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Matney Woodard

Christian Stories, Songs and Sermons

From an early age I remember learning cute children’s prayers to recite before going to sleep. It seemed comforting and a great bonding experience with my parents before bedtime. Looking back, I wonder how effective those prayers really were. Was I building faith? Or was I building doubt, fear, and unbelief into my life? The Word tells you that faith comes from hearing God’s Word. The reciprocal truth is that fear and unbelief comes from hearing the words of the enemy. What seems like a harmless bedtime ritual, may have serious consequences down the road.

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As diverse as the English language is, it really falls short when it comes to expressing the Biblical concept of Love. The Greek language has several words to express different types of love, everything from romantic love to brotherly love. In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit introduces a new word for love – Agape. The word has been translated as love or charity, and those unfortunately miss the mark. Agape is divine, or sacrificial love. It is pure love, absent of any selfishness. Or as John explains, it IS God.

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In the world, you find depression, sorrow, despondency, sadness, discouragement, misery, and woe. However, none of those have any place in a child of God. In His presence there is not just joy, but abundant joy!

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 16:11 <KJV>

One might object by saying that Psalm 16 is not about Believers, but Jesus. Believers are made alive in Christ, and seated together in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus. Believers are blessed with all spiritual Blessings in Heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:1-10, 2:1-10) And if that were not enough to convince you, Jesus promises that everyone who loves him will keep his Word, resulting in the Father and the Son living in you! (John 14:23) There can be no question that as much as you desire, you are in God’s presence, where there is abundant joy.

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In Luke Chapter 1, an angel appeared to Mary, a virgin, and announced that she would be the mother of Jesus. After some clarifying banter, Mary declared, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” (Luke 1:38) She recognized her role as a servant in God’s plan to send Jesus into the world. However, everything hinged on her believing God’s Word spoken by the angel. Mary was an excellent choice, because she confidently confessed faith in His Word. She is a wonderful example for all Believers on how to hear, believe, and act on God’s Word.

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Beneath The Cross – The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

Posted by Harrison on March 24, 2014
Posted in Bible WisdomDivine Love  | Tagged With: , , , , , , , ,

The night of his arrest, all of Jesus’ disciples fled in fear. Jesus, quoting Zechariah, had told them, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” (Zechariah 13:7, Matthew 26:31, Mark 14:27) Even Peter, who boldly said he would never leave Jesus, denied his Savior three times. (Luke 22:31-34) Of the twelve disciples, men that had been night and day with Jesus, only one was an eyewitness of the crucifixion – the one whom Jesus loved.

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Do a quick search for “dating” on the Internet and you will find millions of sites dedicated to matchmaking. Even a search for “Christian dating” will turn up more sites than you will ever be able to visit. The dating/matchmaking business is a billion dollar industry. It is obvious that people are desperately looking for love, but are they looking for love in all the wrong places?

While there is nothing necessarily wrong with a matchmaker or online dating, if God is not involved in the search, you may end up with more problems than it was worth.

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I Am Willing

Posted by Harrison on June 27, 2013
Posted in Bible WisdomDivine Health  | Tagged With: , , , , , , , ,

Three of the Gospels (Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, and Luke 5:12-14) record an exchange between Jesus and a leper. Leprosy was a terrible disease that would attack the body leading to visible lesions on the skin of its victims. Anyone pronounced a leper would be removed from society and forced to live as an outcast. Left untreated, leprosy could deform the body as its natural defenses attempted to fight the disease.

Like anyone suffering under demonic oppression, this leper wanted to be healed, or made clean. Religious tradition had made him unsure as to exactly what God’s will was concerning healing. He knew God could heal. What he did not know was if that was His will. The leper addressed Jesus as Lord, and said, “If you will, you can make me clean.”

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In John 5, Jesus meets a man at the Pool of Bethesda that had been crippled almost four decades. He asks the man a seemingly odd question.

Wilt thou be made whole? John 5:6 <KJV>

Today, Jesus might say, “Do you want to be healed?”

I can’t imagine anyone saying no to being healthy and free from any plague, disability, or physical impairment. But in a way, that is exactly what this man did. He started complaining about his limitations, and the lack of help when it was time to get in the water. All his hope was resting on a legend that the first person in the water when it was disturbed would be made whole. Instead of turning to God, he had turned to the mystical.

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