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Lord, Forgive us for Using You as Our Emergency God—Jeremiah 2:27

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 2:23 through Jeremiah 5:19

How does the Lord put up with human beings?

Today’s scriptures made me so sad.  It’s no wonder Jeremiah is called the “weeping prophet;” the message he had to deliver would have made a strong man cry!

Friends, we serve a merciful God.  Israel and Judah were living under the law and God still reached down over and over to save them.

They had no idea the lengths that their Heavenly Father would travel to redeem them—they didn’t know about Jesus!

They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!’ —Jeremiah 2:27

Do you have a wayward child, spouse, family member, or friend?

A person who is literally sucking the life out of you because of their destructive lifestyle?

You love them so much.  You pray for them, encourage them, and prop them up emotionally, financially, and sometimes physically.  You’ve lost sleep, your appetite, and your joy because of their “issues.”

Your Heavenly Father understands.

In today’s reading he pours out his heart to his people through Jeremiah.

  • You are like a restless female camel desperately search for a mate (2:23)
  • You are like a wild donkey, sniffing the wind at mating time (2:24)
  • Israel is like a thief who feels shame only when he gets caught (2:26)
  • I will not be angry with you forever.  Only acknowledge your guilt (3:12-13)
  • Return home you wayward children (3:14)
  • My wayward children, come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts (3:22)
  • Plow up the hard ground of your hearts!  Do not waste your good seed among thorns (4:3)
  • O people of Judah and Jerusalem, surrender your pride and power (4:4)
  • Your own actions have brought this upon you.  This punishment is bitter, piercing you to the heart (4:18)
  • My people are foolish and do not know me (4:22)
  • They are stupid children who have no understanding (4:22)
  • They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right (4:22)

Does this sound like a father who loves his children so much but is just about at his limit?

But aren’t we all like these wayward children, we turn our backs on God when everything’s going well but run to him in times of trouble and cry out “Help Lord, come and rescue me—NOW!!!!”

It breaks our Heavenly Father’s heart!

God is just like us or I guess I should say we are just like Him. He wants a relationship with the people he loves.  He doesn’t was us to call on Him, just when we need something.

He wants us to need to be with Him.

Heavenly Father, forgive us for using you as our emergency god.  We want to be children who bring you great pleasure.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 5:20 – 6:30; 2 Kings 22:3-20; 2 Chronicles 34:8-28

Help is On the Way–Isaiah 65:24

Today’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 63:15 through Isaiah 66:24; 2 Kings 20:20-21; 2 Chronicles 32:32-33

I will answer them before the even call to me.  While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! –Isaiah 65:24

Friends, we have a Heavenly Father who already knows our needs before we ask (Matthew 6:8).  I’ve experienced this many times in my life; times when God was working on the answer to my prayer months before there was a need.

This very thing happened yesterday…I’m always reading and preparing a day ahead for our Bible study.  Yesterday morning I was reading today’s scriptures and thought, “Lord, nothing stands out.”  So I put my Bible away and did other things.  Late in the afternoon I checked my email and saw a forwarded message from my friend Carol.

Can I be candid?  Many times when I receive forwarded messages (stories, jokes, “pass this on to 10 people” things) I delete them.  I just don’t have time to read them all.

I checked my email three or four times but didn’t delete or open Carol’s message.

Finally, I opened the email and began to read the story. I couldn’t believe it—the story was about a scripture in today’s reading!  Could God have answered my prayer for today’s study before I even asked?  I know this is a bit longer than my normal posts, but someone out there needs this lesson in faith—TODAY!  There’s also a song that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind as I read this inspiring story.  Friends, I encourage you to hold fast, believe God, help is on the way!

A Lesson in Faith

By: Tina Clark

This is a story written by a doctor who worked in Africa:

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator).  We also had no special feeding facilities.

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.  Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates).

And it is our last hot water bottle!’ she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

‘All right,’ I said, ‘put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts Your job is to keep the baby warm.’

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. ‘Please, God’ she prayed, ‘Send us a hot water bottle today It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.’

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, ‘And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?’

As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say ‘Amen?’ I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so.

But there are limits, aren’t there?

The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.

Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the  time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the verandah was a large 22-pound parcel.

I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of  eyes were focused on the large cardboard box.

From the top, I lifted out brightly colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out.

Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored.

Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas – that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.

Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the…..could it really be?

I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle.

I cried.

I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.

Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, ‘If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!’

Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!

Looking up at me, she asked, ‘Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?’

‘Of course,’ I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.

And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it ‘that afternoon.’

