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Ruth- A Story of Redemption.

Key Scripture: Ruth 1:16 (KJV)  And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

SUMMARY

A Christian ought to permeate the world with our story of commitment to the Lord and His house and  being redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. This sermon will help us understand the very same theme. Our good Boaz is the Lord Jesus who has redeemed us and is still at work in each one of our lives. Let us stay in Bethlehem ‘a house of bread’, and stay focused to experience His visitation for God will redeem and bless us!

SERMON POINTS

Ruth 4:1(KJV) Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.

As we read that Boaz was up to something, making an important decision for Ruth likewise let us believe that Jesus is up to doing something important in our lives and He will not rest until it is accomplished!

In the story of Ruth, we read that Boaz went to the city gates where things were decided and he calls the nearest redeemer in the line of Elimelech. He was called ‘Ho such a one!’ because he was an irresponsible guy. It teaches us an important truth that being people of God we ought to be responsible and take responsibilities or else God might also address us as, ‘Ho such a one!’ which is not a good tag.

A Protocol:

Deuteronomy 25:5(KJV) If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.

According to the word of God if brothers dwelled together and one of them died, the husband’s brother had to take her as wife and perform all the duties and responsibilities of a husband. Boaz knew the protocol and he didn’t over rule it!

Likewise, we should learn to manage our things in protocol. There is a protocol in the house of God and it should be our priority. However, we often put church, godly leaders and ministry as secondary which is demeaning. Protocol is protocol and God doesn’t work beyond protocol. We ought to respect our pastors, elders and take the best out of their experience to use it for the kingdom of God. Husbands are the head of the family to be respected and honoured and anything that goes beyond the protocol will not be blessed by Him.

Ruth 4:5,6(KJV)Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

Boaz knew the protocol and he knew if the kinsman buys the land he will also have to purchase Ruth and take care of her.

However, God was behind everything, and He knows how to redeem us. He knows how to purchase us from worthless fellows because we are precious to Him and He would not let anything happen to us, like Ruth who was now taken by Boaz after the kinsman denied redeeming her.

Boaz takes Ruth’s responsibility. Today the question is what are we responsible for? whom are we responsible for? Do we watch over one another and are we responsible for the church? The fact is ministry of God involves loving people, being responsible for one another and owning responsibility without which it is impossible to please God and run His ministry. We ought to be ministers of God and always remember that responsibility starts a ministry. In the bible we read about Abraham, Moses, David, Joshua and many more whom God used were responsible. The truth is if we know how to trust God the way He wants us to trust Him, He will surely lead us and redeem us!

1) Redeemed from our past.

Ruth 4:8 (KJV) Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe. And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.

As Boaz raises his shoe to say unto the elders and people who were witnesses that he has bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi similarly, Jesus is raising His precious blood to proclaim that He has bought and redeemed us. We might have had the Moabite culture or a horrific past but now we are purchased by Jesus. The transaction is done, it’s a done deal. The responsibility of taking care of each one of us is a done deal when He shed His blood to redeem us and now we belong to Him.

1 Peter 1:18, 19 (KJV) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

2) Redeemed for a relationship in the present.

Ruth 4:10(KJV) Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

Though Ruth lost her husband Mahlon, God didn’t leave her. God chose Boaz to be her husband and changed her messed up life into a beautiful message of redemption. God will never leave us stranded. He will turn our mess into a beautiful message. Remember the Lord is behind it all and a redeemer’s son will also be a redeemer. Let us proclaim that by His blood; the joy, the peace, the health that was lost will soon be redeemed.

As Boaz stood in the gate the witnesses testified and blessed them. This is the church, a blessing where we come together in the house of the Lord, to praise and worship Him. We participate in lifting the name of the Lord with joy, humility and thanksgiving. Let us come to the house of Lord together so that we would be usable unto the Lord for His kingdom and bound to be redeemed for a relationship.

3) Redeemed for a future that will end in Jesus.

Ruth 4:15,16(KJV)And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.

The Lord is our Boaz. When He is for us, He will redeem us at any cost. God was with Naomi and Ruth throughout their journey and He redeemed them. We learn from the book of Ruth that the Lord has His predestined purposes behind every high and low. All our life’s events are part of the grand history of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:7 10 (KJV)That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Sometimes we might wonder of the various tragedies that hit us, the questions that remain unanswered but the truth is that we will all be merged to into the beautiful story of Jesus, into the great history of the Lord in heaven, on earth and in Him.

