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Posts Tagged ‘SEEKING HIS FACE’


Thought for Today

It Takes a Seeking

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Matthew 7:14

The strait gate and the narrow way that lead unto life in Jesus are, in His own words, found by few. To find a thing precludes that there was effort spent in seeking it. Jesus exhorted us to seek in order to find, to ask in order to receive and to knock in order to enter into the things He has prepared for us.

Much of the preaching of today appeals to the broad and easy way; these lead to destruction. There is very little ministered concerning the “pursuit of God” and finding His purpose for our lives. A gospel which is not costly is a gospel which cannot transform us. The only Life offered us is the resurrected life of Jesus; a life which rises out of our own death to self.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat”
Matthew 7:13

The strait gate speaks of a narrowness of entry; a way that confines the unruly and rebellious heart of the natural man. No wonder it is not a popular message! It is hard to fill our pews by preaching the narrow way. It is hard to promote our programs and agendas when we speak of dying to self, picking up our cross and becoming a disciple of Christ. It is worth noting the context of these two scriptures (Matthew 7:13-14) for Jesus goes on to say:

“Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly they are ravening wolves”
Matthew 7:15

It is the false prophets, false teachers and ministers who would present anything other than the strait gate and the narrow way. The disciple of Christ chooses a despised and rigorous way. The way of the cross is the only way into the authentic Life of Christ. The broad way will speak of the life, it will preach about the life but if it does not introduce us to the narrow way of the cross it will remain a theory and a teaching rather than the finding of His Life.

They who seek the narrow way will find it and they who enter through the strait gate have begun the journey into His fullness.

The Narrow Way

The narrow way is the way of contradiction
We trade our life for His
We forsake our liberty to walk in His
We die to self so that we may live
We yield our sense of Justice to know His…
The Perfect One slain for sinners
We receive forgiveness as we forgive others
We give up our love to be ruled by His.

May we heed the invitation of Jesus “Enter in…”. It is the heart and call of God to those who have ears to hear.

Brian Troxel

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Quote for Today

“We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness”
– Francis Chan

“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:13-14

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“THE TIME OF SEALING”

sound the alarm

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men
who are settled
* in complacency, who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”

ZEPHANIAH 1:12

In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..

It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”

EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”

REVELATION 7:2 – 3

It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.

“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”

Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!

*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6).  (S. Zodhiates)

Brian Troxel

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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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Transition: The WAY of Truth

“And I turned to see the voice which spoke with me.
And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands,
and in the midst of the seven lampstands
One like the Son of man…”
Revelation 1:12-13

Those who are true desire the truth; living truth which comes to those who walk and live in the Spirit. It comes at a cost and with the requirement for the individual to respond in order to receive its power. Any “truth” that does not require response and change is not living truth. It is in hearing and turning we are enabled to see. In turning from our ways and the current measure of truth we hold we are enabled by His wondrous grace to see Him anew. Those who walk in the static world of religion, words, teachings and doctrines of men never change. The growth and development of that on-going revelation of Christ becomes stagnant and motionless. The horizons of vision do not change with the passage of time and the wonder of His life becomes drab and uninviting to themselves and to those about them. The fervency of passion has long since subsided and the fire of burning hope is replaced with the cold and emptiness of a religious life.

It is in the hearing of His Word and the response from our hearts to the voice which calls us where we see Him in a new and higher way. This turning causes the former things to pass away as we step into that which is new and living. Transition and repentance is the hallmark of those who desire The Way. Those who walk in this living path become an antagonism to those who are static and set in something less than the “new” of God. God’s truth is one of unveiling the mysteries and glories of Christ and as such there is never a point of arrival; His Glory has no end! Eternity is not long enough to exhaust the wonders of our risen Lord. The scriptures are full of men and women who knew the Way of change and transition.

Job

“I have heard of You by hearing of the ear,
but NOW my eye has seen You;
Therefore, I despise myself,
and I have repented on dust and ashes”
Job 42:5-6 (LITV)

We must ever be going on. That which I know today must be eclipsed by a further seeing and knowing of Him. Those who are of the truth cannot abide in what they see now for within is the continual cry to see Him in a deeper and fuller way. Consider Moses who saw such signs and wonders in his walk with God yet cried out at the end of his journey show me more of your glory.

“Lord Jehovah,
You have begun to show Your servant
Your greatness and Your mighty hand…”
Deuteronomy 3:24

Moses at the end of his life knew that all he had seen, heard and understood was the mere beginning of God’s glory. Do we not feel within our own heart of hearts the desire for “more of God”? Is there not an aching to go deeper and higher wherein dwell things which cannot be put into words? Paul saw things, heard things, which could not be shared because of their holiness and the inability to put them into the vernacular of man. How can men and women rest in the shallow waters of teachings and concepts (though good in themselves)? These things must become the bud of which the flower is produced, and the flower must give way to the fruit. and the fruit must give way to the seed so that it may replicate the wonder and glory of God in another heart. Such is the law of Life.

Ezekiel could not stop at the waters to the ankles, he could not linger in the waters to the knees, and the waters to the loins could not hold him from the depths of the “waters to swim in” (Ezekiel 47). Let us find grace to hear, to turn and to respond to the call of God to see Him anew. May we be so smitten with His Glory that the present place of abiding is merely a momentary one of provision to finish the race set before us. Let His hunger to fill our hearts with more of Him. Relationship is the mystery of God into which we have been called; not things about God or even of God. The true heart cannot rest until it is found in Him and in Him we become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) of wonder at which even the angels will marvel for ages to come.

