Shortly after John the Baptist was born, his father, Zacharias, who was a priest, prophesied of his mission. Among other things, Zacharias prophesied of John the Baptist, that he would: “…go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways” (Luke 1:76).
“To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79).
Yet, although the world desperately needs peace, the world does not know the way of peace.
We find the following rebuke in a prophecy applying to our age: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out. Their webs will not become garments, Nor will they cover themselves with their works; Their works are works of iniquity, And the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace” (Isaiah 59:1-8).
That this prophecy applies to both Jews and other Israelite peoples, and Gentiles, in other words, the world in general, is made plain in the book of Romans. Paul wrote: “For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks [or Gentiles, non-Jews, cf. Romans 3:19, 29; or non-Israelites, cf. Romans 11:25] that they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9).
Then Paul quotes from or paraphrases various Scriptures to make his point. Including the following: “Destruction and misery are in their ways; And the way of peace they have not known” (Romans 3:16-17).
The Bible makes it plain that there is a way of life that is referred to as the way of peace. Yet, few know the way of peace. Certainly the world, with its chaos, confusion, strife and conflict, is not at peace. And the Bible confirms that most do not know or follow the way of peace.
Yet, as a prophet of God, it was John’s mission, in part, “To guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:79). When John began his public ministry: “… he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.”’” (Luke 3:3-4).
The Church of God shares the mission to prepare the way for God’s kingdom through the preaching of the gospel. We also preach repentance, and the remission of sins, and it is our duty to follow the way of peace, and to lead others into that way of peace by our example, as well as by what we proclaim.
We are called to be the “light of the world.” “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5: 14-16).
But do we, individually and collectively, know what is the way of peace? Do we understand the way of peace? Are we living the way of peace?
The way of peace is revealed in the Bible. Examined in this article are ten facets of the way of peace, or ten specific behaviors you can practice to walk in the way of peace.
The first in the series of actions you can take to follow the way of peace is:
(1) Follow the laws of God. You won’t have lasting peace until you learn to obey God. The people of Israel were promised peace if they would obey God’s laws. “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them….
“I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land” (Leviticus 26:3, 6).
The law of God when applied in our lives tends to result in peace: “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you” ( Proverbs 3:1-2).
“Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble” (Psalm 119:165).
(2) Contend for the faith. Ironic as it may seem, walking the the way of peace requires, in this world, that we contend for the faith. Note how Jude connects peace with contending for the faith: “Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:2-3).
We are in a world which is hostile to the truth, and hostile to those who proclaim or seek to live by the truth of God’s word.
We are engaged in spiritual warfare to win the battle for peace within ourselves, and in the world at large. The only way to peace is for us to engage and defeat our enemies in this spiritual war. Who are our enemies? First it is ourselves; our own carnal nature we must overcome.
“For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members” (Romans 7:22-23).
The other “law” that Paul speaks of warring against our desire to please God is the law of sin, bound up in our carnal or fleshly nature. The fact is the fleshly mind, of itself, is enmity against the law of God and is not in submission to God’s commandments.
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” (Romans 8:7).
Yet, our efforts to follow God, coupled with the Holy Spirit, can enable us to overcome our own carnality. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:13).
Another enemy is the world, or the spiritual forces that shape the world. I want to emphasize that ours is not carnal warfare, but spiritual, and our weapons are not weapons of carnal warfare, like guns and bullets, but spiritual weapons, such as truth, the gospel of peace, faith, etc. (cf. Ephesians 6:11-18).
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Enemies of the truth are to be found not only in the world at large, but the Church itself has repeatedly over the ages been subverted from within by those who seek to take it in a path that is contrary to the path of truth. “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4).
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (2 Peter 2:1-3).
So walking in the way of peace requires that we be diligent and resourceful in overcoming with God’s help, and watchful that we do not become victims of deception as we contend for the faith.
(3) Love other people, including your brethren in the Church, and even your enemies.
Although the world is at enmity with God and with his people, we are to love God, and love other people, including our brethren, and our enemies as well. And we are to seek to live at peace with them, within the parameters of God’s word.
“Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets’” (Matthew 22:35-40).
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:12-18).
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:13-15).
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22).
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4: 8-10).
In addition to loving one another, and our neighbors, we are to love our enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:17-21).
(4) Submit to government (but not to the point of disobeying God’s laws).
An important key to peace is learning to submit to lawful authority. This includes especially God’s government, or rule over your affairs, but also government in the world and in the Church, though both may be flawed due to the flawed character of men.
