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Remembering God through Celebrations

Sunday Lesson Notes from October 16, 2022

Why do people celebrate Special Holidays?

  • Helps us to remember special events, moments and people
  • Allows us to take a break from work
  • Facilitates family members getting together

Read Leviticus Chapter 23: 1-44

  • The Israelites were told by God to celebrate 7 Major Festivals throughout the year
    • The Sabbath, celebrated every 7 days
      • Three Spring festivals
        • The First Fruits, early spring harvest
        • The Passover,  remembering deliverance from Egypt
        • Festival of Weeks, Pentecost, celebrated 50 days after Passover
      • Three Fall Festivals
        • Festival of Trumpets, celebrating repentance
        • The Day of Atonement, sins forgiven, sacrifices by the High Priest
        • Festival of the Booths or Tabernacles-celebrating time they lived in tents in the wilderness and were delivered by God
  • What was so special about the Festival of Booths?
    • They were offering animals that they had raised all year, true sacrifice
    • They were remembering the discomforts of living in a tent but could remember how God took care of them at that time
  • Read John 7: 1-39
    • Jesus was participating in the Festival of Booths during this passage
    • Jesus’s brothers were giving him a hard time but he stood up and taught the people any way
    • The people were questioning Jesus’s authority as he challenged their beliefs, but he was confident in who he was and where he came from 
    • He advised the people to test his words by obeying God’s words
    • Jesus reminded them that he was returning back to his Father in Heaven
    • The leaders were misleading the general population with lies so they would not follow Jesus’s teachings
    • Jesus was teaching them the true meaning of the Festival, that God will provide for them as God did back in the wilderness and escape from Egypt
    • Jesus taught the people that he was there to bring them living water, the source of life. Water was the source of life in the wilderness of the desert and it is the source of spiritual life now. Jesus brought the never ending living water to the people with his words. 
    • When we obey Jesus’s teachings we become the spiritual spring of water for others which leads to eternal life through Jesus
    • Everyone is invited to participate in the Festivals of Jesus and follow his teachings
  • Read John 7:40-53
    • Jesus’s teachings were so different at this time that the leaders were trying to kill him
    • Some of the Jews at this time were using scriptures to try to convince others that Jesus was not the Christ which also led to a great deal of conflict
    • The Festival of Booths was celebrated to remember the coming out of slavery of Egypt and living in the wilderness as God took care of the people, yet the Pharisees were still trying to keep the people in slavery to an old law.
    • Jesus dwelled among us to show us how to live on earth and how to worship God

God rescued us from Egypt

Sunday October 30, 2022

Read Exodus Chapter 15: 1-18

Read Hosea 13: 1-4

During the time of Hosea, there was much turmoil in the land. The Israelites were not obeying the word of God. There  were 6 Kings in 25 years, 4 of them were murdered by their successors and one was captured in battle. Only one was succeeded on the throne by his son. This describes the tragic final days of the Northern Kingdom. 

God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, rescued them from slavery and brought them to the land he promised and they still were disobedient and ungrateful to God. 

What “Egypt” did God rescue you from?

  • Sometimes our Egypt can be a mindset, like selfishness, career worship, money worship, anxiety or fear
  • Our final destination is Heaven, the real promised land
  • We have to go through our “deserts” to make it to the Promised Land
  • What “desert” are you going through at this time?
  • When we allow God to take us through hard times in our lives, we are pruned and become ready to receive the gift of the Promised Land

Read  1 Kings 12: 25-33

  • Jeroboam was king and lead the people astray and to worship false gods
  • Who in your life is leading you to worship false gods?
  • Read Exodus 32:1-6, Aaron lead the Israelites in false worship as well
  • How easy is it to be led astray? How long will you wait on God to act before you follow your own plan and turn to your own idols?

Read Hosea 13: 4-8

  • In what way are you tempted to forget God?
    • It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of life
    • Following God can sometimes be inconvenient
    • Loving the world more than God and refusing to wait on God
    • Joseph had to wait on God in the old testament before receiving his blessing and ability to lead.
  • Do you realize when you are being tempted to forget God?
    • We need strong faithful spiritual friends in our lives to help us remember God
    • Great spiritual friends can help us to remove old idols in our lives
    • Read Hosea 13: 9-16
      • The Israelites were about to be destroyed in a horrific way
      • This could have been avoided if they had stayed faithful to God
  • Read 1 Corinthians 15:54-57
    • Jesus brought victory over sin when he came and suffered for our sins in order that we could have a reconciled relationship with God. 

