Hebrews

Rain


Hebrews 12:3-13:25 & Hosea 1:1-2:23

“I will be faithful to you and make you Mine, and you will finally know Me as the LORD. In that day, I will answer,” says the LORD, “I will answer the sky as it pleads for clouds. And the sky will answer the earth with rain. Then the earth will answer thirsty cries of the grain, the grapevine and the olive trees. And they in turn will answer, ‘Jezreel’ – God plants!” At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites and raise them for myself I will show love to those I called ‘Not loved’. And to those I called, ‘Not My people.’ I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’ And they will reply, ‘You are our God!'” Hosea 2:20-23

Lord, thank You for the glorious symphony that is rain dancing on the leaves, drumming on the deck and clapping on the tin. Thank You for the authoritative peals of majestic thunder as You pronounce Your name above all names.

Jehovah of Might.

Thank You for the flash of lightning that punctuates the sky with Your brilliance, the splash of a single drop’s impact as it permeates the surface of a gathering puddle. Thank You for the sploosh of a car’s tires ripping across the glistening pavement and the drone of the flow of life cascading from the downspout. Lord, I love how You made the raindrops pop when they hit the hard-packed earth. Flowered faces bow as their petals fill with this nectar of life. The glittering green grass bounces under the sudden weight and release of the drops from their hands causing them to wave their palms in praise of You. There are circles of dry earth under tables and chairs sitting silent and unused. The thunder rolls from cloud to cloud singing the song of the rain – He is LORD!

The saturated fall air thrills as it trickles up the spine and down the arms in a chill that exits through bumps on skin making hair stand on end to Your presence. Lord, thank You for the excuse to gleefully run through the rain to Your waiting embrace. Oh Your waiting embrace! How it thrills and spills over my heart. I love how You hold my heart when You hold my hand, and how You hold my hand when You hold my heart. Great is Your love and Your patience! Great is Your wisdom and solace. You are great!

Lord, thank You for ink that flows from pen-tips like rivulets of Your love. May it never cease its torrent of words, YOUR words, through my soul and my hands. Thank You for loving me too much to allow me to stay who I wasn’t. Thank You for teaching me to love others enough to say, ‘No.’ And to love myself enough to spend the time to learn at Your knee that I’m worth receiving a ‘no’ from; that I’m worth standing up for. My life, my writing, my calling, my time with You – they’re worth celebrating and protecting and sharing.

Lord, thank You for the way that You love me. Oh! How You love me! Thank You for the symphony of a thunderstorm as an accompaniment to My praise to my God, THE GOD ALMIGHTY. My creator, my Father, my brother, my husband, my lover, my confidante, my friend, my healer, my protector, my provider, my song, my strength, my hope, my promise, my seal, my teacher, my lesson, my inspiration, my leader, my help, my lion and my lamb. You are my rock and my pillow, my rest and my sword, my armor and my robe, my comfort and my conviction, my hurt and my healing. You are my GOD!

You are my alpha and omega, my beginning and my end. You are my refuge and my fortress, you are my home. You are my light and direction in dark places. You are my breath and my life. You are my blood and my design. You are my savior and my king, my God you are my everything! You are my definition, you are my source, you are my lifter – You are my course. You are my garden, You are my joy. You are my Beloved – Mary’s baby boy. You are my innocence and my righteousness. You are my justification and my cleansing. You are my passion and my delight. You are my God in the deepest of nights.

You are God, strong and sensitive; tall, light and handsome. You are God and I am not and I thank You for that! I am thankful that because You are God, I don’t have to be. I Thank You that because You are my provider and protector I don’t have to be afraid. Lord, help me to not be afraid! Please! Lord, lead us in the way that we should go and help us to fearlessly follow You all the days of our lives, in Jesus’ name!

