Thursday, October 17, 2019

2 Chronicles Chapter 16-17 Devotional

Links and Introduction
God answered the desire of my heart by giving me the fellowship of these Christian blogger sisters, that Blog Through the Bible with me.  Having grown out of the Titus Women's Gathering study ministry called Revel in the Word, it is great fun and encouragement for us all, to take turns writing blog posts to cover chapters as we endeavor to read the Bible cover to cover.

I'll be the first to admit that the task is sometimes intimidating.  I will disclaim that my posts in particular are more the bringing forth of talking points than summarizing.  You are missing out if you do not read the Bible text for yourself, but you will be blessed if you additionally read our BTTB posts.  We are blessed by writing and reading...


Recent links would be Stacey @ Words From the Wheel, Angela @ No Longer Lukewarm, Tatiana @ The Musings of Mum, and some posts will be at Telling Hearts, our collaborative blog as well as here at Grandma Mary Martha.

Repeated Bible Themes
One of the reasons that I find Old Testament study so rewarding is for the insight on God's character, and appreciation for Him, that grows.  I see these themes repeating in this chapter, how about you?
~Obedience begats reward!
~God desires our attention, loyalty, faith!
~Disobedience leads to God's protection being lifted, and some bad consequences...

2 Chronicles chapter 16
Chapter 16 opens at Asa's last years.  In the 36th year of his reign of Judah, (recall the internal unrest, and national division) King Baasha of Israel took control of Ramah, which seems to be somewhat of a pawn city in the way it is treated.  So here we have God's people divided politically and fighting.  Baasha has control of Ramah until Asa goes behind his back and "buys off" his ally Ben Hadad, king of Aram in Damascus. 

Political Buy-off I find it interesting that in this "buy off," King Asa literally spent treasures from "the treasuries of the Lord's temple."  YIKES.  But jimmenies, the king wanted peace and victory, and he was the king who followed God. (2 Chronicles 14:2 "And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord")  Made mistakes?  Apparently, but he tried.

God's reaction considering above:

2 Chronicles 16:7
"...because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand."

God did not address the issue of spending form the treasury of the temple of the Lord, at least not in chapter 16 or 17.  Maybe He did not care so much as some might think.... because he is GOD.  What are earth's riches to Him, if not a gift of the heart?

See-er Imprisoned Did you read this from the Bible?  Note that God did not say this directly to Asa, but His word came from a "see-er" which in some scriptures is called a prophet.  This would be someone who has a special relationship with God or a special talent from God.  How do we recognize or measure prophets today?   FIRSTLY ALWAYS MEASURE BY HIS PRESERVED WORD- the Bible. Just worth clarifying!

Back to king Asa.  He was not humble or receptive to this word from God.  Infact he had the seer put in prison and he abused or oppressed some of the people under him.
A Foot Ailment From there it REALLY did not go well for Asa.  He came down with a foot ailment that lasted the next few years until he died.  The Bible tells us that he looked to his modern physicians for healing but did not consult God at all for this matter, and if you study Old Testament and New Testament, you can see plenty of evidence that God and Jesus advocate prayers for healing and God indeed is in the business of healing if He so chooses.  Ultimately those saved in Jesus Christ, get healed in Heaven and for that I am so grateful.

If you do not know if you are saved or not... I invite you to read this post written to explain what the Bible teaches about salvation.  Telling Hearts post on salvation.

2 Chronicles chapter 17
Asa's son Jehoshaphat succeeds him on the throne over Judah.

2 Chronicles 17:3
"The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the ways of his father David before him."

He was a descendant of David.

Blessings begat reward?  A lot of chapter 17 tells specifics as to the great success, riches, power and influence of Jehoshaphat.

2 Chronicles 17:6
"His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord....he removed the high (idolatry) places..."

Public Education, and Power for Good Verse 7-9 even tells about a public education program that he initiated, in attempt to bring the people back to their God, to remind them of what instruction and heritage they had forgotten.

Obedience to God begats reward?  Verse 10 basically tells us that during this man's reign, the surrounding people did not want to attack Judah and furthermore, many people brought him GIFTS.  The last verses of this chapter tell about the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of men who served under him, for Judah, at the time, a very blessed nation.

