The Beautiful Lily of the Valleys
She compares herself to something beautiful.
“I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.” Solomon’s Song of Songs 2:1
Why the comparison?
Three lively characteristics of the bride and the flowers jump out at us. The beauty of the flowers, the smell of the flowers and the color. She is beautiful, delightful to behold and pure.
- Both her and the flower are beautiful. Clearly Beauty is a comparison. She compares herself to something when viewed you will take much delight in beholding. Anyone looking at a rose or a lily know that they are beautiful. I have written extensively about the Beauty of the rose in these blogs ( Rose 1, Rose 2, Rose 3) so my focus in this one is on the lily.
Both flowers smell very nice. The next most common trait about these two flowers is that they are scented. They both have a pleasing aroma. Due to her love to God she benefits all those she is in contact with and just being around her is pleasing and all she does pleases the LORD. She is pleasing to him and she knows it. His delight in her is evident all throughout 1:8-11,15. Behold a lily of the valleys and you see something of the bride. You see her beauty. The bride has both a natural beauty 4:1-5 and also a moral beauty that ravishes his heart more than wine 4:8-10. She is absolute beautiful both inside and out.
The lily of the valleys is white. White represents purity, holiness, no sin, there is “no flaw in” her and she is absolutely “altogether lovely.”
Comparisons are often made because something of the nature of a flower is similar to the nature of the bride. The lily of the valley is white and white is often a symbol for purity or holiness. We must also consider the context when making a comparison. Who it is that is compared to the lily. The bride who is “the most beautiful woman” 1:7 and also has love, The very Flame of God burning unquenchably in her heart 8:6. Therefore she has a moral beauty of her heart or holiness which consists in her love to God, that is flawless under trials and persecution. I get flawless under persecution because her lover compares her to “a lily among thorns” in 2:2.
The beauty she compares herself with is the outer beauty of the flowers but the comparison works for both her inner beauty and outer. Yet more the beauty of the lily speaks more directly to her inner beauty. Her purity or holiness.
In context after she see’s herself like a lily Solomon compliments her beauty while surrounded by thorns or young maidens. Thorns harm a lily but protect a rose. In 2:2 she is compared to a lily among thorns. Giving us the idea that she stayed holy and pure under trials. Particularly it was a trial to be around the other young maidens. An overall idea of 2:2 is that she is in a state of persecution and her holiness is still blossoming and she is beautiful to his site even in the most difficult of circumstances.
The lily she compares herself to has no flaw in it, therefore it is a holy lily. To be holy is to be without flaw or evil wether the object that is holy is a moral being or natural object. Holiness is the beauty of an object.
To have a lily fraught with flaws is to not have a beautiful lily. The bride is the “most beautiful of woman” and therefore the comparison must be that of the most beautiful lily she knows of.
God is beautiful and morally excellent. Holiness is the beauty of God and God is Beauty itself. Since God is beauty itself then any and reflections or shadows of True Beauty come from God and are something of God.
Facts about the “lily of the valley”
Sweetly scented; flowering is in late spring, in mild winters in the Northern Hemisphere it is in early March.
For the woman in courtship or marriage.
Trials tend to reveal the character of the person. A godly man can see during courtship how you respond to trials and if you have beautifully endured persecution or not. Think of all the times when your faith was tested in the past week. Are there times when you don’t continue in the same pattern of all sin. A rose is beautiful because it is without flaw. You are not without flaw for trying to be good or doing good things but you are without flaw in Christ.
You are without flaw due to Jesus Christ taking away your perfectly flawed life and giving you His Righteousness and therefore you may still have some remaining sin in your life to mortify but united to Jesus Christ you are sinless and washed clean, you are pure and lovely like the white lily. Since you have been cleansed white as snow then live like it, especially when tempted to do otherwise. Thorny times of persecution will come for those who desire to live a godly life. Stay holy and beautiful in them and the relationship will continue to blossom with your suitor or husband. If you start to fail way to often under trials then the courtship may either be slowed down or all together ended. You must stay beautiful under trials to please God and look beautiful to your suitor or husband.