Lord, thank You for the decadence of a moment truly savored and frozen in time. Thank You for the raindrops tracing lines through the sky and misting the view. Thank You for a warm cats purr in the lap and the remnants of a salty chocolate treat in teeth to lick for time to come. Thank You for the fading thunder as it warns of a storm’s departure. Thank You for the warmth and familiarity of a favored sweatshirt and the trickle of the drops as they slow their downward dance – always earth bound, never up. Thank You for the brilliance of sun as it rounds the horizon in the ever-growing stillness as the symphony ceases – Rain.

Categories: 365 Life, Hebrews, Hosea, Season 3 | Leave a comment

Sunday SHMILY


Hebrews 9:1-12:2

Hebrews 9:12-14 NLT

“With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” Hebrews 9:12-14
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A kiss!
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With Open Ears We Hear…


Hebrews 3:1-8:13

“Today when you hear His voice don’t harden your hearts.” Hebrews 3:7-8 & 15 & 4:7

“It’s a new day, a new chapter, a new page, a blank slate to write the story of your life upon. The Word today says to listen to My voice and not to harden your heart, so open your ears to hear and your heart to receive My word for your troubles today.

Lean on Me when you’re not strong. I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.

“I know life is not easy, I never said that it would be. You are walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, does that sound easy to you? Yet you walk through it in good company; for I am with you every step of the way. Keep walking, for goodness sake, don’t stop and set up camp there! Lean on Me when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.

It’s critical that you bear in mind that it is NOT the Valley of Death. It’s the Valley of the Shadow of Death. I have removed the fear of death, hell has no sting – I took it; at the tip of a spear and the hammering of some nails. I took death, drank it down in heaping gulps and conquered it so completely that only the shadow of it remains.

I have won. Death has lost. Period. End of story. Buh bye, see ya later. There is no other ending, this is it. Just Me – Jesus – victorious over the Enemy of humanity. I did that for you so that you could face days like today and continue to choose to live through them. I know, your life’s not all sunshine, rainbows and puppy dogs. But in all honesty, if it was, you still wouldn’t be happy. Admit it; you know that’s the Truth. So, into every life a little rain must fall, and with it comes growth. My Beloved, your strength has enlarged with each trial. Don’t give up. Continue striving with your best effort; keep working toward that elusive goal. You may not reach it today, and it may not come to fruition tomorrow either. But although the vision may tarry, wait (and work) patiently toward it in My will. For it will surely take place and it will not be delayed.

Why do you doubt the beauty of My work? Why do you doubt it’s power and importance? You know the power of these words, why are you not sharing them with others? Why are you afraid? Why are you afraid of people? They can not hurt you if you don’t let them! Their opinion of My words shouldn’t matter to you! I commissioned you to deliver messages, how they receive them is not of your concern. Do you understand Me? Look at Me. They should NOT concern you. Your job is to deliver the message. Period. Leave the rest up to Me. OK?”

Categories: 365 Life, Hebrews, Season 3 | Leave a comment

Transference


Haggai 1:1-2:23 & Hebrews 1:1-2:18

“Long ago God spoke many times in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son.” Hebrews 1:1-2

It’s always so fun to read two books in one day and see what they have in common with one another and what kinds of links we can find that sew the two of them seamlessly together into one large book – the Bible.

Today I was not disappointed in my search for a link. It came in the first verse of the first chapter of the second book! I couldn’t have missed it if I had tried. Long ago God spoke through prophets, but now, in this new era, He has spoken through Jesus – the Word of God.

The first thing I need to point out to you is that this verse is a pivotal point for my message today. God uses Jesus to convey messages to us; yes in His words, but also in His actions. Jesus is our example of the New Covenant.

So, first things first, my verse from Haggai. (Spoken, I would like to add, through a prophet’s mouth.)

“‘If one of you is carrying some meat from a holy sacrifice in his robes and his robe happens to brush against some bread or stew, wine or olive oil, or any other kind of food, will it also become holy?’ The priests replied, ‘No.’ Then Haggai asked, ‘If someone becomes ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person and then touches any of these foods, will the food be defiled?’ And the priests answered, ‘Yes.'” Haggai 2:12-13

Through this verse we can learn a lot about the transference of holiness. Let’s start with the meat and the foods. The meat is from a holy sacrifice, making it holy, or clean. The foods however, are not anything special, they’re not from a sacrifice or anything like that so they are neutral on the holiness scale. They are neither holy nor profane, clean or unclean. If the robe holding the holy meat touches the food, no transference is made. Still with me? I hope so!

