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God is not a Respecter of Persons

Acts Chapter 10 tells us the story of the first Gentile convert to Christianity, the centurion Cornelius, and his vision from an angel of God. It was 60 + years after Christ’s death and resurrection, and Christ had confronted Saul on the Damascus road. Cornelius was a “devout” man who feared God and prayed to Him “alway.” He just did not know of his need for Salvation through Christ. Peter also received a vision, as he went to pray on the rooftop. Both men received messages from God and both men obeyed immediately. This led to Peter’s Gospel Presentation to Cornelius and his house and many others with them. See it below in Acts 10:34-48.

Acts 10:1-8

1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;
8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

Acts 10:9-33

9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,
18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.
19 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.
20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.
21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?
22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.
23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.
24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.
25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.
27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.
28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?
30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

Acts 10:34-48

34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

I thank my Heavenly Father that Salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ is available to ALL mankind, not just to the Jews.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in God's Love

 

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“I Will Shew Him My Salvation”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part VII of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

VII. “I Will Shew Him My Salvation” That is a sweet promise! God can say to the angels – “Hark to that man that was once down in the depths, down in the gutter, but now he is lifted up and set upon My throne with My Son.” Thank God for the riches of His grace in CHRIST Jesus!

I believe we do not learn the fringe of the subject of Salvation down here. When our Master was on earth, He said He had many more things to say, but He could not reveal them to His disciples because they were not ready to receive them. But when we go yonder, where these mortal bodies have put on immortality, when our spiritual faculties are loosed from the thraldom (the state of being under control of another person; bondage; slavery) of the flesh, I believe we shall be able to take more in. God will lead us from glory to glory, and show us the fullness of our Salvation. Don’t you think Moses knew more at the Mount of Transfiguration than he did at Pisgah? Did not Christ talk with him then about the death He was to accomplish at Jerusalem? Moses could not have received that truth before, any more than the disciples could, but when he had received his glorified body, Christ could show him everything. (End of The Ninety-First Psalm Sermon)

(It is beyond human comprehension to understand all that is involved in the Sanctification process to our Heavenly, Glorified state. No matter how hard I try, my mind cannot totally grasp everything that happens when we go from mortality to immortality. It makes my brain hurt to try, so I have come to the conclusion that it really does not matter to me. It is enough, for now, to just know that it will happen. On the other hand, I sometimes wish with all of my heart that I could understand things that God allows while we walk through this state of mortality like, Why do the righteous, who are doing all they can to live Godly lives, end up being the ones who are so persecuted and hurt by evil ones who are of this world, and it appears that it is the evil ones who prosper and seem to get away with their sin? It breaks my heart. I know that in the end those who remain evil will face the consequences of their evilness in the end, so I strive to trust that God is in control and He has a purpose for everything. Romans 8:28. God’s Word tells us “My thoughts are not your thoughts…” and “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 I know that once I see my Saviour face-to-face all will be understood; all questions will be answered. But, will I really care about these things then? Perhaps not. Anna)

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in God's Love

 

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“I Will Set Him On High”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part VI of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

VI. “I Will Set Him On High” God is able to do it. Up above the angels, up above the archangels, up above the cherubims and seraphims, on the throne with His own Son. (This is where satan began his rebellion against God. When God said the angels were to be helpers to mankind, he thought too highly of himself to be below God’s sons and daughters. Of course, we know that that thinking led him to want to be like God, and sit on God’s throne. For that he will spend eternity in Hell. Anna)

We are called to be sons and daughters of the eternal God. Do you know, the Prince of Wales cannot sit on the throne with Queen Victoria; they would not allow it. When the heir to the throne of Russia died, they have appointed another to take his place, but he could not sit on the throne with his brother, the Czar. But it is not so yonder. Christ has gone up and taken His seat at the right hand of the Father, and every son and daughter of God is to be lifted up onto the throne.

My dear friends, think of the promise. Isn’t it rich, isn’t it sweet? “I will set him on high.”