Four truths from the story of Ruth’s redemption:

  • There is a Sovereign God behind everything. He is the El-Shaddai God. We don’t have any control over our lives and everything happens beautifully in His time. Today there might be a dead Mahalon in our lives but God is preparing a good Boaz into our life to redeem us for the future.
  • When people leave you; let them go. Always remember the blood that has been shed on Calvary. The Lord is near you, with you and they are not part of our destiny.

       Isaiah 43:1,2(KJV) But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and          he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called         thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will           be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou            walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle     upon thee. He will help us in every situation.

  Isaiah 54:5(KJV)For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name;  and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

  • Stay close to God’s word. Naomi knew the word of God that helped her to guide Ruth. Therefore, when we stay close to God’s word He shall direct and open doors of deliverance.
  • Age is no bar for nursing the blessings of God. If Naomi could nurse her grandson at that old age, we can also nurse our blessing to the ministry of God. He shall nourish and restore our lives to pass on our blessing to the next generation.
CONCLUSION

The Lord has redeemed us. There is provision, protection and peace in Jesus. We ought to follow the protocol that God has laid upon us. when we take responsibilities, God will start a new ministry through us. Today, let us get into the next level of taking responsibility and being responsible for our church and ministry and make it our priority. Let us understand that God is behind everything and know that when expected sources leave us, God will open unexpected sources to meet our need!

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Doors to Nations.

Key Scripture: Corinthians 16:9 (KJV)  For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

SUMMARY

God is  good to those who seek the Lord in truth and love! He has a special plan and purpose in our lives. Always remember wherever we are placed the Lord has kept great, effectual doors and opportunities open for us to influence the nations; provided we shift ourselves from a consumer level of only being in the receiving end to be a contributor. A contributor of our time, talent and treasure for the work of the Lord. Partnering with the Pastor and the servants of God to understand the weight of the ministry, to strengthen the work of the Lord and be a leader to represent the church in strengthening the systems of the church. Its therefore very important to fulfil your mission in life by utilizing the doors God has opened.

SERMON POINTS

A Great door.

In Greek ‘Mega’ denotes a great opportunity. As St. Paul writes the epistle  from Ephesus to Corinthians saying that God has opened a great door for him to minister effectively in the pagan city of Ephesus. It was a crucial door and Paul wanted to make the maximum utilisation of it.  Today the same God is opening a great door for us. God wants us to go through a great door in the city so that nations will be blessed. Remember we are pastors of  our workplaces so that God can work through us to bless and touch the lives of people around us.

What does God Think about  Nations?

Genesis 10:32(KJV) These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

We read in Genesis that through Noah’s son’s nations came into existence. They had families, borders, territories and language. However, sadly when pride and arrogance caught the heart of the people to reach God, God confused them by causing the people to speak different languages so that they could not communicate and work together to build the tower. Hence, people scattered across the land giving birth to new nations, territories, cultures and languages.

God who wanted a nation for Himself chose an individual from a pagan nation to influence the world.

Genesis 12:1,2 (KJV)  Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

When God called Abram to set out on a faith journey to the promised land though he was seventy five years old yet he didn’t doubt, hesitate or question God.  God promised that He would make him a great nation and would bless him and that he shall be a blessing. Today how many of us can make that commitment to the Lord? Are we ready to go out to the nations without any questions asked?

God is a good God to organize and provide things in our life, He was faithful to provide for Abraham and He is faithful to provide and bless us too. If we know that we are the descendants of Abraham we will also be a great nation and we will be blessed too.

Genesis 22:18 (KJV) “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

After Abraham had passed his test of faith, the Lord promised him a life of blessing and multiplication. This is applicable in our life too, when we love the Lord more than anything in the world its time for a blessing!  Since Abraham loved the Lord  more than his only son Issac, the Lord promised that in his seed all nations of the world will be blessed and his offspring will capture the gates of the enemy.

So the promise of God to Abraham carried on to Isaac.

Genesis 25:23 (KJV) And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

The Lord speaks to Rebekah and gives a prophetic revelation about the two nations within her womb. Here we know that the Lord is referring to Esau and Jacob.The mantle passed on from Abraham to Isaac and Isaac to Jacob.

Genesis 27:29(KJV) Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

Jacob receives the blessings from his father Isaac and is made Lord over his brother. We as His children share the same blessings of Jacob. The magnitude of blessing is so much that if people bless us they will be blessed but if they curse us they will be cursed.

Genesis 28:14(KJV) And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

The promise that the Lord made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob includes the doors to nations for us too. It is clear that we share a special privilege to bless the  nations and through our seed the earth shall be blessed! So are we ready to take up the blessing of  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to proclaim and inherit it to the ends of the world?

Peculiarity of this Nation.