A dead person’s body is considered an unclean thing, anyone who touches it then becomes unclean as well. There is a transference of uncleanness from the body to the person who touched the body. So if that person then touches the neutral food, the food becomes unclean as well. There IS transference in this case.

So in summary, back then, transference only worked from the bottom up not the other way around. The things that were holy didn’t make the neutral or unclean things holy when they touched. It was the things that were unclean that made the neutral and holy things unclean when they touched.

Now. Let’s look to Jesus and how things changed when He came on the scene shall we?

From the very beginning of the Bible leprosy was something that when you got it, your life changed forever. It was a skin eating disease like none other. Someone with leprosy was basically public enemy number one! They were required to wear a special colored coat so that they could be identified from a distance so that people wouldn’t accidentally bump into them. If they were walking anywhere they were required to shout, “Unclean”, as they went so that everyone would know to stay away from them. They were no longer allowed to have ANY physical contact with their family members and were required to live outside the community so that they would keep their disease to themselves. Basically they were treated like a contagious scum of the earth.

Well, in the very beginning of Matthew chapter eight we find a desperate leper at the feet of Jesus:

“Lord,” the man said, “if You are willing, You can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” He said, “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

Now my friends, how is this situation different from our first verse from Haggai? The two are like night and day! In the best way!!!

Jesus is clean. According to the old laws and traditions (and modern science’s view on germs) to touch a man with leprosy was to contaminate yourself with the disease. And yet what was the FIRST thing that Jesus did to that man who hadn’t been touched by another human hand since he had contracted the disease? Jesus reached out and touched the unclean, making him clean! Jesus’ holiness was transferred to the unclean man!

I know for many of you this might be a concept that isn’t new to you. But take this opportunity to look at it from a new perspective with me. Jesus is clean. Period. And nothing that He touches can change that. And that’s pretty awesome! But take it a step further, Jesus is in you. His healing power is in YOU. His holiness is in YOU. His righteousness is in YOU. His love is in YOU. His grace is in YOU. Is there someone in your life that you treat like public enemy number one? Or maybe not quite that extreme, but maybe you avoid them like the plague (or leprosy)? Maybe it’s time to reach out and touch them today. Perhaps you’ll transfer a little bit of holiness their way… or vice versa. 😉

Categories: 365 Life, Haggai, Hebrews, Season 3 | 2 Comments

Another Milestone


Hebrews 12:3-13:25 & Hosea 1:1-2:23

Well my friends, I have reached yet another milestone in this journey with you. It was at about this point in writing through the Bible in a year that I called it quits last year. It was August 24th and we were in Isaiah when I submitted the post, “The End”. I had had a dream about a surgery that was necessary in order to save my life. That surgery was to remove posting to the blog, from my life.

When I looked up “The End” to see what point I had received that message to hang up on the blog, I remembered that dream. I remembered the overall feel of the dream and how dark and dismal the atmosphere was in the dream. The hospital walls were yellow, but not the bright cheery kind of yellow the dark and dirty kind of yellow. The lights were yellow, the mood was depressing and the people in the dream were… well, I can’t even describe them.

Last night I had another dream, much like that first one. I was in a classroom that felt more like a cave than a classroom. The color in this dream was dark charcoal gray. The walls of the classroom were gray hewn out stone, curved like an underground cave. The atmosphere of the dream was dark and depressing. The teacher was cruel and taunted me constantly. But I was still desperate to please him, which I find interesting. He even made fun of me for measuring out 50mL of milk every day and for saving every single little bit of food I came in contact with. I refused to throw anything away.

