Monday, May 14, 2018

Reflection - Doing His Will - Desire to do God's will

Source (book): "Finding rest for the soul", Chapter Six, Question 1, Page 104.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


 Reflect on your desire to do God's will.

PHOTO: Reflect on your desire to do God's will.
Doing God's will is simply this: believing in Jesus. That is why Jesus told those who didn't believe in Him, "I never knew you."
Jesus is the perfect example of how to carry out the Father's will.  It was His driving passion, and it outweighed all His other needs or wants. In the end, He even gave up His life to accomplish His Father's work. Nothing held Him back.
 As part of God's family, we must share in what Christ did: taking up His yoke and doing the will of the Father. But we need to do this with the right motive and desire, and we need to ensure that it is God's will we follow - not our own or that of others.

Is it possible to take up Jesus' yoke unwillingly?
It is not easy at first to lay aside every other yoke and accept the yoke of Christ. It Is possible to take up Jesus' yoke unwillingly.
The yoke is easy when we have put our neck beneath it; but to bring ourself to that point may involve a wrestle with self that almost tears the heart asunder. The burden is light when we have forced our reluctant shoulders to bear it; but to do that may be the most difficult thing in all the world.
There are some things that are easy enough to do, once we have made up our mind to do them; it is making up the mind that is the straining, torturing thing.
There remains for all of us the battle with stubbornness and pride, the coercion of the stiff and resisting will, before we pass into the Christian peace.
However, we need not distrust the genuineness of our Christward desires because we are conscious of so much difficulty in driving our rebellious natures to the point of Christly submissiveness.

How much do you desire to do God's will?
How much do we desire to do God's will is reflected in our attitude. If our attitude is full of grumbling, complaining, bitterness, anger or ingratitude then coveting is often at the heart of our struggle.
How much do we desire to do God's will is evident in our motive, which is related to how much we love God. We need the right motive. Our obedience to God should be motivated by love and a desire to glorify Him. We cannot do the will of God without divine love. The holy desire to do His will does not come to us naturally, for we have a sinful nature, which we struggle with even after coming to know Christ.
True obedience springs from love. We love God because He first loved us, and this fuels our obedience and desire to do God's will.
How much we desire to do God's will is reflected by how much we love God. Jesus wants us to love God with our whole heart, and from that love, to seek to do God's will.

What struggles do you face in doing so?
We face struggles when we do God's will for the right reasons, and to grow our desires to obey Him. Obedience to God does not come naturally to us nor is our human strength and ability up to the task, because of our sinful nature. It is only possible when we come under God's supernatural grace, which will give us not only the right desire to do His will, but the necessary power as well. This desire and power will be given to us when we come to Jesus and accept His yoke. Jesus's yoke equip us with divine love which enable us to do God's will, which is believing in Jesus, successfully.

Beside being obedience we need to trust God's Word wholeheartedly. All this comes both from praying and listening to Jesus - that is, having an ongoing conversation with Him - and reading and meditating on His Word, so that we trust and obey it wholeheartedly.
Picture posted by Robin Afinowich on 16 July 2015 - The Peaceful Warrior
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Reflect on your desire to do God's will. Is it possible to take up Jesus' yoke unwillingly? How much do you desire to do God's will? What struggles do you face in doing so?

Reflect on your desire to do God's will. [1]
The ultimate test a person faces before entering the kingdom of God on the Day of Judgment is not whether he can speak the right words or produce an impressive list of external deeds, but whether he has done the will of God. Jesus said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matthew 7:21-23, emphasis added).


The ultimate test a person faces before entering the kingdom of God on the Day of Judgment is not whether he can speak the right words or produce an impressive list of external deeds, but whether he has done the will of God.

PHOTO: The ultimate test a person faces before entering the kingdom of God on the Day of Judgment is not whether he can speak the right words or produce an impressive list of external deeds, but whether he has done the will of God.
Picture posted by Rod Anderson , CP Cartoonist, The Christian Post on 27 February 2015 at 7:51 AM

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https://www.christianpost.com/news/your-resume-wont-get-you-in-134833/



But what is the "will of my Father"? Is it doing God's work or good works in general? No - Jesus himself spells it out clearly in John 6:40: "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." In the context of salvation, then, doing God's will is simply this: believing in Jesus. That is why Jesus told those who didn't believe in Him, "I never knew you."


