Author Archives: Heart of the Nation

With faith, a woman touched Jesus’ cloak and received healing from Him, just as she had hoped. The Lord rewarded an official’s faith by bringing his daughter back to life. Crowds that followed Him seemed like sheep without a shepherd. Sending the Apostles to preach and heal in His name, Jesus thought of them like sheep among wolves. For the time being, at least, Jesus told the Twelve to avoid pagan towns. Whether denied welcome or detained for persecution, the Apostles should flee as soon as they could. He assured them of the Holy Spirit’

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Whether through punishing, questioning priorities, or protecting, God desires increased readiness to meet Him. It seemed harsh when Jesus refused to allow a short delay in following Him, even for an understandable reason. On the other hand, the Lord rescued the Disciples by calming a storm at sea. As evidence of His authority to forgive sins, He proceeded to cure a paralyzed man. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament but not to patch up flawed, manmade rules. (He explained that trying to repair old clothing with new, unshrunken fabric makes a

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Jeremiah regarded himself as too young and inexperienced to serve as a prophet, but the Lord provided words to speak. Zechariah doubted an angel’s proclamation that he would have a son to be called John, and God took away the power of speech until the infant received his name. Jesus warned people not to throw away true, holy gifts or get taken in by false prophets. Even Saints Peter and Paul had faults. Peter recognized Jesus as the Messiah but denied knowing Him during the Passion. Paul, once a ruthless Pharisee, became an Apostle to the Gen

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Chosen by God and anointed by Elijah, the prophet Elisha wanted “a double portion” of his predecessor’s spirit. Jesus taught His disciples to forgive and not retaliate, to lend or give just for the asking, and to love and pray for enemies. To do all that, we should ask for redoubled grace from the Holy Spirit. Worrying as if our heavenly Father does not already know what we need and value serves no purpose. Admitting that we sometimes go out of our way to avoid some people, do we give thanks for the ways God goes the extra mile to help us

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While the Old Testament prophet Elijah hid in a cave from murderous prosecutors, a voice announced that the Lord would “be passing by.” Strong wind, an earthquake, and fire followed that surprisingly casual remark—and then a whisper. Centuries later, Jesus called His followers “light of the world,” explaining that their good works should glorify God. Actions speak more loudly than words! The Lord also called the Disciples “salt for the earth.” If faith didn’t flavor what they did, people would trample on their ministry. Self-rig

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Three days of frantic searching for twelve-year-old Jesus ended with Mary and Joseph finding Him conversing with teachers in the Temple. Our Lord taught that loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength finds expression in love of neighbors. Pharisees and Herodians teamed up in hope of getting Jesus to oppose either the Jewish people or Caesar regarding the census tax. Sadducees and Pharisees disagreed on belief in resurrection, but both tried to strengthen their positions by challenging Jesus. For example, some Sadducees asked whose eternal

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Greeting Elizabeth, the expectant Virgin Mary expounded on the great things God did for her. Running up to Jesus, a man asked what he should do to gain eternal life. Since he already obeyed the Commandments, the man might have expected a pat on the back but went away sad because Jesus said he had to do more. When Peter pointed out that the Twelve had given up everything to become Disciples, the Lord spoke of rewards in this life and eternal life, but also persecution in between. Jesus did not promise James and John seats right beside Him in hea

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