LA PREDESTINACION BIBLICA

LA PREDESTINACION BIBLICA

El tema de la predestinación es uno de los más controvertidos incluso dentro de las Iglesias de Cristo, pero no tan difícil de resolver si tan solo existiera el puro y único deseo de ver, que dice Dios al respecto. No podemos de ninguna manera obviar la confusión existe al rededor, pero todo se debe a dos factores importante: 1) Ausencia de  una adecuada educación para interpretar las escrituras. 2) El origen calvinista del asunto. Ambas cosas combinadas forman las conclusiones erróneas que hoy vemos y oímos en muchos.

La predestinación de la Biblia está enfocada en la Iglesia Gloriosa de Cristo

La predestinación de la Biblia está enfocada en la Iglesia Gloriosa de Cristo

DEFINICION

El diccionario de la real academia española actualizado, define predestinar en dos partes: 1) disponer o decidir el destino de una persona o de una cosa de antemano a su comportamiento o conducta. 2)En teología, elegir Dios desde la creación del mundo a las personas que por medio de su gracia gozarán de la salvación.

Otra aportación a la definición la hace Vines, el dice: proorizo (proorivzw, 4309), (pro, por anticipado; orizo, determinar; cf. DETERMINAR, No 3), denota determinar por anticipado, ordenar por adelantado, «habían antes determinado» (Hch 4.28); «predestinó» (Ro 8.29,30; 1 Co 2.7); Ef 1.5: «habiéndonos predestinado»; v. 11: «habiendo sido predestinados». Véase DETERMINAR, No 4.¶ Notas: (1) Este verbo debe ser distinguido de proginosko, conocer con antelación. Este último se refiere especialmente a las personas conocidas por Dios con antelación; proorizo se refiere especialmente a aquello a lo que son predestinados los objetos de su conocimiento anticipado.

Creo que es fundamentalmente importante entender esta definición de predestinar, ya que lo que se utiliza  la misma palabra en varios pasajes. La iglesia de Cristo NO niega el hecho de que Dios si predestina, el asunto es ¿a quién? o ¿quienes?. Antes de observar algunos pasajes, es de vital importancia entender que es el “calvinismo” . Usted se sorprenderá de que irónicamente existen miles de personas que practican, defienden, creen y sostienen las enseñanzas calvinistas sin siquiera conocer el origen de las mismas, y en ocaciones las personas no se dan cuenta que están defendiendo el calvinismo. Juan Calvino, igual que Lutero se había cansado de los muchos abusos del catolicismo romano y buscó reformar el cristianismo. En especial objetó la teología de Roma basada en obras y creyó que solo la soberanía de Dios traía la salvación.   

Total depravación hereditaria

Elección incondicional

Limitado Sacrificio

Irresistible Gracia

Perseverancia de los santos

 Los 5 puntos teológicos sostenidos por  Calvino son “la cuna de la falsa doctrina” él argumentaba que el hombre no tenía parte en su salvación y no podía hacer nada para lograr su salvación, estaba totalmente depravado a causa del problema del edén. Con esto el calvinismo establece que Dios es capaz y está dispuesto por virtud de su omnisciencia, omnipresencia y omnipotencia, a hacer lo que sea que desee hacer con su creación. Sostiene que dentro de la Biblia están las siguientes enseñanzas: Que Dios, por su gracia soberana predestina a las personas para salvación: que Jesús murió solo por los que estaban predestinados; que Dios regenera al individuo donde esté y solo entonces es capaz de querer seguir a Dios; y que es imposible para los redimidos perder su salvación.

El calvinismo enseña que la regeneración ocurre cuando el Espíritu Santo directa y milagrosamente cambia la naturaleza de una persona, de ser hijo de ira a ser hijo de Dios. Enseñan que el arrepentimiento y la fe vienen como un regalo de este cambio milagroso y que el hombre no regenerado es incapaz de fe y arrepentimiento por su propia capacidad. Tristemente, las falsas doctrinas del calvinismo no solo han impregnado a muchas denominaciones evangélicas, sino que también se han adentrado en las iglesias de Cristo.

