Turn the World Upside Down

World Clip ArtThese who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Acts 17:6 (NKJV)

And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.  Acts 11:26 (NKJV)

The accusers were complaining about Paul and Silas turning the world upside down for Jesus, not realizing what a compliment that was.  It was also enemies of the King of kings who first coined the term “Christians,” meant to be a criticism upon those who followed Christ.  Yet today we proudly bear the name Christian and seek to turn the world upside down for Jesus.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  Romans 1:16 (NKJV)

Our son Jacob leaves this week for a one-year mission to Europe with Campus Crusade for Christ.  Jacob and his team will be starting CRU fellowships at college campuses which have no Christian groups.  Imagine the miracles and impact this will have on our European brothers and sisters. Because of the generous support of friends and family and the people of Sweet Grass County, Montana, Jacob is able to embark on this mission.  Jacob and his team are turning the world upside down for Jesus.

Our son Kevin went to Kenya this summer with our church mission team. They spent a year raising money and they gave their time to serve these African neighbors.  Kevin’s team installed a water pipeline to bring clean water to a rural school. They also played games with the children and taught them about Jesus through a skit on the Good Samaritan.  Kevin and his team turned the world upside down for Jesus.

Our son Joel is about to begin homeschool kindergarten.  He knows his ABCs and numbers and several Bible stories.  Because of his brothers, he’s learning about countries in other parts of the world where there are children, too.  And someday, because of their example, Joel will go and turn the world upside down for Jesus, too.

And me, I’m the mom who sits down with Jesus each morning for TEA, praying for so many including our children.  Jacob was less than a year old when God called me to read my Bible and pray every day.  It is with tears of gratitude, a thankful heart and a trunk full of prayer journals, that I see the fruits of my labor in our children.  Even our daughter Kallie is teaching our granddaughter Kennedy, reading her Bible stories and singing Jesus Loves Me.  Together we are turning the world upside down for Jesus.

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, never stop praying, never give up.  Always pray and persevere.  You are turning the word upside down for Jesus with every CUPP of TEA.

 Pray without ceasing.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV)

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  Mark 16:15 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Seven Things Job’s Friends Did Right

Listen to this, O Job;
Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.  Job 37:14 (NKJV)

Do you know the story of Job, how he lost everything?  He lost his children, his animals and riches, and his health, all because God had a conversation with Satan.  Then some friends came to visit Job to cheer him up but failed miserably with all their talking.  We often focus on how those friends messed up, but today I want to share what they did right, a great lesson for us all.

When you begin reading the book of Job, the friends enter in the second chapter.  This first paragraph of their visit tells all the things they did right:

Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him. And when they raised their eyes from afar and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great. Job 2:11-13 (NKJV)

Did you notice the seven things Job’s friends did right?:

  1. They came.
  2. They mourned.
  3. They comforted.
  4. They wept.
  5. They tore their robes.
  6. They sat down.
  7. No one spoke for 7 days and nights.

Today’s TEA CUPP: Can we learn from this when we have friends who are grieving or hurting?  Yes, we can! Let’s start with the first thing they did and simply come. Sit down and listen to your friend, then cry together. Our friends will always remember how we were there and they will be comforted.  I know when I had my first miscarriage and lost our long-awaited baby, it was the friends who came and cried with me that comforted me the most.  Even my parents drove all the way across the country, just to sit in lawn chairs with me while I recovered.  Then when a friend of mine lost a baby, I knew what to do.  I came and cried with her.  My friend, just come.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NKJV)

Scripture from the New King James Version®

One Story, Two Calls

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9:15 (NKJV)

With the “C” part of My TEA CUPP Prayers being about God’s CALL, I’m always on the look-out for examples of God calling people. From Moses being called by God at the burning bush to Mary being called by God’s angel as the Mother of Jesus, there are many stories of God’s callings.

