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A Million Miracles

Listen to this rather frightening Bible verse: ?Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour? (1 Peter 5:8). Romans 6:23 warns that ?the wages of sin is death.?

Devour? Death? Not a pleasant thought. Haven?t you ever sinned? I know I have. The Bible says that ?all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God? (Romans 3:23, KJV). But you?re not dead. I?m not dead. Why? Because of a miracle.

You see, the devil would have us in constant pain, constant turmoil, and constantly dead. Thus anything other than being dead is a miracle from God.

The fact that you can learn interesting stuff at school is also a miracle. When your mom or dad does something that makes you laugh and laugh, that?s a miracle. Or when you feel love for an animal or person, when you enjoy your favorite food, or when you feel the cool breezes of summer or soak in the warmth of a crackling winter fire?those are miracles too.

The next time you take in a breath or experience joy, remember, you?ve received yet another miracle from God.  

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Have you ever played with a boomerang? You hold it by one end and throw it with a twist of your wrist to send it spinning through the air. People who have had lots of practice and know just what to do are able to throw a boomerang so that it curves back toward them as it flies through the air. They can make the boomerang return to them. Some people can make a Frisbee return too.

Have you ever heard the saying ?What goes around comes around?? Yes, it sounds like nonsense. It means that your actions make a difference in the things that happen to you later. What you do will ?come around? again. The way you behave will ?boomerang? in the way people treat you.

In another version, today?s Bible text is translated, ?Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days? (Ecclesiastes 11:1, KJV). That really sounds like nonsense. But think about what would happen if you took that advice. If you always share with your brother, how do you think he will feel about sharing with you? If you speak politely to your teacher and always stick up for your friends, what do you think they will say about you? If you obey, what are the chances that you will get into trouble?

Casting your bread upon the waters makes a lot of sense after all.

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Remember, Do Not Forget

Great things are before us, and we want to call the people from their indifference, to get ready for that day. We are not now to cast away our confidence, but to have firm assurance, firmer than ever before. Hitherto hath the Lord helped us, and He will help us to the end. We will look to the monumental pillars, reminders of what the Lord hath done for us, to comfort and to save us from the hand of the destroyer. We want to have fresh in our memory every tear the Lord has wiped from our eyes, every pain He has soothed, every anxiety removed, every fear dispelled, every want supplied, every mercy bestowed, and strengthen ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage.

We can but look onward to new perplexities in the coming conflict, but we may well look on what is past as well as what is to come, and say, ?Hitherto hath the Lord helped us? (1 Samuel 7:12). . . . The trial will not exceed the strength which shall be given us to bear it.?This Day With God, p. 58.

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Remember, Do Not Forget

One of the most troubling and worst sins of God?s people in biblical times was (and unfortunately still is) forgetfulness. In order to prevent forgetting, the book of Deuteronomy underlines the importance of remembering and testifies as to how the Lord led Israel in the past. But after a time, believers easily forget God?s mighty deeds on their behalf, take them for granted and do not appreciate them. They become normal, assumed, and common, and they evaporate from memory. This is why Scripture admonishes us to actively remember God, His ways, and His leadership. God wants us to seek and value fresh insights through His goodness as demonstrated toward His people. His providence, grace, care, and faithfulness are proven by His past actions, and we should not forget them.

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Man Dies and Is Laid Away

In the Bible, death is referred to as sleep. In the Old Testament, three Hebrew words are used to describe death as sleep. The first is shâkab, and it is used in the expression so and so ?slept with his fathers? (Genesis 28:11; Deuteronomy 31:16; 2 Samuel 7:12; 1 Kings 2:10).45 The second word is yâshên, used as the verb ?to sleep? (Jeremiah 51:39, 57; Ezekiel 34:25).46 In Daniel 12:2, we read, ?And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.? The third word is shênâh, and it is used by Job in his description of death,

?But man dies and is laid away;

Indeed he breathes his last,

And where is he?

As water disappears from the sea,

And a river becomes parched and dries up,

So man lies down and does not rise.

Till the heavens are no more,

They will not awake

Nor be roused from their sleep? (Job 14:10?12).

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Testing God

There wasn?t enough food in the house. For the second month, we were running short on key items. Because we shopped monthly, it meant that we would have to borrow from somewhere else to top off our supply. The budget was tight. ?Borrowing? would make us short in another area. We were discouraged. ?Why does this keep on happening?? my husband wondered. ?We tithe. We?re not robbing God. So why don?t we have enough food to eat?? We hadn?t always been faithful. We had both gone through periods where we had not tithed. Strangely enough, it seemed that when we weren?t tithing, we had enough. So why was it that when we were faithful, we ran out of food?