LA VERDAD

La verdad de las cosas es que Calvino estuvo total y absolutamente equivocado en su manera de ver la Biblia. Pasajes como Romanos 8:29-30; Hech 4:28; Ef 1:5,11, entre tantos más, la predestinación es siempre grupal(PARA LA IGLESIA DE CRISTO), NO DE INDIVIDUOS, Dios no ha predestinado a Casimiro Lopez para ir al cielo y a Manuel Chavez para ir al infierno, afirmar y sostener tal cosa sería tanto como acusar a Dios de “tirano”. El Dios mío y del cual leo en la Biblia es totalmente diferente. Pedro observo y entendió esto cuando dijo en Hechos 10:34 “ en verdad comprendo que Dios no hace acepción de personas”. 

Si usted logra notar en los contextos de estos pasajes anteriormente mencionado, siempre se menciona a la Iglesia, el problema es que la gente No quiere aceptar que Dios estableció, pensó de antemano, predestinó a la iglesia para ser salva, pero no a cualquier iglesia sino a la Iglesia de Cristo, única y exclusivamente. Entonces si una persona está dentro de la Iglesia de Cristo está predestinado para ir al cielo pero no la persona en sí, pero más bien en sentido colectivo. Las palabras que aparecen a lo largo del capitulo 1 de Efésios; nosotros, vosotros, fuisteis, nos, etc… se encuentran en plural lo que indica que se refiere a una predestinación colectiva  y no a individual.

Existe un par de casos que pudieran dar dolor de cabeza a muchos; como lo es el que se encuentra en Romanos 9:12-13 “se le dijo: El mayor servirá al menor. como ésta escrito: A Jacob amé mas a Esaú aborrecí”. En primer lugar el texto debe ser entendido en el contexto general de Romanos. Desde el capitulo 1 hasta el 11 el apóstol Pablo trata con un tema especial y es que ya no existe diferencia entre judío y gentil sino que ambos gozan la misma bendición de ser parte el maravilloso cuerpo de Cristo; la Iglesia de Cristo. En el pasaje antes mencionado Dios vio con anticipación  que los descendientes de Esaú iban a ser malos pero no fue por acciones de ellos  tampoco, esta elección NO  fue de una manera arbitraria  departe de Dios como lo enseña Calvino. Aunque le pueda sorprender, la Biblia enseña que hay algunas cosas que Dios NO puede hacer dentro de esas cosas está violar el libre albedrío del hombre ya que eso iría incluso en contra de su naturaleza divina. El calvinismo llegó para quedarse y la Iglesia del Señor necesita aborrecer y rechazar cada una de estas doctrinas con la Biblia en mano. Cualquiera que simpatice con algunos de esos 5 puntos, automáticamente está adquiriendo y  abrazando todas las doctrinas Calvinista. El hermano Felipe Sanders sobre este tema concluye de la siguiente manera:

      A pesar de que el calvinismo se ha mantenido dominante entre la cristiandad evangélica, está muy lejos de la enseñanza de Cristo en el Nuevo Testamento. Los bebés no nacen en pecado, y los jóvenes no son incapaces de responder al evangelio. Una operación milagrosa directa del Espíritu Santo no es el medio que Dios usa para llevar a cabo nuestra salvación. La gracia de Dios y la salvación pueden y son resistidas. El evangelio predicado todavía es el poder de Dios para salvar. Nadie está incondicionalmente predestinado para el cielo o el infierno. Nuestra salvación por la gracia de Dios no es una garantía de que no podamos perder nuestras almas, si caemos en el pecado o la incredulidad. El calvinismo es una falsa doctrina, y su falsa esperanza seguramente llevará a muchos a la destrucción.