Today we read a Bible story with TWO callings. If one of the people hadn’t obeyed, the other wouldn’t have fulfilled his call either.  In Acts 9:1-19 is the famous story of Saul’s call on the Road to Damascus. Saul was a persecutor of the early Christians.  He was headed to Damascus to arrest more Christians.  But on the way, a bright light came from heaven. Saul was blinded and fell to the ground as he heard Jesus say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’

Jesus told Saul to go into town and wait at a certain house.  Saul’s friends led their blind companion into Damascus.  At the same time, God told a man named Ananias to go to Saul.  Ananias didn’t want to go because Saul might hurt him, but God assured Ananias of His call with the words, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine.”  So Ananias followed God’s call and went to see Saul. There Ananias healed Saul’s eyes and told him the Good News of Jesus. Saul was baptized and became Paul.  From there Paul went on to share Jesus with uncountable others, writing much of the New Testament of our Bible.

What if Ananias hadn’t listened to God’s call?  Paul would not have heard the Good News!  What if Saul hadn’t obeyed and gone into town?  He’d still be blind on the road and many of us would never hear about Jesus!  One story, two calls.  It is so important that we listen and obey when God calls us.  What is God calling you to do today?

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read this amazing story in Acts 9:1-19.  Ask as Paul did, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”  Say as Ananias did, “Here I am, Lord.” You are God’s chosen vessel.  Pray for the courage and strength and resources to carry out God’s call. Then GO!

Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Come to the Water

come to the waterJesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:13-14 (NKJV)

 Today I want to re-run this beautiful hymn for you. In this mud-slinging election year, and every day of every year, what our hearts and souls truly long for is the pure water of Jesus Christ. If you have access to Youtube, you can click on the link below, or just read the lyrics.  The chorus of this hymn, sums up God’s invitation to you…“Come to the water.”

Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat… Isaiah 55:1 (NKJV)

That’s what My TEA CUPP Prayers are all about…come to the Water each day and drink deeply of the CUPP Jesus gives you.  Stand by His side in prayer. He won’t deny you.  He’ll wipe away your tears and comfort you and carry you to the next day.

Come to the Waters

You said You’d come and share all my sorrows,
You said You’d be there for all my tomorrows;
I came so close to sending You away,
But just like You promised You came there to stay;
I just had to pray!

And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied;
I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.”

Your goodness so great I can’t understand,
And, dear Lord, I know that all this was planned;
I know You’re here now, and always will be,
Your love loosed my chains and in You I’m free;
But Jesus, why me?

And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied;
I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.”

Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul,
I know that without God I’d never be whole;
Savior, You opened all the right doors,
And I thank You and praise You from earth’s humble shores;
Take me, I’m Yours.

And Jesus said, “Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied;
I felt ev’ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died.” 
(Hymn, author unknown)

TODAY’S TEA CUPP:  Accept Jesus’ call and invitation to come.  Drink deeply of the Living Water by reading His Word, the Bible.  Commit to a regular prayer TEA time with Jesus each day.

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”  John 4:15 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

 

Praying for Babies Again

Kennedy new bornBefore I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you… Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)

Here I sit at the library, working on My TEA CUPP Prayers, as I try to do every week.  My dear husband is home with our two youngest boys, working on projects in the garage.  They are refurbishing the old crib that was used by all four of our children.  As I write this, our daughter, our oldest child, is at a hospital in Wisconsin, preparing to deliver our first grandchild, a sweet little girl, named Kennedy Grace.

Oh, how we love her already, our precious grandchild! We love her before we even know her.  Isn’t that how it is with Jesus.  He loved us before we even knew Him, dying for our sins and giving us new life.  And so I pray for precious Kennedy to love and know Jesus, too.  He already knows her.  He knew her before He even formed her in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5).  And God knit her together inside our daughter, making her wonderful (Psalm 139:13).

If only all babies could be loved as much as this little girl will be! Her paternal grandparents are on a plane right now to see her. We will see her soon, too. How we long to hold her!  A charming nursery is decorated and filled with gifts from so many who love her.  What a beautiful welcome for a beautiful little girl!

