Psalm 121, Looking To Jesus with Russell Burrell

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Russell Burrell shared this Verse By Verse Bible study from Psalm on Sunday, February 5, 2023 using the New King James Version (NKJV).

More Bible teachings by Russell Burrell


I want to begin this study this morning with a story. The title of the story is, it all depends on whose hands it's in. And here it is. It says it's a bit dated. So bear with me on it. I mean some of the references that are that don't be used in. You know it's it's. You know some of the people in this story. You know they kind of not in a position that they were in when this story initially first came out, but I believe it going to give us a clear meaning. As it relates to our study this morning. Like I said, the title of the story is, it all depends on whose hands it's in. A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.00. A basketball in Michael Jordan's hands. It's worth about $33 million. It depends on whose hands it's in. A baseball in my hands is worth about $6. A baseball and Mark Mcguires hands. It's worth. About $19 million. It all depends on whose hands it's in. A tennis racket is useless in my hands. A tennis racket in Venus Williams's hands. It's a Wilmington championship. It all depends on who stands it's in. A rod in my hands would keep away a while down animal maybe? A rod in Moses's hands were part the mighty sea. It all depends on whose sands it's in. A slingshot in my hands is a kid's toy. A slingshot in David's in David's hands, it's a mighty weapon. It all depends on whose hands it's in. Two fish and five loaves of bread in my hands. It's a couple of it's a couple. Of couple of fish sandwiches, 2 fish and five loaves. Of bread in God's hands will feed thousands. It all depends on whose hands it's in. Nails in my hands might produce a house. Nelson Jesus Christ in Jesus Christ's hands will produce salvation for the entire world. It all depends on whose hands it's in. As you see. It all depends on whose hands it's in. So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your families, and your relationships in God's hands because it all depends on whose hands it's in. As we proceed up with our study this morning, I ask that you would keep this story in mind. As we. Get into our study this morning. I take it everyone has found their way to Psalm 121. The Book of Psalms. It's a book that. So much hope and joy in when I read through the Book of Psalms. It consists of 150 chapters. In it you can read read about almost any situation as it relates to life. The joy the hardships of life. The pain that we experience in this life. Depression that one might go through in this life. It speaks of comfort. It speaks of forgiveness. It speaks of guidance and directions. For a person's life. And of course. It speaks of the sovereignty and the power of Almighty God. Less, it's only 8 verses in this particular sum, so we're going to read through all of them quickly. It says in verse one. I would lift up my eyes to the hills from where comes my help. My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He would not allow your foot to be moved. He who keeps you would not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel shall never slumber nor sleep. Verse 5 The Lord is your keeper. The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The son shall not strike you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil. He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out, and your coming in from this time forth and even forevermore. This morning we're going to be looking at 4 particular points as this relate to this particular sum. This morning point #1 is. Did I give you guys the title or the message this morning? If I did, it's looking to Jesus and I said title of our message this morning. I'm sorry I forgot to give you that. Now back to the points. Point #1 this morning is look to Jesus to help you. Look to Jesus to help you point #2 would be look to Jesus to sustain you or either to keep you. Point #3 Look to Jesus to revive and refresh you. And our final point this morning is look to Jesus to preserve you or to protect you. Point #1 Look to Jesus to help you. Verse #1 says I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence? Comes my help. I have often heard a lot of well meaning Christians read this verse inaccurately. As if the psalmist is saying he's looking to the hills for help in times of trouble. They read it like he's saying I would look to the hills from that because that's where my help comes from. But that's not what he's saying at all. When we're reading through the Bible, we're reading particular portions of Scripture. It's very important that that we read the Bible carefully. And pay pay close attention to not only the words, but to all the punctuation marks. In the Bible. You see, you can read it like the psalmist was saying, hey, I look to the hills because that's where my help comes from. But that's not what he's saying. As he goes on this like he's conversing with himself, he immediately asked himself the question. In verse one, he says, where does my help come from? Where does my help come from? He he's asking himself the question and he's saying it doesn't come from the hills. It doesn't come from the themes of this world. And he answered the question