La Biblia enseña que el hombre no trae el pecado original sino que es culpable por su propio pecado y responderá al creador un día, por ello Ezequiel 18:20. Dios nos ayude a responder siempre con la Biblia y a refutar estas falsas enseñanzas. La predestinación de la Biblia está enfocada en la Iglesia Gloriosa de Cristo, por tanto más le vale al hombre ser parte de esa única Iglesia verdadera predestinada desde antes de la fundación del mundo, para ir al cielo si es que el ser humano desea ser salvo. Dios No aparecerá en un rayo de luz como lo afirmó calvino, El nos ha dado lo que necesitamos para buscarle y hacer su voluntad…LA SANTA BIBLIA (2Timoteo 3:16-17). Dios tampoco envío a su hijo a morir en la cruz del calvario por un grupo limitado de personas (Juan 3:16), muchísimo menos Dios ha utilizado o llamado a nadie en contra de su voluntad, al contrario su naturaleza impide que vaya a ser tal cosa. A los ángeles, que son seres espirituales creados por El mismo les dio libertad y les dará su pago(Judas 6) y a nosotros nos llama constantemente. Cada vez que un predicador diserta el evangelio Dios nos está llamando (2 Tesa 2:14).  Y por último la cada caída está segura para aquellos quienes han conocido a Dios y deciden apartarse, el “una vez salvo, siempre salvo”, no tiene un pelo de ser una verdad Bíblica. Judas cayó en pecado y transgredió la ley de Dios por su propio deseo, explica el apóstol Pedro (Hechos 1:18). Pablo mismo reconocía el peligro de ser eliminado y caer tal como lo hizo Judas (1Cor 9:27).

La falsedad del Calvinismo es totalmente evidente e incoherente. El peligro más grave es enamorarse de una de ellas porque si lo hace así deberá bailar con todas las demás 4 mentiras. Recuerda esta verdad siempre pero eterna; Dios no predestinó a nadie para condenación o salvación, Dios predestinó a la Iglesia de Cristo desde antes de la fundación del Mundo( Efe 1:2-4).

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Confusing Leaders

Confusing Leaders

Churches of Christ are technically “elder-led” (1 Peter 5:1-3). They use various Scriptures to point out that it is the elders that shepherd the flock and guide them in their walk with God, during worship and also keep an eye on the souls of those that they lead. Elders are selected by the congregation who feels that certain men meet the various characteristics laid out in the Scriptures (Acts 6; 1 Timothy 3). But, sometimes elders are not chosen based on their godliness (Acts 20:29-30). Some are appointed and accept the position as just a representative of the church. Some unsound elders believe they must make every decision about everything. Some questionable elders do not listen to a godly congregation, nor do they listen to godly deacons nor a minister and they do not seek advice from anyone. Sadly some want the preeminence (3 John 1:9; 1 Peter 5:3). But, why would any elder and/or eldership seek to lead in this fashion?

An unqualified leadership is a wrong way road.

An unqualified leadership is a wrong way road.

When we look out among the Church of Christ, we find problems. But, you will find problems no matter where you go. Still, there are many problems that arise simply because less spiritually mature Christians know they are in charge. What do I mean by this? There are leaders who love to raise a stink about trivial things (Titus 3:9). There are leaders who dominate others and cause pain and suffering to good brethren (Romans 16:17-18). There are leaders who refuse to help anyone from the church treasury or support any works even when they are into a massive abundance of wealth (1 John 3:17). In some cases, leaders act like little children when they don’t get their way (Luke 7:31-35). Why?

Now on the other hand, there are leaders who tend to only listen to the will of the people (Colossians 2:1-4; 1 John 4:6; 2 Timothy 4:4). Why? Why are some leaders toss about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14)? More importantly, why do some eldership lead by not “wanting to rock the boat” or to get people upset and so, they will settle for watered down Gospel preaching (John 12:37-50). Does this really challenge the body of Christ to grow? No. And, while I have a great respect for leaders in the church, some are simply afraid of their own shadows. How can leaders in the church be apathetic? Is it because they have forgotten whom they serve (2 Peter 2:20)? As a result, there are congregations that are going nowhere. They are not improving themselves as the body of Christ. They are not growing spiritually nor numerically. Why? Why are many local congregations declining in size and are getting older. Could it be that we have apathetic Christians and leaders who encouraged them to be this way by their example and leadership?

