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When God Says No - Part 12

David Wright

Presenter

David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church

Recorded

  • November 2, 2019
    11:15 AM
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Well this morning I'm just going to ask a simple question you like to be told no we'll check it out and see Pastor we can be out by noon today no how do you like then. I don't know about you but I don't like to be told no I like to be told yes absolutely we'd love to but to hear no no I'm sorry we can't help you know our calendars all filled up no you're not allowed to do that no we're closed no we don't make parts for that anymore or whatever it is I don't like to hear no especially when making a request I don't know about you but this tends to bleed over in my prayer life as well I make a request and I want to hear yes absolutely 2 years ago Elizabeth was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis my technology this morning decided to say no so listen who's diagnosed and we weren't really sure what rheumatoid arthritis was all about of the fact that she was having some significant stiffness in her hands and her joints and various things and and so do a little bit of a process we came to figure out exactly what it was that was going on. So I don't want to go on the story too much because I know all of you have your own issues and you have your own prayer requests and so on we made this a matter of prayer we prayed about it we felt led to have an anointing for Elizabeth we did but still the answer by and large was no and there was some medical things that we're doing and she has to get a painful shot every week and she doesn't like that even though it's better than the alternative and so that's what we do but in that situation we prayed we put it out there Lord please heal her you know when she still has James the little kids and she can open a jar Some days that's a problem right and so we prayed and the response virtually was no we wanted her to be healed of this thing and be able to put it behind her but it was no and so we're dealing with some of those kind of things other and we said we don't really know why God answers in certain cases a certain way with a yes or absolutely no other time in the know but other times we are given some kind of an indication maybe not that moment but as time passes Have you had one of those situations I'm also thinking of the summer when we were looking for a house and we were fiercely looking through all the different homes and where they were employing them on maps and and we found a lot of really nice things for just the 2 of us but we're no longer just the do of us and so we thought we found the place it was the distance from every place was good the space in the house was actually more than we really needed but we thought hey we this would be great and so we put in the offer and we prayed about it of course we've been praying this whole time and we put in an offer lot of you want to have this house here was the answer was You already heard this story that done before it was no pretty loud No because somebody offered the exact same amount as we did except they had cash we don't have cash the bank told us no. And so we thought Ok and that was a member kind of man I was just so ready to be done right and Elizabeth said well that's not the house the Lord wants us to be and God said no and so we're just going to keep looking and that's exactly what we did we thought about that house several times since then and we thought we're so glad that we're in this house and not in that house we like the the flow of this house so much better in the neighborhood and so many other things does God know what he's doing he does is it always apparent at the time it's not do sometimes we get glimpses as to why later sometimes do we always know we don't but the fact remains God is always in control and that's why this is one of our favorite verses for my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord he knows best and he asked us to trust him we've been going through a series on Paul the man of grace and grit and today we're looking at. When God says No I want to ask you that same question What do you do when God tells you you know how do you respond well if you brought your Bibles I invite you to turn with me in Acts Chapter 15 we're going to pick up our story in a place where we left off before it's been a little while we've had a few various things here and that's just fine as it should be but we left off we talked about how the how the house church was used and so on and we kind of squeeze that piece in here too but then we're also talking about the very end of Chapter 15 how there was this split if you will. Between Paul and Barnabas and so picking up where we left off in Acts Chapter 15 verse 40 it says Paul chose Silas and departed being commanded by the brother into the grace of God and he went through Syria and solicit and strengthened the churches and then he came to Derby and list. And so if we go and turn to a map here Antioch is where he started up here in the bottom right or or middle right and of course the whip through Tarsus maybe visiting some of the places where he spent 5 maybe as much as 10 years there in Tarsus we don't have much record of that but maybe he popped in there and then he went to Derby and then the next stop here is is list here we have our little hiker. And he had to cross the tarsus mountain range if we go back that would be just kind of to the left there of Tarsus and so you have to cross through this type of countryside this isn't exactly what I imagine when I think of the Holy Land but these beautiful mountains and through the rugged passes hiking having different