“How we see God’s sovereignty matters” 3/24/2020 Written by Mel Wild for “In My Father’s House”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by Mel Wild for “In My Father’s House” @ https://melwild.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://melwild.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/how-we-see-gods-sovereignty-matters/

How we see God’s sovereignty matters

What you believe about God matters. For instance, if you equate God’s sovereignty with Him micromanaging and controlling every single event in human history then you will struggle and even question His motives during times like these. God caused the Coronavirus pandemic is the ultimate conclusion we must make from this faulty theology.

Why would God cause needless death and suffering? The simple answer is that He doesn’t cause these things. We cause them, our poisoned environment causes them, there’s a whole host of other reasons why bad things happen in this world…but none of them are because God caused them. At least, this is not Classic Christian theology. This deterministic idea of God’s sovereignty finds its origin in Stoic and Gnostic philosophy, not divine revelation, as I’ve said before in my post, “Why We Still Need Reformation”:

This humanistic doctrine seems to conflate His omniscience or omnipresence with causation. It supposes that if God foreknows something then we are fated to do it, or because He holds all things together He controls our every action. This commits a fallacy in modal logic (Dr. William Lane Craig explains that fallacy here).

God, at the core of His essence, is love (1 John 4:8). And love requires free will. God could not be love if we have no free will.

Sovereignty means that one has supreme and ultimate power; it doesn’t mean meticulous control.  And, in God’s supreme and ultimate power, He chose to give us freedom of choice (See my post, “Sovereignty Through Love.”) This would be much like a good king having sovereignty over His kingdom. While he has complete authority and power over his subjects, he doesn’t meticulously control their every movement.

Furthermore, it’s clear from Scripture that God gave us control over this earth:

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen.1:28 NIV*)

16 The highest heavens belong to the Lord,
    but the earth he has given to mankind. (Psalm 115:16 NIV* )

God gave us responsibility for taking care of this planet. So, the question we should be asking is, “Why would WE let this terrible thing happen?”

One thing we’ve proven as human beings is that we’re very good at blaming others, including God, instead of taking responsibility for our own actions. This goes back to Adam and Eve, and the M.O. hasn’t changed since:

12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”

13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen.3:12-13 NIV*)

But we see in this account that God held Adam and Eve totally responsible for what they had done. Not to mention, it would be quite sadistic and cruel if He caused them to do this! This is why this form of theological fatalism is incoherent and untenable with God’s nature.

There are several other reasons why bad things happen in the world which I won’t go into here, but there’s one thing I want you know right now that’s critically important in times like these. While God is not the author of evil, nor pandemics, He does use these times to help us grow as human beings.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Rom.8:28-29 NIV*)

Think about it. How many times have you learned a valuable lesson or grown stronger in faith because of trials you went through? The hard truth is, we grow as human beings by overcoming difficulties and trials.

There’s an old saying, “Adversity reveals genius, but prosperity conceals it.” This is true. Think of the innovations and medical breakthroughs that will likely happen because we’ve had to overcome this current pandemic. And, ultimately, God uses these times of crisis to help us fully mature as His sons and daughters.

Ironically, saying that sovereignty means having meticulous control is a very weak form of sovereignty. It’s like an insecure husband totally controlling every movement of his wife because he’s doesn’t trust her and is afraid she’ll run away.

Beloved, God is not insecure! Love thrives where two free persons choose to give of themselves for the other. This is exactly how God loves.

God’s sovereignty is superior because He honors us by giving us free choice while still accomplishing His eternal purposes.   Frankly, I would not worship a God who is so petty and insecure that He must control us like automatons. That’s not love. And, thankfully, that’s not God!

So I say, look up. God is at work in you and in me! And He will help us get through this crisis, just like He has every other crisis in the past.  A better question for us to ponder than “why” during times like these is “what.” What is God doing in me in these current circumstances? What are my opportunities for growth here?

Our theology will either work for us, or fail us, during times like these. And when it does fail, know the problem is not with God; the change needed is from us. Make sure what you believe actually works.

* All emphasis added.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“Cast Your Cares and Trust God” 3/23/2020 Written by Dawn Ivey for “Drawing closer to Christ”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by  Dawn Ivey for “Drawing closer to Christ”  @  https://drawingclosertochrist.com

Original post @ https://drawingclosertochrist.com/2020/03/07/cast-your-cares-and-trust-god/

 

Cast Your Cares and Trust God

Psalm 55:22 NIV, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

I was recently having a conversation with someone, and she was sharing some of the issues that she was having with one of her adult children. She said it’s not easy seeing her child suffer, but that she was learning to just cast her cares upon the Lord. She said she knows in her heart that God has shown her that He will put everything into place for her child, so there is no need to worry. She said that she can see God working in many ways, but still has times when worry tries to creep in. However, when she focuses on what God has promised her regarding her child, she said she feels His peace.

