Men to Know: John Mark


For the most part when I look at who I want to highlight in the Bible I look for uncommon men who provide an uncommon lesson that just makes sense when it clicks. Sometimes, like today I look at the life of a well known man from the Bible. In fact, how about someone who wrote Bible? How amazing is that?! The life of John Mark or as we refer to him, Mark was much like our own. He was young at one time, thought he knew best and…well let’s dive in to see how that worked out for him.


John Marks beginnings start in Luke’s book Acts 12:12 where we find that he is the son of a woman named Mary. His mother was prominent in the Jerusalem church and it was not uncommon that their home was a meeting place for some of the congregation. We also know from Colossians that he was the cousin to Barnabas, a traveling companion of Paul. So here we have John Mark (JM), the son of a committed family to the church and cousin to the traveling companion of Paul who made it his life’s mission to bring God’s word to the gentiles. He was in some pretty amazing spiritual company you know?

John Mark’s Departure

We find that John Mark was the helper to Barnabas and Paul’s very first journey to spread the message Christ gave them (Acts 13:5). This great journey for JM was not all ups with no downs. Instead, after their visit in Cyprus he left Paul and Barnabas to return to Jerusalem (Acts 13:4-13).  The Bible doesn’t say why or what caused this departure but it was a cleaving point in Paul’s mind. He and Barnabas continued their journey to Antioch, Iconium and to Lystra where Paul was stoned and thought dead but rose when the disciples around him were to pray. The next day and went to Derbe to speak God’s word. This dude’s work ethic puts us all to shame!

A Second Chance

Barnabas is called the “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36) and he did just that when Paul and he were planning their next mission trip from Jerusalem. He made a case for JM to come along again but Paul was having none of it. They had a “sharp disagreement” and parted ways. Paul took Silas and headed towards Syria. Barnabas took JM and headed across the sea to Cyprus (Acts 15:36-41). We don’t hear much about John Mark after this which leaves us to wonder if God had given him a chance at redeeming himself or if he was a lost cause. Does Paul continue to hold him at arms length after his desertion in Cyprus?

Fifteen Years

God is really good. We step away from Him purposefully and knowingly and yet He is always there for us. What of John Mark? Does he deserve that unchanging grace? Of course he does and if we look at Paul’s letters later in his life, around fifteen years from the sharp disagreement he had with Barnabas, we see a softening of heart in Paul. In Colossians 4:10-11 we see Paul tell the church in Colossae to welcome John Mark and that John Mark has been a comfort to him.

Paul continues to place JM close to his heart as he describes him as a fellow worker in Philemon 1:23-24. His final note to Timothy is one showing his adoration for John Mark as he tells Timothy to “Get Mark…because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:11).

Big Idea

John Mark’s life is proof that the early hiccups you have in life are not a death sentence to separate you from the glory of God. He is righteous and forgiving. We are so easy to look at our stumbles and become crestfallen over them that we don’t see the work God has prepared for us.

John Mark did two great things and he may have only been aware of one of them. He wrote Bible and that is the easiest one for us to see and discern. Yet if we look back we can see that the separation of Paul and Barnabas did great work because now there were two strong teams out spreading the word to the gentiles.

We know God’s long game, He has put it directly into writing for us. We should be focusing on what is right in front of us because our faith in the work of Christ has cemented our salvation by God’s decree. There is no refund on that glory, there is no loss of that redemption. Instead dust yourself off and do what John Mark did. He seized that chance in life and set the world on fire for God.

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Men to Know: Manasseh

King Manasseh

“I am not good enough.” – everyone at some time.

King Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1-18 and 2 Chronicles 33:1-20) is probably the most reviled if not the most wicked king that Judah ever had in the history of the tribe. This was a man who intentionally did undid all of his father’s (Hezekiah) work in removing idolatry in Judah. He rebuilt tore down altars and he created an Asherah as Ahab had done. He went beyond just that he began building altars to idols within the temple of the Lord. The place that God told David and Solomon would be where his name resided forever. Manasseh did some terrible things that even now my heart tightens at the thought of this but he sacrificed his own son by burning him.