I reached for my Bible and read Malachi 3:8?10. If we were going to claim the promise, we would have to make sure that we were meeting any stipulated conditions. The words ?And try Me now in this? leaped off the page. ?That?s it!? I said to my husband. ?It?s a conditional promise?there are two things we?re supposed to do, but we?ve only been doing one. We?re to bring the tithes into God?s house and try Him. To try God is to test Him to prove that He is faithful.? We prayed and reminded God that we were being faithful and asked Him to be faithful to us. This happened in November. My husband worked in a supermarket as the warehouse supervisor but had recently been transferred to the shop floor. Usually, at the end of the year, warehouse personnel would receive gifts from various suppliers. Since he was no longer in the warehouse, we knew there would be no gifts that year. But that was before we tested God.

In December, the gift baskets started rolling in. When my husband brought home the first basket, I was surprised. That year he received more gift baskets than he had ever received. We had a surplus of food, which we shared with our family. God had proved Himself to be faithful.

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Coming Back to Save a Church?

At the end of the day, God is not coming back to save a specific church. He is coming back to save individuals who have formed their own personal relationship with Him and are committed at all costs to protecting and preserving His truth.

It was vanity and idiocy that led me to assume that only my church held the individuals committed to truth. God told me in John 10:16, ?I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.?

You are not alone. God has others all around the world, of all different denominations, whom He has called, just like you, to life at this very moment in earth?s history to accomplish this great work. Let us pray to encourage one another that we may commit to worshiping Him in both Spirit and in truth.

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The Hidden Gold in Doing Nothing

Luke 10:38-42

If you find that being productive and pushing for perfection is stealing your joy of living, like it was doing for Martha, maybe it?s time for you to choose to be a little more like Mary. Take a break from your ?to-do? list and go for the gold of doing ?nothing?!

Just enjoy being the person God created you to be instead of thinking you?ve got to always be doing something productive to be accepted. Remember, you are far more valuable to God than the things you think you have to do for Him!

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He Restores My Soul

I?m looking at family pictures of the last time I visited the park like cemetery. I recall how, in air fragrant with the scent of pine needles, we laid floral tributes of red, yellow, and pink roses. The sky suddenly filled with the most brilliant amber, complemented perfectly with hues of amethyst and pink. Sunset is merely a prelude to the dawn, yet its majesty filled our hearts as we held hands and sang the last verse of Beyond the Sunset:

Jesus is the Master Creator of nature and music. In that brief window of time, we felt the love. We were not alone; we had memories tucked in our hearts. My eyes drifted upward in oneness with the glow in the sky. Like the sunset, what a glorious place this will be when Jesus comes! The graves will be opened, and loved ones will rise to be forever together in heaven and in our earth made new!

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With All Your Heart

Like Nicodemus, we must be willing to enter into life in the same way as the chief of sinners. . . . [But] we cannot even repent without the aid of the Spirit of God. The Scripture says of Christ, ?Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.? Acts 5:31. Repentance comes from Christ as truly as does pardon.

How, then, are we to be saved? . . . The light shining from the cross reveals the love of God. His love is drawing us to Himself. If we do not resist this drawing, we shall be led to the foot of the cross in repentance for the sins that have crucified the Saviour. Then the Spirit of God through faith produces a new life in the soul. The thoughts and desires are brought into obedience to the will of Christ. The heart, the mind, are created anew in the image of Him who works in us to sub­due all things to Himself.?The Desire of Ages, pp. 175, 176.

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And it Begins Again

I read my Bible, I know my Scripture, I know the signs of the times. But do we?

During the 1800s when our church was being formed, J. N. Andrews and others gathered around candlelight to read Scripture habitually. When someone asked Andrews the question, J. N., could you reproduce the Bible if we lost it? he responded, No, but I could produce almost the entire New Testament.

That?s humbling for those of us who think we have what it takes. We think we are righteous because of our knowledge. But I am telling you, there is a vast difference between being righteous and being self-righteous.

God is calling us back to a deeper study and understanding of His Word.

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Midnight Walk

We walked about four miles to a park.  By the time we had gotten to the park, it was about midnight.   I attempted to run away from them, but they ran after me, captured me, as one held on to the left arm and the other on the right arm.  They forced me to the middle of the park and then stopped.  I thought this was the end, so I started to pray and submit my life into the hands of God.  I anticipated a knife stab or a shot.  I closed my eyes and started to pray.

Three minutes went by, nothing happened, six minutes, nothing happened, ten minutes, nothing.  Then, my cousin broke the silence saying, Look, we saw what happened to you.  We saw how everyone humiliated you, spit on you, and beat you.  Why?  You are either crazy to go through what you went through or you have something we?d like to have too.

That night, I experienced the joy of waiting on God and watching what He does!

God always awakens in the hearts of people an interest in Him as they see others go through difficult times an yet stand firm for the Lord.

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