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Article: A Brief History of Ancient Horses: The Steeds of Gods and Kings

A Brief History of Ancient Horses: The Steeds of Gods and Kings https://flip.it/J2wxNA

In this section of Isaiah, the Israelites have returned from exile in Babylonia. The prophet is charged with raising up those who had been dispersed as well as those who had been allowed to return. But his mission was not to end there, he was to stand as a “light to the nations” to show God’s goodness and power. Jesus tells us in the gospel that we too must be lights to the nations. How is this to be done? It begins in our homes where we witness the love of God to our families. If our family members cannot see Christ’s love in us, who will see it? I am not talking about a piety that makes others uncomfortable, but a sincere faith that shines forth in good times and bad and reaches out to those in need. It doesn’t mean that we need to talk about our beliefs to everyone we meet either. St. Francis of Assisi is quoted as saying, “Preach always, and if necessary, use words.” Although he would probably be the first to question that he said it, he would certainly agree with it in principle. When asked why they became a Christian, most people answer that they wanted the qualities that they saw in other Christians. They have met Jesus in the words and actions of others. They see the difference in the way these Christians treat other people. They meet love in person and then they meet the God who inspires it. They see their “light.” Jesus tells us not to hide our light under a bushel, but to stand proud in our faith. Are we up to the challenge to let others see our light? Sometimes we make God’s word more difficult than it needs to be. God wants us to understand His Word, so He makes the most important things easy to reach. Forgiveness. Grace. Hope. Love. Righteousness. With every reading, He reminds us that these things are on our hearts, ready for us to use at all times and in all places. Thank you, Lord, for Your word. Thank you for revealing the truth of Your holiness. Help me to hold close to Your word just as You hold close to me, so that I may live in obedience. If I stray from Your path, use Your word to bring me near to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Migrants Were Observed Crossing Border As Arizona Governor Was Criticizing Biden Admin On Immigration Crisis

As Arizona Governor Doug Ducey criticized the Biden administration for failing to halt the flow of illegal immigrants, individuals were observed walking over a crack in the US-Mexico border barrier. Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls talked to the media while a reporter for a local NBC station videotaped a group of “nearly a dozen” migrants entering.

According to Nicholls, they’re seeing a lot more drug trafficking in our neighborhoods, affecting our schools. He claims that “drug trafficking affects our schools and the entire community. We appreciate the governor’s assistance, as well as the National Guard and Border Patrol officers.”

Moreover, Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona held a news conference in Yuma, accusing the Biden administration of “upending logical, successful measures like the Migrant Protection Protocols” and then reinstating them months later only when a court ordered it. He added that “thousands of migrants have been pouring into the United States every day along the Mexican border for many days.”https://lockerdome.com/lad/13456309840218726?pubid=ld-6133-2018&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fthecongressionalinsider.com&rid=&width=280

Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona has urged President Donald Trump not to restart the Mexico-US Population Protection Program (MPP), which forces asylum applicants to wait in Mexico before appearing in immigration court in the United States. In October, Border Patrol officers encountered 164,303 migrants at the southern border, bringing the overall number of interactions for the fiscal year to 1,734,686.

Dr. Mehmet Oz: Dr. Fauci Should Be Held Responsible For ‘Deceiving’…

Illegal Migrants Are Now Flying Without ID

The Transportation Security Administration is being investigated by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas). TSA Administrator Pekoske was contacted by Gooden, along with Reps. David McKinley (W.Va.) and Mary Miller (Ill). Gooden was concerned that the TSA actively aided illegal aliens traveling across the nation without appropriate documentation.

Representatives from both parties have written to Transportation Secretary Pekoske, requesting an explanation of how the TSA screens non-US/Canadian people who do not have passports or travel papers issued by the United States. It accepted additional forms of identification, including a Notice to Appear (NTA) in court, the TSA wrote in an email to Gooden’s office. Agents scan a migrant’s biometrics, take pictures, and run their fingerprints through immigration and NCIC databases before issuing an NTA.

Moreover, by permitting these unknown and unvetted migrants to board aircraft and fly across the nation, the TSA and non-profit organizations are putting millions of Americans traveling for Christmas in danger. The TSA claims to have found other forms of identification for use in certain instances, such as when non-US citizens or non-nationals do not have an approved form of identification. TSA contacts the National Transportation Vetting Center (NTVC) for travelers under typical situations, seeking to verify a traveler’s identification.https://lockerdome.com/lad/13456309840218726?pubid=ld-6133-2018&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fthecongressionalinsider.com&rid=&width=280

Furthermore, the TSA says it seeks public input on adequately screening persons who enter the country without valid identification. That’s excellent, but remember that nearly none of the 82,000 Afghans who arrived in the US before August were screened beforehand. There may be jihad terrorists and other criminals among them, but there’s no way of knowing until they conduct crimes.

Once again, the Biden administration wholly opposes the American people’s interests. Biden’s managers are opening the door to all kinds of criminal and terrorist activities by permitting illegal migrants to travel without appropriate identification. And it begs the question: Are they truly this stupid? Is it possible that the safety of Americans isn’t a top priority for their handlers?

According to Joe Biden’s managers, millions of illegal migrants fly the friendly skies without ID, paid for by who knows who and might be very explosive. If they had forgotten since the Obama administration left office, they now see what it means to have an America-Last administration.

