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Weekly sermons from the Raleigh congregation of the United Church of God.

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Self Control and Self Discipline - The Power of the Holy Spirit Working in You
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JvGOQfUt_zo" width="480"></iframe><br><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Would  you like to be better able to exercise greater self control in your life?</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">You could use self control and personal discipline to: lose weight, stop snacking, take better care of your body... to get out of debt or improve your financial situation... how tackling about substance abuse, gaming addiction, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">etc</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">All of the above are worthy goals which self control and discipline can help you reach.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Your Creator/Father wants you to develop </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the quality of </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">self discipline. But His goals are even higher than a better bank statement, better health, e</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">scaping addiction</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">F</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">or the children of God</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> d</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">eveloping self control is about becoming like your Father in </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">attitude and thought</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> which </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">mov</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">es you</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> forward in the process of spiritual creation... so you can </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">mature into </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the ful</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">l</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ness of sonship in the Family of God.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God’s </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">method for developing</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">self control</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> in you </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> is </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">as</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> different</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> as His goals</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. The type of self control God has</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">in mind is not gotten through the strength of your own will... but through </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">desiring and allowing </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">His power flowing through you. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> You gain control by giving control of your life to Him.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">SPS: </span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Today we are going to look into how the power of God&#39;s Spirit and </span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">your freedom to choose create meaningful</span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"> self control/self discipline over your thoughts, emotions, and habits.</span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b><br><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br></span></b><span style="color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87); font-family: Roboto, Noto, sans-serif; white-space: pre-wrap;"><span style="font-size: large;">Download a free bible study aide:</span></span><br><span style="color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87); font-family: Roboto, Noto, sans-serif; white-space: pre-wrap;"><span style="font-size: large;"><a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-power-of-the-holy-spirit">The Power of the Holy Spirit</a></span></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"></span></b></h2></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2020/01/self-control-and-self-discipline-power.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/MFim7r3fD1Q" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Biblical Perspective on Human Sexuality
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-06Lsk_v865U/XgupNP1GXNI/AAAAAAAABQA/R8SWsohK5UkTONKmnqDsnIrqxkIKeBgswCLcBGAsYHQ/s1600/frank-mckenna-A9kYGeJkMZE-unsplash.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><span style="font-size: large;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1065" data-original-width="1600" height="213" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-06Lsk_v865U/XgupNP1GXNI/AAAAAAAABQA/R8SWsohK5UkTONKmnqDsnIrqxkIKeBgswCLcBGAsYHQ/s320/frank-mckenna-A9kYGeJkMZE-unsplash.jpg" width="320" /></span></a></div><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Our understanding of human sexual</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">i</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">ty and what its all about is crippled by some very fundamental errors, and false assumptions.</span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: large;"><b>Request your free copy of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/marriage-and-family-the-missing-dimension">Marriage &amp; Family the Missing Dimension</a></b></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">1. The Theory of Evolution</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: among other implications, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">this theory presents us with</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;the idea that a human being is nothing more than a highly functioning animal</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">… and that sex is a completely biological act (which it is not)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. However, if we dig deeper into the theory of evolution it contains a more fundamental premise: that the path of trial and error is the only way forward. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Evolution's starting point is: t</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">here is no intelligent Creator executing a grand purposeful design</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">… therefore, something else must be causing all this to happen.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The mechanism through which evolution is supposedly accomplished is; random genetic mutation followed by a vicious fight for the survival of the fittest. A process of trial and error.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">This is a way of thinking deeply embedded in the modern and postmodern mind. We use it succe</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">s</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">sfully to discover more about the cosmos, develop new technology, medicine and other wonderful things that make life easier, more enjoyable etc. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">This is the basis of the scientific method.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">We also apply </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">this method</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;in ways that create serious problems: communism, capitalism, democracy, theocracy, dictatorship, monarchy, racism, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">sexual </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">lifestyles, child-rearing, alternative family structures, religious practices... the list goes on and on.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">I've got an idea... let's try this and see what happens!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">2. False </span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Religious </span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Teaching</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: the theory of evolution is an example of false teaching but we need a separate category to address the teachings of false religion. For example</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">,</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;the confused ideas people have that the original sin of humanity was somehow related to sex, or that human sexuality is a base act</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;contrary to spirituality</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">, or</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;its</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;necessary evil. This</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">notion &nbsp;comes from human philosophy and is then weirdly projected back onto the bible</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. It does not</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;springing forth from the bible itself. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Our purpose today is to proclaim that: t</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">here is a way to gain understanding and knowledge other than trial and error. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Knowledge can also be gained through revelation (and there are types of knowledge where revelation is the </span><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">only </span></u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">way to get it)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">There is a true teaching about human sexuality in God's word</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">, which</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;sets us on a positive foundation and confronts the errors of false teaching</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;(secular &amp; religious)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">True Revelation About Sex</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Genesis 1:1</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;God is the creator of all things. Therefore, He is the creator of sex. </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Genesis 1:31</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">His perspective on what He has created is that it was good.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Genesis 1:26</span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">-27</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;With this simple statement we should understand that God created humans for some form of sexual activity…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;they are male and female. Also, this male female creation projects an image of God to us.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">To understand human sexuality PROPERLY is to gain insight into His mind and character</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">To misunderstand human sexuality is to MISUNDERSTAND God and how He thinks and acts.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">God Gave Man and Woman Instruction</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Genesis 1:28</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;human sexuality is the mechanism for creation of new physical life. From the very beginning He draws us into the process of creating new life, not just physical life but spiritual as well. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">H</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">uman sexual reproduction </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">works in combination with human freedom of choice and association to </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">introduce billions of new DNA patterns created. Billions of new and unique persons and personal</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">i</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ties. Each endowed with a sp</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">i</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ritual component and spiritual potential to be born into the family of God. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Genesis 2:22-24</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;God joined them together a binding relationship [marriage]. It is within this binding relationship of marriage between a man and a woman that human sexual designed to express itself. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Not a mere biological act, it is a physical representation of the spiritual, namely the faithfulness and commitment of God’ personality.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Genesis 2:25</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;the attitude of shame was not imparted by God. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">What is shameful is the improper use of sex. Shame is something humans created.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Genesis 2:8-17</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;they were supplied with every good thing; physical needs, probably other stuff as well. Also in the middle of everything, the tree of life, and the tree of good and evil [tree of experimentation].</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">From the very beginning humanity was presented with a choice, and at some point every one including you will have to make that same choice: </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">1) </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">The way of listening to God</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: believing what He says and acting accordingly. A way which leads to life, peace, joy, ful</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">f</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">illment, and ultimately eating of the tree of life and enjoying life in the family of God. ...</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the alternative is</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">...</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">2) </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">The way of experimentation</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: a course of trial and error that has some good but also a healthy dose of suffering, emptiness, turmoil, and most importantly not getting to eat of the tree of life.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;You cannot have it both ways.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 6:23</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;to </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">sin is to </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">disobey</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;and </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">leads to death in the sense that your body will simply live out is appointed days... after</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">which you'll return to the base materials of which you were made [dust to dust]. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Genesis 3:22-24</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;God will place a barrier between you and the tree of life. In other words, you cannot have both. You cannot have the way of experimentation and the way of listening to God at the same time. They are mutually exclusive. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">These same choices and outcomes apply to sex</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: 1)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;God's instructions on the matter produce good outcomes: love, humility, belonging, outgoing concern for the other person. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">2) </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The way of human reason and experimentation </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">which </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">lead</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">s</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;to bad outcomes: alienation, selfishness, turmoil</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Human reason has not other way to</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;determine success </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">except </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">personal satisfaction, personal happiness, comfort, self esteem. Outside of the setting of a biblically defined marriage</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">sex </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">becomes</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;"all about me".</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">W</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">e are seeing in our society. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Our 100 year old</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;experiment with </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">no-strings </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">sex in all its various shades and forms... </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">is</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;reaping alienation, selfishness, and turmoil. And the same will happen to you if you start experimenting with sex outside of marriage... you won't see the results im</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">m</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ediately</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;(its a slow train coming into the station)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">... and by the time you do you will very likely be caught up in a lifestyle you'll find hard to get out of... and you'll </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">have </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">develop</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ed</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;some nasty habits that are hard to shake off. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God says: why learn the hard way?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The First Experiment</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Genesis 3:1-5</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;they tried the fruit... they experimented... and what God said come to pass. They were no longer eligible to eat of the tree of life. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">How might this apple to sexual experimentation?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Serpent:</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;“</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Has God told you sex is something you should not do?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">”</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Woman:</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;“</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">No, sex is a good thing God has created, but it has to take place within the context of marriage between a man and a woman.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">”</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Serpent: </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">“</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">You can't rely on God's word, He's hiding stuff from you. He's denying you some very satisfying experiences. You are capable of deciding what to do or not to do with you own body... but you'll never know how exciting it is unless you try it.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">”</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Alternative:</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">&nbsp;God's Commands/Judgments Regarding Sex</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God's instructions are</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: no sexual activity outside of marriage. It a command</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;intended for your well being. He is concerned for your physical well-being, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;For your days in the flesh and into the time when you are raise to life everlasting in His Family. God is a concerned Father.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Scenario</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: I don't want my 3 year old child hit by a car... so I tell/command her not to run in the road. I know experimenting with running in the road and seeing what happens will lead to terrible results. She doesn't understand the consequences, she does not know the tremendous kinetic energy of a 2,000 lb. hunk of steel travelling at 35 mph. She doesn't understand the fragility of her body. I do not want her to learn by experimentation. So, I guard her and protect her... </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God feels the same way about you. He wants to protect you from the fallout of sexual experimentation... adultery, recreational sex, experimenting with going part of the way but not all the way... these sexual indulgences take a toll on you</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. You may not see the effects at first but they will come:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"></div><ul style="text-align: left;"><li><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Emotional</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;- recreational sex will affect your feelings of self worth and your views on the worth of others, are they a plaything or a person? [canard?]</span></li><li><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Intellectual</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;- </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">increasingly disassociating sex with spiritual well-being increasingly works toward low regard </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">for </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the value of </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">human life [</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">people’s attitude on abortion </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">is directly correlated to attitudes about sex]</span></li><li><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Physical</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;- STDs, pregnancy</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">, the true cost of these can take years to fully unfold</span></li><li><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Spiritual</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;- </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">a barrier to properly </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">understanding the relationship your Creator wants to have with you </span></li></ul><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Gain Knowledge &amp; Understanding</span></b><br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">There are two ways to gain understanding: 1) experimentation: try everything out, observe the results, make decisions [the human method] 2) to be told by someone who already knows</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;the results</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;[the God method].</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">The problem</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;with being told is that the listener has to believe what they are being told without having empirical data to prove it... in other words; faith, belie</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">f… confidence in the one doing the telling.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">The problem</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;with experimentation is that it causes a lot of unforeseen collateral damage before the lessons are learned... on a grand scale that means; suffering, confusion, turmoil, division, even war.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The Bible Offers You Knowledge</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The bible does not pretend to be your go-to source for understanding of all things; physics, cosmology, biology, economics, political theory etc. To attempt this is to mis-handle the scriptures. What God's word offers you is the knowledge you need for eternal spiritual life in His family. This is information that is beyond the powers of human minds to discover on their own.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">What is the purpose of life? What is the way of peace? Where did everything come from? Big questions… the best the human mind can come up with on its own is guess work, failed experiments, a lot of collateral damage, a shrug of the shoulders, and the weak admission: "I don't know".</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">With all the information left out of the bible; physics, cosmology, biology, economics, political theory etc. It is significant that instruction on the boundaries of human sexuality </span><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">are </span></u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">included in God's word. This instruction is included because they have a profound affect on our spiritual future... and our spiritual present. At its very core, HUMAN sexuality is spiritual.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God intended human beings to produce knowledge. He gave us eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to touch and manipulate. For example; there may be a lot we can learn about human sexuality that is good and helpful if built upon the solid foundation of biblical revelation. Which is:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Human sexual expression is to be contained within the bou</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">n</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">daries of a state of marriage between a man and a woman. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Get Back To </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The Tree of Life</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Perhaps you have experimented... maybe you never knew any better ... maybe you had God's word but decided to try your options and make your own decisions. Is there a way for you to get back to the tree of life? To get past the guarding angle with the flaming sword? The answer is Yes!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Your</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;way back to the tree of life is through Jesus Christ. Through His life and death the veil that separates you from God has been torn open and you may come into God's presence and eat of the tree of life. That tree of life </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">embodies what G</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">od's holy spirit</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;can do for you</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 5:5 </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">through the spir</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">i</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">t God love can be poured out into your heart and mind</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">/what is love</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 13:10</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;God's love is expressed through His commands</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Acts 5:32</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;He gives His spirit to those who listen to His instruction and follow it. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Exodus 20:14</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Human sexual expression is to be contained within the boundaries of a state of marriage between a man and a woman. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">He gives you this important information for your good, for your well-being, physically, emotional, intellectually, and spiritually. God Says “don’t choose to learn the hard way”.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Read this message on our blog:&nbsp;<a href="https://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2020/01/biblical-perspective-on-human-sexuality.html">Biblical Perspective on Human Sexuality</a></span></div></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/yltDBQmmpqM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Responding to the Grace of God
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gfKShAd4dVw" width="480"></iframe><br><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God&#39;s grace is a very uplifting, happy, subject. The idea that we can have a positive, warm, friendly relationship with the Creator of the Universe should make you feel good. I believe the prospect makes God feel good as well.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">If you have a run-in with someone at work, in your social circle, your family, at church, the tension between those involved can tie you up in knots. Restoring good vibes with the people in your life results in mental peace, smoother operations, even spiritual joy.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Graciously e</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">xtending mercy and forgiveness feels good, receiving mercy and forgiveness feels good too. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Question: o</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">nce you have reconciled what do you do? How do you follow up?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><span style="font-size: 14.6667px;"><b>Request a free copy of <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/what-does-the-bible-teach-about-grace">What Does the Bible Teach About Grace?</a>. This free bible study guide is available in a variety of digital formats... or you can request a printed copy sent to your address.</b></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Let&#39;s say you lose your temper with a co-worker... they&#39;re upset, you&#39;re upset... lots of tension... </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">you realize you’ve been stupid… </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">you apologize, they forgive. Where do you go from that point? Do you change your behavior? Or do you intend to keep on letting your temper flare </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">assuming </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the other party </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">will</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> keep on forgiving you? If you make no effort to change... what do you think is going to happen in the workplace if this pattern continues?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">You might say that with God such a scenario is possible: He is infinitely merciful, always ready to forgive etc. This is true, God is infinitely merciful and forgiving. But His infinite mercy, and infinite forgiveness </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">is graciously extended to you to accomplish </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">an greater purpose: to make change possible.</span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2020/01/responding-to-grace-of-god.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/Yx1H-CE4JV0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Pay Careful Attention To God's Instruction
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6iWFCqHPoss" width="480"></iframe><br><br><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: large;"><b>May I have your attention? </b></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: large;"><b>May I have your undivided attention? </b></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Undivided attention in the 21st century is a scarce commodity... everyone wants your attention... keep you watching... keep you listening... keep you clicking. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">They want your attention because they </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">want something from you [money, power, sex]... but to get that they first need your attention. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="background-color: yellow; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><b>Request a free copy of <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-church-jesus-built">The Church Jesus Built</a></b></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"></span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/12/pay-careful-attention-to-gods.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/VPlPb0vX2YU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Inheritance & The Rights of Sonship in The Family Of God
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5T5_CzrCuZo" width="480"></iframe><br><h3><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Inheritance &amp; The Rights of Sonship in The Family Of God</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h3><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Those who have believed and are baptized are begotten/conceived by God the Father through the Holy Spirit and are truly His children… but the scriptures clearly indicate that there are elements to this process of being part of God’s Family that are still future. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">To help the Greek and Roman people of his day understand the idea of maturing from a state of infancy to  becoming a mature heir in the family of God Paul used an example from Greek and Roman culture… </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Huiothesia</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.  Paul is the only gospel writer who uses this particular analogy.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">It’s a 2 part word: Huio (son) + thesia (a placing or designating)… it was used occasionally in ancient Greek for what we call adoption but not typically. So the word adoption is a possible translation but not the only and probably not the best. As we shall see our 21 century ideas of adoption are not really compatible with the overall biblical teaching on who and </span><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">what</span></u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> the children of God are. Note: the NIV &amp; RSV for example have translated the word as sonship in an attempt to put across the larger idea of what huiothesia means… the formal designation of your son as heir, conferring upon him full rights of citizenship, voting rights, a formal role in managing the estate and so forth.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Paul’s use of adoption or sonship in the following places:  </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Rom 8:15, 23, 9:4; Gal 4:5; Ephesians 1:5.</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> We’ll go through these one by one and I would like you to notice as we go through these verses that the larger context in each case is your future inheritance as a member of the family of God.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h3><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">What’s the Problem With Using The Word Adoption?</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h3><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"></span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/12/inheritance-rights-of-sonship-in-family.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/utsDt4n79sM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Begotten and Born Again - the Gift of Eternal Life Through the Holy Spirit of God
