Missionary Paul Snider: Health Update & Insights From the Field

Paul Snider, a missionary to the Korowai people of Papua, shares some valuable insight from years spent on the mission field. If any Christian is considering going to the mission field, they would do well to listen to this interview.

The following are some of the questions asked in the interview:

Could you give a brief history of how the Lord led you over to Papua and how you got there to co-labor with Trevor?

Could you just explain what all you have gone through in the last year, physically?

Could you explain what all you’ve gone through spiritually?

When you were feeling your absolute worst after having become sick, what Scriptures were the most prominent and anchoring for your soul?

After years on the mission field, what can you look back on and see differently, or false expectations you had prior to being on the field that you now look at differently?

How receptive have people been to the Gospel there?

What would you say if you had a few minutes to give an appeal to somebody on why they should think of going to a place like Papua?

How important has having a co-laborer been?

What ways do people most misunderstand you and Trevor and the work there?

Looking back, what regrets, if any, do you have?

Looking forward, what fears do you have, if any?

What has been the most helpful advice and involvement from your sending church?

What have been some of the greatest ways people off the field have been used to encourage you while on the field?

What is essential to get a believer being launched into a mission field like that?

When do you head back? In what ways can people be praying for you right now?

Destroyed from Lack of Knowledge (Part Two)

Hosea 4:4-9

They feed on the sin of my people; they have an appetite for their iniquity. The same judgment will happen to both people and priests. I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds (4:8-9 CSB).

Our current problem is that western nations are lands lacking in knowledge. This might seem like an incredibly wrong assertion, given our expanding technology. Although we live in a time of increasing information and technology, many lack an understanding of how to process information and how to discern truth from error. Most adults never read a serious book; they merely listen to talking head pundits and assume the know a subject. When we add in the suppression of the knowledge of God, the ignorance is astounding.

In our culture we are entering a new dark age. Consider some contributing factors to our decline and fall.

  • The collapse of true science. When our people first turned away from God, it looked to science, which people wrongly assumed would provide them answers to ultimate questions. Science could not provide the answers, because true science is a tool, not to interpret but to explore God’s creation. So people have turned to mysticism.
  • Closed-minded relativism. This is the absurd idea that the only true statement anyone can make is that nothing is true. Everything is relative to the situation. What may be “true” for you is not “true” for me.
  • A barrage of facts and observations without any standard or system for testing the accuracy and applicability of “the facts”. This is the controlling method in sociology and psychology. Spin out an idea and “prove it” with a number of emotionally compelling observations. This system is built on the false assumption that the observer is able to gather all the relevant data, compare it with apparently similar observations, and present an accurate evaluation.
  • The belief that humans are the measure or standard of all things. Another way to say this is that people assume that they can start from themselves and arrive at a proper understanding of reality.

Evangelicals have absorbed the viewpoints of the surrounding godless culture. Here are examples of this relativism.

  • “Christianity is a person, not a proposition.” [A proposition in this context is “an assertion; a statement wherein something is offered for consideration”.] In reply we agree that Christianity is certainly centered on the person of Christ, but you can make assertions about him. The Lord of all has defined who and what he is in the Bible.
  • “I have no creed but Jesus.” But who is this Jesus in whom you believe? Tell me about him. Remember that the apostle John warned of many antichrists (1 John 2:18-23; 2 John 1:7).
  • “This is what this verse means to me.” That would be cute, if it wasn’t off-kilter. But if it is the true and correct meaning, it will mean the same to me also.
  • “I know the verse might not be saying this, but it’s an interesting application.” This is actually false teaching. It ignores God’s word and replaces it with personal opinion. All true applications will flow out from the true meaning of the text.

Examples of a barrage of facts

  • Listing verse after verse, linked by apparent verbal similarities, without considering each verse in its context. It sounds impressive, but can you understand God’s message from the mere assemblage of a multitude of texts?
  • Presenting jokes, stories and opinions instead of Biblical truth. This is manipulates people by using stories or observations or humor to put pressure on their emotions or will. One Sunday night I listened to four different messages on the radio. You did not need a Bible for two of them. There was not any Bible in them.
  • Using tricks based on the emotions or the will to motivate. For example, you hear one verse, and then countless stories and examples. Perhaps this is one reason that many in our churches cannot define or explain the importance of justification.

