My Ever-Expanding Family

a bigger picture with a better view

Someone recently said of me, “if Wanda tells you that someone is her brother or sister, that may not necessarily be true. Wanda calls everybody her brother and sister.” I laugh at my friend. Guilty as charged!

I grew up with one sister, Gwen, in Kansas City, Kansas. We are our mother’s only children. At 11 years old, I had the great pleasure of meeting two sisters and a brother: Talone, Pudgy, and Tasha. They are my father’s children. I am hoping above all hope to meet my father’s firstborn, Sheila. Sidenote: Sheila, if you’re out there, I sure would love to meet you!

I am the oldest of all of my siblings except for Sheila. Biologically, I have five blood-related siblings. And if I may give a brief shout-out, they all beautiful and exceptional in their own unique ways. Love you guys!

However, I can’t count the actual number of brothers and sisters I have on this earth. Their numbers exceed my imagination; plus, I don’t know them all and, I’d probably be overwhelmed if I did. Some of them I know personally, and they are located all around the world in places like Atlanta, Canada, Africa, Arizona, Kansas, etc., etc., etc. There are many I will never meet in person in my lifetime on earth. I do know this, though… my brothers and sisters are innumerable.

The truth is that my father has a lot of children, and he expands his family daily. This ever-expanding family is global, stemming from every ethnicity, across the globe. My father is an international lover… of souls. I’m also an international lover, as I attempt to emulate my father as he’s instructed me to:

John 17:22

  • And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

1 Corinthians 10:17

  • For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

1 Corinthians 12:12

  • For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

Romans 12:5

  • So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Galatians 3:26

  • For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

  • There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

1 John 5:7

  • For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

I love my ever-expanding family. If you have placed your trust, hope, and life in Jesus Christ, I hope you do too. It’s both necessary and profitable to the kingdom of God that Christians see themselves as being part of a global, spiritual family. Jesus made it clear the value he has for his spiritual family:

Matthew 12:48-50

  • 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
  • 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
  • 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love and cherish my biological family. I’m to love them no different than I love my spiritual brothers and sisters. God even commanded that we love our enemies. So loving people in general is what a Jesus follower should be known for. 

1 John 4:20-21

  • 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
  • 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Without wrapping our heart and head around this spiritual mandate, we limit ourselves to earth-bound thinking and pursuits that add no heavenly benefit to the kingdom of God. It may seem extreme but at the end of the day we are called to have the same mind as Christ, our Savior:

Philippians 2:5

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Spoiler Alert: dear brother and sister in Christ, this earth is not our home! So love the ever-expanding family of God. And while you are at it, do what you can to add to it!

In A Relationship With God

The basis for all the others…

I was 11 years old when I first began to hear about the God I would later come to love. He was a mysterious stranger that intrigued me. I read the stories about him in my children’s bible. I listened intently to the lessons the teachers taught about all the things he did for me. My young mind was in awe of this invisible person who took on flesh like mine but was a Spirit-being.

It wasn’t long before I knew that I wanted what he was offering. This Jesus, who loved me so much that he died for me, drew me in. My mother loved me strongly, but I didn’t know of any man who lovely me this deeply. Plus, at 12 years old, I knew I didn’t like pain; I was sensitive to the hurts of others. So the option of not burning in hell for eternity because someone loved me like this, in my young mind, was a no-brainer.

Over the last 45 years of my life, I have been married to the Lord. I won’t lie: I haven’t been the best wife to him. But, because he has proven to me time and time again that his love for me is unwavering, my heart has desired to become a better wife. My trust in this husband has never been abused, misused, or hurtful. Every day this husband has proven himself faithful, longsuffering, and trustworthy.

Being in a relationship with God is awe-inspiring. I don’t mind sharing His love. He has an abundance of love to spread around to any and everyone who desires to join him in holy spiritual matrimony. I want everyone to experience the love I’ve found in my relationship with Christ, and it’s so simple, a child with understanding can do it.

Just repeat after me:

Lord,

I know that I am a sinner because sin was passed on to me through Adam, a fallen sinner, according to Romans 5:12, 3:23, and 6:23.

I know to become a child of God, I must be born again, according to John 3:3.

I believe that Jesus was God in the flesh and died, was buried, and rose again. I confess this belief with my mouth and ask you, Lord, to send your Holy Spirit to live within me, according to Romans 10:9-11.

