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Are You Not Worth Much More?

May 26, 2019

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Are You Not Worth Much More?

When bad things happen  and we feel the pains  of life’s experiences,  people sometimes think God isn’t caring  for them,  because they’re not worthy,  on account of past sins  or whatever.     Our tendency might be  to throw a pity party  and moan  about all the things we would like  to have in this life.     We  might think  if we just had “this”  and  “that” we would be better taken care of.

But,  Jesus pointed out something  we usually don’t think of.     When we want all the  “things”  in this life,  more than we want  to be near God,  we are making  “things” our  “god”.     We are concentrating so much  on  “things”  that we worry,  have pity parties,  complain,  get bitter,  and feel like we’re not worth  as much as other people.     We are thinking more  of ourselves  than we are of God.

So,  Jesus noted  that birds are well taken care of  by the Lord,  even though they don’t work hard and worry  like we do.     Then,  in Matthew 6:26,  Jesus asks us,  “Are you not  worth much more  than they?”    

We need to think  about our worth  in God’s eyes — not the world’s eyes.

The world cheats,  kills,  enslaves,  abuses,  lies,  steals — and does every other nasty,  evil thing  we know of.     The world is greedy,  hateful,  spiteful,  and proud.     And,  the world does not count anyone else  as being worthy of anything.     They want to dominate over everyone else  and keep everything for themselves  because they think  they are better than others.     They paint a grossly ugly picture  of sin.

We are sinners, too.     Too much of the time,  we don’t paint such a nice picture  of our being.     We are in desperate need  of forgiveness,  also.     We need  to let God be God  in our lives.     God needs  to guide our living,  thinking,  and being.     And,  when He does,  we become His dear child — then God makes us worthy  of eternal life.     Life here on earth  will still  have its trials and pains,  but we will be on our way  to our heavenly home.

All we did  to become worthy is  to trust and believe  in Jesus,  our Savior.     None of the “things”  in this world are able to make us worthy.     None of our good works  make us worthy — neither does our pride,  strength,  knowledge,  talents,  or anything else.     Only faith  in the gift of salvation  through Jesus Christ alone  makes anyone worthy.     If a person does not have faith  in Jesus alone,  they simply are not letting God  make them worthy.

That is why John 1:12  tells us,

But as many as received Him,  to them  He gave the right  to become children  of God,  even to those who believe  in His name.

And then,  1 John 3:1  says,

See how great a love the Father has bestowed  upon us,  that we should be called  children of God;  and such we are.     For this reason  the world does not know us,  because it did not know Him.

Whatever happens in this world,  faith makes us worthy  to be a bona-fide child  of God.     Basing our self-worth  on that truth,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  thank You  for loving us  as Your very own dear children.     Let us always remember  to draw near  to You in faith,  hope,  and love.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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Beloved

May 25, 2019

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Beloved

In many places  throughout God’s word,  our Savior is called  the “Beloved”.     We are also called  God’s “beloved”  throughout His word.     Just a few examples could include:

Colossians 3:12    
And so,  as those who have been chosen of God,  holy and beloved,  put on a heart of compassion,  kindness,  humility,  gentleness and patience…

1 Thessalonians 1:4
Knowing,  brethren  beloved by God,  His choice of you…

Jude 1:1    
To those who are the called,  beloved  in God the Father,  and kept for Jesus Christ….

We might be puzzled and wonder,  “If we’re so beloved by God,  why is it  that so many people  don’t like us?”     Why do people have such disdain  for those  who strive to live  according to God’s word?     They mock Christian ethics  and avoid those  who profess Christ.     It’s pretty hard  to feel  “beloved”  by God  under these circumstances.

Before we start feeling a bit bitter  and sorry for ourselves,  we need to remember  how people reacted  to Jesus Christ,  the very “beloved” Son  of God,  when He came  to this earth.     Jesus certainly did have a following  of faithful people,  who loved Him  and the gospel He preached.     But,  there were many others,  who jealously hated Him  because they wanted  to retain religious leadership  and have the people look up to them  as being ever so righteous.

They didn’t want  to be considered sinners,  who needed to repent  and ask the Lord  for forgiveness.     It was so irritating  when Jesus preached  about sin and judgment.     So, how did these people act  towards Jesus?     They would try  to accuse Him  of working on the Sabbath,  claiming no real man of God  would do such a thing.     They accused Him  of being a wine bibber  and for hanging out  with sinners.     They said it was wrong for Him  to forgive sins  because He was making out  like He was God —  By the way, Jesus is God  in the flesh.     They mocked Him,  spit on Him,  beat Him  and crucified Him — all under false pretenses.

