“Do you not fear your darkest hour because to fully realize God’s grace, you must know what he is sparing you from.”~TB
If I could give any advice to people— young and old— I would tell them to reject the teachings and ideas of the world. If you believe them, your perception and understanding of God’s will always be distorted. People tell each other the dumbest things, that have nothing to do with God, His grace, or even what His will is in your life. The world will sooner tell you it’s ok to become a unicorn rather than acknowledge God’s existence. The world and its ways are upside down. This is especially true when it comes to hard times and bad events
Dark Times produce the purest fruit, because whatever leaves wasn’t necessary and whatever remains is what will see you through. Your darkest hour will reveal how much you truly need the Lord and that all things work according to His plan. Humility and submission will open your eyes to what exactly is going on around you. In hard times, look to see the lessons. Remember that those tough moments didn’t break you. No, you survived! When you are spared from these crazy moments, you then realize that God’s Will is the only way. Surviving harsh times makes you grateful for salvation and everything in between. So the next time you’re being tested or going through a struggle, let God guide you through the moment.
Are you learning from your darkest hour or is bitterness setting in?
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Song of Solomon 7
1How beautiful are your sandaled feet, O queenly maiden. Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a skilled craftsman.
2Your navel is perfectly formed like a goblet filled with mixed wine. Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat bordered with lilies.
3Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle.
4Your neck is as beautiful as an ivory tower. Your eyes are like the sparkling pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is as fine as the tower of Lebanon overlooking Damascus.
5Your head is as majestic as Mount Carmel, and the sheen of your hair radiates royalty. The king is held captive by its tresses.
6Oh, how beautiful you are! How pleasing, my love, how full of delights!
7You are slender like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit.
8I said, “I will climb the palm tree and take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like grape clusters, and the fragrance of your breath like apples.
9May your kisses be as exciting as the best wine— Young Woman Yes, wine that goes down smoothly for my lover, flowing gently over lips and teeth.
10I am my lover’s, and he claims me as his own.
11Come, my love, let us go out to the fields and spend the night among the wildflowers.
12Let us get up early and go to the vineyards to see if the grapevines have budded, if the blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love.
13There the mandrakes give off their fragrance, and the finest fruits are at our door, new delights as well as old, which I have saved for you, my lover.
“Stay close to God so that you do not get unplugged from His wisdom.”~TB
If you’re not careful, life has a way of getting you off track in your relationship with Christ. Whether it’s just life circumstances, poor decisions, or the opposition rocking your boat, taking your eyes off of the Truth is a recipe for disaster. When we stop looking to God for the answers, we begin to make up answers that generally leave us worse off than before. Friends, don’t lean on your human made solutions to the challenges in your life. When we struggle to find God in the midst of our situations, it’s a sign that we’re not going to the source material— the Bible— to know the Truth.
Recognize that there are patterns and cycles in life, and no matter what, our faith and reliance in God is the only key to success! The devil may poke and prod, making you feel uneasy and alone, but when you’re plugged into God, you know the difference. This is why reading the Bible daily is so important. It’s not just a task that you check off to get a pat on the head from God. No, it possesses the tools and weapons to prepare and protect you from the world and the opposition. Don’t fall for the smoke and mirrors of the evil one. Rest on the Truth of the Word to stay plugged in.
Are you plugged into Christ or plugged into chaos and uncertainty?
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Song of Solomon
1Where has your lover gone, O woman of rare beauty? Which way did he turn so we can help you find him?
2My lover has gone down to his garden, to his spice beds, to browse in the gardens and gather the lilies.
3I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine. He browses among the lilies.
4You are beautiful, my darling, like the lovely city of Tirzah. Yes, as beautiful as Jerusalem, as majestic as an army with billowing banners.
5Turn your eyes away, for they overpower me. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.
6Your teeth are as white as sheep that are freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin.
7Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil.
8Even among sixty queens and eighty concubines and countless young women,
9I would still choose my dove, my perfect one— the favorite of her mother, dearly loved by the one who bore her. The young women see her and praise her; even queens and royal concubines sing her praises:
10“Who is this, arising like the dawn, as fair as the moon, as bright as the sun, as majestic as an army with billowing banners?”
