“Do not put your brothers and sisters on a pedastal, as they require the same mercy and grace from God as you.”~TB
Even the wisest most disciplined follower of Christ does not compare to the perfection that is God. As such, do not place them in the same category. Each person who has been chosen to share the Lord’s wisdom is still a mere mortal. They bleed, feel, fail, achieve, in the same manner as anyone else. When they fail, as they will, you must give them the same space and grace as God gives to you.
If you view those in power as better than yourself, you run the risk of judging them harshly when they misstep. Yes, those who are placed in positions of leadership, teaching, and the like, must be held to a higher standard. However, this does not mean perfection. Human nature dictates that no one will live a perfect life. The judgment of their shortcomings is not for you or me. God is the ultimate judge and will always rule in a perfect manner.
One of the reasons why people are so willing to idolize those they consider to be wise is because it’s a great excuse to not do the work. Friends, the wise are not a substitute for our Father in Heaven. They are mouthpieces at best and examples of what not to do at worst. When you rely on someone else’s relationship/connection to Christ, it’s easy to fall into complacency, thinking that listening to them abdicates the need for you to go to God. Don’t lean on them as they are human. Instead, tap into the direct connection with God so that you know where to place your faith.
Are you avoiding Christ by putting humans on an unrealistic pedestal?
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1My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my wise counsel.
2Then you will show discernment, and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
3For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.
6For she cares nothing about the path to life. She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
7So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say:
8Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!
9If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
10Strangers will consume your wealth, and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
11In the end you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.
12You will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
13Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
14I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.”
15Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.
16Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone?
17You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers.
18Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.
20Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?
21For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.
22An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him.
23He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.
“Make a decision and stick with it, because a double-mind cannot properly follow the Lord.”~TB
Reconcile Your Path
Saying you’ve accepted Christ is one thing. Walking the path is another. If you decide to accept the gift of salvation, be bold and follow through on that decision. People fall into traps because they say one thing but do the opposite. This happens because you are looking around at everything else when really you should focus your attention on God. Your relationship with God influences every aspect of your life, develop it first and the rest will follow.
Being disengaged in your relationship with God is like trying to pull yourself out of quicksand to no avail. When you are double-minded– practicing opposing behaviors– your mind becomes trapped, unable to free itself from a loop of negative/evil thinking. Friends, nothing good comes from a corrupt mind, as your actions and behaviors will soon mirror your destructive thoughts. Making evil choices is like a poisoned well, where your misdeeds leak onto all who encounter you. To be free of this trap, ask God for help.
Follow the Leader
Like Red Riding Hood, everyone strays from the path, getting into tricky situations. Fortunately, God is the wisest of them all, and no amount of quicksand is too difficult for Him to free you. Experiencing this freedom requires you to follow God, the leader. Though this path is narrow, it is clear, and simple to follow. Understand that simple and easy are not the same thing, as you must decide in everything you do to follow Christ. Be sober in your judgment and decisions and you will find peace in God’s path.
Are you upholding your decision to follow the path or is quicksand a better option?
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1My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgment,
2for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions.
3For I, too, was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s only child.
4My father taught me, “Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live.
5Get wisdom; develop good judgment. Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.
6Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.
7Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
8If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you.
9She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
10My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life.
11I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths.
12When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble.
13Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.
14Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers.
15Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving.
16For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble.
17They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence!
18The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
19But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.
20My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.
21Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.
23Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
24Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
25Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
27Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
“Don’t give the devil more credit than he deserves.”~TB
To understand what you’re up against, you must know your battlefield. There are three things that will constantly test you. Know what you’re up against so that you can pass your tests. Give credit where it is due, but don’t let these things rule over you.
There is no reason to fear the devil. The enemy can only do so much to you. When you give credit to the evil one for all of the struggles in your life, you are abdicating your responsibility in the decisions that you make. You have to make the choice to act on his influence, he can’t force you to sin.
