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Author Topic: Prayer, Praise and Promises  (Read 50471 times)
nChrist
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« Reply #315 on: November 21, 2006, 12:12:15 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 127:1-5

Inheritance from God

Read Psalm 127:1-5

I feel like weeping when I think about the tragedy of more than 1.5 million babies murdered in their mothers' wombs in the United States every year. Abortion has turned the womb into a tomb.

I wonder what those presiding doctors and nurses would think if they read Psalm 127. "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is His reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate" (vv. 3-5). The psalmist tells us that children are wealth--a heritage and inheritance from the Lord.

What are we to do with wealth? First, we accept it. When our children come to us, we accept them. They are God's gift to us, a treasure. We protect our wealth, and we ought to protect our children. It's so wrong that many are not protected before they are born.

Then we are to invest it. We train our children, teaching them to live righteously. Their lives become as invested money, and the dividends start to return. One of the great delights of getting older is seeing those godly dividends. Children enrich our lives.

But children are also weapons--"like arrows in the hand of a warrior" (v. 4). Who's going to fight God's battles if Christians don't bring children into this world and raise them to know the Lord? Whenever God wanted to do something great, he brought a baby into the world--Moses, Samuel, David, John the Baptist and our Lord Jesus Christ. In this world of sin, when truth is being attacked on every side, we need to raise our children to be able to stand with authority and say, "Thus says the Lord."

* * *

Children are God's blessing but also a great responsibility. Ask God for wisdom as you invest in and train your children or other's children. Prepare them for the ministries He has for them and rejoice at the inheritance He has given you.

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« Reply #316 on: November 21, 2006, 09:02:01 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 128:1-6

The Blessings of Fear

Read Psalm 128:1-6

We don't hear much these days about the fear of the Lord. All too often the Lord is looked upon only as a heavenly friend, someone who walks with us and smiles on us constantly. But verse 1 says, "Blessed is every one who fears the Lord."

What does it mean to fear the Lord? It means to be in reverential awe of Him. It means we don't tempt Him. We don't jest with Him. We don't try to make Him do things He will not do. The Israelites did not fear the Lord. They tempted Him. They played with His Law and tried to see how close they could get to the world. So God had to discipline them.

God blesses us in three areas of our life when we truly fear Him. First, He will bless us in our walk. "Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways" (v. 1). This means that our conduct and our character become holy.

Second, God blesses us in our work. "When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you" (v. 2) Some people are unhappy in their work. But if we are obedient to God, we are doing His work no matter what our occupation is and therefore can rejoice in it. When we fear the Lord, we can go to work and be happy.

Third, God blesses us in our homes. "Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table" (v. 3). This does not mean that everybody is going to have a family, let alone a big family. It does mean that you'll be a blessing to your family. "Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord" (v. 4).

* * *

Never become so "familiar" with God that you lose your reverence for Him. He is your personal God, but He deserves your awe and respect. The fear of the Lord is the key to His blessings. Fear Him. Walk in His ways and receive His blessings.

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« Reply #317 on: November 22, 2006, 09:21:12 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 129:1-8

Plows of Pain

Read Psalm 129:1-8

Verse 3 is a vivid description of personal suffering: "The plowers plowed on my back; they made their furrows long." Many other pictures of personal suffering are found in the Word of God: going through the storm, going through the furnace, going through a battle and carrying a burden. Why would the psalmist use plowing as a picture of personal suffering?

For one thing, he felt as if people were treating him like dirt. They were saying, "You're just like a dirty field, and we're going to plow right up this field, and we don't care how you feel." If we live for Jesus, we can expect people to treat us the way they treated Him. They treated Him like dirt.

The central truth in this picture is that plowing is preparation for a harvest. When people are treating you like dirt, when the plows of criticism and accusation dig in your back, remember: God is preparing you for a harvest. What kind of a harvest? That depends on the kind of seed you plant. If you plant seeds of revenge and hatred and malice, saying, "I'll get even with them someday," the harvest will be bitter. But if you plant the seeds of the Word of God, letting love and peace and patience reign in your heart, you can say with the psalmist that the Lord is righteous--He will resolve this problem. Then the harvest will be one of blessing, as in verse 8: "The blessing of the Lord be upon you; we bless you in the name of the Lord!"