I’m sure many of us can relate. We’ve had situations in life rather it’s our children, our jobs, our finances, our health etc., that have caused us to worry. However we already have assurance from God that things will work out well. It’s just a matter of casting our cares on Him and trusting Him to work out all the details, instead of allowing what we don’t understand to steal our peace.

Photo by: Frank K

As she spoke to me, I myself could sense God’s peace. Her words were a confirmation to me not to worry about details, but instead to cast all my cares on our God. We experience contentment when we relinquish control to Him, and believe in His ability to take care of us and supply our needs. As long as we place our faith in people, things, or even ourselves, we will not find lasting contentment.

Remember the assurance God has given you through His Word, or through the things His Holy Spirit have personally spoken to your heart. Learning not to worry may take some time, but as we learn, we will grow closer to the Lord, and be free to enjoy our lives as He brings His good plans to past. Don’t be afraid to cast your cares upon the Lord, because He has promised to sustain you. He will never let the righteous be shaken.

Photo by: Simon Migaj of the UK 🇬🇧

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“The LORD Watches Over All Who Love Him” 3/22/2020 Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms” @  https://davidkitz.wordpress.com/

Original post found @ https://davidkitz.blog/2020/02/17/the-lord-watches-over-all-who-love-him/

The LORD Watches Over All Who Love Him

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Reading: Psalm 145
(Verses 17-21)

The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever 
(NIV).*

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As for God, his way is perfect — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
Psalm 145
begins with David calling us to praise the LORD, and it ends with a similar call to praise. David extols the virtues of the LORD. He sees Him as righteous and faithful. One can have these virtues, but still be distant or aloof. But that’s not how David sees the LORD.

David knows his God hears him when he prays. How does he know this? For David this isn’t an answer he learned from a textbook. He knows God hears prayer from personal experience. In his daily life David called out to the LORD over and over again in times of trouble, and over and over again the LORD helped him. That’s why he can record the following words in this psalm of praise: He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

What about you? Have you discovered from personal experience that God answers prayer? Have you called out to the LORD in a time of trouble? Has He brought help your way?

Just this week my wife lost/misplaced her driver’s license. This produced some anxious moments as she discovered this loss just as she was about to board a flight across the country. She had arranged a car rental at her destination, but without her driver’s license she could not access the car. Some desperate prayers were offered up and in due course, after she arrived at her destination, the answer came. The driver’s license was found.

Do we involve the LORD in our day to day activities? That should be the norm. Here is David’s testimony—the testimony of Holy Scripture: The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

That should be our testimony in the daily grind of life, in the ups and the downs. The LORD is near 365 days of the year. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he left his disciples with these words of assurance, Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). We can rest assured that He is as near as our next breath.

Response: LORD God, I am so glad that you are not distant or aloof from those who call out to you. You are near to me. You answer prayer. My mouth will speak in praise of the LORDAmen.

Your Turn: Can you testify that the LORD is near and He answers prayer?

*NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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This Sunday at Church: Helpful Considerations in using Zoom for the Glory of God

I did not know about church on Zoom.  Maybe this info will help some listen to a Sunday service online !!

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

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“Quick Devotional on Worry 3” 3/21/2020 Written by Pastor Jim Lee for “The Domain for Truth”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by Pastor Jim Lee forThe Domain for Truth” @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/quick-devotional-on-worry-3/

Quick Devotional on Worry 3

 

March 20, 2020 by SLIMJIM

 

We have looked at bad worries but is there such thing as a good worry?

Purpose: We will answer three questions to help us with worrying.

  • Is there a godly kind of “worry?”

  • How do you tell you have ungodly worries?

  • How do you tell you have godly worries?

Is there a godly kind of “worry?”

 

  1. Proof:

    1. In the last session we saw the Greek noun for worry is “μέριμνα”

    2. The noun form is always used in the negative sense.[1]

    3. When it comes to the verbal form of the word most of the nineteen times it is used the meaning is negative but it is also sometimes used in a positive sense in restricted situations.[2]

    4. We will look at those instance where the verb is used positively.

    5. “so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:25)

      1. The verb translated “care” in Greek is μεριμνάω, the verbal form of the noun μέριμνα for worry.

      2. Here in the Geek there is a strong contrast presented between two situation: “division in the body,” versus “the members may have the same care for one another.

