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Bubbling Over With Hope!

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing {through the experience of your faith} that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. (Romans 15:13)

Joy and peace in believing! That is the attitude and character trait that should demonstrate your faith walk. Is there an excitement in you – an expectation concerning your reliance upon the Word of God? The wonder, the awesome promises, the supernatural power and reality of what God has spoken and what Jesus has accomplished for us, once truly realized and relied upon, will create such excitement and expectation. In fact, if you are not excited today, if you are not joyfully expectant, you need to take your faith temperature.

What causes a believer to “exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy”? (1 Peter 1:8) Trust. Trust in our Father – His character and His Word. For if you truly believe that what He says He means; if you truly believe that everything Jesus came to fulfill and accomplish is yours now; if you allow the Holy Spirit to fully represent our Father in your life – to establish His ways of doing and being right as your standard and plumb line – then joy and expectation and excitement will overtake and overcome spiritual malaise.

Every Word of God is filled with power (Hebrews 4:12); is self-fulfilling (Isaiah 61:11) and watched over by God Himself to be sure it is fulfilled (Jeremiah 1:12). When you know beyond all doubt that God loves you (1 John 4), that He desires to be known trustingly and intimately by you:

But if one loves God truly {with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessing}, he is known by God {recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love, and he is owned by Him}. (1 Corinthians 8:3),

and when you understand the work of the Holy Spirit in teaching kingdom living and expectations; when you cooperate with Him in yielding to His guidance and instructions, then you are walking in a kingdom rhythm whose life force is the exultant joy and expectation that demonstrates absolute faith in Him.
This is faith – in God, in our Lord Jesus, and in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Our Lord constantly taught on the importance of rejoicing, and maintaining peace, and refusing to fear. For because faith is the currency of the kingdom, because it is faith alone that pleases God, anything less than these positive spiritual attributes is the precursor to doubt and unbelief. Joy and expectation are the identifiers of strong faith.
The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God and reveals them to us – His love, His provision, His watchful care, His expectations and His joy. Allow His ministry and the realities of kingdom life fill you with an expectancy that honors and glorifies our Abba.


Translating Reality

First Thessalonians 1 is so very rich in encouragement and demonstration of the process of walking in faith and strengthening our understanding and ability to overcome the tyranny of our senses.

Every day we are in the business of translation. What our eyes see and what our ears hear is quite often contrary to what God’s Word says. What we sense with our physical being seems to be the reality of the moment. But what God expects of His children is for them to measure and compare what we are observing, or hearing, with what His Word says. (His expectation is also His blessing, for what we find in His Word is so far superior and beneficial to us than what we find in the world.) And what pleases our Father, and mightily benefits us is our decision to exalt His Word over our present feelings, experiences, and observations. We translate the “reality” in front of us with the Word of God spoken in faith. If what we are seeing, hearing, or feeling does not conform to God’s Word (2 Corinthians 10:5) – we speak to the mountain and the mountain must move (Mark 11:23-24). For God’s Word is our ultimate authority and reality.

God established all that we see through the spoken word. The Genesis 1 account and John 1 teach us that what God spoke became reality – and that spoken Word is Jesus (John 1:3). Made in His image and after His likeness (Genesis 1:26), we are to be imitators of our Father in this (Ephesians 5:1). What we speak forth is always our faith, or lack of faith, talking. When we speak forth what we see or feel – for good or evil – we are either blessed or snared with the words of our mouths (Proverbs 6:2). God created this world through His spoken Word. He established its parameters, its functioning principles, and the manner in which all things work together. Instead of speaking forth what we see, when we, in faith, speak forth God’s Word, aligning our energy, our focus, and our confession with His ways of doing and being right, we set in motion the power and will of God on our behalf. We restructure our reality with the Word of God.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 – Our preaching of the Gospel came not only in word but also in {its own inherent} power and in the Holy Spirit and with great conviction and absolute certainty {on our part}.