Does this make you think about present political situations?  How so?  
What is our role in the political world?  
How do we determine our values and path of activism?  
Is prayer activism?  
What do you think led to the civil unrest and division of this period between Israel and Judah?
Asa did not consult God for healing, but instead he consulted physicians of his day.  Does this quandary confront us today?  What is your position about consulting God and or physicians for healing?  From where do you think wisdom and insight and skill and talent in medicine come from?  Who has the final say?  Who deserves glory and gratitude for any healing? 
(Want to discuss answers in the comments?  I know my answers....)


Dear God, teach us how to hear You, follow You, and do Your work, even in complicated situations, in our personal life, professional life, community life and in broader politics. Teach us how to trust You, and grow us in faith and courage. In You is all our hope! In Jesus's name we pray, amen.






Sunday, October 13, 2019

Chicken and Black Bean Chili

Chicken and Black Bean Chili along with cornbread, raw veggies and a few moon-drop grapes, was a delightful lunch this cool October day, and the chili was SO EASY!!






This is how easy it was:
I dumped the package of raw defrosted chicken breasts in the crock-pot and cooked on high until DONE.  Then I used my Pampered Chef chopping gadget to crumble up the chicken.  I added the tomato sauce (two big cans) and three packs of Walmart chili seasoning, and the cooked black beans.

How much water you may be wondering?  That is for the cook to decide.  I kept the beans covered in water as they cooked, and the breasts were covered in water as they cooked.  I did not drain at all.



This chili is so delicious, I set aside some to share with a friend and her husband.  Nutritious too!!

Serving suggestion:  You might try melting in and stirring, a big spoon of cream cheese.  I am taking my friend some so she and her husband have that option.  I am also bringing them some Frito corn chips.  YUM.

Glycemic Index
I am not a nutritionist.  I did read a lot of the book called South Beach Diet, and from that book, I think I understand glycemic index better.  This is what I think I understand:  Eating raw veggies, meats, cheeses, healthy oils, acids like vinegar, or nuts and whole grains.... can help REDUCE glycemic index of food in your digestive tract (like the cornbread).   So if eating this cornbread (not low sugar cornbread) was a NO NO, then eating the raw veggies "helped" to cancel out some of the sugar.

To eat the cornbread with the raw veggies and chicken was better than to have eaten it alone when considering glycemic index.

This is what I think I understood. I recommend the book South Beach Diet more for the educational value, than for the prescribed diet value, though I will say that I tried a few recipes from the book, and was glad that I did!!

Enjoy, and be blessed in the Sonshine,


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

2 Chronicles 7 and 8 Devotional




Introduction
Have you ever read the Old Testament cover to cover?  That is what I am endeavoring to do.  Three other sisters join me in documenting our journey and thoughts as we take turns blogging through the Bible.  You are invited to read along and add to the discussion in the comments at our blogs, or in the women's online ministry where our idea for this began, OR if you are a blogger and think this is something you may like to jump into the rotation of turns with is, then just reach out to one of us.  We would actually delight to have other sisters join us!

Chapter 5 and 6 were recently blogged about by Angela at her blog called No Longer Lukewarm.  She has a fabulous index of Blogging Through the Bible there at her site.

Chapter 3 and 4 were blogged about by Stacey at her brand new (re-designed) blog called Words From the Wheel.

Tatiana kicked us into 2 Chronicles by addressing chapter 1 and 2 at her blog, The Musings of Mum.

I closed up the end of 1 Chronicles at our collaborative blog, Telling Hearts.  We would be delighted for you to read and comment on our devotionals.

2 Chronicles chapter 7 and 8 Themes
I see that these chapters have strong themes of 
~ REVERENCE and RESPECT
~ORGANIZATION and PLANNING
~SERIOUSNESS OF WORSHIP
~OBEDIENCE begats REWARD

Let's Take a Look at chapter 7
FIRE and GLORY
How cool is it, that at the beginning of chapter 7, we get an inside peek into the opening celebration for the extravagant temple built for the Lord.  How interesting, that in the first paragraphs of this chapter we are told about sacrifices being made, a miraculous consuming FIRE coming down and devouring the "burnt offerings and sacrifices,"  AND the "glory of the Lord," appeared in the form of (previously described as) a dark cloud.

