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What Is Love? God's Point-of-View (Part Four)

by Bobby Bruno  
7/25/2014 / Christian Living


Of all the love that God has shown us there is no greater display of His love for His creation than when He came to earth, wrapped Himself in human flesh, took on our sins, and died on the cross, shedding His own blood that we may find salvation in His mercy and goodness. God could have left us alone, buried in our sins and living miserable lives, but His great love would not let us. He created us, let us go our own way, but refuses to let us stay there. When we accept the free gift of the life and death of His Son, Jesus, God covers us with the righteousness of Christ. No longer does He see our sins, but forever does He see His Son in us through the Holy Spirit that God places in us when we acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and Savior. When we have done this our lives begin to dramatically change as Jesus begins to change our hearts and fills us with His Holy Spirit. Suddenly, our vision of love for God and others also changes as we begin to see everything about creation from the eyes of God.

For me, personally, I have found that the greatest verses in the Bible that explain the changes in our lives that take place the moment we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior are from the Book of Psalms. Psalm 23:1-6 (NKJV) contains promises from God that show us what Jesus does for us and in us upon salvation. Many authors that write about these matters usually use the New Testament verses that explain what happens to us when we become saved. But it is widely known that there are places where Jesus Himself is proclaimed throughout the entire Bible. These are called "types of Jesus" that run throughout the Old Testament; so many that it would take a book or two to chart and describe all of them. Psalm 23 is one of those types where we can see Jesus in the words that David wrote in worship to God, for Jesus accomplishes all of the verses of this psalm in the lives of those who are born again in Him.

When David wrote this psalm, he had no idea that he would become a type of Christ. And if you would have told him that he would be, he would have profusely denied it, and would have corrected you for even thinking such a thing, for David knew that he was a sinner, and nowhere near being a righteous man as his God was righteous. Many times, David knew that he had fail his God, and spent many a day on his face imploring God to forgive him and to restore his heart to reflect the heart of God, his LORD. It is here in the Book of Psalms that we see David's struggle with sin and weakness, and how, during those times of suffering, God steered David's heart back to Him to where David would once again begin living for God and not for himself, and when his heart desired to praise God. David's psalms are straight from his heart; a heart that poured itself out when his heart fell away from God and when his heart desired to worship God. Psalm 23 is perhaps David's greatest psalm, as the Holy Spirit pours out of his heart of to show him that God is all he needs. Let's unpack these verses to see just how Jesus is described in them. We will see Jesus in all of His glory, along with His love for His people and the ways that He brings peace and joy into our lives the moment we are saved.

The LORD is my Shepherd

David knew all about being a shepherd. Before he became king, it was his life's calling, and it was a job that he did well. As a shepherd, David knew that there would be times when he would need to go out and find one of his flocks that had gotten separated from the rest, or he would have to save the sheep from becoming dinner from the many bears and lions that roamed the countryside. Elsewhere, David spoke of having to do just that (1 Samuel 17:34-35): sacrificing his own life to save his sheep from the disaster of their own lack of stupidity, or to keep them from the jaws of those who would seek to kill them. When David became king, he began to be a shepherd all over again, only this time it was to shepherd the nation of Israel. Again, David did his job well, until he began to follow his own desires and sinned against not only his God, but against the nation he vowed to protect (2 Samuel 11:1-17).

This "type" of Jesus is one of the more obvious ones found in the Old Testament. Jesus came to earth to let us know that He is our shepherd, because, like sheep, we occasionally go astray, sometimes to places where the bears and lions of life seek to destroy us and take us out of action (1 Peter 5:8). Satan would like nothing more than to take every single Christian out of the world so he can completely take it over from God. Thankfully, Jesus, as our Shepherd, protects us from Satan as David protected his flocks from the bears and lions he had to kill in order for the flock to continue to supply wool for clothing as Christian sheep supply the world with the continuing presence of the Kingdom of God on the earth. As long as we stick close to our Shepherd, we cannot be taken out by anyone, not even Satan, until God says we are to leave this earth.