Now, this may be a lot of negativity. But, all positive writings do not help us face things that we must improve upon because the church is very frustrated. We are no longer acting like the body of Christ. Some are acting no better than a business. Others are imitating denominations. Why? And, why are we not doing more? Does not the Bible tell us to be better than the world (James. 2:14-26)? Does it not tell us to reach out and teach (Matthew 28:19-20) and to restore (Galatians 6:1-4)? We all need to be working together for good. We all need to stop frustrating each other. We need to encourage people to not leave the church or to go elsewhere just because of a tradition we refuse to give up or an un-Christ-like attitude we refuse to change. Christians are so beautiful when we are not acting like the world. So, let’s work on these things. Stop being so judgmental. Stop the plate-spinning ministry and let us pray for more unity (John 17).

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A Good Leader

What Makes a Good Leader?

As a father, I think a lot about the command given to fathers in Ephesians 6:4.  This is a command that God did not give to mothers, although mothers also are to bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Prov. 31:26-28, 30).  The command in Ephesians 6:4 is given to fathers, which tells me that God wants fathers and husbands to be leaders in the home (1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-23).  This notion is not a popular one in our society these days, mainly due to so many men NOT being leaders in their homes.  Our homes, our nation, and the church are in decline as a result of this lack of leadership, and God is not pleased.

Are you fulfilling your role as a leader?

Are you fulfilling your role as a leader?

Men, God wants us to take leadership in the home.  He wants us to take the helm, to be a man, a leader…especially when it comes to making the home a godly, spiritual sanctuary for your wife and children.  When we do this, that’s when WE…not our wives, not our parents, but WE…will be bringing our children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Our marriages will grow stronger, our families will be more godly, and over time our nation will begin to rise from her declining morality.  The church also will grow stronger.  After all, one of the scriptural qualifications of a leader in the church is that he “must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”  (1 Tim. 3:4-5)  Do we want stronger leaders in the church?  It starts with being a strong leader in the home.  It starts with husbands and fathers.

As a husband and father, I want to be the type of leader in the home that God wants me to be, and I want all of my fellow fathers and husbands to be the same.  I want wives and mothers to also be good leaders for your children, setting the proper example for them and for their husbands.  I want those who are in leadership positions in the workplace and who are leaders in the church to be the type of leaders God wants you to be.

When I think of biblical leadership, I think of Joshua, a man who had great influence over those in his generation (Josh. 24:29-31) because he was faithfully obedient to God’s Word (Josh. 1:7-8).  He was also a very humble man, shown by the fact the was willing to serve others both before and after he became a leader.  He served as Moses’ assistant for forty years (Ex. 24:13; 33:11), which tells me that great leaders are people who have no problem serving others.  In fact, serving others helps them to lead.  When Joshua took the helm after Moses’ death, God himself magnified the man (Josh. 3:7)…but Joshua didn’t let that go to his head.  He was still willing to serve One greater than himself (Josh. 5:13-15).  This tells me that I as a husband and father need to be humble if I want to be a great leader, because great leaders do not let praise go to their head.  Great leaders are humble enough to know when it is time to serve once again.  They are humble servants as well as leaders.

Joshua’s humility is shown even more when we see that he was a man of faith and trust in God.  When ten of his fellow spies had no faith in God (Num. 13:25-28), he and Caleb remained steadfast in spite of the peer pressure they felt to join the majority in their lack of faith (Num. 14:6-9).  Later, God would give this military commander with lots of military experience directions to take Jericho which would make no sense from a militarily strategic point of view…and Joshua obeyed them to the letter due to his strong faith and trust in God (Josh. 6:1-5; Heb. 11:30).  This tells me that great leaders realize that they cannot place their faith in men, or in themselves.  They must look to God and completely trust in him!