Examples of human-centeredness.

  • “There are good people on both sides.” That may be true, but we’re not discussing people’s character but truth.
  • “That’s your interpretation.” The question is not, “Whose interpretation is it?” but “Is the interpretation correct?” What is your final authority—your mind or the word of God?
  • “Well, we’re not going to change each other’s minds anyway.” Then what hope do we have in changing an unbeliever’s mind? Are believers more hard-headed than unbelievers? And even more importantly, do we really accept the claims that the Bible makes about itself. See Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

I close with some practical questions. How much are we thinking and acting like followers of the Lord Jesus Christ? Or are we actually worldly-minded with a thin veneer of Biblical religion? Are you ready to change your mind and to love God with all your mind? Our people are being destroyed by a lack of knowledge. Are you equipped to spread God’s light? Let’s shine for Christ now and always.

Grace and peace, David

Don’t Let the World Define Christianity

The world has its definition of what it thinks Christianity should be. Not surprisingly, it doesn’t resemble what the Bible and what God defines Christianity as. The world is going to have a problem with biblical Christianity, and one of it’s biggest problems will be Christianity’s refusal to compromise on truth.

Excerpt is taken from the full sermon, “Speaking the Truth in Love“.

Destroyed from Lack of Knowledge (Part One)

Hosea 4:4-9

But let no one dispute; let no one argue, for my case is against you priests. You will stumble by day; the prophet will also stumble with you by night. And I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from serving as my priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your sons. The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against me. I will change their honor into disgrace (4:4-7 CSB).

In our two previous posts we considered God’s indictment against Israel. The Lord brought three charges of a lack of godliness and five charges of breaking the law covenant. Then he presented the consequences of Israel’s breaking of the covenant.

We humans are masters of blame-shifting when faced with charges of guilt. Instead of admitting our sinful ways and consequent guilt, we are quick to point the finger at someone else. This does not resolve our spiritual problems but complicates them, adding self-deception and false peace. Like a slip cover on an old couch, things seem more presentable, but underneath the old person remains.

In this follow-up to the indictment, the Lord pushes the finger-pointing aside to warn Israel of her serious danger. Israel was ripe for serious judgment. Time for a change of mind was being wasted in excuse making. Israel needed to return to the Lord immediately. Though the tone of this section is stern, we should honor the love and compassion that issues the warning. The Lord warns people to lead them to experience his goodness. God begins this section by removing Israel’s excuses.

Their root problem was a blameworthy lack of knowledge (4:6a). The priests, who were supposed to teach the people, rejected and ignored God’s law, the written revelation of God’s person, will and redemptive activity. Biblical worship begins with the mind (Romans 12:2; 2 Peter 3:18; Matthew 22:37). There is no secret knowledge for the gurus or the favored few. God speaks plainly through his word, and we are to tell it plainly, purely, and publicly.

The lack of knowledge is destructive. Whatever we do not know, we do not value. What we hold in low esteem, we neglect and perhaps despise. How many parents threw out their sons’ baseball cards that were collected during the 50s and 60s and that later became valuable? How many people have tossed out old furniture or dishes that someone else recognized as valuable antiques? Something can be old and worthless, but it might be old and extremely valuable. The Scriptures are in the second category.

They followed a path of those who reject truth.

  • They substituted an idol for the God of glory (4:7); see Romans 1:21-25. People cannot live as humans without an object of worship. Those who try not to worship become machines or animals… or simply desperately deceived!
  • They increased their rebellion against God (4:7; cf. Romans 1:24-31). Opposition to God’s will is habit-forming but with a twist. Every sinful experience darkens the heart, creating a lust for something more opposed to God and dulling the heart to what is truly beautiful.
  • They delighted in the sins of others (4:8; cf. Romans 1:32). Has anyone ever heard of television or the internet?

