Safe in God’s Arms

Nobody can hold you like the Father. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

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Sheltered in Love

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me…” Psalm 27:5

Father God, Yours kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (Ps. 145:13), and it is Your truth that endures to all generations (Ps. 100:5).
Help us to keep our eyes on You today and our faith steadfastly planted in Your hope. Though the world may seem chaotic at times, You, O God, are the sureness upon which we rest. You never fail, nor shall Your mercies ever fade. For, when we place our trust in You, we are planting it upon He who is eternal, and good, and perfect. In You, O God, we have unending joy, solid peace, and the immutable security of Your love. When all else seems to shift and the times seem to be tumultuous, Father God, You have us carefully sheltered in Your love.

My life is hid
In the secret place.
Sheltered in love,
Held by God’s grace.

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If only…

“If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” Matthew 9:21, NKJV

If only.  You have probably spoken or thought those words before.  I know I have.  Most of the time, these words said are like wishful thinking.  But what is astounding about this woman with the issue of blood was the action she put behind the desire of her “if only.”  She wanted to be healed and spent many years seeking a cure.  When Jesus came to town, she took the opportunity presented to her.  She knew that if she could reach out to Him, she would no longer have to wonder what it would be like to experience healing.  She had faith that she would.  Her belief propelled her from dreaming about her “if only” into putting action behind it.

Her story is powerful and quite an eye-opener.  For many, the “if only” does not come with expectation.  Perhaps that is why there is a lack of action toward fulfilling it because they are not expecting a change.  But wishful thinking was not for this woman.  She had already suffered enough, and now was the time to do something about it.  Granted, she had tried to “do” something before.  But now her doing is taking her, by faith, to Jesus Christ, whom she is convinced, can make her whole.

Are you convinced enough to move your “if only” from wishful thinking to have enough faith to do something about it?  That’s the difference between the two.  Wishful thinking is just that.  It does not expect the situation to change but, it is fun to dream and think about it.  Faith says I believe that things will change.  It is not always going to be like this, and it is waiting to back that faith up with actions that declare what it believes.

Hebrews 11 tells many stories of faith done in action that moves because of one’s belief.  When Peter himself wanted to walk on water with Jesus, he didn’t sit in the boat with the others and dream about what the waves would feel like under his feet.  He lifted his legs over the side of that vessel and stood where only his faith in Jesus would allow him to stand.

Faith is not at all passive.  Nor is it just about dreaming.  It is also about doing.  What is your “if only” asking you to do today for a better tomorrow?  There are many awe-inspiring and beautiful things still to be done in the lives of God’s people.  Don’t let your “if only” be a reason to put it on the shelf to collect dust.  Instead, let your “if only” propel you forward into wholeness.

Today, we can believe for more. Hope for more. And, put faith into action because our God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” Ephesians 3:20.

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Released to Love

 

“Therefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” Luke 7:47

What does it mean to be forgiven?  We may immediately think of becoming unburdened from sins, a chance for a new start, and so forth.  And you are right.  All of that comes in the package of forgiveness.

But looking at the story of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet at the dinner, I saw something more.  I saw that she was released to love in a way she had never loved before.

She was a woman of ill-repute, according to the thoughts of one of the Pharisees in attendance at the dinner (Luke 7:39).  He knew her to be a sinner.  He saw her as a sinner.  And he labeled her as a sinner.

She had a past filled with indiscretion and immorality.  Apparently, she had made wrong attempts to fill the love gap in her life, which would come undone once the pleasure associated with that dissipated.  She conducted a futile search to find the missing ingredient in her life that would give her something more – until one day, she met Jesus.

Like the Pharisee, Jesus, too, knew her past.  Jesus knew what she had done.  But, unlike the Pharisee who only offered criticism and disdain, Jesus offered her a chance, a way out.  Jesus offered her something she could not refuse.  He offered her forgiveness.  And, when the fullness of forgiveness landed in her heart, mind, and soul, an explosive release of love came over her, and she could not contain what she was feeling.

The woman known to be of ill-repute was seen as valued and treasured, something she could probably have never imagined.  The former sinner knew she was cherished and loved by the only One who could love her perfectly despite her past, and she, in turn, had the floodgates of her heart lifted, and a rush of love for her Savior came flowing out.

Forgiveness will release an uncontainable flood of love in your life.  This woman loved a lot because she had many bad judgments against her from which she was now free.  Thousands of years have passed since then, and the same forgiveness that Jesus Christ offered her (Luke 7:48) is still available today.  Are you ready to experience that great release?

“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

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God, Our Shield | Psalms of Encouragement

“For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” Psalm 5:12

Defended.  Protected.  Covered.  God is our shield.

Held.  Watched for.  Wrapped in His love.  God is our shield.

Under His safety, we hide.  The umbrella of His grace is over us.  God is our shield.