Closely related to this is another quality of Joshua that made him a great leader, the fact that he was a man of God’s Word (Josh. 1:7-8).  His success as a leader was directly related to his adherence to Scripture.  He would tell others to stay true to God’s Word (Josh. 1:12-15), and would read the entire law of Moses to the whole nation and commit them to obey it (Josh. 8:30-35).  Even at the end of his life, he was encouraging the nation to obey God’s Word (Josh. 23:6, 14-16).  The following passage sums it up best:  “Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did.  He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.”  (Josh. 11:15)

We know that faith comes from God’s Word (Rom. 10:17).  This means that I as a husband and father cannot expect to be a godly, faithful leader in the home without being a man who knows and follows all of God’s Word to the best of my ability.  None of us can be faithful leaders in the home, in the church, or in the workplace without being men and women of the Book.  God is telling us the same thing he told Joshua (Josh. 1:8; 1 Tim. 4:13-16).  Fathers and mothers, do you want to lead your children to heaven?  Husbands, do you want to lead your wife to heaven?  Bosses, do you want to show your employees the way to heaven?  Elders in the church, do you want every single member of your flock to go to heaven?  The way is simple.  Know God’s Word, and obey it.  All of it.

Additionally, we must follow Joshua’s example by being devoted to prayer.  When hard times came, Joshua and the elders of Israel prayed to God (Josh. 7:6-9).  Joshua would even take time to pray in the middle of waging a great battle (Josh. 10:12-14).  This tells me that he didn’t trust in his own strength; rather, he looked to the Lord for help.  Fathers, mothers, husbands, bosses, elders, deacons…when leaders need all the help they can get, they need to be people of prayer!

Basically, Joshua was a man who put God first.  We know this because he took the time IN THE MIDDLE OF A HUGE MILITARY CAMPAIGN to read the entirety of the Bible as it was at the time to the whole nation (Josh. 8:30-35), even when doing so would give his enemies time to regroup (Josh. 9:1-2).  Nevertheless, he still put God first.  He didn’t care what others did or thought.  As for him and his family, they would serve the Lord (Josh. 24:14-16).  That is my goal for my family.  Fathers, mothers, husbands, wives…is that your goal?  Employers, is that your goal for your company and business?  Pastors, deacons, is that your goal for the church?  Are all of us actively pursuing that goal?

Israel served God while Joshua was alive (Josh. 24:31).  Why did they do this?  Because Joshua was the type of leader that we need to be if we hope to lead our loved ones, our fellow Christians, and those who are lost to heaven.  Do you want your family, your church, and your employees to serve God?  Be a leader like Joshua.  It is my prayer that we can all be people of humility, men and women of faith and trust in God, men and women of the Word, men and women of prayer, men and women who put God first in all areas.

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Leaving the Church?

It’s Never O.K. to Leave the Church

In the past decade parents have shared countless stories of their children leaving the faith—so many that they have begun to blur together in my mind. There is the woman whose daughter dated a young man who took her away from the church, and then having accomplished removing her from the church, he left her. There is the man who literally had to sit down for several minutes and catch his breath he was crying so hard revealing that two of his children were now lost.

Leaving the Church will not make your life whole.

Leaving the Church will not make your life whole.

There are so many… (I wish I had written them down and kept a journal). There were children who never really engaged in the first place, and then there were those who were active in everything the church offered, but the ending of the story is the same. They are now lost. It’s the elephant in the room that we don’t talk about. In every congregation I visit there are couples who know the pain of a lost child (or children). Oh, we all know the elephant exists, but maybe if we don’t mention its presence, it will go away.

While many leaders and preachers in the church refuse to admit there is a problem, the evidence is right before our noses each week. In fact, in many congregations there is a complete missing generation of Christians in their 20s. The elephant is not going away. Instead, our lack of addressing the situation and looking for real solutions is only making the elephant grow bigger. We continue to do the same exact thing, expecting a different result. Because after all, if we talk about it then some might feel we are “judging” their past parenting choices. Or worse, they may leave the church building feeling sad.

It is time we wake up, church! It is time we admit the old system is broken. And it is time we as a body of believers roll up our sleeves and look for realistic solutions.

Here’s what I intend to teach my children regarding leaving the church.

I can assure you that on at least a few occasions there will be times when you question whether you want to be associated with the church.

For instance:

It may be when the preacher forgets to visit you when you are in the hospital.

It may be when no flowers are sent when one of your relatives dies.

It may be when someone says something very hurtful in the foyer.

It may be when someone pushes you out of their “area” like the audio/visual booth because that is “their domain.”

It may be when a youth minister talks condescendingly to you as a parent.