This same day, friends are finally welcoming home their adopted twins from the Congo.  They prayed and waited over two years for these boys.  How happy their hearts are now!  Just yesterday, other friends welcomed their tenth child!  What a joy!  And all of these are on my Thursday prayer list for Marriage/Babies.  Yay, Jesus!  He sent so many blessings in one day!

Yet, not all babies get such a homecoming. I hurt for all the babies that won’t be born.  I cry for all the babies that come into the world unwanted.  And I wonder what God is calling me to do?  What is He calling us to do?

God is calling for us to be a voice for the babies, to cry out that abortion is wrong, that there are many families with open arms who will welcome these children.  He is asking us to be the ones with open arms. Rachel is still weeping for her children and won’t be comforted until we help these little ones (Jeremiah 31:15, Matthew 2:18).

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Will you join me in praying for babies?  Will you join me in speaking out for the little ones?  Will you join me in opening your arms to welcome them? Jesus invites you to be part of His healing.

Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.  Matthew 10:14 (NKJV)

p.s.  We thank Jesus for precious Kennedy Grace who was born healthy and strong, at 9 lb. 20 3/4 inches!  Mommy, Daddy and baby are all well.  So blessed!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

Afraid to Tell

afraid to tellSo they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. Mark 16:8 (NKJV)

It happens every spring when I read the Easter story from the book of Mark.  I’m taken back to a time when I said nothing to anyone, because I was afraid.  Perhaps you have a similar story.

We were at a church camp conference in Georgia with the theme, “This is My Story.”  Whenever there was a lull between events, the crowd would launch into a lively rendition of the old hymn.  “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long…”  The song still rings in my heart almost two decades later.

Between singing and game workshops, maintenance manuals, recipe exchanges and all the other information you need to run a church camp, there was a delightful morning Bible study.  I wish I could remember the name of the speaker who led this, an energetic, Asian-American dynamo.  She ran us through the life of Jesus in the book of Mark, because that is Mark’s pace.  She explained to us how most scholars believe the last twelve verses were tacked on later, so Mark 16:8 is really the final verse.  And what does this verse tell us?

So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. Mark 16:8 (NKJV)

Who were these people?  Mark 16:1 tells us they were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome who brought spices to anoint Jesus’ body.  They didn’t know how they would move the big stone that blocked the tomb.  So when they arrived, they were so surprised to see the stone already rolled away.  An angel in the tomb told them, “He is risen!”

Isn’t that the best news of all!  Would you run tell all your friends?  Well, according to Mark, these women were afraid and didn’t tell anyone at first.  I wonder how many of us are like that.  Do we know the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection, but are too scared to tell others?

The Bible study speaker challenged me to not be afraid to tell my story.  That very day I wrote my story in my journal.  The next Christmas I sent it out with our Christmas cards.  Today I continue to look for ways to tell others about the love of Jesus, how He saved me by dying on the cross, and that He is risen.  Many days, I’m still afraid, but the Holy Spirit nudges me to share more and more. Are you being nudged, too?

Today’s TEA CUPP: Read Mark 16 today.  Celebrate the Good News that Jesus is Risen!  Then find someone to tell the Good News of how Jesus has helped you.

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”  Mark 16:6 (NKJV)

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Kisses from Katie

Kisses from KatieAnd the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.Matthew 25:40 (NKJV)

We are forever changed.  All whose lives have been touched by Katie Davis in Uganda, and all who read her book here in the USA, will never be the same. We can’t return to our “normal” lives, without realizing how much more God has for us.  I invite you to be changed forever, too, as you read Katie’s incredible story.

This blessing came to me at my Wednesday Bible study where the women are passing around a book entitled Kisses from Katie. The ladies say they can’t put it down. It’s finally my turn to read it, and they are right.  As I keep telling myself, “just one more chapter,”  Katie is adopting “just one more child,” sharing the love of Jesus with the people of Uganda.

