4 comments on “3 Reasons why Temptations are good for You”

3 Reasons why Temptations are good for You

Have you ever gifted someone something that you later on asked to be returned you? Similarly, when we choose to do what we would rather do instead of letting the LORD have His way with us, it’s like we’re asking God to return the words we lifted up to Him in prayer or praise. Are you ever tempted to take back your words long after your passion for God fizzled or are you ever just tempted to live as if Jesus never touched your heart? It’s okay if you say “No, not lately”, but can you at least relate?

This post will not be what you probably expect it to be but I do have a point. I definitely had those moments when Christianity wasn’t my daily lifestyle and even a few instances years later when I finally committed. I had been so confident to say “never again” and sure enough there I’d be wishing I hadn’t made that vow whether it was because it bruised my ego or made me feel unworthy. I hated my temptations. And I can’t remember exactly what tangible thing I gave to a loved one and then took back, but I’m almost positive I’ve done it at least once as well as the fact that I’ve probably been a victim of this unfairness too.

I’ve read from a devotional a few years ago that it doesn’t matter how long a Christian has been on the journey; there will come times of temptation to want to live as one had lived before they gave their life to Christ. Satan’s good at shaking his victims around, and it begins with little nudges that become persistent overtime. HE ONLY BECOMES SUCCESSFUL WHEN YOU CONFIRM BY AGREEING WITH THE MEMORIES OF GOOD FEELINGS HE WILL BE COMFORTING AND REMINDING YOU WITH. HE WILL NUDGE YOU IN AREAS YOU HAVE GROWN STRONG IN BECAUSE IT’S THOSE PARTS OF YOUR LIFE YOU THINK YOU ARE CONFIDENT HE WILL NOT TOUCH. But you are wrong. If you’re only concerned about your weaknesses, he’s got you where he wants you — blind-sighted.

Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Scary, no? But I’m not afraid. You shouldn’t either. At least not right now. God is the only One whom you must fear. It’s your fear of the LORD that gives you wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), because I believe if you fear anything else, many things will terrify you. I just know that whatever comes my way, I am a better person today than I was then, and it’s because I’ve chosen to make a habit of looking at my temptations a different way.

1 Peter 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

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If you’ve been hating, blaming, or running away and fearing your temptations, then they can absolutely ruin you and your mental health/emotional well-being. It’s time to change our views about them. Let me explain. TEMPTATIONS ARE PART OF A HEALTHY SPIRITUAL WALK. God allows them because they contribute to how He will be disciplining you. Remember the LORD loves so much to correct wrongdoing. What parent’s love comes without discipline and how much more with the Father’s? If you recognize temptations and what its goal is, that means you acknowledge your relationship with Jesus, and so they can actually build you up so long as you respond with the right attitude.

James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

The right attitude is stepping back and paying close attention to where those temptations could possibly lead you and exactly how the outcome of giving in can mess with your thoughts and feelings later on. There would be no need for a right attitude/response if temptations do not do their part in testing you, and therefore there would be no acknowledgement of victory and moreover, growth, and furthermore, blessings and praises. So yes, God is responsible for allowing this, but He is also the one responsible for rewarding and equipping you with a little bit more confidence and resilience you can put to work the next time you are ever tempted again. But how can you teach yourself not to give in when you forget He’s already equipped you? You must practice by being thankful for them.

Here are 3 reasons to be grateful for your temptations:

  1. THEY BUILD YOUR CHARACTER. They help strengthen your convictions whether you give in or not. They will absolutely strengthen your convictions more than break you if after giving in to those temptations your repentance is genuine and you thanked God for that test/trial, because now you have even more hate for your sins (not temptations), and now you value obedience towards God even more.
  2. THEY ARE NOT SINS. They attack your mind posing as ungodly desires that have not yet become sins. Your awareness is key. The more aware you are that it is only a test/trial, the more successful you will be at remembering to surrender them to God. But the more aware you are of how good it makes you feel, then your tendency to be entertained by them will more likely lead you to commit to the next step, which is sinning.
  3. WITHOUT THEM DISCIPLINE HAS NO VALUE. Think about it, it’s because of where temptations have led us in the past that we choose and want to choose better for ourselves. So the more temptations you have the more God is saying “This is good for you because you will be trained by it”. The LORD’S love comes with much discipline and He sure does love us a lot!

Self-control is ineffective and not long lasting unless there was a specific moment in the temptation when the situation was handed over to God. If He was not acknowledged enough in the struggle, the habit you are trying to control will control you. “Will I choose to take God’s grace for granted or can this growth opportunity really bless me right now?”