I believe this in my heart, confess it with my mouth that I am now a child of God.

In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Welcome to the Family of Christ.

You are now in a relationship with God.

(Reach out to me if you accepted the Gift – I’d love to welcome you!)

Lifestyle Choices

[Wasting our greatest investment]

To be good at ANYTHING, we have to study and practice it until it becomes second nature. The great thing about the Word of God is that it is inexhaustible. And, when we study God’s Word, it not only becomes a part of us, but it transforms us from the inside out.

Just as a butterfly starts out as a different creature and then goes through a transformation process, so does the person who has given their life to Christ. And just as a caterpillar can end up a butterfly or a moth, a person can end up “born again” but without the distinct spiritual beauty that clearly identifies them as a new creature.

Of course, this is no sadder than a person who goes to college and gets a degree they never use. Which bears the question, “if we study a manual to learn our profession, why don’t we study the Bible to master our confession of faith?

At the end of the day, it’s about mastering our lifestyle choices.

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Romans 10:9-11

Checkmate 2020

God is the Righteous Judge

The bottom line is ALWAYS THE SAME … and, IT’S NOT A GAME!

We Choose Who We Follow!

We have FREE WILL to do whatever it is that we desire to do. And, we must know, that there will always be consequences to every thing we choose to do, and to be.

There are no gray areas here, no fence to straddle, though many times we prefer the fence top on a multitude of topics. There are ONLY two options:

~ God’s way or Man’s way ~

Always keep in mind that man, regardless of his title, position, education, substance, power, ethnicity, culture, heritage, or anything else – at the end of the day – is just a man, as we all are:  born in sin, in need of a Savior, and on his way to hell if he chooses to reject the gift of Salvation offered through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

It was, is, and remains

the only sacrifice acceptable to God for mankind’s sins! If you put your trust and allegiance in any man or idol over God, you’ve made a CHOICE for your life and your eternal resting place. And, there are no…

ifs, ands, or buts about it.

~ CHECKMATE ~

Joshua 24:15 – And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

I Could Panic, But Praying Is Easier

Thinking inside the spiritual box wins over thinking outside the emotional box

Burrrr. At three a.m., my phone registers a temperature of three degrees. At three a.m., I realize I’m in danger of becoming a human popsicle. Why? Because my furnace has died. The temperature on my thermostat reads 40 degrees, but it feels like North Dakota. I can see my breath.

A mental debate on apartment living versus homeownership ensues briefly. I am happy being a homeowner. I climb back under the covers with a flashlight to avoid frostbite and continue looking through papers for my home warranty. No luck.

I send a text to my realtor to ask if he has the warranty information. I don’t have money for a new furnace. After pressing send, I seal up my igloo and claim an additional thirty minutes of shut-eye.

I could have panicked before going to bed after the furnace rattled three times and became silent. In my defense, I don’t panic easily. For me, prayer is an easier response to difficulties. 

PRAYER is my automatic go-to. When issues arise, I pray. When I have no control or power over the matter, I turn it over to my heavenly Father. He already knows the issue, and I’m smart enough to let him handle it for me. I BELIEVE HIS PROMISES ARE TRUE.

I’m hoping I won’t have to cough up any more funds. I hope the pros will be able to fix the issue today. But, if not, I appreciate the open door to my son’s home. And if need be, I’ll pack up my little igloo and rest comfortably in peace.

I COULD PANIC, BUT PRAYING IS EASIER!

Our Temples

Core strengthening exercise for the soul

DISCLAIMER:  IF YOU HAVE NOT BELIEVED IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, ASKED HIM INTO YOUR HEART, AND PUT YOUR TRUST IN HIM … THIS MESSAGE IS NOT FOR YOU!

Our temples are so much more than just flesh. As NT Believers we are now the “Temple of God” in the same way that the Nation of Israel had a “Temple” where they went to be in the presence of God and to worship God.

Accordingly, defiling the temple holds greater meaning when we look at how the Anti-Christ will be in opposition to EVERYTHING GODLY & CHRIST-LIKE by seating himself in the temple in Jerusalem and beckoning people to come worship him.

