Hummingbird Theology??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 23

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 23 Hummingbird Theology???

 

I love to watch the birds outside of my window. I have a birdseed feeder and a hummingbird feeder, and I love watching the birds that God created and enjoying their beauty, and learning from them. The hummingbirds fascinate me; they come again and again and take as much as they need and then return for more, as they need it. Sometimes they feed at one tap and leave, and other times a hummingbird will go to every tap on the feeder at one time. As I was watching them this morning, I couldn’t help but think about our spiritual life like the birds and the feeder. Whose feeder are we feasting at?

Wherefore laying aside

all malice,

and all guile,

and hypocrisies,

and envies,

and all evil speakings,

2 As newborn babes,

desire the sincere milk of the word,

that ye may grow thereby:

3 If so be ye have tasted

that the Lord is gracious.

4 To whom coming,

as unto a living stone,

disallowed indeed of men,

but chosen of God,

and precious,

5 Ye also,

as lively stones,

are built up

a spiritual house,

an holy priesthood,

to offer up spiritual sacrifices,

acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”   1 Peter 2:1-5

If you notice, this passage begins with a “Wherefore”, which means we always ask ‘What’s it there for?’ (Any time the verse starts with a ‘therefore’ or a ‘wherefore’). Well, it simply means that we need to look back to see what was said earlier—so let’s do just that.

Being born again,

not of corruptible seed,

but of incorruptible,

by the word of God,

which liveth

and abideth for ever.

24 For all flesh is as grass,

and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.

The grass withereth,

and the flower thereof falleth away:

25 But the word of the Lord

endureth for ever.

And this is the word

which by the gospel

is preached unto you.”    1 Peter 1:23-25

We can grow in the Lord when we feast on “the sincere milk of the word”, and to do that we must spend time in The Word—just like that hummingbird—we must keep going back for the sustenance of life—The Word of God, which brings growth because it is the “word of the Lord” and it “liveth and abideth for ever”! Just like the new birth that Jesus imparts to us when we are born again “of God”! God’s Word is truth always, and it will help us to discern between truth and lies! And it is the standard of God’s judgment along with the blood of Jesus! (And remember that Jesus not only inspired the written Word, HE IS THE LIVING WORD!)

For the word of God is

quick, (alive)

and powerful, 

and sharper than any twoedged sword, 

piercing even to the dividing asunder 

of soul and spirit, 

and of the joints and marrow,

and is a discerner 

of the thoughts 

and intents 

of the heart. 

13 Neither is there any creature 

that is not manifest 

in his sight: 

but all things 

are naked 

and opened 

unto the eyes of him 

with whom we have to do.    Hebrews 4:12-13

God’s Word encourages us by discernment and bringing truth to light! It’s not just the judgment of God –which it includes—but it also leads us to Jesus, the Lord of Calvary for “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”! Our part is to respond in faith not only to the Gospel for salvation, but also to The Word of God and it’s ability to help us grow in grace and truth as we feast on it continually—just like that little hummingbird, he isn’t very big, but he gets the job done!

Study

to shew thyself

approved unto God,

a workman

that needeth not

to be ashamed,

rightly dividing

the word of truth.”   2 Timothy 2:15

Paul goes on to instruct his young charge, Timothy, even further to rely on the value of God’s Word.

And that from a child

thou hast known the holy scriptures,

which are able to make thee wise

unto salvation

through faith

which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration

of God,

and is profitable

for doctrine,

for reproof,

for correction,

for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God

may be perfect,

throughly furnished

unto all good works.”    2 Timothy 3:15-17

How valuable to us to know that God’s Word is what we need; and while there are those who question and even deny the veracity of The Bible, we can stand fast “in the evil day” knowing that The Word of God is God’s love letter to His children—those who are born again—as well as the conduit of God’s Spirit working in our world to bring people to the cross! It truly is “the word of the Lord” and it surely “endureth for ever”! “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” (Doxology by Thomas Ken), and I’ll praise Him forever for His Word, and the best way to praise Him for His Word is to read and study it faithfully, continually and purposefully!