He is over us as a mother hen is over her chicks.  He surrounds us with a hedge impenetrable.  God is our shield.

He stands at the ready, guarding.  He rebukes enemies relentlessly.  God is our shield.

He is our trust in the midst of the storm.  Our comfort when life hurts.  God is our shield.

It is to Him we run in times of chaos.  In Him, we are concealed from harm.  For, God is our shield.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:1-4

God, Our Shield Encouragement from the Psalms:

“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” – Psalm 3:3

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” – Psalm 18:2

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” – Psalm 28:7

“Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.” – Psalm 33:20

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” – Psalm 84:11

“Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.” – Psalm 115:11

“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.” – Psalm 119:114

“My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.” – Psalm 144:2

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Fret not thyself…

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers…” Psalm 37:1

When wrong is called right, and those that do right seem to suffer, what do you do?  When adversity comes because of wicked advancement, how does one respond?

As it is often true in life, how we see things with our natural eyes; they do not tell the whole story of what is.  The truth of what is is that it may seem that prosperity belongs to those who pursue greatness and success at the expense of others, but they are the most pitiful of all.  What they climb to achieve on the backs of others will soon wither and fade with time.  “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Therefore, in all that we see, the psalmist encourages us not to become worried.  The fate of the wicked is set: “For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb” (Psalm 37:2).  But you, my friend of faith, are to “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” (Psalm 37:3).

You are to “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4).

You are to “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).

God sees you: “The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever” (Psalm 37:18).  And God is here for you: “But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble” (Psalm 37:39).  Therefore, fret not thyself.

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Is Your Mind Like a Super-Center? | 5 Steps to Fix It

Image by Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay

Is your mind like a super-center, cluttered, with no real aim or focus and too many offerings for any given time?

Sometimes it is a pleasure for me to shop in a place with only one or two different offerings of any particular product.  By going to these stores, your decisions have been made simple.  It is going to be either this one or that one you will buy.  If you want to shop here, that’s it.  That is all the options you get.

It is quite the opposite experience shopping at a huge chain store or places that offer a little bit of everything under the sun.  And not only do they offer a little bit of everything, but they offer you a little bit of everything of everything to choose from.

Shopping here, I am bombarded with over twenty different offerings for one single product.  Do I get this one because it’s cheaper?  Or this one because the ingredients are more natural?  Do I get this one because it is a reliable brand that has been around since way before I was born?  Or this one because it has an international flair to it?  Do you see where I’m going with this?

I often wonder what it would be like to shop in those areas where you visit the farmers market for produce, the bakery for bread and possibly a little dessert on the side, the butcher for the perfect cut of meat, and so on.  They each have a specialty, a focus, something they have worked at, perfected, became knowledgeable about, and are now considered a professional.

Many of us have too much going on upstairs, and it is overwhelming.  There is no aim.  No focus.  No defined purpose with a whole lot of clutter.

A cluttered mind is a frazzled mind.  It is someone who is stressed out.  Someone who feels overburdened by the cares of this world and the questioning that comes with it, alongside all the particulars of life.  It can cause one who is trying to move forward to stagger with indecision in the choices they make.  Kind of like standing in front of twenty different brands of the same product, huh?

Taking all of that into consideration, how does this affect your relationship with God and your Christian growth?  Have you become so burdened down and overwhelmed that spiritually you feel stuck?  Are you so cluttered that you cannot see your way out?

When you find yourself in this position, what can you do about it?

1. Realize there is a problem. You know when you are being choked by the things around you.  You know within yourself when things have become too much for you and you need help.  A toothache can’t be healed unless you acknowledge it hurts in the first place.

Whatever is choking you, it is stopping you from bringing forth your best fruit.  Jesus told the parable of the sower and demonstrated the different types of grounds the seed falls on (read Luke 8:5-15).  In verse 14, He stated, “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”

All of us want to bear good fruit in our lives.  All of us want to see it grow to the point that it is not only helping us but others around to us.  That can’t happen by overlooking what is clearly causing a problem.

2. Acknowledge it’s getting in the way. Hebrews 12:1 says it like this: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

There is so much to glean from this one verse but let’s just focus on the part of laying “every weight” aside.  Weights are hindrances.  Hindrances are blockades to where we want to go and what we are seeking to do.  You cannot run a race effectively if you become bogged down with other stuff.  Acknowledge it is getting in the way.

When Jesus told His disciples about His journey to the cross and Peter opposed the very thought, Jesus saw it not as sympathy, but as a hindrance to His purpose and treated that episode as such, saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan…” (read Matthew 16:21-23).

See the hindrances for what they are – opposers of your purpose and employ a “Get thee behind me” mentality.

3. Quiet your soul for divine direction. This activity may be the hardest step for some because quieting ourselves is not in our modern, rushed vocabulary.