 What is the 'will of my Father'?

PHOTO: What is the "will of my Father"? Doing God's will is simply this: believing in Jesus (John 6:40).
Picture posted by Jesus Christ Cross Wallpapers on 31 October 2016
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The Bible makes it clear that we are saved by faith, not by works (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8-9). But it also notes that we are saved to do the Father's work (Ephesians 2:10) - this is the evidence of salvation.


The Bible makes it clear that we are saved by faith, not by works.

PHOTO: The Bible makes it clear that we are saved by faith, not by works. But it also notes that we are saved to do the Father's work (Ephesians 2:10) - this is the evidence of salvation.
Picture posted by samanthasam via mybible.com

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https://ind5.ccio.co/N3/r8/EB/c6174597163db548eac646d82becf00e.jpg
https://indulgy.com/post/5eETDLVS14/for-by-grace-you-have-been-saved-through-fait



We have seen how Jesus did the will of the Father throughout His time on earth. It was His driving passion, and it outweighed all His other needs or wants. In the end, He even gave up His life to accomplish His Father's work. Nothing held Him back. Jesus is the perfect example of how to carry out the Father's will - as He said in the short but rich prayer He taught His disciples, "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10) - and He expects those who take up His yoke to do the same.


Jesus is the perfect example of how to carry out the Father's will - as He said in the short but rich prayer He taught His disciples

PHOTO:  Jesus is the perfect example of how to carry out the Father's will - as He said in the short but rich prayer He taught His disciples, "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10) - and He expects those who take up His yoke to do the same.
Picture posted by Andrés Rojas (Album: Watchtower Artwork), taken on 29 November 2013 
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We can see just how important it is to do God's will from what Jesus said when His earthly mother and brothers came looking for Him in the midst of ministering to people in a house (Mark 3:31-35). Unable to get past the crowd, they asked someone to let Him know that they were waiting outside. Jesus took this opportunity t teach His listeners an important lesson. "Who are my mother and my brothers?" He asked (Mark 3:33). The crowd must have whispered among themselves, wondering why Jesus was treating his own family like strangers. Knowing that the Lord often said unexpected things, they waited to see what He would say next. They were not disappointed; looking around at them all, Jesus remarked, "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother" (Mark 3:35).


We can see just how important it is to do God's will from what Jesus said when His earthly mother and brothers came looking for Him in the midst of ministering to people in a house.

PHOTO: We can see just how important it is to do God's will from what Jesus said when His earthly mother and brothers came looking for Him in the midst of ministering to people in a house. "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother" (Mark 3:35).
Picture saved by Bob Mowery to The Bible (Pinterest)
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https://www.pinterest.es/pin/261138478363388533/



While Jesus most likely did welcome His family into the house later - He certainly did not disown them - He had taught an essential lesson about putting on His yoke. It is not just about dutifully attending church, giving tithes, or attending Bible study, but also submitting to God by obeying Him and doing His will. As part of God's family, we must share in what Christ did: taking up His yoke and doing the will of the Father. But we need to do this with the right motive and desire, and we need to ensure that it is God's will we follow - not our own or that of others.


As part of God's family, we must share in what Christ did: taking up His yoke and doing the will of the Father.

PHOTO: As part of God's family, we must share in what Christ did: taking up His yoke and doing the will of the Father. But we need to do this with the right motive and desire, and we need to ensure that it is God's will we follow - not our own or that of others.
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Is it possible to take up Jesus' yoke unwillingly?
Rest Under the Yoke [2]
It is not easy at first to lay aside every other yoke and accept the yoke of Christ. It Is possible to take up Jesus' yoke unwillingly.

The yoke is easy when we have put our neck beneath it; but to bring ourself to that point may involve a wrestle with self that almost tears the heart asunder. The burden is light when we have forced our reluctant shoulders to bear it; but to do that may be the most difficult thing in all the world. There are some things that are easy enough to do, once we have made up your mind to do them; it is making up the mind that is the straining, torturing thing.


It is not easy at first to lay aside every other yoke and accept the yoke of Christ.

