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Whatever You Do

September 12, 2017

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Whatever You Do

We all have different jobs  in life.     Whether we’re changing diapers,  fixing brakes,  writing software,  managing a store,  or whatever  —  it matters  how we do our job.

If our job is done carelessly,  we can seriously  affect the lives  of others.     In the case of mechanics,  carelessness could even be the cause  of another’s death.     Carelessness  in the medical field  can cause death  and suffering.     Carelessness  in the software business  can cause untold damage  and heartache to many.     Even unchanged diapers  cause unnecessary suffering.

So,  no matter who we are,  it matters  how we do our job.     Each and every job  in life  is important to others,  and we need  to see that  as we go about  our daily work.     Every job needs  to be done  with love  and concern for all those  affected by it.

That is why Paul says  in Colossians 3:17,

And whatever you do  in word  or deed,  do all  in the name  of the Lord Jesus,  giving thanks  through Him  to God the Father.

Notice how Paul emphasizes  that even our every day words are  to be “in the name of the Lord Jesus“.     As we go about our work,  we do a good job  just because  we are doing it  for our Lord.     And,  as we go about our work,  we watch our tongue  for Jesus’ sake.

Why should we be doing this  for Jesus’ sake?     Because He chose us  through His word  to come to know Him  as our Lord and Savior  —  and because working  in this way  builds a loving bond  of unity between people.     Paul says it this way  in Colossians 3:12-16,

And so,  as those who have been chosen  of God,  holy and beloved,  put on a heart  of compassion,  kindness,  humility,  gentleness  and patience;  bearing with one another,  and forgiving each other,  whoever has a complaint  against any one;  just as the Lord  forgave you,  so also  should you.

And beyond all these things  put on love,  which is the perfect bond  of unity.     And let the peace  of Christ rule  in your hearts,  to which indeed  you were called  in one body;  and be thankful.

Let the word  of Christ  richly dwell  within you,  with all wisdom  teaching and admonishing  one another  with psalms  and hymns  and spiritual songs,  singing with thankfulness  in your hearts  to God.

How vital  we all are  in making life  more bearable  to those around us.     As we meditate  on God’s love  for us  in Jesus Christ,  let us imitate  that love  in our jobs.     Then we will have joy  in living  as God’s chosen  and say,  “Hallelujah!     Our Lord’s love  is beautiful.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

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

.

O 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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 …………

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We Overwhelmingly Conquer

September 11, 2017

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We Overwhelmingly Conquer

Romans 8:37-39

But in all these things  we overwhelmingly conquer  through Him  who loved us.

For I am convinced  that neither death,  nor life,  nor angels,  nor principalities,  nor things present,  nor things to come,  nor powers,  nor height,  nor depth,  nor any other created thing,  shall be able  to separate us  from the love of God,  which is  in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We put our faith  in Jesus,  and then the troubles begin.     We are tempted  and pushed  and beat on  from every side  to see if our faith  is genuine.     Mockers despise our faith,  testing our will  to continue depending  on the Lord.     “Stuff” happens  in life  to make us wonder  if God is really caring  for us.

In all this,  Paul says  in Romans 8:33-36,

Who will bring a charge  against God’s elect?     God is the one  who justifies.     Who is the one  who condemns?     Christ Jesus is He  who died,  yes,  rather who was raised,  who is at the right hand  of God,  who also intercedes  for us.

Who shall separate us  from the love  of Christ?     Shall tribulation,  or distress,  or persecution,  or famine,  or nakedness,  or peril,  or sword?

Just as it is written,  “For Thy sake  we are being put  to death  all day long;  we were considered  as sheep  to be slaughtered.”

In these verses  Paul has listed  about every kind  of trial  a Christian can face.     It can seem overwhelming.     Nevertheless,  Paul confidently states,  But in all these things  we overwhelmingly conquer  through Him  who loved us.”

God lets us  go through all sorts  of temptations  and trials,  just so that we can be strengthened  to conquer all things  through faith  in Jesus.     If we never have a chance  to exercise  our faith,  it cannot become  really strong.     And so,  we get tested,  and then,  really tested.

Still, in all this,  we cannot glory  in our faith.     We do not conquer  because we are so great.     We conquer  because Jesus  “intercedes for us.”     All the glory  of our conquering belongs  to Jesus  who does all things  for us.

