God’s Greatest Miracle

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God’s Greatest Miracle

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Is it possible to briefly reverse the earth’s natural rotation and then set it back in normal motion while keeping its surface intact? Today’s scientific community would not think this could have happened. Yet your Bible records that this amazing miracle did indeed occur!

King Hezekiah of Judah (ca. 715-686 B.C.) was dying, and he begged God to heal him. God heard his remorseful prayer and promised to heal him and extend his life by 15 years. The king asked for a confirming sign and, amazingly, God offered him two options: He could request the sundial’s shadow be advanced or reversed by 10 degrees.

The king was wise: “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees” (2 Kings 20:10 2 Kings 20:10And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: no, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
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). God then reversed the sundial’s shadow 10 degrees—an amazing miracle (2 Kings 20:8-11 2 Kings 20:8-11 8 And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day? 9 And Isaiah said, This sign shall you have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? 10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: no, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. 11 And Isaiah the prophet cried to the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
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).

Is this one of God’s greatest miracles? Consider that the sun itself and its phenomenal relationship with the earth are quite miraculous.

The miraculous sun

The sun, a blazing star, is remarkably placed in regard to our planet, some 93 million miles away. Any closer and the earth would be too hot to support life. Any farther and it would be too cold. As it stands, the perfect placement of the sun provides the only known habitable environment in the universe.

The sun’s rays also provide food for every organism on earth. Plants produce food through the process of photosynthesis. Those plants are in turn eaten by animals, and those animals are then eaten by others, creating the wonderful miracle of the food chain, giving life to all of the earth’s organisms.

The precise placement of the sun, along with the precise motion of the earth around the sun and its rotation on its axis, also creates the change in seasons required to produce the variety of temperatures and weather patterns that make life possible. This truly is a wonderful miracle of God!

Nevertheless, the sun’s self-regulated, regenerative power isn’t God’s greatest miracle. Nor was the reversal of the earth’s rotation at the time of Hezekiah. So, then, what is?

God’s greatest miracle

Given the amazing life-giving qualities of the sun that find parallels with the work of God in our lives through Jesus Christ, it should be no surprise that Christ is depicted in Scripture as “the Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2 Malachi 4:2But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
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) who shines on us and even out through His followers, bringing awesome change. This metaphor points toward God’s greatest miracle— His transformation of the human mind and heart to the mind of Jesus Christ with our voluntary, faithful commitment to God (Ephesians 2:10 Ephesians 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
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; Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
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).

This greatest miracle is not measured by scientific means, as the sun is, but instead by faith demonstrated by works (James 2:17-18 James 2:17-18 17 Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
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; (James 2:24 James 2:24You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
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). The Bible shows the phenomenal end-result of humankind’s transformation—becoming the glorified children of God (Hebrews 2:10-11 Hebrews 2:10-11 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers,
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; 2 Corinthians 6:18 2 Corinthians 6:18And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
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).

God clearly requires our wholehearted participation in His greatest miracle! Our redemption is not a one-way activity with Him. You and I have a direct hand in our miraculous transformation!

For this greatest miracle to come to fruition, human beings must come to think like God (John 17:21 John 17:21That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.
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; Romans 12:2 Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
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). The apostle Paul claimed that he and others had the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16 1 Corinthians 2:16For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
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), and we should realize that we can also have the same mind!

Your Bible is filled with examples of men and women who came to think as God did—Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Israel, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and God’s other prophets (see Hebrews 11). All were flesh and blood, like you and me. Each was transformed to follow God’s ways through faith (Hebrews 11:1-2 Hebrews 11:1-2 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
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). Each one had his or her heart changed into a receptive one (2 Corinthians 3:3 2 Corinthians 3:3For as much as you are manifestly declared to be the letter of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
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). The changing of one’s mind from man’s to God’s embodies the greatest of all miracles!

How does this miracle take place?

How does this greatest miracle come to pass? God gives human beings the option to choose between good and evil. He urges us to choose the good (Deuteronomy 30:19 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
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). Yet humankind cannot naturally obey God’s laws that provide us true liberty (Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
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) because of our self-seeking and self-serving human nature (Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
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).

So God helps His called disciples to choose His way of thinking (Proverbs 1:1-7 Proverbs 1:1-7 1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; 2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4 To give subtlety to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. 5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain to wise counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
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) through the supernatural power of God’s Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-14 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 10 But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
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). Christ Jesus transforms us, through that Holy Spirit, to God’s way that leads to eternal life (1 Corinthians 11:31-32 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
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).

Earlier, I mentioned that God requires our cooperation. Those who voluntarily cooperate with Him through prayer and humbly seeking His way will be able to help others who are enduring the same kind of difficulties they are. This is God’s plan for us. This is how He remakes us into His spiritual image.

When God said, “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26 Genesis 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
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), did He mean His anatomical image alone, or does this include His spiritual image? Since flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50 1 Corinthians 15:50Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
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), that leaves us with God’s spiritual image: “And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man” (verse 49).

God through Christ Jesus remakes us into His spiritual image through these steps: We are called by God, chosen by God, and finally we are helped to remain faithful to God.

Called of God

Jesus clearly identified His future resurrected saints—His true followers from this age—through three transformational steps: “Those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14 Revelation 17:14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
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, emphasis added throughout).