* * *

If you want a harvest in your life, you must plow, plant and water. When people treat you like dirt, when the trials of life go right through your life like a plow, get ready for the harvest. God has a harvest of blessing for you today, so remember to plant the right seed.

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« Reply #318 on: November 23, 2006, 09:21:22 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 130:1-8

Waiting and Hoping

Read Psalm 130:1-8

The next time you feel at rock bottom, read Psalm 130. "Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord" (v. 1). Three basic requests in this psalm echo the concerns in our hearts today.

First, the psalmist says, "Lord, hear my voice!" (v. 2). Why? "I can't swim; I am in the deep waters, and they are coming over my head. I am drowning, and I'm afraid I can't make it." No matter how far down you may go or feel, God always hears you.

Then he says, "If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared" (vv. 3,4). We can't stand before God in the courtroom of His justice; we are helpless. Only Jesus Christ can stand there, because only He is perfect. But He stands with us, He's our Savior. God not only hears us when we are down, but He holds us. He says, "I forgive you. You've trusted my Son; you've confessed your sin; and now you can stand before Me." The psalmist expresses his confidence in this truth: "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning" (vv. 5,6).

Next he asks, "O Israel, hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption" (v. 7). We are sometimes like soldiers in the watchtower, waiting for the light. We can't see, but God can see, and there is a future hope for His people.

* * *

Place your confidence in the promises of God's Word. No matter how down you may feel, God hears you, holds you and helps you. Turn to Him; He'll see you through.

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« Reply #319 on: November 25, 2006, 02:27:48 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 131:1-3

A Method for Maturity

Read Psalm 131:1-3

One day King David was walking through the palace, and he heard a child crying. What was going on? The child was being weaned. The mother was saying, "Now, my child, you are growing up, and it is time for you to be weaned." The child was saying, "You don't love me; you hate me. If you loved me, you wouldn't do this." Then David went to his desk, got his pen and wrote Psalm 131.

The problem with too many of us is that we have grown old without growing up--we still need to be weaned. The weaning process is important. God's goal for your life is maturity, and His method for maturity is weaning. He has to wean us away from things we think are important.

How do you convince a child that he doesn't want to be attached to his mother for the rest of his life? Love him? Yes! But he must grow up, step out and be a man. And so it is with us. God has to wean us away from the things of the world, from the cheap toys that we hold on to. He wants to give us the best, and His desire in weaning is our submission. The weaned child of Psalm 131 was not losing; he was gaining. He was moving out into a larger life. Likewise, God has to take things away from our lives, not because they are bad, but because they are keeping us from the best.

The next time you whimper and cry because God takes something away from you, remember: He might be weaning you. He might be saying, "Get closer to me. Step out into a life of maturity and let's go together."

* * *

God wants His children to grow into mature believers and eventually to become like His Son. When He decides to wean you from something in your life, be an obedient child. Let Him prepare you and develop you for what He has in store for you.

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« Reply #320 on: November 25, 2006, 06:17:06 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 132:1-10

The Next Best Thing

Read Psalm 132:1-10

What is the consuming ambition of your life? What is the dream that fills your mind and heart? King David's dream was to build a temple for the Lord. He tells us about it in this psalm. I wish more people had this same wonderful ambition--to be builders, not destroyers.

During much of his life, David was a soldier. He defended Israel from her enemies and brought about peace in the land. But then he wanted to turn from battling to building. He wanted to exchange the sword for a trowel. He said, "I am not going to have any sleep until I find a place for God to dwell."

But God did not allow David to fulfill this high and holy ambition. Solomon, his son, built the temple instead. David was disappointed at first but then said, "If this is the will of God, I'll accept it." Then he did the most wonderful thing: he helped the next generation build the temple. David provided the plans and millions of dollars in gold, silver, precious stones, bronze and iron.

We may not fulfill all of our plans and ambitions, but we can do the next best thing. If God doesn't let us accomplish our goals, let's help somebody else meet his goals. Let's pay the bill. Let's give our wisdom. Let's encourage. We can't do everything, but we can do something.