Anyway, I bring all this up because last night before bed I was begging God to come and speak to me in my dreams and tell me what it is that He wants me to do. A job opportunity has presented itself. The income would make a HUGE difference in our finances, but so would the time. I am already feeling stretched past my time/stress limits and the addition of a part time job would force something I’m already holding out of my hands. And of course the blog was the first thing I thought of being wrenched from them.

I’ve given up on you before and it didn’t go well with me. When I picked the blog back up again and God encouraged me to start fresh from the beginning He made it abundantly clear that the blog is not something I am to ever let go of again. It’s too good for me and it’s too good for you. Yet, when things get hectic and life beacons with dollar signs and the potential of upgrading our life, well, setting down the things that don’t make me money looks awfully tempting.

So as I lay me down to sleep last evening, begging God to guide me in the way that I should go, then having this dream that ended with the teacher telling me that “it’s OK to throw away food”. I was beginning to believe that perhaps God really was leading me to let the blog go again. But when I got up to do my reading, I just kept thinking about that other dream and the last time I lay down the blog. The similarities became shocking when I finally pulled up “The End” to look at it again. Then it became apparent to me what God was saying. The dreams are one in the same. However, the message received from them is different because of their timing. The first dream I was to heed, because I needed to experience what would happen if I walked away from the blog. That way, I wouldn’t ever want to do it again. This dream was to beacon me back to that first dream and that first time when I stopped blogging and remind me of all the consequences that ensued from it. It also reminded me of the first week after I picked that measured milk back up again. I pray I never forget that week. I spent it flat on the floor in praise of the God who died for me. That first week back in God’s word daily, reading measured amounts of salvation were absolute bliss.

It was then that I begged God to help me read His word and write about it daily for the REST of my life. I didn’t ever want to put it down again. I had been away for far too long and had paid dearly for it too. I had dried out and become hard like a cheap kitchen sponge that hadn’t been used in a long time. My edges had become sharp; I was in desperate need of the Living Water that flows through my fingers to you.

Unfortunately, things aren’t that different right now. While I have been reading and blogging daily, it’s been out of duty instead of delight. I’ve placed you on the back burner and I apologize for that. You are all so near and dear to my heart that it has pained me to do that. But life happens and honestly we need the money.

This is where I need your help. Please pray for God to bless our finances in the way that only He can so that I may continue to preach His good news to you uninhibited. Time is one of the only things on this planet that we will never ever get back. Every moment I spend on you is more than precious to me! And I pray that the same is true for you as well. I pour my heart out onto this screen day in and day out and I pray that that means something to you personally.

Some of you I have met face to face and some of you are just a picture on the screen. But I know full well, that those pictures represent a living, breathing person who needs the Grace of God just like me. My friend, you are precious to me, because you are priceless to Him.

Categories: 365 Life, Hebrews, Hosea, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

The Bottom of it All


Hebrews 9:1-12:2

I’m going to share with you today one of the most powerful pictures God has ever given me. It was last year when I had just finished reading Hebrews. There’s a reason it’s one of my all time favorite books!

Categories: 365 Life, Hebrews, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 2 Comments

Repent from Dead Works


Hebrews 3:1-8:13

“For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.” Hebrews 7:18-19

Without a vision of Christ’s full sacrifice for you; you will perish. What is the full picture of what Jesus has done for you? What ALL has He paid for, for you? If we look at the tiny portion of today and today’s sins and think of Jesus paying for those we think, “Wow, Jesus thank You! I really appreciate You taking this junk out of my life…” And we really mean it. But that’s not the whole picture! That’s just today.

“If You, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O LORD, who could stand?” Psalm 130:3

“He who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47) but blessed is he whose sins are forgiven, whose iniquities the LORD remembers no more. If we were to look at the sins we have or will commit today it would look like a single garbage bag full of today’s trash. And we would be grateful when it’s out of the trash can and in the dumpster outside so that we can throw more things away.

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But when Jesus died on the cross, His blood didn’t just cover today’s sins.

Oh no!

It took away today’s garbage,

all of your yesterdays garbage,

AND all of your tomorrows garbage too!