Faith in God’s Word (Jesus), in God’s promises to us {which are all “Yes” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20)}, is powerfully transformative for it “receives and carries away and enjoys to the full what is promised” (Hebrews 10:36). When founded on “great conviction and absolute certainty” God says it will produce. God helps us in our faith walk by assuring us throughout Scripture that His Word has “its own inherent power“.

In Isaiah 61:11 He speaks of the ” self-fulfilling power of His Word“. In Isaiah 55:11 He says:

So shall My Word be that goes forth out of My mouth: It shall not return to Me void {without producing any effect, useless}, but It shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent It.

In Hebrews 4:12, He tells us that His Word is “alive and full of power {making It active, operative, energizing, and effective“.

Finally, returning to 1 Thessalonians, let all of the work that we do, and the words that we speak, be “energized by faith”(Verse3). Let us welcome the message of the Word with joy (Verse 6). Be excited and anticipatory for the manifestation of God’s Word – all of His promises – in your life, for this is such a strong indicator of faith in our God. Lean “your whole personality on Him, in complete trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness.” (Verse 5) Spend much time in the Presence of your Father. Enjoy His Presence for He truly enjoys yours! Allow the sense of peace and well-being in His Presence to show you how cherished you are by your Abba. And hold as absolute Truth and reality the wonderful message of Verse 10:

…Jesus…draws us to Himself {investing us with all the privileges and rewards of the new life in Christ, the Messiah.}

Psalm 91, part 1

Psalm 91:1 – He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty {Whose power no foe can withstand}.

A story is told of Smith Wigglesworth – used of God to preach and heal – that reveals so much about the “secret place of the Most High. A visitor knocked on his door one day carrying a newspaper under his arm. Wigglesworth welcomed him in, “but that”, he said, pointing to the newspaper, “must be left outside.” Life in the world and life in the kingdom of God are so unalterably opposed. (James 4:4)

The extraordinary, life-affirming promises of Psalm 91 begin here – dwelling in the secret place – remaining stable and fixed there.

John 17:14 – I have given and delivered to them Your Word (message) and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world {do not belong to the world}, just as I am not of the world…

People of faith make a choice to either be nestled (cocooned) in God’s secret place or to permit the loud and intrusive strains of worldly issues, daily concerns, and conformity to worldly attitudes (Romans 12:2)to color and compromise their walk in the Spirit. All of the comforting and powerful promises of this Psalm begin with the stipulation – live here. Fix yourself in the care of the Lord here. We must meet those conditions in order to expect God to fulfill the promises and establish the protections that follow.

Exodus 15:26 – If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and will do what is right in His sight, and will listen to and obey His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I brought upon the Egyptians, for I Am the Lord Who heals you.

In both verses, Exodus 15:26 and Psalm 91:1, we have our part to play – indeed, a significant role. “If you will…” God says, “then I will.” Your faith in God and in His Word is what secures the promises. When your trust in God is compromised by also attending to the problem in front of you -you are visiting the secret place, not dwelling there. When you accept negative events and concerns as an inevitable part of life on earth, all the while asking for your Abba’s help – you are visiting he secret place, not dwelling there. Let not what your eyes see or what your ears hear have the ascendency over what the Word of God tells you is true. There is a brand new way of looking out over your days when you dwell in the secret place, rather than visit.


The word “provision”, or “provider”, is so all-encompassing when it comes to our walk with God. It truly interacts with all of His promises, and all of His redemptive Names. Our Abba is always there(Jehovah-Shammah); He is our righteousness (Jehovah-Tsidkenu) and our peace (Jehovah-Shammah). And He is our constant Provider (Jehovah-Jireh). He provides for us that which He has promised according to our faith.