Remembering that God’s Word is:

Profitable for—not in $ but in truth and character—

 Doctrine—truth for living—

 Reproof—showing us what is wrong—

 Correction—making the wrong right—

Instruction in Righteousness—prevention!

God’s Word helps us be all that God created us to be, and I love what Job says; it is something that I pray will ever be the desire of my heart. How about you?

But he knoweth the way that I take:

when he hath tried me,

I shall come forth as gold.

11 My foot hath held

his steps,

his way

have I kept, and not declined.

12 Neither have I gone back

from the commandment of his lips;

I have esteemed the words

of his mouth

more than my necessary food.”    Job 23:10-12

As we desire and feast on His Word, may the words of the Psalmist reverberate in our hearts—as we put The Word “in mine heart”!

Thy word have I hid

in mine heart,

that I might not sin against thee.

12 Blessed art thou, O LORD:

teach me thy statutes.”   Psalm 119:11-12

As we hide God’s Word “in mine heart”, I believe the Psalmist would relate to a common adage we hear today (based on this very principle), “The Word will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from The Word!” The choice is yours and mine, yet it is a continual battle (as Paul talks about in Ephesians 6:10+) to maintain our focus on Jesus and His Word, but it is more than worth the effort. As I’ve been accused of in the past, “You only have one song!” —And may it ever be said of me that I only sing HIS song, for it’s Jesus and His cross, the only way to God and true life!

And I, brethren,

when I came to you,

came not with excellency of speech

or of wisdom,

declaring unto you the testimony

of God.

2 For I determined

not to know any thing among you,

save Jesus Christ,

and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-2 

It’s all about Jesus, and I pray that you will join me in committing to draw near to Him continually. May we single-mindedly pursue Christ Jesus in all our ways. How? By keeping our eyes on HIM!!!

Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.” John 14:6

And while Jesus is truly the “only way” to God for salvation, He is also the “only way” that we can live the victorious Christian life! He came that we might have abundant and victorious life in this world as well as the next!

Neither is there salvation in any other:

for there is none other name

under heaven

given among men,

whereby we must be saved.”  Acts 4:12

Jesus said it best:

The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come

that they might have life,

and that they might have it

more abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd:

the good shepherd giveth his life

for the sheep.”   John 10:10-11

I am the vine,

ye are the branches:

He that abideth in me,

and I in him,

the same bringeth forth much fruit:

for without me ye can do nothing.”   John 15:5

Remember the hummingbird—and stay at God’s feeder—The Word of God!!!

Amen and Amen!

God’s Purpose Is Trustworthy??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #477

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #477 God’s Purpose Is Trustworthy???

 

We’ve talked about Daniel’s faithfulness, and I thought we’d look at another faithful young man today. His name is Joseph, you know, the one with the coat of many colors. But today, I want to consider the later years of this man’s life.

In brief, Joseph was a young man with a heart after God, and one to whom God revealed things through dreams, much like Daniel, but Joseph was not very popular with his brothers. Many have said that he was “a brat”, but I beg to differ—God never calls him that, and I won’t either. God doesn’t generally favor those who are ‘selfish’ or ‘bratty’, but God was present in a visible way in Joseph’s life.

 

And Joseph was brought down to Egypt;      

and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian,

bought him of the hands

of the Ishmeelites,

which had brought him down thither.

2 And the LORD was with Joseph,

and he was a prosperous man;

and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

3 And his master saw

that the LORD was with him,

and that the LORD made all that he did

to prosper in his hand.

4 And Joseph found grace in his sight,

and he served him:

and he made him overseer over his house,

and all that he had he put into his hand.”   Genesis 39:1-4

Yet while the favor of God was upon him, Joseph wasn’t done with trials and troubles, (Faith in God doesn’t necessarily eliminate trials and struggles!) he was not only sold into slavery, but he was also falsely accused and put into the prison—but God was there too.