“…that He might show in the coming ages
the exceeding great riches of His grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”
Ephesians 2:7

The hunger of the average Christian life in our day is revealed in the contentment with the status quo. Paul in writing to the Church of God in Corinth about the Love of God spoke to them of transition and going on. He had earlier called them carnal for clinging to the ministries of God by choosing one over another thus segregating and secularizing the Body of Christ. (i.e. “I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ”) Paul’s call to this carnal church (which fully resembles the one in our day) was to move beyond the childhood phase to grow up and become full grown people in God. The transition from childhood in God into maturity requires us to put away (turn from) childish things. Childish things are not wrong in themselves but they become wrong when people linger in them and fail to develop in God.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child,
I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man,
I put away childish things”
1 Corinthians 13:11

In the processes of God, we must grow from the infant into the man, we must go from needing bread to becoming bread, and we must go from water to the ankles to waters to swim in (Ezekiel 47:1-5) by responding to His living word.

The deeper truths are withheld from His children and reserved for those who have been exercised in their growth in God.

“Concerning whom we have much to say,
and hard to interpret since you have become dull in hearing”
Hebrews 5:11

The Apostle was eager to share the deeper truths of Melchizedek but was restrained because of their lack of development:

“For indeed because of the time you are due to be teachers,
yet you need to have someone to teach you again
the rudiments of the beginning of the oracles of God,
and you have become in need of milk, and not of solid food;
for everyone partaking of milk
is without experience in the word of righteousness,
for he is an infant
But strong meat is for those full grown…”
Hebrews 5:12-14

Our ability to see Him in His word is dependent upon growth and development within our own lives! It is we who determine what we see (i.e. Matthew 5:8), hear and know (in an experiential way) of the depths and wonders of Him. It is a day for us to turn, to give heed to that which He has spoken. If we linger it will be to our sorrow not only here but in the eternal to which we have been called.

The promise of God is sure and it is one upon which we can stand:

“Seek and I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone asking receives,
and the one seeking finds,
and to the one knocking, it will be opened”
Luke 11:9-10

James tells us the reason we do not receive is because we do not ask. The lack of seeking is the reason for not finding and the failure to knock is the reason why men and women do not have new doors opened in their lives. Let us hear this solemn word…

“For everyone asking receives…”

If we believe His Word our lives will be filled with asking, seeking and knocking.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST

“My beloved is mine, and I am his”
SONG OF SOLOMON 2:16

The relationship between the Christian and Jesus Christ is to be one of devotion and ownership. In HIM becoming ours we become HIS. This is no casual relationship; this is one of intensity and pursuit. It is one where we seek, desire and procure HIS affections. This is not a commonly understood theme in the teaching of today yet it is declared clearly in Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians…

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss
for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and do count them but dung, that I may win* Christ”
PHILIPPIANS 3:8

Paul is not speaking of earning his salvation. He is describing his pursuit to win over completely the affections of Christ in his own heart. The Greek word translated here is used in other places in the scriptures where it speaks of the believing wife winning her husband over to the lord by her chaste behavior; or the recipients of the talents or the pounds having GAINED through their faithfulness to what was given. Paul was flat out in his desire to make himself the sole possession of the living Christ. In bringing his life to that place of pure delight in God he was making the Son the sole purpose and desire of his life. Sadly, today Jesus is often seen as an event in our lives, one that fulfills the religious criteria of a Christian, after which we may go out and live our lives. This has produced people who have spent very little effort in discovering the glory of a relationship with God that is a prize above all things. His beauty and wonder permeates the lives of those who have caught glimpses of His pure radiance. A casual attitude and apathetic approach to the Christian walk will leave its adherents in the vague world of teachings and concepts with no idea of the LIFE that is found in HIM.

“My beloved is mine, and I am his”
SONG OF SOLOMON 2:16

This is a statement of mutual love; a declaration of pure holy love at the most intimate spiritual level. It is one that requires change and motion as we seek to become those vessels of holy delight to Him who is in turn our only source of joy and desire. Let the awe of such a possibility of relationship with the Most High God be the fire that burns within our hearts. For that fire (which is the very flame of HIS OWN love burning within us) will not only give us the focus to pursue Him but will, at the same time, burn away the impurities of our own agendas and desires. Men and women who have found this Pearl of Great Price throughout the ages declare in perfect agreement with the scriptures…

“My beloved is white and ruddy,
Chief among ten thousand.
His head is like the finest gold;
His locks are wavy, And black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves By the rivers of waters,
Washed with milk, And fitly set.
His cheeks are like a bed of spices,
Banks of scented herbs.
His lips are lilies, Dripping liquid myrrh.
His hands are rods of gold
Set with beryl. His body is carved ivory
Inlaid with sapphires.
His legs are pillars of marble
Set on bases of fine gold. His countenance is like Lebanon,
Excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet,
Yes, he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved, and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem!
SONG OF SOLOMON 5:10-16

*NOTE: κερδαίνω kerdainō; “He (Paul) was still forfeiting all that he had held dear. What for? He tells us, “that I may win Christ.” This latter expression does not refer to Paul’s acquisition of Christ as Savior, but to Paul’s appropriating into his life as a Christian, the perfection, the graces, the fragrance of the Person of Christ. The word “win” is the translation of the same Greek word translated “gain” in verse seven. This acquisition of the perfections of Christ, he elaborates upon in verses nine to fourteen”

Translation: “Yea, indeed, therefore, at least, even, I am still setting all things down to be a loss for the sake of that which excels all others, my knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord which I have gained through experience, for whose sake I have been caused to forfeit all things, and I am still counting them dung, in order that Christ I might gain”
WUEST’S WORD STUDIES

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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