THE LORD IS QUICK TO SHOW HIS FAVOR WHEN YOU SERVE HIM THROUGH OBEDIENCE AT THE TOUGHEST TIMES. WHY? THE LIFE OF HIS SON JESUS INSIDE YOU IS PLEASED WITH THE FREEDOM AND PEACE YOU RECEIVE. HIS JOY IS YOUR STRENGTH (Nehemiah 8:10).

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

At the moment of temptation, pay attention to where your heart leans more towards — the desire to glorify God or the desire to glorify your feelings? Remember, Satan nudges by using your feelings. Temptation becomes sin at the moment when the spirit is quenched because the flesh is fulfilled by our participation to commit. PUT YOUR FAITH ABOVE YOUR FEELINGS.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

  1. What is something this past week or two that has really challenged my integrity?
  2. If I pay closer attention to any temptations around this, will it help me live with more purpose and passion? How would my life improve if I consistently prayed more about this?
  3. Have I been praying about this and what can I add or say differently in my prayers about this one particular temptation?

PRAY:

Heavenly Father, You’re so good to discipline me using my temptations. Thank you for loving me as I am and I am not even perfect. With Your guidance I know I can always improve. Each temptation is proof to me of your Grace. Forgive me for all the times I have taken your Grace for granted, for focusing on myself and my feelings every time I’ve given in instead of focusing on You. Help me to count it joy that my temptations are chances to humble myself and surrender to You who protects my integrity and my oneness with You. LORD, I ask that You guide me by reminding me of Your presence convicting me to do the right thing as I obey and glorify Your Son when I am faced with temptation again. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

Christian Faith   Mind & Body  Portrait Art

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0 comments on “31 Journal Prompts for Living in God’s Will (October)”

31 Journal Prompts for Living in God’s Will (October)

What believer doesn’t ever question God if what they’re doing is still in His will? Even if you’ll never admit to anyone about your doubts, it’s such a relief whenever He convicts that you’re still on the right path. Amen? So this post is super late…sorry…but maybe it was in His will because I would not have been able to come up with these questions a few weeks ago. These questions have crossed my mind concerning my efforts to meet Him half way. They are affirmative questions that you can use as a journal guide or prayer guide to help you make reflections of where you’re at on this narrow path. Whether you are confident or not about the LORD’s will in your life, I hope and pray you continue to persevere. It is in His will after all. 🙂

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1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Ephesian 5:15-20 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

* IF YOU EVER TAKE TIME TO ANSWER ANY OF THESE DAILY QUESTIONS, I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS WERE. LEAVE ME A MESSAGE.

* IF YOU WOULD LIKE JOURNAL PROMPTS ON A SPECIFIC TOPIC, DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS FOR ME.

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0 comments on “Character/Integrity, Temptations, the Full Armor of God”

Character/Integrity, Temptations, the Full Armor of God

Matthew 5:28 ‘Do not let your heart turn to her ways [the adulteress]’

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 7: 1-3 My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

There is a big connection between heart and mind. It’s said that desires and ambitions stem from the heart. But aren’t those concrete thoughts? And our thoughts on the other hand can have a big impact on the health of our hearts. Like literally.

I believe that God wants His children to operate from the heart, knowing that Jesus is in there. When we accept His Son we accept Him with our minds, but we accept Him into our hearts. And when He is nourished in our hearts, our spirits are lifted, and we can also begin to see things from His point of view. Our minds then adopt His perspective and character/integrity is built in us.

The bridge between heart and mind is character/integrity. When this is more prominent than personality, righteousness is the result. Righteousness is always something to receive no matter how many years a Christian has been following Christ, otherwise it would never have been paid for on the Cross.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Who or what is at the center of your heart? Is it Jesus or is it something else that may be causing you a lot of confusion?

Open the eyes of my heart LORD,

Open the eyes of my heart,

I want to see YOU

I want to see YOU…

 

This song by Michael W. Smith speaks to me a lot. As a Christian it’s so important to realize the connection between Father and Son, and not just once but several times a week. It’s not enough as knowledge in the back of your head. It must be a realization, a rediscovering, a habit to remember again and again.

In my perspective, this song is sung to God, the Father. When I sing it, I am asking HIM to open Jesus’ eyes in my heart. I’m basically inviting Jesus into my heart all over again because I trust His perspective on things. Then in total surrender, when I am aware that Jesus is very well alive and awake in me, I can see through His eyes and He is looking straight to God. I find peace and oneness with HIM here as I am humbly reminded that my righteousness is only there because He made this connection with HIM possible. I am nothing without my relationship with HIS Son.

Is your relationship with Christ making you aware of your temptations?

James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Temptation becomes sin at the moment when the spirit is quenched because the flesh is fulfilled by our participation to commit. As long as you’re battling temptation with your own strength, they will always seem too great for you to overcome. The secret to faith is finding strength not in ourselves but in Christ’s confidence in God. Armoring yourself with the LORD’S Truth is your weapon for warfare. So what is God’s Truth and how can we overcome one temptation at a time?

