THE GRACEFUL PROSTITUTE

When you read the Book of Joshua you will find yourself amazed at the grace of God. Rahab would most definitely intrigue you.

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And if it didn’t strike you before, it will now. Jesus is really a descendant of a Canaanite prostitute? I can still get past the Gentile part, but the “prostitute” thingy, that’s heavy stuff.

Joshua 2:1 is the first mention of Rahab — and the Bible is straightforward about who she is.

‘And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.’

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Some of us must have always thought how cool it would be for our names to be mentioned in the Bible, especially one that would link us with Jesus. But not this way. Rahab is a prostitute. I  think the Bible wants to make this crystal clear. The phrase “Rahab the prostitute” is mentioned 5 times in the Bible: thrice in OT and twice in the New Testament (Joshua 2:1; 6;17; 6;25; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25).

This is really heavy stuff, yeah? Ever wondered why not  Deborah or Miriam or any Israelite woman with a good, stellar record of righteousness? Why, would the holy, righteous God include the name of a harlot into the genealogy of His Son Jesus?

The answer is simple, His grace shining in through:

“I show My great mercy and power through human weaknesses. Whenever you feel at your weakest, whenever you feel you’re the most undeserving, whenever you feel you are in your filthiest, most sinful moment, that is the moment where My power shines the brightest and My compassion for you beats the strongest. My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

“Why harlotry of all sins?” you may ask?

The Drake commentary tells us that “Harlotry is the epitome of self-inflicted, gut-wrenching brokenness. The prostitute knows it is wrong, but she can not escape due to various reasons. And each time a prostitute commits the act, he or she is broken into further smaller pieces that seem irreparable. She feels like it is too late to turn back.”

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Same with you. Every time you commit a sin that you swear you won’t be doing again, you feel like you are breaking yourself into pieces that are too small to be restored back. 

But God’s message is this: No matter how filthy you feel, I can reach out to you and turn your life around, I can make it right, and even do wonders through it, when everybody else — including yourself — thought you are good for nothing and can never be restored.”

“Then what is the appropriate response to your Grace, Lord?”

The first 2 words of Hebrews 11:31 read… “BY FAITH, the prostitute Rahab…“

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About Ezar

I'm in love with my dreams, married to success and having an affair with life ;) I live for the moments you can't put into words and I dont look back...unless there's a good view.

Posted on October 31, 2014, in Dear Jesus and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 63 Comments.

  1. If a common harlot of Canaan could become an uncommon saint of faith and courage and receive the privilege of motherhood in the line of Jesus Christ, then surely nothing is impossible with God (Matthew:19:26 ). Rahab’s amazing story is a lesson for us all. GN

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  2. Not only was Rahab a hero to God; she was also a hero to her family. She told the men, “Spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them” (Joshua 2:13). This is faith lived out: thinking of others, putting their needs ahead of our own.

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  3. This is a beautiful story from the Bible because it reminds us that we are all like Rahab, sinners saved by grace. And when we really understand that and take it to heart, we can offer that same grace to others. We can talk not of their past but of their future. We can put our arms around them and call them our sisters in Christ. Thank you for this great post Ezar.

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  4. Rahab; a woman of many colors. To her family she is kind, good, possibly has children she sings to sleep. To the world after the sun goes down, she is every fallen man’s fantasy, a woman who makes him feel like a King. And he talks to her like a Queen until he walks away when the sun comes up. Rahab is like millions of women down through history. Some by choice and some by necessity. She was brave and she trusted in their God. God knew her heart!!! I love this story. I love you God!!

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  5. The faith of Rahab is astounding! To have no one to be an encourager, yet cling to the truth of who God is and to risk everything in obedience to Him–that is difficult enough for those of us raised to know His love and faithfulness! Oh to claim a faith so strong! Your posts continue to be inspiring, Ezar. Blessings!

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  6. Rahab’s story touches all our hearts at some level. We either were a Rahab, are a Rahab, know a Rahab, or long to see a Rahab set free. Timeless, powerful truths in those verses from Joshua 2 and 6!