We need to understand that sheep are dependent on the shepherd for everything: food, water, grass to eat, just as we are dependent on Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, to supply us with every need we have, including the strength to deny Satan his desires for our lives. The moment we take ourselves away from the protection of the Shepherd, we run the risk allowing Satan to use his tactics against us to destroy us. Once this happens, we also run the risk of falling away from God and all the purposes, joy, and peace, that He has for us. Stick close to the Shepherd and your life will be fulfilled just as God intends for it to be fulfilled. Deny Satan his desires and fulfill the desires of God's heart the bringing of the Good News to everyone you meet who needs a shepherd in their lives to give them the guidance they most desperately need so they, too, can fulfill God's purpose for their lives. (For a wonderful message of why the Bible calls us sheep, see Christian comedian, Ken Davis' DVD entitled "Super Sheep.")

I shall not be in want

The idea of want in this verse does not necessarily mean that we shall not be in want of anything: food, clothing, a roof over our heads, even though it can mean that. But if we take a closer look at this entire psalm we will see that the "want" in this verse means our spiritual needs not our physical ones. Jesus' primary mission here on earth was to introduce humanity to the true, loving God of the universe. Yes, He also fulfilled physical and mental needs, but He came here primarily to save us through His sacrificing Himself on the cross for our sins.

All Jesus did, especially His miracles, was to show us the power of God to transform us from sinners into saints and that God is a loving God who will do whatever it takes to grow us into people who resemble Jesus in every part of our lives. Jesus came to give us eternal life because we were headed for eternal death. For most people, even some Christians, this should be enough, but there are some on this earth who are not satisfied with just being spiritually healed, they want Jesus to give them everything else they want in the physical realm. Jesus was more concerned with our spiritual healing than any other things He could, and still does, provide. This is the one thing we should all desire the most eternal life in Heaven with our Savior and Lord.

He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside quiet waters

Who doesn't enjoy going to the park on a warm spring day, when the sun is shining and you can take off your sandals to let your toes dig into the soft grass? Who doesn't wish that it could be like this every day of the year? The temperature at a perfect seventy-five degrees; the sun always out, with just a few clouds every now and then floating by in the clear blue sky; the water on the lake or pond glistening from the sun's light as the endlessly flowing waves continue to softly hit the shore over and over again. In Heaven, it will be this way forever, but, for now, we have to live on the surface of the earth, sometimes searching for hours to find even a small patch of grass to enjoy away from the smog and exhaust of the machines we have built that keep our societies going. If only we could, somehow, keep this warmth and light with us every day as we plug along on the endless treadmills of life. If onlyif only.

For those of us who have made Jesus Christ the Lord of our lives, we have this warmth and light flowing through us each and every day, all hours of the day. When we turn our lives over to Jesus, He gives us His peace in return (John 14:27). Now, no matter what life throws at us, we can live in His peace and love that surpasses all understanding (Ephesians 3:19). When the giant waves of life threaten to overtake us, Jesus will quiet our souls and remove all fear of the flood overtaking us. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, He helps us ride the crest of the wave so that we can endure the trial, the test, the temptation, and bring us back to the quiet shore where we can, once again, feel His peace. It is in His peace that we can lie down in the grass, put our hands under our head, and look up into the sky to watch the clouds roll by; knowing that nothing in this life can bother us the way things once used to. Stop searching for the green grass and quiet waters and let Jesus give you the only peace that can truly last throughout all eternity.

He restores my soul

Before I gave my life to Jesus, I was a sinner. My soul was stained not only with the sin nature that Adam and Eve introduced into the world, but also with all of the sins I had accumulated all of my life until the day I was saved and that stain was wiped clean by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. There wasn't any way that I could clean myself up. Pastor David Jeremiah once said that all I would get from pulling myself up by my bootstraps are broken bootstraps. Fixing a broken soul is not as easy as gluing a vase back together; the vase still shows where the pieces came apart and no amount of buffing and shining could make those mended cracks disappear. Because of my sins, I was doomed and headed for Hell. There was nothing I could do to fix myself. No matter how hard I tried I could never remove the stains from my heart as the cracks grew more and more diseased and would not completely heal. It would take someone who created my soul to clean it up to the point where the sins and the stains would be gone forever. Only the Creator could heal my wounded soul enough so that I could live a peaceful and healed life. Only He could take my sins from me, wipe them away forever, to restore my soul back into the likeness for which He created me in the first place.

