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Let Your Mind Dwell on These Things

January 14, 2019

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Let Your Mind Dwell on These Things

A number of years ago,  I worked  in an adult basic education class.     Many of the students were immigrants.     Many others were there  because the court ordered them  to be there.     With their troubled backgrounds,  they often had difficulty concentrating  on their work.

During one class,  I noted  that “James” seemed more disturbed than usual  and asked him what was troubling him.     He related  how earlier in the day  he was walking down the street  and saw a police car park nearby.     He was gripped with fear  and began running.     The officers pursued him  and took him down.

I asked  “James”  what he had done wrong.     He said,  “Nothing!     I was just walking  to the store.”

Then I asked him  why he ran.     “James”  looked confused and said,  “I don’t know.     I just didn’t want  to go to jail again.”

In James’  mind  anything connected  with the law  was to be feared  and avoided.     Although James knew  he had done nothing wrong,  his mind  dwelt only  on his inordinate fears  of the law.     He had no confidence  in his knowledge  that he had been living rightly  within the law.     So we talked about thinking  about all the good things he had been doing  and could be doing  in the future.     And we talked  about all the good things  the laws do  for everybody.     They truly are a good thing  that helps us  every day.

We need  to think  about good things.     People who allow their minds  to grovel  in the gutters  day after day  soon develop filthy minds.     Those who allow their minds  to covet  all sorts of things  will find themselves  cheating and stealing  to get what they want.     Others who allow their minds  to build up hatreds  towards others  find that some day  they act out their hatred  and end up  in trouble.

If we dwell  on all that is evil and wrong  in this world,  we will become discouraged and depressed.     In order to remain  in the truths  of our Lord and Savior,  we need  to follow the advice given  in Philippians 4:8,

Finally,  brethren,  whatever is true,  whatever is honorable,  whatever is right,  whatever is pure,  whatever is lovely,  whatever is  of good repute,  if there is any excellence  and  if anything worthy  of praise,  let your mind  dwell  on these things.

In thinking about that,  God……. is true,  honorable,  right,  pure,  lovely,  of good repute,  most excellent,  and worthy of all our praise.     To keep things  in the right perspective,  we should  let our minds dwell  on all that God is  and all that He does for us.     Then,  instead of being fearful and depressed,  we will be enabled  to fix our eyes  on all the good God has done  for us  in Jesus Christ — and on all the wonders  of our heavenly home  that awaits us.

Dwelling  on all that is good,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  You created all things  in a power and beauty  far beyond anything we can fathom — and,  Your power brought Jesus  to this earth  as our Savior,  just as You prophesied.     Let us always look  to Your love and goodness  in Jesus Christ,  that we may see things rightly.”

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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As Beloved Children

January 13, 2019

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As Beloved Children

Most beloved children have a great desire  to be just like their daddy.      They look up to their dad  as he helps them and they love the assurance  he gives them.     With their dad nearby,  they feel safe and secure.     It’s just a good feeling.     Just because their dad is good and strong,  they want to be  just like him.

We need  to look at our heavenly Father  and all the ways He has shown love  and care for us.     There is no greater safety  or assurance for us  than what is  with our Lord.     We need to learn  to be just like Him.     That is why Ephesians 5:1 reminds us,

Therefore,  be imitators of God,  as beloved children.

As we look at all the good things  God has done  for us  in all of creation  and the salvation He gives us  in Christ,  we see how good and right  He is.    Wouldn’t it be wonderful  to be so good and right — just like our heavenly Father?     There is no deviousness or wickedness  in our heavenly Father.     He is always patient,  kind,  good,  and loving towards us all,  as He forgives us  for our wrongs  and has mercy on us  when we fail Him.

As we pay attention  to our heavenly Father  in all of His goodness  and strength,  we see  that He hates everything evil  and has promised us  that He will destroy all evil.       That will be a great relief!     Then bad things won’t be happening any more.     Our God has promised us  that no murderer,  idolater,  liar,  witch,  sorcerer,  or filthy person of any sort  will be able  to enter heaven.

Ephesians 5:1 told us  to “be imitators of God”.     That means we,  too,  should hate everything evil   just like God does — which would include all lies,  witchcraft,  sorcery,  and other wrongdoing.     All those things  are being glorified  by many these days.     So many laugh and joke  about loving evil things.     Actually,  they are mocking God  and making out like they are better  than God.     They joke  that their evil  is more fun  than trusting God.