As sin-fallen creatures, your flesh will always desire ungodly things. Power, sex, money, these are temptations that you must control your flesh around, otherwise, you will be ruled by them. You control your flesh, not the devil. So when you screw up, credit yourself, not him. Read the Word to tame your flesh. Lean on the Holy Spirit to form a disciplined thought life. You can to actively choose to deny your flesh, don’t sleep on your authority.
The world is a vile place that will chop and screw you up if you let it. Society mocks what is good, branding it as ‘lame’ or ‘uncool’. Do not fall for the illustrious ways of the world. It will seduce you into debt, jealousy, shame, violence, and destruction. The world is quite influential if you give it credit. But even still, you make the choice to buy shiny things you cannot afford. You make the decision to adhere to sinful practices in order to gain influence. You choose to deny God because you bow down to the pressure of your peers.
Are you taking credit for your choices or is it always someone else’s fault?
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1My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart.
2If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.
3Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.
4Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.
5Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
6Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
7Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
9Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
10Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
11My child, don’t reject the LORD ’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
12For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
13Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.
14For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.
15Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
16She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.
17She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.
18Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.
19By wisdom the LORD founded the earth; by understanding he created the heavens.
20By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the dew settles beneath the night sky.
21My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them,
22for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace.
23They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble.
24You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.
25You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
26for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
27Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them.
28If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”
29Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.
30Don’t pick a fight without reason, when no one has done you harm.
31Don’t envy violent people or copy their ways.
32Such wicked people are detestable to the LORD, but he offers his friendship to the godly.
33The LORD curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright.
34The LORD mocks the mockers but is gracious to the humble.
35The wise inherit honor, but fools are put to shame!
“If your life is built on a busted foundation, even the slightest upset will deepen the cracks, crumbling your spiritual house.”~TB
A House in Chaos
When you’ve built your spiritual home on your own selfish motives, foolish pride, and fake morals, eventually it will come crumbling down. Like a leaf in the wind, you blow helplessly because you lack the Biblical foundation needed to stay firm in the storm.
Relying on God means you understand how truly weak and powerless you are outside of Him. Building your foundation on Christ’s principles helps you to weather the storm of flesh, life, and opposition. Studying and apply them for a firm foundation
Do you need to fix your foundation?
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1My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.
2Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.
3Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.
4Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.
5Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God.
6For the LORD grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity.
8He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.
9Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go.
10For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
12Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted.
13These men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths.
14They take pleasure in doing wrong, and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
15Their actions are crooked, and their ways are wrong.
16Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.
17She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God.
18Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave.
19The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life.
20Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous.
21For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it.
22But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted.
“Many of you pretend to love God for show, but your deeds expose your heart.”~TB
It’s amazing how lukewarm Christians get when things are comfortable. Hiding behind your decorated walls, it’s easy to judge and turn away those in need. You pray for the helpless, yet offer no help. Of course, this must be done publicly, so that your peers can see how spiritual you are. No amount of superficial acts can clean your blackened heart. Who do you think you are fooling? God knows you better than you know yourself.
God puts tests in front of all of us. Some come in the form of helping others, some in the form of external obstacles, and others an internal struggle. This is why reading and practicing the Words in the Bible is so important. His Word is a direct connection to His Will. When you understand Who you’re connected to, you can lay down your fake worship and fake Christianity. God is evaluating and judging us all. Make sure you’re not failing your tests.
Is your love for God for show?
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1These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.
2 Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise.
3Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
4These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.
5Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance
6by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.
7Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
8My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
9What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.
10My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!
11They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!
12Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.
13Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take.
14Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.”
15My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths.
16They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder.
17If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away.
18But these people set an ambush for themselves; they are trying to get themselves killed.
19Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.
20Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square.
21She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate:
22“How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge?
23Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.
24“I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.
25You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered.
26So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you—
27when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone, and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28“When they cry for help, I will not answer. Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me.
29For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the LORD.
30They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them.
31Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes.
32For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency.