Jesus Christ came to earth to satisfy my sin debt. He allowed Himself to be hung on a cross so that, when He took my sins upon himself and died an innocent man, He could take them to the grave with Him. Nailed to that cross was not only the innocent Son of God, but also the sins of the entire world -- mine, yours, and everyone who has ever walked the face of the earth. It is amazing to know that the God who created everything in the universe, visible and invisible, loves all of us enough to have come down here to earth and to die a criminal's death just to save our souls. Jesus did for all of us what we could never have done for ourselves paid the debt for our sins so that we could have a relationship with Him forever. No longer do I have to fear God's wrath over my sins because Jesus took God's wrath upon Himself as He hung on the cross on Skull Hill. Now, because of Jesus sacrificing His life for mine, my soul has been restored to now reflect the righteousness of Jesus. No longer does God see my sin, for He has removed the stain that once glowed as bright as all the suns of the universe, making my sin a glaring light that caught His eye everytime He turned and looked my way. Now all God sees in me is the righteousness of Christ (Romans 5:18). My debt has been paid in full by the only One who could do it for me. Jesus alone has set me free, and once the Son has set you free, you are free indeed (John 8:36).

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake

On our own, we could never be righteous enough for God to allow us into Heaven. No amount of works, good or bad, could ever make us as righteous as we need to be for God to ever look upon us as nothing more than the sinners we are. God tells us that, in order to be accepted by Him as righteous people, we must be as righteous as His Son, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30). The only way for us to be as righteous as Jesus Christ is to actually take on the righteousness of Christ. The only way to do that is to ask Jesus to come into our lives and make us holy and righteous, set apart for God's purposes for our lives. If we never ask Jesus to forgive us our sins and to make us as righteous as He is, then we are still living in our sin nature. Jesus says in the Bible that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), and that especially includes becoming righteous without Him.

Once our hearts have taken on the righteousness of Christ, God no longer sees our sin. No longer does God's wrath lie upon us, for we have given His Son permission to make us holy and righteous. Now, when God looks upon us, all He sees is the righteousness of Jesus. The sin in our lives acts like a barrier that God refuses to see through. Jesus' righteousness acts as a beacon so that God now sees us as a redeemed people because our sins have been forgiven by Him. Jesus's righteousness also acts as a barrier to sin. No longer do we have to give into temptation because the righteousness of Christ surrounds us with a barrier that deflects Satan's arrows of any sin he is trying to get us to commit against God. We are protected by the shining glory that Jesus Christ has gained by being received back into Heaven. Only Jesus can restore us back to the original glory we once had in the Garden of Eden. Only by His guidance can we stay in the righteousness of Christ and progress into the perfection that God wants us to become (Matthew 5:48). Thank God that we don't have to do all these things on our own, for He is the giver of life everlasting. Only the righteousness of Christ can keep us in His unfailing arms of love for all of eternity.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

In this life, we know that we are always walking toward the day we will die. The shadow of death is simply a shadow, except that this shadow is real and not just an image projected upon the ground by the sun. Death is real for every living being which inhabits this earth. For some, it is the end, but for others, it is just the beginning. Other than death, there are shadows which follow us every day of our lives. Some depress us and keep us from all God has for us, and some can spur us on into success and glory. Jesus once said that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5), and this especially includes walking the valley of the shadow of death.

Without Jesus to guide us through all of the valleys that come up in our lives, we would crumble, fall into a fetal position, give up, and die, because we could not affect our situations in any way that would bring us peace and joy. These valleys and shadows can be anything that cause us pain or discomfort, be it financial, physical, mental, or any other issues that keep us down and unable to rise above the situation without help. For many, these valleys can make them feel that they will never get out of the issue that plagues them, so they end their lives before their time. For many others, help comes through the support of a therapist or friend who can give them nothing but kind words, and never really what is needed to heal their inflictions.