11I went down to the grove of walnut trees and out to the valley to see the new spring growth, to see whether the grapevines had budded or the pomegranates were in bloom.
12Before I realized it, my strong desires had taken me to the chariot of a noble man.
13Return, return to us, O maid of Shulam. Come back, come back, that we may see you again. Young Man Why do you stare at this young woman of Shulam, as she moves so gracefully between two lines of dancers?
“Be glad that God doesn’t invoke the same corrupt policies as we do to one another.”~TB
Greed and thievery are cloaked in rules and regulations, trapping the innocent and the uninformed. Our society steals earnings from the vulnerable and act like it’s the cost of doing business. How corrupt! Those in charge are indifferent, hiding behind ‘policy’, knowing full well they are engaging in immoral and evil practices and those enslaved mindlessly endure such abuse. What a world. Friends, we must turn away from stealing from our neighbors and tolerating such abuses, unless slavery is what you truly crave. These policies— legalistic and immoral— are the very same things spoken in the Bible.
Image if you came before God to confess and repent your sins and he tells you that you’ve maxed out your Grace deductible and it’s off to hell you go. Fortunately for us, His Grace is infinite and there is no fine print or shady fines to trip us up. When you come before Him, you don’t have to worry about the red tape or policies of this world. He loves you as you are. There is no way to overdraft God’s love for you. Instead of following the ways of the world, adopt God’s method of love. This way you can love others as God loves you. It is there where we can begin to change the corrupt ways of this world.
If God is so merciful and lenient, why aren’t we?
1This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor.
2The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad, ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t.
3It seems so wrong that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. Already twisted by evil, people choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway.
4There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”
5The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered.
6Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth.
7So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!
8Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!
9Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.
10Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
11I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
12People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.
13Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works.
14There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it.
15A poor, wise man knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him.
16So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.
17Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king.
18Better to have wisdom than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good
“Study hard for the tests in your life unless you want to be in God’s summer school.”~TB
Ever notice how the same issues keep coming back like a revolving door? Well, it’s because you’re still struggling with the same trials, refusing to graduate on to the next level. God will never level up a person who’s failing their tests. So, instead of moving on, you’ll be lovingly placed in summer school, where you will experience the same problems in different contexts. Friends, humility in understanding that we’re all flawed goes a long way in overcoming your footholds.
If the chapter you’re on is causing you trouble, reach out to the Almighty tutor so that He can teach you how to pass. Remember that these tests are open book and you can use the Bible on each and every one of them. Of course, this requires you to continually study and crack open the Book in the first place! Pride makes the school of life hard and until you can come from a place of humility and meekness, some tests will keep you held back from where God wants you to go. Don’t get held back, ask the Tutor for help and study from the resources He provides.
Do you want to stay in summer school forever?
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1Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless.
2So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living.
3But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun.
4Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.
5“Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin.”
6And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”
7I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun.
8This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.
9Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
10If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
11Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone?
12A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
13It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who refuses all advice.
14Such a youth could rise from poverty and succeed. He might even become king, though he has been in prison.
15But then everyone rushes to the side of yet another youth who replaces him.
16Endless crowds stand around him, but then another generation grows up and rejects him, too. So it is all meaningless—like chasing the wind.
“The opposition can take things from you, but he cannot take your salvation.”~TB
Like a thief lying in wait for the opportune moment, he will try and steal your peace and joy by any means necessary. His main goal is to get you to feel as though God isn’t with you. Friends, don’t turn your back away from God when you are going through tough times. Remain calm and learn all you can in your trials so that you grow from the experience.
When you experience setbacks that come from the evil one, rest assured that these attacks are temporary and they will pass. In times of great trial, lean on the word for comfort. The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who have endured trying times and great opposition. What comfort it is to know that our experiences are no different from those before us!
Whatever the opposition attempts to steal, God will redeem and then some. Christ is the ultimate defender and protector, so when evil comes against you, there’s no need to fight. Be still and know that your Creator is in control. Our own defense or vindication does not hold a candle to what Christ can do for us. So when evil tries to take, remember who redeems and what He was decided cannot be changed.
Are you remaining still and allowing God to work in your life?