The Anti-Christ’s actions are in direct relation to Lucifer’s desire and push to be “like the Most High” [Isaiah 14:13-14]. This bold move was then, and remains now, an abomination in God’s eyes and bears bringing to remembrance. Anytime, and in any way, we elevate ourselves or put anyone or anything in a position in our lives as an object of worship or to glorify it, we have set up an abomination in God’s eyes.

For NT Believers, our body indwells the Holy Spirit and we are now the Temple of God. We have to ask ourselves in what ways 1) do we, 2) have we, 3) are we polluting God’s temple (taking into ourselves: body, mind, spirit); and, 4) what or 5) who have we given more superiority in our life over God?

God’s Temple is the place where He gets all the praise and glory due His Name!

1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19-22

I Pray

In Jesus’ name I pray …

Lord God,

Every day I am reminded of how much I need you in these evil days. There is chaos and murder and abuses and governmental injustices that abound. My heart is tender; if I didn’t know where my help and strength comes from (Psalm 18:2), I would crumble in my emotions and spirit as one dead.

The greatest anguish that presses against my sanity is the PAIN being played out all around the WORLD. It is the sorrows, the famines, the hatreds, the brutalities that would destroy me, if I did not know that THERE IS A GOD IN HEAVEN WITH A PLAN FAR GREATER THAN ANYTHING I CAN IMAGINE.

All of these destructive shenanigans are just part of what You, Lord, are using in your MASTER PLAN FOR YOUR KINGDOM TO COME. So, I take my burdens to you, Lord. I cast my FEAR upon your throne, because in all HONESTY, I know there is NOTHING ELSE I CAN DO but turn to the ONE who holds all the power (Matthew 28:18). I remind myself that your ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55:8), and that you, Lord, are a GOOD SHEPHERD (John 10:11) who watches diligently over his flock.

This is my comfort … he who began a good work in me (Philippians 1:6), shall perform it. I will cast my cares upon you (Psalm 55:22) because only you can sustain me in these perilous times. My hope lies not in man or woman or child or government, but in the ONE TRUE AND LIVING GOD (1 John 5:20). My peace is made sure by my total dependence upon you and no one or nothing else (John 14:27). And, when I lay me down to sleep, I will fear no evil because you are with me (Psalm 23:4).

I will rejoice and praise thee with my whole heart (Psalm 9:1) because you are MY GOD, MY STRENGTH, MY PROVIDER, MY STRONG TOWER, MY HOPE, MY EVERLASTING LIFE! Because you are with me always (Matthew 28:20), I will take shelter under your wings.

THANK YOU, FATHER, FOR THE BIRTH, DEATH & RESURRECTION

OF YOU SON, WHO DIED FOR MY SINS, THAT I MIGHT HAVE LIFE!

In Jesus’ name, I pray!

To God be the Glory, Forever and Ever, AMEN!

Joseph: A Picture of Remaining True

When a man’s ways please God…

It starts from birth.  Children start out tender and sensitive to their environments.

Genesis 37:4 (KJV)

And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

  • A parent’s affection or lack of affection begins the building blocks of their foundation. When parents show favoritism to one child more than others it sets up an ungodly competition and causes discord between siblings. Every child should feel loved by their parents, even when they make poor choices and/or behave in ways not pleasing.
  • At our spiritual birth, we are hated like Joseph was, because of God’s love and favor towards us. Satan, once the anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:12-15), hates us because we have becomes God’s heirs to the throne, the place he wanted to be, and the reason he was kicked out of heaven. And because he hates us, he continually seeks to make us stumble and fail at pleasing God so he can accuse and shame us before God as he has been shamed. The Story of Job is our picture of this truth.

 Don’t expect everyone to rejoice in God’s plan for you.

Genesis 37:8 (KJV)

And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

  • God has a plan for every Believer’s life. There are ones common to all of us such as “to love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind (Matthew 22:37), and to ‘go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19-20).
  • Your service gifts are specific to you and how God has shaped you to be. Not everyone will be able to accept God’s vision for how He is using you to serve. So, don’t let other’s ridicule or rejection of sharing Christ and serving Christ affect you in a negative way.
  • Jesus was hated for proclaiming himself as the Messiah and saying he was sent by God the Father to do the will of His Father, even though it was true. Don’t expect to get a pass on being/doing what God is shaping you for, because Jesus didn’t, and he was Messiah (John 10:30-32).
  • Don’t feel bad when people reject the truth you speak from God’s Word. They have been blinded, and only God can remove the cover from their eyes. It’s our job to provide the torch that is lit by the power of God’s Spirit within us.