Spending Time with God in His Creation

Sunday Lesson Notes from October 2, 2022

How do you connect with God and Jesus through creation?

  • Read Psalm 33:6-9; Psalm 90: 1-2; Amos 9: 5-6
    • The words of God were able to create the heavens and the earth
    • God’s words are so powerful that He can speak whole galaxies and universes into existence
    • God’s word is a safe dwelling place throughout all generations
    • God is successful in all he sets out to do
    • Take some time to pray and admire God’s creation
  • Read John 1: 1-5; Romans 11:33-36; Ephesians 2:4-10
    • Jesus represents God’s word to us here on earth
    • Through Jesus we are able to be reconciled to our relationship with God
    • Jesus was with God in the beginning of time and together God and Jesus invited us to share in their existence
    • Jesus has helped us to regain our relationship with God after the fall of man due to our decisions to ignore God and go against his will
    • God is able to transform the disorder in our lives to order 
  • Spend time this week praising and worshiping God and admiring his creation 
  • Spend time this week thinking of Jesus and how he has helped us to be reconciled to God our Father, the creator of all things

God loves his children

Sunday Lesson Notes from September 25, 2022

Read Luke Chapter 15 verses 11-32

Please ponder these questions:

  1. If everyone was like me in the world, what would the world be like?
  2. How would you describe your image of God?

The parable of the Prodigal Son discusses three main concepts that we can contribute to God’s character: Freedom, Compassion and Forgiveness


  • Why do you think  the young son wanted his freedom?
    • Maybe he did not like following rules
    • Maybe he wanted to see and experience the world outside his hometown
    • Bored, ungrateful, did not realize how good he had it, unaware of the dangers of the world outside
  • How does this parable remind you of the freedom we have in God and Christ?
    • The Father, who like God, let the young son go when he asked to leave
    • God does not stop us from making our own choices, although we will have to deal with the consequences of our choices
    • We can choose to love God and be unified with God’s fellowship or we can chose to leave God and go our own way


  • How did the Father in this parable (God)  show his compassion for his son? (verse 20)
    • The Father ran out to meet the son and did not wait for him to come to him and grovel
    • The Father was thinking of the son and looking out for him even before he returned
    • The Father did not bring up the past squandering of the estate or what was he doing hanging out with his wild living
    • The Father was more concerned about the restoration of the relationship
    • Reminder: when we stop eating the pigs food and return to our relationship with God, we are treated like this son in the parable


  • How did the Father in the parable (God)  show Forgiveness? (verse 21-24)
    • The Father gave a big celebration in the son’s honor and reinstated his status without question or hesitation
    • The Father gave to the son generously, the fattened calf and nice robe,  he did not hold back his lavish love

Take Home Thought: As Christians and Followers of Jesus, Jesus tells us no one can snatch us out of his grasp. However, we have the freedom to leave our relationship with God. We will have to endure the consequences of our choices. The good news is that we can return to our relationship with God and be accepted as his son or daughter. God extends compassion and forgiveness to us through his son Jesus. This is good news!