Solomon likes to possess things of beauty. “to gather lilies”. For he is often in the garden gathering lilies. Song of Solomon 6:2 “ “My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.” I love this because the bride compared herself to a lily and he compared her to a lily and here he loves to gather lilies. The beauty of the lily reminds him of her and here in 6:2 he loves to gather the lilies. Well, I wonder why, surely its because they remind him so much of his lovely bride.
Marrying a believer is #1 if you are a believer. Some people are infatuated and not in love and they may tend to overlook continued sin. A believer doesn’t continue in the same habitual pattern of sin. The Bible says that if someone is continuing in sin then we ought to confront them in private first.
Also some people in courtship may see the other trying to get better but not changing. Trying and failing is not the same as trying and getting better. What you see in them now will more than likely be the same character in marriage, some things may even seem to get worse in marriage. But if you see a man trying and not getting better then this is what he will be more likely to do in marriage, which is to try to get better but doesn’t. Chances are that if this person is saved and trying but not getting anywhere they probably are “ensnared” and have something wrong with their idea of God, Jesus Christ and the way of salvation and sanctification. Good Biblical counseling will go a long way in this situation.
For the man in courtship or marriage
Do you see the beauty of the lily reflected in the woman you are dating? In difficult situations to you see her acting more like a believer or nonbeliever? Like a sweet smelling lily or like an ugly stench. Or when she does sin, is she sorrowful and repents? Is she changing into a more beautiful lily? You want a lily, yes. A lily among thorns is best. Under trials is she becoming more of a beautiful pleasing example of a Christian. Holier and more pure like the lily of the valley. How well are you doing under trials? Is there a pattern of sin that you are living in? Are your hands clean? Your future bride is looking at how you currently live and respond in certain situations as well. Think about it, if you had a daughter would you let her marry a guy like you? If not then repent, get some biblical counseling but by all means don’t move the relationship toward engagement if their is sin in your life that you are not dealing with. Im not saying that you ought to be perfect but continuing in the right direction leads to greater degrees of glory as you behold the beauty and glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Husbands. Praise your wife!! Adore her beauty!! The husband of an excellent wife praises her inner beauty. Proverbs 31:28-30. When you see her under trials and still trusting God or not sinning and you see her inner beauty manifested in her actions then compliment her. Let her know you see her beauty under trials. This is the most beautiful part of her on display. Her lily is shining white and is worthy of praise when beautiful under pressure. This beauty under persecution and trials makes her valuable to you and precious in the sight of God. She is worth more than diamonds and her beauty ought to ravish your heart. Tell her she is a beautiful rose when under trials. And then be specific as to how she stayed humble, beautiful, patient, loving, trusting, kind, gentle or faithful etc. in difficult times. That is beauty. To stay holy under difficult trials. See the comparison she is a “lily among thorns”. The thorns are plural. Under many trials or multicolored trials. If your wife has stayed holy, pure and beautiful for the flame of Love in her heart was on fire and did not dwindle under trials and temptations then praise her. Tell her she is beautiful. Tell her she is like a “lily among thorns”. And tell her why that is beautiful to you. I know some of you compliment her outer beauty but the focus her is on the inner beauty under trials. See her beautiful character and compliment it often and when deserved. Not flattery but honest adoration.
For the believer
We live to please our Lord Jesus Christ. What please Him is when we obey. When we express our love to Him. Under trials it may be hard to continue under them without sinning. But to do so would be to stay beautiful and have something beautiful for Jesus Christ to behold in us. His image staying unmarred under trials. Beautiful like a white pure lily. Jesus Christ than lilies of rarest bloom. Behold his beauty at the cross. Behold the most beautiful holy heart when under the greatest trial He stayed morally beautiful. Behold the beauty of His holiness when showing His love to the Father by obeying His commands.
We have far more motivation to stay holy and pure for Christ’s sake under trials than the bride does for her suitor. We ought to be all the more willing to endure trials in a Christ like manner because trials tend to burn away the dross in our lily thus making us more beautiful for Christ to behold.
