Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Devil Is Deceiving Us Right Now

In the bible, it says that the devil deceives the whole world. Notice it didn't say he deceives only non-Christians. I think it's safe to say we are also being deceived. I can say with great confidence there is something right now that we believe or do that is not from God.

This is a very difficult concept to grasp. To help me understand, I like to think about it this way- If I went back a year into my past, I could see things I did or thought that were not of God. I could also see how God has changed me for the better by showing me where I was wrong.

Now, if I were to go into the future, I'm sure I could see the areas where God made improvements in my life. If I am walking with Christ daily, who I am today will change for the better tomorrow. That means, at this very moment I am wrong or disobedient about something.

The spell that Satan wields over this world is more powerful than any of us can understand; so much so that it's only with help from the Holy Spirit of God that we can begin to see through the deceptions.

The amount that we yield to God will dictate how well he'll be able to expose these many levels of deception. The more of our hearts that we give to Christ, the less we will remain fooled. If we surrender our entire lifestyle to God, He will begin to shine a light on these deceptions and expose them for what they really are- False pleasures and beliefs from Satan, designed to separate us from God and cause pain in our lives.

There are many bad things we do or believe out of ignorance. We have good intentions but are deceived because of the immaturity and/or selfishness found in our hearts.

I know this is true because I myself was fooled about many things in the past. Looking back, it was my immaturity and weakness that opened the door to being deceived.

We don't realize it but the world and those closest to us can sometimes serve as enablers of these deceptions. Not only does Satan use our selfish and naive hearts against us, he also creates a sense of normalcy by surrounding us with sin. The devil tells us, "If it's all around us and everyone we know is doing it, that means it must be okay, right?"

The culture we live in makes it extremely difficult to break free from this spell. I know because it took me years to do so. God was very patient with me while I procrastinated away His attempts to lead me away from evil.

As I mentioned before, the only way we can successfully break away from this spell is to surrender completely to God. However, once you do it's only the beginning. Before long, you will be tempted by thoughts of not fitting in with your friends. You'll be pressured once again to indulge in those things God has shown to be empty and selfish.

To anyone who makes this decision, you must be prepared for spiritual war. The devil has had control over these areas of our life for a long time. He will not concede without a fight. But I can confidently say from experience that if we stand on the Word of God (Christ) and never give up, we will begin to find victory in our lives.

Keep in mind that eternal salvation is not based on our level of obedience. Our salvation is based on faith in Christ. It is a gift from Jesus, because we could not gain eternal life on our own. Still, shouldn't we give everything to the One who gave everything for us? And it's important to know, our level of obedience now will dictate how happy we are in this life and how great a reward we will gain in heaven.

The devil is at work in this world, deceiving all of us in some way. These deceptions lead to bad decision making, which in turn is responsible for many of the struggles we face. Therefore, it is imperative that we give our entire hearts to God, so that He can begin to break the devil's spell over our lives. Once we can see and know the truth, the next step is to be obedient. When we do this, the truth will begin to set us free, just as Jesus promised it would.

FTS

(Scripture references: Revelation 12:9, Proverbs 3:5-8, Matthew 5:19-20, John 8:31-32)



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Can God Rescue Us From Trouble?

As humans, our perception about life is limited. We tend to evaluate matters in real time. People cannot tell the future. If something is wrong now, sometimes it can feel like it will last forever. It can be very difficult to see a way out of the storm, especially while you are in it.

Many of us know that God is not at the mercy of limitations. Nothing is too great for Him to overcome, no problem too complex to solve. The complicated matters we face are elementary to God, as easy as 1-2-3.

If we have a problem, we pray to God for a solution. As I mentioned before, our lives are focused on the here and now. If our answer has yet to come, it can be difficult to believe that it's on the way.

In God's eyes, everything has been worked out in advance. In the bible, the Lord told Jeremiah that He knew him before he was a baby in his mother's womb. I believe this applies to all of us.

Before we took a breath in this world, I believe that God knew all our personality traits, every flaw, every mistake we would make, what effect our upbringing and surroundings would have on our character....all of the things that would shape who we are, God knew in advance.

Like a master chess player, the Lord was able to discern all of life's variables ahead of time; to predict and know exactly what would happen to us before it even happened. Nothing in our life will surprise Him. He is prepared for every hardship that comes our way.