Originally from the Latin (“providere”), it means “to look ahead, to prepare, to supply, a providing beforehand, the action of arranging in advance”. What a comforting realization. God sees our need ahead of time and is the Supplier of that need. We will never have a need that our Father doesn’t know about. He provides the work of our hands, the food for our bodies, the wisdom for our decisions, the path we are to take, our shelter, our giftings, and the Word that establishes us in His promises. He has sent the Holy Spirit to teach, guide, and enable us, and the Son to die on our behalf and restore us back into His grace! He is a good and loving Father Who provides everything that we need that pertains to life and godliness. (2Peter 1:3)

Being made in His image, we, as parents, are filled with the desire to provide the very best for our children. From healthy food to steady guidance, from the creation of a loving home to moral training, most parents hover gently and carefully over their children. There is, however, a release into life when they reach maturity. The love is still there, the prayers and counsel are still there, but the constant provision of parental responsibility diminishes.

Not so with our Father. As we mature and our faith strengthens the role that His provision plays in our lives becomes more and more evident. The more we lean on and rely on Him, the greater His hand in our lives, the greater manifestation of His blessings, the more evident His miracles, signs and wonders; the more we mature in Him, the more we rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Jehovah-Jireh (the Self-Existent One Who reveals Himself as being our Provider), is first spoken of in Genesis 22:14 after He provided the sacrificial animal to take the place of Isaac. Throughout the Word He is revealed as the Faithful Caretaker and Provider of all that His people needed. And not simply life-sustaining needs:

…God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for {our} enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17)

He delights in the prosperity of His servants. (Psalm 35:27) He attends to both our needs and our desires. (Psalm37:4, Psalm 103:5) He knows ahead of time what is coming up and what will be needed for each eventuality.
It is better, more beneficial, with a far better outcome, to rely on the Name of the Lord, and all that Name promises, than to rely on our own ability, our own resources, and our own understanding.

Lean on, trust in and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight and understanding. In all your ways, know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

And will lovingly provide everything that you need every step of the way!

What’s in a Name?

Proverbs 18:10 – The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the {consistently} righteous man {upright and in right standing with God} runs into it and is safe, high {above evil} and strong.

Psalm 9:9-10 – The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation). And they who know Your Name {who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy} will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for You) {on the authority of God’s Word and the right of their necessity}.

Despite Shakespeare’s assertion that there is little significance in a name (“a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”), the Lord and His Word teach otherwise. Our Father, throughout Scripture, leaves us in no doubt as to His character and His intentions towards men. We become intimately acquainted with our Abba through the names He uses to define Himself. Not only are these names revelatory, they become a lifeline to us. For to understand the meaning of His name(s) as well as His unshakeable , immovable adherence to the fulfillment of what each name promises is to dramatically increase our faith –

1 Timothy 1:4 – …that leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence.

His various names extend covenant promises to us about the role He will undertake to fulfill in our lives through our faith.

Psalm 145:2 – Every day {with its new reasons} will I bless You {affectionately and gratefully praise You}; yes, I will praise Your Name forever and ever.

Every day with its new reason, I praise Your Name! Every day we face new challenges, a variety of developing needs, issues, and situations. Effective prayer relies on our understanding of Who God wants to be for us in each instance. Calling on the Name of the Lord, praising His Name – His revelation to us of the role He is so very willing to assume on our behalf – is the first step in exerting mountain moving faith. We say, “You have told me that this is Who You are, Father. Today I am relying on that aspect of Your Fatherhood in my life. Today I am asking You to undertake on my behalf according to Your Name.”

The very first name God uses to reveal Himself is “Elohim”, found in Genesis 1:1. The Hebrew “El” is a plural word suggesting the Trinity – the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Scholars also indicate that “El” is related to the Hebrew word meaning “to swear” (as in taking an oath), which would characterize the covenant nature of God. For our purposes, then, in understanding the revelation of our Father’s character through the names He uses to teach us about Himself, “Elohim” means “the great, mighty three-in-One God Who establishes and keeps covenant forever”.

