God and Katrina

Sermon by J. Ligon Duncan on September 4, 2005

Lamentations 3:19

The Lord’s Day
Morning

September 4, 2005

Lamentations 3:19, Job 1

“What About Katrina?”

Dr. J. Ligon
Duncan III

Hear the word of God.

“There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was
blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil. And seven sons and
three daughters were born to him. His possession also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000
camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants, and that
man was the greatest of all the men of the east. And his sons used to go and
hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite
their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And it came about, when the days
of feasting had completed their cycle, that Job would send and consecrate them,
rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the
number of them all; for Job said, ‘Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in
their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually.

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves
before the Lord, Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From
where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming about
on the earth and walking around on it.’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you
considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a
blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.’ Then Satan
answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Hast Thou not made a hedge
about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed
the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put
forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy
face.’ Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power,
only do not put forth your hand on him.’ So Satan departed from the presence of
the Lord.

“Now it happened on the day when his sons and his daughters were
eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, that a messenger came
to Job and said, ‘The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, and
the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also blew the servants with the edge of
the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.’ While he was still speaking,
another also came and said, ‘The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the
sheep and the servants and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you.’
While he was still speaking, another also came and said, ‘The Chaldeans formed
three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants
with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you’ While he was
still speaking, another also came and said, ‘Your sons and your daughters were
eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and behold, a great
wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house,
and it fell on the young people and they died; and I alone have escaped to tell
you.’

“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell
to the ground and he worshiped. And he said,

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

And naked I shall return there.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.’

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”

Amen. And thus ends this reading of God’s holy, inspired,
and inerrant word. May He write its eternal truth upon our hearts.

Let us confess our faith with Job in the one true
God, using The Apostles’ Creed.

Christians, what do you believe?

[Congregation:]

“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,

and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy
Ghost, Born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified,
dead, and buried. He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into
heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He
shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic church, the communion of
saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,

and the life everlasting. Amen.”

Let’s pray.

Our Lord and our God, we come before You this day
acknowledging that You are our only hope. You are our help from ages past.
Before the mountains were made, or ever the earth and the world were brought
into being, You are God from everlasting.

We acknowledge, O God, that You are the One who
cares for us, and You are the One who is in control of the seasons, and You are
the God of storms. Shall we accept the manifold good that You have given to us
from Your hand and not accept the dark providences? O God, we acknowledge that
You have cared for us in this assembly. How many testimonies are there, O God,
to the way that You have provided? In this assembly, O God, because You have
given to us You have enabled us to give to others who are in need. We bless You
for this. This in and of itself is an enormous blessing from the hand of the
living God.

O God, in these days to come, we pray that You
would make us to be generous in our care for others; to be sacrificial not only
in our support of the work of this local congregation and what it is able to do
to minister to those around it in need, but that we would be generous in our own
personal giving of our own time and energies and financial resources to help
those who have lost everything.

O God, make us to have a good and clear witness
in word and deed to the saving grace of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ
towards us. Lord God, use even this storm to bring men and women and boys and
girls to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and use the tangible, loving, care
and concern of Christians as a living witness to Your grace. Our Lord and
our God, we pray for the families of our congregation that are still without
power and other basic necessities of life. We pray that You would provide for
them, and that You would provide for them through us. We pray that as a
congregation we would be constantly looking for ways that we can minister to our
own family.

Our Lord and our God, we pray that You would make
us to be a resource for those hurting Christians in the southern part of this
state, especially. And we pray that you would use those efforts to encourage
not only those local congregations, but to make those local congregations a base
of outreach for the gospel in ways that they have never been able to be in years
past.

Our Lord and our God, we come before You this day
asking You to meet with us, to speak to us by Your word, to enable our hearts to
praise You. We thank You, O God, for what You have done for us in Jesus Christ,
and we ask that as a congregation that You would build us up in Your grace and
love so that we might become more and more like our Savior, who was Himself the
exact representation of God. We would be morally upright; we would be growing in
maturity, so that we might approximate Him in our character, so that what we
love are the things that He loves, and that what we hate are the things that He
hates.

Lord God, bless the many members of this
congregation who are working either in their vocations or simply out of their
private desires to bear witness to You in this time. Strengthen them for the
work, for the duty that is at hand. Make us all to be ready to hand, faithful,
ready to serve. Receive our thanks, forgive our sins, hear our prayers. All this
we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Please open your Bibles to Lamentations 3 verse 19.
I want to look at five biblical truths with you as we respond to this great
storm that we’ve seen and ask some questions about God and about Hurricane
Katrina, and attempt to inform our thinking with these five biblical truths in
the areas of: The Power of God; The Providence of God; The Proof of Depravity;
The Pathway from Misery back to Sin; and, The Provision of the Cross.