And Joseph’s master took him,

and put him into the prison,

a place where the king’s prisoners

were bound:

and he was there in the prison.

21 But the LORD was with Joseph,

and shewed him mercy,

and gave him favour

in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

22 And the keeper of the prison

committed to Joseph’s hand

all the prisoners that were in the prison;

and whatsoever they did there,

he was the doer of it.” Genesis 39:20-22

But God wasn’t done yet– Joseph was finally brought before Pharaoh (to interpret his frightening dream) and became his ‘right-hand’ man to deal with the coming drought and famine. Yet the thing I want us to consider today is Joseph’s response to his circumstances, knowing God’s perfect, faithful sovereignty. Consider his response when reunited with the brothers who sold him into slavery; we find a faithful man who trusted in the total sovereignty of God—a trustworthy God who is ever at work to accomplish His purpose, His glory, and the good of HIS own!

Now therefore be not grieved,

nor angry with yourselves,

that ye sold me hither:

for God did send me before you

to preserve life.

6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

7 And God sent me before you

to preserve you a posterity in the earth,

and to save your lives

by a great deliverance.” Genesis 45:5-7

Again after his father died and his brothers feared his retribution for their evil behavior, Joseph displayed that faithful trust in His God again.

And Joseph said unto them,

Fear not:

for am I in the place of God?

20 But as for you,

ye thought evil against me;

but God meant it unto good,

to bring to pass,

as it is this day,

to save much people alive.”     Genesis 50:19-20

So regardless of your trials today, even if you are suffering unjustly, remember that God has it all under control—He is the Sovereign Almighty God and He hasn’t said “oops”! You can trust Him at every hand. Amen and Amen!!!

But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake,

happy are ye:

and be not afraid of their terror,

neither be troubled;

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:

and be ready always

to give an answer to every man

that asketh you a reason

of the hope that is in you

with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:14-15

Where’s Your Purpose??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #476

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #476     Where’s Your Purpose???

 

But Daniel

purposed in his heart

that he would not defile himself

with the portion of the king’s meat,

nor with the wine which he drank:

therefore he requested

of the prince of the eunuchs

that he might not defile himself.

9 Now God had brought Daniel

into favour

and tender love

with the prince of the eunuchs.”   Daniel 1:8-9

We’ve been looking at Daniel recently, and I just can’t get away from the commitment of this young man, a young man taken into captivity—far away from home, family—yet he was determined to be faithful to his God. Daniel could have done whatever he wanted (so to speak) because there were no parents to scold or direct his choices, but he already had a relationship with his God and he committed to do whatever it took to maintain his walk with his God!

Daniel had no control over his circumstances, but he did have control over his responses—and he chose to not do anything to “defile himself”—and if you’ll notice this is mentioned twice in these two verses! Daniel was totally determined to be faithful before The Lord God Almighty.

And because of Daniel’s commitment, God had already been acting on his behalf—he had brought Daniel into favor with those over him—the sovereign will of God at work, but not without the cooperation of a godly character and the humble ways of this young man. Daniel responded with respect toward those over him, and wisdom toward each situation, a way of life that we can learn a lot from in this arrogant and self-willed culture in which we live.

We can determine the purpose that we will pursue, but basically it boils down this: pursuing God and His ways, or pursuing self! I pray that we will choose to stand with Job, clearly knowing that our God reigns and is our eternal hope, no matter our circumstances or season of life.

For I know

that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand

at the latter day

upon the earth:

26 And though after my skin worms destroy

this body,

yet in my flesh

shall I see God:

27 Whom I shall see for myself,

and mine eyes shall behold,

and not another;

though my reins be consumed

within me.” Job 19:25-27

Our God reigns and we can be sure of His coming for us—and we too, like Job, can be assured that “in my flesh shall I see God”! Amen. So no matter your circumstances today, won’t you join me and determine to fix “our eyes on Jesus” trusting the order of things to HIM! He is trustworthy, so let’s live like it!