No matter what happened,  Jesus knew  He was the “Beloved Son of God” — and He acted accordingly.     And,  as “beloved” children of God,  we need to act accordingly.     That is why Hebrews 3:1  tells us,

Therefore,  holy brethren,  partakers of a heavenly calling,  consider Jesus,  the Apostle and High Priest  of our confession.

It simply does not matter  what people think  about us.     What really matters  is what God thinks  of us.     Are we being faithful  the way Jesus was faithful?     Do we put God’s word  far above this world’s miserly opinions?

We don’t have  to get bitter  about how the world treats us.     Jesus didn’t.     The Apostles and early Christians didn’t.     And,  as far as that goes,  God’s children,  down through the ages,  have suffered a lot  in remaining true  to the Lord.     They have all realized  that they are  “beloved”  and that whatever happens here  is just a refining and testing  of our faith.

We can be content and satisfied  knowing we are God’s  “beloved”  and that we really are eternally safe  in our heavenly Father’s everlasting arms.     And so we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  thank You  for making us  Your dearly “beloved”.     Everything is alright,  so long as we stay  in You.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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What Good Is the Resurrection?

May 24, 2019

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What Good Is the Resurrection?

So many people couldn’t care less  about the resurrection.     They might think,  “Ya sure.    That’s what those Christians talk about,  but so what?     What’s that  to me?”

They don’t have a clue  about how greatly  that affects the eternal salvation — or damnation — of every living soul.     Nobody will escape having to face the truth  about the resurrection — come their judgment day.     What we believe and trust in  right now  is a matter  of life or death.

We really do need to consider  what good  the resurrection can possibly be.     It’s all about power,  and truth,  and faithfulness,  and love.     Keeping a promise requires power,  truth,  faithfulness, and love.     The resurrection is living proof  of God’s power,  truthfulness,  faithfulness, and compassionate love  for each and every one of us.

There are a number of places  in the Old Testament  where we are promised  that the proof  of our Savior will be His resurrection.     All of Isaiah 53 foretells Jesus’ suffering,  death,  and resurrection.     Another reference is Psalm 16:10,

For Thou will not abandon my soul  to Sheol;    
Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One  to see the pit.

And,  yet another reference is Psalm 49:9,

That he should live on  eternally;    
That he should not  undergo decay.

These promises were made over 700 years  before Christ was born.     The fact that these promises  (and many more)  were all kept only  in the suffering,  death,  and resurrection of Jesus  is proof  that God really does have the power  to do what He says.     It is proof   that God is truthful,  faithful,  and loving.

God is not a liar.     He does not renege  on His promises.     He is not weak.     Nor is He unloving.     Those proofs sit right  in front of us.     So,  what are we going to do about them?     If we ignore them,  we are condemning ourselves.     It’s not good  or smart  to ignore the Almighty LORD God of all,  who has proven His love  for us  to this extreme.

Because God has kept all  of these promises,  we can rest assured  that He really will keep His promises  about Jesus’ return  and a Judgment Day  for absolutely everyone  who has ever lived.     Are we ready for that?     We have no idea  when that will be.     How much longer  are we going  to keep on pushing  all the wrong buttons  for the answers  to our needs  in this life — and for eternity?

When the first Christians grasped the immensity  of the gift of forgiveness  that they were freely given  in Jesus Christ,  they burst out  with a joy  that spread like wildfire.     Jesus’ resurrection means our resurrection  unto life  — forever and ever.

So,  what good is the resurrection?     We need  to figure it out.     Time flies  when we’re having fun.

Rejoicing  in God’s power,  truthfulness,  faithfulness,  and love in Jesus Christ,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  Your love,  compassion,  and forgiveness are awesome  far beyond description.     Thank You  for so powerfully saving us  according to the truths  of Your promises.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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The Love of Christ

May 23, 2019

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The Love of Christ

We all have a lot of things  that control us.     The need for food,  shelter  and clothing encourage us  to get a job.     Our need for recreation and rest  lead us  to provide for those needs.     The need  for an education controls our choices and efforts  in that area.    We could even get  into the nitty-gritty  of piled up laundry  controlling our need to wash clothes.     Our desire  to not land in jail  can control how we drive our vehicles,  how we respect the property of others,  and how we respect the rights  of others.

When all is said and done,  we all live  with a lot of controls.     Usually we accept all  of these  as a part of life.     But,  there is a much better motivator.     Paul had to describe his motivation  in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15,

For the love of Christ  controls us,  having concluded this,  that one died  for all,  therefore all died;  and He died  for all,  that they who live  should no longer live  for themselves,  but for Him  who died and rose again  on their behalf.