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  7. The threefold reference to Rahab in the New Testament reveals how she became a faithful follower of the Lord. She had been taken from the dunghill and placed among the saints in the genealogy of the Saviour (Matthew 1:5 where Rachab [KJV] and Rahab [ASV], are to be identified as the same person). Her remarkable faith was a sanctifying faith leading her to a pure life and honorable career. As the result of her marriage to Salmon, one of the two spies whom she had saved, who “paid back the life he owed her by a love that was honourable and true,” Rahab became an ancestress in the royal line from which Jesus came as the Saviour of lost souls. “Poor Rahab, the muddy, the defiled, became the fountainhead of the River of the Water of Life which floweth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Her name became sanctified and ennobled, and is worthy of inclusion among many saints.
    Paul highly commends Rahab for her energetic faith and gives her a place on the illustrious roll of the Old Testament of those who triumphed by faith. “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she received the spies with peace” ( Hebrews 11:31 ). What a suggestive touch that is, “with peace.” There was not only faith in her heart that God would be victorious, but also an assured peace when she hid the spies that her deliverance from destruction would be taken care of. She knew the rest of faith. In fact, Rahab is the only woman besides Sarah who is designated as an example of faith in the great cloud of witnesses. What a manifestation of divine grace it is to find the one-time harlot ranked along with saints like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses and David!

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  8. Transformation often happens through action that reveals and develops faith, not passive belief. A great example is that of Rahab, who acts on behalf of God’s people and is transformed from pagan prostitute to matriarch of the faith.

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  9. Yes, Rahab was a base strumpet, a harlot, a woman who submitted to any man who crossed her threshold for sinful purposes, who sold her body for money, and who practiced what has been called “the oldest profession in the world.” Ethically and morally speaking, Rahab was anything but the kind of woman one would expect to be singled out as an example in a matter of religious standing. As we look at the story of Rahab, we note that there is a higher morality in life than that of personal virtue. It is the morality of atonement and it is based upon faith in what God has done. Herein lies the great hope for all sinners who may be justified or declared righteous before the tribunal of God, before they have any personal righteousness or any meritorious standing. Rahab is a fine illustration of this great Biblical truth of the higher morality.

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  10. I love the way the writer in James says that Rahab is credited with righteousness for her actions. Not her holiness, not her thoughts, but her actions based on a firm faith that this Lord of the Israelites would prevail. Rahab offers a real- life example of how faith manifests itself in action and how action instills faith.

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  11. Rahab betrayed her people because She heard what the Lord had done and believed. Too many times we hear what the Lord has done and refuse to believe, or worse we believe but refuse to act on that belief. Rahab believed and acted, even though acting put her life on the line. We often talk about stepping out in faith, but many times that step has little meaning because the drop is small.

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  12. Ezar, When it comes to dispensing love and grace, God can be downright promiscuous. The whole story reminds us that God takes care of things in a way that defies conventional wisdom. God is endlessly creative and surprising in his workings. I mean, Rahab had at least 3 strikes against her going by practices during her days: she was a woman (women’s rights were not equal to men), she was a Canaanite (foreigner), and she was a PROSTITUTE! So no matter what we may have done in our past, God is ready to forgive us and to use us for his saving purposes. God can work through anyone who is available to him.

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  13. Rahab is in the lineage of Jesus. Rahab, the Prostitute, is Jesus’ great great great great great however many greats, great grandma. Rahab not only saved the lives of the spies, she not only saved her life and her family through her actions, God used her to save all of humanity!!!

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  14. How do we treat the Rahab’s of the world today? Do we even notice that they exist? Do we honour our word to them? The spies could have ignored their little arrangement. After all, they probably had some explaining to do to Joshua and the others about why they went to the prostitute’s house in the first place and why they wanted to save her. They could have said, “let’s just save face and not mention this little Rahab thing.” But they didn’t. They told Joshua—they kept their word. As a man, I try my best to keep to my vows and promises. It is very important.