Hush the noise.  The Divine wants to speak.  “Be still, and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10).  Focus on Him, and the clutter will clear.

Choose the one needful thing, a time to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His word (Luke 10:38-42).  We have one main priority: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matthew 6:33) – and everything we say and do in life fades under the umbrella of this.  “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek,” (Psalm 27:8).

4. Refocus.  Your mind has probably been cluttered because your focus is off.  If you have ever held a camera to your eye, you quickly realize that to get a sharp image, the focus must be just right.  So, you adjust the lens until the object or person you want to take center-stage in the picture comes into proper focus.  Although many other objects may appear in the background, you keep adjusting until your main object stands out.

What is your objective for this day or this week?  How do you give it a center stage?  Or, better yet, how can refocusing help you clear away the clutter that has been hindering you thus far?

One way is, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” (1 Peter 5:7).  The clutter we face is usually because we are holding on to too many things.  Old things, bothersome things, unprofitable things, extra things that we don’t need to be carrying.  They are heavy.  They are baggage, and they weigh us down.  As you would that over-crowded closet, basement, or attic, maybe it’s time to purge some stuff so that you can focus on what really matters.  The unnecessary things you hold on to will keep you in a frazzled, cluttered state.  Let it go.  Release it to God and let His peace overshadow you (Philippians 4:6-7).

Another way to refocus is to realize all that you see before you today is not as important as where you are trying to go.  “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth,” (Colossians 3:2).  The here and now will not always be the here and now.  If our ultimate goal is to be heaven-bound, our lives and minds, and hearts should be ordered and directed in a way that reflects that.  Everything around us, all that we entangle ourselves in, will all pass away (1 John 2:17a), and yet, we spend copious amounts of our mental, emotional, and spiritual energy on it.  Go figure.

Additionally, the ultimate way to refocus ourselves is to keep God always in our view, always at the center, always as the main focus of your overall story.  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.  Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3, 4).  Saying that God is all we need is not a Christian-cliché.  It’s the truth.  And, when we give Him the proper place in our mind, heart, soul, and with all our strength (Matthew 22:36) everything else must fall in line and take a back seat.  All that cluttered mess is not allowed to do the driving in my life, for my life is being driven and directed by God and His purposes for me.

5. With God’s direction, move forward productively. Forward is the way to go.  A cluttered mind tends to keep dwelling on the past, prohibiting progression but, in Christ, we must take the same stand the Apostle Paul did when he declared, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13, 14).

Our direction is forward.  Continually looking back stunts our spiritual growth (compare Luke 9:62).  And, as we are moving forward, we don’t do so on our own.  We need wisdom.  We need divine direction (which is why it is so imperative for us to quiet ourselves before the Lord).  The Bible instructs us, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil,” (Proverbs 3:7).  We are not omniscient (all-knowing); therefore, we need direction from He who is.

Pray for God’s leading and guidance for your life.  Invite Him in the everyday decisions and choices.  One thing is for sure, with all that He deals with, God is never overwhelmed or cluttered in His thinking.  He is perfect and does all things perfectly.  God has precision thinking with determined purposes that we may never fully understand.  But one thing we can understand is through it all, He is here for us.  And He never designed us to be these over-frazzled creatures, constantly over-whelmed and stressed out by our everyday affairs.

My prayer is that something in this article resonates with you or is helpful to you in getting rid of a super-center, cluttered mindset.  Many blessings to you as you begin your journey of decluttering what’s within.

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Finding Rest in Times of Unrest

As a child being afraid of the dark, nighttime was not pleasant for me.  Some nights rest would be hard to come by and I would wake my sister from her bed to come with me so that I could get some rest.  There was something about the presence of having someone there with me in that dark time that was comforting.

Dark times and seasons of weariness can keep people balled up in a bundle of nerves.  But, when they realize someone is with them, someone is there holding their hand through the tough seasons; it helps them endure until they arrive on the other side of the difficulty they were facing.

Times of unrest may come in many ways.  The word “unrest” means that things are disturbed from their normalcy.  Suddenly, things do not look or feel like they usually do.  One can wake up to a world in a moment that is different and unfamiliar because of certain events.  Things like this make people nervous about what is going on.  That nervousness can turn to fear and panic.  But for those who have attached themselves to the Lord, throughout the Word, He speaks of comfort and rest in times of uncertainty.

Moses in the past needed reassurance about continuing to lead the children of Israel, and God spoke this promise to him: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest” (Exodus 33:14).  Those words would, no doubt, carry him through the difficult task of leading a multitude of people who were often referred to as being “stiffnecked” (vs. 5).  Those very people he led and labored over and prayed for would test his patience many times over, but I can imagine those reassuring words God spoke to him kept feeding encouragement to his soul – because, even when it did not look like or feel like it, Moses knew he was not alone.  He may not always be able to rely on people, but Moses could always rely on God, and oh, what comfort that is in the darkest of times.