I mean, can you draw the line any clearer that you hate God?

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God’s Plan of Restoration

God's Restoration

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

We start this devotional with the great commission. What has happened is that Jesus has died, taken humanities sin with Him in to death and then in His resurrection has conquered death. He then spent forty days (Acts 1:3-5) with them preparing the disciples for His departure. It is in this time that Jesus laid down his plans and revealed to the disciples God’s plan of restoration for all people. It is where the separation of Jews and Gentiles is wiped away by the words of God’s Son. Salvation was intended for all peoples since God’s plan began with Adam and Eve and we have all sprung forth from them.

Our Responsibility for Restoration

We do have a duty as Christians in the restoration of humanity. Our Testimony helps fulfill that duty as we are obeying the Great Commission. Every time that we allow our distaste for anyone not Christian to take over it sends the message that Christ is not for them. It sends the message that Christians are an elite group unwilling to listen to a broken heart. And that is not what we are, it si not who we are. We are just as broken as they are, our iniquity is just different. When a man of the faith wanders and it wrecks his family because of his sin it sends a terrible message. Compounding that by ostracizing that man propagates that elitist image. Men, reach out to him and offer the strength of faith through Christ for this brother that has went to the wayside.

Our duty for restoration is not limited to Christians but to the lost as well. At Harvest Bible Chapel Hickory we are taking a class in Christology and Adam Ashoff walked us through a part of Ezekiel that makes that very very clear (Ezekiel 33:1-9) this comes from the Old Testament (OT) and then we have Christ in the New Testament (NT) giving the Great Commission that reiterates the total inclusion of every person in God’s plan. It is really amazing to see how the OT and NT were so well laid by God. We as the Watchmen are duty-filled to tell the people and the lost.

It may be hard to do that given whatever the sin may be. I admit I would have a hard time reaching out to someone who had hurt a child or raped a woman. Those things are my weakness in being forgiving but I pray that God gives em the strength to be like His Son if I am ever faced with those realities. Ultimately our responsibility for restoration lies in our testimony of who God is, what God can do, why Jesus died for us and how we can find redemption in that shed blood so that our salvation is secure.

Final Thoughts

God has given us an invitation to be part of His plan. His work of restoration for humanity has not ended and will not end until the Rapture. If the Father’s work, the one who has given everything to redeem us, does not end with Christ’s resurrection then why should our work end with our salvation? Our salvation is our resurrection, our life beginning and we know this because Ephesians 2 explains it with perfect clarity that we have been dead spiritually. Our story ends when we are with the Lord and are in eternity with him. That is the true plan of God’s restoration of humanity.

The Consequences of Sin

Consequences of Sin

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. – Genesis 3:17

Prior to the Fall man lived in harmony with God. So much so that we had direct communion with Him. That’s amazing isn’t it? Speaking directly with the Creator. No mediator is how God intended our relationship with Him because of all animals man was given the ability to speak and think on a level higher than any other creation. Given that God is omniscient can you see how sad it would be to know your creation would fall from grace and turn it’s back upon You. That their actions would have dire consequences. That You would give Your own son to adopt multitudes more through His bloodshed.

We see some of that with our children don’t we? These children are created from us and they grow and become independent. They will sometimes test boundaries we put them within and other times they will flat out ignore them. As parents we want our children to love us eternally and to always follow the rules because we have been children, we know the consequences of our actions and the potential punishment that comes with ignoring the rules. We also set those rules to keep them safe. Not just from others but from themselves. Still, what kind of joy is it to have a child that does not do for themselves and think for themselves. I can build a robot if I want something entirely submissive to my will. Our children choose to obey because they love us, because it suits their wants or because they understand the wisdom of our boundaries. We have to be okay with the times that they don’t agree with them as well.

What are the Consequences of Sin?