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  15. We need to look for God in odd places, to recognize that often God is lurking in the hearts of unlikely people. We need to look for God in strange places, so that if we should happen to spy God on the move, we can cooperate with His Spirit and so in the end – as happened with Rahab and the spies, we can perhaps help save someone after all. In other words, perhaps if we would open our eyes and ask the Spirit for illumination, we might see that there are a lot of places in this world where scarlet cords are draped out people’s windows, if only we would take the time to notice and accept that God just might be using these unexpected people too.

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  16. God is so good to us. Forgiveness not because of what we do, but on account of Jesus Christ. Who can understand the depth of His mercies. Hallelujah.

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  17. This article points out precisely that God loves all people; regardless of the so-called labels we carry – hooker, adulturess, drunkard, whatever. Some of us end up with these labels as victims of our circumstances and some of us by choice but that’s not the point. The point is that even while we live within the confines of a certain label, we can still turn to God and be saved from those labels. It isn’t the outside that God looks at, but our hearts. Regardless of our labels and how we arrive at them one label IS true and it is one the Lord Himself has given us: sinner. The other label also bestowed on us by God Himself: beloved. Rahab was a prostitute, a hooker, but she BELIEVED in her heart in the God of Israel and because of her faith went from sinner to beloved.

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  18. It is the mercy of God that brings us to repentence. This story of Rahab the prostitute emphasises the fact that It is Gods grace and mercy that makes us who we are not our works or qualifications.

    JEENAGER SPOT

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  19. As I see it, Rahab had an impact not only in the lives of the Israelites then but also on us who are children by faith, showing us an example of faith. From another angle, I see that those who run to the Living Lord Jesus for whatever it be, they are never turned down and reap eternal benefits.

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  20. Rahab’s life shows us the blessings, of a person willing to go with the Living God. Rahab shows us that she did not lose anything from trusting in the power of the Living God (which she heard about) but was blessed beyond what she could ever imagine. Many people have heard about Jesus, but do not want to have a relationship with God. Whatever situation we’re in, maybe we’re sitting on our own wall, not accepted by people we thought would accept us, Rahab’s life teaches us God Cares not matter who you are. There is hope for everyone, if only we turned to the Lord.

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  21. I just came here from reading desiringGod.org where I read about grace and i’m seeing the same thing here…
    I was struck so much by His grace being strongest in our weakness..i’ve always known that but it’s taking on a new light to me this morning. I even shared to my brother…
    But somehow, the post seems incomplete, did you intend to end it there with “the faith response”? Or also expatiate further? Somehow, I was expecting to read more but I will do my study on this and really get what God wants to pass across to me today.

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  22. Inspiring post with Bible-based comments! Blogsite quite different from the Christian sites of Godless chatter/comments without any value,nd only ruins those who read them(2 Tim2:14,16).Ezar,i like!

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  23. Ezar,indeed ur site is growing frm strenght to strenght,with thought-provoking comments.All the comments have depth….spirit-inspired.Wonderful!

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  24. Grace!Grace!!Grace!!!Amazing grace dat ‘graces’ d poor in spirit,the wretch like me,but ‘dis-graces’ the proud who despise d God of grace.

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  25. The story of Rahab typifies the story of redemption.Rahab represents you nd I who are spiritual harlots,living in our Jericho’s,a world condemned for destruction,with the scarlet cord signifying the Blood of Jesus,the Blood of our salvation dat will save us from eternal damnation/destruction.The saving grace enables d Rahabs to believe the message from the spies(God’s people on earth) in the face of execution by an angry king of Jericho(the devil).The God of Israel is d same God of d Church of Christ who is coming soon to destroy Jericho/the world.As many as believe like Rahab with d scarlet cord(the Blood of Jesus) at d window of their heart will be saved to inherit d promised Land,the kingdom of God(Heavenly mansions).Those dat don’t believe nd don’t have d scarlet cord will be destroyed with Jericho(the world) nd d people of world to spend eternity in hell fire with their king(the devil).The choice is yours…the God of Israel OR the king of Jericho(the devil) doomed for destruction in d lake of fire?Like Rahab make d right decision nd choose Jesus,the Son of God b/4 it is too late.

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  26. Somebody said dat Rahab was not a Patriot…she betrayed her country nd her people.Readers,pls give ur comments…Is Rahab a patriot of her country Jericho?

