Heaven Came Down


Long ago in a dry and weary land,
Heaven came down in the form of a man,
He left all of heaven’s glory
To continue God’s redemptive story,
Born of a woman in the fullness of time
Born under the Law, laying aside the divine;
Entering into His creation,
Without reservation,
Leaving His glorious radiance,
For humanity’s substance;
The Eternal One,
God’s beloved Son,
Humbly emptying Himself
He came openly and not in stealth
Now clothed as a servant
Not prideful or arrogant,
From the Father He was sent,
To do all God intended and meant,
He was perfect in submission
He was obedient in His contrition,
Pouring His life out on a cross,
All was gain, nothing a loss,
Man had acted in rebellious sin,
Now separated from the God who created him;
Nothing could man do or say
To make up for His errant way,
He was a wretched worm without hope,
Storing up God’s wrath on a downward slope,
He was under God’s curse
And what was worse,
He loved his rebellion and sin,
Which he desired to continue in ,
Living for himself and every selfish desire,
Falling deeper and deeper into the muck and mire,
Caring not for his precarious estate,
Thinking he was good and had a clean slate,
All the while storing up wrath before God,
Not caring that on the broad path he trod,
That broad path leading to destruction and sorrow,
He cared only for the pleasures of today and tomorrow,
Let the future be what it may,
Eat, drink and be merry for today,
And yet God’s law is written on his heart,
And although he rebels and wishes to depart
And follow his lustful, earthly sin nature
Not giving a thought for his life or future,
And sets aside anything he knows that is right
And hangs on to all wicked pleasures so tight,
And yet deep inside his spirit he has God’s law
And fulfilling his lust that now sticks in his craw,
He intrinsically knows his life is wrong,
But he covers all God’s truth with a loud raucous song,
He will not condescend or bow his knee,
He will continue headlong into apostasy,
He will not admit that his way is killing him
He revels and rejoices in his lust and his sin,
And yet God in His mercy, grace, and love
Calls out to this wretched sinner from above,
Turn from your wicked ways and find the One
Who came down from heaven with great love,
The One traded His glory for human flesh and frail life
And willingly gave His body and blood as a sacrifice
To save sinful man from the wrath of the righteous God
To spare him the punishment of God’s mighty rod,
And bring him into God’s family
No longer living in depravity,
But cleansed by the blood of the Lamb
And longer residing as sinful man,
Adopted into God’s family
Walking in holiness and purity,
Peace and joy overwhelm him
As he turns away from his sin
And enters into new life
Without out fighting and strife,
Knowing Jesus Christ as his Savior
His life having new taste and new flavor,
Something he had never known
Where he sat on his own throne
Lusting and lying and thieving and denying
He was always looking and striving
But never finding what he wanted
Until he gave up and was so daunted
That he surrendered his life
And handed over the strife
And traded it for comfort and care
In the Savior’s gentle lair,
Finding all he ever sought
Realizing his life was paid for and bought
By the life of another one,
God’s only begotten Son
Who died for lost sinners
Who turned losers into winners,
And made them His own
Drawing each one to His very throne
Putting new life in their hearts
And promising never to depart,
Being with them always
Through each and every day,
Loving them to the end,
Bringing them home to be with Him
Throughout all eternity and forevermore
On a distant shore,
In a new heaven and earth
With great value and incredible worth
Face to face with our blessed God above
Who pours out His unconditional love
And we see our beloved Jesus face to face
In a state of perpetual mercy and grace,
Worshipping our God and our Savior
With myriads of angels and fellow believers,
Forever and ever
And stopping never
With those from every corner of the earth
Before the One of infinite worth
Singing praises and songs
All the day long
To our great God and King
Our all in all and everything!!
God the Father is the Light
And Jesus the Son is the Lamp
And we bask in their presence
Throughout all eternity.
World without end!
Amen and Amen!

#111

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Jesus Before Whom I Bow

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3: 14-21

This is the God of glory and the God of love,
The God who is sovereign and reigns from heaven above;
He looks down upon sinful wretched needy humanity
And spills out His love so abundantly,
He looks at our hearts and sees such lacking
And pours out His power and strengthening
Our inner man who needs His powerful touch,
And gives us Christ who loves us so much
That He willingly shed His blood and laid down His life,
So that we might know His peace and give up our strife;
Comprehending the fullness of our Father above,
Who poured out on us the height and depth of His love,
Jesus our Savior, filling our inner man,
Touching us with Your unfailing loving hand,
Showing us the abundance of God’s grace,
As we look upon Your loving face,
Pressed upon our spirits and deep within us,
You have sent Your Spirit to dwell within us,
Jesus our all and all and our everything,
Lord of lords and King of kings!!!