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1Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.
2Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth— a stranger, not your own lips.
3A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier.
4Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.
5An open rebuke is better than hidden love!
6Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
7A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
8A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest.
9The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
10Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.
11Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad. Then I will be able to answer my critics.
12A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
13Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt. Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.
14A loud and cheerful greeting early in the morning will be taken as a curse!
15A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.
16Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands.
17As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
18As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit, so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.
19As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.
20Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.
21Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.
22You cannot separate fools from their foolishness, even though you grind them like grain with mortar and pestle.
23Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds,
24for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generation.
25After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in,
26your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field.
27And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.
“It’s difficult to walk with Christ with tons of baggage so leave behind the unnecessary items to lighten the load.”~TB
Unforgiveness and internalized trauma can cloud your mind, allowing the opposition to use these painful experiences to cloud your judgment and relationship with Christ. Friends, life is tough, and no one walks away unscathed. So when bad things happen, as they will, remember that God is in control and will use any situation for good. While going through trials and tribulations, take a step back, calm yourself and remember His goodness.
When you’re traveling with God, carry on with a spirit of gratitude, mercy, and joy, so that in whatever you endure, you can see God’s hand in your situation. The devil will try and get you to turn your back on the Truth— God’s Victory is already sealed. The worst he can only do is ruffle your feathers, and friends only you can allow the evil one to get under your skin. So in times of struggle, frustration, and discouragement, chuck your bags and leave only with the carry-on items that bring you closer to God.
What baggage are you holding onto that’s slowing down your walk with Christ?
1Honor is no more associated with fools than snow with summer or rain with harvest.
2Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.
3Guide a horse with a whip, a donkey with a bridle, and a fool with a rod to his back!
4Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are.
5Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation.
6Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison!
7A proverb in the mouth of a fool is as useless as a paralyzed leg.
8Honoring a fool is as foolish as tying a stone to a slingshot.
9A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like a thorny branch brandished by a drunk.
10An employer who hires a fool or a bystander is like an archer who shoots at random.
11As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.
12There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise.
13The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”
14As a door swings back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed.
15Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth.
16Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors.
17Interfering in someone else’s argument is as foolish as yanking a dog’s ears.
18Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon
19is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.”
20Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.
21A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood.
22Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.
23Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot.
24People may cover their hatred with pleasant words, but they’re deceiving you.
25They pretend to be kind, but don’t believe them. Their hearts are full of many evils.
26While their hatred may be concealed by trickery, their wrongdoing will be exposed in public.
27If you set a trap for others, you will get caught in it yourself. If you roll a boulder down on others, it will crush you instead.
28A lying tongue hates its victims, and flattering words cause ruin
“Seek God’s Counsel to search the motives of your heart, because a determined mind can make the case for any argument.”~TB
When you allow someone else to inform your relationship, or lack there of, with Christ, you’re relying on secondhand information. Like listening to the rumors about someone you don’t know, the information you are receiving may be distorted or false. For this reason, you must test everything you hear against the Truth, which is written in the Bible.You don’t need a middle man to find Christ. Yes, getting insights from wise people is well and good, but friends, you must test the wise because they are human too. More to the point, fleshly people will always give their take on how to compromise the Truth. In these “modern times” many are quick to split hairs, diluting the truth to circumvent obedience. If you’re looking to justify your actions, you don’t have to look hard to find a consenting viewpoint. For the best and accurate information go straight to the source
Cite Your Source
If you find that the people you seek counsel from give you questionable advice, cross reference that intel with the Truth of the Bible. Applying the wisdom found in the Bible is the only way to get the honest intel. In order to achieve this, you must always check the motivations of your heart. When your motives are pure humility is a byproduct. Even when we screw up, there is the call to return to the Lord. When your motives are wicked, you find ways to justify your wickedness, placing the blame externally instead of taking responsibility of your actions. The Living Word does not change, even as humanity changes from generation to generation. When you carefully study the Word with an open and honest heart, you will find that the information applies to your life in every stage you’re in. We are called to continually study the Word not for obedience’s sake, but for the eternal wisdom that it provides. The Bible teaches you relational wisdom. If you allow him, God will share the Truth with you.