First God calls or draws us. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44 John 6:44No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
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, see also John 6:65 John 6:65And he said, Therefore said I to you, that no man can come to me, except it were given to him of my Father.
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).

God called Moses through the miracle of a burning bush (Exodus 3:2-10 Exodus 3:2-10 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the middle of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5 And he said, Draw not near here: put off your shoes from off your feet, for the place where on you stand is holy ground. 6 Moreover he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look on God. 7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good land and a large, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come to me: and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
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). The apostles were called through the teachings and example of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:1-3 Acts 1:1-3 1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments to the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
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).

God’s calling is holy and unique (2 Timothy 1:9 2 Timothy 1:9Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
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). We cannot, on our own, come to know God (Matthew 13:11 Matthew 13:11He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
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). We can know God as He calls us to understand His truth that frees us from this world’s ways (John 8:32 John 8:32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
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).

Let’s see how this works by using God’s Sabbath command as an example. The Bible is clear about God’s divinely instituted Sabbath day (Exodus 20:8-11 Exodus 20:8-11 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
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). What’s not always clear is what the Sabbath means to Christians and what we should do about it. Jesus Himself observed the Sabbath day and even called Himself the Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8 Matthew 12:8For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
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). The apostles recognized that they should follow His example, so the early Church continued to observe the Sabbath day in accordance with Scripture (Exodus 20:8-11 Exodus 20:8-11 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
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; Acts 13:14 Acts 13:14But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.
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; Acts 13:42 Acts 13:42And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles sought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
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; Acts 13:44 Acts 13:44And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
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).

No wonder God commanded mankind to observe the Sabbath when we recognize it as a wonderful opportunity to connect with God and His Word, just as the early Church practiced. In a way the Sabbath is a weekly “calling,” where God’s people are called away from daily work and distractions to focus together on Him and His plan for them.

When God calls you and you commit to turning your life over to Him, you have the opportunity to be chosen by Him as you remain committed to faithfully obeying His laws.

Chosen by God

Those who respond to God’s calling begin to repent from breaking God’s laws (1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
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). Simultaneously they exercise faith toward God by obeying His command to be baptized and have hands laid on them by one of God’s ministers.

When people repent, accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and resolve to obey Him, God responds by giving them the gift of His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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; Acts 19:5-6 Acts 19:5-6 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied.
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). This is when God’s called become God’s chosen: “For many are called, but few chosen” (Matthew 20:16 Matthew 20:16So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
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). God’s saints are sealed with His Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14 Ephesians 1:13-14 13 In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory.
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).

Let’s see how Christ’s chosen are identified. As people are being called, they begin to learn more about God, His plan for them, and what He expects of them. If he or she begins to keep God’s commandments—to do His will—like the Sabbath command we discussed earlier, that person will be led to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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). The disciple of Christ then becomes His friend, chosen to represent Him on this earth, “For all things that I [Jesus] heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15 John 15:15From now on I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known to you.
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).

Finally, the chosen saint must faithfully endure to the end.

Faithful to God

God expects His saints to remain faithful to the end of their lives: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13 Matthew 24:13But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.
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; see also Matthew 10:22 Matthew 10:22And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.
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).

God’s faithful people experience daily trials. We can grow weary continuing in God’s ways while living in a perverse and dangerous society (2 Timothy 3:1-7 2 Timothy 3:1-7 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
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). If we’re not careful and vigilant, we can fall away from God (1 Corinthians 10:12 1 Corinthians 10:12Why let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
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). We must also avoid pride and cultivate godly humility, overcoming evil with good (Romans 12:21 Romans 12:21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
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).

Jesus offers this question to the faithful: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8 Luke 18:8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?
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). Some won’t be faithful (Matthew 24:10 Matthew 24:10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
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). Others will (Revelation 3:10 Revelation 3:10Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come on all the world, to try them that dwell on the earth.
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).

The resurrected saints who follow the descending Christ to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:3-4 Zechariah 14:3-4 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
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) are those who were in this life called, then chosen, and remained faithful to Him (Revelation 17:14 Revelation 17:14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
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).

Are you God’s greatest miracle?

God’s amazing plan is to remake human beings into His spiritual image (1 John 3:1-3 1 John 3:1-3 1 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
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), to become His very children (Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
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)! Then we can serve billions more human beings in Christ’s coming Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:2 1 Corinthians 6:2Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
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).

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void [empty], but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11 Isaiah 55:10-11 10 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not thither, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
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). God will save all who are willing to fully surrender their lives to Him to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4 1 Timothy 2:4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
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).

Will you answer God’s call today? If you will, you can become “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
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; New International Version).

God’s glorious light is Christ Jesus, the light of the world (John 8:12 John 8:12Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
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; John 9:5 John 9:5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
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) and the Sun of Righteousness to shine on us and bring needed change. He helps change the human mind to be like His mind (1 Corinthians 2:13-16 1 Corinthians 2:13-16 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
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)—so that you may be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14 Matthew 5:14You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
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).

You are now called to help others become a part of God’s greatest miracle of transforming human minds and hearts to become like His. Ultimately, “those who are wise [teachers] will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars [like the sun!] for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3 Daniel 12:3And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
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, New International Version).

May you become one of God’s greatest miracles, beginning today!