Though he slay me,

yet will I trust in him:

but I will maintain mine own ways

before him.” Job 13:15

Amen and Amen!

Head>Heart>Hands??? (More Tidbits from Daniel#4) Bible Ballistics:Vol.11 No.22

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 11 No. 22 Head>Heart>Hands???   (More Tidbits from Daniel #4)

 

I’ve been thinking about Daniel lately and wanted us to search it out again for more that can help us live a “Daniel” life—a life of faith, confidence and power with, from and for God. That is something worth spending our time on. We’ll be looking at Daniel chapter 2, and while we’ll touch on the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar, I want us to focus on the things surrounding that encounter. Lord willing, we’ll address the dream and it’s content in the next week or two.

It is important to remember that Daniel was part of the captives who were taken to Babylon to serve the king, yet his demeanor was always an honor to God and never a detriment. Oh, that we could live that kind of life and hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” when we face our Lord. So many today have a head knowledge of God and The Son Jesus, but don’t know Him, and it is important that we take that knowledge from our ‘head’ to our ‘heart’ and on to our hands.

When Daniel was confronted with a threat of death because of the ‘wisemen’ and their inability to know and interpret the king’s dream, Daniel had only one course of action—and it should always be our first recourse rather than our last!

Then Daniel went to his house,

and made the thing known

to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,

his companions:

18 That they would desire mercies

of the God of heaven

concerning this secret;

that Daniel and his fellows

should not perish

with the rest

of the wise men of Babylon.

19 Then was the secret revealed

unto Daniel

in a night vision.

Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”   Daniel 2:17-19

Many times when we are confronted with difficult situation, crises, or uncertainty we work on a solution, try to figure it out, run to get answers from others, or just run head-long into situations without the wisdom of God. Daniel knew what James knew and shared with us.

If any of you lack wisdom,

let him ask of God,

that giveth to all men liberally,

and upbraideth not;

and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith,

nothing wavering.

For he that wavereth is like

a wave of the sea

driven with the wind

and tossed.

7 For let not that man think

that he shall receive any thing

of the Lord.

8 A double minded man is unstable

in all his ways.” James 1:5-8 

God wants us to bring every part of our lives to HIM! I hear so many people say that some things just aren’t important to God, but I must disagree, and I think that I can say that on the authority of scripture. God wants us to come to Him about everything, for HE often sees things differently than we do—God’s ways are the ways that we must seek, and He is ready and willing to reveal Himself and His way to us—we have but to ask! When we “lack wisdom” God wants us to “ask of God” and do so in faith, having total confidence in the ‘giver’ of “every good gift and every perfect gift”. God wants us to know HIM, to walk with HIM and to grow in HIM:

But grow

in grace,

and in the knowledge

of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

To him be glory both

now

and for ever. Amen.”    2 Peter 3:18

Knowing Him and His ways and provision was always on the heart of Daniel, and Isaiah had written these words long before Daniel caught Himself in trouble. In fact remember His decision in the beginning of the book:

But Daniel purposed in his heart

that he would not defile himself

with the portion of the king’s meat,

nor with the wine which he drank:

therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs

that he might not defile himself.” Daniel 1:8

Isaiah said it clearly:

Seek ye the LORD

while he may be found,

call ye upon him

while he is near:

7 Let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts:

and let him return unto the LORD,

and he will have mercy upon him;

and to our God,

for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts

are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways

my ways,

saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens

are higher than the earth,

so are my ways

higher than your ways,

and my thoughts

than your thoughts.