When you stay morally beautiful under trials it is a time of great rejoicing. For “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, beingmore precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” 1 Peter 1:6-8
The beauty of Jesus Christ is infinitely more lovely than a rose or lily. Jesus Christ is infinitely more lovely and holy.
Behold the beauty of a lily. A view of the natural beauty of a flower promotes love and virtue for those who have the love of God dwelling in them. Beauty when seen and delighted in by those who love God will enflame their heart to love God more. It is with regard to His image or resemblance, which secondary beauty or the beauty of a flower has of true spiritual beauty, that God has so constituted nature, that the presenting of this inferior beauty, especially in those kinds of it which have the greatest resemblance of the primary beauty, as the harmony of sounds, the beauties of nature and of a woman, have a tendency to assist those whose hearts are under the influence of a virtuous temper, to dispose them to the exercise of divine love, and enliven in them a sense of spiritual beauty!!
The sense of spiritual beauty is given when the beauty of the flower is beheld and delighted in for an excellency in and of itself and it’s beauty seen in it agreement with its purpose in general, which is to glorify God by reflecting His Beauty. The beauty must be both seen and delighted in with the sight and smell.
The glory of God manifested in the beauty of the rose is delightful to behold. Even more delightful for the believer. When the beauty of the rose is properly seen and delighted in it will promote faith and love to God. Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like a lily. The glory of the rose exceeded the external glory of Solomon. Behold the beauty of the rose and you won’t sinfully worry. You will increase your faith. Know that God is good, know that you are valued more than the rose. Matt. 6:28 No need to worry about the necessities of life like food or clothing. God clothes so beautifully clothes the flowers with a stamp of His Beauty how much more so would he Love and take care of us who have His image upon our hearts. Behold the beauty of the flower and love to God is promoted by further trusting Him and seeking first His kingdom and righteousness. So beholding the beauty of a rose or lily would help you to Biblically prioritize your life so that you seek first His kingdom and righteousness and everything else will follow.
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Saved in 2000 at age 27. Nearly immediately I fell in love with the Song and grew very fast the first two years memorizing large portions of scripture purifying my mind the started chewing on meat to soon and struggled for 12 years and Christ has me on track like always but I just took the long way around and now I love leading others closer to Christ by seeing His love reflected in Solomons love for an enemy slave girl.
I have experienced God's love to me in the Song in ways that words can't express. There are many portion of the Word where she experiences extra ordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit of God. If you have a burning desire for a close intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Love to you over and over again at greater and greater heights, depths, lengths and breaths then The Song of Songs is where you need to be.
I can help you with this process of Growing in the experience of God's love. As of 7-23-16 I have experienced everything prior to chapter 8. The Song of Song is progressive in experience. Meaning that if you are mature then you can experience the joys and extraordinary outpourings of God's Love shed abroad in your heart.
If you are not so mature then the delights in the first chapter of the Song will satisfy your thirst for experiencing the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many Christian are living in sin because they do not know how to experience God's love and get hooked on Loving Him. It feels good to be loved and to love Him. His burden is not heavy and His yoke is light, Jesus said in Matt. 10:28
I believe God wants to use me to help beautify His Bride through the Song of Solomon.
If you see the book literally you will not understand nor grasp the Love God has for you. If you see the book and the verses in it relating to Christ's love to you then I would love to show you how to experience this Love to the fullest. I will pray for you daily and guide you every step of the way.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I grew up going to church but was a hypocrite. I lived my life how I chose but went to church on Sunday because my family went.
Mom and Dad divorced when I was about 5.
About this time I was sexually abused by "Bob" a made up name. This incident changed my life for the worst. I had no clue how to deal with it.
As I got older I grew in my hatred for Bob. I didn't blame anyone of my family because I was to young to know any better. Some of what happened during the abuse was in a bathroom. So overtime I would use the bathroom and look at my private parts that night would replay in my mind. My hatred for Bob would continue to grow each time.
Now I know this only happened to me one night. I can't image the pain other's go through who have had this happen to them over and over. Even as I write this now I cry with many tears for those hurting. God love you even though you may not know it or feel it. Go to Him in your time of need.