Because the name “Elohim” is used 2700 times throughout the Old Testament its quite clear that God wants His children to understand and rely on this aspect of His Being; the Covenant Keeper – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All believers understand that God is Three-in-One. But many of those same believers do not have full grasp of all that the covenant entails. That our Father holds of paramount importance the promise of keeping covenant will be further revealed as we look further into the names of God.

Psalm 72:17 – His Name shall endure forever…and men shall be blessed and bless themselves by Him.

An Early Victory

   Very early on in my faith walk – I had probably been walking with the Lord for two or three years, and had been discovering through His Word, through experience, and through strong Gospel teachings that He was interested in all aspects of my life, small and large issues –   I discovered again one Saturday morning about His willingness to shepherd me, even through the seemingly unimportant issues in life.  It seems like a trivial moment, and some might say not even worthy as testimony, but to me, at that moment in my faith walk, it was a huge lesson and an indicator of His loving concern for me.

   On that particular Saturday, two things had to be accomplished.  Most important to me, I was to attend a family wedding several states away, and was to be picked up by family members at a particular (and non-negotiable) time in order to arrive at the wedding in a timely manner.  Most important to my son Gary, we were to sign him up for summer camp at the local YMCA.  This was the only morning for camp registration, and Gary had been looking forward to this for quite a while.  When we arrived at the registration site I was appalled to see the crowd, and especially the line, for camp sign up.  Watching the length of time it took for just one person to sign up, and the excruciating slowness of the line, I realized that I would never get this accomplished in time to leave for the wedding.    I walked up to what appeared to be someone in charge of the registration and told her of my deadline problem.   She looked at me with a certain amount of disdain and said, rather coldly, “Ma’am, all of these people have places to go and things to do.  You’ll just have to wait your turn like everyone else.”    At that point I prayed something like this – “Lord, you know where I have to go and when I have to leave in order to get to the wedding on time, and you also know how much this matters to Gary. I’m asking You to solve this problem.”  I then waited in a chair, with Gary standing in place in line, for about half of an hour.  The line barely moved and, knowing that I had to leave soon but also that I could not and would not disappoint my son, I began to get up from the chair to locate that same woman to again plead my case. At that moment  I clearly heard the Lord say, “You asked Me to solve your problem.  Now sit down and let Me do it.”  I sat down again, quickly!  Moments later that same  women who had earlier been quite cold and officious, came strolling into the room, took a look at the slow-moving line, walked up to me and said, “Let’s get you to the front of this line so you can get to that wedding on time.” 

   The love the Father has for His kids is demonstrated in lives that have given over control to Him, and that have a growing understanding of His desire to be intimately involved in their day to day needs.  Jesus said,

What man of there is you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish will hand him a serpent?  If you, then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father, Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him?”  (Matthew 7:9-11)

  Ask yourself this question.  Where would you be several months or years from now if you truly gave God entire control of your moments, days, months and years?

Our Ever Present Provider

If I take the wings of the morning or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. (Psalm 139:9-10)

   The Message Bible paraphrase of Verse 10 is, “You’ll find me in a minute – You’re already there waiting.”  I remember hearing an album of a live recording of a Gospel concert.  The singer, Andre Crouch, said at the beginning of the concert:

“Jesus is alive, and He is everywhere present.  I know that to be true because I brought Him here with me, and when I arrived I found Him to be already here!”

   We are inevitably blessed and uplifted as we recognize the continuous Presence of God in our every moment.  To practice that realization is to tap into the ever ready, ever available provision of our Father.  Our loving Abba purposed that it would be this way.  We have God in us!  The Holy Spirit lives within- counseling, guiding, teaching, reminding, and causing us to be the very best and most beautiful we can be in Jesus. 