in verse two. He says my help. Come from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Not from the hills of this world, like I said. Not from the things of this world. But my help comes from the one who created this world and everything in it. The one who created the heavens and the earth. The prophet Jeremiah put puts it this way in Jeremiah 323. He says truly in vain is salvation hope for from the hills. To put in another way like I said. From the things. Of this world and from the multitude of mountains. You see no one except Jesus. Has the power to give you the help you need. Not your family. Not your friends. Not your abundance of wealth. If you have that. Not the politicians. Not the government. Not anything that man is capable of doing. Can give us the help that we truly need. Our help comes from God and him alone. The Bible says what is man anyway? God is even mindful of him. What is man that God is even mindful of him? Essentially God is saying. And pointing out how insignificant. Man is. When you look at the big scheme of life and you take everything in. How insignificant we are. To provide. The help? To those around us and then try to get the help we need from those around us. He puts it another way in Psalms 50, and I like this cheese and you recommend you read the whole Psalm. It's not that many verses in that sum, but one thing he said and that he said if I was hungry. Speaking of man, he said, I wouldn't tell you about it. For the for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. And then it goes on to say in that portion of Scripture, that I own the cattle on 1000 hills. He said so, why would I tell you about it Speaking of man? Therefore we can see and hear from God that man has no power. That is even worth considering. When you need help. And because man has no power, why do we as believers play? So much trust. And faith. In ourselves. And others like us. That's something to think about. No man. Regardless of their status, their position. Here on this earth. Can provide the ultimate help. Each and everyone of us truly need. The Bible said, man, it's just. A speck of dust. A shadow. We can be here one moment and go on the next. So why would you look to? Why would we look to and depend upon the trust in? A man to aid and to assist us in times of trouble. Their help and advice is fleeting at best. And would not have the lasting effect and comfort. To give you the peace. For a tired and weary soul. As I stated, this kind of help can only come from God and the person of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the only one. Who can provide us with the help we need when we are weary when we're exhausted? With the things in this life. And there's no help to be found elsewhere, not in man. Not in any person you can look to. No matter like I said, their status, who they may be, or better yet who they think they may may be. Like I said, the Bible says what is man that God is even mighty full of him. If you recall, the portion of Scripture and John the Gospel of John Chapter 4 when Jesus met. The Samaritan woman at the well. We can correctly assume from that reading that story that this particular woman. She probably had looked high and low. For help she needed in her life. And the different relationships he had. I think the bill would say she was married five times and the man that she. Was living with. At that particular time, when Jesus was talking to her wasn't even her husband. She had not found what her soul was yearning for. If you read in the like I said in the Gospel of John. In chapter 4. Around the 10th chapter or so when Jesus was having this conversation with this woman. As he was talking to her, he knew that she was thirsty. And she had a parsed soul. And has not been satisfied. By looking to the hills of this world. By looking to the themes of this world, she hadn't found peace. She hadn't found satisfaction. She was trying to find help trying to find this peace. And she had only come up empty. And unfulfilled. As Jesus was talking to her, he essentially told her he's a lady you've been drinking from. And looking for help in all their own places. And you still thirsty. Then he goes on to tell he's a, but the water that I can give you. And that I can give you will satisfy you. And provide you with all the help you need. For your tired and weary and thirsty soul. And on top of that, he said, he said you'll never thirst again. Jesus was telling this, lady. Like he's telling all of us. Come to me for the help that you need. And stop looking to the hills. Stop looking to the themes of this world. The help that each and everyone of us deeply crave. Is only found in Christ. They are puts it put puts it this way in his book Isaiah 4 to 113 says for I the Lord your God will hold your right hand sayin to you? Fear not. I will help you. When Jesus tells you when he tells me that I will help you, you can count on it. You can take it to the bank. Because it will happen. Again in Psalm 73. The Bible says this. Thus my heart was grieved. And I was vexed, I was. Troubled in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant. I would like a beast before you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you. You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with your counsel. And afterwards receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is