There is only One Person in the whole universe that can not only heal your pain, but He is the only who knows your pain inside and out. Only Jesus knows the depth of your pain even better than you do yourself. Who would you want to help you rise again above the ashes of your strife and pain? Someone with kind words or Someone with the exact medicine you need to not only rise again, but to flourish in life in every way? Only Jesus Christ can take you through the valleys in such a way as to make your life better and worth living. If you are going through a valley or two right now, seek out Jesus Christ through a Christian counselor who will use the Bible as their basis to help you understand and recover from your issues. The Bible itself declares that it contains the words of life (John 6:68), and only words of life can breathe life back into a hurting, lifeless soul. In every valley, there is something we need to learn about God, whether it be His faithfulness, His goodness, or His mercy. That is what the valleys are for to see that God is all we need for life, peace, joy, and happiness. Getting through the shadows and the valleys of life requires a strength that is supernatural and extraordinary. The strength of Jesus Christ is all that and more. Trust the Savior and your valleys and shadows will be easier to endure and you will begin to see God as not just a Savior or healer, but as a loving, caring Father as well.

I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me

It is said, in one form or another, that the Bible says that we should not "fear" 365 times (some say 366), one for every day of the year (including leap year). The debate whether this is true or not rages on. It doesn't really matter how many times the Bible says that we shouldn't fear; it only matters who said it. If David says that he will not fear in one of his psalms (such as Psalm 118:6), we are to take that as a lesson that David had learned; that he didn't have to fear whatever situation he was in because he knew that God was with him. We can take his learning this as a testimony for God's power in his life. But, if God, or Jesus, tells us not to be afraid of anything, then we can take that as a promise that, if we allow God to handle the situation, fear will not be a factor in the progression of the situation and we can rest peacefully and joyfully within the struggle knowing that God will work it all out for good in the end (Jeremiah 29:11).

The rod and staff are the tools of a shepherd. First, we have the rod. The rod was a two to four foot rounded staff of wood used to protect the sheep from predators and harm. If the sheep wandered off, the shepherd would throw the rod in the runaway's vicinity to scare it back into the flock. If a predator, like a lion or bear or human, came to take one of the sheep, the shepherd would use the rod, along with the staff, as a weapon to deter the thief from accomplishing their goal. The rod was also used to count and examine the sheep. The Bible calls this "passing under the rod" (Ezekiel 20:37). Having the sheep pass under the rod gives the shepherd a close-up examination of each individual sheep, looking for disease or injury of any kind. This also helps in determining that the shepherd hasn't picked up any sheep from another flock when more than one flock is at a watering hole at the same time. Passing under the rod also meant that the sheep were under the control and authority of the shepherd, giving the sheep comfort in knowing that he will take care of them.

One of the main uses for the staff of a shepherd is to gently pull his sheep close to himself since sheep tend to stay away from the shepherd while grazing because of their shy and timid nature. Also, he can examine a newborn lamb without touching its hide, so he can return it to the mother. In this way, he keeps his odor off the lamb so the mother will not reject it. As the day of tending his sheep progresses, the shepherd uses his staff to lean on when he can't sit down to take a much needed rest. But, most of all, the staff is used to guide the sheep on their journey from one watering hole, and one grazing field, to another.

From these two simple tools of the shepherd, we can see how the Lord guides us, takes care of us, feeds us, waters us, and so much more. We, like sheep, tend to roam away from God from time to time. When we do, He uses His rod of discipline and protection to draw us back to Him. He uses His rod against our enemies so that they will not venture any closer than God allows them to. Sometimes God will wield His rod gently and at times He has to issue a more heavy strike to keep us in line with His Word. And He passes us under His rod, through the Holy Spirit, to see what we need at any particular moment so He can fill that need whether it is a spiritual or physical need. God will use His staff to gently guide us back into obedience to His ways when He sees that we are about to stray just a little too far from His protection.