clothing that you might have to put on from time to time the elements the weather and then when you cross over into derby it looks maybe the more past oral maybe not year round it doesn't look this green but it is in this picture and then list is like this and so in this story he finds himself here in the list now and we need to finish. What you see Lister there on the map and you may recall that it's in lists where Paul had been dragged out of the still out of the city and stoned same by Remember that so he was dragged out of the city he was stoned and you remember he got back up and went back in the city before he left and here Paul is revisiting this place do you think there was little anxiety when he came back into this place perhaps but perhaps not I mean Paul was was fearless It seemed. And that's one of the reasons that we talk about Paul as having grit and so he's back here in Lister a. And continuing the rest of verse one in chapter 16 and behold a certain disciple was there named Timothy here interns Timothy the son of a certain Jewish woman who believe that his father was Greek he was well spoken of by the brother and and who were all by the brother who were at list and it Kone him and so here you have the more seasoned Paul he comes in contact with his youth this young adult named Timothy and who is this Timothy that just pops on the scene you may ask Well we flip over to acts of the Apostles it gives us a little bit more insight it says the faith of his mother and his grandmother in the sacred oracles was to him a constant reminder of the blessing in doing God's will here behind Timothy we have a faithful mother and a faithful grandmother and I think we could probably stay behind all faithful men is a faithful mother and a faithful grandmother continuing it says the Word of God was the rule by which these 2 godly women had guided Timothy to imagine going over the stories going over the Scriptures that they had teaching and building the character of this young man as as a spiritual power of the lessons that he had received from them kept him pure and speech and so lead by evil influences with which he was surrounded thus his home instructors had cooperated with God in preparing him to bear burdens What was it preparing him for. To bear burdens and what kind I imagine in part the burdens of everyday life. But also the burdens and challenges of ministry but don't forget how he was prepared the home instructions to the study of God's word to a faithful mother and grandmother cooperating with God and so young Timothy is being prepared for ministry and so for you mother or grandmother there's a lot of grandmothers that are raising their grand kids and you think What am I doing you doing one of the most important work there is to do your training and shaping the character of a life and let me just say it's a lot easier to do just about anything else I mean don't get me wrong kids are cute and they can be a lot of fun but when it comes to training them and shaping their character that's not always fun that can be hard work that can be exhausting that can be tedious that can be let alone this day after day if I'm told you wants deep breath it's a high calling So if there's a mother or grandmother that's discouraged Don't be discouraged it's a high work and we also find there and actually Apostles page to go to hear Paul again met Timothy who had witnessed his sufferings at the close of his 1st visit to list. And we already mentioned what happened his 1st visit right there we have a picture of Paul out on the ground everyone thinks he's dead because they have stone him and they've stopped throwing rocks because we've done the deed and here I imagine is young Timothy taking all of this in as a young man yet it makes a deep impression on him in fact it does the opposite of what we would expect we would think that if he sees this is how the church treats people that preach the Word of God I don't want to have anything to do. But that's not his response rather he feels a calling on his art look at this next past year the impression then made had deepened with the passing of time until he was convinced that it was his duty to give himself fully to the work of ministry and I just love this picture because a picture of a young adult that is capable that has energy that has gifts that has talents that studying God's word that feels the call of God and is responding based on that nurturing that training that equipping of the mother and the grandmother seen how Paul was treated studying insane and digging into the Scriptures is this really I mean he was willing to die for this is this true is this not true and to finish that quote his heart was knit with the heart of Paul and he longed to share the Apostles labors by assisting as the way open and I imagine a simple little prayer young man saying Lord I feel called to ministry I feel called the part of this work I don't know how to get into it I don't know what I need to do what this looks like but if you open the way can you imagine that young man praying that prayer if you open the way I'd be more than happy to serve you in this capacity at a young age feels convicted doesn't know how or where a whim but in verse 3 Paul and to list had no idea that he was coming there were no banners no advertisements but here he comes out in verse 3 and says Paul wanted to have him Timothy go on with him he liked Timothy. Somehow they connected very quickly you know there are certain people you just meet and it seems like you have instant report seems like you've known them all your life when you just met them but somehow Timothy and Paul Connect which is a little bit unusual in the fact that Paul is is season he's older Timothy is much younger it's almost a father son