Now, if we can believe that with confidence, we also know that God must have planned a way out of the troubles we face. We believe He loves us and works everything for our good. Therefore, we can also know with confidence our tough times will not last forever. Even though we cannot see a way out now, God has already provided us with a solution.

It is extremely difficult to be patient, to keep faith in God while we are going through a tough time. But if we can take a step back from our pain and remember who God is and how much He loves us, it will become easier to trust in Him. We may not understand how or why, but we can know without a doubt that our God will see us through every trial we face in this difficult life.

FTS

(Scripture references: Jeremiah 1:5, Romans 8:28-30)



Monday, January 23, 2017

Love Those Who Persecute You

Jesus spoke this message when He walked on earth many years ago. This declaration signaled the beginning of a new Spirit in our world. It drew a line in the sand and clearly separated the love of God from the love of mankind.

Our Lord's message served two purposes: First it brought more clarity to the mystery of what God's love really is. But in doing so, it also judged and convicted human love as inferior. Jesus' words shined a light on our hypocrisy. No longer could we accept our own actions with a clear conscience.

Let me be clear that I don't believe Jesus asks Christians to grovel toward our enemies and/or allow them to walk all over us. We should always defend ourselves if physically attacked. Rather, I believe Jesus is talking about not answering evil with evil.

For example, if we're driving a car and another driver yells at us or sends an obscene gesture our way, it can be very difficult not to do the same. I believe it is in these moments when we should turn the other cheek. Nothing good can come from lowering ourselves and becoming enraged. Easier said than done, I know.....but this is the standard that our Lord calls all of us to eventually reach.

The further we turn away from the world and it's sinful desires, the more likely the Spirit of Christ will shine through us in those moments. We must learn to control and have dominion over our own emotions. The bible tells us that those who live by the Spirit of God will not fulfill the sinful desires in our flesh. These victories come only by patient and persistent obedience to where the Lord is leading us in regards to our lifestyle.

How does the world handle situations like this? The love of this world says that people have rights until they forfeit them. What constitutes somebody forfeiting these rights? Well, some people will "demonize" another person simply for having a different belief system. If you make them angry then they believe it justifiable to treat you with disrespect or even physical harm.  

In recent days, hasn't this type of attitude been on display for everyone to see? Some people in our country believe it is justifiable to intimidate, persecute, bully and cause harm to others simply for having a different political view. They think it acceptable to negatively impact the lives of innocent people, all in the name of "justice." Does that make sense? To the Spirit of Truth (Christ), no. But to a spirit that is motivated by hatred and selfishness, yes.

Jesus commands all of us to love like He does. God never stops being righteous, no matter how evil we are. Make no mistake, God will one day punish evil doers. But He does it respectfully and with justice, not with a "bloodthirsty" attitude like the world has. God brings judgment for the sake of righteousness, not with a sadistic, vengeful enjoyment of watching somebody suffer for their "crimes."

When we give ourselves completely to Christ, we can eventually get to a place where we actually feel sorry for those who persecute us. God will show us how lost they really are and why they attack the truth.

Many of these people will never change. But, for the sake of those who will one day repent and turn to Christ, it is important that we conduct ourselves according to the Lord's commands.

We must not answer hurtful insults with hurtful insults. We must not disregard the basic human rights of those who disregard ours. We must not physically assault people because we see others do the same. Only in times of self defense should we physically fight those around us.

If we act like the world, how will they see the alternative Spirit that Christ brought into this world? I believe the church is being called to a higher place. We have become too worldly. It is time that God's people submit their entire lives to Christ so that the power of the Holy Spirit can begin to work through us.

We must become more selfless and think about the needs of others. When this happens, it is much easier to resist the taunts and persecution that comes our way. Remember what the Word of God tells us- The worst that men can do is to kill the body. They cannot tear us away from the love of God.

We are already taken care of for eternity. Let's allow this truth to liberate us from a selfish or self-serving attitude. May we allow Christ to overflow in our hearts so that we can love the way He loves. When this happens, we will indeed be able to love those who persecute us.

FTS

(Scripture references: Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 5:38-39, Galatians 5:16-26, Romans 8:5-10, Romans 8:31-39)






Thursday, January 19, 2017

Judging Other Christians

In the bible, Jesus instructs us not to judge others. I'd like to define this type of judgment, then share what I believe God has shown me concerning how we should view other Christians.