Katie, an American teenager from Nashville, Tennessee, president of her senior class and homecoming queen, gives up everything to follow Jesus’ call to care for the orphans.  Over and over, Katie relates how she is just a normal person, who says “Yes” to God’s call.  Completely honest and transparent, Katie shares the joys and trials of her new found ministry.

Learning to be a mother and run a non-profit at the age of 19 has quite the learning curve, as Katie shares her experiences. From rats and cockroaches, to HIV and scabies, to caring for the worst poverty, one might think that God gave Katie super-human powers. But as Katie relates (p. 135)…

“I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle.  Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives.”

Along with her engaging narrative, Katie shares Bible heroes from David to Jonah to Paul. She writes how God met their needs, and He is caring for her and her adorable children, too. Katie has a thorough grasp of scriptures and the truth, which is also the name of her ministry, Amazima.  Above all, Katie lives out the truth of the Gospel every minute of every day, pouring out God’s love, exhausted or not, (“with a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus”).

Everyone should read this book — moms, dads, teenagers, homeschoolers, college students, Bible scholars, youth leaders, grandparents, the average Joe.  Your heart will be broken for these dear people in Uganda and around the world, who need the unconditional love of Jesus.  Kisses from Katie will inspire, challenge and encourage us all to do more for God’s kingdom, more than we ever imagined. Yes, we are forever changed.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)

For more information on Katie’s ministry, check out her website: http://katiedavis.amazima.org/

Davis, K. (2011). Kisses from Katie. Nashville: Howard Books.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

 

Marcie Says It Best

aPeanutsThe angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Luke 1:28 (NKJV)

This past Christmas marked the 50th anniversary of the beloved Christmas television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas. I am among those who love the Peanuts gang and still sit down with my family every Christmas holiday to watch their shows, including Linus’ famous oratory from the book of Luke.

We have the show on DVD, along with another Peanuts Christmas show, It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown. This sequel, though not as famous, has a line from Marcie that should be repeated to us all.

The scene is a classroom. Peppermint Patty, sitting in front, turns to tell Marcie that she will ask the teacher to let her be Mary in the Christmas program. Marcie replies that the teacher already offered her the part yesterday. But Peppermint Patty is not listening. She continues to talk about the story and how the angel Gabriel will come to visit her.

Marcie replies, “Why would the angel Gabriel talk to you? You never listen!”

You can watch the scene at about 7 min, 17 seconds into this clip from youtube…

Marcie’s words may strike a chord with us all.  “Why would the angel Gabriel talk to you? You never listen!”  Are we listening when God tells us to do something? To talk to the stranger, to visit a friend, to lend a hand?  I know I am guilty of closing my ears so many times.  But we can ask Jesus for His forgiveness and another chance.  And who knows, if we are listening, perhaps an angel will visit us someday!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  As you read your Bible and dig into God’s Word today, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and verses Jesus may have for you. Underline those verses and pray about what God is calling you to do next.  Then reply as Mary did

 “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”  Luke 1:38 (NKJV)

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Peanuts and Marcie and Peanuts Characters are trademarks of Charles M. Schultz.

It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown is distributed by Warner Brothers Home Entertainment Company.

Still a Lifeguard

lifeguardThis poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles. Psalm 34:6 (NKJV)

It’s not the time of year we usually think about swimming, but it was this very month 29 years ago that I began my lifeguard position at the YMCA of the Rockies.

Situated in the mountains above Estes Park, winter is a snowy, blustery time at the YMCA. I hiked with snow prickling my eyes from my dorm on the hillside down to the indoor pool. Inside the pool building I slowly thawed out while the windows frosted over with humidity.

There the brave winter guests gathered to exercise their muscles, entertain the kids, or expend some energy on water aerobics. Somehow my job was to check them in, lifeguard, teach aerobics, and clean the shower rooms.  But we can do that much when we are young! I remember my script well:

  • “Tweet…Don’t run on the deck!”
  • “Tweet…No diving in shallow water!”
  • “Tweet…No dunking your brother!”

