Let Nothing Be Lost

Let us learn to USE resources, NOT LOSE them.

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John 6:12 – When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

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God is in no way a waster.  He is rather a redeemer.  In His design, all that He created and made was designed to provide perfect use of the highest quality with no waste factor involved.  All that Father created was good, and in the end of His creative work, it was “very good.”  Once again, our heavenly Father is NOT a waster in any way.  If things are wasted, the Lord is not in it.  That statement alone should give each of us pause for thought in the way we live and organize our lives.

When one considers what it was Jesus had His disciples collect, it is in reality, amazing.  We are talking about food scraps; fragments of bread and fish.  But when we consider from where those fragments came, it becomes clearer and easier to understand.  This was not merely bread and fish that had been sold in a local market or baked in the home oven.  This was bread and fish that had been the total assets of the lad who made them available to Jesus.  Lads of his age would take day-old bread that was likely baked by his mother, trade some of the loaves to fishermen coming in from a night’s work for a few small fish too small for sale at the fish market, and sell them to passers-by in the area.  It was a young boy’s entrepreneurial business.  This was NOT his lunch.  No young boy could eat five loaves (about seven pounds) of bread and two small (about 2 pounds each) for lunch.  Once again, the bread and fish were his business assets.  And he gave it all into the hands of Jesus.

Then who would receive the 12 baskets full when the fragments were collected?  Who gave it?  The lad gave it, and it was the lad who received the fragments.  He gave his assets to the Blesser, and what he received was blessed indeed, and far more than he gave.  Now consider this.  What have you given?  What have you to give?  And into whose hands did you, and are you giving?  When you give to the need of the kingdom, you’re placing it into the hands of the Blesser.  You should full expect to receive it back at the Luke 6:38 level – “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.”  Go is not a waster.  His provision is ALWAYS more than enough, and His return is ALWAYS more than you gave.  Believe it, expect it, and get into the action.  Give, and after you’ve given, EXPECT YOUR RETURN, for with the Lord, nothing is wasted.  

Manna for Today – John 6:1-15; Luke 6:38; Mark 10:29-30; Acts 20:35; Genesis 1-2

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How Shall We Feed Them?

We still ask the same question today, just in slightly different terms.  And the answer is still the same.

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John 6:5 – When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

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In our Text for Today, Jesus posed a question to His disciples.  He already knew what He must do, but He offered them the opportunity to use their own minds in a positive and creative manner.  Their thoughts, however, lingered in the natural arena.  They responded that “200 penny worth of bread” could not handle this massive feeding project for the 5,000 men present, not counting, women and children.  Today I want to share some observations that I am convinced would create an atmosphere in which the Lord will still do miracles of provision.  I ask you to consider what I say.

  1. The Word MUST come first.  This multitude had followed Jesus for the miracles He had done, but Jesus took the opportunity to teach them the Word of God.  Always, ALWAYS put the Word of God first place in your life, home, and work (ministry).
  2. Jesus looked for what was immediately present as a starting point to feed the multitude.  He did not consider sending the people home, or buying food to feed them.  He wanted to know what they had presently with them.  It was, as you know, “five loaves and two small fish.”
  3. Father does not show out in our behalf in confusion.  There must be order.  Jesus had the people sit in companies of 50 or 100.  He created order in which the work of God could be clearly demonstrated without confusion.  Let all things be done decently and in order.
  4. Bless what you have.  Jesus took the loaves and fish, blessed and broke them to feed the people.  Too often in our world, when it appears we are suffering great lack, the curse the lack, or at the very least, grumble about the insufficiency.  Turn that around.  Bless what you have, place it in the Lord’s hands and trust Him to supernaturally multiply it.
  5. Begin the work.  There is often great pressure to wait until we SEE all sufficiency before we act.  I am convinced that the fish and bread multiplied as it was distributed.  It did not just suddenly explode into mounds of fish and bread in the hands of Jesus.  If it is real in your heart, begin today, where you are, with what you have, and trust Father all the way.
  6. The day is not over when the crowd is full.  Remember to “take up the fragments that nothing be left.”  There is great blessing in the fragments.  Who gave the loaves and fish?  A lad.  Who got the return.  The lad who gave.  He went from a one-man-operation to a 12-man-franchise.  If you want to increase, don’t leave when you’re full.  Stick around for the clean-up. 