Let me say that what I'm about to share may not help you at this time. Until just a short time ago, it would not have been useful to me. Still, I believe that it is very important to share this with you. By faith I believe that someone reading this will be blessed. God did not reveal it to me to keep inside, so here goes...

First it is important that we understand what it means not to judge, according to our Lord's command. Jesus did not mean that we could not have an opinion about what is right or wrong. Otherwise, how could we know sin from righteousness?

Some people think if I believe a certain act is wrong, then I'm being judgmental or even hateful toward the person who commits that act. That is simply false. If it were true, how could we ever help another person to stop doing something harmful? Under this umbrella of thought, all acts of correction and guidance could be labeled as hateful or judgmental.


What Jesus means is, we should not pass judgment by withholding our love because we feel someone doesn't deserve it. We shouldn't be disrespectful to somebody else just because they have different beliefs. We should always be fair and do what is right, even toward our enemy. Christians should not withhold the righteousness of God because we have judged another as unworthy to receive it.

Should we be eager to punish somebody that "deserves" it after receiving God's forgiveness from our own transgressions? And how can we expect God to treat us kindly if we do not do the same for others? God is always righteous, to the just and to the unjust. Likewise we should do the same.

Now, in regards to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, perhaps you can relate to what I'm about to say. When we are weak, we often struggle with feelings of doubt and unworthiness. However, once we become strong, those same feelings are not as effective. In this case, the devil changes his strategy and begins tempting us with pride.

If we're not careful, we might begin to exhibit a moral superiority over others. We'll start to judge other Christians and question whether their faith is genuine. I have been tempted with these feelings in the past.

I knew it was wrong to think or act this way but I did not completely understand why. How could somebody call themselves a Christian and do things I knew to be sinful? Recently God has shown me some answers to this question. I'd like to share them now:

1) God Has Us Where We Are For A Reason- This applies both spiritually and socially. The bible tells us that we are free from having to observe God's Judaic law. It also tells us that while all things are permissible, not all are profitable.

What exactly does this mean? Is it a license to sin? Absolutely not! It simply means that our salvation is not based on works but on faith in Christ. None of us will ever be perfect. When we die we'll each have different individual levels of spiritual righteousness and growth. The level by which we are faithful to God in this life dictates how much we are blessed now and rewarded later. But all who trust in Christ will be saved, regardless of their level of righteousness.

With that in mind, we know that even a Christian we perceive as living in sin can still find eternal life. They can still have a real relationship with Jesus. In fact, don't we all in some way fall short of the glory of God on a daily basis? Yes.

So why would the Holy Spirit not show them their conduct is wrong? The bible says that something becomes sin when our conscience tells us so. For example, if somebody gives us $100, we would consider that a good thing. However, if we learned that the $100 was gained by selling drugs to children, a good conscience would prevent us from taking the money.



I believe God has certain Christians living a "worldly" lifestyle in order to reach those who are lost and living similar lifestyles. These Christians can have a greater impact and gain their trust more than a complete outsider could.

What would happen if God revealed to that Christian some of their lifestyle was sinful? Their good conscience would not allow them to stay in the current situation. They would leave that lifestyle and do something else. Then the Lord could not use them to reach the people He intended them to reach.

This helps to explain why some who profess faith in Christ cannot see that portions of their lifestyle are not holy.

2) Avoiding Spiritual Overload- We are all at different levels of faith. Jesus works with each individual at their own pace, according to what God thinks is right. What might be best for me might not be best for you. Too much too soon could be very harmful and drive somebody away from Christ.

If another Christian is living a sinful lifestyle, it doesn't necessarily mean they do not have a real relationship with Christ. The reason maybe they are not yet strong enough for God to help remove the sin from their life.

When I first gave my life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit showed me many things in my life that were wrong. I tried to fix them all at once. The result was I became burned out spiritually. It was too much for me to bare.

This resulted in me stepping back from God. I still believed in Him but I reasoned away much of what He'd shown me to be wrong. I was not strong enough to retain the truth. As a result, I rationalized what I'd learned as being too strict.

