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This verse is undoubtedly the greatest compliment Mothers could receive.  When God wanted to use a metaphor to explain the compassion He has for His people, He compared Himself to Mothers.  Mothering and comforting are synonymous. 

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We should never forfeit out joy to sullenness, bitterness, or negativism simply because things aren't they way we would like them to be.  Nevertheless, it is typical for believers to let the changing circumstances of difficulties, confusions, trials, economic troubles, attacks, disagreements, unfulfilled expectations or ambitions, strained relationships, and so forth throw them off balance and steal their joy. (MacArthur, 1939)

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With blind arrogance and pride the Chaldeans are unmindful of the fact that they are but a rod of God's wrath for the chastisement of a sinful nation, and that on account of their own ruthlessness they too are doomed to destruction. -- So, what's our lesson for such a time as this? 

-Hobart E. Freeman, An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophets, Moody Press, Chicago, (196, P. 251)

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Have you ever looked out upon this world with its injustice and violence, and asked the question: Why doesn't God do something? It looks like the wicked are prospering and the righteous are suffering. Godly people pray, but it seems as though their prayers do no good This is the problem faced and solved in Habakkuk. (Wiersbe, 1993)

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During the forty days after His Crucifixion he had been visibly present to human eyes nine times and had been touched by human hands. In His last gathering He lifted up His hands and blessed them, and, even as He blessed them, was parted from them, and as He passed from before their yearning eyes 'a cloud received Him out of their sight' (Luke 29:50-51; Acts 1:6-9).

Between us and His visible presence- between us and that glorified Redeemer who now sits at the right hand of God- that cloud still rolls.  But the eye of faith can pierce it; the incense of prayer can rise above it; through it the dew of blessing can descend. Frederic W. Farrar, D.D., F.R.S., The Life of Christ, A. L. Brut Publisher, NY (1895, p. 525)

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Jesus loved to challenge the way people think. To be great, He said, we must be humble.  To be leaders, He said, we must serve others. To be profound thinkers, He believed, we must be able to feel. Jesus taught that the identity of a human being is a matter of the heart.  He didn't use the psychological terms we have today to describe emotions, but it is easy to see that Jesus wanted us to be in touch with the way we feel. (Dr. Mark W. Baker, Jesus  The Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived, (2007, Pp. 165-166)

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In that moment when Pilate released Barabbas, and gave Jesus to the Cross, the Roman kingdom was doomed in the economy of God. Presently the followers of Christ found their way to Rome. A halting man, feeble in bodily appearance, came into Rome as a prisoner, and receiving into his own hired house all that came to him, he taught them the things concerning Jesus.  Whom their Governor had given to the Cross.  Thus, Rome was shaken at the center; and its pagan power was broken by the coming of the King and Pilate had flung out. (G. Campbell Morgan).

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Direct download: Sermon_3-11-18.mp3
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What were Judas' motives which moved him to the greatest act of treachery in history, and which made his name an epitome of all that makes a traitor?  John writes: (John 13:2) "During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him." Just as God is looking for hands to use to do His work, so the devil is looking for them too, and the devil found his instrument in Judas. But the fact remains that no man can be used without his own consent.  Judas is the man who consented to be used by the devil and by powers of evil, for Judas could have kept the devil out of his life and could have shut his heart against temper. (Barclay, 1960)

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"Human societies train people to "keep a stiff upper lip" and to "be strong" by which they mean the person should endure negative emotions.  This is bad advice.  Several branches of science have been studying human thriving.  The results, when compiled, point to the fact that people thrive when they feel emotionally good and suffer when they do not."-- Jeanine Joy, PhD.

Direct download: Sermon_2-25-18.mp3
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