‘Before they call, I will answer.’ (Isaiah 65:24)

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Friends, Hold Fast! Help is on the way!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  2 Kings 21:1-9; 2 Chronicles 33:1-9; 2 Kings 21:10-17; 2 Chronicles 33:10-19; 2 Kings 21:18; 2 Chronicles 33:20; 2 Kings 21:19-26; 2 Chronicles 33:21-25; 2 Kings 22:1-2; 2 Chronicles 34:1-7; Jeremiah 1:1 through Jeremiah 2:22

Protection for a Hot Summer Day—Psalm 121

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Psalms 120-121, 123; Psalm 125-126

Whew!  It’s really hot outside!  In Florida, July and August are our hottest months.  Most years I’m either in the air conditioning or in the water during these months.  This summer has been different.  For the last five weeks I’ve been making a big flower garden in my front yard.  I’m talking serious manual labor…digging up roots, leveling the ground, digging trenches for sprinklers, planting plants, and hauling in mulch and pine straw.  The good thing about this flower bed; it’s mostly in the shade.  I had really taken the shade for granted; saying things like—it’s not that hot, I have no problem with the heat,  it doesn’t bother me that much.

Until, last Friday…it was finally the day to give the finishing touch to the flower bed; a thick covering of pine straw.  Getting the pine straw was an ordeal.  I had to borrow a truck, go to the self-service pine straw place, load the truck, bring it home, unload the truck and then spread the pine straw.

All of a sudden I was taken out of my “protective shade” into the hot sun with upper 90 degree weather and humidity that felt like a sauna.  Determined me said, “I don’t care if it’s hot, I planned to do this today and I’m doing it!”

The hot sun was literally sucking away my energy one drop of sweat at a time.  I actually got sick and had to go inside  (I’m sure you’re not surprised).

Psalm 121 was written for people like you and me.  People who are in the heat of life and are determined to finish what they started and to do it well.

Think about your life right now…in what area are you feeling overwhelmed, wishing for some relief?

Who are you looking to for that relief (shade), who or what are you expecting to fix it?

Men, money, education, career, or government–where does your help come from?

 

I look up to the mountains—

does my help come from there?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;

the one who watches over you will not slumber.

Indeed, he who watches over Israel

never slumbers or sleeps.

 The Lord himself watches over you!

The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

The sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm

and watches over your life.

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,

both now and forever.

Can you imagine Your Heavenly Father, not an angel or messenger, following you around to provide a protective shade?

This psalm is full of word pictures to help the Jewish people and you and I, fully understand the depth our God goes to protect us.

Are you worried that you are going to make a mistake?

Stay focused on the Lord and He will not let you stumble!

Protection 24/7 from the Almighty, all-knowing God of the Universe, what a promise–

 

Don’t forget—your help comes from the Lord!

Heavenly Father, thank you for your help and protection today!  In Jesus Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Psalms 128-130, 132; Psalms 134-135

One Thing That Makes God FURIOUS! — Psalm 78:21-22

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Psalms 75 through 78

When we set out on this journey in January our goal was to know God more.  We have learned so much about the nature of God. Just yesterday we found out God wants us to be thankful for what He does for us.  In today’s reading I found another clue to the nature of God—He gets angry when we do not believe Him or trust Him to take care of us.

 When the Lord heard them, he was furious.
The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob.
Yes, his anger rose against Israel,
for they did not believe God
or trust him to care for them
.

Psalm 78:21-22

 In Psalm 78, the psalmist Asaph recounts the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness.  He mentioned the disobedience, sin and rebellion that God had to put up with throughout that journey.

God saw the Israelites’ complaining as not believing Him and not trusting Him to take care of them…it really ticked Him off!

Why?

The best way to understand this is to think about the parent/child relationship.

What hurts a parent more than thinking their child doesn’t believe or trust them to take care of them?

Not much.

The difference between God and parents:

While parents may have the best of intentions sometimes we still miss it.

But God is, well God and He is perfect!

He ALWAYS has our best interest at heart.

Why don’t we ALWAYS trust our Heavenly Father to take care of us?

I think it’s doubt.  We may never say this or consciously think it, but sometimes we really wonder if He’s…really real.

We wonder if…

He REALLY has everything under control…all the time?

He REALLY has my best interest all the time?

Isn’t it interesting that the very reason we don’t always trust God to take care of us is the same reason the Israelites did not trust Him—

UNBELIEF–not believing God is who He says He is and that He will do what he says He will do!

Friends, this is why we have to continue this journey.  The more we know God and his nature the less we will doubt!

Lord, just like the father who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus for healing in Mark 9:24, we say…

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief! 

In Jesus Name.  Amen and Amen


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Psalms 79 through 82

WHY Are You Doing That?

Today’s Scripture Reading:  1 Chronicles 29: 1-22; 1 Kings 1: 1-53

Can you imagine having a father who never disciplined you?

David was that kind of father to Adonijah.  The scripture says David never once asked Adonijah,

“Why are you doing that?”