Encouraging the Church

Sunday Lesson Notes from September 18, 2022

Read 1 Thessalonians Chapter 1 to Chapter 5

  • What is the main purpose of this letter?
    • Encouraging the disciples in the church to focus on God’s promises of the future blessings to come since they were suffering and going through many hardships and persecution
    • Encouraging the church to live purely, avoid sexual sins and to work and be productive in their lives and take care of each other
    • Paul also reminded them that God showed up and saved them
    • Paul communicated that he had an intimate relationship with the church, like a mother caring for her child and children with their parents. He really cared for their well being.
    • He acknowledged their hard work as Christians and lifted up TImothy as well. He sent Timothy to them to encourage them in their faith since he was delayed in his return although longed to see them
  • Where do you see Jesus’s teaching in these passages?
    • Jesus taught his disciples to love God and to love one another the way he loved us. He reminded them that others would know they are truly following Him, Jesus, if they loved each other. Paul reminded the Christians in Thessalonica to persevere in their love for each other and reminded them of his own love for them.
    • Jesus taught that disciples would suffer for being followers of Jesus. Here Paul reminded the Christians that they were facing hardship because they were following Jesus’s teaching. 
    • Jesus taught his disciples to pray, to ask, to seek and to knock. Paul reminded the Christians in this passage to pray continually.
    • Jesus taught that he was the bread of life. His teachings would sustain us forever. Paul reminded the Christians to continue to read and obey the scriptures. 
    • Jesus prayed for his disciples everywhere to be one with each other in unity. Paul reminded the Christians to be unified. Paul reminded them that he was longing to be with them in person to continue to build unity. 
    • Jesus taught that he would return in the clouds to claim his own one day in the future. Paul reminded the Christians that Jesus was coming back in the same way to claim his own. (Daniel 7). Paul also reminded them that Jesus would resurrect those who were already dead when he returned if they belonged to him. 

  • What are some other points of encouragement in this passage?
    • We should remember to pray and rejoice always. There is always something to be thankful for in our lives even if we are facing personal challenges. Jewish people learn in their early childhood, hundreds of prayers to give God thanks for everyday items and experiences in their lives. The Jews of this time were also known to pray to God and to give blessings to God rather than asking for stuff from God. 
    • Paul reminded the Christians that he practiced what he taught them and encouraged them to do the same. 

Jesus, the good Shepherd

Sunday Lesson notes, September 11, 2022

Read Ezekiel 34:1-6;11-12 and 20-24

  • Who is the shepherd of your life? Who are you following?
    • Some possible answers: Jesus, your boss, friends, politicians, co-workers, singlers, athletes, famous people, popular ideas
  • What happens when a shepherd does not take care of his sheep?
    • They wander off and get injured or killed; they have no natural defense system and will follow aimlessly and blindly
  • Have you been taking care of God’s sheep in your life?
    • Do you watch out for your family and friends or your neighbors and co-workers or do you just remain silent as you observe them going astray?
  • Jesus was the ultimate shepherd. He watched out for God’s sheep. Do you allow Jesus to shepherd your heart?
    • Do you read your bible and obey the words that you read? Do the changes in your life reflect that you follow Jesus?

Read John 10:1-18

  • Jesus is an amazing Shepherd. He laid down his life for his sheep.
  • His sheep know his voice, he has a personal relationship with them.
  • What is your relationship with Jesus like right now? Would you be able to recognize Jesus’s voice? How do you know it is his voice and not your own?

Please think of a  scripture that encourages you to follow Jesus and why. Here are some that were discussed:

  • Romans 13:8- reminds us to love people the way Jesus did
  • Psalm 51 and Psalm 23: God is with us as we follow Jesus
  • Leviticus 16:16 and Hebrews 10:12-14: Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He is amazing in that he has all the power to save us and was still willing to die for our sins.

Read John 6:52-69

  • Why was this a hard teaching?
    • It was hard for them to connect that he was their manna from Heaven now. He reminded them that God provided manna from heaven for their ancestors in the wilderness when they left Egypt, so that they would not starve and be saved. His role was now to be their “manna” so that they would be saved and enter into eternal life. 
  • How do you know if you are no longer following Jesus?
    • Hint- not reading his word and trying to obey it perhaps
  • Jesus was very clear and precise when he explained what was required to follow him. Some people do not like the boundaries that he sets. Do you? Are you willing to follow?

Do you hear God and Obey Him?

Sunday Lesson notes from August 21, 2022

Read Hebrews 4:14-16, Remembering Jesus

  • What do you learn about Jesus after reading this passage?
  • Jesus is the ultimate high priest, who knows our weaknesses and was tempted in every way as we have been as humans. Yet Jesus did not give into temptation and sin. Therefore, he was able to make the final sacrifice for our sins so that we could be reconciled to God
  • We are able to go to Jesus for mercy and grace when we need it the most when we have fallen short in our sins
  • Remember to hold on tight to your faith and to never let go, this will help us to make it in our relationship with God
  • Remember we can go to Jesus with everything, big or small in our lives. He can relate to our weakness and can encourage us in our times of trouble and give us strength to go on and repent and obey God in our daily lives.

