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To Be An Example We Must Follow His Example

Be Thou An Example: Give Attendance To Exhortation and Doctrine

Be Thou An Example: Give Attendance To Reading

Be Thou An Example: Till I Come

Be Thou An Example: In Purity

Be Thou An Example: In Faith

Be Thou An Example: In Spirit

Be Thou An Example: In Charity

Be Thou An Example: In Conversation

Be Thou An Example: How? In Word

Be Thou An Example: Setting The Example For Believers

Be Thou An Example – Why? No Evil To Say Of You

“Settled In Heaven’s 6th Anniversary”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

Psa 105:1-3 – “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.   Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.   Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.”

 

Today, April 28th, is the sixth anniversary of Settled In Heaven Ministries.  Over the past 6 years, the Lord has graciously allowed and enabled us to proclaim His Word through the SIH internet-based ministries.  To honor Him and thank Him for His gracious intervention in this ministry, I would like us to look at three short verses from Psalm 105:

 

(1)  O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

Two of the greatest ways we can show our appreciation TO OTHERS for all that the Lord has done for us is:

 

  1. “call upon his name” –

The phrase “to call upon” can refer to a few different ideas.  It can mean “to invite”, “to call for help” or “to proclaim publicly”.   Any of these three can flow from a heart of appreciation for the Lord.

Do we invite our Lord to use His spirit to control every aspect of our life?  Do we invite Him to come and use us as He sees fit?  These are ways for Christians to express our thanks for all He has done for us.

Do we look to our Lord in times of need?  Do we refuse to take the “easy way out” of problems, but instead, ask the Lord for grace to help us do what is pleasing and honorable to Him in any given situation?   If so, we are saying “Thank You” to the Lord for all He has done for us.

Do we unashamedly tell others about our Lord and who He is?  When the opportunity arises, are we willing to risk our relationship with a loved one or a friend to share with them their sinful condition, their inability to save themselves. and their desperate need of Christ?  When we do these things we are declaring our gratefulness to Him through self-sacrifice showing His love to others.

 

  1. “make known his deeds among the people”

The second way that we can show our appreciation for the Lord and all He has done for us is by telling others what He has done for us.  Not only His death on the cross for our sins, but the very personal things He has done for us during our lifetimes.  The times He intervened by grace and healed our bodies (or our broken hearts), the times He protected us during times of danger, and the times He accompanied us through the storms of life granting us peace and enablement.

All of these are important messages that others need to hear from us, as they face many of the same issues that He has already brought us through.  In doing so, we are declaring our thankfulness for the Lord and all He has done for us. 

 

(2)  Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works

Four of the greatest ways we can show our appreciation TO OURSELVES for all that the Lord has done for us is:

 

  1. “Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him:”

Not only are we to rehearse His greatness to others, but also we should display our thankfulness to Him by telling Him what He has done for us.  In doing so, we are forcing ourselves to notice His acts of grace in our lives and humbles us  It reminds us of our shortcomings, inabilities, and our continual need of Him.

 

  1. “talk ye of all his wondrous works.”

As we pray, we can speak to Him from hearts of gratitude and need throughout the day, constantly reminding ourselves of all He has done for us.   By doing this, we are showing ourselves that we do recognize our indebtedness to Him and our need to constantly hold a spirit of gratefulness.

 

 

(3)  Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

 

  1. “Glory ye in his holy name:”

We are to be encouraged and strengthened when we think of His holiness, his character, and the privilege we have been given to serve Him.  We are not to be motivated to serve Him for the praise of men, but simply to see our Lord be glorified and honored in us.

 

  1. “let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.”

When we see ourselves seeking a closer relationship with the Lord, we know with certainty, our seeking is due to His intervention in our lives.   What a cause for rejoicing and appreciation on behalf of the people of God

 

 

SIH ministries is our feeble attempt to say “Thank You” to the Lord for all He has done for us throughout our lifetime.  As we look back at what has taken place over the years, all we can do is echo the words of King David who said…

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.   He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.   And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”   (Psa 40:1-3)

That is what has been; currently is; and, by God grace, will continue to be the desire of our hearts… to say thank you to the Lord for all He has done for us by declaring His greatness.  And through it all, to lead men to Christ for salvation and to place a greater reverence of the Lord in the hearts of His people.