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hLX0g4Fw_xc" width="480"></iframe><br><div class="15"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br></span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Question (child):</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Where did I come from?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Answer (parent):</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> from daddy and mommy…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15"><br></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">An inquisitive child might ask, where did mommy and daddy come from?... We’ll from grandma and grandpa… Where did they come from? And so on and so on until you get back to the beginning when God created the first man and woman.  And so, physical humanity are the children or, or the creation of God made from the dust of the ground.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h3><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">What is a Human Made of?</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h3><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Physical humans are composed of mineral and chemical substances of earth (dust) plus animating bio-electrical impulses. Some people think that’s all there is… while others believe there is a spiritual component to humans. You and I fall into that second category… but there different ways that people understand a “spiritual component”.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h3><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">You Do Not Have An Immortal Soul</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h3><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">One of the great false teachings of all time is that man has some sort of immortal soul… fallen or removed from its spiritual home, trapped inside a sinful body and seeking to get back to where it belongs through a life of good deeds or right thinking.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Many (perhaps most) people believe that once our physical body dies our immortal spiritual component continues on as a living conscious entity. This is not a concept gotten from scripture or revealed by God.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h3><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">The Spirit In Man</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h3><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">According to God’s word man has a spiritual component BUT it too is temporary and when our flesh dies this spirit does not have life within itself, it has no conscious thoughts, no plans, no feelings… nothing… unless it is given life by the power of God. That gift of spiritual life is what we are here to discuss today.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><b><span style="color: #cc0000;">Request your own copy of</span> <a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/p/this-free-ebook-walks-you-through_24.html">Why Were You Born?</a> <span style="color: #cc0000;">This booklet will help you discover what the scriptures actually say about God&#39;s plan for bring new children into His eternal family.</span></b></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="15"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"></span></b><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/12/begotten-and-born-again-gift-of-eternal.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/dcrEI41B954" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Prophecies of Jesus Death Fulfilled - Everything Is Proceeding According to Plan
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hoERDGfmzYY" width="480"></iframe><br><div class="MsoSubtitle" style="margin-bottom: 6.0000pt; margin-top: 12.0000pt;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #00000a; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Jesus Christ’s death was planned by God before the creation of the world. Jesus told the disciples on multiple occasions that He would die… He must die. But when He was executed the disciples reckoned it was a terrible disaster. The Messiah who had come to save Israel and establish the kingdom… was dead. His mission aborted…the dream was over… “time to go back to our fishing boats”. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #00000a; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #00000a; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">But Jesus also told them that He would be raised up and then meet them later at a specified location [in Galilee]. He was raised back to life. He did rendezvous with them in Galilee. And He spent 40 days with them presumably teaching them [among other things] the significance of His death in the greater plan God was rolling out.</span><span style="color: #00000a; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="color: #00000a; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span> <span style="color: #00000a; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: large;">Get a free ebook - <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/you-can-understand-bible-prophecy">You Can Understand Bible Prophecy</a></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #00000a; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoSubtitle"><span style="color: #00000a; font-family: &quot;liberation sans&quot;; font-size: 14.0000pt;"></span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/11/prophecies-of-jesus-death-fulfilled.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/YXyPCEbdePc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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What Is The Grace Of God
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rKNAyYsOLqM" width="480"></iframe><br><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Biblical Grace</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">In the English language, </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">grace</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> is a word that is used in many different ways. It is used to mean many different things. Words used in this way tend to end up having no real meaning at all. The bible uses the word grace and tells us it&#39;s vital to our sa</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">l</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">vation </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Ephesians 2:8</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">So understanding what grace </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">helps us understand how</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> our salvation</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> is accomplished</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. To cut though all the clutter... and to understand what the bible means when the word grace is used we are going to look at how grace is used in scripture</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">what&#39;s the context, what&#39;s the outcome, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">is there any reason why God’s grace would be extended to one person over another?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><span style="font-size: large;">Request a free copy of <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/what-does-the-bible-teach-about-grace">What Does The Bible Teach About Grace</a>. This small but important book will walk you through the scriptural teachings and show you that God&#39;s grace is more than you might have thought!</span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"></span></b><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/11/what-is-grace-of-god.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/FoMiC1rNNW0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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40 Years in the Wilderness
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jJ2a4ZZpb7Y" width="480"></iframe><br><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">We have all just completed another round of God&#39;s annual holy days. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The joy filled Feast of Tabernacles looks forward to the receiving of our inheritance and</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Last Great Day spoke to</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> the glorious future ahead for all humanity. However, here we are back home... looking forward to the fulfillment of t</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">hose prophetic holy days…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> BUT</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> for now </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">we are back to our</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> wandering in the wilderness</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. The wilderness is a place where we are</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> subject to testing, facing trials, resisting temptation, and persevering until we receive life everlasting. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">When God led Israel out of </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Egyptian </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">bondage He took them to the wilderness</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> of Sinai</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. He took them there for instruction and to prepare them for entering into their inheritance</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. Which was</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> the promised land. But</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> almost all </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">those millions God led out of Egypt died in the wilderness and only their children were allowed to enter into their inheritance</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">… </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the promised land. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Their experience is a warning and instruction for us as we face yet another year wandering in the spiritual wilderness of this world.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Let’s review the wilderness trials of Israel and see what warnings are there for us.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"></span></h2></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/10/40-years-in-wilderness.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/AZEOfw711fA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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The Day of Covering - The Symbolism of the Atonement Ceremony
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J3Q6Xpy8PEE" width="480"></iframe><br><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The Day of Covering</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The 5th annual holy observance of God&#39;s festival sequence is a day we have given the name &quot;day of atonement&quot;. That name is a somewhat figurative English rendering invented in the 1,500s to try and describe a biblical concept alien to our own culture. A literal interpretation of </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the Hebrew </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Yom Kippur </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">is</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> &quot;day of covering&quot;... </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">as a word picture</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> it</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> summons up</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> covering something over with bitumen, pitch or asphalt. The idea being that whatever is underneath is completely and irrevocable covered, forgotten, out of sight.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Today we are going to discuss what is covered over and why.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The old testament instructions for this day:</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">For the high priest</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> - a covering and cleansing ritual he was to perform on behalf of the people for sins they might have committed unknowingly, in ignorance</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Hebrews 9:7 </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">[Leviticus 4]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">For the average person</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> - a day of fasting and humbling ourselves before God. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The new covenant Church of God does not bring goats in here for a ceremony. Under the new covenant </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Christ now serves as our High Priest and </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">only He can perform this task. So,</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> we wait for Him to enact the actual cleansing and covering</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">… a future event the old ceremony symbolized. However, t</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">he requirement for fasting on the day of covering is still in place for</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> new covenant believers </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">like you or me.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span> <span style="color: red; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><span style="font-size: 14.6667px;"><b>Request your copy of <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/gods-holy-day-plan-the-promise-of-hope-for-all-mankind">God&#39;s Holy Day Plan</a> and discover what these days mean for followers of Christ.</b></span></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"></span></b></h2></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/10/the-day-of-covering-symbolism-of.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/Pi2c8oOlRpw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Rejoice at the Feast of Trumpets
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uDshVpWKGiA" width="480"></iframe><br><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The feast of trumpets is our annual reminder of pivotal events in human history…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> but they are events</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> that have not yet happened. It is a day that marks the end of humanity&#39;s grand experiment with self rule.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">In the beginning God granted man dominion over the earth. Mankind would govern and care for the planet unde</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">r</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> the watchful eyes and direction of their </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">C</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">reator. However, mankind turned away fro</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">m</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> the counsel of God and instead </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">turned </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">to Satan&#39;s counsel which was &quot;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">you should</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> make up you own mind about how best to manage you own affairs&quot;.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God was very displeased </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">and He sent </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">them away from His presence</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. B</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ut</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">,</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> He did not revoke humanity&#39;s commission of dominion over earth.  They would continue to have the responsibility to govern and care for earth, they would be allowed to make up their own ways and experience the pain of their choices</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> with Satan’s ongoing counsel</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Humanity&#39;s commission of dominion over earth is not</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> theirs</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> forever. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The day of “having it our way” are</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> scheduled to come to an end. That end date is marked by the return of Jesus Christ</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> which w  e anticipate on the Feast of Trumpets</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. After th</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">e</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> dominion over the earth </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">by the flesh and blood creation of God. The earth </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">will be given to the spirit born children of God [Jesus Christ is the firstborn and pre-eminent of these].</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">When Christ returns, h</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">umanity will not be willing to give up their dominion over earth. There will be no peaceful transfer of power. In fact, goaded on by Satan, humanity will gather all their armies to fight and resist Christ at His return. The showdown will take place in a large valley in central Israel [AR-meggido].</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> trumpets we associated with </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">first of the fall holy days…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> are war trumpets, calling troops to battle. However, the trumpets are also a proclamation of rejoicing, and victory</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. This is what I would like to focus on today… rejoicing.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><span style="color: #cc0000;"><b>Request this FREE bible study guide:</b></span> <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-gospel-of-the-kingdom">The Coming Kingdom of God</a></span><br><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><br></span></b> <b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"></span></b><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/10/rejoice-at-feast-of-trumpets.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/aFrRpA2ssDU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Every One of Us Will Be Judged... But When?
