Without Reservation.org

Without Reservation.org

Important Questions that Need to be Asked and Answered

If you have listened to The Storyteller for a while you’ve probably noticed that – though each person’s story is different – they all share a common theme. Their lives have been changed through faith in Jesus Christ.

We’re not talking about religion here. We’re talking about a real, life-changing relationship with our Creator. They have experienced the power of Jesus. Those once held captive by addictions, fear, shame, and grief have been set free. They know what it is to truly be forgiven and to walk in peace with the Most High God. And even though life can still be hard, their collective testimony is that they have been changed forever.

Interested in what they’ve found? What God did for them He can do for you.

Understandably, some would say, Why would anyone want to follow Jesus after so much evil has been done in his name?” Sadly, it’s true that much wrong has been done in Jesus’ name. Clearly, these things were not His doing. Jesus said that we will be able to tell a tree by it’s fruit. The fruit of anything that Jesus is truly involved in will only be good, not evil. That’s not been the case with everyone who uses His name.

Don’t reject Jesus because of what others have done. Don’t dismiss Him because of what others say. Take the journey yourself. Seek God’s truth. Ask Him to lead you. And if what you find challenges your beliefs, experience, or traditions, don’t let that stop you. There’s too much on the line. According to our Creator, there are many paths that lead to death… but only one that leads to life. Jesus said: Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14, The Bible/BSB)

Important Questions

Have you ever wondered how you came to be, what the purpose of life is, how we have a sense of right and wrong, or what happens after we die? These are some of life’s most important questions. Many people throughout time have tried to answer them. How about you – what do you believe? And how do you know that what you believe is true? What is your source for truth? Don’t settle for, “It is said”… or “This is our tradition”. Check out who said it. Where we get our answers is of great importance – not just for ourselves, but for our families and communities. Search for Truth. The Storyteller features the personal stories of those who have found meaningful answers to these questions in the Bible.

What is the Bible? It is the words of God written down for all people. It is a record of what He wants us to know. A Mohawk father told his young son, “When you open God’s book, you are opening God’s mouth.” That is a great picture to help us understand the nature and significance of the Bible. God has given us His written words so that we might learn about who He is, who we are, and how we are to walk with Him. King David from the tribe of Judah in the land of Israel told God, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The Bible is composed of 66 different books that are unified in their message. Perhaps you’re wondering if the Bible is something you can trust. Yes, it is. Because it was authored by God it is trustworthy. The Bible is historically and scientifically accurate. Though many have tried to disprove it, no one has been able to. In fact, as time goes on more and more discoveries in archeology and the sciences affirm the truth of the Bible. Check it out for yourself and explore the evidence. Because it is God’s word to us, though we may not understand it all, we need to consider carefully what He says.

Who is God? He is our Creator. What is He like? This is how He describes Himself: The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the children’s children, to the third and to the fourth generation (Exodus 34:6-7). The Bible tells us that there is one supreme, all-powerful, triune, Creator God. Triune means three in one – not many gods, but one God manifest in three persons – the Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. That’s not easy to understand, but it’s true. The Bible tells us that God created all things. He is holy, perfect, just, good, gracious, merciful, loving, and so much more. His ways are not like ours and it’s not possible for us to understand everything about Him… but there are things that He has told us, and things that we can observe that help us to understand who He is and what He is like. The Bible tells us that He created us for His pleasure and that we might enjoy personal relationship with Him forever.

What went wrong? Looking at the world today, it’s clear that there are problems. If God is good why are things so bad? Making sense of how things are now is not an easy thing to do without a point of reference. Thankfully, God gives us one in the first book of the Bible called Genesis. In it we read that God created the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, including the spirits. He tells us the story of how He made the first people – Adam and Eve – and how everything was good in the beginning. But then we learn how our first relatives willfully dishonored Him. This is how sin, shame, fear, and death came into the world. Read about it for yourself in the first book of the Bible: Genesis chapters 1-3

The Bible tells us that one of the most powerful of the created spirits – Lucifer (aka Satan) – rebelled against his Creator, and many other spirits followed him. It was Satan who came to Adam and Eve in the form of a snake. He lied to them in order to trick them into disobeying God. It worked. And as a result, their relationship with their Creator was broken. This is how sin and death came into the world. What started with Adam and Eve has spread to everyone ever since. Sin comes naturally for us now… and we experience the same consequences as they did: our relationship with our Creator is broken and the wages of our sin is death. The honor that God had bestowed on the people He created was replaced with shame.