In our entire lifetime we would fill a landfill with our sin-garbage, and Jesus’ death on the cross took that landfill full of your sins away from YOU.

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ALL of it, before you were ever born.

So the real question is, are you living like you believe that? I promise you it’s the gospel truth; it’s the word of God. But are you “be-living” it?

To enter heaven your sin must be wiped away completely. There can be no spot or stain left. And while the blood of spotless goats and blameless bulls would atone for Israel’s sin, it would only last a year. (See Leviticus 16, the Day of Atonement.) BUT the blood of the spotless Lamb of the eternal God is an everlasting sacrifice for our sin (Hebrews 7:11-28, “Jesus holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever”).

THERE IS NO SACRIFICE LEFT. Period.

No amount of prayer, praise, good deeds, ceremonial washings, scripture memorization, self-sacrifice, self-condemnation, or self-judgment can take away your daily garbage. Because it’s ALREADY GONE! On the cross, Jesus summoned ALL your sin from you to Him like a heavenly Luke Skywalker summoning his light saber saver.

The only thing left for you to do is REALIZE YOUR SIN-GARBAGE IS GONE and then live like you truly believe that you HAVE BEEN freed from that garbage.

Believe it. Live it.

Be.live it. J

I tell you the TRUTH, whoever Jesus sets free from sin is completely free from sin!

Hallelujah! \o/

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Jesus has got it Under Control

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Haggai 1:1-2:23 & Hebrews1:1-2:18

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It doesn’t matter who you are.  It doesn’t matter what is going on. Jesus has it under control.

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The Bottom of it All

Today’s Reading: Hebrews 11:1-13:25

You answer Him, “Well, no one really told me that, I just figured that since the door wouldn’t open for me that it must have been closed forever.”

Shaking His head Jesus answered, “Now why would you think a silly thing like that? Let not your heart be troubled. Don’t you remember what was said on the cross? When I said ‘It is finished’ I was NOT talking about miracles, I was talking about the job I had come to do. I came so that you would see LIFE, and not the kind of life that those before Me had seen but life filled with abundance and peace!”

Beloved, I am the good shepherd; I lead you in paths of righteousness; and not paths built by your own righteousness or your own doing, but Mine. I am the righteous One, I am the One that came and was completely perfectly sinless so that you wouldn’t have to be. I am the One who came and suffered unmentionable things, horrors that you could never even begin to imagine and will now never have to experience because I went through them first. I am the only one in all of history that has truly seen and been through the valley of darkness. Yes, you too may walk through it, but you do not walk through it alone you pass through that darkness with Me, The Light by your side, never leaving you nor forsaking you. I will never desert you. I will never give up on you. I will never abandon you. I am your Light. I am your guide. I am yours! I am faithful when you are not. I believe in you when you do not. I trust you when you don’t. I made you just the way you are, trust Me when I say that you are perfect in my eyes. Not because of anything that you have done or said, but because of everything that Jesus has done and everything that Jesus has said. I see you through His perfect blood sprinkled upon your now perfectly clean heart. His blood is so much more precious than the blood of goats and sheep that never cleaned a single heart but rather foreshadowed the perfectly innocent blood of the Lamb to come; born in a barn like all the rest of the sacrificial lambs, He came so that you could be free. Free from sin. Free from guilt and shame and the condemnation that sin brought into this world; the condemnation of self-righteousness, the thought that you need to be more than what I made you to be; more than human. I didn’t make you to be Me. I made you to be you, I already had a Me I didn’t need another one! I needed someone to love Me, someone to trust Me, someone to believe in Me and that I tell the truth when I say that I love you more than you could ever possibly imagine. My Beloved, you are mine and I am yours – believe in that, trust in that, hope in that, hold on to that – I am YOURS! I belong to you. I am your possession as you are mine. I am your hope and salvation in times of trouble. I am yours to have and to hold from this day forward. I am your deliverance in the day of doubt. I am yours from this day on forevermore; I am yours.