031219-HolyBibleLessons on our character, resisting temptation, unfairness, patience and God’s faithfulness.

Genesis 39

  • 1-5 – (v2) the Lord was with him; the Lord made him prosperous (v3, 23; it is God who gives us power to get wealth – Deuteronomy 8:18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.; Psalm 1:3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.);
  • 6b) He was a goodly person (He practiced living right… Proverbs 16:7When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.)
  • 7 – He was tempted to sin;… 1 Corinthians 10:13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
  • 8 – He refused to sin;… – 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
  • 9c – He shows discretionhow then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? [Discreet: Prudent; wise in avoiding errors or evil and in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose; circumspect; cautious; wary; not rash] (also, Genesis 41:33, 39; Mark 12:34And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.)
  • 10 – He resisted the temptation (hearkened not unto her) (James 4:7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.)
  • 11 – He didn’t avoid the temptation – (Proverbs 4:14-1614 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. 16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.)
  • 12 – Yet, he was delivered (And she caught him by his garment, … and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. [God will deliver us: 2 Peter 2:9 – The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:]

green click pen on a white graphing notebook

[Eternal security is found “in Christ” and, there is a plan already in place to guide you to that road:  Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:12, 10:9; 1 John 1:9]

It’s a Lie If It’s Not My Present Truth!

Change is possible in those who have believed He is able…

Change is possible in those who believe…

We were young and foolish once.  We did things we shouldn’t have; involved ourselves with some we shouldn’t have; adopted some ways that we shouldn’t have.  We picked up some bad habits we had to fight to get rid of; we ventured into situations that were harmful or left scars.  At 18 years of age (if not before), we ran into the world with arms wide open, ready to explore and experience life on our terms.  Some of us believed that our parents had been trying to hold us back from enjoying life.

But, after the dust had settled; after the tears and fears had been wiped away (or, in some cases buried), we realized a truth:  our parents knew what we didn’t.  They had experienced first hand or were in close proximity to the dangers of the world designed to destroy our hearts, our minds, and our soul.  Because they were good parents, they wanted to shield us from the harsh realities that awaited us outside of their parental authority.

Truth is:  we messed up; we choose our own way, being unable and sometimes completely unwilling to fully comprehend that every choice comes with a consequential effect:

Proverbs 29:23 (KJV)

A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

HOWEVER, regardless of those past mistakes and errors, those who have been delivered from seeking their own way and have chosen by profession of mouth and belief in heart to give the reigns of our lives to the One able to lead us into all righteousness – It’s a lie if you still see us and blame us for who we used to be.  We are no longer that person of our past!  Whether you can accept it or not, we were changed from the inside out – We Are New Creatures, indeed! 

It’s also true that we still make mistakes, but, if God, the creator of all things in heaven and in the earth, can forgive us, then I beg to differ that you can judge us or hold us to who we might have been in our past.  And, should you choose to do so, I gently and lovingly remind you of this:

2 Corinthians 13:1-6 (KJV)

13 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: 3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

 

Copyright © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry, February 12, 2019

[Eternal security is found “in Christ” and there is a plan already in place to guide you to that road:  Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:12, 10:9; 1 John 1:9]

Body Strengthening

Set your affection on things above – Colossians 3:2

A brother-in-Christ, Dedrick Abbott, posted the below comment on Facebook. It’s a topic that me and my boss talk about all the time!

Dedrick Abbott  1 hr  Followers of Christ should be more interested in building each other up than tearing each other apart. It is easy to be critical, but when we bear with others we enter into their story and the little things that cause them to act the way that they do. This is an opportunity for the church to be counter-culture to the world around us. We should try to value others for who they are and not simply for what they can do.

It’s true … the body of the church has played a pretty good role in causing this growing lean toward disdain for “church” followers of Jesus Christ. It’s true … a lot of churches have to make a greater effort in drawing the hurt, abused, fearful, confused and lost into our bosom (a familiar source of protection, security or affection) in our bodies of worship.