So that when our friends pass on to be on high and to be forever with Him, they are far better off.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2015 in God's Love

 

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“With Long Life Will I Satisfy Him”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part V of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

V. “With Long Life Will I Satisfy Him” I get a good deal of comfort out of that promise. I do not think that means a short life down here, seventy years, eighty years, ninety years, or one hundred years. Do you think that any man living would be satisfied if they could live to be one hundred years old and then have to die? Not by a good deal. Suppose Adam had lived until today and had to die tonight, would he be satisfied? Not a bit of it? Not if he had lived a million years, and then had to die. You know we are all the time coming to the end of things here, – the end of the week, the end of the month, the end of the year, the end of school days. It is end, end, end all the time. But, thank God, He is going to satisfy us with long life; no end to it, an endless life.

Life is very sweet. I never liked death; I like life. It would be a pretty dark world if death was eternal, and when our loved ones die we are to be eternally separated from them. Thank God, it is not so; we shall be re-united. It is just moving out of this house into a better one; stepping up higher, and living on and on forever. There is a verse – probably you have never noticed it – that came to me with great sweetness some time ago. It is in the 21st Psalm, the 4th verse: “He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days forever and ever.” Think of that, length of days forever and ever! Do you think Moses is dead yet? He never lived as he does today, never; and he is going to live on and on forever. What does Christ say? “If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.” Never! Don’t you want to live forever? You can if you will. Eternal life is as free as the air that you and I take into our lungs. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that send me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” Yes. “With long life will I satisfy him.”

Is there anyone here who has not got eternal life? I do not like to pass over this, and leave anyone outside the kingdom. If you are not in, my friend, take my advice; do not eat, nor drink nor sleep until you get eternal life. Then this body may be taken away, but if it is, you will make something out of death. “If our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

When a young man, I was called upon suddenly, in Chicago, to preach a funeral sermon. A good many Chicago business men were to be there, and I said to myself, “Now, it will be a good chance for me to preach the Gospel to those men, and I will get one of Christ’s funeral sermons.” I hunted all through the four Gospels trying to find one of Christ’s funeral sermons, but I could not find any. I found that He broke up every funeral He ever attended! He never preached a funeral sermon in the world. Death could not exist where He was. When the dead heard His voice they sprang to life. He will smash up the undertaking business when He comes to reign. “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth inn me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

The 23rd Psalm is more misquoted than anything else in the whole Bible. It is known in all the Catholic churches; it is known in the Greek church; it is in the Jewish synagogue: they chant it in a great many denominations, burying the dead; and armies went to battle chanting the 23rd Psalm. And yet I believe it is more misquoted than anything in the Bible. People will weave it into their prayers, and conversation, and chapel services. They will say, “Yea, though I walk through the dark valley.” They will always emphasize the word “dark,” and send the cold chills running down your back. “Yea, though I walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death.” I want to tell you, my dear friends, the word “dark” is not there at all. The devil sticks that in there to confuse believers. It is, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” What is the difference? Must not there be light where there is shadow? Can you get a shadow without light? If you doubt it, go down into the cellar tonight without a light, and find your shadow if you can.

All that death can do to a true believer is to throw a shadow across his path. Shadows never hurt anyone. You can walk right through shadows as you can through fog, and there is nothing to fear! I pity down deep in my heart any man or woman that lives under the bondage of death! If you are under it, may God bring you out today! May you come right out into the liberty of the blessed Gospel of the Son of God. Jesus Christ came into the world to destroy death, and we can say with Paul, if we will, “O death, where is they sting?” and we can hear a voice rolling down from Heaven saying, “Buried in the bosom of the Son of God.” He took death unto His own bosom. He went into the grave to conquer and overthrow it, and when He arose from the dead He said, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Thank God, we have a long life with Christ in glory!

My dear friends, if we are in Christ, we are never going to die. Do you believe that? If sometime you should read that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead, do not believe a word of it. He has gone up higher, that is all; gone out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal, a body that death cannot touch, that sin cannot taint, a body fashioned like unto His own glorious body. Moses would not have changed the body he had at the transfiguration for the body he had at Pisgah. Elijah would not have changed the body he had at the transfiguration for the body he had under the juniper tree. They got better bodies; and I too am going to make something out of death. (Oh how I look forward to seeing and fellow-shipping with this great man of God, D. L. Moody, when I too trade this earthly vessel for the glorified body I will receive as I am transported from this world into God’s Blessed Eternal, Heavenly City! Anna)

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2015 in God's Love

 

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“I Will Honor Him”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part IV of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

IV. “I Will Honor Him” “I will… honor him.” God’s honor is something worth seeking. Man’s honor does not amount to much. Suppose Moses had stopped down there in Egypt. He would have been loaded down with Egyptian titles. But they would never have reached us. Suppose he had been Chief Marshal of the whole Egyptian army, “General” Moses, “Commander” Moses; suppose he had reached the throne and become one of those Pharaohs, and his mummy had come down to our day.