By obeying lawful authority, you benefit from the potential rewards of doing so, and you may avoid being subject to the penalties meted out to lawbreakers. I once knew a couple who had decided fairly early in life that they were not going to file tax returns or pay taxes. As the years went on they lived increasingly in fear of being caught, and were deprived of many of the advantages they might have availed themselves of if they had paid their taxes, such as owning property. They were deprived of much of the peace they might have enjoyed had they respected the law and yielded to the governing authorities.
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3).
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:1-7).
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men — as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:13-17).
Concerning government in the Church, Peter wrote: “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words” (Hebrews 13:17-22).
In all cases, however, when there is a conflict between the clear requirements of God’s word, and the requirements human authority may lay upon us, we must obey God rather than men. When the apostles were commanded by the government in Jerusalem not to preach the gospel, they said: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
(5) Honor one another.
By giving honor to others we promote tranquility and peace.
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10).
If everyone did this it would preclude many if not all of the disputes and feuds that occur between people. Being a self-promoter is something that is not pleasing to God.
“But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, `Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:10-11).
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
In marriage, both husbands and wives should give honor to one another:
“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For ‘He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil’” (1 Peter 3:1-12).
(6) Endure trials patiently.
Trials are a part of life. If we are to be at peace we must learn to endure patiently whatever life throws at us, even as we do our best to live our lives in a godly and industrious way.
Sometimes trials are allowed to chasten us. When that is the case, we are admonished: “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:5-11).
Trials, however, occur to all people, some more than others, and not infrequently, through no fault of the person who suffers. Yet, even in such circumstances, we are called upon to exercise patience: “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:19-21).
“And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.’ But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:13-17).
“Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:5-11).
Whatever suffering we have to endure, in comparison with eternity, is but for a short time. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
(7) Do not envy.
The disciples of Jesus sometimes exhibited jealousy and covetousness. Jealousy and envy destroy peace among brethren, and eventually destroy the brethren. The same principle applies to entire nations.
“Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, ‘What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?’ But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all’” (Mark 9:33-35).
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50, NET).
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:13-18).
(8) Control your tongue.
Often peace and tranquility is disturbed by an unruly tongue.
“An ungodly man digs up evil, And it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends” (Proverbs 16:27-28).
“Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:20-21).
“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:1-10).
As James says, anyone who has perfected control over his tongue, who never stumbles in anything he says, is a perfect man. I dare say none of us has attained such perfection. But with God’s help each one of us ought to strive for perfection in the things he or she says. Seek perfection in the use of your tongue.
John Gill in his commentary on verse 8 wrote: “No man can, by his own power and strength, tame or subdue his tongue, or restrain it from evils it is habituated to, be it lying, cursing, swearing, or what else: God, by his Spirit, power, and grace, can, and often does, change the note of the curser, swearer, liar, and blasphemer; but no man can do this, though he can tame beasts, birds, serpents, and fishes; which shows the tongue to be worse than anything to be found in the whole compass of nature”.
“The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up” (Ecclesiastes 10:12).
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6).
We are instructed to avoid foolish disputes:
“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Timothy 2:22-23).
We should reflect on and evaluate the things we say. Are our words edifying? Are they the truth? Do we engage in slander, gossip and lies? Sound speech is vital to peace.
(9) Be diligent in your own business and don’t meddle in other people’s business.
Peace is disturbed when someone meddles in the affairs of someone else inappropriately.
“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12).
“For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:11-16).
Verse 11 in the ISV reads: “We hear that some of you are living in idleness. You are not busy working —you are busy interfering in other people’s lives!” (2 Thessalonians 3:11).
“Impertinent meddlers with other people’s business” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary).
(10) Exercise forbearance.
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful“ (Colossians 3:12-15).
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3).
“‘Bearing’ (or forbearing –- KJV) ἀνέχομαι (anéchomai) middle voice from 303 and 2192; to hold oneself up against, i.e. (figuratively) put up with: – bear with, endure, forbear, suffer” (Strong’s Concordance lexicon).
Be patient in enduring the perceived faults of one another, and “put up with” one another, without gossiping, slandering, spitefulness, backbiting, etc.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).
In this article we’ve examined ten actions that can help us walk in the way of peace. They are: Follow the laws of God; Contend for the faith; Love other people, including your brethren, and your enemies; Submit to government (but not to the point of disobeying God’s laws); Honor one another; Endure trials patiently; Do not envy; Control your tongue; Be diligent in your own business and don’t meddle in other people’s business; Exercise forbearance.
Being diligent in applying these principles in our own lives can help each of us make significant progress in following the way of peace.
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Copyright © 2021 by Rod Reynolds
Unless otherwise noted Scripture taken from the New King James VersionTM
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