Even though  God would like  to save them  and have mercy on them,  they don’t give a hoot  about being saved  from anything evil.     Nevertheless,  God still patiently extends His offer  of forgiveness and salvation  through faith  in Jesus Christ.     But,  they just laugh at the mere suggestion.     That is why God says  in Isaiah 65:2-3,

I have  spread out My hands  all day long  to a rebellious people,  who walk  in the way  which is not good,  following their own thoughts,  a people who continually  provoke Me  to My face.

It is not good  to provoke the LORD God Almighty  like that.     He made us.     We did not make ourselves — and we cannot save ourselves.     We can’t even take our next breath  without God allowing it.     Those people  who choose to love  what God hates  will someday find themselves  locked out of heaven  and any happiness  they might have hoped for.

It shouldn’t be all that hard  for us  to figure out  that we are blessed  when we learn to love what God loves  and hate what God hates.     That is why 3 John 1:11 says,

Beloved,  do not imitate  what is evil,  but what is good.     The one who does good  is of God;  the one who does evil  has not seen God.

I don’t know about you,  but I want  to know God  as my heavenly Father  for all eternity.     Just because God has shown so much love  for me  in Jesus Christ,  I want  to do my best  to imitate Him  and do only what is good.     I know I won’t be perfect at it,  but my heavenly Father lovingly forgives  and helps me  along the way.

As God’s beloved child,  we gladly say,  “Hallelujah!     Abba!     Father!     Your love and forgiveness  are marvelous beyond words.     Help me  to live  as Your beloved child.”

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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They Are My Counselors

January 12, 2019

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They Are My Counselors

It’s so nice  to have someone  to really talk things over with — someone you can trust — someone whose wisdom you can value — someone who is faithful,  successful,  and conscientious  in all their work — someone who is honestly loving and good.

The writer of Psalm 119 found counselors like that.     He says  in Psalm 119:24,

Thy testimonies also are my delight;   
They are my counselors.

 This psalmist was so glad  to have God’s word  guide him  in his decision making.     It is ultimately God  who does all the guiding,  and it is God’s word  that contains many,  many counsels pertaining  to all sorts of aspects  of our lives.     As the psalmist read the scriptures daily,  he found  all sorts of treasures  of wisdom,  the works of God’s creation,  the works of God’s ways  in salvation,  the fulfillment of God’s prophecies  that proved God’s eternal power…..

All of God’s word  becomes our best counselors  because it has been proven  to be eternally true and faithful.     That is why  the psalmist  was so delighted.     What a find!     When the psalmist faced problems  with proud and arrogant enemies,  he found counsel  in God’s word  and says  in Psalm 119:50,

This is my comfort in my affliction,   
That Thy word has revived me.

God’s children  down through the ages  have found comfort  in God’s word  in their every affliction.     God’s word  gives us the strength  to stand up  for the truth  and live  in the love and salvation  God gives us  in Jesus Christ.

When we need a good counselor,  we can open up  God’s word.     There  we will be delighted to find the comfort and peace we need.     There  we will find the hope  of our salvation  in the fulfilled promises  of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.     There  we will be assured  of all God’s ways  that are good and right  for us — leading us  to our heavenly home.

We can trust God’s word.     Everything He says  in the Bible  will strengthen and lead us  in the ways  that will be  for our eternal benefit.     In God’s word  we can see how deeply He has loved us.     There we can see how faithful God has been  towards us,  even when we have fallen  into all sorts  of sins.     There we can see  that God alone  has the power  to fulfill His word  and that He alone  can be trusted  to be good and righteous  in all His ways.

There is nothing better than going  to God’s word  for the counsel we need.

Trusting in the rightness of God,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     My Lord,  thank You so much  for patiently counseling me,  even when I’ve been straying  and all mixed up.     Your faithfulness is awesome  and marvelous.”

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 Will Not Leave You as Orphans

January 11, 2019

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I Will Not Leave You as Orphans

My father was an orphan way back  in 1891.     Back in those days,  most orphans were farmed out  as indentured servants — as he was.     Whoever took them  into their home  was contracted  to feed,  clothe,  and have them educated — but,  all orphans were expected  to work hard  for that family  until they were 18 years of age.     Then,  they were to be given a fresh set of clothes,  a little bit of money,  and released  from their indenture contract.     Life is different today.

Whatever the time  in history,  being an orphan  is a traumatic experience.     In Jesus’ day,  it was no less traumatic.     Just before Jesus was  to die  for our sins,  He gave words  of comfort  to the disciples,  who did not really understand  what was going on.     But,  Jesus knew  ahead of time  that they would be horrified,  distressed,  and traumatized  with all the events  that were about  to take place.     So,  in John 14:18,  we read Jesus’ words  of comfort  to the puzzled disciples.     Jesus said,

I will not leave you  as orphans;  I will come  to you.