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  27. Papa Abraham by faith lived in tents as a pilgrim on earth…for he was looking forward to the city with foundations,whose Architect nd Builder is God(Hebrews11:8-10).With d eyes of faith,the father of faith saw a city with foundations nd built by God Himself,nd dat demanded his patriotism.He knew dat the world nd the cities of d world do not have foundations nd were already condemned for destruction.Through faith in God,he became a citizen of heaven….though he is in the world,he is not of this world.His allegiance was first to God nd to His kingdom.The same applies to Rahab nd to all that believe thro faith.Our allegiance is first to God.Where a situation demands our choice,we must choose God nd His Kingdom..for from Him,nd through Him,nd for His glory are all things.The kingdom of God rules over all,including the kingdoms of men.Today,many Rahabs are being martyred because their patriotism are challenged by wicked kings(eg Emperor Nero in the time of oid).When our patrotism is challenged as a Christian,it is more patriotic to be martyred as a Christian than to renounce our faith nd live a patriotic Nigerian.

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  28. Rahab was God’s patriot who loved God,God’s people nd His Kingdom.The supernatural supercedes the natural.

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  29. I love my beloved nation Nigeria,but i must seek first the kingdom of God,..(Matt6:33).I am first a patriot of the kingdom of God,THEN dat of Nigeria….likewise Rahab.No wonder God rewarded her greatly…to be named in d lineage of Jesus(the line of men nd women who made great sacrifices).

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  30. Though Rahab was a prostitute destitute of man’s love,she had a heart of gold dat yearned for God nd His unfailing love.We should never write off men who desperately need God,though wallowing in sin. Only those dat are sick need a doctor!Jesus came to save nd not to condemn.

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  31. Amazing grace!Do you know what amazes me?Grace flows down nd not up…to touch those dat lie low before God in humility.It neva touches those dat stand up against God in pride nd arrogance.May i always lie low to receive abundance of His grace.No wonder those dat think they stand must take heed or they fall hard for His grace to touch them.

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  32. Rahab was not the only prostitute in Jericho,but i guess@Emma,dat she was the only prostitute dat laid down her heart in humility to receive God’s grace.I have seen prostitutes who with great pride resist God nd reject the gospel.How about our Azonto babes who mock the gospel of Christ nd d Christians who tell them about Christ….these are d ‘unlabelled’ prostitutes who are not found in d red district.

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  33. You talk about amazing grace!How about the AUDACITY OF FAITH OF A GENTILE WOMAN who believed God more than d ten spies with evil report,who saw themselves as grasshoppers amongst giants.The audacity of faith dat believed the God of Israel will dispossess them of their land nd give it to His people.The audacity of faith dat made d spies swear to preserve her nd her family from destruction.This is d faith dat attracts grace nd makes us graceful.Dare to believe God for d impossible!How many have dared to stand on d Word of God for healing(the possible)?If u can’t believe Him for d possible,how can u believe Him for d impossible? O thou of little faith!

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  34. Though my name is Grace,what pleases God is not who we are(whether poor or rich),but our faith in Him.Without faith,it is impossible to please God.It is written,By faith,Rahab the prostitute….(Heb11:31).It was Rahab’s faith that graced her nd had her name in d hall of fame(faith).Read Hebrew 11,and see men nd women who had great faith in God.Remember,the list continues in every generation…it is open to whosover dat has great faith in God to do the impossible.For Father Abraham,read Romans 4:17-22,to see how his faith called those things dat be not as if they were….against all hope,he believed.Halleluyah!!!Lord increase my faith(Okwukwe),Amen.

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  35. The bible names Rahab as a prostitute,not to despise her,but to let all know dat salvation is for WHOSOEVER that believes…d good,d bad nd d ugly!Salvation is for all without discrimination nd favouritism.

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  36. A funny world!Though Rahab had a glorious end,her name in d geneology of Jesus,no one bears her name amongst the children of men.Rahab(Rachab) means ‘broad’.Indeed she had a ‘broad’ faith in Jehovah,with an accompanying broad line of ancestry(a jewish heritage)as a gentile.Her tomb is in the Holy land…the state of Israel.