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J6-HPXZZmm4" width="480"></iframe><br><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Every human being who has ever lived will be judged. You, me, the man down the street, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">E</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">uropeans, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">A</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">sians, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">A</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">fricans, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">C</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">hristians, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">M</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">uslims, and </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">B</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">uddhists. People who died last week and people who died 3,000 years ago.</span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Various non-biblical cultures have their own ideas about life after death. Christians, Jews, Muslims have their ideas about death. Without recounting all the variations the basic concept is that a person will be judged after they die and receive some sort of reward, or punishment based on what they did in this life. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Most of what is taught about the afterlife and in particular about judgment is foolish non-sense.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The only reliable source of information regarding the afterlife and in particular about judgment is the bible. Many people think they know what the bible says about judgment but really don&#39;t. The average person&#39;s belief about what they think the scriptures say has more in common with human folk-tales that the actual recorded word of God.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Today we are going to review the biblical teaching on judgment. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Hebrews 9:27 </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the bible says everyone will be judged. But judgment is not a single event, it is a process. Judgment has distinct steps which lead to a final conclusion in a fair and equitable way. The necessary steps are the same for all people, but the timing of the steps is different for those who believe and are baptized into Christ, and those who are not. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The Timeline for Non-Believers</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The vast majority of people who have ever lived and died have not had access to God&#39;s truth, not had a</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">c</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">cess to forgiveness through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, or received the holy spirit. The process of judgment for such people is:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">1. </span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">They are born flesh and blood, after about 70-100 years they die. They remain in this state of death which is likened in scripture to sleep.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">2. </span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Christ returns at the time appointed by the Father. These non-believers who have died remain in death. They are not resurrected when Christ returns. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">3. </span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">While they remain asleep, Christ establishes the rule of God on earth for 1,000 years. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Revelation 20:4-5</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">4. </span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">After the 1,000 years are over they are resurrected (back to flesh and blood), so they can enter into the process of judgment before God</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">5. </span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">At this time they now are given access to God&#39;s truth, they</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> can </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">receive the holy spirit. With all the necessary ingredients available to them they are evaluated using the standard of God&#39;s word</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Revelation 20:11-13</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">6. </span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">A final decision is made whether they are suitable for eternal life [they are either written into the book of life, or destroyed in an all co</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">n</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">suming fire]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Revelation 20:15</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><span style="color: magenta; font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;"><b>Request a FREE copy of our bible study guide: </b></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif;">➤ <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/what-happens-after-death">What Happens After Death?</a></span><br><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"></span></b></h2></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/10/every-one-of-us-will-be-judged-but-when.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/TKVlYw-L4p8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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These Last Days: The Age of the Church of God
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jkdcCY5m87o" width="480"></iframe><br><h3><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 12pt;">Peter’s Sermon</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;cambria&quot;; font-size: 12pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h3><div class="MsoNormal"><a href="https://www.ucg.org/files/sermons/the_church_age_chart.pdf" style="font-family: Calibri; font-size: 14.6667px;">Here is a link to the chart used in this message</a></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Acts 2:1-1</span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">3</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Gathered together / H.S. comes with sound of wind and fire/ disciples begin speaking in all sorts of foreign languages… People out on the street come to see what the ruckus is all about… They hear the disciples prophesying about the KOG in their own language.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Acts 2:15-18</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Peter explains to them that this is </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">outpouring of God’s spirit </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">prophesied in Joel 2:28:32. An event that was to happen in the &quot;later&quot; days</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Peter re-phrases Joel&#39;s prophecy and speaks of what is happening that Pentecost day in 31 A.D. as &quot;these last [final] days&quot;. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Since Peter made this public proclamation 1,988 years have come and gone and it is now the year 2019.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> So how could Peter speak of his own time as &quot;these last [final] days&quot;? Was he wrong? Had he given in to his own private interpretation of scripture? Was he just being overly optimistic about how much time was left until Christ returned?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">My purpose today is to convince, persuade, remind you that Peter [as inspired by the spirit of God] was speaking of a final age that was beginning on that day, Pentecost 31 AD. It was the beginning of the final age before the return of Christ. I am going to call this &quot;the age of the Church of God&quot;.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">******************</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><b>Request a <span style="color: red;">FREE </span>copy of</b> T<a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/p/how-should-we-understand-meaning-of.html">he Church That Jesus Built</a>. Discover Jesus&#39; real intent for the Church.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">******************</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"></span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/09/these-last-days-age-of-church-of-god.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/TfcXuylXc2k" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Satan's Agenda of Destruction For Humanity
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Satan&#39;s </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Hidden Agenda</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">We live in a time that is filled with hatred and rage... two signature characteristics of the Godlessness of the end-times is brutality and lack of self control. Our news reports are filled with stories of outraged mobs hurling vile accusations and death threats at people they disagree with. We are losing all sense of respect and mutual concern. In my opinion most of what counts as </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">news</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"> these days is basically; who said what mean thing against who.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">How can human beings [every one of whom is made in the likeness of God] become so full of hatred for other human beings who are made in God&#39;s image? One reason is they have a futile and darkened understanding of who and what a human being is.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><span style="font-size: large;">Request a FREE copy of this bible study guide&quot;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><span style="font-size: large;"><a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-there-really-a-devil">Is There Really a Devil?</a></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"></span></b><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/09/satans-agenda-of-hatred-for-humanity.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/z3gya_937x8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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What Must I Say or Do For God To Hear My Prayers?
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SChoBNZ9DNU" width="480"></iframe><br><div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="15"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">There is no prayer our Creator is unable to hear… He is all knowing and all seeing. God also has all power over all things so He is not limited in what He can do in response.</span></div><div class="15"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;">God has the ability to hear all prayers but obviously does not grant all requests made in prayer. What if two people entered into a contest and both prayed for victory… they both can’t be given what they want. So, God must decide when to act and when not to act.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><b>Request a copy of a Free bible study guide:</b> <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/tools-for-spiritual-growth">Tools For Spiritual Growth</a></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="15"><span style="font-family: &quot;liberation sans&quot;; font-size: 14.0000pt;"></span><br></div></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2017/05/what-must-i-say-or-do-for-god-to-hear.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/2jc0RpPU2bg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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The Royal Law of Love
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8eWkkyjq8Oo" width="480"></iframe><br><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">What Is Love?</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">1 John 4:7-8, 16</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> without a doubt LOVE is the very heart of our belief system. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">But what is love? What does it look like? How can I know it when I see it? Is there anything I can  do to walk in loving mindset? </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Is love a feeling? Does love mean caring deeply [but then we have to ask what does caring means], is love sexual attraction? Love means different things to different people.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Problem</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">1. If we all have a different definition of love then love really has no meaning at all. Note: this is how &quot;love&quot; is used as a deceptive code word to excuse, or encourage many self destructive behaviors. For example; If I discipline my child so they might develop self discipline and a better shot at success in life, am I loving, or am I rigid and harsh? If I give into every whim of my child and shower them with gifts such that they always expect to have their own way and don&#39;t learn to earn their success, am I loving, or am I lazy?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">2. The most popular definitions of love [feeling or sexual attraction] are not actionable and therefore cannot be taught, or learned. Feelings or sexual attraction are merely responses to external stimuli.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The 10 Commandments Define Love</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0eLfYrrkERE/XWKqKLIsYVI/AAAAAAAABMk/p3mf47yWl9sclOXg_7XDW8SlB22NsolTACLcBGAs/s1600/tyler-nix-Pw5uvsFcGF4-unsplash.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1067" data-original-width="1600" height="213" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0eLfYrrkERE/XWKqKLIsYVI/AAAAAAAABMk/p3mf47yWl9sclOXg_7XDW8SlB22NsolTACLcBGAs/s320/tyler-nix-Pw5uvsFcGF4-unsplash.jpg" width="320"></a></div><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">For love to be a helpful guide to life it must be defined and given actionable features. The 10 commandments of God are the beginning of creating such a definition. We must build on that foundation... but the 10 commandments is where we start.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Request your FREE copy of the helpful bible study guide: <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-ten-commandments">The Ten Commandments</a></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Matthew 22:35-40</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Jesus was providing a summary of the comm</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">a</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ndments ultimate purpose:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">1. </span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">To practice, learn, and demonstrate love towards God</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">2. </span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">To pract</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">i</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ce, learn, and demonstrate love towards our fellow human beings </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"></span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-royal-law-of-love.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/oWxoFLguaQk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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3 Steps to More Active Fellowship
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5OOSaicWsDs/XVtqfWTUOzI/AAAAAAAABMY/rwg375DHa84QfwpG8KLEpYA0W-82sAeCACLcBGAs/s1600/artem-bali-1188064-unsplash.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1067" height="320" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5OOSaicWsDs/XVtqfWTUOzI/AAAAAAAABMY/rwg375DHa84QfwpG8KLEpYA0W-82sAeCACLcBGAs/s320/artem-bali-1188064-unsplash.jpg" width="213"></a></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">3 Steps to More Active Fellowship</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Definition of fellowship:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Noun</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: a community </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">based on shared </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">interest, activity, feeling, experience. So you could say the church is a fellowship because we have the same beliefs, we have the same worship practi</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">c</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">es [</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">S</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">abbath, holy days, tithing etc.], we share the same holy spirit, we have gone through trials together.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Verb</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: the interaction that comes about through common cause... </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">sharing, giving, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">for example the words we say to one another, the time we spend together</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">, or material goods</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Today I want to concentrate on fellowship </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">that is active</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">... intentional... mindful... and pleasing to our Father Creator. I have three points: 1) presence 2) communication 3) hospitality.