WE have Enough Problems In America; Human Trafficking In Pennsylvania

I wish Josh Shapiro was around when I was trapped in human trafficking in Scranton Pennsylvania the was 1992 when my life was turned upside down. I did go to the Scranton Police Department and the Lackawanna Sheiffs Department. At that time i was told by both departments it was my fault. For 30 years I was caught in this horrable crime without help for any government. I have true stories to tell and I will be writing more about the unlawful government of Lackawanna County Pennsylvania. There are also a few judges I can write about as well. I am Praising the Lord for saving my life and never leaving me. My faith in Jesus has helped me as well. God bless everyone who reads this post, in Jesus name Amen.                                                    HARRISBURG — Two men who coerced six victims into prostitution with the false promise of easy money and then used drugs, violence and threats to control them have been arrested for human trafficking. Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office worked closely with the Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement agencies to build the prostitution and trafficking case.                                                        Crowell was taken into custody by authorities outside Chicago over the holiday weekend, and Schiff, currently incarcerated in York County, was arrested as well.  The men are charged with trafficking in individuals, corrupt organizations, involuntary servitude, conspiracy, possession with intent to deliver, prostitution and related offenses.              Kenneth Crowell, 34, and Barry “Bear” Schiff, 50, coerced six women into a forced servitude as prostitutes in a human trafficking ring that operated in Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties and southern New Jersey from 2014 until October 2017.                                      “This is a horrible case where women were lured into prostitution by the false promise of easy money,” Attorney General Shapiro said.  “When the victims tried to leave, these criminals used violence and threats of violence to keep them working as prostitutes against their will. Law enforcement collaboration and the use of a statewide investigating grand jury built this case.  We will use every tool at our disposal to prosecute these kinds of human trafficking cases.”                          Click here for a video of Attorney General Josh Shapiro.                          The arrests mark the second human trafficking case brought by the Office of Attorney General and Pennsylvania State Police in recent weeks. Earlier this month, two defendants were held for trial on human trafficking charges in Montgomery County in a case broken open with the help of an Uber driver who alerted police to the existence of a trafficking victim.                                                                                                                     The charges against Crowell and Schiff stem from a joint investigation by the Office of Attorney General and Pennsylvania State Police, with assistance from Northern York County Regional Police, Dallas TX police, Millville NJ police, the North Star Initiative of Lancaster, and the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia Anti-Human Trafficking Program. The ring was uncovered when a woman reported to police that she was a victim of human trafficking during an undercover prostitution sting.                                                                                                            “The Pennsylvania State Police are committed to investigating individuals and criminal organizations involved in the trafficking of humans for financial gain,” said Cpl. Gregg J. Kravitsky. “This investigation shows that by working cooperatively with law enforcement and other partners, we can bring those who commit these heinous acts to justice.”                                                                                                        On April 4, 2017 two undercover Pennsylvania State troopers responded to a prostitution advertisement on the website Backpage. Using the listed phone number – later linked to a second number tied to nearly 350 similar ads over two months – the troopers arranged a meeting with the victim at a Lancaster hotel.                                                                                   After the troopers identified themselves, the victim told police she did not feel safe and wanted to “get out.” She said she was recruited by Crowell and Schiff as an escort while she was working at a York gentlemen’s club. The victim told the troopers Schiff bragged about selling opioid pills and heroin to the women working for him as a means of control. When she told Schiff she didn’t like him buying and supplying heroin in the hotel room where she worked, Schiff threatened her with a knife.                                                                                               A second victim testified before the grand jury that she needed money to fuel her addiction and began working for Crowell and Schiff believing they ran an escort service, not a prostitution ring. She testified she rarely slept and was sent in an Uber to buy large amounts of heroin for Schiff multiple times.                                                                                                    According to the grand jury presentment, a third victim testified Schiff told the women his name was “Frank Luchese” and impersonated a mobster to intimidate them. She said she joined what she believed was an escort service run by Crowell and Schiff to pay off a drug debt to Schiff. When she tried to leave, Schiff told her he would “chop her up into little pieces and throw her in the river.”                                                               Victim four worked for Crowell and Schiff at various times between 2014 and 2016 as a way to obtain heroin and support her addiction. She testified Crowell tried to strangle her on several occasions, causing her to lose consciousness during one confrontation.                                             A fifth victim who began working for Crowell and Schiff in 2015 testified that Schiff controlled her with prescription opioids and heroin. This victim testified that one time, after she refused Schiff’s demand for sex, Schiff slammed her head into a bucket of dirty water containing shards of broken glass. The victim suffered severe cuts and scarring on her knees and legs.                                                                                                                After that incident, the victim sought help during a “date” from an undercover police officer and gave a full statement to police before being taken to the hospital for treatment.                                                                   Because of the complexity of trafficking cases and the importance placed on them by Attorney General Shapiro, the office has specially designated Senior Deputy Attorney General Heather Castellino to prosecute human trafficking cases.                                                                                  

5 Encouraging Prayers for Teachers Starting the New School Year

Picture of my BFF Avery and myself on our first day of Senior year I can’t believe it, but I’m about to start my 3rd year of college in a couple weeks, and most of my friends’ siblings are starting next week, so with a new school year quickly approaching, it’s time to get in […]

5 Encouraging Prayers for Teachers Starting the New School Year

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Dear God, give me wisdom to know when I am being led in a foolish direction. Help me to resist the temptation of alcohol today. I know it is not only leads to foolish decisions, it is also dangerous. Give me the courage to turn away from alcohol or anything offering false promises of happiness. You are the only thing that will bring me true fulfillment. Thank you for giving us refuge and courage to battle temptations such as these. Please use me to help others struggling with these temptations, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In this world, you will have enemies. There will be times when you are afraid. But, when you place your faith in God, you will find refuge. Like young birds are protected by their parents, God will offer you the same protection. Call on him when you need protection and he will cover you. You can rest safely with Him like a baby bird would do under the wings of its father. Believing in his truths will provide you with a shield and buckler – more protection against enemies and destruction.

Dear God, thank you for loving me enough to rescue me from my sin. You call me your child and you love me as a father. When I am afraid, let me feel you near. May I draw to you to find refuge and protection. I am placing my trust in you completely. While I know I will face struggles here on earth, help me to remember that you will never leave me or forsake me. O Lord, I cling to your promises. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Have you been treated unfairly? Have you ever been treated unjustly because of your faith? If so, take heart! The Bible reminds us that as Christians we will be persecuted. It also reminds us that Christ also suffered unjustly. He did not simply suffer – he died for our sins. He did this so that we might come to know God. Yet, in the death of his human flesh, he was still triumphant! When we suffer because of our faith, may we be reminded of Christ, who suffered infinitely more than we ever will in order to draw people to God.