Christian behavior is controlled  by the suffering,  death,  and resurrection of Jesus Christ.     When we are tempted  in any way,  we think about how greatly  God has loved us  in Christ.     We see  that we are sinners,  who deserve nothing but the pains of hell,  and yet,  in  “the love of Christ”  we have been set free.     We are freely  given  forgiveness and all the glories  of eternal life,  all because we believe  what God has done for us  in Christ.     Remembering this  controls our lives.

Remembering  “the love of Christ”  suffering and being horrifically tortured — just because He loves us — controls our behavior  towards Him.     We don’t want  to abuse the One  who loves us.     We want and need  to be loved.     And there is no better love  than the love  of our Creator and Redeemer.

That is why Paul was urging the Corinthian Christians  to remember the love and grace  that was extended to them.     We have that very same love and grace extended  to us.     Are we going to remember  how and why it was extended  to even us?     When we do  rightly remember,  it will control our living.

All of this is a gift  from God.     A gift.

Let us accept this gift  of love  and let  “the love of Christ”  control our living.     Then,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  Your love does so many things  for us.     We need Your love  to control us.     Thank You for leading us  to remember Your love,  so that it may lead us  to eternal life.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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For His Name’s Sake

May 22, 2019

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For His Name’s Sake

There is a temptation prevalent  to all mankind.     It’s the feeling  that we can’t be forgiven  because we’ve just sinned way  too much.     We give up hope  in God’s almighty power  to forgive  because we feel so unworthy.     People might even feel  that they don’t have a right  to even think about asking  for forgiveness  because they don’t deserve  to be forgiven.    Some even begin  to despise the thought  of anyone else saying  there is total forgiveness  in Christ Jesus.

But,  all those feelings are nothing but temptations  from Satan  to deny the holiness, power,  and loving promises  of God Almighty.     It’s like thinking the Bible is not telling the truth  when it talks about full forgiveness  for all  who turn back to God  for the forgiveness so desperately needed.

There are many places throughout the Bible  that stress how the Lord will not turn anyone away  when they ask for forgiveness.     One of those places is Isaiah 42:3, where it talks  about our Savior,

A bruised reed  He will not break,    
And a dimly burning wick  He will not extinguish.

When we are torn  with feelings of guilt,  we are that  “bruised reed”.     When we feel our faith  in our Savior is about burned out,  we are that  dimly burning wick”.     God promises  that He certainly will not snuff us out  or smash us.     Instead our Savior wants  to gently envelop us  in His loving arms  and welcome us  with a most tender love and reassurance.

The apostle John  wrote much  about this love  of God.     In his writings he explains God’s faithful love for us all  and how God wants His love  to shape and mold our hearts and minds,  so that,  we too,  will begin to live  in a godly love.     And for all of those who have fears and doubts,  John says  in 1 John 2:12,

I am writing to you,  little children,  because your sins  are forgiven you  for His name’s sake.

For His name’s sake.     That’s something we need  to understand.     God is holy and He is incapable  of lying.     When God makes a promise,  He surely will keep it,  because He wants  to keep His name holy  and without spot.     The whole Bible is filled  with the promises of God’s love and forgiveness  for all  who turn to Him.     He’s got  to keep His promise  of forgiveness and eternal life  through faith  in Jesus Christ.     He said it.     It’s a holy promise based  on His holy name.

So,  what are we waiting for?     Let us daily lay all our sins and burdens  before our Savior,  and remind Him,  saying,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  thank You for promising  to forgive all of our sins  for Your holy name’s sake.     Thank You  for assuring us  that Your promises are  for everyone  who turns back  to You.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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I Feared the People

May 21, 2019

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I Feared the People

Our fear  of people’s opinions can really warp us  into what we should not be.     When we are constantly trying  to please people  out of fear,  we will never have the peace and assurance  only God can give.     God alone is the one we need  to fear and respect.     We know for sure  the Lord loves us  because Jesus suffered and died for our sins — but,  in the same breath,  we need  to have a great respect  for the sacrifice God has made  on our behalf.     We should never allow our earthly fears  of people  to lead us  into sin.

King Saul did that,  and in doing so,  fell further and further  into sin,  because he just could not bring himself  to trust in God  above all things.     In 1 Samuel 15  we can read about  how Saul was commanded  to utterly destroy the Amalekites  and all they had.     And,  he was given the power  to do just that — but,  he didn’t rightly obey.     Instead of utterly destroying everything  as commanded,  he kept alive a bunch of the livestock, along with the king  of Amalek.