Much later in life, God brought me back to what He had shown me early in my faith. This time I was much stronger and able to change my lifestyle according to His will. It wasn't until now that I understood why He allowed me to struggle, going back and forth in this manner. It has allowed me to learn from my experience and to share it with others.

There are many reasons why people do things, reasons that we cannot see or understand. Therefore, let us focus on being kind and understanding so that others can see the love of Christ in our hearts, given to us by God. Let us also be a source of strength to other Christians by doing the same to them. May we all lift each other up by the spirit of Christ living inside us. Amen.

FTS

(Scripture references: Matthew 7:1-2, Romans 7, Ephesians 2:8-9, Matthew 7:45, Romans 14:3-4, 1Corinthians 10:23-24, Romans 3:21-24)

















Thursday, January 12, 2017

God Is Love

The bible tells us God is love. Most Christians have heard that before but I think we sometimes take it for granted; it is a very powerful declaration. Our living Creator is the very essence of love.

The word "love" in itself has a very broad meaning in the English language. It can be used to mean different things. Therefore, I think it is important to accurately define what type of love God is and how it differentiates from human love.


I believe there is no greater example of God's love than the cross of Jesus Christ. He didn't need to burden Himself by becoming a man and suffering for us, but that's exactly what He did. What was His motivation? There was nothing He could gain personally by suffering on the cross; He already had everything. The reason Jesus suffered was so we could benefit. His death was an act of unselfish love for His children.

Jesus gave us the gift of salvation, knowing we were sinners and didn't deserve it. Even though we often reject Him and embrace evil, the Lord still decided to suffer torture on the cross so we could be saved. His love for us is unconditional; it exists even when we do something wrong. His love is also focused on helping others; it is completely selfless and pure.

How does the love of Jesus compare to the love born of this world? Human love is conditional; it is given only when the object of our affection pleases us. If certain criteria are not met, the love given will eventually be taken away. The reason for this is, human love is weak, hypocritical, unfaithful and perverse. The only way to rise above this selfish love is to seek God. When we find Him, we must submit to His will and become a Christian.The essence of Christianity is this: Jesus Christ died so that we could be saved from sin, know the love of God and have eternal life. When we receive Him into our hearts, we are exposed to a love that is greater than we alone can give.

I was once an unbeliever who took a chance on God because of my need for something better. I was tired of doing things I knew were wrong; I wanted to be made clean. I wanted to feel a love that was pure, not selfish or conditional upon gaining something in return.
Jesus answered my cry for help, came into my heart and filled me with His love. My reward has been a methodical transformation; He is making me more like Him everyday. Though I still have a long way to go, the person I am becoming is a testament to Him. My life is proof that God is real.

It is important for us to know, Christ did not suffer on the cross so we could have religion. The world already had that before He came to earth. Jesus came here and died for us so we could have a relationship with Him. He died so we could be filled with His love; the kind of love that defies human intellect. In my opinion, nothing is more valuable than the love of Jesus. Once you find it, everything falls into place. Without it, our entire life becomes empty and vain.

God's love is greater and more pure than anything found in our world. If you want to experience this love and haven't already, I have great news! His love doesn't cost any money. You don't have to be perfect (none of us are). You don't need to "earn" it, because none of us are able; all we need to do is ask for it.

If a person sincerely asks Jesus to come into their heart, He will answer and comply. God is love and will give it to whoever asks for it; you can count on that. I know because He gave it to me.


FTS

(Scripture references: 1John 4:13-16, John 14:6, Psalms 91:15-16, Psalms 103:11)





Monday, January 9, 2017

He Is With Us

When you're going through a difficult time, it seems like it will never end. You try and keep a good attitude, but even your own feelings fight against you. When this happens in my life, it's like riding a roller coaster of emotions. I often feel the urge to complain but know it is futile to do so. 

The truth is, there is never any justification for us to claim God has been unfair. Jesus embraced death so that we might live. Nothing I go through is any worse than what Christ did for me. Whatever I am suffering pales in comparison to what He endured.  

Also, when I'm going through a difficult situation, I know God is working His plan in my life. I trust He uses everything toward my good; even my mistakes. I believe He mapped out His plan for my life before the universe was even born. Nothing is a surprise to Him; everything has been accounted for in advance.