#106

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Musings

Political (politically incorrect) musings by Mary

We live in a time now where political correctness reigns supreme and if you have a differing view from the prescribed correct one and make it known, very often you are vilified, called all kinds of horrible names, shamed, ostracized rejected, and in some cases punished by higher ups.

This is not the American way which has always been based on a free and open discourse of various and opposing views protected by the 1st Amendment especially political talk and religious freedom. But today it seems many want to shut down opposing views and say that some are not even allowed to speak because some one is offended and can’t handle hearing another view and in some cases hauled into court and fined astronomic amounts for daring to speak their own mind and not the cultural indoctrination that we see all around us. What a shame in a land that has always been a bastion of freedom and liberty!!

There have been packages left on people’s doorsteps that have exploded and killed people. What a horrible event perpetrated by an evil individual or several as the case may be. And I see officials and others looking for reasonable solutions as well they should. I do not hear “package violence” or the discrediting and demonizing Fed-Ex or UPS or the post office. I don’t hear immediate cries for taking away package deliveries. But rather a reasonable assessment of the situation and cautions and calling for the perpetrator(s) to be brought to justice. The same can be said of the evil and violence when we have had the horrific knife attacks, trucks being used to run down people and other such wicked acts perpetrated by violent humans.

On the other hand, what is with “gun violence” and the immediate call to disarm law-abiding citizens and demonizing the NRA and others. The guns are no more violent than the packages, the trucks or knives. A gun does nothing until a human being picks it up and uses it for good or evil.

In fact if we look at the statistics (boring!!!) we will see that guns save many more lives than they take. What stops a bad guy with a gun, but a good guy with a gun (see the story of the recent shooting at the Texas church).

And we see over and over the call for gun control as a solution especially in the horrible school shootings. (Although with the tragic shooting of Kate Steinle by the illegal criminal, we see the criminal being protected by so many–such a double stand and hypocrisy). If we can protect federal buildings, banks, jewelry stores, malls, and then the politicians, Hollywood and media elites, (who hide behind armed bodyguards and secure gated communities and then decry the use of guns to protect the rest of us), why can we not lock school doors and check those who are allowed to enter (many schools do) and place responsible well-trained administrators and teachers (not forcing anyone who doesn’t want to be armed) and hire retired military and policemen to protect our children. We can if we want to!!!

And I would wish that the young people who are out marching for safety in schools and speaking out would be reminded that yes, they have a right to speak because many have gone before them and fought and died and sacrificed their lives for our right of free speech. And I also wish that those students who don’t just say take away the guns and all will be well but have opposing views would not be intimidated and threatened and in some cases as we have heard called in by the school officials and chastised and punished for not going along with the prevailing view that guns are bad and getting rid of them will solve the problem.

That is so simplistic and will not solve the problem of getting guns out of the hands of criminals and those with evil intent. It just leaves the rest of us defenseless. I would like the youth to be reminded of Tiananmen Square and the demonstrations there in 1989 by unarmed civilians (they did not have guns) and the government’s suppression and slaughter, and Iran in 2009 and just recently among other events of tyrannical armed governments and unarmed civilians. Unarmed citizens are at the mercy of governments and criminals.

The issus run much deeper than gun’s are bad so let’s get rid of them and that’s the end of it. I have more to say, but this is enough for now except–

The true solution for the evil in man’s heart which is the impetus behind these wicked acts is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all sinners and except for the staying hand of God Himself many of us would be just like those gun, truck, package, knife and whatever else is devised (pressure cookers, hammers, fertilizer, fists…)perpetrators, but for the grace of God go I. We are all in need of God’s saving grace which takes a vile sinner and changes that wicked heart from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36) and changes us from the inside out so that we begin not to think of what pleases us whatever that looks like–moral and upright or vile and deadly–to those who desire to please the Lord God Almighty and be a blessing and of service to others. (Galatians 6:10; Philippians 2: 3-4)

The cry of Jesus, God Himself and the Eternal Son who took on flesh, was and still is “Repent and believe the gospel.” For those of us who have, may we live in conformity to His will and for those who are outside the kingdom, may God open your mind and heart and draw you to Himself.

#107

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The Pre-Eminent One

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” Colossians 1: 13-17

What an amazing insight by Paul and it could only have come from the Holy Spirit because no mere human being could in or of himself have such knowledge and insight of the invisible God.