So let’s begin by hearing God’s word in Lamentations 3:19.

“Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and
bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall
to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never
cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy
faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in
Him.’

Thus far the reading of God’s holy word. Let’s bow our
heads in prayer.

Lord God, speak to us this day. Speak to us from
Your holy Scriptures. Cause our hearts and minds to respond to the experiences
of this last week not by our own inherent instincts and intuitions, but wholly
in accordance with Your word, for You have given us Your word to guide us in the
way that we should think about the world, in the way that we respond to
adversity, in the way that we minister in time of need, in the way that we
answer our questions — ‘ why?’ So speak to us now in Your word we pray, in
Jesus’ name. Amen.

As we think about God and Katrina, I want to
think with you about five things that the Bible teaches us about God that ought
to order the way in which we assess what has happened in this week past.

There are going to be many people offering their own
theories about what the message of Katrina is. For some, it’s a political
message. “Clearly, some particular political party had not made proper
infrastructure preparations, and therefore we suffered this disaster,” some will
say. Others will say, “Clearly a particular political party has not cared
enough about global warming, and therefore this disaster has fallen upon us.”

Others, however, will have their own theory — some
of them religious. They’ll say, “Clearly, God was sending a message to those
sinners in the city of New Orleans, shot through with vice as they are. Surely
God [it will be said] was sending a message to the casinos on the coast of
Mississippi.” There will be all sorts of theories as to why this happened and as
to what the message is.

But the place we go to get God’s answer to
what is going on in the providences — even the dark providences of this world —
is not from our own political inclinations and the opportunity to take a jab at
the other side, but it is from God’s word. It is God’s word that informs how we
think about everything, and I want you to see five truths from God’s word that
inform how we need to think about Katrina, and the first one is this: Our God is
powerful.

I. The power of God.

The power of God is one of the messages of this
storm. As I was thinking about the surging power of this storm as it was right
over us, blowing somewhere from 60 to 90 miles an hour even here in Jackson,
with gusts much higher…as I was thinking about the power of this storm, I
remembered the biblical truth that He has gathered the winds in His fists. The
wind, the storm, is merely a tiny manifestation of the power of God. How do we
sing it?

“God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform.

He plants His footsteps on the
sea, and rides upon the storm.”

God is the God of storms, and this storm is just one
tiny manifestation of His awesome power, and so as we consider the power of this
storm, if we’re going to think biblically about it, we’re going to trace back
that power to the living God, who over and over in Scripture is described as the
God who sends winds.

Let me just prove that to you. Think all the way
back to Genesis 8, the very first verse. You know what’s happening there. A
flood has been visited upon the earth, and now God in His mercy is bringing that
floodwater back. He’s moving the waters back into place, and what does He do?
He sends a wind to dry the land. It’s God who sends that wind to dry the land.

Fast forward to Exodus 10. It’s in the middle of
the plagues that are being visited upon Egypt, and you know what happens. God
sends a wind that blows the locusts into the land of Egypt, and then later He
sends a wind that blows the locusts out of the land of Egypt. God is the one who
sends that wind.

Exodus 14 — the children of Israel are trapped. The
sea is before them, the Egyptians are behind them. They’re going to be
slaughtered! No. Why? Because God sends a wind, and He parts the sea, and the
children of Israel go through it. And He sends another wind in Exodus 15 and
brings the waters down on the Egyptians.

God is the God of storms, of wind, and all the power
of that wind is simply a manifestation of His power.

In Numbers 11:31, when the children of Israel are in
the wilderness and they’re in need of food, God sends a wind that blows them
quail and they eat quail to their fill. But, then, again, my friends, in Job 1
when we see the awesome power of what, no doubt, everyone in Job’s day would
have seen as a “natural disaster” — when that wind comes off of the wilderness
and blows the house down on the children of Job, God says He was in control of
that wind.

But there’s another wind I want to remind you of.
It’s a wind that’s described in Luke 8:23, 24. The disciples are out in a boat
on the Sea of Galilee with Jesus, and a mighty storm comes up. And Jesus seems
unconcerned, and the disciples cry out, “Lord, don’t You care about us? We’re
going to die!” And Jesus rebukes the wind, and it stops. And the disciples
say, “Who is this that commands even the wind?” Well, the answer is obvious, my
friends, because the disciples know that there’s only one Who commands the wind.
It’s God, and Jesus commands the wind, and so Jesus is the very incarnate Son of
the living God. He commands the wind. And so, when you look at the awesome
power of that surging wind, you remember that that is but a display of the power
of God.