      3. Obviously “division in the body” is a bad thing in God’s eyes.

      4. Instead of that Paul wants believers who are church “members may have the same care for one another

      5. The verb “care” is a subjunctive verb and has the idea of “let us have care.

      6. In other words the subjunctive is encouraging believers to care for others.

    6. “For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:20-21)

      1. Here Paul is speaking about Timothy (19).

      2. Here Paul is giving the reason why he is sending Timothy to the church in Philippi.

      3. The reason is because Timothy is someone “who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare” (20b).

      4. The verb translated “concerned” in Greek is μεριμνάω, the verbal form of the noun μέριμνα for worry.

      5. Here we see concern or worrying about others is a commendable thing and qualification for someone to minister to the church in Philippi.

      6. Also notice “concerned for your welfare” (20b) is contrasted with the action of others who “seek after their own interests” in v.21.

      7. Yet this concern also puts Christ first since verse 21 talks about having the concern of “those of Christ

    7. “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:32-34)

      1. This verse sometimes is misunderstood by some to think marriage is a bad thing; but it is not.

      2. Here the passage makes it clear that those who are married would naturally have concern for their spouse and that’s a good thing.

      3. Paul is being realistic about marriages and singleness here.

    8. While using another verb we also see Paul also describe his concern for the churches: “Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11:28)

    9. Summarizing our passages we see here that it is biblical to care for others that God entrusts to us.[3]

  2. Practice:

    1. We need to know that there is a good kind of worry because there is also a wrong kind of care-free worry-less attitude too!

    2. This is needed lest we think we don’t have to love people.

How do you tell you have ungodly worries?

 

  1. Proof:

    1. Sign 1: You don’t trust in God: “Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8)

      1. Notice the verse commands “Trust in Him at all times”

      2. If we don’t trust in Him we are breaking His command and therefore we are sinning.

      3. Is there a time we can’t trust in Him? The verse says we should always trust in Him!

      4. The reason why we can trust in God is because “God is a refuge for us.”

      5. Sometimes we can say no we do believe in God; but practically you don’t trust in God’s provision in your life.[4]

    2. Sign 2: “When things don’t work out the way you plan, you get angry.”[5]

      1. Anger is sometimes the “cousin” to ungodly worry.

      2. There’s a place to plan but that doesn’t mean we disregard God’s will might be different; that’s the point of James 4:13-15.

    3. Sign 3: You don’t obey God: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15)

      1. We should obey God because we love Him and He loves us.

      2. But if we have ungodly worry “You make up excuses for why certain commands of the Bible are not applicable to your life.” [6]

    4. Sign 4: Your worries rob you of hope

      1. Remember a believer’s hope is in God: ““And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Psalm 39:7)

      2. Yet when we worry in such a way that we lose hope and lose hope in God that is not what God wants us to experience!

  2. Practice:

    1. Do you have these kinds of worries?

    2. If ungodly worry is a sin then therefore the first thing you need to do is confess your sins to God.

    3. Be on the look-out for the symptoms of ungodly worry.

How do you tell you have godly worries?

 

  1. Proof:

    1. Sign 1: You are concern about others: “For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.” (Philippians 2:20)

      1. You are concern about others!

      2. You are also concern for their welfare and their genuine well-being.

    2. Sign 2: You are concern about Christ

      1. Remember Philippians 2:21 talks about having the concern of “those of Christ”

      2. Thus Godly concern would have the priority of Christ then others than our own interests.

    3. Sign 3: You pray: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

      1. With all the godly worries a believer has, a believer takes it to the Lord.

      2. Notice this verse teaches that we can pray to God about everything.

  2. Practice:

    1. Do you have concern for others?

    2. Do you prioritize what Christ wants over others?

    3. Do you also pray?

Conclusion: The Best Example of Godly concern is Jesus Christ; going to the Cross He was concerned about God’s glory and also loved those whom He will saved and yes He prayed to God.  Will you at this time see your need for a Savior in Christ Jesus?  Trust in Him today!

 

[1] “μέριμνα” The New International Dictionary of the New Testament Theology and Exegesis (Second Edition), (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 3:278.

[2] “μέριμνα” The New International Dictionary of the New Testament Theology and Exegesis (Second Edition), (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 3:278.

[3] “μέριμνα” The New International Dictionary of the New Testament Theology and Exegesis (Second Edition), (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 3:279.

[4] Phil Moser, Safe in the Storm (Biblical Strategies, 2013), 18.