Now. That door will open at the slightest push. Take out your Faith. Not your faith in Me; while it is helpful it is not the way to get through the door. While Your faith in me opens the door, it is My faith in you that gets you through it. While I am the door, it takes faith in your ability and position to walk through it and lay hold of the treasures behind it. In the desert I provided the miracle of manna, but they each had to put on their shoes and in faith walk through their front door to take possession of that bread from heaven. The woman subject to bleeding was not healed until she made the decision to do something about her condition, get up, seek Me out and lay hold of the hem of my garment. Though Blind Bartemas called to me from the side of the road, he was not healed of his blindness until he heard me call him to come, throw off his heavy cloak of darkness and walk to Me to receive his healing. My friend, no one is worthy in their own eyes of the miracles that I am about to perform on this planet. But each and everyone is worthy in My eyes. Do you know why? They are worthy in My eyes because they are My Beloved. My people have been fed too many lies for too long and it is about time that step in and take them back from the food poisoning that has overtaken them. They have been poisoned with the apples of sin consciousness and the self condemnation that comes from a self focused life. I want them to realize, I want YOU to realize that a life focused on Me, My perfection and My righteousness and My holiness leads to a completely free and abundant life, right here in the land of the living. Today. My Darling, it is your job, today, to help them see how much I love them. That it matters not how much they love Me, that really makes no difference in this world. But how much I love you, how much I love this world, how much I love every living thing in this world; THAT is what really matters. Yes, faith CAN move mountains but Love is greater than faith and hope.

Now. Get up, walk through that door and take hold of the blessings I have been storing up for you!”

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Doors

Today’s Reading: Hebrews 7:18-10:39

As your eyes become more accustomed to this light you begin to look around you and see that this room is filled with doors of all different shapes and sizes. A skinny green door named healing, a large round door labeled prosperity, as far as the eye can see there are doors in this huge room all leading to various things. But this door, the smallest door in the room painted yellow and just the right size for you catches your eye. You walk up to it and tentatively reach out your hand to tenderly touch the gold lettering at the top “Miracles”. You catch your breath as you think of the Red Sea parting, the manna falling like snow, the Jordan River separating, heavenly armies surrounding earthly enemy armies preparing to attack men of God, the sun standing still in the sky to bide our ancestors more time, a widow pouring oil from a jar that just keeps flowing and filling containers until she runs out, a fisher of men fishing and catching a fish with money in its mouth. Could it be… a door with all these things and more besides that behind it? You look to Jesus to see what He has to say and with His smiling eyes He nods, this door is all yours. Everything behind it has been waiting for you to discover it, to come and step over the threshold of possibility. You excitedly reach out and turn the knob but it won’t budge! Why? And that’s when they appear. Doubt and Discouragement, little more than wisps in the wind, voices in your ears they whisper back and forth putting thoughts into your head making you think you are the one thinking them. “Jesus didn’t actually say that these miracles were for me.” “I’m not like Moses or even the prophet’s widow, who am I to deserve something as grand as a room full of miracles?” “I’m not special enough to have God intervene in my life in a miraculous way.” “I certainly haven’t done anything worthy of a miracle being performed in my life, that’s for sure.” As this barrage of thoughts floods through your brain like an all out attack on your morale your head begins to droop and you slowly turn away from the door, convinced that it wasn’t meant to be.

You look to Jesus thoroughly discouraged and disappointed in yourself for even thinking that He might love you that much to give such a gift as wonderful as that. You think “Sure, He loves me enough to die for me, and maybe even enough to help out with little things in my life here and there, but to change my life completely; to turn everything bad in my life around? Probably not, that stuff has to be earned right?” You slump down on the sofa next to the door and put your head in your hands and say “What was I thinking? God doesn’t really do miracles today. That door has been closed for a long time.” At this Jesus comes unglued, “Who told you that?” He says with a tone you’ve never heard in His voice before. He can tell that someone has been feeding you lies and He’s about to get down to the bottom of it all.

(To be continued…)

 

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