It’s easy to think that our sin is minor. Something no one will know or care about as long as we are good at keeping it hidden. The sins we commit hurt us, look at the unfortunate circumstance of Uzzah from 2 Samuel 6:1-7, despite his good intentions he touched the Ark of the Covenant and was killed immediately. David was angry at God for that but the death of Uzzah happened to be a mixture of David’s fault since he ignored God’s commands on how the Ark was to be moved and Uzzah’s disobedience of touching the Ark. This includes a second of several consequences of sin, David sinned by ignoring God’s instructions but because of that sin the Ark was not carried properly and when the oxen stumbled Uzzah sinned by touching the Ark to steady it. Uzzah paid the consequences of sin by death. Sin hurts you and it hurts others.

Sin brings spiritual consequences with it as well. We become separated from God when not following His laws and it can be a slippery slope. Sin begets sin, first it starts with a wandering eye and then flirting and oftentimes coveting and ultimately adultery. For the believer we have the Holy Spirit there to reign us back in and convict us of our transgressions (John 16:7-8) but for the unbeliever they will need help and that my friends is the good news…

Final Thoughts

Sin does not have to mean death. Sin does not have to mean eternal separation from God. It can be those things but it can also be the catalyst that shows you how broken you are. The consequences of sin can be nullified by the salvation Jesus offered us when He willingly came to earth and was slain as the lamb only to defeat death like the lion of Judah that He is. God has done all the work for us to rise back to grace. We have to choose it. He chases us without remorse.

Sometimes we have to draw a line in the sand about things and for me, it’s time I do that. If you sin and proclaim that you have salvation upon your heart then you should be convicted by the Holy Spirit to repent. If you don’t then you should take a step back and consider if you have been redeemed. Jesus can save us but it takes a willing heart, an intentional mind and a soul on fire for God. Asking forgiveness just to avoid Hell doesn’t secure our place, it takes faith, it takes grit and a broken heart only Christ can mend.

What Does God Mean to You?

What Does God Mean to You

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. – Genesis 3:6

Last time I asked ‘Who is God to You?‘ but now I am asking you, and myself, ‘What Does God Mean to You?’ they really are different questions. One inquires in to the title we give God which are many because He is everything.  Today though we ask what does He mean to us ultimately. Genesis is an interesting book because it shows us several things that are important to our existence and to our relationship with God as it is now. Humanity was pulled in to sin because we have a weakness for thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. I’ve heard Christians say that woman caused man to fall from grace because she ate of the fruit first, bluntly put, that is hogwash. Adam was with her and he was from his creation, charged with leading his wife and protecting her from harm. That does not mean just physically but spiritually. Adam failed to do that, sin came by man’s inability to follow God’s command. The sin of eating the fruit is a byproduct of Adam’s failure which is why you’ll see referenced in 1 Corinthians 15:21 that death came through man, not woman. To give that some support Romans 6:23 tells us what caused man to be yoked with death, sin. Now, we have these creatures that God created who have turned from Him. What does God mean to them?

What Does God Mean to the World

God means hope. God means love. Great and powerful things but what does God mean that is greater than both? Redemption. Even though God was angry with Adam and Eve, He did not kill them. Instead he sent them from the Garden of Eden and warned them that life would be extremely difficult for them compared to how they had lived before. I find it compelling to point out that Jesus promised us hardships as well (John 16:33). It’s like man just doesn’t get it. We are a stubborn and spoiled lot. Basically poking God in the eye by disobeying and yet He gives us his son for our redemption and we slay Him. Yet He turns the other cheek waiting for us to cause Him strife again and is waiting to forgive us, again. It’s like that with my kids some days, they just don’t want to listen. So I correct them and I correct them again but I still love them either way. God is just like that but better because He provided a path to allow us to find His grace once more so that we can walk beside Him once again. God is redemption, the only redemption you can use and the only redemption you need. That is what God means to the world.

Final Thoughts

God is the world’s only chance at redemption. That means that God is salvation to you, to me, anyone. While we are free to receive the holy spirit within us we must make a commitment to Him. It’s simple, in order to have been forgiven you must accept the truth of the gospel of Christ. It is only by Him that we can find redemption and have salvation. So, what does God mean to me? Everything.