Manna for Today – John 6:1-15

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Special Times

Are we so religiously minded that we are losing spiritual sense?

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John 6:3-4 – And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.  And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

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Israel celebrated seven great feasts, among them PassoverPentecostTabernacles, and Trumpets.  I do not offer teaching today on the meanings of those feasts and how the church today might incorporate great spiritual meaning.  Likewise, the church today recognizes great spiritual seasons, among them Easter and Christmas.  What I DO intend today is to recognize the very practical mindset our Lord had during His earthly ministry, and to point to the fact that we should learn from His pattern, and incorporate that learning in the things we do to reach the world for Jesus.  

Often in His earthly ministry, Jesus would use times of special gatherings, times such as weddings, special dinners being made, and feast days as opportunities to be maximized for impact on the people who were present.  He was always ready to heal, but would still use special occasions in special ways.  My thought for the church today is simple.  Don’t you think it is time we complied with our Lord’s Word?  Jesus said He only did what He saw Father do.  Therefore, His use of special occasions must have been in the will of Father.  With that in mind, I offer you some considerations.

Begin at the lowest possible level in your life.  When you plan your next family event (birthday, anniversary, or holiday), pray first.  As for wisdom and direction of the Lord in planning, whom to invite, where to meet, and especially in what you should personally say and do.  When we seek to follow (imitate) the Lord, He will reveal through us His plan and action.  Let us learn to use every possible occasion as a point of observation, as a place where others may see manifestations of the Lord’s love, power, and ability.  On our part, that means being “thoughtful” with the “mind of Christ.”  Whether it is a holy day, a holiday, a birthday, an anniversary, or any other special occasion, let us prepare ourselves through prayer to know His mind, know His plan, follow His leading, and achieve His results.  Don’t miss these golden opportunities.  This compliance with our Lord’s command to be “instant in season, out of season” will serve to keep us in a state of readiness to add to the harvest at every opportunity, especially in theSPECIAL TIMES 

Manna for Today – John 6:1-15; John 2; John 5; 2 Timothy 4:2

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Because They Saw

Desire comes by seeing.  Faith comes by hearing.  Desire doesn’t move God.

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John 6:2 – And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

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I don’t know anyone who enjoys seeing manifestations of the power of God than I.  What w thrill it is to see the sick healed, blind eyes opened, deaf ears unstopped, the cripple walk, and even the dead raised up!  What excitement to see the supernatural power of God manifest in meeting the needs of people!  All these things are thrilling indeed.  But I have learned, and strived to live out one of the great Biblical truths concerning this matter that, sadly, many believers have either not been taught, or chosen to ignore.  That truth is this – God is not moved because you have a desire.  The Scriptures declare that “without faith it is impossible to please God.  It is faith that pleases God; it is faith that moves God; it is faith that is the parent creative force of all that exists.  Faith produced it all.

Now don’t misunderstand what I write.  While is it faith, and faith alone, that moves God, SEEING can and does indeed impact people by getting their attention.  Jesus called “healing” the “children’s bread.”  When one is hungry, providing food for them gets their attention.  It may not HOLD their attention long, particularly after their immediate hunger pangs have subsided, but it does, at least temporarily, capture people’s attention.  When people see something spectacular, something they can’t explain, it gets their attention.  We see it throughout every society in the earth today.  It runs the gambit from a total solar eclipse to horrible war crimes, from a major football game to terrorist activities.  Miracles are no different.  They get, and hold for at least a period of time, people’s attention.

But that which gets man’s attention is not necessarily that which moves God.  That requires faith.  And how does faith come?  We know that faith comes by HEARING, and hearing by the Word of God.  SEEING may stir interest, may arouse desires, may stir emotions, but it takes faith to move God.  God uses SEEING.  The Word declares that He desires men to SEE your good works so they may glorify your Father in heaven.  But if one will receive from God that which is desired of Him, one MUST HAVEEXERCISE& PERSIST in faith.  We, the people of God, need to be fruitful producers of the works of God through our lives.  We MUST be people of faith.  YES!  Let’s get the world’s attention.  But once we have their attention, we MUST be prepared to demonstrate God’s power.  Having people’s attention without possessing God’s power leaves death in its wake.  But having people’s attention while possessing God’s power produces fruitful land where desolation once ruled.  Let’s get our faith out there and turn deserts into blossoming, fruitful gardens. 