It seems that David’s children pretty much did what they wanted —remember Amnon who raped Tamar and Absalom who had Ammon killed to avenge Tamar’s death.

In today’s world of relativism…

Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid, and that all truth is relative to the individual—
                                                                             Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry

Many parents think they should create an atmosphere where their children can find their own truth so they never ask them,

“Why are you doing that?”

Whether you are a parent, a leader of a small group, a supervisor, or a CEO asking “why” is an important part of leading.

It’s hard for me to understand why David, who is known as a great leader, did not lead his sons by asking the tough questions and providing direction and discipline?

People need boundaries.

Children need boundaries.

Even kings’ kids need boundaries.

Thank you Lord for Your Word and Your Holy Spirit!  Teach us to ask ourselves daily, “Why am I doing that?”  Show us Your Truth Lord!

We Trust you to get Your will accomplished in our lives!

 

©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  1 Kings 2: 1-9, 2 Samuel 23: 1-7, 1 Kings 2: 10-12, 1 Chronicles 29: 26-30, Psalms 4,,5,6,8,9,11

Evidence of Our Relationship–Leviticus 26:46


Today’s Scripture Reading:  Leviticus 25:24 through Leviticus 26:46

These are the decrees, regulations, and instructions that the Lord gave through Moses on Mount Sinai as evidence of the relationship between himself and the Israelites.  –Leviticus 26:46

Decrees, regulations, and instructions are evidence of the relationship?

Doesn’t this sound just like a parent?

“Sweetheart, I know you don’t like the decrees, regulations and instructions that come with being my child, but this is evidence of my love for you!”

I have certainly said something similar to my children.

Again, is this surprising since we are made in the image of God?  We parent like our Heavenly father!

In the Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary a pattern was mentioned that will be seen many times throughout the children of Israel’s journey to the Promised Land:

  • Obedience brings blessings
  • Disobedience brings Discipline
  • Repentance brings Restoration

As we move into Numbers and Deuteronomy the Israelites will always be in one of these three places.  Here’s the interesting thing, God made provision for the Israelites disobedience in Leviticus 26…

He knew.  The best news is– God made a way to be restored.  God said, “I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out, for I am the Lord their God.”   Back in chapter 25, verse 38, God reminds the Israelites why he brought them out of the land of Egypt—to give them the land of Canaan AND to be their God.  These two can’t be separated.

I’m sure my kids had times when they wanted to separate my gifts and provisions from me being their parent.  They didn’t want to sit and talk, go and do things with their Mom, or clean their room; they just wanted the cash and car so they could go on their merry way.

I wanted to provide for them but I also wanted to be with them!  God feels the same way.  He doesn’t just want to be our tour guide and benefactor to the Promised Land, He wants to be our God and have a relationship with us as we make the trip!

Dear Father, I’m proud to be your child!  Thank you for making a way through your Word for me to know you more!  Amen and Amen!

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Leviticus 27:1 through 27:34; Numbers 1:1 through 1:54

A video message from Dianne

Hello Everyone,

I know this is unusual for me to post twice in one day and to talk about anything but our Journey through God’s Word, but I wanted to personally let you know about a conference that’s coming to the Niceville, FL area.

I am one of the chapter coordinators of the Niceville, FL chapter of LeadHer, a new, national women’s ministry that’s hosting its first ever conference in Niceville!

I know that many of you live thousands of miles from the white sandy beaches and emerald waters of our area.  If that’s the case, feel free to say goodbye, but if you live in the Northwest Florida area and you have a few minutes, click on the link below and listen as I share the details of this exciting conference.

Oh, there is one thing that you all can do:  Please pray that the Holy Spirit would draw the women He wants to this conference and pray for the leaders as we plan and prepare.  Help us to hear His voice!

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Blessings in Jesus!

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

What I’ve always Feared has Happened to Me–Job 3:25

Hang on to your hats folks; we’re moving into deep waters as we enter the book of Job.

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Job 1: 1 through Job 4:21

We were introduced to evil in Genesis 3:1 in the form of a serpent. Now in Job 1:6, we are introduced to the invisible world of evil through Satan.

After observing Satan talking to God about Job, it made me wonder…

  • Did Satan talk to God about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
  • What about Joseph?
  • Did Satan ask to test Joseph?

It almost seems like God allowed us to see all the sin, rebellion, greed, and deception in Genesis and then He takes us to the book of Job and draws back the curtain and shows us where the evil really came from through the story of Job.

In Job 1:1, the scripture tells us that Job feared God and stayed away from evil. Job even purified his children (v 5) just in cased they had sinned. Fearing God is healthy, but Job also feared disaster.