It starts, however, with INDIVIDUALS who truly love the Lord and who purposely DEMONSTRATE that LOVE person-to-person. It requires both the church-goer and the Believer to come to understand that not everyone is mature enough to operate in the will of God’s command that we love each other. Loving others in spite of their faults is a learned heart attitude that can only be grasped by those who truly have allowed God full access to their heart.

In all the years I attended church from my youth up into my young adult years, it took me until I was around 37 yo to recognize that not everyone who says, Lord, Lord, does God’s will. I learned that not everyone who attends church is a “Believer” who practices godly living. At the end of the day, I had to make up my mind to put my focus on God and not people. I had to stop allowing people to be the deciding factor in how, why, when and where I worshipped the Lord of my salvation.

woman writing in white board

 

The lessons taught me to make a personal choice to walk with Christ and focus on Him instead:

  • I choose to learn more about Him for myself – not accept second-hand knowledge
  • I choose to know Him – not just accept someone else’s experiences of Him
  • I choose to seek Him – not through a preacher or teacher but through His Word
  • I choose to serve Him out of my heart belief of His deity – not look to flesh for His image

I learned early in life that man was a sinful creature, flawed, and in need of a savior. It was in my immature and infantile stage as a Believer that I allowed the fallacy of man to cripple my relationship commitment and dedicated service to Christ. God kept reminding me through situations and circumstances that I needed His umbrella of love and protection more than man’s. Because of God’s patience, I was able to grow into the Woman of God I am today, firmly committed and settled in heart, mind, and spirit to stand firm in Christ alone. Christ is the umbrella that keeps me from being overtaken by the desires of my flesh and the enemy’s destructive vices.

I can tell you I spiritually feel like a young 20-something in Christ! My faith continues to grow stronger every day; I see the world for what it is—a battlefield for a spiritual kingdom that has already has been designated as the inheritance to the One who sits at the right hand of His Father – Jesus Christ.

It is true, there is much work to be done within and without the church, and it’s sad that those who need to make their standing in Christ sure are still busy looking outward instead of inward. For those doing their part, I say God Bless You and Keep You Strong on the path of His righteousness. The greatest prayer the Body of Christ can utter continually is that God would help us individually examine ourselves:

  • How is my relationship with Christ?black and white blackboard business chalkboard
  • Who am I sharing Christ with?
  • What is my service lane in the Body?
  • Where do I exercise my servanthood to Christ?
  • When has my light brought others near to Christ?

Attitude is a huge deal when it comes to operating in the world as ministers of reconciliation and Christ representatives. It’s crucial in these last days that the Body of Christ gives more focus to redeeming the lost from the hand of our enemy and incorporate more of sharing Christ into our areas of purpose. Remember, the most important call on every believer’s life is the call to witness – to share the gospel of Christ with a lost world and bring sinners into the saving grace of Salvation.

Let us gather the spiritual tools that enable us to strengthen the weak and draw the hurting. I was hurt in the church many times. It took finding one person in the Body to love on me. My need for Christ helped me consistently get back up and go back into the Body. I came to understand by-and-by that at the Judgment Seat of Christ there is no finger pointing. Each of us will stand alone before our sovereign God while a panoramic view of our life showing the good – the bad the ugly, and the abominable flashes before the heavenly hosts. That should make you shiver.

Church Body, we definitely need to get our act together so we don’t do more damage to the Body of Christ and God’s name. It might be better for some to become or remain “uncover Christians” so we don’t scatter those with a real desirous need of the Savior. What my brother-in-Christ spoke today should give all of God’s children reason to pause—consider their ways—and GET RIGHT CHURCH, because we will soon be going home!!

To my weaker brothers/sisters-in-Christ, to the hurting, and to the lost who have judged the Body of Christ – I’d like to make this suggestion: Find one person in the Body who demonstrates God’s love and care and then draw near to them. Most of the time this is called Discipleship in churches. They’ll help you grow in your relationship with Christ. I’ve seen process in action and everyone benefits, including the Church Body.  The only way you’ll learn to stand in Christ in the midst of the spiritually immature is for you to seek to know Christ intimately yourself. Doing this will help you stand by faith as an individual while operating in faith corporately.

women watching gray tablet computer

Copyright © Speak True Life, Wanda J. Murry, February 1, 2019

[Eternal security is found “in Christ” and there is a plan already in place to guide you to that road:  Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:12, 10:9; 1 John 1:9]