And that came true.     Even though Jesus died,  the disciples were able  to see Him again  in His resurrected body.     But,  even better than that,  the Holy Spirit always lives  in the hearts  of all those  who love the Lord  and believe  in His words of promise  throughout the Bible.

People will always  have times  of sorrow and loneliness — times of great distress  and deep hurt.     But,  every Christian can be assured  that we are definitely  not forsaken.     God will provide  for our needs,  whether they be physical,  emotional,  or spiritual.

Remembering Jesus’ sure promise  to each and every one of us,  we can begin  to praise the Lord  for His lovingkindness,  mercy,  and power  to save us.     We can let God come  into our hearts  as we abide  in His word  and praise Him  for His salvation,  love,  and mercy.

Then,  in the peace  of knowing  that God has adopted us  as His own dear children,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  You never have left me — even though I have often  left You.     Let Your love draw me  even closer  to Your heart.”

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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We May Have Confidence

January 10, 2019

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We May Have Confidence

It just feels good  to have confidence.     A feeling  of being unsure  is so uncomfortable  that we always do our best  to do something  to put ourselves  at ease again.     Most of the time  when we’re thinking  about our level of confidence,  we’re in a situation  where we’re being tested  for something — or we’re starting a new job — or possibly waiting  for the outcome of a business transaction.

Whatever our situation,  we do something   to boost our level  of confidence — like study extra hours,  strive to quickly learn all the aspects  of the new job,  or research the best strategies  for our business.

What would our confidence level be  if Jesus were to appear  right in front of us  right now?     Would recollections of all our sins be wildly flashing  through our minds  as we tremble and fear  His eternal judgment?     Or,  would we be delighted  and filled with awe  as we lovingly worship  the King of kings?

It will all depend  on what we have done  to prepare  for Jesus’  coming.     How can we prepare?     The answer  is in 1 John 2:28,

And now,  little children,  abide in Him,  so that when He appears,  we may have confidence  and not shrink away  from Him  in shame  at His coming.

“Abide in Him.”      Every day,  we need  to be in fellowship  with Jesus  with time spent  in studying His word,  meditating on it,  and praying.     And,  stepping further than that,  in love and appreciation  for Jesus’ love  for us,  we are to love Him  in return — by striving to live  according to His words  of guidance,  as found  in the Bible.

In other words,  we are to love God  as we have been loved  by Him.     Abiding in Him  is simply  loving and obeying Him — appreciating  all that God has done for us  in Jesus Christ.     As we keep on remembering  how greatly  Jesus has loved us  by suffering and dying  on the cross  to pay for our sins,  our love will grow — and our desire to obey the wisdom and goodness  of His words  will increase,  because  we will see  how awesome  God’s ways are.

Let us “abide in Him”  so that  our confidence  in Him  may grow.

Then,  resting in His love,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord Jesus,  You are my confidence  because You have done  all things  for me.”

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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Knowing from Whom You Have Learned

January 9, 2019

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Knowing from Whom You Have Learned

In listening and learning  from others,  we need to use good judgment.     If the speaker is noted  for being a gossip,  slanderer,  liar,  or coming a bit  from the “deep end”,   it is only prudent  that we not take their words to heart.     If the speaker is noted  for dependability,  truthfulness,  and being of an honest,  good reputation,  we can be more sure  that their words are trustworthy.

And,  if the words are straight  from the Bible,  shown in their whole context  and with other supporting verses — we definitely need  to listen up — because we are hearing  what God Almighty  has to say on the subject.     As we read the Bible,  we need to remember 2 Timothy 3:16  —  “All Scripture is inspired  by God.”

Because the truthfulness,  dependability,  and faithfulness of the Bible has been proven  in so many fulfilled prophecies,  we need to keep that in mind  as we look for guidance  in our daily living.     If we want help in personal,  difficult times,  we shouldn’t go for help  to someone  whose life is quite flaky and questionable.     Guidance from the God who created,  sustains,  and redeemed us  is a much better source of truth and help.

The young preacher,  Timothy,  needed help  in confronting all sorts of evil,  false preachers, who preached only because  they loved to feel important  and wanted to get rich off the people.     When Paul instructed Timothy  in facing these godless men,  he wrote in 2 Timothy 3:13-17,

But evil men  and impostors  will proceed  from bad to worse,  deceiving  and being deceived.

