Hold Fast with a Firm Faith and Love

Happy 21st Anniversary to the couples Blessed in the 3.6 Million Couples Blessing on November 29, 1997 at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington, DC!

Revelation 2

This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Ephesus:

I am the one who holds the seven stars in my right hand, and I walk among the seven gold lampstands. Listen to what I say.

I know everything you have done, including your hard work and how you have endured. I know you won’t put up with anyone who is evil. When some people pretended to be apostles, you tested them and found out that they were liars. You have endured and gone through hard times because of me, and you have not given up.

But I do have something against you! And it is this: You don’t have as much love as you used to. Think about where you have fallen from, and then turn back and do as you did at first. If you don’t turn back, I will come and take away your lampstand. But there is one thing you are doing right. You hate what the Nicolaitans[a] are doing, and so do I.

If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will let everyone who wins the victory eat from the life-giving tree in God’s wonderful garden.

Acts 3

The time of prayer was about three o’clock in the afternoon, and Peter and John were going into the temple.[a] A man who had been born lame was being carried to the temple door. Each day he was placed beside this door, known as the Beautiful Gate. He sat there and begged from the people who were going in.

The man saw Peter and John entering the temple, and he asked them for money. But they looked straight at him and said, “Look up at us!”

The man stared at them and thought he was going to get something. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold! But I will give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, get up and start walking.” Peter then took him by the right hand and helped him up.

At once the man’s feet and ankles became strong, and he jumped up and started walking. He went with Peter and John into the temple, walking and jumping and praising God. Everyone saw him walking around and praising God. 10 They knew that he was the beggar who had been lying beside the Beautiful Gate, and they were completely surprised. They could not imagine what had happened to the man.

Richard:  We are counting on God for a miracle!

The Religious Person’s Attitude

Sun Myung Moon
March 29, 1959

Hebrews 11:1-32

11 Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. It was their faith that made our ancestors pleasing to God.

Because of our faith, we know that the world was made at God’s command. We also know that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.

Because Abel had faith, he offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. God was pleased with him and his gift, and even though Abel is now dead, his faith still speaks for him.

Enoch had faith and did not die. He pleased God, and God took him up to heaven. That’s why his body was never found. But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that he rewards everyone who searches for him.

Because Noah had faith, he was warned about something that had not yet happened. He obeyed and built a boat that saved him and his family. In this way the people of the world were judged, and Noah was given the blessings that come to everyone who pleases God.

Abraham had faith and obeyed God. He was told to go to the land that God had said would be his, and he left for a country he had never seen. Because Abraham had faith, he lived as a stranger in the promised land. He lived there in a tent, and so did Isaac and Jacob, who were later given the same promise. 10 Abraham did this, because he was waiting for the eternal city that God had planned and built.

11 Even when Sarah was too old to have children, she had faith that God would do what he had promised, and she had a son. 12 Her husband Abraham was almost dead, but he became the ancestor of many people. In fact, there are as many of them as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the beach.

13 Every one of those people died. But they still had faith, even though they had not received what they had been promised. They were glad just to see these things from far away, and they agreed that they were only strangers and foreigners on this earth. 14 When people talk this way, it is clear that they are looking for a place to call their own. 15 If they had been talking about the land where they had once lived, they could have gone back at any time. 16 But they were looking forward to a better home in heaven. That’s why God wasn’t ashamed for them to call him their God. He even built a city for them.

17-18 Abraham had been promised that Isaac, his only son,[a] would continue his family. But when Abraham was tested, he had faith and was willing to sacrifice Isaac, 19 because he was sure that God could raise people to life. This was just like getting Isaac back from death.

20 Isaac had faith, and he promised blessings to Jacob and Esau. 21 Later, when Jacob was about to die, he leaned on his walking stick and worshiped. Then because of his faith he blessed each of Joseph’s sons. 22 And right before Joseph died, he had faith that God would lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. So he told them to take his bones with them.

23 Because Moses’ parents had faith, they kept him hidden until he was three months old. They saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s orders.[b] 24 Then after Moses grew up, his faith made him refuse to be called Pharaoh’s grandson. 25 He chose to be mistreated with God’s people instead of having the good time that sin could bring for a little while. 26 Moses knew that the treasures of Egypt were not as wonderful as what he would receive from suffering for the Messiah,[c] and he looked forward to his reward.

27 Because of his faith, Moses left Egypt. Moses had seen the invisible God and wasn’t afraid of the king’s anger. 28 His faith also made him celebrate Passover. He sprinkled the blood of animals on the doorposts, so that the first-born sons of the people of Israel would not be killed by the destroying angel.

29 Because of their faith, the people walked through the Red Sea[d] on dry land. But when the Egyptians tried to do it, they were drowned.

30 God’s people had faith, and when they had walked around the city of Jericho for seven days, its walls fell down.

31 Rahab had been a prostitute, but she had faith and welcomed the spies. So she wasn’t killed with the people who disobeyed.

32 What else can I say? There isn’t enough time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets.

Prayer

Please look at us with compassion. Father, we sincerely wish and desire that You guide us to the position where our minds and bodies can be recognized as Your body and limbs.

Many people are setting out now toward the goal of resembling the heavenly character. However, when we think of how few true sons and daughters there are who go forward with the heart of the Father, we cannot help being concerned.

It has been six thousand years since You called and began searching for us. As the owner of all creation, You have called and sought us in person. When we think honestly whether we come forth in front of Your knees as the fruits of joy who are acceptable to You, we cannot help feeling remorse for all of our past thoughts and deeds. We feel we must reflect on all our normal activities. Please forgive us for being in a position to feel remorse.

The original countenance of the person Heaven longed to see was glorious and proud. Nevertheless, we have not become people of such countenance, the true original countenances upon whom You can call. Since we find ourselves in a position to lament over ourselves, Father, we sincerely wish and desire that You allow us to at least have an ardent mind of remorse over having no excuse to offer You.

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