From our point-of-view, the rod and staff are for us to use as well as the shepherd's use for them. God's rod of protection is there to protect us from Satan's arrows of temptation and worldly desire. This rod of protection for us to use is the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12). The more we use the Word to reflect Satan's arrows, the easier it will be to not give into the temptation he is trying to get us to fall into. As for the staff, we can use it to lean on, as does the shepherd, knowing that God is holding the staff up for us so we won't fall when we grow weary of trying to deflect Satan's arrow from our lives each and every day. David learned to lean on and count on God using His rod and staff to help him make it through His life, protected and nourished by the love, strength, mercy, forgiveness, and peace of God.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies

Why in the world would I want to eat a meal with my enemies seated right next to me? Sounds like a way to get a bad case of indigestion to me. What would we possibly have to talk about? If they are my enemy then why aren't we fighting with swords instead of eating with forks? Could it be that God has a purpose for this gathering that the average person would not easily recognize, but a Christian could see without too much effort since he is using God's eyes to see and not his own blurred vision? When I look with God's eyes, I see the reason for this "meal" to take place. Where else would my enemies learn about the love of God if they didn't slow down enough to hear the truth of His glory?

During this meal, my enemies would not only get the chance to see Jesus in me, but would also get the chance to see just who God is, as He lavishly pours Himself into every dish of food that is on the table, the same way a great chef will decorate the plate with food instead of just throwing it on in a haphazard, unappealing way. We have to remember that God loves all people, even His enemies, even though He will not tolerate their sinful ways. Through the eyes of God we can also see that, when we proclaim Jesus to those who are His enemies, God will protect us from their wrath, for it is His mercy and strength that is drawing our enemies in to come to know Jesus as their Savior and King. Yes, God does allow the persecution of His children, but only so that others will see the strength and mercy of God in them as they would rather die than to deny Jesus. This is a powerful witness that has converted many an enemy of God.

Many a story has been told of missionaries in the jungle who have dined with violent headhunters and have successfully established peace between these killers and the men and women of God. We must realize that, whenever we are telling people about what Jesus has done in us and can do for them, it is God who is bringing them to Christ, not us. It is because of this that God will accomplish His purpose among all the enemies of God. We also have to remember that all unbelievers are God's enemies, not believers, for it is God to whom they refuse to obey, not us. We must always allow God to set the table (prepare the hearts of those whom He is drawing in to Himself) before we step in to show these enemies that God loves them, just as God did for us when He sent someone into our lives to tell us about His Son, Jesus Christ. Ask God today whom He would like you to share your testimony with. When He has prepared the heart of the one He wants to know about His forgiveness, He will prompt you to speak to that person and it will be God who changes this enemy into a friend of God, just as He did for us.

You anoint my head with oil

In the days of old, a new king's head was anointed with oil to show that he had been chosen by God to rule the nation God had chosen him to rule. This let all the citizens of that nation know that this man was God's man for the job. In this section of Scripture, David is not only referring back to when God had Samuel anoint him (1 Samuel 16:13) king over Saul, but was also looking ahead to a future time when all believers would be anointed by God with the filling of His Spirit within us the moment we proclaimed Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Since we know that the words "Messiah (Hebrew)" and "Christ (Greek)" both mean "anointed", we can see that they do indeed refer to a time when Jesus, the Anointed One, will finally put an end to the rule of man and take the reins of the Kingdom for His own, where there will finally be peace between God and man and man and beast forever when the earth is finally restored to become the New Earth for all of eternity.

My cup overflows; surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life

In 1998, after rediscovering that I had been sexually abused as a child, I was devastated, hurt, shattered, alone, and suicidal. In 2014, thanks to the fact that Jesus loves me and rescued me from the abuse's strongholds on my life, I am happy, joyous, content, loving, peaceful, and just like David, I know that I will remain this way forever because Jesus has overflowed my cup, and in my heart I know that His goodness, love and mercy will be with me all the days of my life, even into eternity. Now that I know Jesus as well as I do, like the Apostle Paul, I too would like to be where Jesus is right now, but I am content to remain here on the earth so I can continue to spread the Gospel to all those who have yet to hear it. The peace that Jesus gives us is the kind of peace the world cannot give; for true peace comes from knowing the truth, and Jesus did say that knowing the truth can set us free (John 8:32).