PHOTO: It is not easy at first to lay aside every other yoke and accept the yoke of Christ. It Is possible to take up Jesus' yoke unwillingly.
Many seem to be rather comfortable with their burdens. They may be heavy, they may be hard, but somehow they feel the need to carry them. They give them value, a purpose…. a reason to complain.
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https://thelegacybuilder.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/complain-burden.png
https://thelegacybuilder.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/we-all-have-one/



And easy as may be the burden that Christ imposes, calmly as the soul’s experience may go on when once the soul has settled down to the Christian conditions, there remains for all of us the battle with stubbornness and pride, the coercion of the stiff and resisting will, before we pass into the Christian peace.


There remains for all of us the battle with stubbornness and pride, the coercion of the stiff and resisting will, before we pass into the Christian peace.

PHOTO: There remains for all of us the battle with stubbornness and pride, the coercion of the stiff and resisting will, before we pass into the Christian peace.
Picture posted by Breland Thomas on 10 October 2017

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It is a difficult thing to take up the easy yoke. It is a heavy task to make ourselves carry the light burden. And we need not, therefore, distrust the genuineness of our Christward desires because we are conscious of so much difficulty in driving our rebellious natures to the point of Christly submissiveness.


 It is a difficult thing to take up the easy yoke.

PHOTO: It is a difficult thing to take up the easy yoke. It is a heavy task to make ourselves carry the light burden.
Picture posted by DJ Zuus

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https://picpost.postjung.com/264755.html



We need not, therefore, distrust the genuineness of our Christward desires because we are conscious of so much difficulty in driving our rebellious natures to the point of Christly submissiveness.

PHOTO: We need not, therefore, distrust the genuineness of our Christward desires because we are conscious of so much difficulty in driving our rebellious natures to the point of Christly submissiveness.
Picture posted by Kitchen Cooking Knife
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How much do you desire to do God's will?

How much do we desire to do God's will is reflected in our attitude. If our attitude is full of grumbling, complaining, bitterness, anger or ingratitude then coveting is often at the heart of our struggle. [3]


How much do you desire to do God's will?

PHOTO: How much do you desire to do God's will?
How much do we desire to do God's will is reflected in our attitude. If our attitude is full of grumbling, complaining, bitterness, anger or ingratitude then coveting is often at the heart of our struggle.
Picture posted by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

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How much do we desire to do God's will is evident in our motive, which is related to how much we love God. We need the right motive.

We Need the Right Motive [1]
Our obedience to God should be motivated by love and a desire to glorify Him. That is why Jesus, when asked which of the 613 laws derived from Moses' law was the most important, replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:37-40).


How much do we desire to do God's will is evident in our motive, which is related to how much we love God.

PHOTO: How much do we desire to do God's will is evident in our motive, which is related to how much we love God. We need the right motive. Our obedience to God should be motivated by love and a desire to glorify Him. That is why Jesus, when asked which of the 613 laws derived from Moses' law was the most important, replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:37-40).
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Doing God's will is not a mechanical or ritualistic process. We can mimic others and do pious things out of habit, telling ourselves that we are pleasing God. But if our hearts are not really involved, then we have not done God's will at all.

In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus told the story of two men who went to the temple to pray. One of them, a sinful tax collector, stood at a distance and begged for God's mercy. The other man, a Pharisee full of self-righteousness, brazenly stood before God with a self-congratulatory prayer: "God, I thank you that I am not like other people - robbers, evildoers, adulterers - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get" (Luke 18:11-12). His prayer was all about himself; the word "I" appears repeatedly. The man obviously intoxicated with self-admiration.


A sinful tax collector, stood at a distance and begged for God's mercy.

PHOTO: A sinful tax collector, stood at a distance and begged for God's mercy. The other man, a Pharisee full of self-righteousness, brazenly stood before God with a self-congratulatory prayer (Luke 18:11-12). His prayer was all about himself; the word "I" appears repeatedly. The man obviously intoxicated with self-admiration.
Picture posted by kienthuc.net.vn on 05 November 2017
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http://chiendang.blogspot.sg/2017/11/nhan-vat-quan-trong.html



How wrong he was! Jesus warned His listeners about false piety; God can see through hypocrisy and pride. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned about performing pious acts before others solely to win admiration and applause (Matthew 6:1-4). Whether they were giving to the poor, praying, or fasting, He told them to do these things "in secret" so that they would not be tempted to show off their piety (Matthew 6:4).


Jesus warned His listeners about false piety; God can see through hypocrisy and pride.