 

Secondly I would just like to thank all of you who have so faithfully taken part in the ministries here at SIH…. Thanks to the followers, commenters, likers, visitors, readers, rebloggers and social site sharers.  Believe me, you all have been a great human encouragement as we have sought to faithfully post on a daily basis.

Thirdly, please be in prayer for the ministries here at SIH.  By God’s grace, over the years we have tried to be constantly adding to our ministries in an attempt to reach the most number of people with His Word.

 

To date, in addition to our internet homepage ( http://www.settledinheaven.org/ ), Settled In Heaven can be found on the following websites: 

WordPress (https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/ )

YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/SettledInHeaven )

 

Also, you can follow SIH on the following social sites:

FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/settledinheaven )

Google+ (https://plus.google.com/109554571051856737762/ )

Twitter (https://twitter.com/settledinheaven )

Tumblr (http://settledinheaven.tumblr.com/ )

LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/robbarkman/47/819/4a4 )

Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/settledinheaven/ )

GodInterest (http://godinterest.com/profile/136480 )

 

Lord willing, within the next year, SIH will be greatly expanding our ministries on: 

GodTube (http://www.godtube.com/settledinheaven/ )

LiveJournal (http://settledinheaven.livejournal.com/ )

 

 

May the Lord bless you for your faithfulness to Him and…

MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU AS YOU STUDY HIS WORD!

Be Thou An Example – Why? So We Cannot Be Condemned

Be Thou An Example – A Pattern Of Good Works

Daily Devotional Series- Be Thou An Example: Introduction

 

Introduction to the 27 Part Devotional Series
Texts: Titus 2:7-8; 1 Timothy 4:12-13; 1 Peter 2:1-25; Romans 12:1-2
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The Besetting Sins In Our Lives Part 2

SIH HALTAL ICONOvercoming Habitual Sins

Hebrews 12:1 – “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

 

 

What is a “besetting sin”? In our previous study we saw that a “besetting sin” was a sin that will sneak up on us, work quickly to return and saturate our lives. Easily besetting sins totally encase the Christian giving no room for human escape to be had. It is as if they have become a permanent part of our life, and no matter what method we try to rid it from our lives, it returns and grows worse with time.

As Christians with besetting sin in our lives… what are we to do? In part 2 of our series we are going to look at some basic principles that will help us to oppose these habitual controlling sins in our lives…

We will look at these 9 principles in part #2 of our study.

THE SCRIPTURE:

Hebrews 12:1 – “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

THE STUDY:

Remember in our text we are told to “let us lay aside… and the sin which doth so easily beset us”. What a blessing it would be if we could easily lay aside these besetting sins! But keep in mind, the Lord did not say “easily lay aside…”, not at all instead He said that sin “easily beset(s)” us!

This is our lot in life as a part of fallen mankind. Sins will quite easily enter our lives. But laying aside those sins will only be accomplished through God’s divine intervention in this spiritual warfare that is taking place. What instructions does it give for the Christian to be successful in this war? The Bible gives us at least 9 truths we are to recognize and apply to our lives to give us the victory in this war…

1. Recognize The Seriousness Of The Sin It is A Sin Against Our Lord, The One Who Has Died For Us
Psa 51:4 –“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:…”

2. Recognize Our Inability To Lay This Sin Aside Due To Our Fallen Nature
Rom 7:25 – “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. Recognize Christ’s Ability To Intervene And Give Us The Victory Over This Sin
1Co 15:55-57 – “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

4. Recognize The Need To Commit Ourselves To God
Jas 4:7-8 – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

5. Recognize The Need Of Swift Repentance When The Sin Appears In Our Lives
Psa 32:5 – “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.”

6. Recognize The Need To Ask Lord For Help
Mat 7:8 – “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

7. Recognize Our Transformation… We Are No Longer Under Sins Bondage
Rom 6:11 – “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

8. Recognize Need To God To Lengths To Avoid Temptation. Temptation Gives Entrance To These Sins
Mat 5:29-30 – “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Jas 1:13-15 – “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”

9. Recognize The Necessity Of Consistently Dwelling In God’s Word and Prayer
1Th 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”
Joh 17:17 – “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Psa 37:31 – “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”

May the Lord grant to us all the grace and strength needed to lay aside the besetting sins of our lives!

