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When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”- John 8:12


 

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The truth is a gift from The Lord (it is not something that can be earned.)  Intelligence, although beneficial and extremely useful, can sometimes blind those who trust in it more than God (the intellect frequently remains in opposition to simple faith and practical wisdom.)  God yearns for His children to trust in Him completely.  Those who are simple, unlearned, and unwise, are often the first to see the true value of God’s mercy and grace.  Won’t you receive the gospel today as a little child?  Won’t you believe with your whole heart?  Won’t you allow God to take control of your life?  If you place your faith in Jesus Christ you will come to know the truth; and you will be smarter than the most well-educated man, and wiser than the greatest king.

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   I once heard a man give his personal testimony.  As a youth he had been hopelessly addicted to drugs.  Eventually he received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  He began reading the bible and his life started changing.  Although sober, he hadn’t yet given up his old friends.  One day he was gathered together with them in a house; he was reading his bible while they were doing drugs.  Suddenly a group of heavily armed police officers broke through the door and began arresting everyone.  He was so frightened he could barely move.  He thought, ‘If I just sit here and read my bible, nothing will happen to me.’  He heard lamps falling and people yelling as they were being dragged to the ground and arrested.  As the commotion swirled around him he never took his eyes off of God’s word.  After a short time he heard the front door slam and the house was completely silent.  Looking up he realized he was all alone.  No one had tackled him; no one had arrested him; no one had even questioned him.  Sometime afterward, God told him that He had blinded the eyes of the officers so that they couldn’t see him.  This man has undoubtedly recalled this miracle on many occasions to dispel his doubts and to inspire his faith.

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Jesus Christ was born in human form and raised in the house of Mary and Joseph.  Yet his true home was with God in heaven. He was a temporary traveler who was ever mindful of his eventual destination. He had no earthly residence; no permanent place to dwell; every miracle, every profession of truth, every act of love, brought him one step closer to home. As he traveled, he made every effort to persuade others to join him in journeying toward the Kingdom of God; a mission that presently continues.Thankfully many today receive the message and begin traveling; sadly however, many do not.The road to heaven is long and the way is not easy, but the destination is more wonderful than anything we could have ever imagined.

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In the first century A.D. the Roman army occupied the Holy Land.  As conquerors they were afforded certain privileges.  One legal provision gave every Roman soldier the right to compel any Jewish citizen to carry their equipment for up too, but not in excess of, one mile.  Jesus used this commonly understood law to impress upon His followers the importance of serving others in abundance.  When a soldier asked them to carry a load one mile, they were instructed to carry it two miles.  Simply put, accomplishing the bare minimum proves nothing; instead, the true love of God is made manifest when we exceed the demands, requests, and expectations of others.

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This teaching of forgiveness in Luke 6:37 has dramatic implications. It seems that we are creatures of denial, and we easily forget how much mercy we need in our day-to-day lives. Our pronouncements of judgment are under the assumption that we are the qualified judges. Our quick condemnation of others gives the impression that our morality is better. Jesus wants to remind us of how much we all need God’s forgiveness in our lives. It is far better to live under the awareness of grace than to create a false sense of superiority that is easily exposed.