Manna for Today – John 6:1-15; Hebrews 11:1-6; Matthew 15:26; Mark 7:27

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Honor to Whom Honor

Honor is precious.  It should be handled honorably.

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John 5:44 – How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

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Have you ever been to a meeting, especially where a number of “important” or “notable” people were to be recognized?  I have, and I have likewise often been so disappointed by the manner in which those “important” or “notable” individuals were recognized.  At times, I have wondered, are we here to learn, to grow, to be motivated and inspired, or are we here to recognize the “great ones” who have lowered themselves to our level and given of their time and energy for a sizeable payday and opportunity to sell their wares?  Please don’t misunderstand my questioning.  I have had the great privilege of being in the presence of great men; some well-known, some not-so-well-known, but still, great.  I have been with some who genuinely pour themselves into others.  And even though they were paid for their service, they did not come for money, but for the marvelous opportunity and honor of being trusted by others who want to receive and learn from them, and grow by the insights they share, and even the anointing on their presence.

There is a proper and powerful way to honor such people, and there is a way that speaks of honor, but is only used to apply the force of and receive of the riches that can come with fame.  I can tell you that some of the wisest, most powerful people I have ever had invest in my life were not the most educated in the world system.  Many were relatively unknown, simple thinking individuals, and at the same time, some of the most profound people one could meet.  Great men are not always famous or well-known, and famous or well-known men are not always great.  I have been around both, and I must prefer the “great.”

Truly great people are worthy of honor, and likewise worthy of proper “hire,” or proper compensation for the investment of their life.  But what is it that truly honors them?  Listen to them, learn from them, implement their knowledge and wisdom into your life, be loyal to the truths they espouse, speak well of them, and pass the great truths you learn from them on to those you influence.  This concept in true in every arena of life, and just because it works in business, education, domestic, and professional circles does not mean it should not be applied in the church.  If anything, it should be applied in the church in an even more determined and excellent manner.  Imitate those who through faith and patience have obtained the promises.  That, dear one, is the highest form of demonstrating honor to anyone.  Oh, and properly demonstrating honor is being truly honorable.  Just a thought! 

Manna for Today – John 5:30-47; Romans 13:7; Hebrews 6:12; Ephesians 5:1

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Life in the Word

The Scriptures were “law” until Jesus fulfilled them and made them “life.”

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John 5:39 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

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 Time – Old Testament era – the Word of God given within that era of time was law.  It was more than the Ten Commandments.  There were more than 600 laws set forth in the Scriptures that men were required to follow.  Each year a special day was set aside, the day of Atonement, on which specified sacrifices had to be made to cover the sins of the past year for the Israelite who offered the sacrifice.  It was critical for every Israelite to make that sacrifice so they could continue walking safely within the Old Covenant structure.  Remember, they were spiritually dead, but it was the love of God that provided this covering for their sins so they could remain in His favor for another year.

Time – the Gospels – Jesus was walking in His earthly ministry.  He came as a prophet under the Law, and having emptied Himself of all divine privilege, He indeed lived under the Law in which existed a curse for anyone failing to keep the whole law.  He lived perfectly, without sin, fully in faith, always doing those things that pleased Father.  But in the close of this era, we see Jesus, our hope of glory, paying the full price for our redemption and freedom from the curse of the Law.  And having paid that price, and being raised up to a glorified body, He ascended to heaven, not having destroyed the Law, but having fulfilled it, and that for us.

Time – New Testament era – now is that age.  Now is the day of salvation.  We no longer come annually with sacrifice to COVER our sins of the past.  We NOW live, having been washed in the blood, having become recipients of Holy Spirit, having been redeemed from the curse of the Law, Jesus having been made a curse for us.  Now, being Christ’s, we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  No more annual sacrifice, but an eternally living High Priest Who ever lives to intercede for us according to the will of Father.  We need not an earthly high priest, but if we sin, we go directly to our heavenly High Priest, confess our sins, and receive cleansing from them; NOT covering; CLEANSING!  That, dear one, is life in the Word for the child of God today.  Enjoy it, live free, honor the Lord in all your ways, walk in love, live by faith, be strengthened in joy, and remain faithful in patience.  All things that pertain to life and godliness are yours – NOW! 