Read Isaiah 6: 1-13

  • In this passage, Isaiah is being commissioned by God to become a prophet to the Israelites. He was sent to Judah to warn the people that their hearts were being hardened toward God’s law since they were no longer listening and obeying God. He was to warn them of their upcoming exile and only a remnant of a “stump” would remain in their nation.
  • Isaiah went to warn the people willingly. His attitude to obey God’s command to go and serve the people was like that of Abraham, who willingly left his home to go to another land. It was also similar to Jesus’s attitude, who was willing to come to earth to save humanity. 
  • The Israelites were not able to see or understand or obey God’s word. They refused to listen to the warning of the prophet Isaiah.
  • They were no longer in love with God’s word and could no longer keep in step with God’s commands. 

Read Isaiah 42:18-25

  • Israel was supposed to be the chosen people of God who was given the role of God’s messenger to the other nations. By their obedience to God they were to be an example for the other nations around to follow, but they were blind, deaf and refusing to listen to God and obey his words. 
  • The Israelites were in such bad shape that they could not even recognize that their own sin and bad decisions were burning them alive. They had no understanding of their own folly.

Read Isaiah 42: 14-17

  • What was God’s attitude toward the Israelites although they were disobedient?
  • God was still loving them, crying out for them to listen like a mother does for her children
  • He really cared about the Israelites and wanted the best for them although they were not even concerned about their own disobedience and what it was doing to their nation

Read Isaiah 42:5-9 then read Ch 42: 1-4

  • Unfortunately, the Israelites could not fulfill the destiny God had planned for them. They were supposed to be God’s representatives for all the other nations; an example of what happens if you keep in step with God’s laws, but they fell short and could not fulfill this role
  • Jesus was able to accomplish the task that the Israelites could not. He brought forth justice to the world . Jesus was able to fulfill the role of God’s messenger. He was the embodiment of what humanity and the Israelites was suppose to be, the ultimate representation of what happens when we are in a right relationship with God

Read Matthew 13: 10-17

  • Why did the disciples ask Jesus about why he was teaching in parables?
  •  These disciples had an open mind and heart to learn from Jesus so they engaged and asked questions
  • Jesus was warning the people at that moment by quoting Isaiah’s prophecy from Isaiah Chapter 6 and Chapter 42, where Isaiah warned the people back then that they would had hard hearts toward God’s word and did not listen and did not obey God.
  • Jesus was reminding them of this prophecy because right at that moment they were still having this hardened response to Jesus himself who was in their immediate presence. 
  • He was speaking to them in parables because only those who wanted to know the truth about Jesus and God’s message would stick around and ask questions to find out more.
  • In verse 51- Jesus taught the disciples even more parables and their meanings. He also told them that the teachers of the law who chose to eventually become true disciples would be able to have even more understanding of his teachings and a full connection of the old teachings and the new teachings if they engaged. 

What prevents people from hearing and obeying God’s word today?

  • We have our own thoughts, pride, biases, unwillingness to change
  • Maybe we have had negative interactions with religious people
  • We love to put our own comfort and luxury above God’s law and not acknowledge our need for God
  • Nicodemus was a teacher of the law, but he humbled himself and asked Jesus more questions to find out more about his teachings
  • Are you willing to ask questions, probe and fight for your own relationship with God?

Read Isaiah 32:1-3

  • Isaiah prophesied that there will be a time when a king will rule and people will follow and obey God
  • We are currently living during this time. Jesus brought his kingdom here on earth and as disciples, we are trying to follow and obey God just like Isaiah prophesied.
  • As disciples we are now the new messengers of God’s plan. We have now been given the role of the Israelites in the old testament; our role is to help others to listen and obey God’s commands

Read Isaiah 32: 17-20

  • If we keep God’s commands, God promises there will be a time of peace and the righteous will live in confidence forever. There is an amazing life promised for true disciples of Jesus- we can enjoy this promise now and in the afterlife.
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Submitting to the will of God

Lesson notes from Sunday July 31, 2022

What is submission?