His power is far greater than the power of that wind
to destroy, and that gives us great hope in this time, because our resources are
at a finite limit. As generous as we can be to help those in need right now, our
resources are finite. His are not, because He’s the God of the wind, and that
wind that we saw displayed in New Orleans and in South Mississippi and all
across this state is just a fraction – a tiny, an infinitesimally small fraction
– of the power of God. And just as He has the power to bring judgment, so He has
the power to bring blessing; and so, as we minister we should minister in utter
dependence (but in confident dependence) upon God because of His power.
That’s one lesson we learn from this storm. Its power is just a small
illustration of the power of God, because He is the God of wind, He is the God
of storm.

II. The providence of God.

But the second thing I want us to remember is the
providence of God, and that’s why I read from Lamentations 3:19-24. First of
all, isn’t it a providence of God that Derek was preaching on that passage last
Lord’s Day? He had chosen that days and days in advance, but before we knew
that Katrina would be rumbling through our state from bottom to top, knocking
out 97% of the power in the city of Jackson, robbing light and power from over
1.2 million homes in Mississippi, taking water from thousands, disrupting
commerce, interrupting our lives for a week…when is the last time that a
natural disaster stopped you in your tracks for a week?…And there was Derek,
preaching on Lamentations, chapter 3: “Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Your
compassions, O Lord, are new every morning…Your mercies….”

But you remember the context in which Jeremiah was
uttering those words. He was looking upon the destroyed city of Jerusalem, the
exiled people of God. They had faced the worst kind of disaster, and Jeremiah
knew that that disaster was not a Babylonian disaster just like we know that
this disaster is not merely a “natural disaster.” In fact, ultimately speaking
there’s no such thing as a “natural disaster”, because it’s not “Mother Nature”
who visits these things on us. It is the Lord God who rules who is in control of
everything. Not one hair on your head is out of His control. Not one wind on
this earth is out of His control, and that reminds us of His providence. He is
overseeing everything. He is in control of all things.

But even in the midst of that dark providence of the
loss of Jerusalem, Jeremiah is able to say to God “Great is Your faithfulness”,
because even as He is in control of everything, great is His mercy and His
providence towards His people.

How many things do we have to celebrate together
this week? Let me tell you, for the first time in a long time, I took a sip of
water this week and thanked God for that water. I presume upon that water all
the time. I act as if it is my inherent right to be able to drink that water. I
drank it with a new appreciation this week, realizing that God had provided that
water for me. When the power came back on in my home a few hours ago, after
four days of darkness and sweat, you believe me, I was not only thankful for
Entergy and all those crews of guys that were working late at night to get that
thing back up, I was thankful to the Lord! Because I presume upon a thousand
things a day that God provides me in His mercy, I presume upon them as if they
were my right, when in fact they are the provision of God.

My friends, we are here today, we’re breathing. That
is the doing of God as much as that storm was, and we ought to be thankful. We
ought to be grateful — grateful for those things that we typically assume and
presume upon. I love the way that E. B. Hill, before the Lord took him home,
used to say that he’d wake up in the morning and the first thing he’d say with
his head on his pillow was, “Thank You, Jesus. I woke up again. Thank You,
Jesus.” Let’s be thankful for the providence of God. He has provided for us
richly. We’re alive. Most of us still have our jobs. Most of us still have our
homes. A lot of us have electricity. We’re still drinking water and eating food.
There are folks on the coast that can’t say that, so we ought to be thankful for
the providence that God has shown to us in His mercy, and then we ought to be
giving, and be the conduit for His provision for them because of His rich
provision for us–even as we stand back and see the amazing way that He will
provide.

I got a call from a pastor in South Mississippi
yesterday. We’d been trying to call one another for four days. I have dialed his
number about 85 times. We got a line through. He said, “Our greatest need in
this community right now is fuel, ice, and water.” Well, just about an hour
before, Billy Joseph had called me up to say that 60,000 gallons of gasoline had
just been contributed to the MNA Disaster Relief Fund, and that they were
looking for places to send that where it would help people. Well, if we’re
going to hear stories like that over and over, you just watch how God provides
for the people of God, but don’t you forget to praise Him for His provision.
One of the things this storm teaches us is His provision.

III. The proof of human depravity.

There’s a third thing that I want you to see
that we learn from this storm in Scripture, and if you have your Bibles, I want
you to turn to Psalm 55. And that third thing is that this storm has given us
ample Proof of Human Depravity.