The Lord brought the threat of judgment. Whatever the pretenses of the priests, the Lord would not acknowledge them as his priests. They were wolves in sheep’s clothing. Too many people call themselves “Christian ministers” while they promote antichristian ideas and religions. Both people and priests would face punishment together. Why? Everyone is individually responsible to the Lord! God’s witness in creation, the conscience and the Bible combine to make everyone without excuse. Did the preacher lift up the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior? Did he present God’s word as absolute truth? Did he tell you that the only way to be right with God was by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone? Did he urge you to live godly? If he did, then you should have repented and believed. If not, then why did you listen?

Everyone brags in some way about how smart they are, until they want to make excuses for not understanding the Bible. God sees through such deep and deadly hypocrisy (cf. Mark 4:24).

Grace and peace, David

No Longer Perishing in Futility

As Christians, we are called to no longer walk the way we did when we were lost; to no longer walk as this dark world walks. And one of the prominent characteristics of lost humanity is that they have a mind full of vain thoughts. Christian, no longer let your mind be led astray into thoughts of futility like when you were lost.

An Indictment (Part Two)

Hosea 4:1-3

Cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and adultery are rampant; one act of bloodshed follows another. For this reason the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes, along with the wild animals and the birds of the sky; even the fish of the sea disappear (4:2-3 CSB).

Next we see that Israel was involved in multiple violations of the law covenant. Israel transgressed specific commands, and each one was a violation of her covenant duty to the Lord. Where positive godliness is absent, we may expect to find outright breaking of God’s law.

  • Cursing (Deuteronomy 5:11) – the third command
  • Lying (Deuteronomy 5:20) – the ninth command
  • Murder (Deuteronomy 5:17) – the sixth command
  • Stealing (Deuteronomy 5:19) – the eighth command
  • Adultery (Deuteronomy 5:18) – the seventh command

This sounds like contemporary western civilization, doesn’t it?

Such immorality produces a chaotic situation. Sin and peace do not agree. Where one is present, the other is not. The contempt and spurning of God’s main laws leads to the general disregard of all laws. You can’t remove the foundation of a tower from under it, and not have the tower fall upon you. Today, we experience the tragic consequences of sexual immorality and greed. How many poor people are exploited? Are you feeling the crush of the growing disparity between the rich (a few) and the poor (an ever-increasing number)? How many women have been sexually abused? What of the growing sexual and physical abuse against helpless children? Western society is running toward the precipice of total ruin.

When God and his laws are abandoned, people lose the value of human life. Self-gratification and violence against all who oppose any individual’s pleasures have become the principles of this “post-Christian” lifestyle.

We Christians have an opportunity in our day to show that God has more for people than a perverted individualism. In the church God is building a new society, in which peace is the governor (Colossians 3:15) and love (Ephesians 5:2) is the basic principle of conduct. We must take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate what community is.

And so, old covenant Israel fell under the heavy consequences of sin. What was the reason for these consequences? God was fulfilling his threat concerning disobedience of the law covenant (Deuteronomy 28). Physical blessings were promised to Israel, if they obeyed (28:1-14). But physical ruin would surely come, if they broke God’s law (28:15-68). We need to come to terms with the Biblical idea of God’s kindness and sternness (Romans 11:22).

Sadly, Israel had nothing to expect but disaster. In poetic speech, the land itself went into mourning. All creation is affected by human sin. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places (Matthew 24:27b).

All this points to our need for repentance, individually and nationally. America is not God’s nation; instead, the church is (Ephesians 2:11-22). However, we all, from whatever countries of the world, are part of political nations that will give account to God for their wickedness. Let us turn away from the breaking of God’s laws, mourn over our people’s transgressions, and seek God’s mercy. Then may God give us grace to be faithful, to be kind, and to know him ever more richly.

Grace and peace, David

An Indictment (Part One)

Hosea 4:1-3

Hear the word of the Lord, people of Israel, for the Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land: There is no truth, no faithful love, and no knowledge of God in the land! (4:1 CSB)

People love to follow court proceedings. We are apparently fascinated by judges, juries and plaintiffs, defendants, and especially lawyers. From Scopes to Sam Shepard to O.J. Simpson to Scott Petersen to Bill Cosby, we love to watch and to debate about people on trial. We even bring this into Christmas stories; namely, “Miracle on 34th Street”. 