Our sworn enemy is a Satan – the most powerful evil spirit.

Satan and the other rebellious spirits (demons) hate God and want to keep people from knowing, loving, and worshipping Him. They do this through deception, distraction, fear, and bondage… even posing as relatives who have passed on. They are active in healings, ceremonies, and curses. They make their presence known in supernatural ways so that we will acknowledge them. These spirits are powerful and convincing. They are bent on destroying God’s most precious creation, people. It’s important to know that these spirits are not greater than the One who made them… not even close. Still, many have been fooled into fearing and following them rather than worshiping the All-powerful Creator who made them.

Who is Jesus Christ? As already mentioned, He is the second person of the triune God – also known as the Son of God. The Bible tells us that He is our Creator. Though He has all power and authority, He chose to humble Himself and become a man because of His love and concern for those He created. He is not an imaginary character of folklore. Historians agree that Jesus is a real person. Just over 2000 years ago Jesus was born into a tribe of an oppressed nation in the middle east. That’s where He lived, died, was buried, and rose from the dead. He came to save people from every tribe and nation from the powers of darkness and from judgment. He came to make forgiveness possible and to restore our relationship with God. Jesus Christ is the Creator of all – and the Savior of whoever will humble themselves and put their trust in Him. Jesus made a statement that everyone needs to consider because it challenges the belief that there are other paths that lead to God. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. (John 14:6) Either He is telling the truth or He’s lying.

He wasn’t just making truth claims. Jesus backed up what He said by what He did. He lived a perfect, moral life. With His great power He healed the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, and raised the dead to life. He exercised fearless authority over Satan and the spirits – who submitted to Him because they had to. They knew who He was. Even the wind and the waves obeyed Him. Jesus was a giver, not a taker. For all that He did He never asked for payment.

At the age of 33, with great humility and love, Jesus willingly laid down His life for every person in the world when He died that horrific death on a Roman cross. He was buried and then three days later was resurrected to life again… just as He said would happen… and just as the true prophets of God many years earlier had predicted. None of these things are too difficult for our Creator. They really happened. The historicity of His death and resurrection has been put to the test by many, including historians, lawyers, and skeptics. Yet, it has been found to be credible and – more importantly – true. In fact, the evidence is so overwhelming that some who were actively seeking to disprove these events ended up changing their minds and believing. (Click here for more about the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection.)

Jesus is alive today and can be known by anyone who will believe and trust in Him… and that includes you.

Jesus said that He will return for those who are trusting in Him and will judge those who have rejected Him.

There are some who say that Jesus is the “whiteman’s” God. Sadly, they are misinformed and are being deceived Satan and other lying spirits. The truth is, Jesus and His followers were from the middle east. From there, faith in Jesus spread to Asia, Africa, and India, as well as to Europe… and then from there to the Americas. Today, people from all over the world have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ and actively follow Him… including Native North Americans.

Why does any of this matter?

Have you ever thought about what the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth must be like and how we should respond to Him? Just looking up into the star-filled, night sky, the fact that we can see with our eyes and understand with our minds is sufficient evidence that there is a Creator and that He is powerful and amazing. Whenever people had an encounter with God as recorded in the Bible, they realized quickly that He was very different than themselves. There is no one like Him. He is above all things. He has no equal. It’s no wonder that He tells us that He alone is to be worshiped. The Bible has much to say about this. Here are just a few of the verses that speak about God’s Holy nature and how we should respond:

Isaiah 40:25-26 To whom then will you liken Me, or shall I be equal? said the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who has created these things, that brings out their host by number: He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one fails.

Exodus 15:11 Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.

Revelation 15:4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”

Psalm 96:9-10 Sing to the LORD a new song! Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD! Bless his name! Proclaim his salvation from day to day! Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised! He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him. Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to his name. Bring an offering, and come into his courts. Worship the LORD in holy array. Tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is also established. It can’t be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice. Let the sea roar, and its fullness! Let the field and all that is in it exult! Then all the trees of the woods shall sing for joy before the LORD; for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, the peoples with his truth.

God’s power and holiness are proclaimed in and throughout His Creation. It brings perspective to who we are compared to Him. The writer of Psalm 8 expressed it this way, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?

The Bible doesn’t just inform us about God. In it’s pages we find unsettling truths about ourselves.