none upon. Earth that I desire besides you. At Psalm 73 that verses 21 through 25. As a believer, who else can we depend upon in heaven? And upon this earth. That portion of Scripture said, who else do I have besides Hugh Lord? So knowing this. Shouldn't we as believers? Be cast in all our cares upon him, as the Bible says, because he cares for us. Hebrews 13-6 and the Lord is my helper. I will not fear what man what can man do to me. So I'm carried to you this morning. Keep your eyes and your mind fixed on Jesus. The creator of Heaven and earth. And all that is in it. And not. The heels of this world. #2 this morning. Look to Jesus to sustain or keep you. Verses three and four says. He will not allow your foot to be moved. He who keeps you will never slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel never slumbers or sleep. We see or read here that our. God is always near to us. And he will always keep us in his loving embrace. You don't have to worry or doubt if and when he will be there because he says I will always be there for us for you and me. We don't have to worry about him not answering the phone, so to speak. Or being asleep like this portion of Scripture alludes to. Because he's always there, unlike. Which so often is the case when you need them the most. You can't find them. I don't care whether it be family, friends, coworkers, whoever they may be. When you need them the most. 9 times out of 10 they can't be found. They could be anywhere they could be just not picking up their phone. And like I told the guys on Saturday, you know with these phones we have now, you know you can you know like not like the old days? Where you couldn't see, you know you had to answer the phone, you know, because you didn't know who was on the other end. But now, with these phones you can. Oh oh man, that's Russell. I don't feel like talking to him. I can get with him later and that's what we do. If we're being honest with ourselves, all of us have done that. Sometimes you just don't feel like you're not in the mood. You might be busy. You might be at work. You might be at play, whatever it may be. Sometimes you can look at your. Phone and say yeah. I'll talk to him later, I get I get. Back with them. A lot of us might even do that with our spouses. I'll talk to her later. I'll talk to him later and you guys you know. I'm being honest. That's just nature. Human nature. That's what we do. So that's why we shouldn't be looking to man for the help that we need. Nothing happens in our lives as believers that catches God by surprise. Verse three tells us he would not allow your foot to be moved. God would not allow us to stumble through this life. As believers without his helping hand and guiding hand to sustain us. He would not allow your foot to be moved. The portion of ship just says. Verse Samuel 29 says this he will God he would God defeat. Of his Saints. And in so doing, he will allow you to walk safely in your way. And your foot will not stumble. Proverbs 323 tells us. These two portion of Scripture are simple. They're simply telling us that we can walk securely through this life and the power and strength of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ Christ, knowing that he is in control, not us. But he is in control no matter what. Happens in life no matter what we go through in life, no matter what we experience in life. As a believer. It pass it through God's hands first. If you recall the story of job, that's what happened in his life. When God was talking, when and devil said, oh, you know you got a hedge over him. Which is right and he was right about that. And the same holds true for us. That's believing God has a head to of us. That doesn't mean that we won't experience bad things in our life. That doesn't mean that we won't go through hard times in our lives. But in so doing we could take comfort in the fact that God is with us. And like I said earlier, it's nothing that happens in our life. Takes him by surprise. He's not sitting up there saying God, I didn't know. That was going to happen. No, he knows that, but through it all he said he would. Be with us. Each and every step of the way. To guide us to sustain us to keep us. Also, in this portion of the scripture we see the phrase repeated twice. He who keeps or he who sustains. God is able to keep those like I said. That belonged to him. Philippians 16 says he that has begun a good work in. You will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. That means whatever we go through in this life. That God is with us each and every step of. The way and he's. Going to bring us through it. When we meet in heaven. It might not seem like it we might say, gosh, I don't know how I'm gonna get through this, but even if he. Takes us in death. The Bible said he's still with us. He's still with us. No on this. We do not have to doubt. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We can always turn and run to him during difficult times in our lives. Like I said, knowing that he will sustain us and keep us during those difficult times no matter what they may be. The Book of Proverbs says the name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe. As a believer today. Are you looking to seeking after and running to Jesus to or sustain you to keep you? Are you looking to the hills? Are you looking to the things of this world? Just to, uh, sustain you to keep you. If you are. You can only find disappointment. You can only find heartache and pain. Oh yeah, you might find a temporary. Fix for a little while. But you'll be like the Samaritan woman. Not satisfied. And you're going to keep looking and looking. During the 40 year Wilderness Journey of the Israelites. God sustained them and kept them throughout this journey that they was on when they were trying to. When they left Egypt and were making their way to the promised land. In the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 29, verses 5 and six, this is Moses speaking to the children. He said this. He said I have led to 40 years. In this wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out upon you and your sandals have not worn out. On your feet. You have not eaten bread, nor have you drank wine or strong drink. That you may recognize and know. I am the Lord to God. God was telling them through all of this heartache and pain that you guys have gone through. In these 40 years. He said I'm the one. That have sustained you. I've been with him every step of the way. I'm the one that have done all this for you me God Almighty, not man. But I'm the one have done this. I'm the one that. Have kept you. Nobody but God. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same. Yesterday, today and forever. And because he is the same God that kept the issue like those 40 years when they was in the wilderness. He sustained them and kept them. For 40 years in this wilderness, don't you know that today? He's able to sustain you. He's able to keep you in this wilderness. Journey that we call life. Sometimes we think God is nothing he can do and we forget exactly who he is. We haven't come to a full realization. Of exactly who God is. Because a lot of times we get our eyes off of him and we get our eyes on our circumstances in life. And I'm not up here, you know, saying. Trying to pretend that. I haven't been in that place because I'm the same way I'm no different from you guys. You know a lot of times we have a misconception. Yeah, because somebody is up there teaching or they're this and that that no, we're not. We're probably worse to be honest. That's probably why God uses us sometimes to remind us exactly who we are. So it is hard when you're going through stuff. To keep your eyes up on God because we focus on the circumstances, we get tunnel vision and we can't see anything else. We just see what we're looking at and what we got to deal with. And sometimes we have to say God help me help me to refocus. Help me to get my eyes upon you and your promises. And then we can. Take comfort in the fact that even through the ups and downs of life, the good times and bad times, we can know that he's with us. Like I said, even. If we're getting ready to pass through the valley of the shadow of death that the Bible talks. About we can know that he's with us because he has promised that he will be with us. Isaiah 46 four says I will be your God throughout your lifetime. I will be your God throughout your lifetime until your hair is white or in my case, gone with age. I made you, I would care for you. I would carry you alone and save you. I will be your God throughout your lifetime. Those are comforting. And reassuring words. From our gracious God. Take it to heart. Let those words encourage you and nourish your soul. Again, casting your burdens on the Lord. Knowing he will sustain you. As it says in Psalm 5522. Our Third Point this morning is look to Jesus to revive and refresh you. Verses 5 and six says. The Lord is your keeper. The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day nor the moon by night. Our Lord is our keeper and our shade. The portion of Scripture says. Sometimes you know life has a way of just beating us down. It could be. You know, sometimes because of the consequences of our own sins and our life. But oftentimes. It's just life in general. Just life in general, the heartache, the pain. The difficult times that we face. As we progress. Through life. We get tired. We get frustrated. We get angry a lot of times we get disillusioned. With what we're dealing with and what we've got to deal. With the deadlines, the commitments, family, life, work, life, you name it, it just wears us down. It beats down on us. Oftentimes, it seems like we're fighting an uphill battle. In a downhill world. That's what it can feel like. It's at these moments in our lives. That we need somebody who is able to revive us and refresh us as we go through life. The scripture says in Psalms 138 and verse seven, though I walk in the midst of trouble. You speaking about God will revive me. You will stretch forth your hand against the wrath of my enemies and your right hand will save me. Jesus, like I've been alluding to throughout this study, it's the only person that can help us in difficult times. To lift us up. We have fallen short, I feel. The weight of the world on our shoulders. To give us strength when we're feeling weak. To give us encouragement. When we're filling discouraged. To shield us. From the many attacks, attacks of the enemy, no matter what form they may come in. He's there to revive us and to refresh us. We can find all this and more in the person of Jesus Christ. Notice again in these two portion of Scripture. The phrase