Are you acting on Bad Intel because you refuse to do your own Biblical research?
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1Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.
2The rich and poor have this in common: The LORD made them both.
3A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.
4True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.
5Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road; whoever values life will avoid it.
6Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
7Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
8Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster, and their reign of terror will come to an end.
9Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.
10Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too. Quarrels and insults will disappear.
11Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.
12The LORD preserves those with knowledge, but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.
13The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!”
14The mouth of an immoral woman is a dangerous trap; those who make the LORD angry will fall into it.
15A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.
16A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.
17Listen to the words of the wise; apply your heart to my instruction.
18For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart and always ready on your lips.
19I am teaching you today—yes, you— so you will trust in the LORD .
20I have written thirty sayings for you, filled with advice and knowledge.
21In this way, you may know the truth and take an accurate report to those who sent you.
22Don’t rob the poor just because you can, or exploit the needy in court.
23For the LORD is their defender. He will ruin anyone who ruins them.
24Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people,
25or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.
26Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for someone else.
27If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.
28Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers set up by previous generations.
29Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.
“Don’t create a massive process to process forgiveness, love, and acceptance.”~TB
When you regularly walk with God, you will notice how quickly He is to forgive us when we screw up. He doesn’t read a list of past offenses, He simply acknowledges your repentance and moves on. We know this, yet we still hold the offenses of our peers to a higher standard. How arrogant and how foolish! God doesn’t beat us up because He knows that in order for you to grow, you must be given the space and grace to do so. When you look at a person, in the same way, failing to acknowledge their growth or change, well, that says more about you than the other person.
I admit, there are times where I get annoyed with my dad when he advises me to move on from offenses. In my frustration, I’d rather wallow in my “rightness” rather than extend the same space and grace that God gives me on a daily basis. I humbly laugh at my misguided nature and continually ask God to improve my resilience in that area. I’ve come to realize that my dad is not trying to diminish/erase my experience, but rather, he’s encouraging me to love people as God loves me. I share this with you to say, whatever the offense, whatever the reason, right or wrong, move on. God gives credit where credit is due, and we all reap what we sow, good or bad. So let God do the judging.
Are you letting a convoluted process hinder your walk with Christ?
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1The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD ; he guides it wherever he pleases.
2People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.
3The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
4Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.
5Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
6Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.
7The violence of the wicked sweeps them away, because they refuse to do what is just.
8The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road.
9It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
10Evil people desire evil; their neighbors get no mercy from them.
11If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise; if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.
12The Righteous One knows what is going on in the homes of the wicked; he will bring disaster on them.
13Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.
14A secret gift calms anger; a bribe under the table pacifies fury.
15Justice is a joy to the godly, but it terrifies evildoers.
16The person who strays from common sense will end up in the company of the dead.
17Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.
18The wicked are punished in place of the godly, and traitors in place of the honest.
19It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
20The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
21Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22The wise conquer the city of the strong and level the fortress in which they trust.
23Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.
24Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance.
25Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work.
26Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!
27The sacrifice of an evil person is detestable, especially when it is offered with wrong motives.
28A false witness will be cut off, but a credible witness will be allowed to speak.
29The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act.
30No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD .
31The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to 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 !
“When you dwell on all that God has done for you, staying in a gracious mindset becomes easier.”~TB
In Spite Of
In spite of our flaws, misdeeds, doubt, doublemindedness, and the like, God still loves every single one of us. Think about that for a second. No matter what we do, how good or bad, we will always have a connection to Christ. That type of love is unquantifiable! Friends, be grateful that He is so loving, especially to a population that will never have the greatest track record.
Pass it On
As you know the Truth, live in peace, and practice gratitude amongst one another. Let the offenses pass you by, forgive quickly and freely, and meditate on God’s goodness daily. It is by practicing the grace and mercy of the Lord that changes the hearts and minds of others. There’s no need to be mean or defend yourself. God sees all. So let him see you practice His teachings, sharing the Good News.
Are you being grateful or are you looking for the next best thing?
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1O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
2You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
4You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD .
5You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
7I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
8If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
9If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
11I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
12but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
17How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!
18I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
19O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers!
20They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name.
21O LORD, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.
23Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.