE at the heart level of who we are. Truth is not a statement of our doctrines. Rather it is the SPIRIT of GOD working from within to transform the very fabric of our being, what we are by nature, into an expression of the Living God. THE PURPOSE OF TRUTH IS TO MAKE US TRUE. The sad testimony of this hour is that there is a satisfaction in knowing about the historical events of God without any pursuit to know HIM in a greater way today. When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God HE gave the following parable…

“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
who, when he had found one pearl of great price,
went and sold all that he had and bought it”
MATTHEW 13:45 – 46

Truth will not be found of those who casually ask, leisurely inquire or by those who seek the approval of men. Truth is known of those who understand the costs associated with its acquisition. We cannot grow in truth while we cling to our own untruthful self and self-interests. We cannot remain where we are if we are caught up in the pursuit of HIM who is truth. Truth always beckons us to more of HIM! It bids us to “take up our cross and follow HIM”. It does not allow us to hold onto unforgiveness, envy, lusts, jealously and anger; it produces a deep awareness of our own poverty and brings us to the realization of our riches in the Risen Christ.

The journey into truth beckons us to “ask” in order to receive, “seek” in order to find and to “knock” in order to enter its door; “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it”. (Matt 7:7 – 9)

Ω

“I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain”
A. W. Tozer

Brian Troxel

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