In matters of temptation, God’s Truth is found in Ephesians 6:10-18. It talks about putting on the full armor of God, which is the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

The breastplate of righteousness is the righteousness Christ paid for on our behalf, so putting it on (receiving it) is what will protect our heart. Self-righteousness is not good enough to protect ourselves; we must put on Christ’s righteousness. This is that realization/rediscovering I was talking about earlier; we have righteousness only because of the relationship between God and Jesus.

The shield we must have with us is faithfulness…the same faith He had in God, which strengthened Him with confidence. During those 40 days and nights when Jesus was tempted in the desert, He responded to Satan’s schemes by referring to God’s truths (Matthew 4:4, 5:7, 4:10, Deuteronomy 8:3, 6:13, 6:16). The faith He had as He relied on the Father helped Him to resist temptation.

Then there is also salvation that we must not forget. I believe it is called the helmet of salvation since our righteousness in Christ protects our hearts, our salvation in Christ must protect our minds. Salvation is not a one time deal just like righteousness. Salvation is nothing without righteousness, vice versa, and since what is in the heart must match what it is in the mind, it is our salvation in Christ that reminds us of this connection. With the helmet of salvation, we can “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Last but not least, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) is something we must carry with us at all times. A doubled edged sword can pierce any heart. This is true just as with God’s Word, and if we deliver His wisdom with humility and righteousness, it is the ultimate Truth that convicts and protects against anything that threatens our relationship/oneness with Him. It is the righteous weapon we have which means we must use it to convict and not condemn.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

  1.  Is my character/integrity mostly made up of convictions or condemnations?
  2.  What thoughts and feelings am I allowing my character to be built on?
  3.  Is my righteousness Jesus at the center of my heart or is it something or someone else? If it is not Him, could it be the reason why I feel miles away from Him if I give in to temptation?

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

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0 comments on “30 Journal Prompts for the Sinful Heart (September)”

30 Journal Prompts for the Sinful Heart (September)

From time to time God shows me there are quite some very distraught spirits here. I know our hearts can sometimes be very unclean, so I have put these affirmative questions together to help your weary soul. I have been for a very long time a perfectionist at heart only to discover nothing I can physically do can wipe away my sins because Christ has already paid that debt for me. But as a Christian I know there are plenty that still live in deliberate disobedience, and if you can relate to beating yourself up for “not being good enough in God’s eyes”, I urge you to take a few minutes of your day to make reflections. I hope and pray these questions strengthen your bond with Christ. These journal prompts are more of an assessment, a reevaluation for the heart and soul….but anyway, this is for the Christian struggling but still love Jesus. <3

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James 1:13-18 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

* IF YOU EVER TAKE TIME TO ANSWER ANY OF THESE DAILY QUESTIONS, I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS WERE. LEAVE ME A MESSAGE.

* IF YOU WOULD LIKE JOURNAL PROMPTS ON A SPECIFIC TOPIC, DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS FOR ME.

* IF YOU ENJOYED THIS & WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE FREE CONTENT LIKE THIS, THE SIGN UP IS A POP-UP WINDOW.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

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0 comments on “KEEP WALKING”

KEEP WALKING

I remember being 12 years old and thinking “When I’m 16, I’ll have my first boyfriend and I’ll get my driver’s license, when I’m 25 I should be married, and when I’m 30 I should have my first child.” Okay, so none of my predictions came true. By the time I turned 25, I still couldn’t figure out what I wanted to be in life. There’s a one hit wonder by 4 Non Blondes and it goes….

       Twenty-five years and my life is still

Trying to get up that great big hill of hope

For a destination

………

And I try, oh my god do I try

I try all the time, in this institution

And I pray, oh my god do I pray

I pray every single day

For a revolution

………

And I say, hey hey hey hey

I said hey, what’s going on?

………

That was my song. I sang it quite well actually. I was one of two vocalists in a cover band performing weekly at a bar not far from the Vegas Strip. I didn’t pick the song, the members chose it for me but they didn’t even have a clue I was only a few months away from turning 25. I remember that year clearly. I thought I had a very good standing relationship with God, but I look back and I was actually more on the self-righteous side blinded by my own self-confidence, yet I didn’t have a clear focus on how God wanted to use my skills and talents and I was still chasing after worldly gains.

I always believed having a goal meant that you’re counting on yourself to achieve it one day. YOU SET IT, YOU GET IT. And it confused me so much because the Bible says that God establishes a man’s steps, no matter how much he plans his own life (Proverbs 16:9). So what did He want from me?!? Why did He give me so much passions and interests and I can’t even focus on one to set me for life?