10 For as the rain cometh down,

and the snow

from heaven,

and returneth not thither,

but watereth the earth,

and maketh it bring forth and bud,

that it may give seed

to the sower,

and bread

to the eater:

11 So shall my word be

that goeth forth

out of my mouth:

it shall not return unto me

void,

but it shall accomplish

that which I please,

and it shall prosper

in the thing whereto

I sent it.”   Isaiah 55:6-11

God is ever at work to draw people unto Himself, but He has given every person born into this world the freewill to choose to believe Him or not. God has made His love for us clear and Jesus paid the price for our sin—“For God so loved the world that He gave”—yet Jesus made it clear that we must choose, and there is a consequence for our choices. If we choose Jesus and trust to His blood to save us, we have life, but if we don’t choose HIM, we have chosen death, whether consciously or not—it’s still choosing.

For God sent not his Son into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world

through him

might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him

is not condemned:

but he that believeth not

is condemned already,

because he hath not believed

in the name of the only begotten

Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.”   John 3:17-19

We can choose Jesus and life, or not; we can cling to our sins—our evil deeds, even though we excuse our sinful deeds and think our sin isn’t as bad as the sin of others—and miss life. Why would we do that? Because when man sinned in the beginning, he chose to believe a lie, rather than God, and we’re still doing that today! I beg you to be sure that you have made the right choice!

God is working to call men and women to Himself—it’s why Jesus came, and He is ever working to make His own into the image of Jesus, in everything in our lives!

And we know that all things

work together

for good

to them that love God,

to them who are the called

according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow,

he also did predestinate

to be conformed

to the image of his Son,

that he might be the firstborn

among many brethren.”    Romans 8:28-29

The evidence of His presence in our lives is the work of His Holy Spirit working in and through us and seen through the godly works of our hands. For when we truly consider God and come to Jesus, moving that information to our hearts in repentance and faith, then God does a work of transformation that appears in our lives, our walk, our speech, and our reactions and responses to people and situations. We are to be living testimonies to God’s grace and transforming power.

Servants,

obey in all things

your masters according to the flesh;

not with eyeservice,

as menpleasers;

but in singleness of heart,

fearing God:

23 And whatsoever ye do,

do it heartily,

as to the Lord,

and not unto men;

24 Knowing that

of the Lord

ye shall receive the reward

of the inheritance:

for ye serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:22-24

Paul also repeated these things to the Ephesians because we are to live our lives as servants of God—not as “as menpleasers”, but like Daniel, men and women, boys and girls, who are committed to live undefiled lives before God and man!

Servants,

be obedient to them that are your masters

according to the flesh,

with fear

and trembling,

in singleness of your heart,

as unto Christ;

6 Not with eyeservice,

as menpleasers;

but as the servants of Christ,

doing the will of God

from the heart;

7 With good will

doing service,

as to the Lord,

and not to men:

8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing

any man doeth,

the same shall he receive of the Lord,

whether he be bond or free.

9 And, ye masters,

do the same things unto them,

forbearing threatening:

knowing that your Master also

is in heaven;

neither is there respect

of persons with him.”    Ephesians 6:5-9

Whether we are the ‘master’—the boss, or the ‘servant’—the employee, God calls us, saves us to live His glory before a world of sin and darkness. Daniel was a man of God who showed us how to live right no matter the situation, trial or difficulty.

Being people of character not just lip service. As I’ve heard it said, “Real godly character is when you do right when no one is looking.” Or “Real character is revealed by what you do in the dark.” And we can be those people of character because we are saved and kept by the same God who met the needs of Daniel and His friends. And when Daniel received the answer to his prayer, He didn’t forget God, but gave us a wonderful picture of who our God is, and how to truly worship HIM!!!

Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.

Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

20 Daniel answered and said,

Blessed be the name of God

for ever and ever:

for wisdom

and might are his:

21 And he changeth the times

and the seasons:

he removeth kings,

and setteth up kings:

he giveth wisdom

unto the wise,

and knowledge

to them that know understanding:

22 He revealeth the deep

and secret things:

he knoweth what is in the darkness,

and the light dwelleth with him.