What is that compared with the honor God put upon him? “I will… honor him.” Did not God put honor on Moses? How his name shines on the page of history!

The honor of this world does not last; it is transient; it is passing away, and I do not believe any man or woman is fit for God’s service that is looking for worldly preferment, worldly honors and worldly fame. Let us get it under our feet, let us rise above it, and seek the honor that comes down from above.

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2015 in God's Love

 

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“I Will Be With Him In Trouble”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part III of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”) (Notes in italics are my own thoughts that came to my heart as I went through this sermon.)

III. “I Will Be With Him In Trouble” Every heart knows its own bitterness. If the troubles that are represented by this audience could be written in a volume, it would take the biggest volume you have ever seen. We are apt to think that young people do not have any trouble, but if they haven’t, there is one thing they can make sure of, that they are going to have trouble later. “Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” Trouble is coming. No one is exempt. God has had one Son without sin, but He has never had one without sorrow. JESUS CHRIST, Our Master, suffered as few men ever suffered, and He died very young. Ours is a path of sorrow and suffering and it is so sweet to hear the Master say: “I will be with him in trouble.” Do not let anyone think for a moment that you can get on without Him. You may say now, “I can get on; I am in good health and prosperity,” but the hour is coming when you will need Him. (I am reminded as I type this of my teen years and the wrong choices I made. Though I have faced the consequences of those actions, looking back I can see God’s hand in protecting me from worse happening to me. Before I ever understood about what abuse and molestation does to young children and how it affects their choices as they grow, God knew, and as my Heavenly Father, I know without any shadow of doubt that He was merciful with me and that He was with me and protected me through those times. Things could have been so much worse for me with the bad decisions I was making. Anna)

Many a Christian could bear witness to this point, that He has been with them in trouble, that in some dark hour when the billows seemed to be rolling up around them, they cried to Him, and He heard their cry, He answered their prayer, and He brought peace. There was joy in their sorrow, there was a star that lit up even the darkest night. (After I was first married and became pregnant with my first child at age 18, I lost the baby. I was devastated and felt totally alone after my husband left me at the hospital so he could sleep some before having to get up for work the next day. My mother and family lived far away, I was alone. I still see the picture in my mind of the hospital room. I lay crying, “Why, Lord? My heart hurts so much, please help me.” Such a loss I felt. Then I opened my eyes and noticed the picture of Jesus, with His arms reaching out to me, hanging on the wall past the foot of my bed and instantly “The 23rd Psalm” came to my mind. I had not thought about it for many years, but had learned it at Vacation Bible School when I was 6 or 7 years old. I am not saying that I was instantly delivered of those painful feelings. Anyone who has lost a child knows that it takes time to overcome those intense feelings of sorrow. I went through the grieving process as we all do, over time. The loss will always be with me, but, when I needed a loving arm around me to comfort me and let me know that I was not alone, Jesus was there. With the passing of time, I have come to look forward to the hope I have of seeing that child in Heaven one day. Anna)

I remember being on that vessel, the Spree, when the shaft broke and a hole was knocked in her bottom out in mid-ocean, and the stem sank thirty feet. All my family but one was in Northfield, and I was making my way home, leaving friends in Europe. There I was in mid-ocean, pulled up, as it were, to look into my own grave for about forty-eight hours, without one ray of hope, humanly speaking. For forty-eight hours the burden was intense. My heart was like a lump of lead. The accident happened Saturday morning. Sunday afternoon we had a prayer-meeting, and after prayer I read this ninety-first Psalm. If it had been let down from Heaven, it could not have given more comfort. I went into my state room, and I fell on my knees, and I cried to the Lord: “It is a time of trouble; help me.” And God took the burden. It rolled off, and I fell asleep. I never slept sounder than I did that night, and all the rest of the time. If a storm had burst on us any time during the week, we would have gone down, but God was with us in the time of trouble, and the burden was lifted.