relationship but they are very quickly knit together and Paul says I want him to be my right hand man I want him to come with us Silas in Timothy Paul saw one who appreciate the sacredness of the work of a minister of a minister who is not appalled at the prospect of suffering and persecution and was willing to be taught he says I can use this young man I mean when most of you rather have somebody that was teachable come alongside that was also gifted and talented and you can teach him the things you need to teach him rather then the know it all who thinks he knows everything already and doesn't need anything from you we find in scripture hints of this relationship Romans 1621 it says Timothy my fellow worker 1st Corinthians 417 I have sent Timothy to you who is my beloved and faithful son is the Lord for Libyans to to but you know he's his proven character that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel do you see that close connection later in Philippians 219 but I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy for I have no one like minded who will sincerely care for your state for all seek their own not the things which are of Christ Jesus but you know his proven character that as a son with his father he served with me in the Gospel he was like minded with Paul Paul was like mine with Timothy and it made all the difference that's one thing I very much appreciate about Pastor Haim and I would pray Lord send a somebody that is like minded and we've been blessed. 1st Hymn of the one verse 2 he says to Timothy a true son in the faith this is one of 2 letters addressed to Timothy beyond that Paul listed Timothy as a code sender in 6 other letters and you've seen those greetings in various places like Corinthians Philippians Colossians 1st 2nd Thessalonians Filmon And so here we have these 3 setting out together but let's read the last part of verse 3 and it says and he Paul took him and circumcised him this is him in the because of the Jews who were in that region for they all knew that his father was Greek and what's that all about I thought we settled this issue of circumcision once and for all in Acts Chapter $58.00 well here Paul takes Timothy and circumcised and walk Well 1st of all verse 3 tells us because of the Jews that were in that region as well as the fact that his father was Greek So what is this all about well how do we make sense of this well 1st of all it was settled in Acts 15 that Gentiles did not need to be circumcised However Jews were never asked to abandon their Jewishness or abandon circumcision as a mark of membership as God's covenant people and according to rabbinic law a child born to a Jewish mother and a Greek or Gentile father was considered Jewish So Timothy would have been considered a Jew Yet his father being Greek would not have had him circumcised but if Timothy was going to follow Paul into the synagogues as a Jew We could have some major trouble and so rather than be a stumbling block rather than this be a point of contention he says we're just going to deal with this right now we're going to get this out of the way you member the verse in 1st Corinthians 1920 and to the Jews I became a Jew why that I might win Jews we don't need to let this. Smallish insignificant thing that will be huge in their mind the rail the whole thing and so we're just going to put this to rest and so we continue on verse 4 and as they went through the cities they delivered to them the decrees to keep which were determined by the Apostles and elders of Jerusalem so the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in number daily sounds good right continuing verse 6 now when they had gone through. And the region of the lay Shia they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia after that they came to Miss Micio the thin media but the Spirit did not permit them and so here they're trying to do the work of ministry here they're trying to visit these other places but the Holy Spirit says no he says no to Phrygia he says no to kill a Shia he says no to Missy he says no to no no no no foreigner row 4 doors if you will slammed in their face you calculate what they probably travel we don't fully know but we're probably thinking about somewhere between 3 and 400 miles they're walking through the countryside up and down hills and all the rest now I don't know about you but if I'm even taking a afternoon hike and this is silly because the point is to be on a hike but if I take the wrong turn down the wrong path for like a mile or 2 and then I discover and have to come back I'm grumpy I don't like to go someplace that's wrong that's not the destination and especially to get the other side and see be told No I came all this way on foot it was uphill both ways and you're going to tell me no but we don't get a hint in here in scripture anywhere that they're put out that they're discouraged they're starting to pack their bags and chuck it all in and this could have gone on for 6 months as they travelled from place to place but God continued to say through the Holy Spirit No not here what do you. Not here we have a message not here Ok and so they continue hiking Yes Sometimes God says No I mean let's stop and think about this though if we truly believe that God knows what is best would not mean that he'd have to say no from time to tell him isn't it possible there's a way better that we cannot see or understand I mean if the God of the universe says no if your entire purpose is to be in the middle of God's will then we don't need to stress about the know it's truly just that simple is no and we need to be more concerned about being in God's Will not that the answer is especially if it's one we don't like we just say Ok if that's what you want if you don't want me here if