* * *

If your dreams are not fulfilled in the will of God, help fulfill someone else's dreams by sharing your talents and resources. When you're concerned more with God's glory and not with who gets the credit, He can use you in more ways to accomplish His purposes. Let God use you in the ways He sees best.

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« Reply #321 on: November 27, 2006, 01:37:08 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference 1 John 3:2 Ephesians 1:4 John 15:16 Romans 5:17 Psalm 132:11-18

A House for David

Read Psalm 132:11-18

God did not permit King David to build Him a house. Instead, He did just the opposite; He built a house for David. God said, "David, I am not going to build you a physical house but a house made of people. There will always be one of your descendants on the throne of Israel."

He also said some things about David's children. "If your sons will keep My covenant and My testimony which I shall teach them, their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore. For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation" (vv. 12,13).

There is an application here for God's children. He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you" (John 15:16). What a high and holy privilege! We were chosen to be God's children. "Beloved, now we are children of God" (I John 3:2). What a wonderful calling! Paul tells us we also reign in life (Rom. 5:17). God wants us to reign as kings, even as David's children did. We reign through obedience and holiness.

God wants us to reign in righteousness for His glory. Because we are His children through faith in Jesus Christ, we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies. Therefore, let's be clothed with salvation. Let's shout for joy!

* * *

Someday believers will reign with Christ in His kingdom. But today He wants you to reign in life. Do you reign in life with Christ? As you obey the Word of God and keep your heart pure, you become a king. Don't live beneath your spiritual station in life. Be a king!

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« Reply #322 on: November 27, 2006, 09:13:16 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 133:1-3

The Unity of the Spirit

Read Psalm 133:1-3

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (v. 1). This is as true today as when it was written centuries ago. We would expect brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity. After all, they share the same nature because they have the same parents. Until they move out, they live at the same address and eat at the same table.

We also would expect God's people to dwell together in unity--but not uniformity. My wife and I currently have seven grandchildren. We can tell that they all belong to the same family, but each is an individual. Similarly, God does not want uniformity among His children; He wants unity.

The psalmist gives us two descriptions of spiritual unity. "It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments" (v. 2). Over his chest, his heart, Aaron wore a breastplate that had twelve stones--one for each of the tribes of Israel. The oil bathed all of those stones, and they all became one in that anointing oil. That's a picture of the Holy Spirit of God, who baptizes us into the Body of Jesus Christ and gives us spiritual unity. Unity is not something we create; it's something God gives us.

Spiritual unity also is fruitful like dew. "It is like the dew of Hermon" (v. 3). With the mountain dew comes God's blessing.

We should strive to maintain the unity of the Spirit. Ask God to help you be a part of the answer, not a part of the problem.

* * *

As a believer in the Body of Christ, you must do your part to dwell in unity. The Holy Spirit helps you live in unity with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for the fragrant oil and fruitful dew of spiritual unity in your life today.

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« Reply #323 on: November 28, 2006, 08:44:05 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Acts 16 Psalm 134:1-3

Night Shift

Read Psalm 134:1-3

Years ago when I was attending seminary, I worked the night shift on occasion. It paid a little more money than the day shift, but I was a bit lonely. If you've ever had to work the night shift, you will appreciate Psalm 134.

God never slumbers or sleeps. Therefore, we can serve and praise Him any time of day. The psalmist says there were priests who prayed and praised God in His temple at night. There was a constant repetition of praise and prayer from the temple.

We can bless the Lord in the night seasons. It's not easy when we are going through the nighttime experiences of life to lift our hands and bless the Lord. But He does give us songs in the night. Paul and Silas were able to lift their hearts in praise to God while in the Philippian jail (Acts 16). They were on the night shift. They knew that God was awake, so they blessed Him, and He sent deliverance. We can get some strange blessings in the night seasons, for God speaks to us in different ways. Others may not see your praise at night, but God sees and hears.

* * *

Whether you are in the sunshine or in the darkness, whether you are serving on the day shift or the night shift, remember that you are serving the Lord. Because He never slumbers or sleeps, He hears your prayer and praise at all times, and He will bless you.