Dear God, thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to come to live on earth amongst us. We understand your son was sinless and blameless, yet He suffered because of our sins. This act of mercy and grace is more than we can comprehend. Help us to share the news of your son’s death and resurrection with others. And, when we are treated unfairly because of our faith in you, may we continue to press on because we know that you also suffered. In Jesus’ name, amen.

God appointed Samuel as His prophet during the period of selecting two kings: first Saul and then David. This verse follows the moment when the Lord called Samuel. From then on, Samuel continued to grow, the Lord was with him, and all of his prophecies came true. God did great things through Samuel, and it began when God spoke to Samuel and he listened calling himself the Lord’s servant. Are you willing to do whatever it is God has for you? God works mightily through His servants.

Lord, You did mighty things through Samuel. I praise You for Your mighty works. You do great things through Your people. You make small acts into mighty deeds. I will be Your servant. Whatever small things or large things you have for me, I will do. I bow before You, ready and willing to do Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

When you are young, it is wise to remember God and live for Him. Do not wait until you are old to come to God. He can bring You more joy than any earthly thing. His rewards are greater than any prize on earth. Come to God and serve Him now. He deserves your praise when you are young and when you are old.

Heavenly Father, I will live for You now when I am young. I won’t wait until I am older. I want to serve You now and later. I want my every day to be spent serving You and being in Your will. I want to experience Your presence. I want to pray on my knees before and after I need a cushion to do so. You are great and I praise You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

So you love the Lord. What do you do about that? Isaiah was cleansed of His sin. The first thing he did was to say, “Send me. ” Are you willing to be sent by the Lord? Will you go for the Lord? Now, this may or may not mean traveling to another place. But essentially it means to do the will of the Lord and what He is calling You to do. The Lord has something for you. Follow His lead. If you don’t feel He is leading you, then prepare yourself to be sent, pray that He will send you, and wait for Him.

Lord, I want to do Your will. You have saved me and I am so grateful for that. You are too good to me. Send me. I want to do your work. I want to do whatever You have for me. If You ask me to be a janitor, I will. If You ask me to share the good news of Jesus with a friend or stranger, I will speak. If You ask me to give up my possessions, I will. If You send me somewhere I don’t want to go, I will obey. Whatever it is, send me. In Jesus’ holy name amen.

God is the source of peace. You could be the most stressed out person in the planet, but God can give you incomprehensible peace. Give your worries to the Lord. He raised Jesus from the dead; He can certainly give you great peace. Have faith in the Lord and seek Him, He will give you rest. God will do a great work within you, seek Him.

Lord, God of Heaven and Earth, You are the God of peace. Be my refuge from my troubles. Be my shelter in the storm. Be my rock surrounded by sinking sand. Your name is great. You are mighty. You do not cause turmoil within me though, You bring peace. Can I have peace that comes from You? I want to find refuge and rest in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Why would a foolish man try to buy wisdom from another man? If he is a fool and not wise, he will not know whether or not the advice is good anyways. If you are afraid you are not being wise or that you are a fool, there is a remedy: reading Proverbs. The book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom. If you have children, read it to them before they go sleep. Teach others and yourself to value wisdom. It is one thing to not be wise but value wisdom and seek it, if that is the case you will eventually become wise. It is much worse to not care for wisdom or even to choose to stay unwise. The Bible also says that we can pray for wisdom, so go ahead and ask God for some wisdom whenever you need it!

Lord God, you are the God of wisdom and truth. You know all wisdom and created it. Lord, make me wise. You have set responsibilities before me, and I want to do them well, so give me wisdom on how to complete the task the best I can. You know me. You know the gifts You’ve given me. I know that You can never have too much wisdom, so make me wise. And always keep me humble because I do not want to be wise and proud. I come to You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

It is good and profitable to use God’s wisdom to solve situations. When we try and solve situations using our emotions, mistakes will always be made. You will find joy and happiness when you rely on the wisdom of God, because it always ensures that situations turn out for the best.

Dear God, I pray that when I am faced with situations that need to be resolved, may I never turn to my emotions or external influences. May your voice be the first one I hear and may I listen to it too. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Salvation gives us every reason to be joyful and glad. Jesus Christ has stripped us of all sin and darkness, and He has given us light. He has made us pure before the Father’s eyes. The way a bridegroom would adorn His bride, is the way Christ has adorned us, out of His love for us.

Dear God, I am truly grateful for this gift of salvation. Father, I thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, who has saved me, cleansed me, and made me new before you. I am free from the weight of my old life and I can live happily in this new life, as a part of you, because of what Christ has done for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

In times of trials and tribulations, no matter how young, fit, or strong we may be, there is nothing of our own that will be able to keep us going. The enemy will always strive to wear us down. But if we wait on God, trust in Him completely, He will refresh us and give us the strength we need to carry one.

Dear God, there are many things we face in this world on a daily basis. When we try to handle things on our own, we end up discouraged and exhausted. Lord, I ask that you strengthen us when we are weak, and may you sustain us at all times. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

When we are in Christ, we live a life of winning – no matter what. When we are alive, it is for the benefit of those around us as we continue to minister to them. When we die, it is still gain because we are simply returning to our heavenly home.

Dear God, I thank you that in you, there is always gain. I do not fear the works of man – even if it may lead to my death – because I know all situations always work out to your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

When we are in Christ, we live a life of winning – no matter what. When we are alive, it is for the benefit of those around us as we continue to minister to them. When we die, it is still gain because we are simply returning to our heavenly home.

Dear God, I thank you that in you, there is always gain. I do not fear the works of man – even if it may lead to my death – because I know all situations always work out to your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Some tend to mistake God’s patience for slackness, and that is a mistake. If God wanted to, He could choose for Christ to return today. The reason why God hasn’t called such an order is because He wants as many people who are lost to become saved so that they do not perish in the Lake of fire.