Later, Moses would be instructed to pass this same level of encouragement on to the people because there would be days, and there would be battles they would face which would seem to be much more than they could handle.  But Moses relayed this message to them: “When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 20:1).  On the way to the Promised Land there would be some times of fighting – but their certainty in the midst of everything they would face; their rest, would be found in the presence of God with them.

And that is the key to finding rest in times of unrest.  It is realizing, that as a child of God, no matter what we face, we do not face it alone.  The fighting may still be there.  The dark days may seem to eclipse the good – but through it all we are never alone.  There is great comfort in that, and we still have that promise with us today, and His name is Jesus.

Although this is not the Christmas season, we are still reminded of what was spoke of Him by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23; see also Isaiah 7:14).

“God with us.”  Those beautiful words of reassurance were spoken to Joseph, but they are words of reassurance to us all – “God with us.”  In the darkness, He is there, with His people, promising to never leave them, nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).  In the uncertainty, it is His presence that allows us to find rest.  That is why David said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).  David found reassurance in knowing that God was with him in the dark valleys of life.

We have seen how God’s presence brought rest in the most trying times in the past, and we have the reassurance of Jesus (God with us) with us even today.  But we also have this promise into eternity.  Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3; emphasis mine).  Regardless of the uncertainty and unrest we face, there we will have a heavenly joy that will never fade away.  There we will have “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4), untouched and unbothered by the things we see down here that are before us.

But, to get there.  To receive that reassurance of rest for today and for that time to come, you must be born again.  You must be saved.  The Bible tells us, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8; also see 2 Chronicles 15:2).

Are you seeking to draw near to Him today?  Jesus is the only true rest that you will find in any time of unrest.  But only those who attach themselves to Him can claim this promise for their life: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

We have “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  But, as the Son of God, Jesus came and died for our sins that we might be free (John 3:16; John 8:36).  The Bible tells us, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

If you want to find true rest and be in right standing before God, you need to surrender your life to Jesus Christ and accept Him as your personal Savior.

After hearing Peter’s powerful message on the day of Pentecost, the hearts of the people were pricked, and they asked, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).  In the very next verse, it says, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).

Jesus once said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27, 28).  Do you hear Him calling you today?  Will you answer the call?  In Christ Jesus is the only place where you will ever find rest in times of unrest. With Jesus, you will never have to fear the dark.

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Living for God!

“…we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.” Micah 4:5

Is it God whom we are living for daily?  Daily have we laid ourselves down to lift His name?  We, who are carriers of the name of the LORD our God and our Lord Jesus Christ, do we operate our lives in a way that is befitting that holy Name?  Is our living bringing honor to His name?

Those of the world have no problem attaching themselves to the ways of the world.  Is our life bearing fruit that is evident of our holy attachment?  Have we truly set ourselves apart as His people?

Living for God means it is His ways and not my own I seek to fulfill in my life.  My honor is to bring Him honor.  My glory is to glorify Him in my thinking, my being, my doing, and my speaking.

How great You are, O God, and let me greatly praise Your name through this life You have privileged me to live.

Everyone and everything of the world will eventually pass away and be nothing.  But, for those who live for God, “We will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever” (Micah 4:5).

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” – Romans 14:8

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” – Matthew 22:37

“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” – Acts 17:28

“…choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15

“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).  Jesus died for us that we may live for Him.   

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The Prayers of the Saints

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Oh, my friend, do not think within yourself that your prayers do not matter.  Don’t let the thought enter your mind, saying, “What’s the point.”  The point is your prayers are very special to your King.  He loves to hear the words and petitions that flow from your heart and mouth.  His ears are opened, listening for His beloved ones who wills to communicate with Him.

Your prayers are so special before God Almighty.  Only the enemy wants you to look away from that blessed throne.  Only those who don’t want the best for you wish to turn you from believing your prayers matter.

God loves when your heart is bowed before Him.  He loves the utterances that are spoken from your lips to His hears.  You are His child.  He loves you and wants to hear from you daily.

Give yourself permission to release all that’s inside at His holy feet.  Let your prayers rise as a sweet-smelling savour before He who loves you more than you’ll ever know.

Your prayers are precious to God now, and in that time to come.

“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.” Revelation 8:3,4

“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com (Sharing any posts or lessons can only be done through the share buttons provided on this site from the original posts, lessons, and articles only. You can reblog from the original posts only using the reblog button provided, or share using the share buttons provided from these social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, etc., and they must be shared from the original posts only. All other repostings are prohibited. Posts and other items of interest found on this site MAY NOT BE COPIED AND PASTED, downloaded, uploaded, etc to another website or entity not listed (physical or electronic).  See COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.