SERIOUS WORSHIP The people and priests were so moved by this sight, that they could not enter or look continually upon this sight but instead kneeled onto the ground to worship and say, "He is good.  His love endures forever."

RESPECT and REVERENCE Next in the chapter the magnitude of sacrifice and organization and precision of this worship ritual, is told about. 22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats were offered in sacrifice exactly as duties were planned, assigned and taught, right down to the musical instruments provided by King David.  This worship and responsibility was  taken seriously.  It was planned and organized.  It had to have been to accomplish what they accomplished in so small an area in (later we read) 7 days of the opening celebration.

ORGANIZED !! It was their culture, their faith, and we assume that most or all participating priests believed that their very eternal lives depended on how well they did their job, because this God that they served had shown Himself MIGHTY, All-Seeing, All-Knowing, and not to be taken lightly. They conducted their assigned roles for the worship and sacrifice services, organized and assigned.

Timeframe and Magnitude... And to have witnessed (or heard people in your community to talk about) this glory cloud of the Lord that people could not even look upon for long.....Can you imagine??

Verse 8 and 9 tells us that this opening celebration dedicating the temple to the Lord, took 7 days and then a festival was celebrated for 7 more days, with some sort of grand assembly in between.  What a GREAT cultural, religious event or feat!  All of God's people united for Him!

GOD SPEAKS to SOLOMON The latter part of chapter 7 is after the opening celebration.  I think it is a rather sweet and intimate portrayal of the Lord visiting Solomon in the night, and basically claiming His love and affection for His people, with reminder that obedience begats reward, repentance is good, along with words of caution that disobedience and disloyalty in serving Him (the only true God) would result in the temple becoming a pile of rubble.

2 Chronicles chapter 8
Chapter 8 tells about Solomon's other great deeds and accomplishments while serving as King of Israel.

I thought it interesting that foreigners were put in positions of subservience, and that he built his wife, the Pharaoh's daughter, a new palace because he did not want her living where once the ark of the Lord had been kept -in David's palace.  This is because he believed places where the ark of the Lord had been, were "holy." (Reverence and respect)

The rest of this chapter tells about honoring God in festivals, and in service according to ordinances by Moses or King David.  With careful planning, what the forefathers of faith had started, King Solomon built upon and perpetuated. By all indications this culture was of a cooperative people who were happy to comply and follow instructions from authorities in charge.  They TRUSTED their leaders and must have had a sense of duty and pride in serving to the best of their abilities to honor God. (Reverence and Respect)

Verse 16-18 tell about the extreme riches and amazing blessings that came to Solomon, and Israel under his leadership. (Obedience begats reward.)

* How do you think you would re-act if you saw the glory of the Lord?  This passage reminded me of..... "blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed." (John 20:29; KJV)

*These people presumably were very respectful of authority as it applied to getting the job done for building the temple, and then carrying out sacrifices and worship in an organized way. Is there some church or spiritual authority that you need to be more respectful of?

*If you are not under the authority of anyone or any congregation, do you think that at least an accountability partner in your life could be a blessing?  Who might you enlist for this responsibility and honor?

*Are you grateful that we are offered Grace from Jesus's blood, and that we do not have to depend on animal sacrifices to cover your sin, if we are His?



Dear Father in Heaven, I am so grateful that you provided Jesus!  Thank you for Your mercy and Your grace, and Your willingness to make a way for us. I am grateful that You preserved Your Word, and that You have good plans for those people who are called according to Your purposes and who follow Your voice.  I want to be one of those people Lord!

To You we give all glory and honor, and we pray for your will to be done in our hearts and in our lives, and in all the world as in Heaven.  In Jesus's name we pray, AMEN

1 Corinthians 2:9
...eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.









Sunday, September 22, 2019

1 Chronicles 21, 22 Devotional



Blessed to love God's word, and have it at my fingertips, I am more blessed to have sisters committed to traveling with me, as I read the Bible cover to cover.  Blogging Through the Bible is the overflow from this, where we take turns sharing our thoughts as we go.  Angela has a wonderful online index of this endeavor at her home-blog No Longer Lukewarm, as does Tatiana at Musings of Mum.  Stacey contributes at Telling Hearts and   (previously Scribbles and Sustenance) and I contribute at Grandma Mary Martha, or Telling Hearts.