Read James 4:7-10

  • Submission involves humbling yourself to obey the will of God
  • When we submit ourselves to the will of God, he lifts us up
  • Submission involves yielding to authority and doing what the ultimate authority, God wants us to do

Read Romans 13:1

  • God has established all authorities on earth. As Christians, we should yield to these authorities, for eg. paying taxes, obeying traffic laws

Read Mark 10:42-45

  • Even Jesus yielded to God and obeyed his authority
  • Jesus advised in order to be great, we need to be servants to others
  • How much time do we spend trying to be a servant versus trying to be a leader?
  • Religious leaders of the day, ruled harshly, they were not being servants of the people
  • True submission to each other is serving each other and meeting each other’s needs
  • There is hidden power in submission, for example, wives can win over their spouses by their service
  • Even Paul stated, to live is Christ and to die is gain, he devoted himself to serving others

Read Colossians 3:22

  • When we know our role and our place and serve willingly, for example, at work, we are being obedient to Jesus
  • A sign of weakness is confronting authority instead of trusting in God’s authority

Read 1 Peter 3:1-22

  • There is power in submitting to each other
  • Even if someone is wronging you, we are personally obligated to God for our response in these situations
  • Submission is for the strong willed and God reliant person
  • Even Jesus was willing to submit and let go of his position with God: Philippians 2:6-7

Will You Recognize Jesus?

Sunday Lesson notes, from July 10, 2022

Question: Have you ever been in a conversation where you wanted to change the subject? How were you able to accomplish this?

Possible Answers: Ask another question; Suffer through the conversation; Physically remove yourself from the conversation; Interject humor

Read Matthew 22: 34-46

  • Why do you think the Pharisees and Sadducees (leaders and teachers of the Israelites),  asked Jesus this question about the greatest commandment?
  • Why do you think Jesus asked them, "Who was the Messiah"?
  • Responses to consider:
    • The religious leaders were usually trying to trap Jesus by asking him provoking questions, but Jesus knew how to respond by making them think deeply by the responses he gave them
    • They were Israel’s teachers, yet they could not answer these basic questions about who Jesus was
    • They were looking for a King to come and rule in Jerusalem. They were hoping for a powerful leader who would overthrow the Roman government, although prophecy never indicated that Jesus would come as a future powerful political ruler. Prophecy was always clear that the Messiah was coming to serve and save the people and restore them to a relationship with God.
    • Jesus pointed out to them the most important commandment was to love God and to love their neighbor. How do you think they felt about this answer? Were they loving Jesus at this moment, as their neighbor?
    • Jesus asked them to identify the Messiah immediately after telling them which of the commandments were the greatest. Why do you think he did that? What connection was he hoping they would make by asking them about the Messiah’s identity while discussing the greatest commandments? Why did he quote David’s Psalm 110?
      • The leaders were having a difficult time connecting that Jesus was the Messiah whom God was talking about in all of these prophecies
      • They were erroneously referring to Jesus as the son of David and not the Messiah or God’s Son. Jesus quoted Psalm 110 to help them see the error in their thinking.
      •  David prophesied in his Psalm that the “LORD (referring to Yahweh) would say to his Lord (referring to Jesus), sit down at Yahweh’s right hand to rule”. (fun fact: Yahweh translated in Hebrew is “He will be” or “I am'' and is the personal name for the one true God, in Hebrew. The Israelites decided they would never utter God’s personal name because it was so special to them. They were so careful never to utter this special name that they eventually abbreviated it to the letters “YHWH”. Later they even replaced the abbreviation YHWH and instead said “Adonai” instead of uttering the word Yahweh. Adonai is a Hebrew word for LORD and eventually, to keep Yahweh’s name as special and unspoken, they combined the consonants of YHWH with some vowels from Adonai to make the word- YAHOWAH pronounced JEHOVAH, when referring to the one true GOD. Additionally, the word Lord in Hebrew is (Adon) not (Adoni)- it is the word for a title for a ruler or leader. In this verse, the lower case Lord is referring to Jesus or the Messiah. Unfortunately, the Israelite leaders were not able to make this connection and missed that Jesus was standing right in front of them, the Son of God!