The Lord is. Notice what it's not saying. It's not saying man is. But the Lord is. A key point to remember our walk as believers. Has everything to do with who Jesus is and what he can do. And nothing at all with who man is. And what man can do? 25 four says for you Speaking of God, again have been a strength to the poor. A strength to the needy in his distress. A refuge from the storm. A shade from the heat. So when you find yourself overwhelmed. With the cares concerns the hardships, the difficulties of this life. Remember who God is and what he's capable of doing. And not who man is and what they're capable of not doing. Because, like I keep saying and I want this to sink in. Only God can give you the help. That you need. And that you require. Only he can provide that help. No one else can. In the book of Second chronicles, Chapter 20, when and and and this was. The Prophet speaking to King Jehoshaphat when Israel was surrounded by their enemies. And they couldn't see a way out. They didn't know what they was going to do. They were afraid they were scared. You know, like I said, disillusioned. Just saying, we know this is the end. Listen what God told the King and the Nation of Israel. Second Chronicles 20 starting with verse 15. He says. Thus says the Lord. To you. Do not be afraid nor dismay because of this of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God. In verse 17, it picks up and say you will. Not need to. Fight in this battle, position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord who is with you. Oh Judah and Jerusalem do not fear or be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them. For the Lord is with you. At this particular time, the king and all the people of Israel, they needed somebody to revive them. During this time of fear. They needed somebody to refresh. Their spirit to let them know that. Everything was going to be OK. He told them he said go position yourselves. And then once you position yourself. Just be still. And watch what I can do. A lot of time God is telling us you need to position yourself. That means you might we need to be in a state of of prayer. Position yourself before God. Tell him what you're going through, what you're dealing with. Don't be afraid to tell him, the Lord, I don't see a way out. I'm doubtful I'm scared. I don't know what. You want me to do? Position yourself and tell him exactly what's going on. And then stand still. The Bible said you got to learn to wait. We got to learn to wait. What God would do? But oh so often we get ahead of him, because when he doesn't answer us in the time frame we think he should answer us, then we go out and say, OK, I got. To take care of this. And a lot of times we end up doing the wrong thing. It's hard to wait. It's hard to have patience when when it seems like everything is caving in on you, it is hard to wait. But that's something we need to do. We need to position ourselves in God and we need to stand still and watch him do the work. He says you do not have to be afraid. Because I'm with you. Saying he's telling us the same thing today. You don't have to be afraid. I'm with you. These same words hold true for us today as believers. And then we'll be able to see that, like it says in Psalm 107, he is able to satisfy the longing soul. And fills the hungry soul with goodness. And then again in the book about Isaiah 49, verse 10, he said they should never hunger, nor thirst, nor neither the heat. Nor Sun shall strike them, for he who has mercy on them will lead them even by the springs of water. He will guide them. Jesus, our Jesus, our Lord and savior. It's our refreshing spring of water. For a weary, tired and parched soul. He's able to. Revive and refresh us. Our final point this morning is look to Jesus to preserve and or protect you. Now, in my opinion. These two final verses. Mark the climax. The ultimate crescendo. If you want to put it that way of this particular sum. Verses 7 and eight said the Lord shall preserve you from all evil. He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve, you're going out and you're coming in. From this day forward and forevermore. In both of these verses of Scripture. It repeats the praise the Lord shall. The Lord shall. Or the Lord will might be some of your some of your Bible. Say again, I want to reiterate is stressing what the what God should do and not what man should do. When we are in the hands of God. There's no safer place for us to be as believers. It's been said that one with God is a majority. Isaiah 45 five chapter 45, verse five puts it this way. I am the Lord, and there is no other. There is no other God besides me. And because he is the one and only true God. He is able to preserve us. He is able to protect us. From all type. Of evils, the push in the scripture says, second Timothy 418 says it this way the Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and will bring me safely to his Heavenly Kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Then it says he will preserve your soul. Psalm 3728 says this. For the Lord Love Justice, and does not forsake his godly ones. They are preserved forever. Like I said, even. When we go through this life and we're coming to the end of this earthly existence. Our soul is preserved forever. Because we know where we're going. Jesus told his disciples and he if