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During the forty days after His Crucifixion he had been visibly present to human eyes nine times and had been touched by human hands. In His last gathering He lifted up His hands and blessed them, and, even as He blessed them, was parted from them, and as He passed from before their yearning eyes 'a cloud received Him out of their sight' (Luke 29:50-51; Acts 1:6-9).

Between us and His visible presence- between us and that glorified Redeemer who now sits at the right hand of God- that cloud still rolls.  But the eye of faith can pierce it; the incense of prayer can rise above it; through it the dew of blessing can descend. Frederic W. Farrar, D.D., F.R.S., The Life of Christ, A. L. Brut Publisher, NY (1895, p. 525)

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Jesus loved to challenge the way people think. To be great, He said, we must be humble.  To be leaders, He said, we must serve others. To be profound thinkers, He believed, we must be able to feel. Jesus taught that the identity of a human being is a matter of the heart.  He didn't use the psychological terms we have today to describe emotions, but it is easy to see that Jesus wanted us to be in touch with the way we feel. (Dr. Mark W. Baker, Jesus  The Greatest Therapist Who Ever Lived, (2007, Pp. 165-166)

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In that moment when Pilate released Barabbas, and gave Jesus to the Cross, the Roman kingdom was doomed in the economy of God. Presently the followers of Christ found their way to Rome. A halting man, feeble in bodily appearance, came into Rome as a prisoner, and receiving into his own hired house all that came to him, he taught them the things concerning Jesus.  Whom their Governor had given to the Cross.  Thus, Rome was shaken at the center; and its pagan power was broken by the coming of the King and Pilate had flung out. (G. Campbell Morgan).

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What were Judas' motives which moved him to the greatest act of treachery in history, and which made his name an epitome of all that makes a traitor?  John writes: (John 13:2) "During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him." Just as God is looking for hands to use to do His work, so the devil is looking for them too, and the devil found his instrument in Judas. But the fact remains that no man can be used without his own consent.  Judas is the man who consented to be used by the devil and by powers of evil, for Judas could have kept the devil out of his life and could have shut his heart against temper. (Barclay, 1960)

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"Human societies train people to "keep a stiff upper lip" and to "be strong" by which they mean the person should endure negative emotions.  This is bad advice.  Several branches of science have been studying human thriving.  The results, when compiled, point to the fact that people thrive when they feel emotionally good and suffer when they do not."-- Jeanine Joy, PhD.

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As Jesus and His disciples leave the Upper Room and move toward the Garden of Gethsemane they pass the temple.  Here one of the chief ornaments is a "golden vine with a cluster as large as a man." This decoration becomes the basis of a visual parable. Jesus' intimate relationship with these men cannot be stated in precise, theological terms. So, as He has done all through His ministry, He uses the motif of a vine and its branches to illustrate spiritual truth.  His union with these men is as alive as the relationship of the vine to its branches. (Fredrikson, R.L., & Ogilvie, L.J. 1985)

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Introduction: Your ability needs responsibility to expose its possibilities. Do what you can with what you have where you are. (President Theodore Roosevelt)

Background: The prayer of Ephesians 1:15-23 and the doxology of Ephesians 3:20-21 clearly establish the power of God as a key theme of the epistle.  The power provides salvation which the author understands as a release from the bondage of death and the dominion of the devil and his "powers". (Dr. Clinton E. Arnold, 1989)

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Don't just reflect on what God has done in the past circumstances, but let your request be made known to God. "Not that God needs to be told either our wants or desires; for he knows them better that we can tell him: but he will know them from us, and have us show our regards and concern, express our value of the mercy and sense of our dependence on him." Henry, M. (1994)

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For a Christian to experience depression is one thing, but the fact remains depression is not the final act in the life story of a Christian. There is a proper use of memory in times when we are depressed, remembering  God's past acts as an encouragement to believe that He will act for us again.  So, a key tool for the depressed is to reflect on what God has done in past circumstances.

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