  • If they were able to make the connection that Jesus was the Son of God, they would have been able to listen to what he was saying instead of trying to trap him with their questioning. In Luke 20 you will see that although Jesus directs them to the "Son of David '' Psalm, they do not believe He is the Son of David.  They know that it refers to the Messiah (per 1 Chron 17) but they are unwilling to concede that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of David.  If they admitted that Jesus was the Son of David, they would have had to conclude that He is also Lord.  
      • So the Pharisees and Sadducees have 2 issues:
        • 1) They aren't aware that the Son of David is "Lord" - That is what Jesus is showing them.
        • 2) They don't believe that Jesus is the Son of David. The individuals that call Him the Son of David are then charged with blasphemy and removed from the Synagogue.
      • The Pharisees and Sadducees  became silent when they realized the error in their thinking. Jesus was more than a Son of David, he was the Son of God whom David wrote about and they had a difficult time admitting that truth. 
      • Please see the Bible Project Video explaining YAHWEH’s name:
  • Read John 8:54-58
    • Here again Jesus reminded them of who he was, although they did not like it
    • Jesus reminded them that he was with “I AM” or Yahweh at the beginning of time, but they could not grasp that. They were distracted by his physical body of a thirty year old person
    • Sometimes as Christians, we struggle like the Pharisees and Sadducees did and cannot see or recognize Jesus when he is right in front of us. How do you struggle with recognizing Jesus in your personal day to day life?
    • What instruction did God give to Jesus in Matthew 22: 44?
      • God told Jesus to sit at his right hand and God will take care of the rest
      • Do you sit with God and let him do the heavy lifting in your life?
      • Read Psalm 91- God promises to take care of us
      • Read John 6:57- Jesus reminds us he has come here to let us live and trust in God

Keep your Hope in God

Sunday Lesson Notes from June 26, 2022

Read 1 Peter 1: 1-25

  • Background information: The Christians  at this time were receiving severe persecution from the Romans, under the leadership of Nero. They were being blamed for the political problems of the time. Nero ordered Christians to be burned on poles and used their charred bodies as lanterns to light up the city. They were in desperate need of encouragement!
  • What is meant by “who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God”?
    • This is related to the verses in Micah 5, where God picked a remnant of his people to do his will. God knew from a long time ago there would be people still faithful to his will despite facing hardships. This was a prediction that Jesus was coming
    • We can trust that God will provide what we need to accomplish his will. God is a promise keeper and therefore we do not need to give in to the evil that is so prevalent around us
  • Since we are chosen by God to do his will, why are there obstacles in the way of our spiritual growth? Why do we go through persecution as we are doing God’s will?
    • When we go through difficult times, our faith and true motives are exposed and refined, enabling us to be stronger in our faith
    • Sometimes we go through tough situations because others around us also have free will to make poor choices that negatively impact us. We therefore, have an opportunity to respond the way God wants us to, which is again another opportunity to grown in our faith and trust in God
    • Remember, even Jesus went through hard times and was stronger for it!
    • What are some other reasons we may face daily challenges in our walk with GOD?
      • Perhaps so that we can see our own weaknesses: James 1:2-3 teaches us that hard times builds perseverance, which eventually improves our character
      • So that we can make it to the end of our lives with a proven faith
      • Remember Job, he was being refined, meaning impurities in his life were being removed as he went through hardships and had to put is faith in God
      • So that we can learn to be obedient and prepared to be with God
  • Where is your hope?
    • Are you trusting in perishable things- ie money, homes, jobs? Or are you trusting in imperishable things- ie God’s character, God’s word and promises?
    • Peter reminds us that we should trust in the hope of the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus had already been raised from the dead to an imperishable life. We too, if we persevere, will join with him and our perishable bodies will be discarded and replaced with imperishable existences with God and Jesus
  • Why does Peter remind them to live like foreigners in the land?
    • Peter wanted to remind them they were not at home, their home was in a greater place in Heaven with God and Jesus. If they remembered this promise,  they would put their hope in things above and not in things they could see and touch. They would have the ability to look past people who were bringing them daily harm.
    • Peter reminded them that Jesus’s blood had already saved them, which is similar to the blood that saved the Hebrew Exiles in Egypt when they were escaping Egypt hundreds of years prior. 
    • He reminded them that the Hebrews had prophets that predicted Jesus was coming, but they were living in a time where Jesus had already come, as promised. Jesus had also returned to God to prepare a permanent place for them and therefore, they could put our hope in that promise of a new home. 
  • What are you going through right now in your personal life that you need to be refined from? Are you open with someone in your life about these things? Are you going back to God for help with these things?
  • When you are facing persecution for your faith in God, how do you react? Do you pray and believe in God anyway? Do you give in and get discouraged and hide?
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