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Showing posts from July, 2014

What Did My Children Learn From Me Today?

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A Christian lady by the name of Julie Creasy, from Hendersonville, Tennessee, composed the following poem. Let’s allocate a few moments of time, focusing on what her poem is teaching us about our children as we daily relate to them:

Idleness Causes Deterioration

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In 190 A.D., Roman legions who were victorious over Spain, built an aqueduct in Segovia (see History). For some 1,800 years, it carried sparkling water to the hot and dusty Segovians. About the turn of the 20th century, patriotic Spaniards decided that the aqueduct should be preserved for posterity, relieving it of the work it had faithfully performed for sixty generations.

No Multiple Choice For Eternity!

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The following article was written by Brother Dan Gibson, former preacher of the Montana Street congregation. His article title begs the question, “Do we have multiple choices when it comes to eternity and our eternal dwelling place?” The text of Luke 18:18 reads: Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

The Story Of Four People

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The following story by an unknown author, is a parody about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody:

The Parable Of The Dropped Vase

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The parable is told that one Sunday, near the end of the service, the preacher asked help in moving an urn of flowers from the platform. A young man came to the front and waited for the preacher to hand him the lovely vase filled with roses. Just as he reached up, he dropped the vase, breaking it into many pieces. Embarrassed at his apparent carelessness, the young man returned to his seat.

Do We Have A "Bus Schedule" Philosophy?

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Several years ago, there was a news story of a man who had set some kind of a record by having been married and divorced twenty-six times. He was seventy years old at the time, and the father of forty children. Evidently, he was proud of his record, because according to the news report, he was seriously considering wife number twenty-seven. The report went on to say that this man’s philosophy was that marriage was similar in nature to a bus schedule. If one wife does not work out, there will always be another one come along shortly.

"You Tell On Yourself"

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The following poem by an unknown author gives us insight into what we’re really telling others about ourselves by how we speak and how we act:

Effective Communication And A Merry Heart

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The following humorous, but meaningful story comes from the Montana Street bulletin, illustrating our need for effective communication as we interact with others (especially our spouses!):

"United" Or "Untied"?

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The following brief article by an unknown author, gives us something to think about as we look at the Lord’s church today:

Some Inspirational Quotes

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The following inspirational quotes are from an email I received from a fellow Christian. They are worth meditating on and remembering.

—Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

"I Walked The Path"

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The following above titled poem, is the work of A. C. Williams (from the Minister’s Monthly, November 1961). This very meaningful poem will hopefully give encouragement and blessed assurance to folks who are enduring various trials, tribulations, and pain (2 Corinthians 1).

Ten Minutes With The Lord

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John Henson, the evangelist with the Grand Blanc congregation, has written and posted a soul-searching article on "The Fellowship Room" website entitled, "Ten Minutes With The Lord" in which he asks the following two questions:

Is Reading The Bible A Formidable Task?

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There are some folks who are afraid to begin reading the Bible, because it seems such a formidable task. However, do you know that there are only four books in the New Testament that take over an hour to read?

Sin's Chain Of Progression

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In Joshua 7, we read of the tragic story of Achan. Against God’s command, Achan took some of the spoils of Jericho and hid them in his tent (Joshua 7:21). As a result, his family was stoned to death (Joshua 7:24-26).

Baptism And "Filthy Rags"

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An individual once asked me, “I’ve heard denominational preachers argue that baptism is not essential to man’s salvation and then quote from Isaiah 64:6 KJV, saying that baptism is like a ‘filthy rag.’ Can you please explain in context what this verse is really teaching?”

To God Be The Glory!

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Since the creation, God has provided everything needed for man to sustain himself, as well as all living things (Genesis 1; Acts 17:24-28). Additionally, He has provided man with various abilities and opportunities (Matthew 25:14-29), not only to better himself, but to help others as well (Acts 2:44-45; Acts 4:32-37).

"And Not Much In Between"

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In the far northwest panhandle of Texas is a small town by the name of Texline. It had an ostentatious beginning in the late 1800s as a thriving center along a new railroad line. However, a few years after 1923, most of the shops had closed and the town’s population shriveled to less than 400 folks. In 2000, the population was just 511 folks.

Good Advice From Desert Pete!

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There are important life lessons which are learned from simple stories. In fact, our Lord used simple stories in His teaching to illustrate important spiritual truths. For example, the biblical principle of giving and receiving found in Luke 6:38 is illustrated in the following story:

Giving Praise To God For Our Intricate Design

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Over the years, I have received many videos illustrating the beauty and design of God's universe as well as those illustrating the various aspects of nature, but none so enchanting as this amazing video of a 240 year old boy doll who was engineered and designed to write beautifully.