Rom 6:12 – “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions? Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

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The Besetting Sins In Our Life Part #1

SIH STSTA ICON

 

What are “Besetting Sins”?

 

 

Hebrews 12:1 – “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

 

What is a “besetting sin”? A quick study of the words translated “sin”, “easily beset” helps to give us the Biblical meaning of the phrase:

1. “sin” – comes from a Greek word meaning “to miss the mark” in other words it is to fail to reach a goal that has been set for us. It describes an archer who aims at the bullseye but misses it. As Christians, we are called to represent Christ in every area of our lives, we can do this by living lives that imitate Christ, motivated by a desire to bring honor and glory to Christ. This is the life goal of every Christian.

For example: Christ’s lived a perfectly genuine life on earth. His words could be counted on 100 % of the time, He never acted out of deceitful motives, nor did He mislead others in anyway. Therefore, to present Christ to the world we are to live honest, transparent, non-hypocritical lives.

If we live deceitful lives we are not following the example of Christ; we have missed the goal for which we are aiming; and, therefore, we have sinned. Anytime our life does not perfectly represent the absolutely holy life of Christ we are missing the “target” (our life goal) and, therefore, committing sin.

2. “easily beset” – comes from a Greek word that means “to be well-surrounded”, “to be totally encased”, or “to be entangled”. Also implied by this word is the idea of the ease and quickness that the encasing takes place.

Perhaps an invading army surprises an enemy city. Because of the surprise nature of the invasion, they face little or no opposition. As a result, they quickly, efficiently, and entirely surround and lay siege to the city. Inside the city the panicked citizens of the city look to their right; to their left; straight ahead; and straight behind; they look to the north, south, east and west; but all they can see is the enemy army… they quickly realize, they have been overcome and have no human way of escape.

This is just like an easily besetting sin. We think it is out of our lives but they will sneak up on us, work quickly to return and saturate our lives. Easily besetting sins totally encase the Christian giving no room for human escape to be had. It is as if they have become a permanent part of our life, and no matter what method we try to rid it from our lives, it returns and grows worse with time.

Some of the greatest Christians who ever lived have suffered from the besetting sins of life. Paul, himself, perhaps the greatest Christian who ever lived, admitted to facing besetting sins in his life. In Romans 7:15, he made the statement…

“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”

When Paul recognized a sin in his life, opposed it, and yet failed to overcome it… that was his besetting sin. If you read through the entire chapter of Romans 7, Paul paints a very vivid portrait of besetting sin and how it can affect us.
As Christians with besetting sin in our lives… what are we to do? The Bible helps us to understand some basic principles that will help us to oppose these habitual controlling sins in our lives…

We will look at these 9 principles in part #2 of our study.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions? Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

http://www.settledinheaven.org
http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com
http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Ground Hog Day Devotional

SIH STSTA ICON“Are We Spiritual Groundhogs?”
(GroundHog Day Devotional 2016)

Our modern day Groundhog Day observance is a tradition that has existed, in several different forms, throughout several centuries.

Many people believe that Groundhog Day finds its roots in an observance called “the Feast of Lights” which was celebrated in the beginning of February centuries before Christ. It was a day set aside by pagans (probably the druids originated it) to worship of the sun which would begin to gain strength and warm the earth in the Spring and Summer seasons.

As time progressed, The Feast of Lights was gradually brought into the Catholic church and celebrated under the title Candlemas Day. The candle is the chief point that unified the two observances. Candles are used by Catholics to picture Christ as the light of the world, whereas to those who were pagan, the lit candle can represent the light and heat of the sun.

The Catholic holiday of the Candlemas is observed on February 2nd. It is set aside to celebrate Mary’s purification at the temple following Christ’s birth. In this celebration, many candles are lit and used during the worship service. In prior times, Candlemas also was believed to predict the coming weather. If the day of Candlemas was a bright sun shiny day, it was believed that more winter was yet to come. However, if the day was overcast it was believed that Spring was just around the corner.

This celebration of the Candlemas was brought into the secular world as Groundhog Day. Our modern day tradition holds that on February 2nd the groundhog arises from its winter hibernation, comes out of its hole and looks for his shadow.