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« Reply #324 on: November 29, 2006, 09:18:56 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 135:1-12

Great Government

Read Psalm 135:1-12

"Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; praise Him, O you servants of the Lord!" (v. 1). That's the way Psalm 135 begins. It's strange that the psalmist has to instruct us to shout hallelujah, but he goes on to tell us why.

First, we should praise God because of His goodness. "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant" (v. 3). We sometimes take God's goodness for granted. He is good, and His goodness is unsearchable. God shows us His goodness in both material and spiritual blessings.

Second, we should praise the Lord for His grace. "For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure" (v. 4). Israel was not a treasure before God chose her. After He chose her, she became precious. God also chose us. Jesus said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you" (John 15:16). God showed His grace by choosing us to be His children.

Third, we should praise Him for His greatness. "For I know that the Lord is great, and our Lord is above all gods" (v. 5). What god is like our God?

Finally, the psalmist tells us we should praise God for His government. "Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places" (v. 6). He then describes God's sovereignty in creation and in history.

* * *

Whatever your situation, you can stop and praise the Lord for His goodness, His grace, His greatness and His government. He is managing all of creation and all of history to bring about His purposes. Let God use you to do His work.

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« Reply #325 on: November 30, 2006, 12:05:35 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Jeremiah 33:3 Psalm 135:13-21

The Cost of Idolatry

Read Psalm 135:13-21

Some things in the Bible are so important that God repeats them. The last verses in Psalm 135 parallel Psalm 115. These two psalms describe the dead idols of other nations. The psalmist says, "The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear; nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them" (vv. 15-18). Here we see the folly of idolatry--worshiping silver and gold, the work of men's hands. But that's going on today, isn't it? Many people worship the works of their hands.

How do you know what you are worshiping? The thing you work for, sacrifice for and live for is your god. For some people, it's money. For others, it's possessions. With still others, it's ambition or people. The psalmist shows us how foolish this is. Idols have mouths, yet they can't make promises. But our God speaks to us, and He gives us promises in His Word. Idols have eyes, but they cannot see. They offer no protection. But "the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous" (Ps. 34:15). God's eyes are watching us every moment of the day. He never goes to sleep. He cares for His children. Idols have ears, but they cannot hear your prayers. If you talk to an idol, you are talking to yourself. But God's ears are open to our cries. He says, "Call to Me, and I will answer you" (Jer. 33:3).

The saddest thing about idolatry is that we become like the god we worship. "Those who make them are like them, so is everyone who trusts in them" (v. 18). But if we worship the true and living God, we become like Him. We are transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

* * *

Be careful what you worship. Satan wants you to substitute many idols for the Lord. Place no gods before Him; worship Him only. Today, get rid of any idols that might prevent your worship of the Lord.

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« Reply #326 on: December 01, 2006, 06:35:20 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Isaiah 9:6 James 1:5 Psalm 136:1-9

Enduring Mercy

Read Psalm 136:1-9

Psalm 136 magnifies the mercy of God. Every verse ends with the refrain, "For His mercy endures forever." I would like to have heard this psalm sung in the Jewish temple. One group of priests would say, "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!" (v. 1). Then the priests on the other side of the court would answer, "For His mercy endures forever."

Mercy and grace go together. God, in His grace, gives me what I don't deserve, and God, in His mercy, does not give me what I do deserve. His mercy endures forever, and our response should be thanksgiving and praise.

Praise the Lord for His wonders. "To Him who alone does great wonders, for His mercy endures forever" (v. 4). "His name will be called Wonderful" (Isa. 9:6). Jesus Christ said and did wonderful things. When God touches a life, it becomes filled with wonder. I think of Peter, Andrew, James and John--men who would have remained ordinary fishermen had they not met Jesus. They went to a wedding at Cana, and wonders happened. They went to funerals, and wonders happened.

Praise God for His wisdom. "To Him who by wisdom made the heavens" (v. 5). The God who created the universe has the wisdom to run it, and He has the wisdom you need for your life. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God" (James 1:5). He'll guide you.

Praise Him for His works. "To Him who laid out the earth above the waters" (v. 6). Let's worship God today because of His wonders. Let's seek His guidance because of His wisdom. Let's enjoy all that He gives to us through His manifold creation.