Jesus’ love  for us  did not end  on the cross.     It continues close  to us,  interceding for us  throughout our lives.     Whatever challenges  and temptations  we face  —  no matter how great  and overwhelming  our trials are  —  no matter how alone  we feel  —  we can conquer  because Jesus  “intercedes for us.”

Hebrews 13:5-6 verifies,

For He Himself has said,  “I will never  desert you,  nor will I ever  forsake you,”  so that we confidently say,  ”The Lord  is my helper,  I will not  be afraid.     What shall man  do to me?”

So,  in the midst  of our troubles,  we can say,  “Hallelujah!     The Lord  is my helper,  I will not be afraid.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

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

.

O 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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

Squandered

September 10, 2017

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Squandered

Most people  are acquainted  with Jesus’ parable  of the prodigal son  in Luke 15:11-32.     The son wanted his inheritance early,  and his father gave it  to him.     Jesus then said  in Luke 15:13,  about this self-absorbed son,

And not many days later,  the younger son  gathered everything together  and went on a journey  into a distant country,  and there  he squandered  his estate  with loose living.     

What a foolish  and sad waste.     He had so much  that he could have used  for good.     But he chose  to squander it all  to try and satisfy his lusts.     With nothing left,  he had  to get a job feeding pigs,  but was starving with that.     Finally,  in Luke 15:17-19,  Jesus said,

But  when he came  to his senses,  he said,  ‘How many  of my father’s hired men  have more than enough bread,  but I am dying here  with hunger!     I will get up  and go to my father,  and will say to him,  “Father,  I have sinned against heaven,  and in your sight;  I am no longer worthy  to be called your son;  make me  as one of your hired men.”

We,  too,  have “squandered”  a lot  of what God  has given us.    Everybody has different gifts  and talents  of all sorts  that should be used  to live lives  that glorify our Lord  with faith,  hope,  and love.     Just as the prodigal son  asked his father  for forgiveness,  we need  to ask our Lord’s forgiveness  for not using His gifts  and talents  to rightly honor Him.

The father  in Jesus’ parable  most gladly forgave his son’s sins  —  just because the son was repentant  and he loved him so.     Our Lord also longs  to forgive us  for squandering the talents He has given us.     We just need  to see  and understand  how we have “squandered” much,  and are in need  of our Savior’s forgiveness.

Understanding  and appreciating  God’s patient love  for us,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  lead us  in living rightly  for you.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

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

.

O 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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

The Greatest of These Is Love

September 9, 2017

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The Greatest of These Is Love

The Bible mentions all sorts  of gifts  God gives His children  to use  in their every day lives.     There are gifts  of knowing how to serve others,  being hospitable,  knowing how to give,  being able  to lead others,  having mercy  on those in need,  being kind,  bringing peace,  having words  of knowledge,  healing,  miracles,  prophecy,  teaching,  faith,  hope,  and love  —  plus many others.

Out of all the gifts  we might receive  from God  to use  in our every day lives,  the greatest of all  is love.     After writing  about a number of gifts,  Paul concludes  in 1 Corinthians 13:13,

But now abide  faith,  hope,  love,  these three;  but the greatest of these  is love.

We need  to know why  love is the greatest gift  we can have  and use.     We especially need to know  because the people  of today  are really messed up  in their thoughts  about love.     We see their twisted thoughts  and feelings  about love on TV,  in movies,  printed media,  the Internet  —  literally all over the place.

Because what the world calls “love”  is so ugly  and twisted,  we need to meditate  on each detail  in Paul’s definition  of love  in 1 Corinthians 13:1-10,

If  I speak  with the tongues  of men  and of angels,  but do not have love,  I have become a noisy gong  or a clanging cymbal.

And if  I have the gift  of prophecy,  and know all mysteries  and all knowledge;  and if  I have all faith,  so as to remove mountains,  but do not have love,  I am nothing.

And if  I give all my possessions  to feed the poor,  and if  I deliver my body  to be burned,  but do not have love,  it profits me nothing.

Love is patient,  love is kind,  and is not jealous;  love does not brag  and is not arrogant,  does not act unbecomingly;  it does not seek its own,  is not provoked,  does not take into account  a wrong suffered,  does not rejoice  in unrighteousness,  but rejoices  with the truth;  bears all things,  believes all things,  hopes all things,  endures all things.

Love never fails;  but if there are gifts  of prophecy,  they will be done away;  if there are tongues,  they will cease;  if there is knowledge,  it will be done away.

For we know  in part,  and we prophesy  in part;  but when the perfect comes,  the partial will be done away.