I was a really bad teenager. I only cared about myself and not even my family. I always came first in my mind. Even at the expense of hurting others. I was growing in my hatred for God by now.
I was going to church and was learned that God was in control. I thought well, if God was in control then He must have let me be sexually abused. I didn't understand this, How could a good and loving God allow this. I hated Him for it. My hatred for Bob grew as well. I was still using the bathroom and memories kept coming back. My heart grew even harder for Bob and God. As far as I was concerned God would have nothing to do with my life so I lived even worse. I thought I would be in jail or dead and I really didn't care, I thought it could be much worse than reliving your painful past over and over again. Little did I know that God's plan later would be to use these events to give me a burning passion for the closest most intimate love relationship with Himself through Christ mainly through the love poem in the Song of Songs in the Bible.
I remember hating Bob so much that the only thing that would relieve my pain was actually thinking he would suffer forever for what he did. I grew so much in my hatred for him that I had to continue to think that he would get even worse than what I imaged before. After some time I would only be relieved of hatred for him unless I thought he would burn in a hotter and hotter hell for all the suffering he put me through.
I never told my mom or family what happened, although I think some of them knew something had happened.
I grew up quite rebellious and even went to jail at the age of 20. I was living the fast life pursuing all my sinful desires and wanting more. It never seemed to be enough. I was quite happy in my sin but I just wanted more of it.
I lived life thinking I would die at a young age, riding motorcycle and living on the edge put me in the hospital many times and I should have been dead.
California at age 26.
I moved to California for a job opportunity at the age of 27. While trying to figure out what radio stations to program in my car, I ran across a RC Sproul talking about "people who have the faith that saves and people who only say that have faith" only the people who have the faith that saves will go to heaven. I thought "I don't think I have the faith that saves because my life was so bad." I searched the scriptures to try to get this faith. I found a church and thought people there could help me get this faith that saves. All along God kept showing me how sinful I was and that I deserved punishment from Him for living my life hating Him.
One weekend I read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John desperately trying to find out how to get this faith that saves. By now I knew that if you had the faith that saves that Jesus would be saving you from a life of sin. I still liked my sin and Jesus sure wasn't saving me from a life of sin, so I rightly concluded that I didn't have the faith that saves.
By the time I got to John, I saw "believe" everywhere. John 3:16 and other verses and wow the whole book was written so that you may believe. John 20:31 "these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." So at night I would pray "I believe Jesus died for me, I believe, I believe. This was just an intellectual belief. I knew that in history and the Bible that Jesus died for everyone, so I believed it. But this belief did not change my life.
I would go on night after night saying the same prayer only to wake up the next day wanting to fulfill my sinful desires. The prayer wasn't working so I started to word it different each time hoping some prayer would work. After about 2 weeks of this I was fed up with it all, nothing was happening. I still was living in my sin and wanted more of it. A Christian hates their sin and does something about it, and certainly they don't continue to make plans to sin. The prayers weren't working so I gave up. I thought to myself "God, I tried with all my might, I searched the Scriptures, went to church, read the Bible and prayed all to no avail. If Im going to be saved your going to have to do it because I tried."
So I quit praying but still the Bible kept calling me so I read more. 3 Days later I was laying in a tanning bed and God convicted me really hard that I had offended Him by the life I was living. I was so scared of God, where could I run. You can't hide from God. It seemed like forever that I was under these terrors of being punished by a Holy Angry God. This lasted about 10 minutes then this is how I understood it. God let me understand that all that anger that He had for me for all my sin should come my way but He had poured that anger out on Jesus 2,000 years ago. I immediately started weeping an couldn't stop for about 20 minutes. All the sins that I could think of I confessed for that 20 minutes one after another after another, I was so sorrowful and grieved it physically hurt inside.
After I stopped crying I thought that was the weirdest thing that ever happened. I walked out of the tanning salon and stood outside and everything seemed so beautiful, the tree's, the birds, even the air seemed pleasant. Now I was really wondering what was going on.