He brought me back to square one. And not just once, but quite a few handful of times. Square one was a corner as I had always pictured it before. And whenever I came back to this place, I always lost hope and complained “Well, I’m going to have to work extra hard now just to gain back all the strength I just lost, because now I have to start all over again.” It might have been the hundredth time of returning to this place that I finally realized it is not a corner but the center of where everything begins. It is now the place where the LORD always reminds me I am nothing without Him and have nothing without Him. And I have no complaints but praises and thanks. I have to make sure I’m still on the path. He brings me here to remind me it doesn’t matter how much I have been pushing myself just to walk a little faster than before because at times I felt I was so behind. What matters is that I’m walking in faith. What matters is that God is my ultimate Goal.

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“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”

Earl Nightingale

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:6

“God is my Goal.”

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

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4 comments on “UPDATE”

UPDATE

It’s been so long. I know I’ve abandoned my blog. Forgive me. I just edited my About Me too explaining this. I sound redundant. But I’m back. If you care. Or if you don’t I really don’t mind. 🙂 I started this years ago and I just can’t not use it ever again. It’s always nice to have something to call your own. I think I’m finally starting to think more like a mom, even though I don’t have any kids. This is my baby. I need to nurture it. I think God would really like that. He was the one who prompted me to start this anyway. So yes, Im back. I’m alive or at least trying to survive. Life got busy. Reading some of my old posts makes me crack up. I’ve gone and deleted ones that just sound immature. Err. I’m still growing and every year gets better and better. What matters is I keep walking in faith and part of that is keeping up with this blog. I’m so glad 2018 has been great towards me so far. I’m learning to expand in ways I only dreamed in the past. And having this blog will push me to share the Lord’s goodness. I’m grateful. And so should you, for whatever circumstance you might be in, know that it only takes gratitude for the things you already have, because with God all things are possible. While I’ve been gone, on my free time, I would read so much on health because I knew I wasn’t living my best. I’m always led to the cold truth that my relationship with Christ is directly related to my overall wellbeing, and the topic of health has definitely stepped up on my list of values. So I’ve been doing a lot of independent research, specifically concerning women’s health. If you are only following this blog because of the Christian-based content, you might want to unsubscribe. I would just like to warn you that I’m incorporating all things related to diet/weight loss (recipes, tips, and health in general). I will be sharing my weight loss journey in hopes of helping many other women struggling to lose unwanted weight. Lastly, I am a portrait artist who has committed to using my talent not just when I feel like drawing or painting. I’ve been blessed to appreciate detail in everything and with this gift, how can I suppress it? I’ll be posting all my artwork here. Check out my GALLERY. So that’s me for now. I hope you all are doing great this year. And I pray you receive blessings every day. BE BLESSED! 🙂

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1 comment on “When I Stray Away from You”

When I Stray Away from You

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When I stray away from You…

I become prideful and arrogant

I become rude and spiteful

I become greedy and selfish

I become jealous and possessive

I become two-faced and a loud-mouth

I become lazy and irresponsible

When I stray far away from You…

I become gullible and naive

I become lonesome and withdrawn

I become doubtful and worrisome

I become over-emotional and pitiful

I become misunderstood and easily led

I become forgettable and rejected

I become a walking dead

When I stray far, far away from You…

I become hungry for love

I become desperate for balance

I become humbled by Your mercy

I become surrendered and obedient

I become sensitive and patient

When I walk with You…

I become beautiful and strong

I become confident and trustworthy

I become peaceful and loving

I become grateful and rich

I become alive, joyful, and excited for life

I become a leader, an ambassador of truth

I become mature and more faithful

I become complete and one with You

James 1: 2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Romans 5: 3-5 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Psalms 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.

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2 comments on “Look to God”

Look to God

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I look to You, no other One

No higher god but Thee,

And in my heart, You’ll see Your Son

Is pleased to live in me,

I pray in Him, Your will be done

All things for Your Glory,

Your work alone has just begun

I’m blessed as one could be,

My heart, it has already won

Just looking up to Thee

 

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11 comments on “Right Relationship”

Right Relationship

 

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How great it is to praise Your name

Oh Christ, I sing

How great it is for me You came,

How precious to me are all Your ways

My Lord and King

How precious to You are all my days,

How awesome it is to walk in Your light

Great love You bring

How awesome it is You give me the sight,

How beautiful it is to see Your face

Oh God, my King

How beautiful to You I seek Your grace,

How grand to me is Your joy and wisdom

Great love You bring

How grand to You is my joy and freedom

How sweet to me the sound of Your Truth

My Lord and King

How sweet to You the fruits of my youth,

How good it is to receive Your love

Oh Christ, I sing

How good it is You’re smiling above

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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