That is a long description of “love”  —  but a necessary one.     Because it is so easy  for the world  to mess up our way  of thinking,  we need to constantly  set our hearts  and minds  straight.

It is important  to remember  that everything else  will be gone  some day.     Only this true “love”  will last forever.

So,  how is our “love” doing?     If we don’t have enough of it  in our hearts,  we need to pray diligently  for this gift  from God.     We can’t get into heaven  without it.

Paul’s definition  of real “love”  shows how beautifully awesome  it is.     Wouldn’t it be wonderful  if everyone  had this gift  from God?     This is what God wants us  to have  in our lives.     Ask Him for it.

As God fills our lives  with “love”  for our Lord,  and “love”  for those around us,  we will say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  Your love  is eternally wonderful.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

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

.

O 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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

Do You Suppose

September 8, 2017

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Do You Suppose…

To suppose something is  to imagine  or assume it  to be true.     There are a lot of things  we believe are true,  even though  they are not true  in reality.     Jesus spoke  about our mistaken assumptions  when He was speaking  to a multitude  of people.     Luke 13:1-5  describes the situation,

Now on the same occasion  there were some present  who reported to Him  about the Galileans  whose blood Pilate  had mixed  with their sacrifices.     And Jesus said  to them,  “Do you suppose  that these Galileans  were greater sinners  than all other Galileans  because they suffered  this fate?     I tell you,  no,  but unless you repent,  you will all  likewise perish.     Or do you suppose  that those eighteen  on whom the tower  in Siloam fell  and killed them  were worse culprits  than all the men  who live in Jerusalem?     I tell you,  no,  but unless you repent,  you will all  likewise perish.

We assume a lot,  don’t we.     We assume  we’re rather good people,  worthy of heaven  because we’ve been rather nice  and right  in our dealings  in this life.     We’re so sure  we’re right  in all  of our opinions  —  so we judge others  because we imagine  we’re more right  than they are.

That might even be very true  in many cases.

But,  in the same breath,  we are still  all sinners,  in serious need  of God’s forgiveness  through faith  in Christ Jesus alone.

So,  when Pilate  had some Galileans killed  at the same time  that heathen sacrifices  were being made,  in God’s eyes,  those Galileans  were not  “greater sinners  than all other Galileans  because they suffered  this fate”.     We all need  repentant hearts,  just like all of them  —  or otherwise,  we will “perish”.

Jesus then mentioned the “tower  in Siloam”  that killed eighteen people.     Those people were not “worse culprits”  than any of us are.     We might  “suppose”  that we are better  in God’s eyes  — but,  our chances  of meeting disaster  are just as great as theirs.

No matter what this life brings us,  we all need  honestly repentant hearts.     It is God Almighty  that we are sinning against  with our every sin.     Our sins are not just  against  a person  —  they are against  our LORD,  and CREATOR,  and JUDGE.     So,  how can any  of us sinners  “suppose”  we are better  than anyone else?     We need more respect  for God’s eternal word.

Leaning on Jesus’ mercy  and grace,  we humbly say,  “Hallelujah!     LORD,  keep us in Your word.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

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

.

O 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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

I Stand at the Door and Knock

September 7, 2017

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I Stand at the Door and Knock

An awesome part  of God’s love  for us  is His patience,  patience,  and more patience.     We think we’re rich  and have need  of nothing.     Jesus sees  that we are wretched,  miserable,  poor,  blind  and naked.

We proudly “know about” God,  but don’t feel a need  to pray  or think  about God.     (He kinda  gets in the way  of our living,  you know.)     We feel  we can get along just fine  —  all by ourselves.     Jesus sees  that our hearts  are neither hot nor cold  towards Him,  so He says  He will spit you out of My mouth”  because of our lukewarmness  towards Him.

Huh?    Jesus wants to spit us out  because we taste yucky  to Him?     How can that be,  when we’re really nice,  well-meaning people?     We’ve never hurt anyone.     We’re tolerant  of others,  helpful,  and we don’t do  the really bad sins.

Today,  we are no different  from the Laodiceans  in Revelation 3:14-22.     They were so used to  their “lukewarm” behaviors  that they couldn’t see anything wrong  with their lives.     And since they saw themselves  as “rich” money wise,  they were pretty sure  God fully approved of them  —  sins and all  —  because they were so great.

