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The way I prepare a sermon is by asking God what He is saying to the specific group of people to whom I will minister. Once I receive His message, I use key words in His message to search for corresponding scriptures in the Bible. The message, plus the scriptures, becomes the sermon.

This method of sermon preparation is vitally important to me because copying a sermon from any other source is not a specific Word from God for a particular people who are in a particular place at a particular time. I engage in this same supernatural dialogue when I prepare a message for you to read here in the Times and Democrat newspaper. I asked God what He wanted me to say to you, and He said, “Tell Orangeburg that I love them.”

Immediately I smiled when I heard God’s message to those of us who are in this awesome Midlands city of South Carolina. Our city has seen and will continue to see growth and an increase of employment opportunities and other opportunities to build and secure wealth. Our families and communities will become stronger as we all allow God to use us to love each other.

Too many people consider love to be temporary but consider death to be permanent. Did you know that the Bible declares that love is strong as death? (Song of Solomon 8:6)

God's heartfelt words about Orangeburg meant a whole lot to me because He taught me years ago what true love really is: Love is not a feeling because even if the feeling leaves, we still have to love.

What then is love? Love is an action that's not based on perceived entitlement. True love is shown whether the object of love is deemed to deserve it or not. This is proven in the following, familiar verse.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

The same estranged world that hated God and served false gods was treated as royalty when a King came to redeem them back to the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty. Jesus is King of the Jews and King of God’s Kingdom on earth. How great is His love? Most kings shed the blood of their enemies. King Jesus shed His own blood for His enemies.

If you’re reading this article and need to know that you’re loved, I’d love to introduce or invite you to revisit your relationship with Jesus Christ. If you feel even the least bit distant from the love of God, our Father, He would love for you to commit to or restore your relationship with Him right now.

Please pray the following with me, knowing that the words you’re reading are from your heart and going directly to the heart of God. Please pray: Father, I come before You now by Jesus Christ, Who died for me. I fully believe that You raised Him from the dead. Raise me now from the death of all my sins. I commit wholeheartedly to You. Now, I’m no longer a sinner because I no longer have my life. It belongs to You only. Thank You for saving me from eternal damnation and blessing me with eternal life through Jesus Christ. I will live for You and You only! Thank You so very much for saving me, in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Now, let's go and share God's love with everyone!

Dr. Shane Wall is the senior pastor of The Feast of the Lord church in Orangeburg.

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