you don't want me there I'm just going to keep looking for the Holy Spirit to guide me I still don't have any indication where you want me to go but I'm going to keep trying maybe I have a 5th 6th 7th No I don't know but we get the sense that Paul is at peace I want to turn keep your finger there and turn with me to John Chapter 16 because I want you to see this in your own Bible John Chapter 16 you read this before John Chapter 16 verse 20 $1.22 and it says a woman when she is in labor has sorrow because of her hour because her hour has come but as soon as she has given birth to the top child she no longer remembers the anguish praise the Lord for joy that a human being has been born into this world you'll know what this is talking about many of you know I don't fully know but I have been in that headlock 4 different times there is a period and a time where this is not pleasant it's exciting but it's trying sometimes is overwhelming sometimes you wonder is this child ever going to come but then when you hold that little life when they put that naked screaming baby on your chest and you get to see them for the 1st time you're the one that did this to me no you can't said baby you probably. Know boys who. Or girl you know it doesn't matter I mean it could be a chimpanzee and you be always you will therefore you now have sorrow but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice and your joy no one will take from you sounds like that verse in this life you will have trouble but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world doesn't it there will be times and periods that you will question and you will wonder but be of good cheer your joy no one will take from you there will be a time when your heart will rejoice when you will remember the sorrow anymore and then skipping over to verse 33 these things I have spoken to you that in me you have may have peace where we find peace in him in the world you will have trouble there it is but be of good cheer I have over. The world should that be a guiding beacon in every trial that we face yes we're going to have heartache we're going to have pain we're going to have trials but Jesus says Just hang in there there are times I have to tell you No don't give up don't lose heart just hang in there I like this other verse from Nehemiah Chapter 8 verse 10 the joy of the Lord is your strength do you believe that the problem is our society likes to sing it wrong the joy of all my stuff is my strength that's how it goes the joy of my job is my strength No the sun goes either the joy of my 401 k. Now I don't know whatever it doesn't work is the joy of the Lord is your strength and regardless of what you are going through regardless of what happened to your stuff or your things or your employment or your relationships the joy of the Lord can still be your strength can it because the promise here in John still holds true you will have tribulation but be of good cheer I have overcome the world therefore you now have sorrow but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice and your joy no one will be able to take from you I remember when James started. Showing signs of abnormalities and we gathered together on our front lawn with both of our parents and many of the elders came we had special prayer of anointed for James for healing you recognize that picture James he said hey it was a beautiful sunny day we were out there on the front lawn in the grass and we were all praying and Liz and I took turns praying and crying and praying and even in that time we saw something in James when he prized all of us and he took a Kleenex box and he pulled out some Kleenex and while as a bit His praying or somebody I don't remember who was praying and he's crying he started dabbing her cheeks with the Kleenex now we were praying for James Healy he hasn't been healed yet a lot of healing some day we just don't know when he still has his challenges but God didn't say yes to that prayer he said no but we have since seen how God has used James and very marked ways he has an uncanny way of finding individuals that are in pain or hurting or or just discouraged or whatever it is and he'll connect with them and I contacted just walk in and he seemed to lock in and dial in on somebody and he'll smile or he'll wave we call it flirty and we've seen him do this over and over again we have people over the House and the one that might be feeling the most insecure the moment most down and out that's who James will oftentimes gravitate towards and how do you say no to a little special needs kid with a walker like this that wants to talk to you and wants you to hold him you can't say no to that and we saw just a few weeks ago we had a service for a family member that passed away and one of the family members that has walked away from the amnesty and because of that they feel a strange and different things you know we continue to try and pray for this person and visit this person and include them as much as possible but they just feel like they're not part of things anymore and that hurts us well James for whatever reason and this person is not your cuddly type person. No offense to this person they're just not that way it's a male of kind of matter of fact does his own thing and James for whatever reason single this person out just a few weeks ago dial them in and said up. And want to be in his arms all the time it was his new buddy and Elizabeth and I were all awestruck we thought here the Lord is using this little angel with Alexander Disease to touch heart and this person said this whole process I don't think it was just James but he says this whole process I feel like I'm connected and reuniting with the family again like I never have before praise God use little tiny Alexander