If it is a sunny day and he sees his shadow, he believes it is an indication there will be six more weeks of winter weather and so he proceeds back down his hole to continue his time of slumber. However if, on a cloudy day, he doesn’t see his shadow he then believes that spring weather has arrived and comes out of his hole and prepares to enjoy the mild weather that will come to pass.

For much more information about the origin and observance of GroundHog Day please see the following links:
http://www.groundhog.org/about/history/
http://projectbritain.com/year/candlemas.html
http://wildhunt.org/2015/02/earthspirits-a-feast-of-lights-aims-to-drive-the-winter-away.html

For the Christian, we all should recognize the heathen origin of the celebration, but also recognize the great opportunity it gives us to share Christ with others. As Christians who possess the truths of God, we have the privilege, and responsibility, to use this worldly celebration as an opportunity to bring honor and glory to our Lord. How can we do this? We do this by using the public attention placed on this day, as a tool to present the truths of God’s Word to the celebrants without believing in, or partaking in, the pagan worship surrounding it.

That is what this devotional is all about. It is using a secular celebration as an opportunity to present God’s Word to a lost and dying world…

 

THE SCRIPTURE:

Joh 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

2Co 4:6 – ”For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

THE STUDY:

The Groundhog Day celebration centers on the groundhog’s reaction to the sunlight. The tradition says, if the sun is shining brightly the groundhog’s shadow will appear and the groundhog will go back into his hole for another six weeks. However, if it is a cloudy day blocking the sun, then the groundhog will remain above ground and enjoy the spring season that has begun.

Much like the groundhog who comes into contact with the sun, most of us have come into contact with God’s Word which clearly reveals to us the light of knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…

2Co 4:6 – ”For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

The question that lies before us is “How do we react in the presence of the light of Christ that has shined upon us?

The Word of God directly addresses the consequences of embracing the light of Christ and making it a living part of our lives…

Joh 8:12 – “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Let’s take a very quick look at what this passage teaches to us about our reaction to the light of the knowledge of Christ that we have received…

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me…

If we chose to follow Christ, the light of the world, we will gain two wonderful gifts that are worth more than all the world’s riches put together.

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

First of all, by stepping into the light of Christ, we will receive liberation from the bondage of sin in our life.

Christ is the One who has died on the cross to secure our forgiveness and deliverance from our sins. As we submit to Christ as Lord of our life, and turn from our sins and place our faith in Him, we will “not walk in darkness”. This means that we will no longer live a lifestyle that is dominated by sin and rebellion against Him. He will grant us liberation from sin’s power in our life. Someday, He will deliver us from the presence of sin in our life by taking us home to be with Him at our death or His second coming.

he that followeth me… shall have the light of life.

The second blessing we will receive is the blessing of spiritual life in Him. Folks, as a part of fallen, sinful mankind, due to our sinful condition, we are born in a state of alienation from God. The Bible describes this as being “spiritually dead”. When we willingly turn from our sins and turn to Jesus, by faith, He promises to spiritual life which includes being brought into fellowship with God and knowing we will spend an eternity in His presence this is possessing Christ, the “light of life”.

The question before us is this… what is our reaction to this light of the knowledge of Christ that we receive?

Will we act like the groundhog and run from the light, hurrying back down into the “hole” of sin’s bondage? Will we deny our need of salvation from our sins to continue in spiritual sleep of death?

Or, will we step into the light of the knowledge of Christ by embracing it? Will we turn from a life of disobedience and sinful darkness, to a new life in the light of Christ by placing our trust in Him and His work and submitting to Him as Lord of our life?

How we react to the light of Christ is by far the most important decision we have, or will ever make… for it holds eternal consequences for us.

Questions, Comments, or Suggestions? Email me at: rob.barkman@settledinheaven.org

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“For We Are But Of Yesterday”

SIH STSTA ICON(The SIH 2016 New Year’s Devotional)

With the coming of each New Year, we are reminded of the quickly passing time and shortness of the physical life that we possess.

For some, the concept of a short lifespan on earth is a thing of dread and fear. They possess dread because they know that the pleasures, possessions and relationships of this world will quickly pass away; and fear, due to confusion and uncertainty about, and an unpreparedness for, a coming afterlife.

