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Summary: The love of God abounds in faithful glory to help his children overcome their trials of faith.

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THE CHURCH OF CHRIST 3

by

Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid (February 16, 2016)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life” (St. John 3:16, King James Version [The witness of John; God's love for the world]).

Greetings In The Holy Name Of Jesus,

My brothers and sisters, many of us spend a great deal of our time in love on the run and our intimacy with God are fleeting memories that hastily deprived us of the truth of God's love (Auld lang syne). However, poignant the memory that touched our hearts and made us surrender to the power of love, our rash rascality rapaciously mired us in low-down, dirty, nasty, down-right cruel, shameless, thoughtless and depraved demeanor towards our fellow man, woman or child, in spite of God's love that gave the world his son, hardly in remembrance of Jesus who was crucified on the cross to save the sinners of the world (St. John 3:16; I Peter 1:19, KJV). We rarely reflect on Daniel in the lion's den (6:16-22, KJV), Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:26, KJV), who risked their lives to make a stand for the truth of God's love who could have died but who did not or Stephen the first Evangelist stoned to death. We failed to think of the apostles who died for the love of God; Peter and Philip crucified upside down (II Peter 1:1, KJV), Andrew crucified in the shape-of-an X, James and Bartholomew beheaded and all the others throughout the years who stood up for us in God's love. In modern times---today, how many souls walk in the spirit in their prison cells---those falsely accused and those who did sin but whose hearts were tossed aside as they gave in to the darkness of evil influences.

There was an old story that came out of Atlanta, Georgia that spoke of a man without a heart. Oh!, I'm not speaking of a medical condition but a condition nonetheless that left a man without a heart. The story told us of a man who horribly treated the woman he loved---so bad it raised the heads of his neighbors, passers by and the community-at-large until one day someone shot that man right in his heart but he did not die. He laid in his hospital bed when a visitor arrived to sit by his bed and asked him, “Why did you not die?' He said, “I do not have a heart.”

I do not know if this is in some twisted way your story---your truth or the story of someone you know---their truth; it is nevertheless the story of a man---his truth, who still did not acknowledge the love of God even though the bullet that was sent to him did not kill him. The truth of God's love is real---just as real in today's world as it was for all sinners in the early days. I know there are times I feel in my heart the right thing to do to show God's love and I commit to do the right thing---there are challenges, of course, more than I care to mention or think about. I heard on the news many people purchased flowers, chocolates, and gifts after Saint Valentine's Day. I felt in my heart that was nice.---the right thing to do for those who wanted to show God's love---the love of a saint who made a difference in showing love many years ago.

I recalled a man told me that he thought he was precious, too. I did not know where his thought process came from. Why he said what he said but if I had to figure it out---his fear is not my worship, I think perhaps he was challenging the position of a woman, for men oftentimes think of women as precious and of course, children as well (St. Mark 9:42, KJV) but we know God made a man---Jesus, more precious than fine gold (Isaiah 13:12; 28:16, KJV [The restoration of Israel]. I find it hard to think that some men feel challenged---maybe jealous---the deadly sin of envy of the attention that is given to a woman---to think they covet the small acts of kindness shown to a woman even though it is a man's world and man was created before woman. For some men, a woman just can not fit in anywhere in a man's world, for it is too crowded and all the emotions and feelings belong to man---not woman, for some men might feel 2

challenged by any acts of kindness and they will not open doors or they will begrudgingly open the car doors and other doors but in their hearts they hate to do it because why should they open doors for a woman and likewise why should they consider that a woman or a child is status quo---precious, for to them, a man is precious, too, so celebrating Saint Valentine's Day possibly was too much for this man to bear even though men are just as much celebrated as women on this day of love celebration. This man possibly adamantly refused to participate by purchasing gifts or perhaps some women, only that he knew were punished or forgotten about---just did not make his gift list or visit list and he found a way to schedule a day to celebrate a man on the same day to rid himself of the thought of giving God's love to a woman, without receiving what he wanted or needed before he spent any money on anyone even though what he wanted forced a woman to sin and bear it all for him, forsaking the righteousness of Christ Jesus (St. John 4:17-18, KJV [the woman of Samaria; the woman at the well]).

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