Let's Get Back On Track!

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Once when I rolled my car into the starting point of a local automatic car wash, I didn’t know that my left front tire was not properly lined up with the track. The car wash started, but my car wasn’t moving. When I  accelerated, it caused my tire to jump the track.

"His Grace Reaches Me"

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Paul once reminded Titus that the grace of God that brings salvation has "appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). Due to mankind’s deliberate act of transgression (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 5:12-17; 1 John 3:4) he separated himself from the love and protection of God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Ephesians 2:1).

What We "Do" Still Counts!

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Comedian Henny Youngman once stated: “I’ve got two wonderful children — and two out of five isn’t too bad” (source). As parents, how can we continue a positive parenting role after our children have left our nest?

It's What We Do That Counts!

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Research has found that among employees planning to leave their companies, a majority felt they were underpaid. However, fewer than twenty percent of them were receiving less than the industry standard for their duties.

"Hold Fast The Pattern"

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There are some members of the Lord’s church who hold to the antinomianism concept that we not under law — any law, but are solely under God’s grace. They openly dismiss the New Testament teaching of “pattern theology.”

Doing Our Best Is All We Can Do

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We have all been under extreme pressure at some time in our life. There are times when we are so burdened by tasks and responsibilities that there is simply very little time to prepare for our service to God.

Christians Are "Belayers"

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On January 10, 2008, the Associated Press reported that Sir Edmond Hillary, the New Zealander who achieved worldwide acclaim by successfully climbing Mount Everest in 1953, died at 88. I have high respect not only for Sir Edmond, but for all brave men and women who climb rugged mountain peaks.

Discipleship Demands Self-Denial

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Jesus once said, “If any man desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24).

On Teaching Future Generations

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In the book of Joel, we see that Joel’s prophecy was brought about by a plague of locust coming upon the land of Canaan (Joel 1:4). In fact, the people of God could not remember a more severe plague (Joel 2:2). This devastating plague, as well as a severe famine in the land, was designed not only as a punishment from God, but as a call for His people to repent (Joel 2:12-14).

What Was "Corban?"

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An individual onced asked me, Can you please explain what “Corban” meant to the Jewish mind in Mark 7:11? The text in Mark 7:11-13 (cf. Matthew 15:1-9) reads:

A Prayer For Parents

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The following is a prayer for parents by an unknown author. It is a prayer that parents should pray often, asking God to give them wisdom in guiding and instructing their children (Ephesians 6:1-4; Colossians 3:20-21):

True Marriage Demands A Marriage Covenant

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An individual once asked me, “If a man and woman are living together in fornication, are they truly married?

God's Truth And An Alarming Survey

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George Barna, founder and president of the Barna Research Group took a survey of American values and religious views across the United States. Mr. Barna’s survey indicated that more than two out of three adults and more than four out of five teenagers argue that truth is always relative to the individual and the circumstances.

Our "Awesome" God

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It’s an often-used word, and we hear it in the most unusual contexts — it’s the word “awesome.” Webster’s dictionary provides us this definition:expressive of awe” or “inspiring awe.

Do We Know Our Product?

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Professional salespeople will tell you that one mark of a good salesperson is a thorough knowledge of his product. He knows the materials from which it is made, understands its capabilities, studies the advantages it will bring to the consumer, and can answer his customers’ questions. The salesperson who doesn’t know his product will not get the sale.

God's "Wall Of Fire"

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The construction of the Great Wall of China began in the third century BC. Often called one of the “Seven Wonders of the Medieval World,” it is approximately 1,500 miles long. The Great Wall was built to protect the people against raids by nomadic peoples and invasions by rival states.

Our Content Is Of Far Greater Importance Than Our Cover!

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It’s been reported that interior designers are now purchasing numbers of antique leather-bound books, putting them in their homes solely for their coversnot for any content they possess. Affluent clients are placing them in rooms that match a specific decor, and create a warm, old-world atmosphere. One wealthy individual is known to have purchased thousands of antique books he will never read just to create an old library look in his renovated home — his books are strictly for show.

God's Mercy Endures Forever!

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We don’t have to live very long in this world before it becomes painfully clear that nothing lasts forever. The new car we were so proud of when we purchased it is now spending more time in the shop than on the road. The clothes we picked up on sale are now in a hand-me-down box. The roof on our house is leaking when it rains, the appliances break down, the carpet needs to be replaced. And relationships we think will long endure often fall apart.