Daily Devotional – Our Salvation

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

God knows the meaning of getting involved. He’s been involved with everything that has happened because he created earth, it’s waters, animals, plants and us. It is a hard idea to come to terms with for many people. This being who is all powerful, all knowing and always present has created us and knows all of history. He knew that Eve would disobey and that Adam would fall with her. As a parent we know that our children must fail and they must succeed on their own. What is the point of having children and not understanding the spontaneity they provide? An army of robots is not enjoyable. Knowing we would fail miserably God gave us the chance to earn our salvation. Have you ever allowed your child to accomplish something difficult because you knew they could do it with effort? That look on their face was magical when they found success. God wants that when it comes to our salvation.

God’s Involvement

Think about this for a moment. You have an employee who is always on time and always contributing to a meeting or email thread. They excel at their job and they look for ways to improve your business. That employee is fully involved in your company culture. They see that company as their work, family and their own business. God is like this but in so many ways more! He is there when you graduate Pre-K, elementary, middle, high school and college. He wants you to succeed in life and he is there when you’re having babies or burying loved ones. When you find joy over a child’s first steps or cry when a pet dies. He is fully involved in your life, ever detail he is aware (Hebrews 4:13). Our best and worst times are all accounted for. He knows when we succeed and celebrates that. He knows when we fail and is there to help us rise again. No employee is that dedicated.

Our Salvation = Getting Involved

If Jesus had never came where would we be? What if he had but he did not get involved with humanities struggles against the enemy? Thank God that did not happen. Instead He got involved with us and understood humanity from the human form. He died a physical death that He did not deserve and took with Him all of the sin that man had committed and would commit. We owe Him to get involved with others. Jesus didn’t shun the blind he healed them. He did not run from lepers and death. He confronted every difficulty and no matter how difficult it may have been he stayed involved and bled for our salvation. If you are a parent who is reading this, wouldn’t you do that for your kids? For any child? God isn’t selfish about who Jesus died for, He adopted all of us. We are eternally His children no matter our age, no matter our season.

Final Thoughts

Jesus paid a price we couldn’t ever come up with. Knowing that, knowing that it was God’s only Son, it isn’t hard to see how important our salvation is to God. Before Jesus man was damned. Didn’t matter who you were. God wanted to make us His once more but still give us the freedom of choice that He imbued in us. We, myself included since I’m just as guilty, have a tendency to not get involved with others who are hurting. It’s a fine situation that sometimes you’re going to stumble at, even with good intentions. Obviously forcing yourself in to someone’s life is not what I am talking about but it happens! If you know someone is hurting, reach out continually. Love on them even if they will only allow so from a distance. God works on hearts all the time and you never know when God is going to use your testimony to spark that fire in a dead heart.

Knowing all of this, how can you not get involved? It is impossible to not want to be.

Daily Devotional – My Heavenly Father

Heavenly Father

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. – 1 John 3:1

There are only a handful of names I really enjoy being called in life. Son, Brother, Dad or Daddy, Scotty (I get this more than Daddy and that is okay), Fiancé and most importantly, child of God. While I may not physically hear this from the lips of God I can hear it in my heart. God is such a good Father, in ways I will never be able to be. He takes care of things I can never imagine handling. All the children that need his attention and battling with the enemy to me seems insurmountable. He is our Heavenly Father who dwells in all places in all times so that His children’s spirit is watched over.

Tough Love

I want to share a story with you about a time when I was a child and I had inadvertently terrified my parents. After school in the city was an interesting time. You had to do your homework and then you could go play. I was originally just going to play on the sidewalk in front of my house and that is what I told my mom. After being out there a few minutes I realized that the small church right up the road was having after school Bible study and I so wanted to go! In my excitement I completely forgot to tell my mom that was what I wanted to do and I just went. After the program was over for the day I left the church feeling happy and I had some craft with me. As I was walking up the concrete walkway to leave the church grounds I heard, “There he is!” and looked up to see my Uncle Timmy stalking towards me. I was terrified, I didn’t understand what I had done wrong as he hoisted me up and carried me down the street to home. There I was summarily passed to my father who was intent to take me upstairs and show my hind end a thing or two with his (even in my eyes today) giant meaty man-bear-paw. Mom stopped him and reminded him that I did not even know what I had done. I was sat down and explained that I had not told mom where I was, the police were called and it was a big mess. I don’t like disappointing my family, especially my parents and I had. I was crestfallen and even though I knew I had done wrong I was punished as well. Even though some parents would have given me a pass because of the relief that I was safe and not abducted. God believe in the same thing (Hebrews 12:5-11) though I think that sometimes we misinterpret the intentions of tough love and use it as a means to justify being mean to our children when they are frustrating us. I’m guilty of it, I try to dissuade myself from irritating them back as a form of punishment but frankly, it isn’t is and I beg God’s forgiveness often and pray that I have the strength through Him to be less like that.