I pondered all of this as I drove to work that day. I brought my Bible to work and was thinking what am I doing, I want to take my Bible to work so I can read it. As soon as I got to work I started reading my Bible. I couldn't believe what I was reading!! It all was so wonderful. It felt so good to just read my Bible. My client showed up and as I was training them the only thing I could think about was getting back to my Bible. I read all night and slept about 2 hours and was reading again.
I had sinful things in my apartment and I rounded everything evil up and threw it in the garbage. It was weird I was thinking but it felt good so I left it all in the garbage. I called my girlfriend to break it up and she thought I had another girl, I said no, I just think this is wrong we shouldn't be sleeping together. She didn't understand so I told her I was a Christian now and she still thought I had another girlfriend. She said "Im glad your a Christian, so am I" I thought to myself, "I have a strong conviction that sleeping together is wrong and she thought it was okay" I wondered how she could think that. Anyway we broke up.
I kept reading my bible and repenting, there was so much to repent of and I had lived a very sinful life. I was a thief for some part of my life and all the people I stole from kept coming to mind. I owed so much money. I was instantly in debt about $80,000. As I could I paid them back. As of 7-18-2016 I still owe about $25,000 but it sure is a joy to be paying them back.
The first week of being saved a car just about ran me over, they hit me but I wasn't hurt at all. The guy in the car felt so bad. I just looked at him and said "God bless you and have a great day, I am okay" smiled at him and moved on. Now I was really wondering what was going on because I normally would have cussed him out left and right and instead of cussing I blessed him. That was so weird. But again it felt good. I learned to do good by what my conscience told me was good and that it felt good. I got hooked on this feeling good by doing good and did it more often.
About two weeks after being saved I thought of Bob. I immediately prayed for him, something like "Lord help him.." then I stopped praying and said out loud "What am I doing?" I'm praying for a man that I hated my whole life, but it feels good and right, so I did it again. I stopped again midway in the prayer and started pacing around. I was trying to make sense of what was going on and couldn't figure it out. But again it made me happy to pray for him so I did. Bob would often come to mind when I went to the bathroom and each time I would pray for Him. The more I did this the less weird it got. And the greater my love grew for him.
I started memorizing large portions of scripture and this was wonderful because it felt like the words were cleaning my mind and as Proverbs 2:10 "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul." I wanted more and more of this pleasantness. So I memorized even more and the joy got more and more.
Then this life changing advice came:
A friend from church told me to find a book of the Bible and really understand it. Read through the Bible and pick one and read it over and over and study it and really get it. So I started in Genesis and read through. When I got to Proverbs I really liked it so I thought that would be the book. I started by memorizing all of Proverbs chapter 3. After that I thought maybe there is a better book than Proverbs. So I read on. Then I came to Song of Solomon. I read it with quite some confusion. It wasn't as good as the other books, I didn't know why. So I bought a commentary on it. George Burrowes commentary on the Song of Solomon.
In the commentary I found that George and other saw the book as illustrating God's love to the Church. And not only illustrating it but displaying the Love of Christ better than any other book. This caught my attention big time, because I was having a burning desire for a closer relationship with God and desperately learning about His Love so that I could Love God. You see I had hated Him for so long that God used that old hard heart to spur me on in loving Him. I so much did not want to hate God anymore that I was on fire to learn to Love Him as much and as fast as possible. So here was a book that would help me do that. So I landed on the Song of Solomon. I committed to learning as much of this book as possible.
I memorized the first chapter and would repeat it often throughout the day. I didn't know much of what I was repeating but it sure made me happier and on fire for God. I grew so fast repeating the first chapter over and over again all day, like a dozen times a day at least. It felt so good and I never found any other book that caused me to weep so much. I would often weep everyday just reading it. I was to immature to know what was going on. Even though it hurt to weep so much, I felt like my heart was being cleansed from the filth that was in it by repeating it over and over again so I did. As I read the commentary I understood more and more. What God was doing in me through the Song was greater and faster than any other portion of Scripture so I tended to stay there often. I was so excited about God that I thought it funny that other's in church weren't the same way. Some where happy but it seemed most of them didn't seem to care much about God. They would talk about work, football the weather. The only thing I wanted to talk about was Jesus and God and how can I grow closer to Him.