However, we love it as long as it is the other guy. We don’t like to contemplate going before the law ourselves. Most people do not want the consequences of breaking the law, however inexpensive they may be. And when we think in spiritual terms, most refuse to consider their guilt as violators of God’s laws.

The prophet Hosea records God’s charges against his covenant people Israel. They were bound by obligations of law and love to walk in God’s ways, but they turned aside to the ways of rebellion against him. Therefore, in this section of Hosea, the Lord quickly lists his charges against them and then displays the consequences of their sins.

Old covenant Israel lacked godliness. Many view sin only as glaring transgressions of a very short list of laws, if they accept the concept of sin at all. God first examines people according to his demand for positive, righteous qualities.

First, they lacked truth or faithfulness. What is meant by faithfulness? It is “common honesty or reliability”. Are you dependable? Are you worthy of trust, especially when the going gets tough? When this quality is lacking, interpersonal relations rapidly decline. People begin to expect backstabbing. Cynicism rules the day. All that remains is trust in one’s cleverness or strength to avoid hurt.

Second, they lacked love. Consider the meaning of the Hebrew word translated “faithful love” (hesed). It means “steadfast love” or “lovingkindness”. Love is crucial. God pointed to the love and loyalty expected of partners in a covenant with each other. Think of David and Jonathan, who were very good friends and made a covenant with each other. Israel failed to fulfill her marriage vow to the Lord (cf. Deuteronomy 5:27). Every Christian is in a covenant relationship with the Lord. We are responsible to be faithful to him and to love him. How would the Lord evaluate you?

Third, they lacked knowledge of God. Let me explain. All people know the existence of God, even if they deny him.  No one can escape from God’s revelation of himself (Psalm 19:1-6). Yet people strive to suppress that knowledge by various means, like substance abuse, sexual pleasure, and intellectualism (Romans 1:18ff).

But all people do not know God as the covenant Lord, as the Controller of all things who also cares deeply about his people. Israel knew this in a formal sense, because they had received God’s very words (Romans 3:1-2). But they did not know the Lord in a personal sense, like a husband and a wife know each other.

This is important. Knowledge of God is necessary for eternal life. As Jesus said, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3 NIV).

This kind of knowledge of God is guaranteed in the new covenant. Now all the people of God know the Lord. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34 ESV). Everyone in Christ knows the Lord.

If you think you’re okay because you’re not a notorious sinner, you’ve misunderstood what sin is. God requires faithfulness, lovingkindness, and knowledge of God.

Grace and peace, David

Sin is Accessible, So is God’s Word

With all the modern technology we have, it could be said that our generation has more access to sexual sin than any other generation in history. But this is no valid excuse because we also have more access to the Bible, good books, and good sermons more than any other generation has.

View the full sermon here.

A Time for Reconciliation (Part Two)

Hosea 3:1-5

So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and five bushels of barley. I said to her, “You are to live with me many days. You must not be promiscuous or belong to any man, and I will act the same way toward you” (3:2-3 CSB).

The book of Hosea portrays the amazing love and grace of the Lord God towards his sinful people, Israel. As we have said, it is a biting, heart-wrenching portrayal of adult love in the worst conditions. In presenting this love story, God uses the marital experiences of his faithful prophet Hosea toward his unfaithful wife, Gomer, to show his desire to be reconciled with his people. God. We usually think of the parable of the Lost Sons (a.k.a. the Prodigal Son), as a remarkable picture of God’s love, and it is. But this account reveals the “ugly side” of the cost of true love.

Here we read a painful experience (3:2-3). Hosea must purchase Gomer from her sin.

She had fallen so low that the only way out was for her husband to buy her back. Sin promises freedom from restraint, but it always leads to a deeper, darker, degrading, disgusting bondage. Apparently, Hosea had to scrape together the purchase price, because he paid partly in silver and partly in goods. Love is costly! No illustration is perfect in all points, because God is no beggar but infinitely rich! But his love toward rebellious sinners was costly for him, because he had to give his dearly loved Son to redeem us.