Deut 4:6-9 (KJV) Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

In May 14, 1948 Israel was declared a nation. Many couldn’t believe their eyes, but the Lord who had prophesied thousands of years ago in the book of Isaiah had to come to pass and after seventy years of existence Israel is prosperous and advancing today. There is something different and peculiar about this nation which is also a promise that God has for us.

1) The Nation have wisdom and understanding in the sight of others:

Deuteronomy 4:6 (KJV) Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.

The nation will be wise and understanding in the sight of others. If we follow the Lord Jesus, we are bound to be wise and understanding than anyone else in the whole world. If we make the bible the ground of our statues, God will change our level for other nations to hear the wisdom and understanding from us. We are blessed to bear the inheritance that distinguishes us as wise and understanding over other people of the world.

2) The Nation is  great because God is so close to them.

 Deuteronomy 4:7 (KJV)    For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?

There might not be any nation that can say, “God is close to them.” Every week as we assemble in His house, He will bless us with His understanding in all things which will resolve and provide  for us.  The enemy might come to steal, kill and destroy but we have Jesus who has come to give life in abundance. Hence, when we have Jesus in our life we are always close to God.

3) The nation has statutes, laws and righteousness.

 Deuteronomy 4:8 (KJV)  And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

The nation that the Lord establishes has an order, law and righteousness. The Lord is not pleased with disorderly lifestyle. Our homes are required to be house of thanksgiving, praise and worship where He can dwell among us. As Christians when we have the basic character of tithing, offering, assembling in the name of Jesus we have order in our lives. The Lord requires us to follow His law, and live according to His righteousness. So, do we have the character to live in an order?

4) The nation has generations who are taught of the Lord.

 Deuteronomy 4:9 (KJV)  Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

This blessed nation is one where importance is given to the generation. We are to teach our children and grandchildren what God has taught us. We should be able to transfer faith to the generations and make a commitment that the law of the Lord will run in our blood line. Our bloodline should be where the faith-line will run.

The Nation of God today.

1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

God is calling ‘us’ a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar nation who are being called from the deepest darkness to come to His marvelous light. We are the holy nation for whom the Lord has opened great doors to go to the ends of the earth preaching the gospel calling the nations to the light of God.

CONCLUSION.

The Lord has opened a great and effectual door before us through our marketplaces and communities. We need to take up the task and stand up for the work of the Lord. No more should we be confined to ourselves and our families, the comfort zones that make us lose the opportunity that God has  placed before us. God calls us a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar nation being called from the deepest and darkest pit to His marvelous light. So are you available and prepared to the calling today?

The Basics of Revival.

Key Scripture: 2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV)  Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

SUMMARY

The word ‘Revival’ in the dictionary means an improvement in the condition or strength of something. We often hear, believe and pray for a revival in our nation, city or community but seldom know how we can bring about a revival! The good news is God has an answer to every seeking heart and He is telling us today to take courage and not let our hands be weak for our work will be rewarded! Through this sermon you will have an understanding of ushering in a revival through the life of King Asa and prophet Azariah.

SERMON POINTS

What does Revival look like?

2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV)Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.

Revival starts with individuals who are touched by the powerful presence and word of God. They give prime most importance to His word and orders their steps accordingly. As they obey God’s word, the outlook of the community and society changes. Reading, meditating and praying to God becomes an imperative factor in our life and is reflected through our walk with God. We share the gospel with utmost joy, thirsting for souls to salvation. As we undertake the great commission, God speaks to us and suddenly the love of God fills us and the people around with the presence of the Holy Spirit. People flock into the place to experience the power of the holy spirit. The lives, situations and circumstances are changed forever for good and it becomes so evident through their works! Therefore, let us work towards the ‘Revival’ with courage and never let our hands grow weak.

Requirements for a Revival.

1) The Spirit of the Lord should come upon us:

2 Chronicles 15:1 (KJV)And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:

For a revival to take place, the spirit of God should come upon us and once we have the spirit of God we will see things with the eyes of His spirit. Here we see the Spirit of God coming upon Azariah, the son of Oded. He goes to King Aza and declares the word of God boldly. If revival has to come upon a church and community, there has to be individuals fully surrendered to the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit lands on individuals, they become game changers for the better. You are anointed by the Holy Spirit to usher in a revival where you are placed. In your workplace you function as a minister of God to bring people to a revival.

In today’s world the greatest deterrent to revival is the technology gadgets; from children to adults everyone is at unrest and are held captive to sin. Remember God has called us to lead our children in the ways of the Lord and we are accountable to Him! Therefore, let the spirit of God come upon us to encourage, speak and to lead. Today the question is, do we desire and prepare ourselves for the Holy Spirit to come upon us and be used by God?