You,   however,  continue in the things  you have learned  and become convinced of,  knowing  from whom  you have learned them;  and that from childhood  you have known the sacred writings  which are able  to give you the wisdom  that leads to salvation  through faith  which is in Christ Jesus.

All Scripture is inspired  by God  and profitable  for teaching,  for reproof,  for correction,  for training in righteousness;  that the man of God  may be adequate,  equipped for every good work.

Just as Timothy had to face  all sorts of  “evil men and impostors”,  even so now,  2,000+ years later,  we have to face  all kinds of false teachings  that are intended  to take us away  from the truths  of our God and Savior.

But,  as this world  proceeds  “from bad to worse,  deceiving and being deceived,”  we have one sure thing we can depend on — and that is the word of God — the Bible.     As times get tougher  and  more and more people  choose to be deceived,  it is more important than ever  to become strong  in the truths of God.

Let us open up our Bibles every day.     Read and study  what God has to say  to us.     Have fellowship  with God through prayer and meditation  on His word to us.     Every word written there is  for our eternal good and salvation.     Do we dare  to dismiss it?

That would be pure foolishness and a shameless,  unspeakable audacity.

Finding strength and peace  in God’s words  to us,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     My Lord,  thank You  for showing me the power  of Your eternal word,  in keeping all  of Your promises  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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Praying Thus to Himself

January 8, 2019

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Praying Thus to Himself

Prayer is normally  a means  of worshiping  and earnestly entreating  the Lord  for our needs — needs that we realize  we cannot fulfill  because of our weaknesses.     But,  Jesus shows us  that some people  are so proud,  they will not humble themselves  to ask God  for anything,  so they pray  to themselves,  instead of  to God.     Jesus’ parable is found  in Luke 18:9-14,

And He also told this parable  to certain ones  who trusted  in themselves  that they were righteous,  and viewed others  with contempt:

“Two men went up  into the temple  to pray,  one a Pharisee,  and the other a tax-gatherer.     The Pharisee  stood and was praying thus  to himself,  ‘God,  I thank Thee  that I am not like  other people:  swindlers,  unjust,  adulterers,  or even like this tax-gatherer.     I fast  twice a week;  I pay tithes  of all that I get.’

“But the tax-gatherer,  standing some distance away,  was even unwilling to lift up his eyes  to heaven,  but was  beating his breast,  saying,  ‘God,  be merciful to me,  the sinner!’

“I tell you,  this man  went down  to his house justified  rather than the other;  for everyone who exalts himself  shall be humbled,  but he who humbles himself  shall be exalted.”

A  “prayer”  is not a prayer  unless it is honestly addressed  to our Lord  and Redeemer.     The self-righteous Pharisee  was doing nothing more  than dialoguing  with himself,  patting himself  on the back  for all the things  he felt  made him better  than other people.

This Pharisee was not honestly grateful  for the supposedly righteous life  he was able to lead.     Quite to the contrary,  he was only arrogantly assuming  that he was better  than other people.     In his spiritual blindness  and grossly sinful pride,  he was elevating himself  as being better than others,  when he was not.     In his desire  to set himself  above others,  he chose  to overlook  every good thing  that God does through others.     Paul speaks  to such people  in Romans 12:3,  where he says,

I say to every man among you  not to think more highly  of himself  than he ought to think;  but to think  so as  to have sound judgment…

Because we all have the sinful tendency  to be proud,  we are all  in need  of sound judgment  as we consider our own lives.     Paul has some words  of guidance  for all of us  regarding our self-concepts  in 2 Corinthians 10:12,

When they  measure themselves  by themselves,  and compare themselves  with themselves,  they are without understanding.

Instead of setting ourselves up  as the ideal measure  for all of mankind’s  worth,  we need  to set up our heavenly Father  as our ideal.    Ephesians 5:1 says,  “Be imitators  of God,  as beloved children.”     That is why Paul warns in 2 Corinthians 10:18,

For  not  he  who commends himself  is approved,  but  whom the Lord commends.

When we pray,  let us really pray  to our Lord and Savior,  giving Him alone  thanks and praise  for everything He does  for us.     Let us not vainly think  of ourselves  as better,  smarter,  more talented,  more holy,  or more successful  than others,  because God does not see us  that way.

As we humbly bow  before the Lord of all,  and implore His forgiveness,  we will receive the peace  of being justified  by His grace  through faith.     Then we will be enabled to say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  Your almighty love  in Jesus Christ  truly washes away  all my sins.     Thank You  for Your grace and mercy  towards everyone  who comes 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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