PHOTO: Jesus warned His listeners about false piety; God can see through hypocrisy and pride. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned about performing pious acts before others solely to win admiration and applause (Matthew 6:1-4). Whether they were giving to the poor, praying, or fasting, He told them to do these things "in secret" so that they would not be tempted to show off their piety (Matthew 6:4).
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https://www.fraudswatch.com/is-identity-fraud-a-real-issue/



If we are not careful, we will end up like the self-righteous Pharisee. And no matter how impressive or pious our deeds may appear to others, our actions would amount to nothing in the eyes of the God who can see into our hearts, That is why Jesus condemned the false piety of the Pharisees: "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone" (Luke 11:42).


If we are not careful, we will end up like the self-righteous Pharisee.

PHOTO: If we are not careful, we will end up like the self-righteous Pharisee. And no matter how impressive or pious our deeds may appear to others, our actions would amount to nothing in the eyes of the God who can see into our hearts,
Picture posted by Chris on Wednesday, 28 March 2012 at 15:47
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http://insightscripture.blogspot.sg/2012/03/ark-of-noah.html



We cannot do the will of God without divine love. The holy desire to do His will does not come to us naturally, for we have a sinful nature, which we struggle with even after coming to know Christ. As Paul put it, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do" (Romans 7:15).

True obedience springs from love. We love God because He first loved us, and this fuels our obedience and desire to do God's will. That's why 1 John 2:5 notes: "But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him."


We cannot do the will of God without divine love.

PHOTO: We cannot do the will of God without divine love. The holy desire to do His will does not come to us naturally, for we have a sinful nature, which we struggle with even after coming to know Christ.
Picture posted by jaynie in steemit on 12 March 2018
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Jesus repeatedly connected obedience to Him with love for Him:
"If you love me, keep my commands" (John 14:15).
"Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me" (John 14:21).
"Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching" (John 14:23).

How much we desire to do God's will is reflected by how much we love God.
Jesus wants us to love God with our whole heart, and from that love, to seek to do God's will. That is how Jesus lived. Nineteenth-century South African pastor and writer Andrew Murray makes this observation on the heart of obedience; [22]
The secret of true obedience . . . is the clear and close personal relationship to God. All our attempts after full obedience will be failures until we get access to his abiding fellowship. It is God's holy presence consciously abiding with us that keeps us from disobeying Him. I must consciously include the Lord in every thought, activity, and conversation until the habit is established.


How much we desire to do God's will is reflected by how much we love God.

PHOTO: How much we desire to do God's will is reflected by how much we love God. Jesus wants us to love God with our whole heart, and from that love, to seek to do God's will. The secret of true obedience . . . is the clear and close personal relationship to God.  It is God's holy presence consciously abiding with us that keeps us from disobeying Him.
Artwork by David Dubnitskiy
Picture posted by Amazon.com, Inc

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As we seek to follow Christ, we need to beware subconsciously slipping on the yoke of self instead. Self-deception is an ever-present danger - we need to examine ourselves in the presence of God regularly, and have others hold us accountable. It is possible to do God's work with great energy and zeal, but without proper submission to Christ. We need to learn to pray like theologian Francois Fenelon: "I love your will better than my bliss." [26]


As we seek to follow Christ, we need to beware subconsciously slipping on the yoke of self instead.
PHOTO:  As we seek to follow Christ, we need to beware subconsciously slipping on the yoke of self instead. Self-deception is an ever-present danger - we need to examine ourselves in the presence of God regularly, and have others hold us accountable.
Picture posted by Waterian Watawski

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What struggles do you face in doing so?
We Need to Rely on God's Equipping [1]
It is important to ensure that we do God's will for the right reasons, and to grow our desires to obey Him. If this sounds challenging, that's because it is - obedience to God does not come naturally to us, nor is our human strength and ability up to the task. No, it is only possible when we come under God's supernatural grace, which will give us not only the right desire to do His will, but the necessary power as well. This desire and power will be given to us when we come to Jesus and accept His yoke. That is what Paul meant when he wrote,"it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" (Philippians 2:13). The writer of Hebrews also noted that it is Jesus, the "great Shepherd of the sheep", who will "equip you with everything good for doing his will" (Hebrews 13:20-21).


Obedience to God does not come naturally to us, nor is our human strength and ability up to the task.