Would you join us in our studies?  Now is my turn to address 1 Chronicles chapter 21 and 22.


1 Chronicles Chapter 21 and 22

Chapter 21
Uh-oh  Against God's Will
Chapter 21 opens with interesting news, and interesting background.  Seemingly against advice, and against God's will, David ordered the men of Jerusalem to be counted.  No reason is given, but it is clear that this displeases God.

Motive Matters

Because the reason for it to be such a grievous mistake is not stated, and is not clear to me, I have to ponder the purpose.

Was it for pride?
Was it to console insecurity?
Apparently God did NOT see it as any kind of respectable logic.

Consequence
So what was the outcome?  
Rather tragic.  David apologizes to God and God gives David a choice of three different punishment approaches.  (Parents, that is an interesting discipline technique.)

David answers about his choices rather generally, more or less appealing to God's judgement and mercy:

1 Chronicles 21:13   (Tammy's paraphrase) "I am in such big trouble.  Let me fall into Your hands to do as You choose, because You are merciful, but PLEASE do NOT let me fall into the hands of my men enemy."

Plague and Destruction
So God sends and plague upon Israel, and an angel to destroy it.  Seventy thousand men died and then God called a cease to the punishment strikes.  1 Chronicles 21:15 "...enough!  Withdraw your hand..." the Lord commanded to the angel sent to destroy.

Humility and Intercession
God allowed David to see some of this, (v.16) and he and the elders were moved to grief and humility.  They fell facedown, in sackcloth, and then (v.17) David intercedes for Israel, begging God to turn the punishment to himself, rather than all of Israel.

Next, an angel tells Gad (the prophet) to tell David to build an altar to the Lord on the place where the angel was stopped, the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, and David went about making that happen.  He was prepared to offer Araunah a good price for his property but when Araunah learned the intent for that property he wanted to GIFT it.  David would not allow that.

FIRE Show
David built the altar, sacrificed there, and saw fire from Heaven come down on the altar to consume the sacrifice, but as we close chapter 21, David is in awe and afraid of the Lord.  (v.29-30) He is afraid to go to the "high place at Gibeon."

Chapter 22
David's Ambition for God
David has seen God's power and miracles.  He has experienced His fury, and mercy.  He understands that God is GOOD and God is Almighty.  He desires to please and honor God.  He wants to build a temple.  So far, a tabernacle tent housed the Ark of the Covenant where the Lord is said to reside.  David desires to build a magnificent building to house the precious religious artifacts.

Preparations and Commission
He actually began making RICH preparations of materials and resources, and goes to his son Solomon and passes the dream on to him.  He tells Solomon that the Lord came to him and denied that he should build it himself, because he had "much blood," from many wars on his hands.

I really like verses 11-13 (from Bible Gateway) :
  

1 Chronicles 22:11-13 King James Version (KJV)

11 Now, my son, the Lord be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as he hath said of thee.
12 Only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the Lord thy God.
13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.
Chapter 22 closes with David urging the people to devote their hearts to God, and to build this temple.


David made a big blunder because his motives were off?  How do you check your motives?

What is the reaction of many people when they think God is being harsh or unfair?   

What is David's reaction, always, when the dust settles after being disciplined by God?  
What is his aim in gathering of resources?  Why does he want to do that?

Have you ever desired to do something for the Lord, perhaps planned and prepared for it, but rather than accomplishing yourself, you were able to encourage or cheer for someone else to complete your dream come true?  If so, what was it?

Verse 11-13 are so beautiful to me.  I think that passage could easily be adapted onto a graduation card.  Would you like to write out a card message from that for someone special?  What would it say?

Father, as I read the Old Testament, these precious pages that I have never read before, I am in awe of You.  Your standards, Your expectations, Your determination to have a people that serve You and are true to You, Your enduring mercy, Your faithfulness.  You could have "walked away," and decided it was not worth the trouble, but you did not.  You sent us Jesus.
  
Like David offered to have the wrath turned directly on to himself, in order to spare others, JESUS laid His life down so that we could be forgiven, washed and righteous in His blood and perfect sacrifice.

Thank you.  I thank you for forgiveness in Christ, and for my chance to get to know You and serve You.  Thank you for preparing a place for us in Heaven.  I pray for your will to be done on Earth, as in Heaven.  In Jesus's name I pray, AMEN.