* * *

You would not be saved were it not for God's grace and mercy. Never take those two gifts for granted. Do you devote time to praising and thanking Him for what He does in your life?

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« Reply #327 on: December 02, 2006, 10:11:04 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 136:10-26

A Complete History

Read Psalm 136:10-26

Israel is the only nation for which we have a complete history. We know how it started, how it grew, where it is today and where it will be for the rest of history--thanks to the Word of God.

In Psalm 136 the psalmist reviewed Israel's history. As he looked, he saw the mercy of God. He performed three marvelous ministries for the Israelites: He brought them out; He brought them through; and He brought them in. God wants to care for us in the same way today.

God brought Israel out of the slavery and the bondage of Egypt (vv. 10-12). That's redemption. He then brought them through the Red Sea and the wilderness. Finally, He brought them into the Promised Land. The old generation died off in their unbelief, but the new generation entered in with great glory and power and claimed their inheritance.

God wants to do this for us today. He wants to free us from sin's slavery. He wants to bring us through the deep water and wilderness experiences of life, that He might bring us into the inheritance that He has for us. Our history is already complete with God.

* * *

Today you might be facing some seemingly impossible situation in your life. Trust God to open the way for you. Let Him bring you out of your bondage and through your difficulty and bring you into your inheritance.

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« Reply #328 on: December 04, 2006, 12:47:33 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Matthew 26:30 Psalm 137:1-9

Finding Your Song

Read Psalm 137:1-9

One test of your spiritual condition is whether or not you really have a song. Psalm 137 tells us about people who lost their song. They lost it because they lost their sanctity--they repeatedly sinned against the Lord.

Here's the record: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept when we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst of it. For there those who carried us away captive required of us a song, and those who plundered us required of us mirth, saying, 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"' (vv. 1-3). Can't you just picture the Babylonians taunting the Jews? The Jews responded, "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?" (v. 4).

It can be done. They were there because of their disobedience, and they had lost their song. But even in a foreign land, we can have a song to the Lord. Jesus came down to earth from heaven, and He had a song. In fact, the night on which He was betrayed, He sang a song of Zion in the upper room (Matt. 26:30).

When you are not walking with the Lord, you lose your song and start living on memories. "If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her skill! If I do not remember you... if I do not exalt Jerusalem above my chief joy" (vv. 5,6). Are you living on memories, or are you daily receiving blessings from the Lord?

In verses 7-9 we find the Jews looking for revenge. This is understandable from a human perspective, for they had seen their babies dashed against the stones. So they pray, "Lord, render to them what they deserve. You are the Judge. You remember them." But as Christians, we must think first of forgiveness.

* * *

If you are without your song, living on memories and looking for revenge, you are not walking closely with the Lord. Your first task is to get that song back by confessing your sins to the Lord. God will restore the joy of your salvation.

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May God Lead And Guide Us All


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« Reply #329 on: December 05, 2006, 12:53:06 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Matthew 10:30 Psalm 138:1-8

A Perfect Purpose

Read Psalm 138:1-8

"The Lord will perfect that which concerns me" (v. 8). God has a purpose for each of our lives. We are not numbers in a computer; He knows our names. In fact, He has numbered all the hairs on our heads (Matt 10:30). God knows our needs today. We are His personal concern, the work of His hands.

When does God perfect that which concerns us? When can we expect Him to work in our lives? First, when we praise Him. Verse 1 says, "I will praise You with my whole heart." Verse 2 reads, "I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name." When we take time to worship and praise God, He can perfect that which concerns us. But if we go our own way, we lose that special blessing from God.

God also perfects that which concerns us when we pray to Him. "In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul" (v. 3). It doesn't say God changed the outside circumstances. Instead, He changed the psalmist on the inside. When we worship and cry out to the Lord, He can work on our behalf.

Finally, God perfects that which concerns us when we glorify Him. "All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, when they hear the words of Your mouth. Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord" (vv. 4,5). Praising Him to others should be a natural part of our conversations.

* * *

The God of the universe desires to work personally in your life. When you worship the Lord by praying to Him, glorifying Him, witnessing for Him and submitting to Him, He works on your behalf. If you need a reviving blessing today, turn to Him. He will give it.

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This devotional is freely distributed by Back To The Bible.
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