33But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”
“When you accept Christ into your life, you must do an about face, leaving behind your past ways and to adopt the new life Christ has given you.”~TB
Abandon your old ways, the sinful thoughts and behaviors, and everything else in between so that you can build your foundation firmly on the principles of Christ. The same level of thinking from your previous life cannot remain because you have died from your previous self. A new self must take place and it has to start with The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is because, in our sin-fallen world, before we accepted Christ, we were programmed with corrupted software, making us believe in worldly ideas and principles. Friends, it is a daily work, throwing off the lies of the world and learning the ways of God. Do the work so you can learn and live in the Truth.
Arm yourselves with the Word of God each and every day so that you may know how to navigate a broken world. The devil is around, especially among those who are working diligently for the Lord, waiting to steal your peace, joy, and contentment. Friends, do not lose heart if you find yourselves in trying times. If you stay close with God and listen to His wisdom, you will learn how to walk in peace, in every aspect of your life. This peace comes from the understanding of Who is with us. When you know that God is at the beginning, the middle, and the end, the path becomes much clearer. We already know who wins in the end, but we must use our newfound understanding and relationship with God to withstand the realities of this world. Take up the cross and walk in your new life with Christ.
Are you struggling in your new life because you’re holding on to the old?
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1Praise the LORD ! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven!
2Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness!
3Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise him with the lyre and harp!
4Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with strings and flutes!
5Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
6Let everything that breathes sing praises to the LORD ! Praise the LORD !
“Remember who made you so in all things you refer back to the source material.”~TB
God is here, available to direct and guide you to the best results and answers. He is gentle, never pushy, and you have to come to Him. We often fail to seek Him first, turning to external sources for subpar advice.
When you rely on the limited expertise of your peers, you will find that man-made solutions will only offer a temporary fix. Like placing a bandaid on a an infected wound, it will cover the issue, but the problem will only grow worse.
When you get tired of having to constantly use temporary fixes, turn to God for help. Come before Him for all things and He will share His infinite wisdom, helping you to maintain and care for your wounds. Let go of your history, your pride, and your pain to connect to the source material.
Are you relying on the source material or are you addicted to temporary fixes?
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1Praise the LORD ! Sing to the LORD a new song. Sing his praises in the assembly of the faithful.
2O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King.
3Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp.
4For the LORD delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
5Let the faithful rejoice that he honors them. Let them sing for joy as they lie on their beds.
6Let the praises of God be in their mouths, and a sharp sword in their hands—
7to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
8to bind their kings with shackles and their leaders with iron chains,
9to execute the judgment written against them. This is the glorious privilege of his faithful ones. Praise the LORD !
“God’s love, forgiveness, and acceptance are infinitely unlimited. Apply them to your lives daily.”~TB
Don’t allow distorted thinking to limit your understanding of God’s love for you. Whether it’s coming from the opposition or a negative mindset, the biggest mistake you can make is to confuse your limited resources for God’s. Limited thinking makes you believe that God only loves you when you’re on target. That is not so! God loves you always. So whenever you mess up, set aside your finite resources and reach out to the Lord in your weakness. Friends, strength does not come from fine-tuning your skills. It comes from understanding how weak and imperfect you are.
Strength in Weakness
There will be times when you pass tests and are doing well in your work for God. Don’t get too high and mighty, because your success can cloud your judgment and make you feel invincible. As fleshly people, no matter how disciplined, you will never be perfect and eventually, you will fail. When you fall short, as we all do, remember that your weakness is not His. In your time of need, admit your shortcomings. Friends, when you know that your resources are not enough, that is when you can truly lean on God so that He can make up the difference! His unlimited resources supersede yours, covering up the blemishes. So, don’t boast in your strength, but rather rejoice in your weakness. This way you will remember that God is the only way.
Is your limited thinking obstructing your relationship with God?
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1Praise the LORD ! Praise the LORD from the heavens! Praise him from the skies!
2Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
3Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
4Praise him, skies above! Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
5Let every created thing give praise to the LORD, for he issued his command, and they came into being.
6He set them in place forever and ever. His decree will never be revoked.
7Praise the LORD from the earth, you creatures of the ocean depths,
8fire and hail, snow and clouds, wind and weather that obey him,
9mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
10wild animals and all livestock, small scurrying animals and birds,
11kings of the earth and all people, rulers and judges of the earth,
12young men and young women, old men and children.
13Let them all praise the name of the LORD . For his name is very great; his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
14He has made his people strong, honoring his faithful ones— the people of Israel who are close to him. Praise the LORD !
“Sometimes tough situations are a sign that it’s time for you to get moving in the direction that God wants you to.”~TB
When you don’t have a relationship with God, it is difficult to understand His plan for your life. When you face trials and tribulations, there is always a lesson or direction attached. Sometimes difficult situations teach you patience or faith. Other times it’s God’s way of telling you to move in a different direction or to move faster towards the task He’s led you to accomplish. Friends, grow close with God so that you may have the discernment to understand His will for you.
If God has given you a vision, a purpose, or a dream, hop to it! Just because you may not understand the end goal does not lessen the need for you to be obedient. We all have a choice to either spend our lives in the wilderness or, answer the call from our Father in Heaven, fulfilling our purpose as He intended. Let’s not be like the Israelites, who took 40 years for an 11-day journey. Contrary to what this sin-fallen world tells you, God did not create you for you to live in misery or enslaved by companies, brands, or whatever holds your heart. Move in the direction that God is leading, so that you may come into the Promiseland.
Are you on the move or are you stuck in fear and disbelief?
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1Praise the LORD ! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting!
2The LORD is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel.
3He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
4He counts the stars and calls them all by name.
5How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
6The LORD supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust.
7Sing out your thanks to the LORD ; sing praises to our God with a harp.
8He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures.
9He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry.
10He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might.
11No, the LORD ’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
12Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
13For he has strengthened the bars of your gates and blessed your children within your walls.
14He sends peace across your nation and satisfies your hunger with the finest wheat.
15He sends his orders to the world— how swiftly his word flies!
16He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.
17He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold?
18Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws.
19He has revealed his words to Jacob, his decrees and regulations to Israel.
20He has not done this for any other nation; they do not know his regulations. Praise the LORD !
“Accept the solutions that God provides, rather than relying solely on your own.”~TB
What Should Be
As the body of Christ, we are all interconnected. This means that God desires for us to do our part, helping one another. When you read the Bible regularly, you understand its principles and how each of us has a role in assisting our brothers and sisters. In a perfect world, we would all step up and assist willingly. But, since the world is not perfect, we tend to thwart and disrupt God’s plan, leaving our brothers and sisters hanging. Fortunately for us, God has an infinite supply of backup plans and will send resources to those in need. Friends, accept those solutions, no matter if they don’t fit with your own ideas.
When manmade solutions fail, as they often do, rely on the solutions of our Father in Heaven. Like Jonah and the Gourd, God most likely sends provisions and resources that to the human eye seem unlikely and absurd. Further, sometimes those solutions require you to be humble, swallow your pride, and accept the help offered by others. Friends, don’t be prideful and refuse help because you don’t want to appear weak. Truth is, we are all weak, so stop pretending! Instead, be glad that God loves you enough to send help in your time of need. Don’t forget, there are lessons to be learned in moments such as these. More to the point, this is an opportunity for the giver to receive a blessing as they are blessing you. So take joy in receiving heavenly solutions rather than staring at the manmade problem.
Are you holding onto your problems instead of accepting God’s solutions?
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1Praise the LORD ! Let all that I am praise the LORD .
2I will praise the LORD as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.
3Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.
4When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them.
5But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God.
6He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.
7He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners.
8The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are weighed down. The LORD loves the godly.
9The LORD protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
10The LORD will reign forever. He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations. Praise the LORD !