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  37. People consider the character dat bears d name,nd not d name per se.For example,no one bears d name Jezebel,Ahab,Judas,Cain….they were not good examples in their generation.The ‘harlot’ attached to her name make people not to bear her name.

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  38. I have noticed in the Bible dat those who had great faith in God were gentiles.Apart frm Rahab and Ruth in the old testament,we have in the new testament,the centurion who had a sick servant(Luke7:1-10),the Syrophoenician woman who had a sick daughter(luke15:21-28).

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  39. From Rahab’s story,i can safely conclude dat our destiny is in our hand.A woman who was to be destroyed with her people ended up saving herself nd members of her family.We can rewrite our story with an absolute trust in God,nd a pen in our hand.Dont remain in the corner where d devil has kept u to wallow in sin nd misfortune.Get up nd be on the move!

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  40. Yesooooo.After her wonderful deliverance,a jew by name,Salmon,married her,nd together they gave birth to Boaz,d husband of Ruth(Matt 1:5).By marriage,a prostitute nd a gentile entered into d wonderful lineage of Jesus.Wonders shall never cease.

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  41. Everything worked against her in her time…she was a woman,a canaanite gentile,a prostitute,unmarried,but d GRACE OF GOD located her,nd positioned her for greatness.

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  42. The salvation of Rahab foreshadowed the salvation of d gentiles that became a reality in Cornelius house(Acts 10).What a wonderful story of salvation.

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  43. Will it be right for me to say dat physically,Rahab is our gentile mother,while spiritually,Sarah is our jewish mother.Thank God for both my gentile nd Jewish heritage.

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  44. Ezar,u have taken my eyes back to d geneology of Jesus dat i love to skip when reading d Bible’…nd this BEGAT that….’As i meditated on it this time,i noticed dat Rahab was Ruth’s mother-in-law.Salmon nd Boaz must be extraordinary men to have married a harlot nd a widow respectively…their past did not count against them.Not in Nigeria!

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  45. Me too!Always skipped d geneologys…what have i got to do with d genes of d people of old.But as i read it i discovered dat our mother Sarah was not even mentioned.The wives dat were mentioned were not d ‘straight’ones egTamar who slept with d father-in-law(Gen38:1-30). Rahab the harlot,Ruth the widow(married twice),Bathsheba the adulteress(v6).Mary,d mother of our Lord Jesus was mentioned(v16)….d only straight one!I am glad dat God knows me by name.

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  46. Not even a ‘dot’ in d Bible should be taken for granted.Our God has a reason for the dots,the words,phrases,sentences,geneologies,lists etc.Our prayer b/4 we read d Bible should always be..Lord,open my eyes to behold wondrous things out of Your Word.

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  47. May God help me! I always browsed through the story of Ruth.I thot,what have i got to do with a harlot being delivered.From this post nd d comments,i have come to realize dat my salvation is tied to her story…infact,her story foreshadowed d salvation of a gentile like me.Thank you,Jesus!

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  48. It was when i read Paul’s epistle to d Ephesians(Ephesians2:11-13),dat i realized hw far away i was from God b4 the Blood of Jesus brought me near to Him….A gentile was called ”uncircumcised”by d Jews who called themselves ”the circumcision”,separate frm Christ,excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to d covenants of d promise,without hope and without God in this world.That means dat before i came to d Cross for salvation,i was Christless,Hopeless nd Godless.My God,i thank you for ur grace dat saved a hopeless wretch(gentile) like me.The Blood of Jesus has brought me near You!Halleluyah!!!

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  49. Ezar,Rahab is only but one of d gracefuls in d Bible.I remember d graceful murderer(Apostle Paul),the graceful adulterer/murderer(King David),the graceful grass-eater(king Nebuchadnezzar),the graceful demon-possessed(Mary Magdalene),the graceful nightvisitor(Nicodemus),the graceful doubter(Apostle Thomas)…etc.The grace of God made d difference,nd changed their story.

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  50. When God robes you with grace,u become graceful,but wen He derobes you,you become a disgrace!

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