However, in comparison, there are those who recognize that life is only temporal and will be followed by an eternal existence that will offer a much better existence. These have prepared for its coming and joyously await its arrival.

As we come face to face with another New Year, I just wanted to take a few moments to review the Biblical teachings on the temporal nature of life on earth and the great need to prepare for a coming afterlife while the opportunity still exists for each one of us.

THE SCRIPTURE:

(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:) (Job 8:9 KJV)

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (Jas 4:14 KJV)

THE STUDY:

Job, in our text, describes the quickness of the passing of our life as “we are but of yesterday”. In other words, Job is simply saying that, as we look back to the past events of our life, from birth onward, they seem to have just taken place “yesterday”. How very true this is!

On this New Year’s Day, stop and think about the past events of the previous year. For most of us, these events seem like they took place just yesterday.

Now, stop and think about some of your major life events that have taken place throughout your lifetime: births and deaths; sicknesses; new jobs and residences; anniversaries and graduations; and, for the Christian, the moment the Lord brought you unto Himself, trusting in Him for salvation. As you think about all these events, do they not seem to have taken place just a short while ago? For many of us, even the events of life that took place 30, 40, or even 50 years ago, now seem to be fresh in our minds and hearts, as if only a few days have passed.

Job even goes further in emphasizing the brevity of life when he says… “our days upon earth are a shadow”. See also: (Job 7:6, 9:25, 14:2; Psa 78:39, 89:47, 102:11; Isa 40:6).

Understanding the two basic characteristics of a shadow help us to understand what Job was trying to teach us. First of all, a shadow lasts only a short period of time, much like our life in comparison with the eternity that is to follow. Secondly, a shadow is constantly changing (due to movement of the person casting the shadow and the orbiting of the sun)… this pictures for us our temporal life and the many changes that take place on a day by day basis.

Job is bringing to our minds a very basic principle of living that we experience with every new day… Because our lives are uncertain and experience changes every single day, we do not know what each new day will hold for us. James even implies that because our lives are brief, uncertain, and changing, we cannot be sure if we will live yet another day…

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (Jas 4:14 KJV) see also (Proverbs 27:1, 1 Sam 20:3)

Folks, looking back over this last year, we all know people who have passed on unexpectedly. Whether it be by accident, sickness, or the actions of another, every day people pass on before us suddenly with absolutely no prior warning. Perhaps, they expected to celebrate the coming of this New Year along with us but, sadly, they are no longer with us. In this fallen, sinful world unexpected deaths are a very common occurrence.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

With the passing of this, and every New Year, we are reminded of the changing, fleeting nature of our lives. The most important aspect of these life principles is the need to take advantage of the time we have been given on earth and use it wisely.

What is the wisest possible use of our time? It is living our lives in preparation for the eternity that is to come. Because our physical lives and the world in which we live are temporal in nature, only that which is done for eternity’s sake will be of lasting value…
“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1Jn 2:17 KJV)

So how do we live for eternity? For the lost it means by coming to an understanding of the true God, our condition before Him, and our need of faith in Him, and the eternal blessings that await the people of God:

1. The Lord Jehovah is the true God over all men. God the Son, Jesus, is the only One through whom we can gain access to God the Father. (Psa 83:18, John 14:6; 1 John 5:20)

2. All men have committed sin and stand before God as guilty, unable to save themselves through their works of righteousness. (Rom 3:23, Rom 3:19, Titus 3:5)

3. It is by grace through the God-given gifts of repentance and faith that a sinful man can receive forgiveness and salvation from the punishment of their sins (Acts 3:19, Acts 11:18, Eph 2:5-8. 1 Thess 1:10).

4. The newly forgiven individual is adopted into God’s family, made a citizen of the eternal, spiritual nation of Israel, and made heirs of an eternal existence with God. This forgiveness, and the blessings that accompany forgiveness, are eternal in nature, can never be lost, based upon the completed work of Christ on the cross (Gals 4:5, Eph 2:19, Roms 8:16-17, Heb 10:10).

For the saved, it means to take advantage of the opportunities we have to show Christ to others around us, by living a Christ-like life through our words, actions, and lifestyles. (Roms 8:28-30, Eph 1:4)

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