But rather the indwelling Spirit is illuminating Paul’s spirit so that he can write these words and we can read them with full assurance that they are by very nature God-breathed and from Him, the Eternal God, to us, His redeemed people.

How amazing is it that Jesus, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, is described as the image of the invisible God. God, the Father, revealed Himself to us through the incarnation of His Son, His beloved Son, whom He sent to be the Savior of the world.

And Jesus is the firstborn of all creation, not that He was a created being, but that He as God’s beloved Son is pre-eminent in all creation. He is the creator of all things. Nothing that was made was made apart from Him whether visible or invisible, seen or unseen, this world or the heavenly realm. All was created by this pre-eminent One.

And when we read not only created through Him but also “for Him.’ Why was this universe created in the first place–for the glory of the Father through the exaltation of His Son Jesus Christ. The Father glorifies the Son and the Son glorifies the Father and the Holy Spirit takes all these things and illuminates our spirits and teaches us so that even though now we see through a veil dimly, we do see and can have some level of comprehension of how great and how vast our glorious Triune God is.

And even as we now see dimly, His glory shines through and we can only stand in awe and wonder of this glorious God who loved His own so much that He would send His only begotten Son while we were yet sinners to die on our behalf and sacrifice Himself on the cross and take the punishment due us so that we could be reconciled to His beloved Father and stand before Him with the imputed righteousness of Christ and be declared not guilty, forgiven of all sin, adopted into His family as sons and daughters and be granted eternal life.

“Amazing love how can it be that You my God would die for me.” And He did and did it willingly for the joy set before Him to accomplish His Father’s will to save all given to Him by the Father, losing none and raising them up on the last day–for the glory of God.

And God has given Him that name above all names at which every knew in heaven and on earth and below will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord to the Father’s glory.

We were created by Him and for Him and our very existence is to glorify Him and proclaim the excellencies of Him who drew us out of the darkness and set us in His glorious kingdom.

My desire is to spend my remaining days glorifying Him and proclaiming His excellencies until that day He takes me home to be with Him and I see Him as He truly is and spend eternity in His glorious presence around the throne of God with saints from every tongue and tribe and people and nation from all ages crying out with the angels, “Holy, holy holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and is and is come.” Revelation 4: 8

My prayer for those who know the Lord through faith and repentance will spend their days bringing Him honor and glory and worshipping Him in spirit and truth, May God help us to do so. And for anyone who does not know this glorious God to to ask “What must I do to be saved?” Anyone who comes to Him through faith will not be turned away.

“All the Father gives Me will come to Me and the one who come to Me I will certainly not cast out…and I Myself will raise Him up on the last day.” John 6: 37-40

#103

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The Goodness of God

God, the holy One, the righteous One, the One filled with lovingkindness and mercy and grace and goodness.

“Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” Exodus 33: 18-19 His goodness is His glory.

Goodness-what is goodness? Some definitions–the deliberate preference of right to wrong (but then of course we need to define what is right and what is wrong–based on what); the firm and persistent resisting of all moral evil and following all moral good (once again good according to whom or what); integrity, honesty, uprightness, virtue and moral character and conduct.

From the Christian standpoint, God Himself is the author and standard of what is good and right and true and esteemable. The Lord God does not adhere to some outside standard of goodness, but rather He is the embodiment of goodness and He is the standard.

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble;” Nahum 1: 7

“You are good and do good; teach me Your statutes: Psalm 119: 68

“Taste and see the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34: 8

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God.” Mark 10: 18

“Oh how abundant is Your goodness which You have stored up for those who fear you”
Psalm 31: 19

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136: 1

And what is so amazing is that His goodness and kindness reaches out to all mankind and to all creation. “He causes His sun to shine on the just and the unjust and He sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous.: Matthew 5: 45

Even to those who are far from Him, who are steeped in their own sin and rail against Him in outright rebelliousness or simple indifference to the things of God, He is patient and long-suffering. He does not instantly crush them for their wickedness but just as He did with ancient Israel He holds out His hands and calls them to repentance and faith in Him. Isaiah 65: 2

“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now commands people everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him.” Acts 17: 30 And even in their rejection, continued rejection, He is patient and long-suffering. “Come all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will given you rest…” Matthew 11: 28

And He continually displays His goodness for all to see in His creation. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. He brings seasons of seedtime and harvest, refreshing rains and cooling breezes. He displays His majesty and glory in the beauty of this earth and the amazing nighttime sky. He makes Himself known so that no one is without excuse.