[5] Source: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/15-signs-you-dont-let-god-control-your-life.

[6] Source: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/15-signs-you-dont-let-god-control-your-life.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“Operation Re-Evaluate” 3/20/2020 Written by Gabrielle Guthrie for “See, there’s this thing called biology.~insanitybytes”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by Gabrielle Guthrie for “See, there’s this thing called biology…~insanitybytes”  @ https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/

Original post found @  https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2020/03/19/operation-re-evaluate/

“Operation Re-Evaluate”

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A good word from Pastor Anthony, “Observations from a Middle-Georgia Pastorate: Operation Re-Evaluate.”

In times of trouble I’m all about counting our blessings, re-evaluating,  and repentance. Repentance in the best sense of the word, as in Okay Lord, so what wisdom do you want me to glean from this experience?

I’m laughing here, the quarantine hit hubby and I and it was like, social distancing has become such a way of life anyway, that not much is going to change for us. Ha! That’s a terrible truth. Hubby and I really need to get a life!

In fact, one thing that presses on me in this area we live in is that there is way too much social distancing going on. Now obviously at the moment we’re trying to protect everyone  from a virus, but I mean in general as a way of life! I kid you not, families are feuding, people don’t know their neighbors, many are suspicious of one another, and divisions are rampant. It affects our churches, too.

So my hope is that we begin to learn the value of community,  that we come to appreciate one another more,  that we actually make attending church a priority in our lives. Maybe you don’t really “need” the church, but the church sure needs you! This is the second most secular county in the nation, so as far as I am concerned, it is all hands on deck for every Christian.

So Anthony says, “Frankly, this pandemic is going to open the eyes of a lot of people and make them ask the question: “Why do I even go to church?”

I’d like to tell you I go to church because the Bible calls us to, which it does, it says in Hebrews, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

But the real reason is because I’ve seen wolves hunt. It was awesome, it was beautiful and horrible at the same time, and it is forever burned into my brain. They work together, they pick out the weak, the sick, the young, and they herd them, they separate, divide, control, and then they go in for the kill. If you ever get to watch sheep dogs herd sheep, that’s pretty cool, too! They cluster all the sheep into bunch and no predator wants to risk being trampled to death.

Everybody needs a family, some wingmen, cheerleaders, to be part of a community, a  herd, a  team.  We can become dysfunctional in community, but we heal in community too. So, we can all practice our social distancing right now, for the time being, I am just saying at the root of most things that ail us as a society is separation and disconnection from both God and one another.

black wolf on green grass

Photo by patrice schoefolt on Pexels.com

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“God is Watching” 3/19/2020 Written by Dr. Lawson Murry for “SEIZE The DAY”

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

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Written by Dr. Lawson Murry for “SEIZE The DAY”  @  https://seizetheday-blog.com

Original post @ https://seizetheday-blog.com/2020/03/19/god-is-watching/

 

God is Watching

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Matthew 6:25

Do you worry about your life? Are you discouraged? Have songs given place to sighing? Has hope died within you? Do you feel lonely? Are you anxious about what you eat and drink? Are you concerned about the security of your job? Do you worry about whether your clothes are in fashion? Are you apprehensive about the performance of your investments on the stock market? Are you despondent due to illness? Are you struggling in a relationship? Do you feel bleak when you think about the future?

Well it’s time to chill out. There is more to life than the food you eat or the finances you have in the bank. Look at the sparrow, unfettered and free. It’s not restricted by a job description nor nervous about tomorrow. It’s careless in the care of God. As we’re reminded in Matthew 6:25-34 and 10:29-31, God’s eye is on the sparrow but you’re worth far more than many sparrows. So don’t worry when shadows come; God is watching. You count more to Him than all the birds in the air …

I am ever in His thoughts,

My God is watching over me.

There’s nothing hidden from His gaze,

He knows my heart and hears my plea.

He watches o’er the way I take,

He bears my burdens day by day.

He ever cares about my needs,

He rescues me if I should stray.

So I’ll praise the One who sits above,

Who doesn’t even blink an eye.

Who never falters in His love,

Nor catch His breath or pause to sigh.

For His eye is on the sparrow,

And He’s watching over me.

Thus I know I need not worry,

Cause from fear He’s set me free.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ALeKk01FeqLwqt1RldfR4dQskVBXLb2y6Q:1584614690194&q=image+god+is+in+control&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjKzNvdraboAhV1l3IEHX7eBtgQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1307&bih=826#imgrc=baGCdxWMfVaGDM

 

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