kid babies why not to use them in ways he couldn't if he didn't have the disease he can't and we've seen it happen time and again is another story I want to share with you so a bit dramatic doesn't have to be a dramatic thing to trust the Lord it can be a small thing if it matters to you it matters to the master don't you but don't you agree there's a canoe just in family I 1st met t.j. the father in Palau we went scuba diving together while I was a student missionary. Very nice man nice family and now they have this beautiful family but tragedy truck on July 28th if you're on Facebook you might be aware when Marianne is rye wife was running into town with the kids and while driving down the road a tire blew she lost control of the van the car went off the road rolled multiple times and they were in a very rural part of northern California quite a ways outside of reading on this deserted road yet somebody was on the scene like within moments almost instantly they call 911 another Providence was at the helicopter was already in the air having just drop somebody off and so the helicopter was there very quickly but when the paramedics arrived Whitney this middle girl here on the left she notified the paramedics by saying My older sister Sierra is dead and mommy can't breathe and they didn't know then but Marianne had suffered from a c. 6 cervical fracture that has caused her to be paralyzed and her young lungs as a result were shutting down and another interesting part of this story is that t.j. was the doctor on call in the e.r. that day and he got word that people were coming in from this accident that happened on bit more road and they traveled bit more road it's kind of out there in the middle of nowhere quite a bit and so he inquired what the vehicle was like and sure enough the vehicle met it was his vehicle and all that he knew was that one of the children had died he didn't know which one and that his wife was seriously or in very serious condition and so initially he was the doctor that treated her and so on and miraculously she has survived she had been paralyzed or is paralyzed from the neck down but actually some of that paralysis has subsided over time as certain swelling is so she has very limited use of her limbs she can really use your fingers but she can use a wrist so she can hug people see couldn't talk actually for like almost a month she got to where she. It mouth certain things but nothing as far as speech but after about a week she was so sedated but after about a week she was conscious enough that they were going to tell her that her daughter the oldest Sierra in this picture had died in this accident and so she process that she weeps she mourned and all these kinds of things went through all of this with t.j. difficult thing I would I can imagine to tell your wife this news and then to find out later that she is so sedated she didn't remember any of it she mourned it but she didn't remember it so we can later they had to break the news to her yet again that her daughter had been killed and some time later as she was able to mouth a close friend that I just spoke to this morning to make sure I had these details correct she was saying various things through just her lips and she was lip reading and so I said How do you do that she said it was actually not too hard and and I said it was a kind of process of guessing and she cannot her head and she says yeah and one of the things that she was wherever you tell my story tell people that God is good in fact throughout this whole thing this couple has continued to hold on with tenacity to the promises of God I think there's 3 different Facebook I don't know thread steam whatever you call these things where you can follow the progress and you can find videos of her in fact here is a video I couldn't figure out exactly how to make the video play but she's smiling and she's so excited to tell all these Facebook audience of thousands of people literally that are following this I'm so excited because now I can talk praise the Lord isn't he so good here she is in this wheelchair she still doesn't have balance though she has to be strapped in says doesn't fall over but she's learning now how with her wrist to control the wheelchair a little bit she's able to talk and she's so thankful and filled with joy and the person I talked to this morning they said you know you would think to go see her would be a very depressing thing. They said but it's not it's really quite inspiring you leave there feeling uplifted and I think Wow and here there's another video I don't have this video playing but here's t.j. reading passages from God's word from the Spirit of Prophecy that were meaningful to them at that time. And through countless. Things on Facebook and social media through this funeral that they had for their daughter where t.j. invite all of his colleagues God has used this tragedy for good. And I would imagine as soon as she got was brought in or as soon as t.j. then learned I met him he was praying fervently wouldn't you I would be and I magine many of the prayers that he prayed the answer was No. Yet ironically I just heard this last week that many of their family members on both sides have made decisions to walk with the Lord again or renew their commitment with the Lord or decide to come back to church and they're just praising the Lord for that they said We prayed fervently for some of these family members and now they're coming back who would have thought it would take something like this to bring them back and so we think that the no is always a bad thing but if we trust the Lord and are surrendered to his plan he will always use our circumstances for His glory and ultimately for our good we need to wrap up this sermon going back to this