Now the storm, of course, didn’t do that itself
directly. It’s the reaction of people in the midst of this storm that has given
us ample proof of human depravity. Hear God’s word in Psalm 55, beginning in
verse 4:

“My heart is in anguish within me, and the terrors of death have
fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me; and horror has overwhelmed
me. And I said, ‘O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at
rest. Behold, I would wander far away. I would lodge in the wilderness. I would
hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind and tempest.’ Confuse, O
Lord, divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around her upon her walls; and iniquity and mischief are
in her midst. Destruction is in her midst; oppression and deceit do not depart
from her streets.”

Isn’t it interesting that David, in lamenting a
situation in his own life and time 3,000 years ago, can describe for us the city
of New Orleans this week…the longing to find a place of refuge, and yet
looking out on the city and seeing iniquity?

Now, it is very easy from the comfort of Jackson,
Mississippi, to stand in judgment of the humans that are in that horrendous
situation, and I want us to be careful about easy generalizations about that
situation. But one of the things that has clearly been on display there is human
depravity.

You know, if the looting this week had been the
looting of grocery stores for bread and water, my guess is that almost the whole
nation would have been in sympathy with that – whether we should or not, we
would be in sympathy with that. But that’s not what we’ve seen in New Orleans.
We have seen a manifest display of human depravity.

You have seen a living proof in thousands of cases
that human beings are not basically good: that if you take away government and
law and policemen and light — all of the normal restraints of a civil society —
human beings will turn into the depraved, morally corrupt beings that they are,
apart from the grace of God in Jesus Christ. We have seen a living proof that it
is a lie when the world assumes that human beings are basically good. They’re
not basically good.

We will see, now, my friends, numerous examples of
heroism and bravery and self-giving and self-denying love. We’ve already seen
that. Who of us will ever forget that woman saying to her husband as she slipped
out of [his] grasp, “Let me go. Take care of the kids and the grandkids.” We
will see numerous examples of heroism and love and self-denial in these next
days. But, when we see them we will be seeing evidences (a) of God’s special
saving grace at work in people’s hearts, so that they have been changed from the
inside out and they are self-denying and self-giving; (b) we will be seeing
examples of God’s common and restraining grace, where God in His mercy has
poured out by His Holy Spirit a goodness upon people which is not natively their
own in their own depravity, and has, by the forces of society and government,
restrained their evil tendencies and prompted them to move in good direction by
the examples of others, by the restraint of law. But we will not be seeing
evidences that people are basically good.

No, the kinds of deeds that we have seen perpetrated
in New Orleans, and frankly, in our own back yard — whether it’s price-gouging
or whatever, are examples of actions that are not driven by human need, but
actions that are driven by depravity. The gangs on the fourth level of the
Superdome, the snipers shooting at rescuers–what is that for? It is an example
of human depravity. We have seen not only the power of God and the providence of
God, but we’ve seen the proof of human depravity in the response to the storm.
So the next time somebody tells you that people are basically good, you say
‘Let’s go down to New Orleans, and let’s think about what we’ve seen this week.’

IV. The pathway from misery back
to sin.

Fourthly, having seen the Depravity of Human Beings,
we also have seen the pathway from misery back to sin. Let me take you to
Romans 6. In Romans 6:23 — you know it by heart — “For the wages of sin is
death.” Now let me just stop there in that verse. You know the rest of it, but
let me just stop there. The Apostle Paul is connecting in Romans 6:23 death as
the consequence of sin, and in fact, death is the final manifestation of all the
human misery that comes from sin. And the Apostle Paul is telling us that all
the misery and death which we experience in this world ultimately can be traced
back to sin. And when we see situations of catastrophic misery, we need quickly
in our minds (if we’re going to think biblically) to work our way back to sin.
Now quickly let me say, not in the way that Job’s counselors did! You see
somebody in misery, you don’t immediately say ‘Ah! They’ve committed a sin.
That’s why they’re in misery.’ We don’t do that with individuals.

Job, we’re told at the beginning of this book, was
upright, and yet his counselors kept telling him – what? ‘You wouldn’t be having
these problems if you were upright. The reason you’re having these problems is
because you’re a sinner.’

God is telling you at the outset of this book that
you cannot make that equation: that people who have been robbed of all
that they have under the weight of adversity, facing all manners of oppression
and deprivation…those people are not necessarily sinners. It is not
necessarily their sin that has led to the misery. Jesus makes this point. When
people come and say ‘What did that man or his parents do, for him to be born
that way?’ ‘Well, actually, it was neither,’ Jesus said. ‘He was born that way
so that God would be glorified.’ So, it’s not that we connect misery with a
particular person or a group of people’s sin, but we always recognize that the
misery that exists in this world is the result of sin. Misery is in
this world because sin is in this world, and misery would not be in this
world if sin were not in this world; and misery will be in this world
until sin is out of this world, and that is why Revelation is so beautiful.