It may be when your preacher begins repeating sermons because of lack of preparation.

It may be when an elder begins to “lord” his position over the flock.

It may be when the congregation splits over personalities and emotions.

It may be when a new preacher arrives who for whatever reason doesn’t warm up to your family.

It may be when a deacon dismisses your ideas and suggestions.

It may be when you feel like the congregation has grown cold and sterile.

It may be when you feel like every one is in a clique and you are always on the outside looking in.

It may be when a song leader refuses to sing songs you love to sing.

It may be when a Christian borrows something and never returns it.

It may be when the eldership gives in to the desires of some of the members rather than standing up for what is right.

It may be when your children are hurt because of the actions of others.

But whatever the reason, never ever leave the church! God had a perfect plan before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20; Ephesians 1:4; see also 2 Timothy 1:8-9). Here is the reality—God designed a perfect church and Jesus Christ founded it. However, that church is comprised of imperfect people. Some of those people will hurt you. Some may let you down. Others may stir up feelings of anger. But never forget that you too are imperfect. You will, on occasion, let others down. You will also hurt people and may cause feelings of anger.

You have witnessed first-hand the sadness and hurt that your mom and I feel each time we hear about someone we know who has children who have left the church. The very thought of it rocks us to our core, and reminds us once again what our job on this earth truly is. Understand that should you ever make the decision to leave, I will not just watch you go.

I will be by your side teaching, crying, admonishing, and when necessary, rebuking you, in an effort to bring you back. I will encourage your siblings to reach out to you in love and help bring you back as well. I will not rest until you are back in the fold. When I finally lay down to take my last breath, the only thing I really want to think about in that moment is that my children (and grandchildren) are all faithful—and thus I will see them again one day soon.

As you seek to find your place in the body, you need to do all you can to get along with those around you. Paul admonished, “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). Find your place in the body and get busy serving Him rather than focusing on all the imperfections around you.

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David and the Psalms

David and the Psalms

My appreciation for the book of Psalms is far greater than I had as a younger Christian. It may be because of a better grasp of the Bible, or perhaps, I have a greater understanding of the purpose of life. Most of the psalms were written by David, the man whose heart was like God’s heart. It is in the historical books we read about the thrilling events which happened in his life. However, it is in the psalms where David opens the depths of his soul so we can learn about his heart. Look at Psalm 131 to see this.

In the psalms of David, we find hope.

In the psalms of David, we find hope.

David, himself, and the world. “Lord, my heart is not haughty (marginal reading is “proud”), nor my eyes lofty (marginal reading is “arrogant”). Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me” (v. 1). Our world is so amazingly complex, and all that happens in it can so easily distract us as we try to figure it all out. Wars, rumors of wars, pestilences, earthquakes, revolution among the nations, political unrest in our own land and the struggles created by ungodly men can so easily overwhelm us. There are those things which are, to use the words of David, “great matters” and “too profound for me.” David’s solution was not to become haughty or to focus his eyes on such matters. David understood there were greater matters and more lofty matters on which to focus. What are these greater matters? Look at the next verse.

David, himself, and God. How did David react with the complexity of life around him? “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul. Like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me” (v. 2). A newborn baby is helpless, for he understands nothing about his new world. One thing he does know is that his midnight cries bring his mother to hold him, to embrace him and to nurture him. There is no place more comforting on this earth for that infant. The same is true of a child who is weaned. He no longer needs his mother to feed him, but, oh how much comfort his mother’s kisses, hugs and loving words bring to him—even as an adult. David had found the way and the perfect place to have that same peace in his life.

David, himself, and the future. Where was that place? “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever” (v. 3). David, how do you handle the “great matters” and the “things to profound for me”? How do you handle the profound complexities of life? His answer—hope. One word sums it up. God is in charge, and He promises He will handle our future (Heb. 13:5-6; Rom. 8:28). How did David instruct the Jews to deal with “great matters and profound things?” One word—hope! How does David’s psalm show us how to deal with things we cannot understand or control? One word—hope! If a young child finds comfort when held by his mother, how much more should we find comfort in His arms? Remember David’s one word—hope!

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