2) Seeking God in prayer.

 2 Chronicles 15:2 (KJV)And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you

The Bible clearly tells us that when we seek the Lord in prayer we will find Him but if we forsake Him He will forsake us. The Christian life is meant to be a transparent life, to live in a community sharing the love of God .However, we are in danger zone when we refuse to open our life before God, being honest and transparent. Thus when we forsake His presence and purpose, He would forsake us and it would be detrimental .

What is our passion and purpose today? Is it to establish our kingdom or His kingdom? What is the amount of time we spend with God and what is the mandate when we say ‘amen?’ If saying an amen is just a lousy ritual then it’s time for us to come back and seek the face of God. Let us be determined to find God, immersed in prayer, our knees bruised in seeking Him with a transformed, courteous heart praying out aloud.  A revival is bound to come as we seek the Lord !

3) Having the Law and The Teaching Of God as most important.

 2 Chronicles 15:3 (KJV) Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law

The book of Chronicles says that Israel had no true God, no teaching priest and no law. Sadly, many of our lives, homes and churches are infested with the similar exposition of the Israelites.  We have made a God of our imagination, with no laws in families and churches have become business centers with pulpits echoing a diluted form of God’s word. The true God is not preached or revered . There are no teaching priests as in the time of Asa. However, let us remember that if He is a true God we are His true servants. It is important to receive faithful teaching, setting spiritual principles in families like a family prayer, teaching our children the word of God and setting right priorities in our life.

Remember that our presence and prayers can make a world of difference enough to bring forth a revival when we have a true God, His teaching and His law in our lives.

4) Removing Detestable Idols from our Lives.

 2 Chronicles 15:8 (KJV)And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord.

The scripture says that king Asa took courage and removed the abominable idols and destroyed it. Revival ignites courage and every detestable idol is removed from our homes and hearts.

Ezekiel 14:3(KJV)  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?

The word says that the idols are in the heart and it prevents God from reaching to us and vice versa. The idols also can be  as simple a gadget, a television program which hinders our relationship with God. Therefore, remove the idols today because with the idol we cannot progress in our relationship with God.

Psalms 119:37 (KJV)Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

King David asks the Lord to turn His eyes from the vain things of the world so that he can see the Lord and follow His ways.

Colossians 3:5(KJV) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

As the saying goes “What I see is what I want.” The world today has become greedier than ever. We want to possess everything we see, but the word reminds us that it is idolatry and we should not have an idolatrous lifestyle.

 John 12:25(KJV) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

Therefore, let us praise God for the blessings that He has given us and remove the idols that prevents Him from reaching to us.

5) Repairing the altar of your heart.

 2 Chronicles 15:8 (KJV)And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the sabominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord.

King Asa repaired the altar of the Lord, that ushered in the revival for the land of Judah. Revival starts as we repair the altar of our heart. Let us repair and ask the Lord to create in us a clean heart asking Him to remove any thing held captive for a revival.See Psalm 51 and pray it with a right spirit to rebuild the altar of your heart.

6) Praise and Worship.

 2 Chronicles 15:11 (KJV)And they offered unto the Lord the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep

Many of us believe that number seven in the bible signifies completion and perfection. Revival comes when we find ourselves given to praise and worship. The trademark of a revival is completed and perfected through our praise and worship to the Lord.

7) Seal the covenant with the shout of Praise.

2 Chronicles 15:12 (KJV)And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;That whosoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. And they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. And all Judah rejoiced at the oath: for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the Lord gave them rest round about.

The scripture says that the people made a covenant with the Lord to serve Him all the days of their lives. They made loud voices of covenant. They were not singing a lie to the Lord. They were given to the work of the Lord. All Judah rejoiced at the oath. Today our praise and worship culture has become too noisy without any meaning. We should be determined to declare our covenant to God when we come to Him.

What was the result?

The scripture says as the people made a covenant and swore unto God and  was found of them. There is nothing greater in life than to find God . When we find Him, our lives become drenched by His presence. We get joy and peace from His presence and He gives us rest from all the attacks of the enemy.

A revival is bound to happen when we seal the covenant and be found of God. We will have joy, peace and rest in the covenant with God.

CONCLUSION

Revival can start now with us today when every requirement is met by us. It is imperative that we get rid of any idols in our life to find God, to seal the covenant and find rest in Him. Let His spirit come upon us, seek Him, have His word and laws in our lives. Prepare an altar to praise and worship Him today; and as all Judah rejoiced at the oath we will rejoice in the covenant with the Lord!

Confessions for 2013

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