God tells us in the Bible that we are sinners. What is sin? One of the original words in the Bible that we translate into English as “Sin” means, “To miss the mark.” Think of the use of bow and arrow and the act of missing the target. Sin is anything we do that misses the mark of God’s perfect and holy standard. Sin is offending or dishonoring God. Some cultures don’t have a specific word for sin but everyone knows what it’s like to be offended… and what it is to be offensive. The truth is we all have offended God. We read in the Bible:

Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

As we check ourselves against God’s law, the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17, it becomes clear that we are lawbreakers. Take the time to read them and reflect on what they say about God’s standard and how you measure up.

We don’t have to work too hard to figure this out.
Have you worshiped anyone or anything else? Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word? Even if you’ve looked at someone wanting to have sex with them outside of marriage, you have broken God’s law. Whether someone has read the Bible or not, we all have a sense of right and wrong. God’s commands are written on our hearts – and they prove that we’re all guilty. God tells us that there’s a day coming when our guilt will be brought to light and we will be judged.

Though not always apparently serious or immediately obvious, the consequences of sin are devastating.

Sin has broken our relationship with our Creator. This is not difficult to observe or understand. We know what its like to be personally offended and how offenses damage and cause separation in relationships. It’s the same with God.

Sin produces fear. We experience fear because of sin and it’s consequences. There are many things that may scare us including broken relationships, violence, getting caught, sickness, and death. And then there are the things that go bump in the night.

Sin produces shame. We experience shame because of what we’ve done or what’s been done to us. Shame causes us to isolate ourselves, to look for cover, to hide in the shadows. It even causes some to end their lives. Finding lasting relief from it’s oppressive weight can be like trying to grasp sand. We look for ways to numb our shame which results in many finding themselves bound by addiction.

Sin produces guilt. Guilt is the heavy, unsettled feeling we have when we believe or know that we’ve done wrong. It’s something we often try to ignore or minimize, but if we’re guilty of wrong-doing it never goes away without being properly dealt with. Again, we look for ways to numb the guilt.

Because of sin justice is demanded. Have you ever wondered where our sense of justice comes from? It comes from our Creator. He is perfectly just. And because He is, He will ensure perfect justice for every offense ever committed, including our own. We cry out for justice over wrongs done to us. Seldom do we want to be held accountable for our own wrong-doing. But God says we will be one day.

We read in the Bible that it is appointed for each of us to die once, and then after this, we will face judgment (Hebrews 10:27). The penalty for sin is death – eternal, painful separation from God. Though it’s hard to comprehend this, we must be careful not to dismiss it. The grave nature of sin’s consequences helps us understand how serious sin is to God. Here are just a few references to God’s judgment spoken about by Jesus:

Matthew 13:49-50So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 25:46And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Here is a word picture from the last book of the Bible regarding these things:

Revelation 20:11-14And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 21: 8But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

These are not pleasant things to think about, but understanding them is critical as we consider our relationship with God.

There is Hope!

Up till now, there hasn’t been much good news. Actually, to be honest, it’s really bad news. On our own, we are separated from God, powerless against sin and spiritual darkness, and facing the reality of God’s righteous, eternal judgment. But that’s not what He wants for us. Why is this? Because our Creator loves us. Yes, that’s what He tells us. And He didn’t just say it. He proved it.

Love… What is love? If you go by how the world defines it, you’ll find that often “Love” is a taker, not a giver. For many, it’s related to sex, power, and self-gratification. This kind of love asks, “What’s in it for me?”. In sharp contrast, God shows us what true love looks like, what it does, and what it produces. Perfect love gives, forgives, and brings life.

God loves us. But what does that mean? What does that look like? God’s love was expressed to us in an amazing gift. On a winter’s night over 2000 years ago in the hills near Bethlehem, a small village in the middle east, God sent His angels to proclaim to shepherds that a Savior – Jesus Christ – had been born. He was God’s gift to us. This was the way that He would restore us to Himself. Jesus walked among us. He had compassion on the lost, the hurting, and broken. He cared for the souls of those He had made… and then He laid His down for them. God expressed His love to us through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ on a cross.

Why is Jesus’ death an expression of His love? We need to remember who God is. He is good, perfect and just, and because He is, He must judge all wrong-doing. And yet, God loves us. According to the Bible, because He loves us, God the Father sent God the Son, Jesus Christ as a sacrifice to atone for our sin so that we could be forgiven and restored back to relationship with Him. Jesus accomplished this by His death on the cross. Only His perfect blood could cover sin. Because God Himself provided the sacrifice it was all that was needed. He was completely satisfied with Jesus’ payment on our behalf and so He raised Him up from the dead three days later. Perhaps it’s hard to understand, but it’s true. He gave His Son, Jesus, for us – His life for ours. Why? Who would do this for his enemies? God would… because He loves us and He wants us to be with Him forever. Consider what the Bible says:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2:2-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Romans 5:6-11 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.  More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…

It’s so important to understand that, according to God, without Jesus Christ we have no hope. God tells us that there is nothing we can do to atone for our sin. Justice demands that the penalty for our sin be paid but we have nothing to offer our Holy God.