Dear God, I pray for all of those who are lost and do not know you. I pray that their eyes will be opened to your goodness, Lord. May they realize that they need a Savior, and may the turn to you, Father. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

No matter what we do in our lives, as Christians we have to remember that all glory must go to God, the Father. He is the Creator of all things good and pure, and He is the only one who is deserving of all the glory and the praise.

Dear God, I would like to take this moment to reflect on your mightiness and on how glorious you are. There is no one like you. No one can ever love the way you have. No one could have created the universe the way you did. Father, I simply pray that in all I do, may all glory always be given to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

As Christians we move by faith and never by sight. Just because we cannot see God with our physical eyes, does not mean that He is not real – Because He is. The Christian walk is a walk of faith. We live contrary to the world that bases all their belief on what they can see, hear, and touch. If we forfeit our faith, and we do not believe in Christ, all our efforts will be in vain.

Dear God, I ask that you will help me remain faithful to this cause. Lord, whenever temptation or doubt comes my way, may you give me the strength to turn away from them and focus on you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

As Christians we move by faith and never by sight. Just because we cannot see God with our physical eyes, does not mean that He is not real – Because He is. The Christian walk is a walk of faith. We live contrary to the world that bases all their belief on what they can see, hear, and touch. If we forfeit our faith, and we do not believe in Christ, all our efforts will be in vain.

Dear God, I ask that you will help me remain faithful to this cause. Lord, whenever temptation or doubt comes my way, may you give me the strength to turn away from them and focus on you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

As you walk in your Christian life, you need to ensure that you remain rooted in Christ at all times. The enemy will try to railroad you and tamper with your faith. But as you can see, in this verse, God is able to keep you, through His Spirit, and remind you to focus on Christ at all times.

Dear God, I pray that no matter what may come my way. I will remain focused at all times, knowing that your Spirit is keeping me and strengthening me. I thank you, Lord, that I do not have to face this world on my own. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Song is something that may bring people from very disparate parts of life together, for songs can reach beyond borders and into peoples’ lives. Therefore it may get stuck in their heads, or stay with them for years on end, the words or tune affixed to a special time and memory. Would it be preposterous to suggest we treat Gods’ love like such a melody? Is it not after all, something immaterial but which moves us in some deep and knowing way? Literally, spread songs of joy amongst friends and nations, if you can, seek out other religious songs in other tongues. Figuratively sing His praise, let it be one of your favorite songs to carry with you wherever you go.

Lord Almighty, hear my songs of praise, hear my love for You rising up like a melody. Remind me that it is just as important to speak Your name as it is to sing it. Grant me this audience Lord, just as I wish to hear it from others. May it please You, may it harmonize with Your promise of everlasting life and eternal grace. Amen.

Listen to others speak, and one may slowly begin to deduce things from their character. Are their words filled with more positives than negatives? Are there curses or praises? Are they loud and gregarious, or silent and defensive? These come down to individual characters and history, but it is important to pay mind to the kind of language you use as a believer, for it may profoundly affect your outlook on life and God. The word in Scripture is not like that which comprises every day exchanges, so pay respect to it, give it reverence; these words were carefully chosen, passed down through generations for you by Him.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for Your word, passed down to us through Scripture and the mouths of our forbearers. Like those who have gone before us, please help guide us Lord in giving our respect to them and to You, by using Your word with reverence and veneration, disseminating Your truth. May my words shine a light unto You Lord, Amen.

One can never praise enough Gods’ glory, even if one tries! Everyday set aside something you are thankful for and give thanks to the Lord in prayer. Every day give blessings to the Lord for all he has provided for you. Extol his name whenever there is a moment, and let his angels hear!

Lord my Almighty Father, I exalt Your name in the highest of Heaven! At your feet, I give my thanks and blessing, and pray that in each and every day, You hear my gratitude. Help me maintain my daily prayers and duty to You Lord, so that I may never stray from Your truth. Amen.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Many at Galatia had been influenced by the “Judaizers, ” Jewish Christians, or at least Christians in name, who sought to be justified through keeping the Law of Moses. But Paul tells them that the true function of the Law was not to save but to be a “schoolmaster” or “teacher” to bring them to Christ. Once they saw the impossibility of keeping the Law and the great culpability of breaking it, they would see their need to be saved by faith alone.

Lord, that schoolmaster (your Law) that revealed our need of a Savior is still revealing to us our shortcomings. As love is the fulfilling of the Law, and to love God and neighbor is the sum of it, we see the Law is a helpful guide for Christian conduct. Use it to test us and show us our flaws, then turn us by grace to the keeping of it through love. Amen.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

To remove the curse of God for breaking his Law from us, Jesus took our guilt upon himself and suffered that curse in our place. God cannot demand “double payment” for sin, so that he cannot justly condemn those whose sins were paid for in full on the cross. That is why there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

O Lamb of God, it is your blood that takes away the sin-debt of the world, even of every one who believes on your name. We could not bear the punishment of our sin, nor endure the day of God’s wrath against sin. We praise you for your work of love on the cross, where you redeemed us from the curse of the Law. Amen.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

It is in God’s design of things that children should grow up and leave the home. It is normal that they should go out and begin their own home. For our families to be strong and healthy, unlike the “fractured” if not broken families the world is so full of, husband and wife must remain in close, intimate union. And this union is a picture of the union between Christ and His Church.

God, help us to work at our relationships with others so that they will be all you intend them to be. Let my relationship with you be the foundation for a good relationship with spouse, children, parents, all family and friends, and every acquaintance. Amen.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; )

Perhaps the two sweetest words in the whole Bible are found here, “But God. ” In the verse just preceding, it is stated that believers were “children of wrath even as others” before their conversion. But God had a great love for them, which led him to “quicken, ” that is “raise to life, ” those who were dead spiritually. Paul then adds emphatically, “by grace you are saved. “

May we say with conviction, O Lord, that old Christian saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I. ” May we recognize that it was your saving love that made the difference with us. We were dead to God, unable to respond properly to him. But your love laid hold on us, Lord, and you imparted to us life. And we know that yours is a love that “will not let us go.” Amen.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

The Holy Spirit is here called the Spirit of Wisdom, using a grammatical construction that in the Greek indicates the Spirit is the “source of” or “giver of” wisdom. In 2 Timothy 3:15, we learn that the Scriptures are “able to make you wise unto salvation. ” When God opens our understanding to see the truth of the Gospel, he enlightens us and imparts to us wisdom to know and act on the truth. He then gives us hope of future glory and assures us of that hope by “the working of his mighty power” in us. That is the very power that raised up Jesus from the dead.