   He gives us the words we need to speak (Luke 12:12), the route we need to take (Isaiah 30:21), the prosperity that fulfills the covenant (Deuteronomy 8:18), the health and strength that characterizes an abundant life (Psalm 103:3, John 10:10), a peace that demolishes any device the enemy tries to throw our way (Philippians 4:7), and the “full, personal knowledge of Him” (1 Chronicles 28:9, 2 Peter 1:3).  Through all of these “His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) [Emphasis mine]

   In 2 Kings 6:14-17 we have a lesson in the power of spiritual sight.  The servant of Elisha, a prophet of God, was filled with fear concerning the enemy forces that were surrounding them.  Elisha prayed, “Lord… open his eyes that he may see” for “those with us are more than those with them.” As God’s beloved daughters, our walk in the Spirit is to be so empowered.  We are meant to see with the eyes of our spirits

   In Luke 24:25, 38 we read some challenging words concerning a spiritual state we do not want to find ourselves in:

And Jesus said to them, O foolish ones [sluggish in mind, dull of perception] and slow of heart to believe (adhere to and trust in and rely on) everything that the prophets have spoken…Why are you disturbed and troubled, and why do such doubts and questionings arise in your hearts?

We have the entire force of spiritual Truth and God’s Word as our foundation.  Walk in that realization as you head out through your day today.  See yourself, surrounded by God’s powerful angels, dedicated to your safety, well-being, and kingdom success.  Give full attention to the indwelling Holy Spirit Whose job it is to help you see spiritual Truths.  Accompanied by your Father you will walk into the future moments of your day and discover Him and whatever provision you need from Him to be already there!


God’s Word on the Subject:

2 King 6:14-17       Psalm 139       Ephesians 3:16-21        2 Peter 1:2-4

The Manifestation of Things Hoped For

Now faith is the evidence of things not seen, the manifestation of things hoped for.  (Hebrews 11:1)

At one point, several years into my faith walk, a growth developed in one of my underarm areas.  Although it did not concern me in terms of my health, it was more an irritation when it came to shaving in that area.  It continued to grow larger, and rub against shirt material and get a bit inflamed.  I began to speak with the Lord about it in prayer, asking Him to remove it.  One Sunday morning at church our pastor was calling up certain physical problems for healing.  He mentioned someone with a growth under their arm, and I experienced great warmth, head to toe, which at the time seemed to indicate to me that the Holy Spirit was affirming that I should go up for prayer.  After receiving prayer that Sunday for the growth it got worse, not better!   I had to cover it with a band aid because clothing began to severely irritate it.  It swelled up to twice or three times its original size.  And I spoke to that growth!   “You may not stay.  I have had agreement in prayer.  You must go.  You must leave my body.”  I never gave in to doubt and I thank God for that.  I simply figured, in faith, that God’s Word was true, I had received prayer from a believer of like faith, and it was a done deal!   Five days later, after standing  firmly in faith and expectation, that enlarged growth fell off of me.  It simply came off with the band aid!

My righteous servant shall live by faith, and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38)

These seem like harsh words, but they are a direct route to blessing.  So very often, people seek the Lord for one blessing or another- guidance, provision, etc.  And when the manifestation is not quickly forthcoming, doubt and fear set in and are reflected in our spoken words, diminishing faith and often hindering or completely severing the blessing they are seeking.  Our walk of faith before God is a message to ourselves and to Him that in all things we know that He can be trusted; that He is our Provider, our Nourisher, and our Healer.

Jesus’ words to us, “Don’t be afraid, just believe”, (Mark 10:36) foundationalize a faith walk.  Interestingly, those words spoken to Jairus, a synagogue ruler, came when Jairus had learned of his daughter’s death.  But God had allowed Jairus to witness a wonderful healing as he was leading Jesus to his home to heal his daughter.  The Word mentions that the daughter of Jairus was twelve years old, which was the same amount of time that the woman healed had dealt with her illness, an issue of blood.  Jairus heard the words, “Your faith has healed you”, as Jesus spoke them to the woman before he heard the words, “Your daughter is dead.”  God had allowed that moment to build his faith to receive his blessing.