story here picking it up in verse 9 it says where in Acts Chapter 16 I'm still in John acceptor 16 verse 9 and here's where it came together for Paul and for Silas and for Timothy a vision appeared to Paul nice and a man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him saying Come over to Macedonia and help us. Now after he had seen the vision even mediately we sought to go to Macedonia notice the we that means that Luke is now included in this group just kind of insert themselves there we sought to go to Macedonia concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them that's why he said no because he has another place for us to go maybe that's why this happen because God's going to use it for His glory maybe if he does this or maybe it's because of that and maybe in the whole scheme of things after Jesus comes they will get to say I didn't think you know we wouldn't want it any other way and so verse 11 therefore sailing from Troy as we ran a straight course. To so moth race and the next day came to and from there to fill a pie which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia colony and we were staying in that city for some days and on the Sabbath day we went into the synagogue as I would says no he went out of the city to the riverside where prayer was customarily made Why was it outside the city if you had at least 10 Jewish men you'd have a synagogue feel a by doesn't it isn't big enough well it is big enough but there's not enough Jewish population there there's not enough believers there to have a synagogue this is a secular place and so Paul his group says where that would people be where we want to be pray we'll probably down by the river where they can wash and do their ceremonial cleansing all types of things and so they go and sure enough and we sat down and spoke to women who we met there now a certain woman named Lydia heard us she was a seller of purple from the city of Tyra who worshipped God and the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul in case you forgot who's in charge of this work I mean the whole thing God is. We stress when we try and take it on we stress when we think we're in control but God's in control he says no don't go there no don't go here no don't do this no don't do that slam plan plan plan plan and I had to get offended or I can say Ok what do you mean you go out say tomorrow Ok here's a vision go to Macedonia go to Philippa Ok there's a woman there she down by the river Ok and then a says the Lord open your heart to heed the things spoken by Paul praise the Lord and when she and her household were baptized he begged us saying if you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord come to my house and stay so she persuaded us I don't know where I am these lies there they are down by the river and there they are at the woman's house friend sometimes God says no to something so he can say yes to something else sometimes God says no to something so we can say yes to something else sometimes it's the challenges the seemingly unanswered prayers in the nose of life at times but those are the very things that are the catalysts for other prayers to be answered with yes for the 6 months or more that Paul was wandering around the Holy Spirit kept closing doors he could have gotten discouraged could have gone home he could have given up but he didn't he kept pressing on in faith that God had a plan and the same could be said about t.j. and Marianne there's much they could focus on and become discouraged but they count lessly over and over and over recount the blessings of God the miracles of God What God has done and so yes Marianne is still paralyzed probably always will be and we could say well God said no and he has 3 small children the family is rallying together but as a direct result I think they'll be souls in the kingdom and in the whole scheme of things. It's not about the white picket fence it's not about the house it's not about the furniture it's not about the cars it's not about the vacations it's not about the picture that you get to post it's about walking in a relationship with Jesus Christ and if he says No Ok and if he says yes great but if I'm surrendered if I'm longing to walk in the center of God's Will I'll be fine either way I like this verse and he was 1211 Thank you David to reinforce no discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful Later on however it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it it may not just be for people out there and maybe for me. To train me to mold my character to keep me dependent and regardless of who it's for if it's according to God's plan I don't know about you but I'm fine with it and on days I'm not I pray he will change my thinking Lord this seems stressful but I give it to you this seems overwhelming but it's yours I don't understand but you do and so we place our lives in his hands Dear Heavenly Father we thank you that you long to lead us by your hand that whatever comes to us is according to your will and your plan for our lives and so I pray regardless of the answers to our requests and especially when it's no help us to be Ok help us to claim your promises help us to realize this world is not it we're just passing through but someday soon we will forget the pain the heartache the trials. And in fact we might even be thankful for them because they are what produced in us a character that brought us through to the end. Not as we trust in ourselves as we have learned through every trial trust in our best friend to. Help us so that in we pray in Jesus name. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or you would like to listen to more sermon please visit w w w dot audio Verse dot org.

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