Open our minds more and more, we pray, to understand your truths. Let the “resurrection power” of God that raised Jesus Christ’s body from the grave raise up our spirits to live more and more a “resurrection life” of obedience to you. Amen.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Faith is a gift from God, but it is also a thing that we are called to diligently work at and improve. In fact, these verses on diligence are further informed by verse 10 of the same chapter where our diligence is said to be the means of making “our calling and election sure. ” That is, when faith, virtue (moral fortitude), knowledge (gained through experience), self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love abound in our lives, it is fruit of righteousness that helps assure our hearts that indeed we are God’s children and will enter his everlasting kingdom (verse 11).

Lord, we take seriously your command to strive diligently after godliness and all Christian virtues in our daily walk. We know that you do not desire our faith to remain “alone, ” but that it should be accompanied by all Christian graces. We are encouraged to know that you will help us and guide us as we grow in all of these areas, step by step. Amen.

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

There will be days when you are tempted and days when you need protection, but you are a child of God. God will never leave you or forsake you – you will never have to walk through these challenging times alone. He is always faithful. He offers his protection and will help you stay away from evil. He has given you his Holy Spirit as a guide. Trust the Spirit to alert you when you have stumbled into trouble and call on him for protection.

Dear God, when I am fearful and need courage, I know you will strengthen me. You are always faithful and you will never leave me – thank you! Help me to trust you to guide me through difficult situations and protect me from any evil the evil one tries to use against me. O Lord, make my faith stronger so that I do not have a spirit of fear. Thank you for rescuing me time and time again. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Intercession: the action of Intervening on Behalf of Others: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

When we try to rush ahead of God’s timing and His guidance, we will end up making a lot of mistakes. We need to humble ourselves under God’s guidance, realizing that He truly knows best. When we do so, we will reach the right points in our life at the right time. It’s all about trusting Him.

Doubt is normal. It was there in Paul’s time and it exists today. Maybe it is more prevalent today than it was in Paul’s time because there are so many people trying to discourage people from belief in God. The pagans of Paul’s time believed in gods, they just didn’t all know God. Today many claim that there is no God. They believe that scientists will soon be able to explain everything about how the world was created and answer any other question we might have. See, no need for God! And if there is no God then no heaven and no resurrection. If this is true then why bother depriving ourselves of all the pleasures we can get just because Christianity says love of God and of others should come first. But, there were too many people who witnessed Jesus after his resurrection. Too many people who were willing to die for the sake of Jesus and his teaching. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t die for a lie. And I doubt that they would either. So, as Paul says, since Jesus rose from the dead, we need to pay attention to what he said and to the promise that one day we too would rise if only we remain faithful. Doubt? Okay, but in the end, trust and belief.

According to Lionel Swain, of St. Edmund’s College, Ware, St. Paul believed intercession to be one of the most important aspects of faith and praying life, as praying for others is a recurring theme in his works. Prayer acts as a way for St. Paul to acknowledge God’s power. Intercessory prayer also acts as a way for the Apostle to “share in … the Father’s redemptive love”. Paul believed that prayer transformed the person doing the praying, as much as the one being prayed for, which creates a stronger bond between him and God.

Prof. Dr Johannes van Oort, Professor Extraordinarius in the Department of Church History and Church Polity of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, adds that, in addition to praying for wisdom, the early church was very much involved with different charismas, one of which being healing. Praying for other people’s illnesses was another way that intercessory prayer was important in the early church, as healing was a sign of “the power of God’s Kingdom”. This gift of healing is specifically mentioned, among the other charismata, as a sign of being a true Christian by Irenaeus of Lyons in his text, Against Heresies.

Saints[edit source]

Intercession of the saints is a doctrine held by the Eastern OrthodoxOriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches that saints may be asked to intercede (or pray) for others. The doctrine of requesting intercession from saints can be found in Christian writings from the 3rd century AD, such as from Origen and Clement of Alexandria.

Main article: Prayer for the dead

The dead

In addition to praying for each other in life, early Christians would pray for those who had died. There is no unequivocal evidence that Christians began to pray for the dead before the third century AD. G. F. Hamilton argues that the earliest example of Church prayer on behalf of dead Christians are found in the Sacramentary of Serapion of Thmuis (350 AD). Rather than pray for the departed in regular church services on Sunday, these early Christians would hold special commemorative occasions during the week. There was a sharp distinction drawn between remembering and praying on behalf of the dead, and those who were the “‘faithfully’ departed”, where Christians would only pray for those who had died as believers. The First Epistle of Clement (95 AD) contains a prayer which, while mainly for protection for the living, also includes the dead. Even quite early, a distinction was drawn between those who had died as Christians, and those who had died as unbelievers. In the Martyrdom of Polycarp (155 AD), Polycarp is killed and his bones are taken by fellow Christians and a shrine is set up to him, where they may remember his martyrdom. In contrast, the “Apology of Aristides” shows how those who were not Christians were grieved for, while the dead faithful were rejoiced over.  