A great many people seem to embalm their troubles. I always feel like running away when I see them coming. They bring out their old mummy, and tell you in a sass voice: “You do not know the troubles I have!” My friends, if you go to the Lord with your troubles, He will take them away. Would you not rather be with the Lord and get rid of your troubles, than be with your troubles and without God? Let trouble come if it will drive us nearer to God. It is a great thing to have a place of resort in the time of trouble. How people get on without the God of the Bible is a mystery to me. If I did not have such a refuge, a place to go and pour out my heart to God in such times, I do not know what I would do. It seems as if I would go out of my mind. But to think, when the heart is burdened, we can go and pour it into His ear, and then have the answer come back, “I will be with him,” there is comfort in that!

I thank God for the old Book! I thank God for this old promise. It is as sweet and fresh today as it has ever been. Thank God, none of those promises are out of date, or grown stale! They are as fresh and vigorous and young and sweet as ever.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in God's Love

 

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“I Will Answer”

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” (Part II of D.L. Moody’s Sermon “The Ninety-First Psalm”)

II. “I Will Answer” “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him.” There is a chance for all of us to call. The great God that made Heaven and earth has promised, “I will answer him.” If you call on God for deliverance and for victory over sin and every evil, God is not going to turn a deaf ear to your call. I do not care how black your life has been, I do not care what your past record has been, I do not care how disobedient you have been, I do not care how you have back-slidden and wandered; if you really want to come back, God accepts the willing mind, God will hear your prayer, and He will answer.

Listen to the prodigal: “Father, I have sinned!” That was enough; the father took him right to his bosom. The past was blotted out at once. Look at the men on the day of Pentecost. Their hands were dripping with the blood of the Son of God; they had murdered JESUS CHRIST. And what did Peter say to them, “It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Look at the penitent thief. It might have been that when a little boy, his mother taught him that same passage in Joel, “It shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” As he hung there on the Cross, it flashed into his mind that this was the Lord of glory, and though he was on the very borders of hell, he cried out, “Lord, remember me,” and the answer came right then and there, “To day thou shalt be with me in paradise.” In the morning associated with thieves; in the evening, associated with the purest of Heaven. In the morning, cursing – Matthew and Mark both tell us that those two thieves came out cursing; in the evening, uplifted on high, an inhabitant of Heaven. In the morning, as black as hell could make him; in the evening, not a spot or wrinkle. Why? Because he took God at His word.

My dear friend, if you are unsaved, you just call upon God now, and here is a promise, “I will answer him.”

A few years ago an old returned missionary went to one of our leading hospitals to have a surgical operation performed. He was to go under ether, and it was doubtful whether he would come out or not; he might wake up in another world. He bade adieu to his friends, gave them his farewell blessing – he was a very Godly man – and when the doctor said, “Well, we are ready,” he faced them, and with a calm look, he said: “Would you just wait a minute?” Then he lifted his voice in prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” Then, opening his eyes, he said, “Doctor, I am ready,” and passed under the knife, and out from under it into health.

My dear friends, it is a sweet privilege to pray; it is a sweet privilege to be in touch with Heaven, to be in communion with the great God that made Heaven and earth. “I will answer him.” I suppose there is not a Christian in this audience but can say Amen to that. You can say God has answered in the past, and you believe He will do so again. Some people say they cannot call. Perhaps you cannot make an eloquent prayer – I hope that you cannot – I have heard about all the eloquent prayers I want to. But you can say, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner…” Only be sincere, and God will hear your cry. Mark you, there is a sham cry. Mothers understand that; they know when their children cry in earnest, or whether it is a sham cry. Let the child give a real cry of distress, and the mother will leave everything and fly to her child. I have been forty years in Christian work, and I have never known God to disappoint any man or woman who was in earnest about their soul’s salvation. I know lots of people who pretend to be in earnest, but their prayers are never answered.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2015 in God's Love

 

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