And for those of us whom He has called out of the darkness of our sinfulness and transferred us into the light of His kingdom, the kingdom of His beloved Son, His goodness and mercy and grace knows no bounds.

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1: 13. How amazing is that love and that goodness to take lost rebellious sinners and pluck them like brands out of the fire and cleanse them with the blood of His beloved Son and cover them with His righteousness.

“God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 8

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever.” Psalm 100: 5

Yes He is good and His everlasting and eternal goodness overflows to those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose for whom He is working all things for their good. Romans 8: 28

And in His goodness and mercy and lovingkindness, He refines us and conforms us to Christlikeness. He puts away the old sinful self and helps us battle that sin nature and grows us and builds us up and matures us so that we are cooperating with His indwelling Spirit in putting the old man to death and living more and more for the Lord and not our old sinful desires.

In His goodness He exposes that old sinfulness and helps us hate it and desire to do the things that are pleasing to Him. He is so very good that He does not leave us in sin but corrects and disciplines us.

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him,
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every sin whom He recieves.”
Hebrews 12: 5-6

“You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good.” Psalm 16: 2

“I am the vine and you are the branches; he who abides in me and i in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15: 5

As we abide in Him and He in us, we bear fruit pleasing to God and His goodness flows through us to represent Him and be His good witnesses in this lost and dying world.

God is good and we are not and yet when we come into a saving relationship with Him and abide in Him with deep fellowship, we are covered with Christ’s righteousness and empowered by His Spirit to spread His goodness and grace and gospel of hope to those who are in such a need of His salvation.

“God is good and His love endures forever,” 1 Chronicles 16: 34

I am grateful and thankful for His goodness in this physical world of providing the necessities of life and His tender mercies every day, that He would save me by His Son’s blood and call me His child and would refine me and conform me to Christlikeness and love me enough to discipline me when I go astray.

“Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.” Psalm 23: 6

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A Barren Woman

A man and his wife for a child did pray,
The woman being old, was
filled with dismay;
Ridiculed and mocked for childlessness
Hurting and suffering and in much distress;
Living in a society that considered barrenness
a result of some sort of sinfulness.
God Almighty heard their heart-wrenching cry,
Mercifully and kindly their request He could not deny.
So He sent His messenger, Gabriel was his name,
And to this man, Zachariah, he came.
This man Zachariah was of the priestly line,
And by God’s own bidding, this was his special time,
He, by lot, was chosen to enter the temple and burn incense,
And now he finds himself in the angel Gabriel’s presence.
Imagine his shock and absolute fear and dismay,
Standing the presence of an angel this day,
“Do not be afraid, Zachariah, your petition has been heard”
What is the angel saying, what is this word!!
“Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son”
I can only imagine, he would want to hide or run.
But Gabriel continues to speak and say
Not giving Zachariah a chance hide or run away,
“And you will give him the name of John.” Gabriel said,
Zachariah seemed to be filled with confusion and dread,
“How will I know this for certain?’ he finally blurts out,
The Angel Gabriel speaks back without a shadow of a doubt!
“I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God,”
Zachariah must have felt the blow of a rod!
“I have been sent to speak to you” Gabriel said,
Zachariah must have wished he was buried and dead!
But standing there before Gabriel
He listened to what the angel had to tell
The good news of a son in his later life
What a glorious precious gift to his beloved wife,
In her later days she would be a mother,
And her son was special like no other,
The forerunner of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ,
Calling from the wilderness a message of repent and trust,
Zachariah cried out to God for a child with his wife,
He didn’t understand, he was just going through life;
But God hear his cry and granted his prayer
And Elizabeth was given a child into her care,
She could now stand before the other women
With her head held high and not guilt-driven.
Looking at the others now face to face,
Elizabeth had her God-given place!!
The Lord God Almighty hears the cries of His children
And He loves and He hears the good desires within them.
Zachariah and Elizabeth were faithful and long-suffering.
Facing ridicule and mocking and so much disgracing,
Yet seeking the Lord even when all seemed lost,
They called on His name and goodness whatever the cost,
They were honored and blessed,
They were granted their request,
John the Baptist was the result
And the world has been blessed.
And what does this mean for us today?
Do we have any word or hope to take away?
God heard the cry of His faithful children,
He does the same today for all who follow Him!
If you have repented and trusted in Jesus the Christ,
then know He hears your cries and in Him do trust!
And if you are faraway and are living on your own belief
Come to Jesus, repent and confess and find eternal relief!
May God help you to do so!!!