Theological perspective: In an article in Theological Studies, Catholic theologian Patricia A. Sullivan warns that saints should not be built up in a way that brings down God. Saint Augustine had famously said that we pray not to instruct God but to get our will in line with God’s. Sullivan warns away from the dictionary meanings of “intercession” as “intervention, mediation, arbitration, negotiation”, all of which sound like we are dealing with a hostile or unfriendly God, whom we need to manipulate to get what we need. Such is not the meaning of the hapax legomenon in the New Testament of the word for intercession. Sullivan goes on:

When we ask a saint to intercede for us, what is happening at a deeper level is that we are taking refuge in the all-enfolding community of the redeemed, approaching God thru saintly symbols of Christ’s victory and of our hope. Saints want always what God wants, what is best for us whether we pray for it or not. They are in a perpetual attitude of praise for God’s love and care, to which we join ourselves, praying, more precisely, with them rather than to them. The value of our petitions is that they turn us in confidence toward the God who loves us, allowing God’s work to be more effective in us, and thru us in others.

It would be anathema to ask God to try any harder to do good. By invocation of a saint “we take refuge in faith in the all-enfolding community of all the redeemed,” where “each is responsible for all”. They are “creative models of holiness”.

Islam

Main articles: Shafa’ah and Tawassul

Although the idea of intercession or mediation (Arabic: s̲h̲afāʿa) has historically played a very prominent role in Islamic thought, it is not universally accepted by all Muslims in the present day.

The Quran says that the pre-Islamic Arab pagan gods will not be able to intercede with God on behalf of humankind, and that “the guilty” (al-mujrimīn,) will not benefit from any intercession on the Day of Judgment. Other passages that deny the efficacy intercession include. Still others say that God is the only intercessor.

However, “intercession is mentioned in the Qurʾān with respect to angels praying for the believers and the Prophet praying for erring but repentant Muslims.” Furthermore, it became an orthodox Islamic doctrine or “cardinal belief” that “Muḥammad will intercede for all Muslims on the Day of Resurrection.” While this particular tenet practically remained unchallenged throughout Islamic history, the widespread Sunni and Shia practice of asking deceased prophets and saints for intercession by praying at their tombs have become contentious issues in the modern Islamic world, with all these different types of intercession often being labelled by Salafi/Wahhabi Muslims as a type of polytheism, in a manner akin to the attitude of many Protestants towards the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox practice of saint-intercession. In prophetic sayings there is intercession of martyrs for “seventy relatives” in the Hereafter.

Some religions claim that praying for somebody who is sick can have positive effects on the health of the person being prayed for.

Meta-studies of the literature in the field have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a 2006 meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is “no discernible effect” while a 2007 systemic review of intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 of 17 studies had “small, but significant, effect sizes” but the review noted that the most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings.

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Does Jesus really want us to believe that our enemies are our parents, children, family or friends? Somehow, I don’t think so! It is really about priorities. Have you ever chosen to watch a sports program when your child wanted to talk to you? What about not sitting at the table for meals because a special game is on? We are called on to make choices all the time. We can choose God, or we can choose other. Is that late night party worth missing church? We can talk all we want about being too busy, but the truth is that we find the time for what we want to do. I love to read, knit, spend time with my friends and I hate doing the laundry, dishes, vacuuming, but it all needs to be done. I would rather pick up a good book than exercise. I can say that I am “too busy” to do the things I don’t enjoy doing, but the truth is, I choose to spend my time in other ways. The same is true about putting God first. A friend that is always put last doesn’t remain a friend for long. When it comes to God, we know he will never desert us, but what about our turning our backs on him? We know what we must do – put God first and then everything else falls into place. Even carrying the crosses each of us must bear in life is easier because we know we don’t have to do it alone. Sometimes we may have to disappoint a child or friend because we choose to do the right thing, but that is the price of being a disciple of Jesus.

GOD CAN SHIFT YOU FROM WAITING ON IT TO WALKING IN IT!

If God has asked you to lay something down or pick something up — I promise you that in due time you will see the fruit of that decision. You will never ever regret obeying Him no matter how extreme, crazy, hard or illogical it might look. — it’s worth it every single time! Before […]

GOD CAN SHIFT YOU FROM WAITING ON IT TO WALKING IN IT!

And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. Ezekiel!

In this passage, we see a God who is not too happy with His chosen people. Because of their disobedience, they have blackened the name of the Lord. His reputation has been smeared among the heathen people of the area. He tells Isaiah to give His people a message: that He plans to restore His own name. He will ensure that these people know that He is God. Wow! Wouldn’t it be an awful thing to let God down in this way? To “profane” His name among His enemies? Sadly, we do the same thing when we don’t give Him the honor that is due Him while we are among his enemies in the world. When we allow people to speak against Him, or when we fail to lift Him up in their presence, we blacken His name. We cause Him to have to “vindicate the Holiness” of His own name, because we have refused to make His name holy. What a dreadful and treacherous decision! To put ourselves is such a position is a foolish thing indeed.

The entire book of Romans 8 about the assurance of salvation. Every Christian wants to be assured that he is actually saved. Many people wander around “in the flesh” believing that they’re saved, but if they read this chapter, it becomes the actual measure of salvation. It is a really good chapter to read if you want the assurance that you are indeed saved. This particular verse says that those who are walking in the spirit of God are the sons of God. If we’re led by the Spirit of God, what does that mean? What Paul is trying to tell us here is that if we are walking in the spirit of God, then we are actually going to kill the sin in our lives. We’re going to want it dead in order to please God, to glorify Him. You see, people who are not in the spirit, who were still walking in the flesh don’t really want to kill their sin. People who lie don’t want to stop lying; people who gossip don’t want to stop gossiping. If they do put on some semblance of killing their sin, it’s just so they’ll look better– not because they want to please God, Paul tells us here that if we truly want to be the sons of God, the children of God, then we are going to be led by the spirit. So one assurance of our salvation is this: we ask ourselves the question, “Am I trying to kill my own sin because I want to please God?” If the answer to that question is “yes,” then you are the child of God. That is evidence that the spirit lives in You because only the spirit in You would want to put an end to the sin in Your life. If you want assurance of salvation, look within to see what your motivations are for ending your own sin.