About this time there was a mission trip to Ireland.
I started to have convictions that I should try to find Bob and witness to him. I kept praying for him but how could he be saved if he hadn't heard the Gospel that has power unto salvation. So I asked family if they had any information. Like me before, my family hated him and thought he deserved hell. After some time I got his name but no location or phone number. Either they didn't know where he was or didn't want to tell me. I prayed some more and then started to get stronger convictions to do something about finding Bob.
So I went on the internet and typed in "his name and child molestation sex offender court" thinking that some court record would have some info leading to where I may find him" I even talked to a private eye and he couldn't help. So I googled some key words and spent hours each day looking through each page. I believed it was God's will for me to witness to Bob. I wanted him to be saved. Really bad. So much so that I thought God would save Bob if I were to witness to him. So I didn't stop searching for him. I kept my computer on each day and went page by page. It took two years to go through about 15,000 pages but I found someone who matched his name in a prison for molesting his grandchildren. I wrote the prison and he wrote back. All kinds of emotions went through my body when I saw his letter from the jail. I didn't open it right away but two hours later God gave me enough courage to face my fears again and I opened the letter. He admitted to being the one who molested me. We wrote back and forth I told him I was angry before but now I was saved and that I loved him and believed God wanted me to talk to him. He read my letters over and over again. I shared the gospel in each one.
I got mad at Bob 2x. Once he said that he love me. I got really angry with him. He didn't love me. That night it was hard to love Bob, I had to call a friend to pray for me to repent, after he prayed I felt greater love for Bob. Then I wrote him back saying "I'm sorry but you can't say that you loved me. You did not love me you lusted after me." He admitted he didn't love as he should have and admitted that it was lust and sinful. Finally some conviction. Yet I only thought he was saying that because I was being nice to him. All his family had left him and he said I was the only "friend" he had.
Wether or not it was true Bob said that he had cancer in his arm and that the help the prison gives was not enough and if he had money he could see a different doctor and get help. I sent him some money and since I was in jail before I knew what it was like to be in there without money, so I sent him money.
About 4-5 months in the economy went down, it was 2008. Work was hard. I still sent him money and I had to work harder. This was a really good lesson for me because I had to "work hard for the benefit of someone who did not deserve it." This was one of the greatest blessing ever because I realized with great certainty that Jesus was in me. This is what Jesus did. Jesus worked his whole life for me and I didn't deserve it!! Christ was in me! This was one of the best feelings ever and it put me in worship for months.
Then a mission trip to Croatia.
Each time I had to leave my business and amazing as it is I was completely okay each time. I am a self employed personal trainer and it is normally absurd to just leave and start over, but each time I had enough work within 2 weeks of coming back. This is a flat out miracle. I trusted God to provide and he did. How many people can start up a business in 2 weeks. Only with the help of God. God was teaching me early on in my walk that as long as I did what He wanted me to do then I had nothing to worry about.
About 3 years saved now.
I Taught the 4 year old's at church Sunday morning for 10 years.
Left my business 2x for mission trips and God miraculously provided when I came back.
I taught 5 x a week plus held a job.
Sunday morning to the kids.
Sunday night with the 5th graders
Friday afternoons at Good News Clubs. Sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship.
Friday Nights with the Kids teaching through Pilgrims Progress, I did this 2x
Teaching Monday afternoons at a nursing home. I taught through the Song of Songs once then John, then Romans then back to the Song again! I love the Song of Songs.
I grew up hating God for what happened to me, and now I love Him because He first loved me. My passion is for children to grow up loving God and not hating Him.
My other passion which has become ever greater is to help others see the Love of Christ to His Church in the Song of Songs!!
I would love to help you, just let me know and I will lead you and pray for you.
God demonstrates His love to us in sending His one and only Son to suffer in our place, taking our sins upon Himself so that whoever believes they get to heaven because of what He did for us will not perish but have everlasting life.
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