"I Observe No Unfriendliness"

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The Christian life boils down to the uncommon expression of common virtues. For example, we would expect that Christians would be friendly. What a difference practicing that virtue would make in our society!

How Do We Respond To Adversity?

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Temperament varies from individual to individual. Some of us have upbeat dispositions, while others exhibit very negative ones. Yet how we respond to life’s trials also affects our overall disposition.

"There Is Nothing So Powerful As Truth"

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Henry David Thoreau once stated, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth” (source). Imagine the difference it would make in our world if that theme were heard as often as those catchy advertising jingles produced by Coca-Cola or McDonald’s.

Satan's Secret Is Out!

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The story is told of a driving instructor who was stopped by police after a minor accident with a truck. When asked for his driver’s license, he couldn’t provide one. He had been instructing students for more than 40 years on how to drive, yet he didn’t have his own license! Years earlier, he had failed a driving test, and he was fearful of trying again. He had kept this fact a secret out of embarrassment.

It's Okay To Cry!

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The story is told of a father whose young daughter was killed in a car accident. Recalling the terrible tragedy, he told a close friend, “I cried easily before my daughter’s accident — now, I find myself crying all of the time. Sometimes the tears just slip out.”

Meekness Is Not Weakness

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Most people consider meekness to be weakness. In a world dominated by the strong — ruthless dictators, callous drug traffickers, and powerful corporate leaders — no one wants to be classified as the “wimp” everyone takes advantage of. But is that the biblical concept of meekness?

Getting Beyond Trivial Pursuits

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A few years ago, I was in the library of a local middle school working as a substitute. As I walked among the bookshelves, I happened to pass by a row of small cubicles set aside for study and spied a student reading a Bugs Bunny comic book. I almost laughed out loud. Here was a young man surrounded by the wisdom of the ages, yet immersed in childish trivia.

What Do We Know About Matthias?

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An individual once asked me, “Do you know of any sources of information about Matthias? The Bible doesn’t say anything about him outside of Acts 1. This is always something I’ve wondered about, and it just struck me to ask.”

A Question Regarding False Teachers In Jude

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An individual once asked me, “In Jude 1:12-13, what does the symbolism refer to in these verses with reference to the false teachers mentioned in Jude 1:4?” The text in Jude 1:12-13 reads:

Testing All Preachers And Teachers

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At one time or another, many of us have been exposed to self-promoting preachers and teachers who claim to have had a special “revelation” or “word” from God. If so, we need to be careful. Unless what a person proclaims as truth can be verified by the clear teaching of the Bible, it is personal opinion at best and heresy at worst — not divine revelation.

There's No Excuse For Sin!

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During King Rehoboam’s reign (1 Kings 14:21), Rehoboam flatly rejected a request from representatives of the 10 tribes of Israel to lower the heavy tax burden imposed by his father Solomon. His decision was based on arrogance and pride, and it caused the 10 tribes to break away from Judah (1 Kings 12:1-20).

The Right Use Of Power

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The saying, “Money is power,” is the principle that drives most societies of the world (including our own). People scramble for wealth, often at the price of personal integrity, in order to gain the power to live where and how they want, drive the kind of vehicle they want, and get whatever else they want.

"But He Was Angry And Would Not Go In"

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In the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-32), we’re inclined to single out the prodigal son as having a more degenerate character than his elder brother. However, it’s worth noting that when the story ends, the prodigal is restored, forgiven, and full of joy, while the elder brother stands outside and refuses to go in (Luke 15:28).

Let's Put Jesus In The Driver's Seat!

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The story is told of a stressed-out woman who was tailgating a man as they drove on a busy boulevard. When he slowed to a stop at a yellow light, the woman hit the horn, began cussing, screaming, and angrily gesturing in frustration. As she continued raving and ranting, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a police officer who ordered her to exit the car with her hands up. He took her to the police station and placed her in a holding cell.

Do We Consider The Interests Of Others First?

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In the giving of ourselves to others (including our time, talents, money, etc.), we make known to them the essence of Jesus’ character, for it has always been His nature to think more about others than Himself (cf. Matthew 20:28; John 15:13; Romans 5:7-8; Ephesians 5:1-2; Philippians 2:5-8).

Are We Workers Or Shirkers?

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The apostle Paul had some tough words for shirkers: “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). Some circumstances may make it impossible for some folks to work. But if we’re able-bodied and can find work, we must work with energy and diligence (Ecclesiastes 9:10). This is not just good advice but a command from an inspired apostle and from our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:12; cf. Ephesians 4:28). Slothfulness is sin.

"Are We Ready To Open The Windows Of Heaven?"