Father, I want to make Your name Holy. I want to be Your champion and tell the world of Your goodness and righteousness. Help me not to cower in the face of Your enemies, but to stand up and defend Your honor. Help me to be strong, even when I am afraid of the adversaries around me. With Your help and with Your power, You will never have to clean up a mess I have made of Your name. Amen.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 1:4

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

Famine, war, captivity…these are all the consequences of rebellion the people of Israel experienced. The Old Testament has example after example of the Lord turning his hand against those who did not obey him. It can be easy for us to judge these Old Testament citizens, but if we look closely at our own hearts, we will see that there have been times when we have disobeyed and rebelled against the Lord’s commandments. Rather than judging the Old Testament body, we should use their experiences as a guide. Rather than continuing in sin and having God subject us to his wrath, we should seek his face.

The early Christians were known by the example they showed in how they loved one another. In this short passage, we learn that they shared what they had so that no one went without. If we read further in chapter 4 we hear of how they sold their possessions and turned in their monies so that the apostles could distribute it according to one’s needs. Does this sound like the Christians of today?

Actually, it does describe Christians living in the poorer countries of the world. Many missionaries have described the welcome they have received and the good will of the people in the poor countries where they have served. I experienced the same on a mission trip to Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world. In the wealthier countries, keeping what they have seems more important than sharing with others. People are willing to donate what is not longer useful, clothing they have outgrown, furniture they need to replace, other items they no longer have room for, even cars that no longer work. But, are they willing to rent an apartment at a lower rate so that a poor family can live safely? They might rent to a low income family but usually with a government subsidy so they don’t lose any money. The rich can seem to feel that it’s their right to keep whatever they’ve earned – which is not actually wrong, but what of their responsibility to help the needy?

In the Gospel, Jesus points out clearly talks about our responsibility to the poor and the vulnerable, a preferential option for the poor. What about us?

Often we focus on the great, unearned, unlimited mercy God has shown us. Now we need to consider how we have shown mercy to others – and maybe even to ourselves! Where do you have a problem with being merciful? It could be with forgiveness, compassion for those who suffer from addictions, or who beg, or we might not be welcoming to the stranger. Each of us has a problem with someone or something. I worked in retail during high school and college and then married into the world of retail. One of my problems is having patience with store salespeople who are rude or who don’t have a clue about the products they are selling. I try. There are members of my family who don’t speak to one another. I know people who are so unforgiving that it interferes with their relationships.

God is merciful to us when we don’t know what we’re doing. He sends us help when we are lost. He forgives us over and over again. I also know people who continue to carry their past mistakes with them to the point where they can’t move forward in their lives. God has forgiven them, why is it that they can’t forgive themselves? Today, think about the areas of your life where God has shown you mercy, and then look at the areas where you need to pass that mercy on to someone else – or maybe decide that it’s time you put down your own baggage and forgive yourself. With God’s help, we can grow in our ability to share the mercy we have been shown with others and so relieve them of some of the pain they may be carrying.

Each time the Lord saved them, they poured out their thanks and let everyone know what God had done for them. It is now the Easter season, and we need to be just as enthusiastic in our thanks and praise as the Israelites. If they were grateful for the victories won for them, how much more should we be for Jesus winning the victory over sin and death. This is a battle that has won a victory for all people for all time. Never again will this battle have to be fought, and we didn’t have to fight it, Jesus did it all. There is a hymn that I’ve sung every year at the Baptist church during the celebration of the Seven Last Words on Good Friday that is called just that: “Jesus Did it All.” Not only did he do it all, but by his resurrection he let us know that the victory was won, the gates of heaven were opened and the power of Satan had been defeated. All we have to do is live each day following in the footsteps of Christ and accept the gift we have been offered. Why do we hold back? Do we take our faith so for granted that we no longer feel the need to say thanks? This year, let it be different and let those around you know of your gratitude for the victory won for you and for them.

Isn’t it amazing that God has the power to do great things through us? He pours His Spirit out and through Him alone, men and women are able to do things that they could never do apart from God. God can do anything. He has the power to move mountains, to speak His words through Humans, and to do great works in and through us. God is truly amazing!

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

Here Jesus talks to His Father one of His final prayers on this earth. In this verse, He refers to the work He has completed. He knows that His time on earth has come to an end. He has reviewed His life and He says, essentially, “Father, I’ve done the best I can. There is nothing more for me to do here. I’ve prepared them as well as possible. It’s time to do this thing I came here to do.” And with that, it begins. The greatest act of love known to mankind is about to unfold.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

One of Kari Jobe’s most famous songs is “You are for Me.” Based on this passage, the song emphasizes the love of a God who is faithful on our side. No matter what goes on in our lives, He is there. Paul makes an important argument here: God gave His own Son for us. How can He not be on our side? He chose us. Every decision we make, every step that we take, God is with us. He sees our going out and our coming in. He sees when we fall and when we fail and He still is on our side, with unconditional love. It doesn’t matter what the world has said about us. It doesn’t matter what we sometimes say about ourselves. He, the Lord of All, is for us. He’s in our corner and with God in our corner, who dares to be against us.

Lord, I thank You for what You did for me at Calvary. You gave Your life for me. You loved me unconditionally. You suffered and died for me. Help me to be worthy of Your sacrifice. Amen.

Dear God, you are holy and you are jealous. When we are tempted to disobey your commands, remind us of the Israelites and the ways they suffered because of sin. Remind us that sometimes we must be disciplined to learn a lesson, but help us to learn this lesson from those who went before us rather than having to walk through it ourselves. Forgive us for our sins, O Lord. Do not turn your hand against us. Please extend mercy on your children. In Jesus’ name, amen. Lord, I believe that You have the power to do mighty works in and through me. I believe that You work through Your Church in mysterious ways. I give my life to You to do whatever You want in and through me. You are mighty and wonderful. Your ways are mysterious, and I praise You for Your great works. In Jesus’ name. Amen. Father, I know that You are for me. I know that You have my best interest in Your heart. You gave up Your own Son to give me life and I thank You. If You are for me, then no one can be against me. Amen.

Lord, Thank you for caring for me, for providing for my needs, for making me feel safe and protected. In You I see my true worth. I am treasured by You and Your love gives me confidence. In You, I am everything. Amen.