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> But first…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">God Designed The Church</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">I</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">f </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">we </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">have a problem with the church </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">we </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">actually have a problem with God and the way He has set things up. We </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">can </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">try to wriggle around this dilemma by blaming the people</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. That way </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">we can let God off the hook, or separate our interaction with Him from our interaction with the church:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">For example: </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">you might not</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> like being thrown together with this motley crew, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">you might question </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">how could God allow such a p</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">er</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">son or people in His church</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. M</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">aybe you don&#39;t like the </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">people in charge are doing things. We might want to walk away or distance ourselves… but our interaction with God cannot be separated from the church.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God designed His way of life... his truth... to function within the context of and assembly, an ecclesia, a church, a fellowship. At one time that meant an assembly of people called to be a nation [Israel]. In this present age it means an assembly, an </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">ecclesia</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">, a church, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> composed </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">of people called from all different backgrounds and ancestr</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ie</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">s. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">A family of people who are not blood related... who share the same beliefs and ideals... who can offer help and encouragement to one another as we grow into the ful</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">l</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ness of Christ. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God has designed</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> the church to accommodate flaws</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> What He is interested in is how you deal with these problems… not that we all reach nirvana in the church.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">T</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">he church is not your &quot;destination&quot; it is a road. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> Fellowship is part of how you get on down the road!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Get a FREE copy of <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-church-jesus-built">The Church Jesus Built</a>... discover what the bible really says about the church Jesus would leave behind!</span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/08/3-steps-to-more-active-fellowship.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/gCFc3opaqQQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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The Church of God is at War With Satan
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OqhUGl3wnfc" width="480"></iframe><br><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">When I was born [1961] the world was in the midst of what is called the cold war. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The opponents were of course the USA and the USSR. The Cold War</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> was not a battle fought with guns [except for small scale skirmishes like Vietnam or Afghanistan]. The Cold War was a war of deception, disinformation, propaganda, and threats. Psychological warfare   geared toward wearing down the resolve of the opponent and their willingness to defend themselves.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The church of God is at war with Satan... because Satan is at war with us. Right now our conflict is like a cold war... the spiritual forces of evil which infest human governments are held back by God. However, we are warned that very close to the return of Christ that restraint will be removed. Then Satan&#39;s war with the Church will go hot. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span> <br><blockquote class="tr_bq"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: large;">Request a FREE copy of our bible study guide: </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: large;"><a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-there-really-a-devil">Is There Really a Devil?</a></span></blockquote></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"></span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-church-of-god-is-at-war-with-satan.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/kbWaQ9Pshm0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Reading The Bible With Humility & Respect
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TmVB2g3DB6M" width="480"></iframe><br><br><h2><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Many people read the bible... many people study it... but few truly understand. MY purpose today is to explain how attitude can help or hinder a persons level of biblical understanding.</span></h2><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><a href="https://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/07/comign-to-bible-with-humility-and.html">We must come to the bible with respect and humility</a>.</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Respect</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: 1) to admire a person or thing for it&#39;s abilities, qualities, achievements 2) positive feelings for something you consider important 3) politeness, honor, and care shown towards someone or something that is considered important.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Humility</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: 1) the feeling or attitude that you have no special importance that makes you better than others; lack of pride. 2) Recognition of self in relation to a deity [YHWH the creator]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Without the right approach we may still be able to discern certain biblical truths on a limited level... but at the same time suffer huge blind spots with regard to God&#39;s revelation to us. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">For example: some people latch on to &quot;the Torah&quot; and develop a reverence for God&#39;s commands but seem to miss out on God&#39;s plan of salvation and get caught up in Jewish traditions, whereas others, only want to talk about Jesus&#39; on the cross but miss out on God&#39;s call to obedience and get caught up in human philosophies/traditions.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span> <span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><span style="background: 0px 0px rgb(255 , 255 , 255); border: 0px; color: #5e5e5e; font-size: 11pt; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; transition: all 0.3s ease 0s; vertical-align: baseline;">For more in-depth information request a copy this <b>FREE </b>study plan --&gt; <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/bible-study-course" style="background: 0px 0px; border: 0px; color: #1e87f0; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration-line: none; transition: all 0.3s ease 0s; vertical-align: baseline;">United Church of God&#39;s bible study course</a>.</span></span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/07/comign-to-bible-with-humility-and.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/1QqN0wgucmY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Bible Study: Get More From God's Word
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mel1kar-Jvo" width="480"></iframe><br><br><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">1.  Plan Time For Regular Study</span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The bible is still a very popular book. It is generally revered and respected. Most households own a copy. But it remains unread.... sort of like a family, or cultural heirloom. That might even be the case with you. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">I know its there, I don&#39;t enjoy reading it, my mind drifts, I don&#39;t understand how to apply it to my life, I&#39;ve already read it</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God&#39;s plan for you will not be accomplished without regular contact with His word. God has given you His word as tool to be used in the work of preparing yourself, changing yourself, understanding your purpose. One of the works of the holy spirit is the washing of the </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Ephesians 5:25-26</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">2. </span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Let The Bible Interpret Itself</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">2 Timothy 2:15</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> &quot;rightly dividing&quot; ... means to cut straight [analogy of surgeon operating on spleen but ends up cutting out a liver]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Once you have committed yourself to regularly reading the word of God it is good to have some guidelines. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Passionate readers of the bible can still take</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> it in weird, anti-social directions</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. T</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">hey &quot;discover&quot; things that lead them to separate themself from the body of Christ.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> You want to guard against that!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">A) </span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">If you come upon a particular verse </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">you find</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> confusing/unclear/contradictory, the</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">n</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> let other more direct/clear verses in the bible provide understanding.</span><br></div></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/07/bible-study-get-more-from-gods-word.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/fPUVh_Zx7Wk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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The Fruit With No Name
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fdw-A90FZ7c" width="480"></iframe><br><br><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God&#39;s spirit adds something to your life called Prautes. That&#39;s the word in the original language... Greek. Attempts to translate Prautes into the English language is a challenge. There is no good word in our language to convey the meaning of Prautes.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Vine&#39;s Expository Dictionary</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"> defines of prautes as: an attitude toward God [state of mind], submitting one&#39;s self to God, not resisting God, confident in God&#39;s presence, authority, and power. Prautes gives calmness of spirit from mental focus which is not on self, or prioritizing personal desires.... Prautes seeks and wants what the Creator of life desires. Prautes is is confidence that God is in charge, and acceptance that God is in charge.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">A Greek writer, s such as Aristotle would use the word to describe a person who would only express anger, frustration [negative emotions] when transcendent moral principles were at stake rather than because of the petty annoyances of life. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The more I looked into prautes… the more I wanted it as part of my thinking. I hope you will too.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><b style="background: 0px 0px rgb(255, 255, 255); border: 0px; font-size: large; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; transition: all 0.3s ease 0s; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="color: #660000;">Do your own personal bible study on the Holy Spirit of God with this free bible study guide:</span></b><span style="background: 0px 0px white; border: 0px; color: #5e5e5e; font-size: small; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; transition: all 0.3s ease 0s; vertical-align: baseline;"> </span><a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-power-of-the-holy-spirit" style="background: 0px 0px rgb(255, 255, 255); border: 0px; color: #1e87f0; font-size: large; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration-line: none; transition: all 0.3s ease 0s; vertical-align: baseline;">The Power of the Holy Spirit</a></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"></span></b></h2></div><a href="http://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/06/the-fruit-with-no-name.html#more">Keep Reading »</a><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/NG7-dfmbatI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Kindness - God's Grace and Mercy in Action
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oIh6jpf1fnw" width="480"></iframe><br /><div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Kindness: </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Mercy &amp; Grace in Action</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The English word kindness is listed in Galatians 5:22 as one of the attitudes or actions the spirit of God produces in believers. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">What does kindness mean? You might say "its hard to be too specific, but, I know kindness when I see it". Acts of kindness might include courtesy, encouragement, generosity, &nbsp;devotion of money or time… for example: offering someone who is stranded a ride home in your car.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">But isn't it possible for an action to appear kind but be nothing of the sort. A well dressed man might offer someone a ride home... if that someone is a little old lady you might say </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">“</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">that's kind</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">”</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. But if that someone &nbsp;is a &nbsp;young woman wearing hotpants and a halter top... </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">“</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">kind</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">”</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;might not be the word you would choose.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">So what we consider kind is conditional. It depends on the circumstances. What are those conditions and circumstances? What is the biblical model for kindness?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Today we are going to explore what the kindness produced by God's spirit looks like. We'll try to define it, we'll probe into kindness as an expression of God's character, and we'll consider how, where and why God wants us to put on the mindset of kindness.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><b style="background: 0px 0px rgb(255, 255, 255); border: 0px; color: #5e5e5e; font-size: large; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; transition: all 0.3s ease 0s; vertical-align: baseline;">Do your own personal bible study on the Holy Spirit of God with this free bible study guide:</b><span style="background-color: white; color: #5e5e5e; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-power-of-the-holy-spirit" style="background: 0px 0px rgb(255, 255, 255); border: 0px; color: #1e87f0; font-size: large; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration-line: none; transition: all 0.3s ease 0s; vertical-align: baseline;">The Power of the Holy Spirit</a></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Defining Kindness</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">I would like to propose that the </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">“</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">kindness</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">”</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;referred to in Galatians 5:22 can be understood as: help, service, generosity, assistance, even words, rendered to another person not in accordance with what they deserve or have earned but as an active expression of mercy &amp; grace...</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">A.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">showing outgoing concern for their well-being</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">B.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Showing our own putting on of Godly character</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">That</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">’s my conclusion. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Now, let me back up and explain how I came to that definition.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The Greek word </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The word Paul used the Greek word </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">chrestotes</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;in Galatians 5:22 in English you read that as kindness. The word </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">chrestotes</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;was used in the Greek language to represent that which is useful, helpful, and by extension - moral excellence. So I believe Paul was inspired to use it to carry the sense of something done to help, or serve, another person because its the right or virtuous course of action [rather than a transaction done expecting a return or reciprocity].