23 I thank thee,

and praise thee,

O thou God of my fathers,

who hast given me wisdom and might,

and hast made known unto me now

what we desired of thee:

for thou hast now made known unto us

the king’s matter.” Daniel 2:19-23

What an amazing prayer of praise, may we come to know our God as Daniel did; may God’s character be seen in all of our actions, deeds, works and words—may God be praised in our living! Daniel’s faithfulness gave him a great opportunity to share the truth of The Lord God Almighty before the great king Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said,

The secret which the king hath demanded

cannot the wise men,

the astrologers,

the magicians,

the soothsayers,

shew unto the king;

28 But there is a God in heaven

that revealeth secrets,

and maketh known to the king

Nebuchadnezzar

what shall be in the latter days.

Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

29 As for thee, O king,

thy thoughts came into thy mind

upon thy bed,

what should come to pass

hereafter:

and he that revealeth secrets

maketh known to thee

what shall come to pass.”   Daniel 2:27-29

And yet Daniel never took the credit for God’s work!

But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me

for any wisdom

that I have more than any living,

but for their sakes

that shall make known the interpretation

to the king,

and that thou mightest know the thoughts

of thy heart.”   Daniel 2:30

Daniel’s crisis was an opportunity for God’s Word and ways that Daniel knew in his head, would stir his heart and work out through his hands and feet! What do others see in us? Nebuchadnezzar saw something in Daniel—God! What do others see in our lives—from our head, to our heart and out through our hands and feet, our every day lives!

And in the days of these kings

shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom,

which shall never be destroyed:

and the kingdom shall not be left

to other people,

but it shall break in pieces

and consume all these kingdoms,

and it shall stand

for ever……

46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him. 47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said,

Of a truth it is,

that your God

is a God of gods,

and a Lord of kings,

and a revealer of secrets,

seeing thou couldest reveal

this secret.”   Daniel 2:44-47 

May others be brought to say of our God, “that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings”! I pray that our God will help us stand fast in this evil day, that others will see the power of God in our lives. From our head—to our heart—seen by the world through our hands and feet!

Amen and Amen!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His Blessings Abound!!! Bible Ballistics: BBs #475

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Bible Ballistics: BBs #475  His Blessings Abound!!!

 

Just a few thoughts from scripture this morning to remind us to keep our eyes on the skies—our God is still God, and Jesus His Son is coming soon!!!

O taste and see

that the LORD is good:

blessed is the man

that trusteth in him.”   Psalm 34:8

Sometimes it’s hard to keep our focus on our Lord, but He is faithful even when we fail, and we simply need to look up at the God who reigns (Because HE holds the ‘reins’!) not the circumstances which distract us!

For the LORD God

is a sun and shield:

the LORD

will give grace

and glory:

no good thing will he withhold

from them that walk uprightly.

12 O LORD of hosts,

blessed is the man

that trusteth in thee.” Psalm 84:11-12

We must remember that God is God no matter our circumstances, and when we keep our eyes on HIM, we will find victory in our daily walk—not necessarily ease—but victory! Because our God is faithful and sovereign, and is every present in the hearts and lives of His own!

Blessed is the man

that trusteth

in the LORD,

and whose hope

the LORD is.

8 For he shall be as a tree

planted

by the waters,

and that spreadeth out her roots

by the river,

and shall not see when heat cometh,

but her leaf shall be green;

and shall not be careful

in the year of drought,

neither shall cease

from yielding fruit.”   Jeremiah 17:7-8

All this confidence in our God who never fails because He saves and keeps His own–always:

Ye are of God, little children,

and have overcome them:

because greater is he that is in you,

than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

So stand fast today in our Great God Almighty—He’s got this!

Being confident of this very thing,

that he which hath begun a good work

in you

will perform it

until the day of Jesus Christ:”   Philippians 1:6

Amen and blessings on your day!!! Keep looking up!