Do you catch the emotion in this? Hosea had to pay the price to free Gomer, because she sold herself into the bondage of sin. We, too, sold ourselves, and only God could pay the redemption price! “Amazing love, how can it be”?

Hosea restructures their relationship. As her liberator, indeed, you could say her owner, he tells her how she must now live. In the same way, the Lord has his owner’s rights over us. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV; cf. 1 Pt 1:17-19).

But Hosea wanted more than obedience. He wanted a wife who responded to him in love. Therefore, he promised his faithfulness to her.  Although sin leads us to wander from God, he promises to be faithful to his people always (cf. Hebrews 13:5).

Next, the story points to a better future. For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days (Hosea 3:4-5).

The Lord through Hosea applied the story for Israel’s benefit. The immediate future was not bright (3:4). Israel would be wrecked militarily and politically. With their rebellious attitude, God would not let them off easily. There would be benefits, surprisingly, for Israel would in that extended time become rid of idolatrous practices. It was a hard cure, but God has preserved his ancient people through the judgment.

The more distant future would be extremely bright (3:5). God promised that Israel would someday return to the Lord and her rightful king. Her hope lies in the line of David, which means in David’s greater Son, Jesus the Messiah.

God points to the time; this return will happen in the last days, which are the days in which we live. God has promised that the Israelites will be restored to the kingdom of God. Today, we believing Gentiles and a few believing Jews comprise the chosen people of God. But God has promised that the Jews will one day be restored to him. There is hope for Israel, but that hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 11:25-32)!

Pray for the salvation of Israel. God’s purpose in election cannot fail. Since this is so, we ought to pray more zealously. But first, are you yourself right with God?

Grace and peace, David

Don’t Think God Can’t Expose Your Sin

So many have deluded themselves into thinking that they can hide their sin. But they forget that God has innumerable ways of exposing their sin. Oh how better it is to come clean and not have to experience the painful humiliation of God exposing your sin.

The excerpt is taken from the full sermon, “Secret Sins“.

A Time for Reconciliation (Part One)

Hosea 3:1-5

Then the Lord said to me, “Go again; show love to a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, just as the Lord loves the Israelites though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes” (3:1 CSB).

The book of Hosea is a love story: the love of the faithful God towards his unfaithful people, Israel. This love story is not a “fairy tale romance” for the immature. It is a biting, heart-wrenching portrayal of adult love in the worst conditions. In presenting this love story, God uses the marital experiences of his faithful prophet Hosea toward his unfaithful wife, Gomer, to show his desire to be reconciled with his people.

It is my earnest prayer to God and heart’s desire that neither you nor anyone in your family will know the anguish and sense of violation that comes from marital unfaithfulness. The world around us shows little respect for marital purity, and people hop from partner to partner like a rabbit freely hops around your backyard. In our culture, when a person loses the feeling that they assume they should have toward their spouse, they show no hesitation in abandoning their spouse for a new fling, leaving their ex to pick up the pieces of his or her life.

What is remarkable is the love of God towards the unfaithful displayed in this passage. God commands Hosea to be reconciled to his very unfaithful wife. God does this to let us know the power of his love toward unfaithful people.

The Lord presents Hosea with difficult task (3:1). God commands Hosea to restore his marital relationship with Gomer, his adulterous wife. Hosea faced two obstacles: her involvement with another lover and her character. Gomer was not looking to go back to Hosea; she was uninterested. This is a picture of how we all are apart from God’s grace. By nature we are deeply involved in sin and do not seek a way back to the true God.

God does not appeal to anything inside Hosea (like desire for her beauty or loving feelings) in telling him to restore her. His action was based on the word of God to him. When God seeks a sinner, there is nothing in the sinner to merit God’s love; in fact, there is only demerit. Grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved favor to those who have earned and deserve wrath.

Consider God’s purpose in this command. Do not think that God lacked concern about Hosea and Gomer; he certainly did. But he reveals another reason for his command.