Manna for Today – John 5:30-47; Joshua 1:6-9; Psalm 103:1-3, 107:20, 119:89; John 6:63; Isaiah 55:11; John 12:37; Romans 3:4; Proverbs 4:20-23; Galatians 3:13-29

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A Work to Finish

We have a work to finish that no one of any previous covenant could do.  Let’s get busy.\

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John 5:36 – But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me

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As a Christian, you have a divine assignment from the Lord.  Sadly, many Christians live their entire life without clearly knowing the “what, where, and who” of their assignment; “what” to do, “where” to do it, and “who” are the connections that should exist in my life to fully accomplish my divine assignment.  Stop for a moment and think about the words of Jesus in relation to His assignment.  At a point in time when most of His earthly life had already been lived, and with only a short time, possibly months, until His earthly ministry would end, He speaks of “finishing” those works.

How about you, my friend?  As I stated, you have a divine assignment.  What are you doing about it?  Do you clearly know what it is?  Are you focused and fixed on that work?  Where are you to complete that work?  And with whom should you be engaged in the fulfillment of your divine assignment?  Is it time that you began to purposefully seek the face of the Lord for that revelation to be made clear in your life?  I write these words with no intention of attacking, berating, or chastising any believer, but to cause inspiration for discovery, excellence, and finishing in your personal divine assignment for the Lord and His Kingdom.

I urge you, my fellow believer; go to the Word and build your faith; fortify your strong places; invade your prayer closet with a renewed and refreshed intensity; make the quality decision right now to exert with your greatest determination every effort you can to attain to that place in Father where you can say that you are clearly seeing what it is He desires you, specifically YOU, to accomplish as a finish to your work.  As it was with Jesus, so let it be with you.  You are the light of the world.  Let your light shine in a manner that makes your works seen by the world to testify of your relationship with the Lord and glorify your Father in heaven.  Once again, you have a divine assignment.  Finish it!  When Father had finished, He rested.  When Jesus had finished, He gave up the ghost.  When we have finished, we glorify Father and move on to the end of the age.  Once again . . . FINISH IT! 

Manna for Today – John 5:30-47; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; Philippians 4:13; John 14:12-14; John 5:20; Ephesians 2:10; John 17:18; John 20:21; Matthew 5:13-16; John 15:16

 

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A True Witness

Is your witness true?

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John 5:31-32 – If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.  There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

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As I begin my writing today, allow me to charge you will a great truth from God’s Word.  When Father speaks, He points us to the Son and Holy Spirit.  When Jesus speaks, He points us to Father and Holy Spirit.  When Holy Spirit speaks, He points us to Father and Son.  Their witness is always true, and They are always in full agreement with One another.  Now look once again at our Text for Today.  Jesus said if He bore witness of Himself, His witness would be false.  But with the relationship He has with Father and Holy Ghost, and in fact, the entirety of the three-way relationship, Jesus had no need to bear witness of Himself.  He always had the full backing and authority of Father and Holy Spirit to bear witness of Himself.

Now let us consider ourselves in the relationship that has been provided to us through the New Birth.  When you were born again, when you made Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, you became a child of God, an heir of God, and a JOINT-HEIR with Christ.  You became a partaker of the life, nature, and ability of the Lord Jesus.  You became a member in particular, and living stone in particular, of the body of Christ.  Your importance in the body is best noted in 1 Corinthians where we read that “the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you,” and the “head” (Who is Christ) “cannot say to the foot” (that part of the body furthest removed from the Head) “I have no need of you.”  Dear one, if Jesus needs you, your importance to the kingdom of God is accepted in the Beloved without debate and with full confidence of the God-head.

What am I saying?  My response is simple.  If, as a member of the body of Christ, you will fully accept, believe, and embrace what the Word of God declares about you, walk in it, give voice to it, and operate in it through faith, you have no need to “bear witness” of yourself.  Simply tell who you are in Him.  Speak of His work IN you, FOR you, TO you, and THROUGH you.  Instead of having a testimony that bears witness of yourself, turn your testimony with full confidence into bearing witness of Father and Holy Spirit.  When we learn to walk in this as Jesus did, we can, with complete confidence, expect Father and Holy Spirit to bear witness of us as He did Jesus.  Prepare you heart, my friend, in full faith and confidence, for the witness of Father and Holy Ghost in your life. 