One day early in my career, I was twirling my whistle (as lifeguards are supposed to do) when it flipped right out of my hand into the deep end of the pool.  Since I was still on shift and needed to stay in my chair, I was forced to ask one of the boys I’d just blown that same whistle at to please fetch it from the bottom of the pool! Good way to humble a lifeguard!

Another time at the YMCA, I was carefully watching the deep end when in jumped a little kid.  Completely forgetting everything I learned about “reach-throw-row-go,” I leapt into the deep end, grabbed the young child, and pulled him out.  I never was quite sure if his parents wanted him rescued, because they gave me funny looks.  But, better safe than sorry!

These days when I take my youngest son to the pool, I’m still tempted to holler at the other bathers, but usually I keep my mouth shut. I’m thankful for the new batch of lifeguards who have energy for whistling at the swimmers.

However, once a lifeguard, always a lifeguard. God has called me to be another kind of lifeguard.  His calling is for you, as well. Our calling is not the “don’t do this, don’t do that” type of lifeguarding.  It is the “run and jump in and save the child,” funny looks or not!

Today’s TEA CUPP:  My friend, remember how Jesus rescued you? There are so many folks in our world who are drowning in their troubles and need the light of Christ to pull them out.  Will you help me rescue them?  Let’s begin with prayer, and then leap when Jesus says “jump in!”

 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)swimming

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob's ladderBecause it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1 :16 (NKJV)

We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
We are climbing Jacob’s ladder,
Soldiers of the cross.

Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Every round goes higher, higher,
Soldiers of the cross.

This Sunday school song runs through my head as I ponder God’s call to be holy. Do you ever feel like you’re on Jacob’s ladder?  In the Old Testament in Genesis 28:12, Jacob had a dream when fleeing from his brother Esau.  He saw a ladder going up to heaven, with angels going up and down and God at the top.  In our quest to fulfill God’s call to be holy, Jacob’s ladder is a good illustration.

When I first became a Christian, I assumed I was pretty close to the top of the ladder.  Jesus had washed away my sins and I was feeling good. But the longer I live and the more I read and study my Bible, I see how much I fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  It’s not that I’m sliding down the ladder, but that the ladder has become much taller, as I see what a mighty God we serve. Sometimes I feel farther from His holiness than I was when my Christian climb began.

Everyone is at a different place on her ladder.  Though we all should be moving away from coarse talk, immorality, etc. it might be at a different pace.  My friend Claire counsels girls who are incarcerated. Some have made poor choices, others come from rough family backgrounds.  For them it is a victory to step on the ladder, saying “yes” to Jesus’ salvation.  They might not be able to give up the swearing or boyfriends yet, but God will call them to that eventually.

God’s Word is so good at pointing  out where we are off on our Christian climb…

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2 (NKJV)

Long ago our family gave up TV, movies and music that don’t glorify Jesus.  Yet there’s still so much in this world that can knock us off Jacob’s ladder. Just an advertisement on the internet could send a person on the wrong path.  Sometimes we slip down a rung or two, but Jesus picks us up and holds us, helping us to keep going.

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For the Lord upholds him with His hand.  Psalm 37:24 (NKJV)

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

Instead of seeing each rung as something bad to put behind us, we can label each rung as a gift to attain — like the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience. long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Even more, may we always look up to God and help others up Jacob’s ladder.  If a friend slides down or topples off, we are to gently restore her (Galatians 6:1).  We should encourage each other to persevere on this upward climb, because one day in the twinkling of an eye, we will be whisked up to the top with God the Father, and hear Him say, “Well done.”

Today’s TEA CUPP:  Study the verses in this devotion, asking God to show you any areas of your life that need special attention.  Pray for Jesus to help you climb up to the next rung of the ladder.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)

Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. Ephesians 1:4 (NKJV)

That you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:10-11 (NKJV)

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.