  • To show the standard of love— “as the Lord loves the Israelites.” Hosea would model God’s love toward Israel. This is the job description for every Christian husband, which we men should keep before us (cf. Ephesians 5:25-27).
  • To show the depth of love— “though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Hosea would show God’s love to a wayward people. They were in love with other gods, and yes, they loved the worship of those other gods (“the sacred raisin cakes”).

When people are in love with a false religion, their feelings get tangled up with all the externals of that religion, too. They find it hard to give up the little things, like raisin cakes, for a better relationship with the living God. For example, “I love the ceremonies, the spiritual atmosphere; it makes me feel like ‘God’ is there.”

Why won’t people turn to God? They’re in love with greed, sexual immorality, greed, pleasure, greed, drunkenness, greed, and having all their time and money for themselves!

Are there any Christians still alive who are willing to ask God if they’re really in love, not with God, but with sexual immorality, pleasure, drunkenness, and having all their time and money for themselves? May God the Holy Spirit give us grace to examine ourselves.

Grace and peace, David

Speaking the Truth in Love

How are we to grow as Christians and as churches? The Bible describes us as a body, and in order for us to grow, we need to hold fast to the Head and also joined to one another. And one of the primary joints that will hold us together is speaking the truth in love to one another.

A Door of Hope (Part Three)

Hosea 2:14-23

On that day I will respond—this is the Lord’s declaration. I will respond to the sky, and it will respond to the earth. The earth will respond to the grain, the new wine, and the fresh oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will sow her in the land for myself, and I will have compassion on Lo-ruhamah; I will say to Lo-ammi: You are my people, and he will say, “You are my God” (2:21-23 CSB).

Finally, there is a new outlook. It is far too easy to become discouraged or perhaps even depressed as we journey through life. If we read or listen to news reports or scour the internet for information about situations, our outlook can become very gloomy. Or for others, all it takes is a visit to the doctor and follow-up testing, and anxiety about our mortality to affect ourselves, our family and friends. But God opens the door of hope widely to encourage and refresh his dearly loved people. Let’s listen to two hopeful vistas that he directs believers to ponder.

God reminds us that he is in charge of nature. There is a well-known cable weather service that delights to spread gloom and doom. They run programs to proclaim that we are wrecking our planet, and “superstorms” and other terrible events are just waiting to wreak havoc on our self-indulgent lifestyle. For example, it simply doesn’t snow anymore, but we face cruelly cold temperatures from a “polar vortex” and we just might face “blizzard-like conditions”. The shelves of grocery stores are emptied as people frantically buy ten loaves of bread, four dozen eggs, and gallons of milk. And it snows two little inches! (By the way, my family and I survived a huge blizzard with only an extra loaf of bread and gallon of milk.) And to these people, it simply doesn’t rain an inch, but the highways have “treacherous conditions”. People love to hear the “weather prophets of doom.” In all of this, people forget God.

  • However, God reminds us that every part of the agricultural process is under his control. He is very able to act in the world he created to provide us with what we need to live, and to live joyfully. God does what is good by giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons and filling you with food and your hearts with joy” (Acts 14:17 CSB).
  • To look at this another way, Israel, Jezreel, can see God’s care, start at herself, and then trace her blessings back to God. How skilled are you at reading the “map” of your blessings?

God offers a renewed exchange of “marriage vows”, of fresh promises of a new covenant relationship. The Lord had called them “not loved” and “not my people”, because of their rejection of him, refusal to love him, and rebellion against his laws. They had broken the relationship by their spiritual adultery. God promises a better covenant relationship. In it God gives:

  • A promise of enduring love. This promise holds true for God’s new covenant people. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39 NIV).
  • A belonging to each other. Paul clearly applies these words to the church. What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea: “I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,” and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’” (Romans 9:23-26 NIV).

Do you belong to Jesus? Are you in a covenant relationship with the Lord? Has he laid hold of you by his amazing, wonderful love? Have you trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? FAITH is Forsaking All I Take Him.

Grace and peace, David