PHOTO: Obedience to God does not come naturally to us, nor is our human strength and ability up to the task. It is only possible when we come under God's supernatural grace, which will give us not only the right desire to do His will, but the necessary power as well. This desire and power will be given to us when we come to Jesus and accept His yoke. We Need to Rely on God's Equipping for doing his will.
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When we come under Christ's yoke, we will come under His authority. That means that neither temptation nor trial is allowed to trouble us without His divine knowledge and permission. He will therefore help us in our temptations and give us strength (Hebrews 4:15-16). As we move with Christ and work with Him, we will walk His path and learn from Him. He will share His mind with us, so that we begin to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) - we will begin to see things the way He does, adopt His values and priorities, and share His habits and responses.


When we come under Christ's yoke, we will come under His authority.

PHOTO: When we come under Christ's yoke, we will come under His authority. That means that neither temptation nor trial is allowed to trouble us without His divine knowledge and permission.
While we are still here on earth, our human feelings need expressions in order to move forward everyday. It is often quite difficult to express our deepest thoughts, fears and emotions to those whom we are not emotionally close. We need a safe place and a trustworthy companion to express our feelings, to say what needs to be said without judgement, where we can put our fears and tears to rest. The best person I can suggest is Jesus Christ, who also knows the way to heaven.
Let's work everyday towards getting closer to him, so that we belong to his holy family.
Picture posted by Jacob Cherian on Tuesday, 03 June 2014 at 6:10 AM 
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All this comes both from praying and listening to Jesus - that is, having an ongoing conversation with Him - and reading and meditating on His Word, so that we trust and obey it wholeheartedly. Jesus himself promised that the Holy Spirit "will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26).


As we move with Christ and work with Him, we will walk His path and learn from Him.

PHOTO: As we move with Christ and work with Him, we will walk His path and learn from Him. He will share His mind with us, so that we begin to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) - we will begin to see things the way He does, adopt His values and priorities, and share His habits and responses.
Jesus himself promised that the Holy Spirit "will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26).
Painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) - The Virgin With Angels (1900)
Picture posted by Trivium Art History

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Dear Lord, Please help us to believe in Jesus because by believing in Jesus we will be doing your will. Being obedience to you does not come naturally to us because of our sinful nature. We need your supernatural grace, which will give us not only the right desire to do your will, but the necessary power as well. We learn that this desire and power will be given to us when we come to Jesus and accept His yoke. <br>Please enable us to accept His yoke so that we can be equipped with divine love, to love you with our whole heart, and from that love, to seek to do your will successfully.<br>Beside being obedience we need to trust your Word wholeheartedly. Help us to pray, listen to Jesus, have onging conversatiion with Him, reading and meditating on your Word.<br>Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!

PHOTO: "Dear Lord, Please help us to believe in Jesus because by believing in Jesus we will be doing your will. Being obedience to you does not come naturally to us because of our sinful nature. We need your  supernatural grace, which will give us not only the right desire to do your will, but the necessary power as well. We learn that this desire and power will be given to us when we come to Jesus and accept His yoke. Please enable us to accept His yoke so that we can be equipped with divine love, to love you with our whole heart, and from that love, to seek to do your will successfully.
Beside being obedience we need to trust your Word wholeheartedly. Help us to pray, listen to Jesus, have onging conversatiion with Him, reading and meditating on your Word.

Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!"
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Reflection - Christ's Yoke - Doing His Will - Desire to do God's will
Question from Source (book): "Finding rest for the soul", Chapter Five, Question 1, Page 104.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Reference
[1] From "Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, Copyright © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-709-5, Part II: Christ's Yoke, Chapter Six "Christ's Yoke: Doing His Will", Page 93-104.

[2] Bible Hub, The Great Texts of the Bible - James Hastings, Rest Under the Yoke, http://biblehub.com/commentaries/hastings/matthew/11-29.htm

[3] Melissa Kruger, christianity.com, How Do Your Desires Fit with God's Will?, https://www.christianity.com/christian-life/spiritual-growth/how-do-your-desires-fit-with-god-s-will.html

[22] Andrew Murray, A life of Obedience: Learning to Trust His Name, His Place, His Will (original title, The School of Obedience; Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2004), 33. The last sentence is included by many within the same quotation, though it is not found in the original text.

[26] Edmonson and Helms, The Complete Fenelon, 288.

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