Friday, September 13, 2019

1 Chronicles 13 and 14, Devotional


How  wonderful to be reading the Bible cover to cover, and sharing the journey with some Christian sisters!  It is an encouragement to have company and discussions as some of us blog as we go, taking turns to touch on every single chapter.  Bamo, presto, a convenient place to post questions or comments!  This is a spin off of our ladies ministry which all Christian women may partake of in this closed facebook group called Titus Women's Gathering <<,

 but we link up every week in our blogs to make it easy for our readers to not miss the fun.

Angela has an ongoing complete index of these posts, at her blog, No Longer Lukewarm.  StaceyLynn Wells, recently addressed 1 Chronicles chapters 9 and 10 , and Tatiana of The Musings of Mum, addressed 1 Chronicles chapter 7 and 8.  Now here goes my observations and reflections on chapter 13 and 14.

1 Chronicles 13 and 14

Everyone Agreed
Chapter 13 is about transporting the Ark (of the Covenant) of the Lord God.  The crowds, assembly of Israel, priests, Levites, everyone was in agreement to retrieve it from where it had been during the reign of Saul, to bring it closer to the central location of David's reign.  I think of this as how, the seat of the USA was moved over to time, to where it is today, Washington D.C, no literal state, but the District of Columbia, independent of state. 

YIKES!
 Anyway, David had a rapport with the Lord, and everyone agreed with him on this, so it seemed like a good deal.  They all thought it was until...1 Chronicles 13:9-10, YIKES, the Lord got angry and struck down Uzzah when he dared to touch the Ark when he thought it could use some steadying.  They were to carry it with poles.  No one was to touch the actual Ark, but Uzzah did... and he was struck down dead.  This stopped everyone in their tracks.  David had to work through his anger (verse 11) and re-group, and he formed a plan B, which was apparently blessed by God because the family of Obed-Edom, that David decided to leave the Ark with in the meantime, was blessed (v.14, 1 Chronicles). 

 I only assume that this family had a good reputation and the location where they resided was near to where the Ark was passing by.  I can not even begin to imagine what was going through David's mind except that he wanted to please the Lord, avoid His anger, and have no more people struck dead unexpectedly.

Merriment
That scenario signaled the abrupt change in mood in contrast to the merriment, expression of celebration with song and instruments, "with all their might before God," described in 1 Chronicles 13:8.

Good Stuff Repeated
Yes indeed many facts and stories in the Bible are repetitive.  Generally scholars view this as a way to cross-reference and validate.  If any discrepancies are believed to be discovered, usually a deeper dig or careful reflection will reveal a plausible explanation.  The book of Chronicles tells over again, some matters that were told about in previous Bible pages.  Such was 1 Chronicles chapter 14 when it tells about David's defeat of the Philistines.  It made me think about a post that I wrote about David, from the book of Samuel: David Demonstrates 7 Characteristics of a Victorious Life.


What are your thoughts on the events of chapter 13, where David consulted his advisers, all were in agreement that the Ark be moved, and disaster... Uzzah is struck dead in the process, but the family of Obed-Edom is blessed?  What are we to learn of this?  Is there a lesson to extract and apply to our own lives today?  Do we have more GRACE extended us today?

We are told that David was angry.  The exact target (if there was one) of David's anger is not spelled out for us in this chapter. Do you think it is possible to be angry at God and at the same time respect and fear Him?

David was obviously an outstanding character,and an outstanding (though not perfect) leader. Do you think his responsibility as leader was at times burdensome and heavy?  What do you think was his solace, or his peace, or his hope?  (rhetorical question really)


Once again Father, I am just grateful for my life, covered by GRACE in the blood of Jesus.  I am sorry that people let you down over and over.  I know that I have, and continue to.  I thank you for your LOVE and provision for forgiveness for in Christ.  Thank you for preparing an eternal paradise for those that are Yours.  By guidance of the Holy Spirit, may my moves and speech be directed by You, rather than impulse. In Jesus's name I pray, AMEN








Thursday, September 5, 2019

1 Chronicles 5 and 6






 

Welcome, to another edition of Blogging Through the Bible, where some serious Christians meet to discuss, share, and encourage as we endeavor to read the Bible cover to cover. 