As we sit  in our sins,  we easily get  a very skewed sense  of what we really are.     We are messed up,  and can’t seem  to get our priorities straight.

In love,  Jesus strongly advises  that we immediately go straight  to Him  and get the things  that are eternally valuable  —  before it’s too late.     Getting a true trust  in the salvation Jesus gives  through faith  in what He did  on the cross  for us  will give us gold,  clean garments,  a covering for all our shame,  and eyesalve  to heal our foggy eyesight.

When we can’t see  what is spiritually right  and good,  our blindness  will not allow us  to see well enough  to take our free gift  of salvation.     We must ask our Lord  to heal our spiritually blind eyes,  so we can see  the wonderful gifts  He wants  to give us.

We might not “enjoy”  the discipline  our Lord gives us.     It’s embarrassing,  and we don’t want others  to know  that the Lord is seeing us  as yucky.     We don’t want  to be put down  by our Lord.     But,  He will do it  —  for the sake of our salvation.

Therefore, Jesus says  in Revelation 3:19-20,

Those whom I love,  I reprove  and discipline;  be zealous therefore,  and repent.

Behold,  I stand at the door and knock;  if anyone hears My voice  and opens the door,  I will come in  to him,  and will dine  with him,  and he with Me.

Let the love of Jesus  reprove  and discipline us.     Do not reject  His loving discipline.     Instead,  let us invite Him  into our hearts,  so that we can have sweet communion  with Him  —  and enjoy  His loving fellowship.     He is the very best Friend  anyone could ever hope for.

As we think about  and keep in mind all  that Jesus has done  for us  in love  and faithfulness,  our hearts will warm up  to Him again  as we begin  to appreciate His sacrifice  for us.     Then,  as our love becomes  what it should always be  in truth,  Jesus will enjoy us  once again  —  and not want  to spit us out  any more.

If we don’t let Jesus in  when He knocks  at our heart’s door,  we are rejecting truth  and the One  who suffered and died  for us  —  the One who loves us  more than any human being  can ever imagine.

When we open up  to Jesus  and accept His love  and discipline,  we will be most blessed,  and exclaim,  “Hallelujah!     Our  Lord patiently loves  and disciplines us,  and leads us to everlasting life.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

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

.

O 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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.

 

Decisions, Decisions

September 6, 2017

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Decisions, Decisions

The disciples had willingly left their homes  in order to follow Jesus  and preach the gospel.     In Luke 18:28-30,  they wondered  what was in it  for them.     Jesus said,

Truly  I say to you,  there is no one  who has left house  or wife  or brothers  or parents  or children,  for the sake  of the kingdom of God,  who shall not receive  many times as much  at this time  and in the age  to come,  eternal life.

That is a comforting promise  to all who leave everything  in order  to serve the Lord.     These particular disciples  probably began following Jesus  with the blessings  of their families.

But,  there are many  who leave their homes  and families  in very difficult circumstances,  in order  to serve the Lord.     They are those  who find  that they must leave their families  because of the feisty unbelief  that resides  in the hearts  of those they love.     Because they have not been able  to convince their loved ones  about the truth  of salvation  in Christ alone,  it becomes better  for them to leave  and not be the cause  of further turmoil.

The Bible mentions this kind  of situation  a number of times.     One example is  in Luke 12:51-53,  where Jesus says,

Do you suppose  that I came  to grant peace  on earth?     I tell you,  no,  but rather division;  for from now on  five members  in one household  will be divided,  three against two  and two against three.     They will be divided,  father against son  and son against father,  mother against daughter  and daughter against mother,  mother-in-law against daughter-in-law  and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

We need  to prayerfully  think about such situations  and pray  for those  who seem stuck  in such circumstances.

These are times  when a person needs  to realize  that it is God’s love  and truth  that will abide forever.     It is truth  that will be rewarded  in the end.     It is God’s truth  we need  to love and honor.    Every sort of falsehood  is going to come  under judgment  and pass away.

That is why  it is more important  than anything else  to leave all falsehood  and make sure  one is living  in God’s love  and truth.     Living in the truth  will surely  be a blessing  and joy unspeakable.      Jesus has promised  that it is worth it — even though pain  must be endured here  on earth.

When we are free  from all falsehoods,  we will begin  to know the peace  and joy  of the Lord  in our hearts  and say, “Hallelujah!     The Lord’s love is great  beyond words.”

Love,
Margaret

.

A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

**************

.

The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

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

.

O 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

.

 …………

.

.

.

.