Some people are relying on what they can do – things like trying to be a good person, ceremonies, or other religious expressions. But God is clear. No amount of doing good will ever undo the wrong we’ve done or make us right with God. It would take a perfect sacrifice – the blood of Jesus – who never sinned – to satisfy justice of God.

We must not trust in what we can do, but rather in what God has done for us. Those whom God accepts are those who are trusting in His provision of Jesus dying in our place. It’s His work that saves us.  We simply place our trust in Him and what He did for us. This is God’s way. This is His amazing grace. Good works – works that are pleasing to God – are important, but they don’t save us. They are a result of being saved, not the cause of it. They are the fruit of the new life that God gives us when we put our trust in Jesus. It is then that He gives us His Holy Spirit who helps us live fearlessly for Him and walk faithfully with Him. He gives us the power to change.

Trusting and following Jesus is not an easy life. It may cost you family and friends. Some people have even lost their lives. But whatever hardship we face in this life is nothing compared to peace with God we can have now and the eternal life that He has promised to those who believe in Jesus. And while we’re living in this world, He promises to never leave us or forsake us.

Do you want to be right with God? Do you want to entrust yourself to the One who is greater than the spirits, who can break the chains of addiction, and who is able to give you new life? God tells us that we are saved through faith – by believing in Jesus Christ. What does it mean to believe? It means turning to Jesus and trusting Him alone to save you. 

Consider what the Bible says:

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Mark 1:14-15 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

John 3:36He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Acts 16:31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Acts 4:12Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Romans 10:8-11 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

1 John 5:9-13 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Many years ago, a jailer under conviction about his own standing with God, asked the question, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer is recorded in the Bible in Acts 16:31 – and it’s as true for us today as it was for him back then: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.

Our only hope is Jesus. Only Jesus can rescue us from the power of Satan and darkness because He is greater than the spirits. Only Jesus can cover our sin, remove our shame, and give us the honor of being part of God’s family. Only Jesus can take away our guilt and make us innocent in His presence by satisfying justice on our behalf.

What God has done to save and restore us is really good news. In fact, it’s the best news ever. What will you do with it? The gift God is offering you is of no value to you unless you receive it.

Are you willing to humble yourself put your trust in Jesus now? For the Scripture (God’s written word) says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same LORD of all is rich to all who call on him. For, “Whoever will call on the name of the LORD will be saved.” Romans 10:11-13

If you have put your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior you need to tell someone now. Find someone close by and share your decision with them. And welcome to the family of God! He is your Father and you are His child. Walk with Him. Talk with Him. He will be your help and give you strength. He loves you and has all the power you need to live this new life without fear or regret. God doesn’t leave us in the same condition that He found us.

He calls us to trust and obey Him. Jesus says “Follow me”. Thankfully, following Him is possible because He gives us both the power to change and desire to do so. As you walk with Jesus sin will lose it’s grip on you and your life will change. Live to honor Him. Find out what pleases Him and show Him your love by the choices you make. It’s amazing to forgiven and be right with God. That’s the collective testimony of the Storytellers, and so many others around the world who are following Jesus Christ without reservation.

First Steps: It’s important to get your own Bible and begin learning and living out what God says. This will help you grow strong in your faith. You also need to find and get involved with a Bible-teaching church where you can meet with others who love God and desire to walk with Him. If you need help finding one, contact us and we’ll see if we can help. You can also view some short videos here that will help you get started on this path.

So what does following Jesus look like? It’s not about being religious. It’s walking in relationship with Him, simply trusting and obeying Him. You could think of it this way: Love God. Hate Sin. We read in the Bible, in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, It is the love of the Christ which compels us, when we reflect that, as one died for all, therefore all died; and that he died for all, so that the living should no longer live for themselves, but for him who died and rose for them. We also read in Romans 12:1-2, Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.

If you’ve got any questions or if you have decided to follow Jesus and want us to pray for you, please write us at: Without Reservation – PO Box 1001 – Bemidji MN, 56619. You can also email us at: storyteller@withoutreservation.com.

May God bless you in your journey of seeking Him and walking in His way.


Unless otherwise noteD, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.