When the prophet Samuel saw that,  he said  in 1 Samuel 15:22-23,

Has the LORD as much delight  in burnt offerings and sacrifices    
As in obeying the voice  of the LORD?    
Behold,  to obey  is better than sacrifice,    
And to heed  than the fat of rams.    
For rebellion is  as the sin of divination,    
And insubordination is  as iniquity and idolatry.    
Because you have rejected the word  of the LORD,    
He has also rejected you  from being king.

And what did King Saul reply  to that scathing denunciation?

I have sinned;  I have indeed transgressed the command  of the LORD  and your words,  because  I feared the people  and listened  to their voice.

Yes,  we like to blame others  for our sins.     As king,  Saul had full authority  to do  as God commanded him.     The people would have obeyed him,  if he had not caved in so quickly.     He didn’t have to listen  to any suggestions  from the people,  who also knew full well  what the Lord had commanded.     And,  that’s how it is  with us.

We might become fearful  of those around us,  when they boldly  try to lead us away from God  and all that He has told us  in His word.     We know  how God has proven  that He is LORD of lords  and God of gods.     We know  how He created us,  how He paid  for our sins,  and how He will be our Judge.     He will be the final Judge  of absolutely everyone.     So,  whom should we fear?

Let’s give honor  where honor is due  and respect  where respect is due.     Honor and respect certainly are  not due  to those  who dishonor and disrespect  their Creator and Redeemer.     When we honor and respect the LORD,  He has a promise  for us.     David expresses that  in Psalm 31:19-20,

How great is Thy goodness,    
Which Thou hast stored up  for those  who fear Thee,    
Which Thou hast wrought  for those  who take refuge in Thee,    
Before the sons  of men!    
Thou dost hide them  in the secret place  of Thy presence    
       from the conspiracies  of man;    
Thou dost keep them secretly  in a shelter    
       from the strife  of tongues.

God will protect us  unto eternal salvation.     And so we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  I take refuge  in You,  for You alone can lead and guide me  into the way  I need to go.     Keep me safe  in Your strength.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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Your Own Understanding

May 20, 2019

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Your Own Understanding

Our desire  to be independent,  solve our own problems,  take care of our own needs and desires,  and set our own goals is a universal characteristic.     We need  to look out for ourselves  because this is a world  in which others will try  to take advantage of us.     But,  along with being independent  we also need  to be very dependent.

It is the LORD God who made us  and redeemed us  in Jesus Christ.     He knows exactly what our real needs are,  and what our situation  in life is really like.     Although we cannot depend on people,  we most certainly can  and should depend  on our LORD and Redeemer.     God has proven His love  for us.     We need  to acknowledge that  and learn to trust Him  in every kind of situation — whether it’s scary and  painful,  or even filled  with joy and happiness.

Because only God knows the intricacies  and true realities  of absolutely every given situation,  we need to constantly go  to Him  for the guidance we need — even when  we might not think  we need guidance.     Imagining we can handle all of life  without God’s daily help  is very dangerous — not to mention  arrogant and prideful.

God is God.     He always has been God  and He always will be God.     There is no getting around that.     Because God has proven His almighty love  in sending Jesus Christ  to be our Savior  from sin,  we need to see that  and accept it  with our whole hearts and lives.     We can’t change this truth — nor should we ever want  to change this truth.     It’s our only hope  for life.

In almost all of our circumstances,  we don’t understand the “whys”  and  “wherefores”  of what is going on.     That is because we are so limited  as mere human beings.     We are totally incapable of knowing  about everything that affects us.     That is why Proverbs 3:5-6 needs  to serve as a constant reminder  as we face each day.     It says,

Trust in the LORD  with all your heart,    
And  do not lean  on your own understanding.    
In all your ways  acknowledge Him,    
And He will make your paths  straight.

We need to remind ourselves every day  of God’s almighty love  and understanding  of all things.     As we acknowledge God’s authority  as our Creator and Redeemer,   “He will make your paths  straight.”     We are not  to be doubting God’s love and mercy  for any and every situation.     God has proven His love.     We are to look  to His love  in Jesus Christ,  and admit He is trustworthy  in keeping His promises  to us.

As we rejoice  in the LORD always,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  Your love for us  is so pure and holy.     Thank You  for condescending  to faithfully love us  in Jesus Christ.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods

 

Pray for our country.

 

This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

 

The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30

 

Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

 

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4

 

Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13

 

Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1

 

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3

 

Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12

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