the word applies to us today. I go to prepare a place for you. And where I'm going? You will be there also. And I'm not up here being flippant and and trying to minimize what people are going through. Because I I'm not trying to say that, do that, believe me, trust me on that, but I want us to focus on. Who's in control? Of our lives. I want us to focus on who's ultimately going to bring us through this life and take us into eternity. That's what I want us to focus on. That's what I want myself to focus on. And then finally he said, I will preserve your going out. You're and you're coming in. That means no matter where you are. Where you may move to where you may be at in life, our Lord is there for us. Deuteronomy 31 eight says the Lord himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Therefore, do not be afraid and do not be discouraged. Just trust and believe in who he is. And who he say he is? And what he says he can do. And is able to do. And if we as believers are willing to do that. We do not need to be afraid of this or discourage. With all the issues of life. I'm not saying we won't be. But I'm saying we don't need to be. When we refocus and look to God. As we conclude this morning. I want to end this study as I began began it this morning with the story. And this particular story. It's a true story. It comes from a book. That I read. When I was. Then my second or third year of college. I can't remember exactly. The title of the book was my soul is rested. It was a book. If you know anything about your American American history. During the civil rights era in this country. It happened. In the city of Montgomery, AL. My home state. Montgomery is the capital of Alabama. I grew up in Birmingham. Which is about an hour or so north of Montgomery. And it's a story like I said about the civil rights movement. When Rosa Parks Refused to give up her seat on the bus. And during that particular time, the black people in Montgomery. States there's what they call the Montgomery Bus Boycott, where they refused to ride the bus. Buses because of discrimination. This particular it was the beginning. Like I said of the civil rights movement. Pretty much in this country. And once this this. Bus boycott began. It lasted for I think if I recall from history and I'm trying to reach back into the recesses of my mind God. So bear with me over a year or so. And like I said, there was a time when they refused to ride the buses and they created a financial hardship for the city of Montgomery bus system. And and the way that the people got to work got go shopping or wherever they had to go. They either walked they carpooled or whatever, but it was a difficult time for them and a lot of people did walk and they walked to their job that they walked to to get their shopping done. Whatever it may have been. And as you can imagine, depend on probably where a lot of these people live that's had to. Be pretty difficult. As you know, the media descended upon the city of Montgomery. And they was interviewing all these people. And they interviewed this one little old black lady. I don't know. I think if I remember from the story that poor lady could have been in her 70s, maybe. And they asked her one of their reporters. So why are you doing this? Say aren't you tired? Aren't you tired of doing all this walking? Is it worth it? And the little lady looked at the reporter. And she said. Yes, I'm tired. I'm very tired. My body is tired. My feet are tired. But she said. My soul. It's rested. That's the way we can feel going through this life. We can be tired. We can be worn down our feet. Our spirit. Could be tired. But if we have Jesus. And we're looking to Jesus and we're depending upon Jesus, we can say. My soul is rested. So I hope each and everyone of us this morning. Can make that same comment. That that little black lady made so many years ago. Like I said, you may be tired. You may be weary. You may be worn down by the things of this life. But if you look to Jesus. You can say. My soul is rested. Because of whose hands? My soul is in. So God's, his last portion of Scripture this morning, Matthew, 1128. If you're laboring and a heavy laden of every familiar. Portion of scripture. Jesus said, come to me. And you will find rest for your souls. Amen guys. Let's pray. God bless you guys, OK? Our Heavenly Father, we just want to say thank you for your word this morning. We want to say thank you for blessing us with your word this morning. As I said in the beginning, I ask that you help us to take it to her. Help us to rely upon. It trust in it depend upon it and believe it, my father. Because we feel like it. On some days and some days we don't feel like it believe it. But each and every day help us to know that it is your word. And as you said in your word, my father that when it goes forth that it would not return. Until you board. Help us to stand on the promises. Help us not to look to man. For help. But help us look to our God. Who promises us that he would never leave us nor forsake us no matter what we're going through in life. So we thank you for your word this morning. We thank you for being our Lord and our Savior and we thank you, my father, that you have our soul within your loving hands. And upon this we can trust and and depend upon, and it's in your son, Jesus Christ's name. We pray, Lord Amen.