 Recently,  Tatiana finished the last chapter of 2 Kings for us @ The Musings of Mum,  Stacey covered 1 Chronicles chapter 1 and 2 @ Scribbles and Sustenance,  Angela covered chapter 3 and 4 @ No Longer Lukewarm.  These sisters never cease to amaze me with the creativity, intelligence and heart that they bring to each of their turns to Blog Through the Bible.

Inside Scoop
Now it is my turn to address 1 Chronicles chapter 5 and 6.  Can I just admit from the start here, that this entire book intimidated me from a blogging stand point, and I am literally going forward, trusting God to give me a post for each of my turns.  

That being said, if you stick with us, read your Bible, and partake of our Blogging Through the Bible posts, I am certain that you would be blessed, as we are. If you are a blogger, and wish to join our schedule and have a turn publishing a BTTB with us, then let us know!  The more may be the merrier! 

1 Chronicles chapter 5 and 6
I choose to write this BTTB edition by addressing  three talking points taken from these chapters.  Both Stacey and Angela did a great job gleaning from the genealogy and historical records.  This time, some key concepts and scriptures jumped out at me and I am not commenting on the genealogy, or geography aspect.  I share using my treasured resource biblegateway.com:

1 Chronicles 5:20 King James Version (KJV)

20 And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.

1 Chronicles 5:25 King James Version (KJV)

25 And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.

1 Chronicles 6:31-32 King James Version (KJV)

31 And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after that the ark had rest.
32 And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem: and then they waited on their office according to their order.
Victory, why?
Their enemies were delivered into their hands because they cried out to God and they put their trust in Him?  Yes.  Wow!  Pretty clear and powerful, eh?
Prostitution Accidentally?
Uh-oh.  The people prostituted themselves to other gods?  Do you think that means they "sold-out," or lost sight of their priorities before God?

Worship Leaders
About the "song," (1 Chronicles 6:31-32) some versions say, "music."  KJV uses the word "song."  The Geneva Bible says, "song."  

I have been told (not by an authority) that in ancient temple custom, God was sung to, rather than ministered to by musical instrument inside the temple.  The resources that I consulted could not enlighten me further but Stacey of my BTTB team shared a GREAT link with me, with some super cool points to ponder when wondering about this instruments issue.  My curiousity to always learn more continues so I would be pleased if you added thoughts or resources in the comments.  Here is the article that I referenced to :https://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/prayer-fasting-and-meditation/how-to-pray/praise-god/musical-instruments-in-church/

I am struck by how seriously this music or song ministry was noted..."according to their order."  Some versions throw in the word "regulations," in this context.  I get the idea that it was a serious, valued, esteemed matter to minister to the Lord in this way.  Would never be me in official position.  I lack musical intelligence or talent.  How about you?  

And because of previous Old Testament reading, I suspect this was a professional ministry position.  This is my guess based on how the prophets ministered and were provided for, as well as the priests, and the carpenters and stone masons.  All were provided  for in return for their service rendered. Therefore I presume this was a professional ministry position and these ministers were to be consecrated to service.  

What strikes YOU about 1 Chronicles 5 and 6?
Do you have any insight into the history of song or music ministry in ancient Judaism?  I want to know about the history, the actual customs of the time.

How inclined are WE as a people, to loose sight of our priorities before God?  How are you striving to improve?  What measures are you taking to be consecrated to God and above all, God?

What is it that you would like victory in, delivered to your life?  Are you crying out to God and trusting Him?  Do you give Him your loyalty and top priority?  Does this passage encourage you that God rewards those who call on Him, and are His?

Dear Father in Heaven, Jehovah God the Father, and Jesus the Son who came to Earth and died for our sins that we could be forgiven, and have HOPE and glorious expectation of eternal life in paradise, all glory and honor to You.  Thank you for your Word preserved.  Thank you for my Christian family here and through the world.  Thank you that via internet, we may fellowship, share, learn and grow together.

Lead me deeper in Your truth, sweeter in fruits of the Holy Spirit, by Your provision, and grace.  Because of Your work in my heart, may I be wise and brave before my foes and disappointments.  May I live my life as a living sacrifice for You and never sell out to the enemy camp.  I ask for forgiveness where I fail.  

Thank you for preparing a place for us in Heaven.  In Jesus's name I pray. Amen.