Heavenly Comfort

I fullt believe the comfort we get from God is not from single method. God is omniscient and He knows that we may not get our comfort in ways that someone right next to us does. Some week prayer to provide comfort and some look to friends or family. God can provide comfort in all ways but I do believer that the heavenly comfort we get from God is not by praying alone. The heavenly comfort that God blesses us with can be sought out in church. Christ was the center of the church and if we go to a place where God’s children gather we can tap in to that source of amazing heavenly love.

Final Thoughts

God does not seek to give us punishment but He does expect His children to follow His words. We should not hide our faults from God like Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) did, you cannot hide from God. It’s that weird power our parents posses, when they know you’re doing something you shouldn’t and you think you have gotten away with it and then the hammer comes down. Parenting is no walk in the park, you have to balance love, discipline, praise and many other factors to set boundaries but also encourage your children. God has given us boundaries and he has given us praise and rewarded us greatly through the death of Christ, even if we were unworthy. This heavenly love is incomparable and even though we know we are a child of God, we never really grasp all the complexities that it entails.

Daily Devotional – Walking through Fire

Through the Fire

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. – Isaiah 43:2

With the way we run our lives today it is so easy for us to feel like we are drowning in obligations, duties and societies demands on us. God tell us and Jesus showed us that he will lead us through the waters. He also showed us through Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that  He will walk with us through the fires of our lives and be protected. Our faith can be so tenuous and yet He reaches out time and again whenever we turn on Him or ignore His will for our own. He keeps reaching and even into the fire He will grab us out of damnation and place us on a road to His kingdom but we have to walk it.

Fire Through the Bible

Like water, fire winds through the Bible showing the uses for it in both practical matters and in symbolic fashion. After the Fall, God placed Cherubims at the east of the garden and a flaming sword. Man is the only animal that cooks, we are unique in that fact. The next time we see fire in the Bible it is not for a good reason. Cain and Abel, the first children of Adam and Eve are giving sacrifices to God. Abel’s’ sacrifice of meat burns but Cain’s sacrifice of  produce does not and it makes Cain angry. So angry in fact that he kills his brother. We see fire when God protects Israel throughout the nights as they leave Egypt and even at the end of the Bible we see Paul speak of it in Revelations.

Final Thoughts

God promises that he will lead us through the fires but it doesn’t mean he protects us from difficulties of life. God’s goal is to protect us from the fire of hell. I’m not getting all Southern Baptist guts on the floor you are damned at all but it’s true, God wants us home with Him. He wants to guide our souls from the eternal separation that exists when we are not seeking Him. Even if we are saved when we wander off we are separated and even though we will be welcome into His kingdom our rewards are directly connected to our deeds (Revelation 22:12). It doesn’t matter what those rewards may be, God is giving you something when he does not have to. His presence will be more than enough to satiate our desires. When that day comes in each of our lives the fires we have walked through will be insignificant to being there with the Father.

Daily Devotional – Through the Waters

Through the Waters

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. – Isaiah 43:2

Water is vital to the Bible. It is vital for us to live. Water provides us with healing of the body. The connection to water is strong in the Bible and there is a lot of symbolism that occurs with it. We are baptized in water to symbolize the resurrection of our life in Christ. We say that our sins are washed in the blood of Jesus and that is what the water represents during the baptism. As we pass through the waters all things are new. Water did more than heal, it also destroyed. In that destruction, each time, God protected His children.