</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The Modern English Word</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The contemporary definition of the English word "kindness" is something like: friendly, generous helpful, considerate, pleasant agreeable. Its a pretty good choice but it does lack a bit with regard to the full biblical definition we want. How do these acts become products of God</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">’s spirit rather than just social niceties? We’ll get there by adding the motive… which will be grace &amp; mercy. But first, more on our good old English word “kind”…</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Being Kind to Your Own Kind</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">In English, </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">“k</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ind</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">”</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;is also used to mean a particular class or type of thing: " a daschund is a kind of dog", "she's a special kind of person" etc. That was the original meaning of the word in Olde English. Over time it morphed to take on a larger meaning pertaining to acts and attitudes. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Human beings are more apt to treat our own kind in ways that are helpful, considerate, generous... than we are to act this way toward outsiders, those of a different class, religion, nationality, tribe, family, fraternity, friend group.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">We find it easier to relate to those we consider "our own kind". We assume we understand where our own kind are coming from, and we can more easily picture ourselves in their shoes. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">This is a sort of worldly kindness… we take care of our own and hope they will do likewise. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Luke 6:32-36</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;our Father creator is calling us to something else. A form of kindness that is powered by His spirit, which imitates Him, and adopts His way of thinking.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">God</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">’s Kindness: Where It All Begins</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God is kind and our understanding of what this fruit of the spirit is begins and builds upon our understanding of God. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Ephesians 2:1-10</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;in His mercy we are saved from death, in His grace we are offered incomparable riches. In kindness He pays our debts, and He gives us gifts. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="line-height: 150%; margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo2; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;wingdings&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">l&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Mercy is not getting what we do deserve</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="line-height: 150%; margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo2; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;wingdings&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">l&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Grace is getting what we do not deserve</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="line-height: 150%; margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo2; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;wingdings&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">l&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Justice is getting what we do deserve</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="line-height: 150%; margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo2; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Verse 1-3 we did not deserve God's kindness. We did not act in any way like kindred spirits with Him. We were enemies, outsiders, in no way reflecting God's kind.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Therefore, God is merciful toward our sin, gracious in offering us a seat alongside Christ.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 11:22</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;[chart]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Note: God is also just in that the well deserved penalty for sin will be paid. Either through: Jesus sacrificial death... or... permanent death for the unrepentant.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">God's Kindness </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Is </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Useful</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">&nbsp;&amp; Purposeful</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The Greek word </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">chrestos </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">points us towards utility, usefulness and purpose. God's kindness fits the definition of the Greek word chrestotes in that it serves a purpose... it is useful. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">’s</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;kindness is performed to bring about repentance.</span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;Question:</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;Why would a person repent if they have no hope of mercy? ... Imagine a gospel that said "repent you sinner"... "why"... "because its the right thing to do" ... </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">“</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">will repentance open up eternal life for me?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">”</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;... "well, no. You're still going to have to be permanently destroyed for your sins... but really ought to repent".</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Mercy is applied to give repentance a purpose!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Repentance means a change of mind, a change of attitude, a change of action. You change from your old kind of life to a Godly kind of life. God's purpose is to bring you into His eternal family, to build you up into into a full, complete, spiritual creation that is of the God kind.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">God See</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">’s You As One Of His Own</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Remember all that stuff I said earlier about how humans naturally treat other humans better if they see them as their own kind? &nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Your Creator, your Father, is able to see you and treat you as one of His own kind... even though at present you are not of His kind. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">You are not yet complete in the fullness of Christ</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">You are not yet raised in glory and immortality</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">You are not yet spirit, you are flesh</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="line-height: 114%; margin-bottom: 10.0000pt; mso-add-space: auto;"><br /></div><div class="15" style="line-height: 114%; margin-bottom: 10.0000pt; mso-add-space: auto;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">But God created humanity so they could attain all this.</span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">What</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">’s more</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">, our Creator can picture, visualize, what we can be, what we are going to be and He lavishes us with mercy, compassion, grace, consideration like beloved sons or daughters… which is what you are.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Hebrews 2:17-18</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;your Creator made the first move in bridging this gap through Jesus Christ. He was willing to become like you so He could better understand… better extend mercy, compassion and grace. He can picture himself in your shoes! And He is standing right beside the Father as you advocate every minute, advising, consulting and advocating for you. &nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">To become more like Christ you must develop more of &nbsp;this way of thinking.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Treating Others With Kindness</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God wants you to think of, and treat others who might be very different from you, as you would your own kind... with mercy, grace, understanding and compassion. This is a hard lesson because it goes against your human nature. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">To help teach you this difficult lesson God has established a special classroom… the Church of God. He has placed you in it as He sees fit and put His son [Christ] in charge. As just mentioned Christ has excellent qualifications for this position.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 15:1-3</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;congregations are made up of weak and strong. Elsewhere we read they are made up of: &nbsp;Jews &amp; Greeks [meaning different cultures], slave &amp; free [meaning different socio-economic classes], male &amp; female [meaning different genetic makeups].</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">We are all very different and we cannot achieve real kindness if we don't get to know one another. How can you know the needs of others if you never fellowship with them? Therefore, spend time, energy, personal resources on one another. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Titus 3:1-8</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God wants you to treat others as you would your own. He wants you to think and act this way... because He does, and He wants you to learn to act and think like Him. To be fashioned into the full likeness of the God-kind.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Kindness Beyond The Church of God</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">To truly become like God we have to take kindness beyond the sandbox of the Church of God into the world and all the people we encounter there. Drunkards and drug users, sexually immoral representing every stripe of the rainbow, promoters of false gods... and extend kindness to them. But we must be very careful that we not get drawn into their sin. We are warned about this even within the context of the Church of God </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Galatians 6:1-2,10.</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;Learn it in the sandbox - apply it everywhere.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Warning #1</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: grace &amp; mercy must not be seen as indifference to sin! This is part of the </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">“who am I to judge” trap. We dealt with that more fully in the message on goodness. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Warning #2</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: grace &amp; mercy must not be seen as approval of sin! The wicked in this world want more than just your indifference... they want your approval. They want you to join them in calling what is evil good and what is good evil. Compassion, mercy, and grace can easily provide a slippery slope that leads you to explicit or implicit approval of sin.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Grace &amp; mercy without condoning, or appearing to condone, evil. Its a real challenge... you need to power of God's spirit active within you to accomplish it.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Godly Kindness is For Everyone</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Jonah 4:2</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;[NKJV= lovingkindness] God's kindness is His mercy and grace in action. In this case restraint of due punishment because of repentance.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Joel 2:11-13</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;God will extend His merciful, gracious, and kindness to humanity right up to the very end when Christ returns.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;;"><span style="font-size: 14.6667px;">Listen to this message on Youtube: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIh6jpf1fnw">Kindness - God's Grace and Mercy in Action</a></span></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div></div></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/GGjpt6wx9Fg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Listen: podcast - audio/mpeg

Goodness: A Fruit of God's Holy Spirit
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pjezJr7bS3s" width="480"></iframe><br /><div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Goodness: </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Defining Terms</span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Goodness is the quality of being good. Good is a word that has so many uses and applications in the English language that its almost meaningless. For example; we use it to express:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo1; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;wingdings&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">l&nbsp;</span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Satisfaction &amp; pleasure:</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;that was a </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">good </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">milkshake</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo1; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;wingdings&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">l&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Having necessary skills for a role:</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;she's a </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">good </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">accountant</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo1; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;wingdings&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">l&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Enjoyment</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: Everyone had a </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">good </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">time at my party</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo1; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;wingdings&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">l&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Thorough</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: take a </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">good </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">look around</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo1; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;wingdings&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">l&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Possessing moral virtue:</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;he's a </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">good </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">person</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.0000pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo1; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.0000pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">When I read about what &nbsp;the holy spirit produces in believers… and I read love, joy, peace, patience, kindness... goodness. I don't feel like I understand what the scriptures are getting at unless I dig in and take a closer look. Especially so with Goodness. That is what I hope to do today.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><b style="background: 0px 0px rgb(255, 255, 255); border: 0px; font-size: large; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; transition: all 0.3s ease 0s; vertical-align: baseline;"><span style="color: #6aa84f;">Do your own personal bible study on the Holy Spirit of God with this free bible study guide:</span></b><span style="background-color: white; color: #5e5e5e; font-size: medium;">&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-power-of-the-holy-spirit" style="background: 0px 0px rgb(255, 255, 255); border: 0px; color: #1e87f0; font-size: large; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration-line: none; transition: all 0.3s ease 0s; vertical-align: baseline;">The Power of the Holy Spirit</a></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">In your bible you'll see "good" used in a variety of ways [loosely lining up with the examples I just went through. But the Greeks used different words for the different meanings:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.2500pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.2500pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">1.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Eudokia</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;- pleasing, delightful, satisfactory {good milkshake, good party]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.2500pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.2500pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">2.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Kalos</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;- acts which demonstrate virtue</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.2500pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.2500pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">3.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Agathos</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;- virtue, a state of mind, a quality of character</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left: 21.2500pt; mso-char-indent-count: 0.0000; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo2; mso-para-margin-left: 0.0000gd; text-indent: -21.2500pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">We are going to dispense with Eudokia because it does not apply to the work of the holy spirit. Instead we are going to focus on the first two: Agathos, and Kalos which both relate to virtue. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Matthew 7:17-20 </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">here we see both words [agathos and kalos] used together in a sentence. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">"every </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">good</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;tree" --&gt; agathos</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">"bears </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">good</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;fruit" --&gt; kalos</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Every peach tree produces peaches, every cherry tree produces cherries, virtuous people do virtuous things.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Agathos </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">represents the ability to tell the difference between good and evil. Whereas, </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">kalos </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">represents the doing of good rather than evil.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><br /></span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">In What Way Is Goodness of God</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">’s Spirit?</span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Go back to </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Galatians 5:22 </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">where we find the listing </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness... the Godly character trait of </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">goodness</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;is from the word </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">agathos</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">, not </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">kalos</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">. Its referring to the good tree rather than the good fruit. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The power of God's holy spirit at work in you is so that you might know the difference between good and evil, and be convicted, or “put on notice”, that good acts are better than bad acts. But, the holy spirit does not itself produce the good works.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">John 16:8</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;the spirit of God provides proper judgement regarding sin and righteousness!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">When I was a young man I was not living a virtuous life. One day I was with one of my comrades and I blurted out "you know... we shouldn't be doing this stuff. It's wrong". &nbsp;They gave me a funny look. I can look back now and see that as the turning point after which everything started to change. My friends started dropping off, my weekends started to become rather lonely. Not all at once but slowly, one by one, I started acting on matters I was becoming convicted of. &nbsp;I started to change who I was and what I did… I was struggling towards goodness. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">What changed? Three elements:</span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">1.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Conviction given to me though God's spirit working with me [although not yet in me]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">2.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Increased contact with God's word... I found a modern English translation of the bible on a subway car. I read it. Some things in scripture were plain and obvious. But some things I found rather confusing... </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">3.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Then I found the Church of God who offered me better understanding of what the scriptures really said. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l1 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God will give you the conviction concerning what is good versus what is evil… like a seed, a little sprout, and if you respond to it… it will grow. Doing is prompted by thinking &amp; thinking is re-enforced through doing. This is one of &nbsp;His gifts to you through the spirit, through the word, and through the church. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">But your Creator will not force you to act upon your conviction. He will not force you to do the good rather than do the evil.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Analogy</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: God might turn you into a peach tree but He will not force you to produce peaches. You can say to yourself and others "I'm a peach tree, isn't that awesome!" But if you don't produce peaches on your branches people around you can say "so what, if there are no juicy peaches for us to enjoy what purpose does that serve... what GOOD does it DO?</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">And so will say your Creator.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Goodness </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">is: Doing</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">&nbsp;God's Commandments</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The spiritual quality of goodness is existentially linked with the doing of good. Here is a quick list of scriptures where </span><i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">agathos </span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">is paired with doing.</span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;Acts 9:36</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">, Romans 2:10, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Galatians 6:10, Ephesians 2:10, 3 John 3:11.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">How do we know what doing good means? How can we tell peaches from strychnine fruit? One yummy, one is deadly.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Discerning</span></u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;go</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">od from evil, and then </span><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">doing</span></u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;g</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">ood and not evil, begins with the 10 commandments of God. For the most part His commands present us with a set of evil acts which we are told to avoid or not do: Idolatry, theft, lying, murder, sex outside marriage, greed. But </span><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">avoiding </span></u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">evil is not the same thing as </span><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">doing</span></u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;good.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">People have tried to avoid evil by separating themselves from civilization, by living in a cave, by cutting off parts of their bodies that lead them into sin, ultimately the ideal way to avoid all evil is to be dead. A dead person does not lie, does not steal, commit adultery, or murder. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Let's consider GOODNESS as a way to take the information we get in the 10 commandments about "not doing" and turn them into ways to express goodness:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 4.0000pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; text-autospace: ideograph-numeric;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Don't lie --&gt; communicate with honesty and openness</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 4.0000pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; text-autospace: ideograph-numeric;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Don't murder --&gt; protect and support life</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 4.0000pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; text-autospace: ideograph-numeric;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Don't steal --&gt; work to supply the needs of others</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 4.0000pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; text-autospace: ideograph-numeric;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">No adultery --&gt; develop a happy, loyal, faithful marriage and family</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin-bottom: 4.0000pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; text-autospace: ideograph-numeric;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">No idolatry --&gt; show honor and respect toward God</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%; margin-bottom: 4.0000pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; text-autospace: ideograph-numeric;"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Don't work on 7th day --&gt; gather together for instruction, fellowship and praise on 7th day</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 150%;"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 8:2 </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">take the same information and instead of a law of sin and death… &nbsp;we have the law of life.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">G</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">oodness is </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">A</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">cting </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">L</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">ike God</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">: </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">God is Good</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Goodness is not understood [perceived] by what we don</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">’t</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;do. &nbsp;You cannot become more like God, or Christ, simply by eradicating sin. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Developing Godliness involves growing the traits and habits of GOODNESS. To have good things flowing out from you. The active spirit of the Father and Christ is there to help you!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Think of yourself as a branch on a peach tree. There is sap that flows up from the roots of the tree... through the trunk of the tree... and then into you... the branch. If you cut open a branch or trunk of a tree you'll see all this wet stuff flowing out... that's the sap.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">This sap provides all the nutrients and necessary ingredients to keep you alive and to produce nice delicious peaches. These peaches are a benefit and a blessing to people who come along and are able to eat them. It is the same way with goodness.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God's presence in you through the holy spirit, is like the sap. The branch has to be connected to the tree To keep that sap flowing the branch has to be connected to the tree trunk. &nbsp;If you cut a branch off from the trunk of a tree... you'll see all the sap that should have gone to branch flow down the side of the tree on to the ground. The branch will wither and die.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">That connection is like your relationship to the church </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Ephesians 4:10-16, Ephesians 5:23</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The Church of God is a vital way in which you receive the essential ingredients for growing into the fullness of Christ. You are not designed to go it alone. That is not the model for spiritual development presented in scripture. For this reason I ask you to carefully think about your relationship with God's Church.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Are you letting the church teach you? Or are you wandering to and fro on the internet for strange and interesting interpretations... are you only interested when what you hear is new, unique, provocative, or controversial? &nbsp;Are you seeking to be entertained, or pumped up, rather than built up in Christ. Perhaps you see yourself as being a teacher of the church before being a learner. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Goodness</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">&nbsp;I s </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">A Light In The Darkness</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Ephesians 5:8-20</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;when you are doing good you cannot help but stand out in a crowd. When people see goodness they notice it. &nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">You stick out if you are relentlessly honest, Sabbath keeping, no adultery etc. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Goodness will actually put you at odds with people, society, co-workers.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Goodness exposes what is unfruitful [the works of darkness]. Doing good in the sight of others might pique their conscience. Speaking up for what is right. Refusing to approve of evil. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Let's back up a moment from the idea of "good works". &nbsp;Just the ability to discern, judge, evaluate, and declare what is good versus what is evil makes you standout. Our current religious, political, and educational institutions seem to have no ability to call out evil, or to promote what is good. More and more our neighbors, co-workers, extended family are willing to call evil good, and good evil. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">We don't get to decide what is good. Our definition of goodness, our conviction of goodness, even our articulation of goodness come from God: His spirit, His word, and His church. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Goodness is also a willingness to take a stand against evil.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 12:17-21</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;warning, don't respond to evil with evil [don't go out and shoot up an abortion clinic as a way to demonstrate your respect for life, don't steal from the rich to give to the poor to bring about justice]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Goodness Is </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Spiritual Warfare</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Galatians 5:17</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;if you are suffering from inner turmoil about doing good, doing evil... that's an indication that you are doing battle.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Remember: at the same time as the spirit of God is giving you conviction about what is good and evil... the adversary is also at work. Sowing confusion, calling evil good or good evil. Seeking to convict you in the opposite direction. </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Ephesians 6:10-13</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 12:9</span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Goodness is a character trait of your Father Creator, and Christ your elder brother. An unwavering understanding and conviction concerning &nbsp;what is good and evil, fruitful and unfruitful, choosing a culture of life over a culture of death. &nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Let the <a href="https://www.blogger.com/"><span id="goog_918782875"></span>goodness of God<span id="goog_918782876"></span></a> reside within you, and shine forth from you.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/nbFuGk2UQgk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Helping You Find Joy - A Fruit of The Holy Spirit
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><h2><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OFiGS9gll-k" width="480"></iframe></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><br /></span></b> <br /><div style="-webkit-text-stroke: 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0); background-color: white; box-sizing: border-box; color: #222222; font-feature-settings: &quot;onum&quot;; font-variant-numeric: oldstyle-nums; line-height: 1.6; margin-bottom: 1.6em; padding: 0px; text-align: left; text-rendering: auto;"><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><span style="color: #888888; font-family: &quot;arial&quot; , &quot;helvetica&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Joy is one of the many gifts of the holy spirit. Joy is a part of who and what your Creator is... its His basic outlook. Those who are imitators of God will live joyfully through life's journey.</span></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: x-small;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;trebuchet ms&quot; , sans-serif; font-size: x-small;">Here is a link to a&nbsp;<span class="caps" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-feature-settings: &quot;c2sc&quot;, &quot;smcp&quot;;">PDF</span>&nbsp;version of the slide presentation used with this&nbsp;message:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.ucg.org/files/sermons/helping_you_find_joy_slides_-_simple_1.pdf" rel="nofollow" style="background-color: transparent; box-sizing: border-box; color: #346593; line-height: inherit;">https://www.ucg.org/files/sermons/helping_you_find_joy_slides_-_simple_1.pdf</a></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Helping You Find Joy</span></b></h2><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Let's Define What We Mean</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: feeling good... the opposite of joy would be feeling discouraged, depressed, fearful, worried. Let's not stop at feeling good, because there is more than way to feel good.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">1.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Feeling good because pleasant, positive things are happening to you.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level2 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">a.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">we will call this circumstantial - a reaction to what is going on around you</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level2 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">b.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">this is the easiest to achieve</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level2 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">c.