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever

King David saved the best for last. The desire of all Christians is to finally be with Jesus where He is in Heaven. To finally be where Jesus resides is the best place to be because, in His presence, we will find all that our hearts have been longing for: peace, unconditional love of all Heavenly inhabitants, an end to suffering, and spiritual perfection, just to name a few. Heaven is where we will live the way Jesus first intended for us to live knowing Him fully as He knows us (1 Corinthians 13:12). Forever, for all of eternity, believers on earth will be free to be all that God had intended us to be free to worship Him as He should be, with no distractions (sin, temptation, worldly things) to keep us from finally loving Him the way we truly want to love Him: with all of our soul, mind, strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). To be with the Lord forever is the heart's song of every living Christian today. Therefore, those who have already passed on have already entered into the presence of their Savior (Ephesians 3:15). David's longing heart is now enjoying all that Jesus has promised to give to those who call on His name for salvation. What is your heart longing for?

I want to finish this series of articles with a few remaining reasons for why giving God your life can change the way you love others.

Of God: I now love all the Children of God

1 John 5:1-5 tells us that "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. We know we love God's children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and really, that isn't difficult. For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God" (NLT).

When we give our lives to Jesus, the love of God takes up residence in our souls through His Holy Spirit. Since the Spirit is a Spirit of love, we can now love all believers in Jesus because we all have the same Spirit within us. This should also give us a reason to love all people, not just believers in Christ, but being human as we are, it may take longer to truly love those whose reject the Son of God. But, as 1 John tells us, having the love of God flowing through our souls should make it easier to love all others because we then get to see them as God does lost sinners in need of His forgiveness, mercy, and love.

Of God: I now have peace with God

Romans 5:1-5 tells us "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

When I gave my life to Jesus, and told Him that I wanted to be forgiven for my many sins, I immediately gained peace with God. God's wrath was over me because of my sins (Romans 1:18) and my refusal to accept Jesus as His Son. But when I did, God's wrath was satisfied because Jesus took my place as the sacrificial lamb on the cross. God now no longer sees me when He looks my way; He now sees the righteousness of Christ within me through His Holy Spirit who resides in me and tells God that I am His forever. Having peace with God gets me into Heaven with Him forever where I will worship Him for giving me a new, eternal life full of happiness, joy, and unending love.

Of the world: I notice that the world begins to hate me, because I am not of this world any longer
Of the world: The world won't accept God's truth
Of others: I must begin to love my neighbors as I love myself

John 15:19-20 tells us "The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? 'A slave is not greater than the master.' Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you" (NLT). After you have given your life to Jesus you will notice a change in those around you. You have suddenly become "one of those people who now think that they know better than the rest of us." Jesus has a way of dividing people (Matthew 10:34-40) because many don't want Him to spoil their "good" life; the kind of life where no one can tell them what they can and can't do. Suddenly, as you begin to turn away from activities like going to the bar on Friday nights after work; start going to church on Sunday instead of playing golf after a few beers in the clubhouse; and begin to read your Bible at lunch instead of going to the restaurant bar for a few drinks with your afternoon meal; and especially as you begin to tell your unsaved friends about the joy you have found in giving your life to Jesus, you will notice a change in how you are being treated. Jesus said that ""Those who do not love Me do not obey My teaching" (John 14:24a/NCV). No matter how others treat us, Jesus said that we must "Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:31). Still, we must love them and pray for them to come to know the Jesus we have come to know for salvation and freedom and eternal life.

References

Keller, P. (n. d.). A shepherd looks at psalm 23. Retrieved from: http://www.antipas.org/commentaries/articles/shepherd_psa23/shepherd_07.html

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION . Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved."

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture marked (NCV) is quoted from The Holy Bible, New Century Version. Copyright 1987, 1988, 1991 by Word Publishing, Dallas, Texas 75039. Used by permission.

2014 Robert W. Bruno

Coming next: The Grace of God: Forgiveness

Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.

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