The Flood

The flood occurs in Genesis 7:1-24 for the uninformed God spoke with Noah and saw him righteous. He saved Noah and his family against the destruction that He had promised. The Earth was flooded as the waters rose and everyone but those on the ark perished. God made a covenant afterward to never curse the ground for the sake of man again and He would never destroy every living thing as He had done. The curse upon the ground that God speaks of comes from the curse He had laid upon the Earth during the fall. This curse made it harder for man to find sustenance whereas in the Garden the fruit grew from it’s perfect ground and all things flourished. God lifted this curse as the flood had abated His anger, even in His disappointment of humanity, God found someone, some people worthy to love enough to save.

The Red Sea

The parting of the Red Sea happens in Exodus 14:1-31 in this God had delivered the Israelite people from Egypt and led them to a place call Pi Hahiroth where they were to encamp. God told Moses he would harden the heart of Pharaoh and that Pharaoh would pursue them. He did so bringing out a massive army. There, in Israel’s doubt of God, Moses lifted his hand and his staff and the Lord parted the sea so that through the night His people could cross to safety. When dawn was nearing and Egypt pursued them across the sea bed God cause their chariots to become stick. He then commanded Moses to lift his hand once more and when Moses did the sea closed around the army of Egypt and the waters swept them all away with no survivors. God was fulfilling his promise in Isaiah long before it was made.

Final Thoughts

I don’t know about you but I have issues with doubt. I genuinely think we all do because we were given free will. It can express itself in many ways and one of those ways is by listening to the enemy. He will lead us in to troubled waters much like the experience of the disciples on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus wanted to cross the sea and slept along the way. Even though He was with the disciples in the flesh, they doubted and woke Him. This was the first time Jesus calmed the storm for the disciples. It wouldn’t be the last.

We are constantly are struggle with many things in our lives and those trouble waters can be hard to navigate because we try to control them when we really need to stop holding on and just be held by Him. I certainly founder here but even in the storms God has not let me lose focus. I love Him more every single day because I am pursuing Him. I want my race (John 7:38-39) to mean something. With God as the captain you can navigate the toughest rivers and you will never be left to tread water.

Daily Devotional – Scary Shadows


What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31

I can remember being a child sometimes and in those moments I remember some of my fears that are now just amusing and down right silly. Especially of shadows. I hated going in to the basement as a kid because I watched a lot of horror movies. Totally cool until the movie is over and you’re home alone. That fear comes from the idea that I didn’t think I was in a safe place even though I really was. It’s like that now, with God. See, I can scare myself with shadows, these what-ifs and maybes because I doubt in His plan for me sometime.

Faith in the Shadows

God is light and the devil flees from his brilliance. I think that for me, a mantra like that reminds me that no matter the problem, no matter the difficulties that lie ahead if I can keep my focus on God then he promises to see me through. He is the Father and one of the primary duties of a father is to protect his children. When I was little and afraid it was because my faith in the protection my mother and father had given me was foundering. Not because they were poor parents, in fact I have been blessed with amazing parents! It was from my lack of faith in them because I was allowing fear to supersede my knowledge of protection. I know that God is my portion and that it is fulfilling beyond measure but I am human, I fail, I doubt. He loves me anyway. It’s what a Father does. No matter how truant a youth may be his hand is there to hold and lead you and I from the darkness.

Become a Shadow-chaser

This just popped in to my head while writing but why can we not help chase the shadows away? God’s light is within us, it is given to us when we acknowledge there is no higher power than He. We can use that to help lead others from the shadows in to the light. This does not mean we are giving the lost salvation but instead guiding them to Jesus. The shadows retreat within the soul. God’s hand is what chases that away, no man can do this thing but Jesus.

Final Thoughts

All of this reminds me of a favorite song, “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”

[su_quote]Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
Whats done in the dark will be brought to the light[/su_quote]

It is a warning to sinners. While we are repentant as Christians it should be a warning to us that no matter what we do, seen or unseen, God knows. The shadows aren’t nearly as scary as the disappointment of the Father in his children who wander. God is forgiving, the shadows, are not.

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