Manna for Today – John 5:30-47; 1 John 5:7; John 10:30; John 17:20-23

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We Must Keep Our Eyes Open

How often must the Lord tell us a thing before we apply it to our own lives and ministries?

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John 5:30 – I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

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There is a song I have often sung with lyrics that say, “Open our eyes, Lord; we want to see Jesus. To reach out and touch Him, and say that we love Him. Open our ears, Lord, and help us to listen. Open our eyes, Lord; we want to see Jesus.”  I have often been ministered to by Holy Spirit as I sang that prayer to the Lord.  But in recent months, it has taken on a completely new meaning to me; a stronger, deeper, more permanent, and at times, what seems to be a desperate meaning.  I have come to the point in my own life and ministry in which I believe the words of Jesus in our Text for Today, as well as His words from John 5:19, must be applied to every facet of my life and ministry if I am to be, in any way, truly effective.  My thinking, my attitude, and my actions have been revolutionized, and I praise the Lord for it.  I want to honor my God, glorify my Lord, and live a life in full acknowledgement of the work and presence of Holy Spirit.  I cannot do that by “doing” my own ways, “finding” my own pleasures, “ or “speaking” my own words.  I can only do that my “doing” His ways, “finding” His pleasures, and “speaking” His Words.

In order to accomplish that, I MUST adopt the attitude that I can of my own self do nothing.  I can judge ONLY as I hear from my Father, for it is His will I seek, and not my own.  And all this can be done ONLY if I am SENT by Him.  And how is it that I can be assured of meeting those terms?  IMUST know His Word, for His Word is His will.  I MUST be led by Holy Spirit, for that is a clearly defined indicator that I am walking as a son of God.  I MUST maintain communion with Elohim (Father, Son, & Holy Ghost) if I am to “see” what Father is doing.  I MUST live by faith, for it is only by faith that I can please the Father.  I MUST walk in love, for faith works by love, and without love, faith is nothing more than clamoring noise.  As I write these words I hear my spirit man singing, “Open my eyes, Lord; I want to see Jesus. To reach out and touch Him, and say that I love Him. Open my ears, Lord, and help me to listen. Open my eyes, Lord; I want to see Jesus. 

Manna for Today – John 5:30-47; Isaiah 58:6-14 (especially 13 & 14); 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5:6

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Resurrection Cometh

The resurrection is coming, believe it or not.  Be smart.  Believe it, so you can enjoy it.

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John 5:28-29 – Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

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Earlier in this chapter, Jesus said an “hour is coming, and now is.”  In our Text for Today, Jesus uses a similar expression, but leaves out a part of His first statement.  In His first statement, He said the hour that is coming “now is.”  In our Text for Today, He only says, “the hour is coming.”  Furthermore, in His earlier statement, Jesus said, “the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.  In our Text for Today, Jesus said, “all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”  In the two passages in question (John 5:25 & John 5:28-29), Jesus is talking about two distinctly different things.  In the John 5:25 passage, Jesus is speaking of those who are dead in their trespasses and sins, hearing the Good News of the Gospel, accepting and believing it, acting on it, and being born again, being translated from darkness to light.  While in our Text for Today, Jesus is speaking of the actual resurrection when those who are raised from the grave, having received their bodies once again, will stand before the Lord in judgment; “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

My friend, there IS a resurrection coming.  Make no mistake about it.  The life you now live is but a temporary existence.  If Jesus is your Lord, you will one day be raised up to a glorified body and eternity in the presence of the Lord.  However, if Jesus is NOT your Lord, you WILL one day be raised up to judgment before Great White Throne, at which time you will be judged as never having been born again, and will therefore be cast into eternity in the lake of fire, separated from the Lord for eternity, but eternally existing in the presence of Satan whom you chose, by your failure to respond to the loving and merciful call of the Lord to be born again, as your lord.

There are many who reject outright what I write today.  They are deceived.  There are many who think my words to harsh.  They are not.  They are, however, some of the most loving words one will ever hear that it is time to hear the Word of the Lord and live while they yet have a choice, rather than reject the truth, and later, in an hour yet to come, be raised up for final judgment.  Choose Jesus today!  It is critical, for we are surly living in the last days. 

Manna for Today – John 5:19-29; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

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