Yet even knowing all of this, it still can be difficult to weather the storm. Being at peace with the actual struggle doesn't make the pain go away. In fact, in a weird way it can make it more frustrating. After you go through all the emotions and excuses inside your head, you get to the point when you realize it's all in vain. Eventually you come to the place where there is nothing you can do but be patient. It's like standing in a rain storm with no umbrella or shelter in sight. There's nothing you can do to keep from getting soaked; all you can do is wait for the storm to pass.

In times like these, we feel defeated; we get depressed. Our energy and joy is depleted. Every feeling inside our body points toward misery. This is when our temptation to turn away from God is strong. The originator of our storm tries to overwhelm us to a point of great vulnerability. The sky becomes dark, we cannot see any light; our spirit is crushed, we cannot feel God anymore. All of our feelings tell us to give up, that Jesus will not deliver us.

There comes a time when there is nothing left to do but stand on the Word of God. Even when everything around us screams against it, this is when we should remain steadfast in our faith; if for no other reason than to deny the alternative, which is to give up. If we do give into the temptation to quit and turn our back on God, then what? Does it make the struggle go away? If we immerse ourselves in something sinful (instead of God) to hide from the pain, isn't that just a false cure? And when we eventually reap the penalty for our sinful actions, won't we have even more problems than before?

The way I see it fellow believers, we have no choice but to keep the faith. I refuse to call God a liar by choosing unbelief, just because I don't "feel" Him with me. Instead, I will call my feelings a lie. Better yet, I prefer to vent my frustration upon the father of lies and source of my pain, the devil.

Even though it may seem crazy...even though there appears to be no end in sight for my struggle, I will not stop believing in the promises found in God's Word. The bible tells us Jesus is the Word of God that became flesh; in Him alone I will trust.

If my thoughts or feelings contradict God's Word, I will turn my back on them. If I'm left with nothing else but the promises made to me in His Word, so be it; I'll take my chances with His Word over the temporary and empty solutions found in this deceitful world. I'd rather die and be taken from this evil place than to turn my back on the only thing that really matters: True love, the kind that can only be found in Christ.

When our pain makes us feel all alone, let us find the strength to remember He is with us and will never forsake us. Amen.

FTS

(Scripture references: Deuteronomy 31:6, John 1:14)


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Source Behind Every Action

When I first gave my life to Christ as a young man, I was so lost and confused about many things; I had not received much guidance as a child. Compounding the problem was my inability to learn things quickly. I wanted to know wisdom; I longed to understand right from wrong in every situation, if possible. I wanted to always do what was right in God's eyes. Also, I wanted to learn how not to be fooled by people looking to deceive or take advantage of others.

During those confusing years as a young man, one Scripture in the bible really jumped out at me: Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." At that time in my life, this promise from God was all I had. Since there was nobody to teach me about life, I trusted in an invisible God to keep His promise and fill me with His righteousness.

Even before I gave my life to the Lord, I liked to self-analyze. Now that I was a new creature in Christ, I took it upon myself to analyze every one of my thoughts and actions. I decided to open everything in my life to the Holy Spirit for His correction and guidance.

This is not an easy thing to do; it takes a lot of time and effort. However, the reward is well worth the effort. In my case, God showed me many areas where I was being deceived. Several of my actions were inspired by things I thought were good, but actually were bad.

At first, it's not really fun when the Holy Spirit reveals you've been doing something wrong. Frantically trying to hold onto that part of your life, the devil will immediately fill your mind with thoughts to undermine the truth God has shown you. He'll tempt you to sweep this new revelation under the rug of your consciousness. He will increase the pressure on your flesh to resist changing or giving up that sinful vice.

Perhaps the devil's most effective counter attack to God's corrective work in us is the pleasure we gain from sin. When the Holy Spirit lifts the cloak of deception that Satan uses to deceive us, it can be very tempting to ignore this truth. Sometimes we would rather live in "blissful ignorance" than accept the truth. Because of this, oftentimes we make a conscious choice to ignore the reality of sin for the sake of pleasure.

In the beginning, accepting the truth and changing your life accordingly can be very depressing. In fact, the bible tells us with an increase of wisdom comes sorrow. That's because the truth will show us our world system and lifestyle is more evil than we ever could have imagined. We'll also begin to understand just how sinful and lost we really are. 