It tells us in chapter 7 and elsewhere that “there was no more sea.”

You remember how Revelation tells you that? “There
is no more sea.” The image there is of this chaotic, crashing, dangerous place
which has visited devastation on the people of God. (Wouldn’t the people of New
Orleans have loved to have heard that announcement Monday – “The sea’s gone,
don’t worry about the storm surge.”) What John is telling you is that in the
new heavens and the new earth all of that chaos and destruction that can snatch
everything away from us all at once, it’s all going to be gone because sin’s
going to be gone. Misery will go when sin goes. And so, whenever we see misery
on a small scale or a large scale, we quickly make our way along the pathway
back to sin and we recognize it is this way in this world not because God is
capricious and is playing with us, but because of the consequences of our sin
and the sin of our first parents. They sinned and brought misery into this
world, and we sin and we perpetuate that misery…and all the misery of this
world can be traced back to that original sin.

The only possibility of relief then of that misery
is not going to be found in human industry or in utopian schemes: the only
remedy is going to be found in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and isn’t that
what the Apostle Paul says in the second half of Romans 6:23 — that “the free
gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The only ultimate hope
of the relief of human misery is through the crucified, dead, buried, and
resurrected Savior who even right now is at the right hand of God the Father
Almighty.

V. The provision of the cross.

Finally, this storm points us to the
provision of the cross. Just as Paul goes from the wages of sin to the free
gift, we read in Romans 8:23, “He who did not spare His own Son but delivered
Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”

You know, some time this week…maybe you’ve already
been asking…somebody’s going to say, “How could a loving God have allowed this
to happen?” And maybe they know you’re a Calvinist and they want to poke at you
a little bit, and they say, “Wait a minute! I’m going to ask it in a different
way: how could a loving God have caused this to happen?”

My friends, Romans 8:32 gives you God’s response,
and that response is simply this: Let me give you a bigger crisis, a bigger
tragedy to think about: The death of the only begotten Son of God. Who did
that? “He who spared not His own son; He who delivered Him up for us all.” You
see what Paul is saying. He’s saying that it’s God the Father who didn’t spare
His own Son. It’s God the Father who delivered up Jesus Christ on the cross.
The early church “got” that. Remember when Peter is accusing the multitudes at
Pentecost of their complicity in the death of Christ, and he says to them, “Men
of Israel! This man who has been nailed to the cross by the predeterminate plan
and foreknowledge of God — you nailed Him to the cross by the hands of
sinful men.” In other words, Peter is saying this is God’s plan, this is God’s
design, this is God’s doing…and you’re responsible for your own deeds.

So, how could it be that God would allow, how could
it be that God would cause such misery? Well, I’ve got a better question to ask
you: How could God deliver over His only Son? You see, it is that act of giving
on the part of God that takes out of all question His goodness and love so that
when we see the inexplicable things in this world for which we do not have an
answer — and I don’t have an answer as to what God is up to in New
Orleans and Mississippi. I know general biblical principles. That’s what we’ve
been trying to look at today. But I don’t know the specifics of that. That will
only unfold in the days to come. I don’t have any more answers than many of you
have to those specific questions as to what God is doing in this great event.

But I do know this: His love and His
goodness and His kindness are beyond question, because He gave His own Son, and
with Him He has given us all things. And that is why Paul is able to say, “Who
shall separate us from the love of Christ? For I am convinced that neither death
nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to
separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Our God has already put into place the very plan
whereby He will redeem us from all our sins, and whereby He will comfort us in
and deliver us from all our sorrows, and that is in the shed blood of Jesus
Christ. And for all of those today, no matter what they’ve lost, if they will
trust in Christ they will find that with Him God will give them all things.

Let’s pray.

Lord God, thank You for Your word. Thank You for
Your love in Jesus Christ. Help us to believe it, to be transformed by it, to be
made loving towards others by it, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s stand and sing together our last song,
Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners.

[Congregation
sings.]

Receive God’s benediction.

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face
to shine upon you, and be gracious to You. The Lord lift up His countenance
upon you and give you peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This transcribed
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© 2019 First Presbyterian Church.

This transcribed message has been lightly edited and formatted for the Web site. No attempt has been made, however, to alter the basic extemporaneous delivery style, or to produce a grammatically accurate, publication-ready manuscript conforming to an established style template.

Should there be questions regarding grammar or theological content, the reader should presume any website error to be with the webmaster/transcriber/editor rather than with the original speaker. For full copyright, reproduction and permission information, please visit the First Presbyterian Church Copyright, Reproduction & Permission statement.

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