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Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Jerusalem! The home of kings and prophets
God’s holy city, the city of David, His chosen one!
God’s people wandered in the wilderness,
God rescued them from the tyranny of Egypt,
They were promised a new land of their very own,
And yet they rebelled and sinned and made of calf
of gold,
They dance and worshipped and reveled,
They tested their God at the waters of Mariah,
Forty years they wandered under Moses!
That generation died out including Moses, Miriam, and Aaron.

And the new ones under Joshua claimed the Promised Land,
The land was divided according to the tribes,
They fought, and conquered the Canaanites, and settled
all as the Lord had decreed.
They kept to their tribes and had no central place of worship.

They sinned and repented and sinned and repented and
were ruled by judges,
But it was an unruly time where everyone did as they pleased
in their own sight.
Finally they cried out to the Lord through God’s chosen man Samuel,
asking for a king like the other nations.

God granted their desire and King Saul was raised up,
He sinned against the Lord and was rejected and died,
In his place God anointed David, a young shepherd boy,
to follow as Israel’s shepherd.
David, a man after God’s own heart–what a declaration!!

David loved God, David sinned greatly, David returned and repented!
David established Jerusalem as his capital city,
That city chosen by God to be the center of worship,
To be the center of the kingdom,century after century,
to be the home of the Temple,
Built not by His servant David, but by His son Solomon,
David the warrior King had blood on his hands,
Solomon reigned in a time of peace and prosperity
and built that most beautiful of all temples,
the Temple where God Almighty met with His people.

There in Jerusalem, the city of David, the Jews gathered
for the feasts and appointed times and sacrificed
and met with their God.
But they sinned and chased after foreign idols and
rejected their God,
God called and called to them through the prophets,
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Habakkuk, and many others;
They rejected some, they persecuted others and even killed some.

The Assyrian captivity and the dispersion of the northern tribes,
The Babylonian captivity and the razing of the Temple,
Crying out to their God and returning to a broken down Jerusalem.
Ezra and Nehemiah returning and rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem
And the rebuilding of the temple, not so grand as Solomon’s,
But promised by God with a future glorious temple, not build
by human hands!
Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Always the capital and center of the Jews!
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”

Jesus steps down from heaven into His creation,
As a babe born in Bethlehem, spending most of His time
in Galilee,
Yet He goes to Jerusalem for the feasts and finally, yes finally
Sets His face like flint to go one last time to Jerusalem
To be crucified outside the city to save His people from their sins,
He came to die so that His own might have life and have life eternal!
Mocked, scorned, beaten, spat upon and crucified
Shed His blood on that roman cross,
Accomplished His task
And now sits at the Father’s right hand
In all His glory,

The temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 by Titus,
And the city of Jerusalem as razed to the ground
in A.D. 135 by Hadrian and the Jews dispersed!
And for centuries Jerusalem and the surrounding areas
were barren and desolate under the Romans,

Then Islam came onto the scene and came conquering
and slaughtering and overtaking the areas of
the Middle East and North Africa and even into Europe,
Only to be met by Charles “the Hammer” Martel
At the Battle of Tours A.D. 732 stopping the onslaught,

But Jerusalem, that holy city of God, the city of David,
came under Islamic control,
Disputed even until today,
But Jerusalem is and was always God’s chosen city,
The capital of His people the Jews, sacred to Him.

And yet there is a future day to come,
When heaven and earth will pass away,
And there will be the New Jerusalem,
A city not built by human hands,

Just as John foretold,
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will [a]dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” Revelation 21: 1-4

The earthly Jerusalem is holy to God as a prefigurement of the eternal holy Jerusalem to come. And all believers can rejoice in the glorious promised secure hope of being there in the new Jerusalem with our great Father God and our Lord Jesus Christ forever.

Kingdoms and rulers will come and kingdoms and rulers will perish, but God and His word and His kingdom will stand forever!!! The Jews are His chosen people, Jerusalem is His chosen city and Gentiles are grafted into this glorious kingdom by the decree of God from the earliest of times.

Abraham was told he would be the father of many nations and all would be blessed through him. And through his dependent Jesus were have peace with God and peace with one another, Jew and Gentile alike. He brought down the barrier of the dividing wall and made the two into one new man establishing peace.

How great is our God–taking those at enmity with Him and others and making us all one in Christ.

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4: 4-6

#102

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