Many of the pleasures in this world are inspired by Satan. They are his attempt to arouse a sinful place in our heart. Their purpose is to blind and separate us from the living God. In fact, our sinful desires are like those of a drug addict. The devil supplies the drug and the world around us often serves as an enabler. But just like many drugs that feel so very good at first, these sinful pleasures will eventually destroy both body and spirit. If taken to the extreme, our sinful desires result in spiritual and physical death. 
For this reason, it is imperative that we look inside our hearts and minds to determine what motivates us. Why do we watch certain television shows? Why do we listen to certain music? What are the reasons and motivations behind how we treat others?

Gaining spiritual discernment is hard work; I like to think of it as spiritual exercise. Just like physical exercise, it can be very difficult at first. But when we persevere, it gets easier and we become stronger. Once we have matured, we'll learn the gift we gain from God far and exceeds the empty, sinful pleasure we leave behind.

If we follow Jesus with all of our heart, inevitably God will show us things in our life that need changing. How much of our lifestyle are we willing to concede to Him? The Lord said, those who lose life for His sake shall find it; that is exactly what happens when we methodically surrender our every thought and action to Him. With this in mind, let us all have a renewed desire and motivation to allow God to reveal what motivates us, and to show us the source behind everything we do.

FTS

(Scripture references: Matthew 5:6, 29-30, 10:29; Ecclesiastes 1:18)







Monday, January 2, 2017

Can Suffering Actually Be Good For Us?

Sometimes our suffering is a direct result of sin. Other times, there is no clear reason why we are suffering. Though Satan is the source for all suffering, God can use it to make us stronger. For those who love Christ, we are assured in Scripture that everything in our life is being done for our good, according to God's plan.

Before Jesus began His ministry, He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. It was there that He fasted for 40 days and was afterward tempted by the devil. I believe we can learn many things from this time in Christ's life. These truths can help us to understand why we might be suffering.

* God will often use our suffering to prepare us for a future event or calling:

Jesus was led by the Spirit to suffer in the wilderness. I believe it was no accident this happened right before He began His ministry. Through this trial, Jesus was empowered to begin His calling from God.

Like Jesus' experience in the wilderness, sometimes our suffering is meant to prepare us for a future calling or event in our lives; in my own life this has been true. My past trials have empowered me to face and overcome obstacles today. They have also prepared me to accomplish what God has called me to do.

* God will often use suffering to strengthen our spirit:

Jesus gained strength by using faith and the Word of God to overcome the devil and his temptations. The bible says after His 40 days of isolated suffering in the wilderness, our Lord returned to begin ministering to the population in the power of the Spirit.

The same holds true for us. Whenever we resist temptation by standing firm in Christ, we are strengthened. The bible says the testing of our faith that comes from everyday trials helps to build our perseverance, which ultimately leads to a maturation of our spirit. This strength enables us to more easily resist the attacks of Satan in our life.

* God will often use our suffering to give us perspective:

Before Jesus became human, God could not relate to what it was like to be tempted by Satan. Christ's suffering in the wilderness (and throughout His life on earth) gave Him a clear perspective of what His children endure on a daily basis. For this reason, Jesus is the perfect high priest and intercessor on our behalf; He is God but also suffered as a man.

If we allow Christ to lead us through our suffering, we can also gain perspective. This perspective not only strengthens our faith, it allows us to relate and help others who are going through similar ordeals.

Nothing can replace experience. For example, people who were once homeless or struggled to have enough food will have a much greater appreciation for these blessings than I ever could, since I have never known what it's like to go hungry or be homeless. Though I am very thankful to God for these things, I'm sure it could never match the thankfulness of those who once did not have them.

There are some things we simply cannot relate to unless we gain experience through suffering.Though I didn't understand while in the midst of my trials, God has shown me how He used that suffering to give me a perspective I otherwise could not have gained. 

The bible says we must be careful not to suffer because of sin. But even if we do, God can use the experience for our good. Whatever the reason for our suffering, we can rest assured that God never gives us more than we can handle. We can also be confident, knowing our Lord uses everything in life (including suffering) to work for our good.

FTS

(Scripture references: Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:14, James 1:2-4, 1Corinthians 10:13, Romans 8:28, 1Peter 4:15, Hebrews 5:7-10, 2Corinthians 5:21)