As we, citizens of the Kingdom, give testimony to the wonderful things that God has done, we speak into each others lives that same faith-building reassurance, that same life-giving knowledge, that in all things, God can be trusted to be faithful to His Word; that His Word is alive and powerful and for our blessing.  “Fear not, only believe.”

The Age of Accountability – Part Two

    How foolish would it be to find yourself caught out in a rainstorm feeling unable to gain access to you home, where you would experience warmth and safety, while all the while the key to your home is in your hand? 

   As newly born-again believers, “babies and toddlers” in the faith, we cry out for help, fuss and fret over desired outcomes, and see them come to pass.  We toddle about on our new faith legs and learn about the Truth of God’s Word through our early successes.   But as we grow in grace, we must step up into a mature view of the reality of the Truth of God’s Word and our responsibilities as believers.  Firmly relying faith is a responsibility of Kingdom citizenship.  Like our Father we are to create with words of faith and a heart of trust.  Continue to grow in the Word.  Discover your identity in Christ.  Accept nothing less than God’s standard.  You are more than a conqueror – you are an overcomer (Romans 8:37).

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. Now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.

Jesus said, in Matthew 28:18 – All authority (all power of rule) in Heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go then…

And in Luke 22:29And as My Father has appointed a kingdom and conferred it on Me, so do I confer it on you (the privilege and the decree).

  With these verses, Jesus gives us the keys to come in from the storm – to come into safety.  He also declares us accountable; accountability which sometimes might feel intimidating. With the blessings – and they are extraordinary – comes the responsibility.  Step up into your rightful place as a daughter of God – accountable to the Truth of His Word, and with that maturity and accountability feed and guide many. 


God’s Word on the subject:

Matthew 28:18             Luke 22:29


The Age of Accountability – Part One

   Would you say of yourself that you trust in the Lord for all that concerns you?  Take that a little deeper.  Do you believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God knows you intimately and watchfully and that He is for your success? (1 Peter 5:7, Joshua 1:8) Knowing that, what does a day in your life look like?  Is there a spring in your step, joy in your heart, and praise continually on your lips?  Is continued rejoicing and thanksgiving the predominant characteristic of your being?  Or are you experiencing fears over health or financial issues, concern about the future, embarrassment about the past, or confusion concerning unanswered prayer requests?

   Gloria Copeland, in her book God’s Will is Prosperity,  writes:

“You may think, ‘I would never call Almighty God a liar’, but that is exactly what you do every time you allow your words and actions to contradict what you know God says about you in His WordYou are acting in fear instead of in faith – fear that God will not perform His Word in your life.  What an insult to the Father!” (Emphasis mine)

   There comes a time in every believer’s life when they must step up into authority.  Kenneth Hagin tells of a time when his teen-aged son was beset with ear infections brought on by swimming activities, and his prayers, as the father and spiritual leader in the home, did not produce the healing they had experienced in the past.  Hagin recognized that his son had reached what you could term “the age of accountability.”  With all that he had learned, all that he understood about God and His Word, he needed to exercise his own faith in the matter.

  In Mark 11, we have the story of Jesus’ words causing the fig tree to wither.  When His disciples wondered at the phenomenon, our Lord said:

Have faith in God constantlyTruly I tell you, whoever says to the mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.  For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you and you will (get it).  (Mark 11:22-24) –[Emphasis mine]

   You are included in “whoever” and in your life you experience “whatever”.  Our Lord left the categories wide open.  There is no exclusion from this promise.  Our job is to speak to the mountain and believe that we will get what we say.  We must step up into faith in God’s Word and be accountable for what we know and have learned and are learning.  God expects mountain-moving faith from His people, and with that faith in place, what we ask, according to His Word, will be done for us. We are co-creators along with Him. We stand in faith, speak forth in faith, and He keeps His Word. 


God’s Word on the subject:

Psalm 34:10         Mark 11:22-24            John 14:13-14

1 Peter 5:7