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God has created a beautiful world where all kinds of people benefit from living in it — the righteous and unrighteous, the worldly and godly, believers, agnostics, atheists, and pagans. Amazingly, God withholds His material gifts from none of these, not favoring anyone (Acts 10:34). He is pleased to share His sun’s light and His rain cloud’s bounty with both good and evil persons alike (Matthew 5:44-45). But God has something more to offer than just the physical glories of the world. To His people, He delivers this invitation:

The Rich Church That Was Poor

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The city of Laodicea was rich, and so were many members of the Lord’s church. The area thrived on three enterprises: finance, textiles, and eye salve. The city was a major banking center, and the most popular clothes among Rome’s upper class were black wool garments made in Laodicea. Even their eye salve was sold far and wide. The people of this rich church bragged that they had “need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17 KJV).

Help From Unexpected Sources

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In 1803, Thomas Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark to lead an expedition across an unexplored America to the Pacific coast. The expedition was called “Corps of Discovery” and it lived up to its name. It cataloged 300 new species, identified nearly 50 Indian tribes, and traversed terrain that had never been seen by Europeans (see video).

What Is The Apocrypha?

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A member of the Lord's church once asked me, “What is the Apocrypha, and is it needed in the Bible?

Jonah Was "Swallowed Up"

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As Christians, we’ve all heard and studied the story of Jonah and the great fish. But do we know that the disobedient prophet was “swallowed up” — not once, but three times?

The Beauty Of Unconditional Love

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The story is told of a surgeon who had to sever a nerve that controlled the muscles of a young woman’s mouth in order to remove a tumor. After the operation, as he and the husband stood by the woman’s bedside, she asked, “Will my mouth always be like this?” The doctor said, “yes, it will.”

Can We Interpret The Scriptures For Ourselves?

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An individual once asked me, “Does 2 Peter 1:20-21 mean that we cannot interpret the Scriptures for ourselves?” 2 Peter 1:20-21 states: “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Do We Fear Death? Why?

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This Lord's Day morning, I presented a much needed and encouraging lesson to the Montana Street congregation on why we as Christians need not fear death. Most of the material for the lesson was taken from an excellent article by brother Wayne Jackson entitled, "The Terror Of Death: Causes and Cures."

How To Transform Our Day --- Read God's Word And Pray!

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Are we so rushed during the day that we find it hard to take even a few minutes to spend with God? Many people set aside time in the early morning before they get caught up in the hectic pace of the day.

The Most Valuable "Heirloom" Of All

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“My great-grandfather owned this fiddle,” my friend said proudly. In his hand was a mint-condition fiddle from the days when the pioneers were moving across the American West. As I admired its beautiful finish and craftsmanship, he continued, “It was handed down to my grandfather, who passed it on to my father, who gave it to me. It’s been in the family more than 100 years. I’m going to give it to my son when he turns 21.”

Building Teamwork

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The story is told of a soldier whose life was changed after he successfully completed the obstacle course in Air Force basic training on his first attempt. In fact, he completed the course far ahead of everyone else.

"An Honest Man's Word Is As Good As His Bond"

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Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish novelist, playwright, and poet, the creator of Don Quixote, the most famous figure in Spanish literature, is quoted as saying, “An honest man’s word is as good as his bond” (source). When one gives his word, it should mean that he will do what he has agreed to do, regardless, even if it means personal convenience or inconvenience; at personal gain or loss. There was a time when large sums of money or property changed hands based on a handshake (yes, this writer remembers that time). And, if a man was known not to stand by his word, folks would not deal with him because he was not trustworthy enough to stand behind what he said.

What Does The Phrase, "She Shall Be Saved In Childbearing" Mean?

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A man and his wife once asked me, “Can you please provide my wife and I the proper interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:15?”

A Good Worship Strategy

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The Lord’s stinging rebuke to His people through the prophet Malachi was, “I have no pleasure in you” (Malachi 1:10). God was angry with their careless, shoddy methods of worship. The animals they brought for sacrifice were not acceptable to Him because they were not the best of the herds and flocks. Instead, they offered stolen, lame, and sick animals (Malachi 1:13).

4 Ways Of Getting Rid Of The Preacher

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An elder once told about some church members who came to him for advice. They wanted to know of a way to get rid of their preacher. Sensing that they were not being fair in their criticism, he gave them the following four ways:

What Is Our Achilles' Heel?

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No one is temptation-proof (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5). Even mature Christians have weaknesses in their spiritual armor that make them vulnerable to a wounding attack by the enemy of their souls (Gal. 6:1).