In Job 3:25, Job said, what I always feared has happened to me.  What I dreaded has come to pass.  Was this the area in which God wanted to deepen Job’s spiritual insight? Maybe, as Satan was patrolling the earth, he saw and heard Job worrying and fretting and just put into motion what Job had worried about once God gave Satan the okay to test Job.

Many, many people, even Christian people live in fear, just like Job. That is not God’s plan.

In Timothy 1:7, the Word of God says, For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Job did many things right and we are going to learn a lot from him in the next few days.  But today, let’s learn from something  Job did wrong—

Fear and worry, we’re sending you packing!  You aren’t welcome here anymore!

In Jesus’ Name~

Amen and Amen

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©2012, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Reading, January 20th:   Job 5:1 through 7:21


I Wish I Could Pray Like _________ 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12


I wish I was a better at praying.  I have friends who seem to touch the throne of God with their prayers, each word sounds so beautiful and “godly.”  My prayers seem pretty plain.

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3:18, Acts 18:4-23

Don’t get me wrong, I know God is more concerned with our heart than our delivery but I would love to verbally express my love, devotion, and faith in the God who changed my life forever, in a way that He deserves.

The Apostle Paul sure had a way with words when he prayed.  Here are a couple of prayers he prayed in Thessalonians:

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.  God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. —1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.  Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. —2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

The things that Paul prayed for the Thessalonians, I want in my life:

  • Make me holy in every way
  • Keep my whole spirit, soul and body blameless until Christ comes again
  • Enabled me to live a life worthy of His call
  • Give me the power to accomplish all the good my faith prompts me to do
  • May the name of Jesus  be honored because of the way I live
  • I will be privileged to be honored when Jesus is honored

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

Now that’s a pretty powerful prayer!  Those are definitely things I need and want in my life but have trouble finding the words.  I don’t have to; I can use Paul’s words.

If you’re struggling with knowing how to pray or finding the words to pray to convey your heart, use the scriptures, we can turn just about anything in the Word of God into a prayer.

I’ve done this many times.  I like to write them out and add my name, my family’s name, or someone the Holy Spirit has brought to my attention.

Over the years God has prompted me to write prayers of encouragement to people I’ve met along the way, using this method.  Those prayers were straight from the Word of God; so I was just sending a prayer or love-letter for God, I was His delivery agent!

If you’re like me and you wish you were better at praying, go straight to the Word of God.  Your Bible is your greatest guidebook for prayer.

Knowing God more through His Word, means knowing how to pray powerful, heart-felt prayers!

I’m so glad to be on the Journey with you!

Sending Blessings Your Way!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Acts 18:24-19:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23

The Blessings of Children—Mark 10:13-16

Nanu and Cohen

(Today’s Post was written a year ago) This past Monday, October 18th, my tenth grandchild was born. Cohen Miles Gifford became the third son of my daughter Allison and my grafted-in-son (son-in-law) Eric.  There is NOTHING more amazing in this world than the birth of a child.  I can’t take my eyes off him.  Cohen was not and now he is…how can this be?

The one, true, living God of the universe spoke him into existence.

God could have chosen a million different ways to fill His earth, but He chose to do it through children…

Today’s Scripture Reading: Luke 18:9-14,Mark 10:1-12, Matthew 19:1-12, Mark 10:13-16, Matthew 19:13-15, Luke 18:15-17, Mark 10:17-31, Matthew 19:16-30, Luke 18:18-30

Jesus made sure we knew the value of children.  He also told us that the only way we can receive the Kingdom of God is like a child:

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them!  For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”  Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16

How do we receive the Kingdom of God like a child?

  • Children are helpless, unable to save themselves
  • Totally dependent on the mercy and grace of God
  • A child enjoys much but can explain very little
  • Children live by faith
  • They trust others to take care of them
  • Children immediately go to their parents when they are  hurt or have a problem

Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary

It’s so easy for children to believe in and have faith in God.  I see this in my grandkids.  When we pray for them to feel better, they believe they will.

They wholeheartedly believe God…

  • Is who He says He is
  • Will do what He says He will do

What happens?

How do we go from a little child who totally believes in God and believes God, to doubting who He is and what he says?

The pull of this sinful world is huge.  From the time a child is conceived a battle begins…a battle for their soul. That’s why we must train up our children in the ways of God and the things of God (Proverbs 22:6); so that when they grow up they still have child-like faith.

Children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3).  This morning as I sit and watch Cohen sleep, I’m thanking God for my newest gift.  Lord, help me to live a life that leads Cohen and all my grandchildren straight to you.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

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©2010, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Matthew 20:1-6, Mark 10:32-34, Matthew 20:17-19, Luke 18:31-34, Mark 10:35-45, Matthew 20:20-34, Mark 10:46-52, Luke 18:35-19:27

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