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This is a praise of joy in the Lord. The writer of this Psalm rejoices in the Lord. So should we. We should exalt in the Lord, the Highest. He is all things to us. We should praise His Holy name forever. He is worthy of all praise. Praise is one of the most powerful weapons against the enemy that we possess. When we praise, we affect ourselves, God, the enemy. When we praise, walls fall and troubles disappear. The lack of praise conversely affects everything in your life. While almost everyone would agree that praise is a good thing, many people don’t see the responsibility to praise God even when we don’t feel like it. When we give this “sacrifice” of praise unto God, we are overcomers. Praise comes naturally when we recognize the goodness in our lives. We should make it a point to praise Him every day.

The Christian life is a wondrous adventure, full of twists and turns, good times and also difficult challenges. Through all of it, God’s Word is our greatest resource for insight, wisdom, hope, and guidance. Every problem we face has its solution in the Word of God. Where there is a need for comfort, peace, or courage, He provides it. To find His wisdom, there is simply no substitute for spending time alone with Him in prayer and the study of His Scriptures. Each year I receive countless letters from people who ask if there is a way for them to know God’s will for their lives. The answer is yes. But before He will reveal this to us, we need to get to know Him—the way He thinks, acts, and demonstrates His love for us.

Are you tired of trying to overcome sin on your own? Are you worn out from trying to be perfect, in your own power? Have you tried to be righteous on your own and found yourself seriously wanting? Here is the good news: you don’t have to do this on your own. Jesus Christ paid the price for us, so that we could be saved from our sin, and so that we could also be partakers of the Father’s inheritance. The life of Christ is an unburdened life, filled with rest and blessed assurance.

Dear God, I thank you for the rest and peace I have in you as a result of what your son, Jesus Christ, did for me. Lord, I have struggled with my sin and I have grown weary from trying to be perfect on my own. Thank you, Father, for removing the burden from my shoulders and helping me overcome my struggles. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

Even Jesus rested, and He encouraged his apostles to rest. He wanted them to take breaks and rest. To take the time to go away and eat. There is nothing wrong with needing rest. God meant for us to take a Sabbath just as He did. He created the world in six days, and He rested on the seventh. You are not greater than God; take a rest.

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. Father God, Thank You for Hearing Our Prayers In Jesus Name Amen

A good husband is a jewel. A woman is blessed if her husband not only loves her and provides for her, but also treats her well and protects her. A good husband treasures his wife. He makes sure that her needs are met. He is her friend and her confidante. He makes her feel safe and he makes her feel confident. Through his eyes, she sees her own beauty and worth. This passage compares God to a husband. He cares for his Bride in the same way that an early husband cares for his wife. We can take comfort in the fact that we are safe in the arms of our husband who is our Maker and Redeemer. We have nothing to fear. We are loved and cherished by a kind and loving God.

Lord, Thank you for caring for me, for providing for my needs, for making me feel safe and protected. In You I see my true worth. I am treasured by You and Your love gives me confidence. In You, I am everything. Amen.

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10

God did not appoint us to wrath but to obatin his salvation in Christ, through faith. Therefore, whether we be alive physically or not, we are still alive spiritually. We are always with Christ, for wherever we are, we are in spiritual union with him.

We were all once the children of wrath as all others (Ephesians 2:3), O Lord, for in that state we were born. But you appointed us to escape that wrath and obatin salvation through your Son. We know we are not deserving of anything good and can make no demands upon you. Help us, therefore, to ever present our prayers to you in true humility as those seeking mercy and grace.

The first thing I think of on this date is that 9 months from today it will be Christmas! But this is not what we should be reflecting upon. Imagine what it must have been like for Mary. Here she was, a simple girl in a small town, betrothed and getting ready to be married and now she is told that she has been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah. What must have gone through her mind! What will Joseph say? Will he still want to marry her? What does it mean to be a mother to a Savior? Joseph will answer the first two questions, but the rest she will have to learn, as most mothers do, day by day.

God has a plan for each of us as well. His plans are not made known in quite the same kind of grand announcement, but he does tell us. What do you enjoy doing? What gifts do you see in yourself? God doesn’t ask us to do or be anything other than what he has prepared us to do. He doesn’t ask one who gets F in science to be a doctor, for example. And since Jesus tells us that he has come to bring us joy, he’s not going to lead us to a vocation that will make us miserable. But the one vocation all the baptized have is to bring the message of Jesus to others. We do this by example as well as by word. He has planted the seed of faith in our hearts; all we have to do is live it.

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Solomon instructs his son to establish his paths ahead of time (verse 26) and then to not turn aside one way or the other, “to the right hand or to the left. ” We should be people of purpose who ponder our path of life, not people who wander aimlessly and are drawn ultimately into evil deeds.

Lord, help us to consider our ways and to ponder the path of our feet. Give us a clear vision of what we should do and where we should go and then keep us focused on doing your will, not distracted by the allurements of the world. The world’s “Vanity Fair” offers the pleasures of sin for a season, but lies in the heart of the “City of Destruction. ” Let us seek the pleasures of God instead and hunger and thirst after His righteousness.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

You may have heard the old Yiddish saying “Man plans, God laughs.” This saying is intended to illustrate the futility of man-made plans. The Bible doesn’t say that God laughs at our attempts to plan our own way, but it does say that He directs our steps. Goal setting is desirable. It is important to have a plan for our lives. We all need to “devise our own way” to an extent. More important than having a plan, however, is understanding that without God, no plan we devise will come to fruition. Without His direction, any plan we make will fail. It is imperative that we understand that every gift, every good thing that allows us to succeed, comes from God. Until we understand that and accept that fact, our plans will be fruitless.

Father, I know that every good thing comes from You. You have blessed every gift and skill I possess. Any success I have is because of You. I need You in every aspect of my life. I need Your strength and Your guidance. I need You to guide my steps in every facet of my life. As I make goals, I ask You to direct me in the way I should go. I trust Your plan for my life and I put myself into Your hands. Amen.

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