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">BUT, it is mostly outside of your control</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level1 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">2.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Feeling good because of the way you think</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level2 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">a.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">we will call this spiritual - the result of your inner thought world, your priorities and outlook</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level2 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">b.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">this is harder to achieve</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l0 level2 lfo1; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">c.&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">However, it is mostly within your control</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Let's call:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l1 level2 lfo2; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;courier new&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">o&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">one HAPPiness - meaning gladness about what is HAPPening. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l1 level2 lfo2; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;courier new&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">o&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">the other Joy - meaning gladness about... </span><b><span style="background: rgb(255 , 255 , 0); color: red; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">???</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">We are not always going to be happy. Sometimes bad stuff happens. </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Ecclesiastes 3:4</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">, sometimes there is sorrow </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">John 11:35</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Happiness is conditional. It's an appropriate reaction to certain circumstances: getting a promotion, the birth of a child, receiving a compliment. Joy is not conditional. Joy does not require external circumstances to be "just so". Its based on an overarching viewpoint about life and its purpose. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">That understanding is the </span><b><span style="background: rgb(255 , 255 , 0); color: red; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">???</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Joy is a gift to you from your Creator</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">You are physical, made up of atoms, molecules, electrical impulses. All of these are features you share with animals or plants. But God has added a spiritual component to human beings... we like to call the spirit in man. This spiritual component is what separates you from animals such that the Father and Son declare you to be "made in our image".</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">However, you have also been designed with something missing. You have a void in you. A space which needs to be filled. You have also been designed with a yearning to fill that void with something. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The void is designed to be filled with the holy spirit of God. The addition of that last missing piece is how you become a fully complete child of God. Ready to inherit eternity and a place in the family of God. The receipt of the holy spirit gifts you with many characteristics and traits of God your Father and creator... this includes JOY.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">John 15:5</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;--&gt; </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">John 15:11</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;--&gt; </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">John 16:22</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: large;"><b>Do your own personal bible study on the Holy Spirit of God with this free bible study guide:</b> <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-power-of-the-holy-spirit">The Power of the Holy Spirit</a></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">The Flow of Joy</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Happiness</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;- based on what flows towards you. Incoming experiences, what happens to you. This is based on getting or receiving.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Joy</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;- based on what is going on within you... how you think... AND shows itself in what flows out from you… what you give to life.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Acts 20:35</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;&nbsp;Jesus taught that there is a way of life that is better. A way of life that is focused on what flows out from you rather than what flows towards you. This can be expressed as generosity with material goods [the most common application]. I believe it actually encompasses that… but so much more! Such as how you spend you time, or the showing forth the fruits of the spirit, patience, kindness, gentleness.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Growing in Joy </span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">[chart]</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">To grow in Joy you have to resist the fleshly nature of the mind which is to focus primarily on yourself. If you want to increase the joy in your life focus more on others. Avoid &nbsp;self pity -- self centeredness -- self absorption.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Consider this list of negative traits as self oriented:</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Resentment (what I think I deserve)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Greed (getting more stuff so I can feel more secure)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Complaining (how I would run things if I were in charge)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Jealousy (I should have gotten that, not her)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Pride (If only people would acknowledge how awesome I am)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l2 level1 lfo3; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Anger &amp; fear</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Replace them with --&gt;</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l3 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Gratitude ( I want him to know I appreciate this)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l3 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Humility (my way isn't the only way to do things)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l3 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Forgiveness ( I deserve my pound of flesh but I'd rather have reconciliation peace)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l3 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Patience (I'm going to give them more time to sort it out)</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l3 level1 lfo4; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Faith &amp; hope</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Make this swap out and the result is --&gt; JOY!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Joy Is Spiritual &amp; Supernatural</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Supernatural</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">: of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The idea of tending to the needs of others as a way "to feel good" ourselves… doesn't flow naturally out of the human mind. &nbsp;Granted, some people figure this out through trial and error. They live life one way... them they live life the other way... then they compare the results and reject selfishness. People are able to figure out certain truths without becoming a follower of Christ. That spirit in man put in us by our creator gives us the capacity to figure some things out on our own.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">However, God would like to give you joy as a gift. He would like &nbsp;to put joy in you [along with a lot of other traits]. &nbsp;All you have to do is opt in and let Him fill that void in you with His holy spirit. With the receipt of the holy spirit you are gifted with many &nbsp;wonderful spiritual traits. These of the holy spirit are the traits of the Father and the Son. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Joy is a Trait of God</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The Father is most often portrayed as a stern and somber old man, kinda grouchy with a long white beard. God can be somber, stern, even wrathful. Why???… &nbsp;because He must judge sin. Otherwise, there is no justice in the universe. [do you really want to live in a world where bad deeds are not punished and good is not rewarded?].</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">I put it to you that God should be understood as primarily cheerful, sunny, with a positive outlook and a sense of humor. He made all things... He called them good... He is enjoying His creation!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Psalm 68:3</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;true imitators of God will be joyful</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">1 Thessalonians 1:6</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;the joy of the holy spirit</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Galatians 6:22-23</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;ranked 2nd among the traits of the holy spirit [which are the traits of God]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Is Sorrow Bad?</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Feeling sad, acting solemn or sober, even righteous anger are legitimate emotions.</span></u><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></u></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">But, I don't think we should want to have them as our natural disposition and default outlook on life. Very much like we just discussed regarding God; sadness, solemness, anger</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;are all appropriate reactions to sin. But where there is no sin these would serve no purpose [chart]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">2 Corinthians 7:8-11</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;sorrow and regret are appropriate reactions to sin and error... but don't wallow in it. Sorrow from a Godly perspective leads to change, repentance, forgiveness, salvation. These then lead to hope which leads to joy!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Your "set point", your fundamental outlook, should be gladness and anticipation </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 8:18-21. </span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">There is sorrow over suffering, but there is joy in knowing God's plan provides answers and solutions. </span></u><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></u></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Matthew 26:37-39</span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Hebrews 1:8-9 </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">[quote of Psalm 45:6-7]</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Grief is a healthy response to death.</span></u><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;But, the truth of the resurrection means there is something to look forward to </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">1 Thessalonians 4:13</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;suggests that grief is more painful for those who have no hope. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">Joy in Trials</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">God's character trait of joy flows even in circumstances of trial. We are not happy about falling into a trial or suffering. But we can still have joy.Because joy is not the product of what happens to us but a product of how we think, how we react, and our perspective. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Biblical perspectives on trials:</span></b><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l4 level1 lfo5; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Revelation 21:4</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;trials and suffering are limited to this age</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 36.0000pt; mso-list: l4 level1 lfo5; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;symbol&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">·&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 5:2-5</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;trials and suffering are part of the process that moves us forward to permanent goals. They produce, strengthen, and build in us some of the other character traits of God.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l4 level2 lfo5; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;courier new&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">o&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Romans 8:28-29</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;we can have joy because of trials because we understand the purpose of trials. Which is, to build the character traits of the Father and Son in us. We do not see ourselves as a punchline in some cosmic joke.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="15" style="margin-left: 72.0000pt; mso-list: l4 level2 lfo5; text-indent: -18.0000pt;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: &quot;courier new&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt; font-weight: bold;">o&nbsp;</span><!--[endif]--><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Matthew 5:11-12</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;applies to trials and troubles we experience because of our adherence to God's truth. </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Acts 13:52</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;[don't be obnoxious with God's truth - example of Fred or Tony] </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><h2><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;">God's Spirit</span></b><b><span style="color: #4f81bd; font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 13pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></b></h2><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">Joy is a part of who and what your creator is... its His foundational outlook. His wrath, His anger... these are reactions to sin. His rules, regulations, restrictions... these are to help us identify sin and avoid it. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">If you want one more way to increase the joy in your life try putting your phone away and spend time seeing the joy in God's creation. The birds sing, the animals play, the flowers bloom... learn to see the joyful things God has put all around you. </span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span><br /><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><br /></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">The beginning steps to <a href="https://ucgraleigh.blogspot.com/2019/05/helping-you-find-joy-fruit-of-holy.html">finding joy</a> --&gt; </span><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Acts 2:38 </span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">Psalm 16:11</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;knowing the path to life is a source of JOY</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">John 16:24</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;ask for the understanding that brings joy</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><div class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11pt;">John 17: 13</span></b><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;">&nbsp;Jesus wants to share His joy with you</span><span style="font-family: &quot;calibri&quot;; font-size: 11.0000pt;"><o:p></o:p></span></div></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/sPIRneYk9ns" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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Passover Is Only The Beginning: Go Forth Into The Days of Unleavened Bread!
<div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><div dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1XvgPMJZ4wM" width="480"></iframe><br /></div><br />Jesus Christ is our Passover and His death saves us from the penalty of death. But, that is not the end of the story! Its actually the beginning of an amazing and astounding sequence of transformation:<br /><br />➤Salvation from death<br />➤Growth into the fullness of Christ<br />➤Resurrection to life everlasting spirit born life<br /><br />These are the steps of God's plan for humanity. A plan that begins with the Passover... but then followed up with the holy days that come afterwards and picture what comes next.<br /><br />There are some basic errors that keep us from fully appreciating each of the holy days as a separate and distinct event. In this video we will look at how the distinction between the Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread has been blurred AND why it is important to keep them separate and distinct.<br /><br />If you are listening to the audio version of this message… here is a link to the info graphic used in this presentation - <a href="https://www.ucg.org/files/sermons/exoduspassover.jpg">https://www.ucg.org/files/sermons/exoduspassover.jpg</a><br /><br />Learn More about the 7 annual holy days of God. Request our free bible study guide. <br />➤ <a href="https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/gods-holy-day-plan-the-promise-of-hope-for-all-mankind">God's Holy Day Plan - The Promise of Hope For Humanity</a><br /><br />Find a UCG church near you: <br />➤ <a href="http://ucg.org/congregations/">http://ucg.org/congregations/</a><br /><br />View this message on YouTube - <br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XvgPMJZ4wM">The Passover is Only The Beginning</a><br /><br /></div></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/UnitedChurchOfGodRaleigh/~4/ywCtpzWSb5w" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
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