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Get Rid of the Cat Clinging Guilt

05/31/2020

Have you ever felt guilty? Isn’t it a horrible feeling? What do you do with guilt? You can’t hide it, shake it, or bury it. It clings to you like a cat. Nails dug in, it’s determined to not turn loose of your heart. However, there is One who never experienced guilt. Hebrews 7:26  says this about Jesus, “For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, INNOCENT, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;” Can you imagine being holy and INNOCENT one moment and the next moment experiencing the guilt of the world?  Jesus did that for us. Never question His love… “while we were yet sinners, He died for us.” (Romans 5:8)  Instead of languishing over sin, confess it and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. The next time you’re tempted, quote Scripture to Satan like Jesus did. Walk in God’s grace with His Spirit in your spirit and His Word in your mouth.

Wonderful, Savior, INNOCENT ONE, thank You for taking our guilt and giving us Your Spirit and Word.

When No One Understands You

05/30/2020

Do you ever feel like no one understands you – truly understands you?  Or, have you ever said of someone, “I don’t understand why you….”? Or, “I can’t understand how you could…”?  It’s true. As much as we may love or know someone, we can never completely, one hundred percent get inside another person’s head. But guess who can? God. Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is INFINITE.” God’s understanding is limitless, endless, impossible to measure. And the most amazing thing is He loves us. How can we not run to Him in love and gratitude? Why would we not talk to Him about everything on our heart and mind. Then, wait quietly for His answer, help, guidance. (Tip: It helps to have our Bible close so when He stirs our heart we can look up a verse He brings to mind in response to our situation.)

Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ, You have INFINITE UNDERSTANDING of us and our situation. Thank You for guiding us in the way You know is best.

Beware the Pit of Nothingness

05/29/2020

I need a keeper. Someone to watch out for me and over me. Why? Because sometimes I don’t know the right path to take. Sometimes I start to let my emotions crash like waves into a pit of nothingness. I need a keeper with a capital K. And, you know what? I have One and so do you if you’re a Christian. Psalm 121:5-7 states, “The Lord is your keeper… The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.” Isn’t it nice, no…more like wonderful, to think about our Heavenly Father being our Keeper? And, He isn’t snoozing on the clouds. Psalm 121:3-4 says, “He who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber or sleep.” In other words, our Soul Keeper is alert and watching out for us. So, of all the people in the world to whom we can entrust our soul, who more wonderful than our Heavenly Father? Here’s something else that’s wonderful to think about.  Isaiah wrote, “It is You who have kept my soul from the pit of nothingness, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back.” (Isaiah 38:17)  Isn’t that a marvelous visual? God casts all our sins behind Him and keeps our souls from the pit of nothingness.  I’m jumping up and down in my spirit over that one. The more time we spend with Christ and learning His ways, the more filled we are, and the more we experience the opposite of the pit of nothingness.  We experience heavenly joy and fulfillment that comes from intimacy with Christ.  Will bad things ever happen? Yes, because we live in a sinful world. But we aren’t destined for a pit of nothingness.  We’re destined for the throne.

Heavenly Father, Soul Keeper, we praise You for protecting us from evil and from the pit of nothingness. Thank You, Lord!

What We Learn from a Wheat Beater

05/28/2020

Peace. Everyone’s looking for it. Where? Drugs. Vacation. Pills.  A hookup. Success. In the meantime and while seeking peace, life goes on. Worriers worry. Whiners whine. Complainers complain. Wheat beaters beat wheat.  And, that’s where we find Gideon. Beating wheat in a winepress…to hide it, to save the wheat from enemy terrorists. It is here that Judges 6:24 records  Jehovah-Shalom, LORD of Peace, brings peace. “Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The LORD is Peace.”  Jehovah-Shalom, LORD of Peace, came to a nation threatened by enemies and people who worshipped Baal. Jehovah-Shalom not only came to Gideon, but His Spirit of peace and power came upon Gideon. Isn’t that what we need?  What can we learn from Jehovah-Shalom and Gideon about personal and national peace?  1. Worship the Lord of Peace, Jehovah-Shalom.  2.  Be filled with the Lord’s Spirit of peace and power.  3. Fight valiantly for righteousness.

Jehovah-Shalom, LORD of PEACE, when we look and listen to You, we experience Your peace. By Your Spirit, we can overcome evil. Fill us, as You did Gideon, with Your peace and empowerment. 

Hellooooooo! Are We Listening

05/26/2020
When Moses first asked God what His name was, He replied, “I AM.” Then, after the golden calf episode, “I AM” makes clear that because He is our all in all, Exodus 34:11-12, 14  we are to live accordingly.  “Be sure to observe what I am commanding you this day…. Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. v 14—for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—”  It’s as if God is saying, “Hellooooo! Is anyone listening? I’m jealous when you put things and people above Me.” Ouch! That hits close to home. How do we know if we’re worshipping things and people above God? We look at where we spend our time. We consider what’s most on our minds. We look at our bank account to see where we spend our money. Our thoughts, time, and money tell us and God whom/what is our priority and object of worship. Has something or someone other than the Almighty Jealous I AM slipped into our life as god? If so, we must correct, not ignore it.

Heavenly Father, You are a JEALOUS God. May we not ignore, but rather rectify any way we have put another thing or person above You.

Show and Do

05/24/2020

Are you in a desperate spot? Sick of spirit, soul, or body? Are you frustrated because you’re not caring for yourself in the way you should? If so, I can relate. Our bodies, minds, and emotions are wonderfully made. But, if we don’t take care of them, and even when we do, they can break or get sick. Disease can strike…physically, spiritually, emotionally. But, let’s zoom in on a way our Heavenly Father chose to reveal Himself. Israel had just celebrated their crossing of the Red Sea and escape from the Egyptians. After three days in the wilderness and no water, they arrive at the waters of Marah, but the water was bitter. They couldn’t drink it. Picture the scene. You’re dying of thirst looking at water you can’t drink. And you can’t do a thing about it. You can’t fix it. Are you there now in your life? You have a problem you can’t fix?

Moses is desperate. He “cried out” to the Lord. And Jehovah-Rapha “showed him” what to do. Rapha means healer; to mend, cure, make whole. Jehovah-Rapha told Moses to throw a certain tree into the bitter water. Moses obeyed and the most miraculous thing occurred. The water became sweet. Exodus 15:25b-26 says, “There He made a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

Which brings us to a question. What have we cried out to Jehovah-Rapha about? What has He shown us to do? Are we doing it?  Jehovah-Rapha’s message is clear.

  • “If”… that means there’s a choice we make with a correlating consequence.
  • “we give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord our God” …. that means we pay attention when He shows us what to do.
  • “and do what is right”…Moses had to do the work of cutting down the tree and throwing it in the water. We have to act on what Jehovah-Rapha shows us.
  • “in His sight”…God watches to see if we’re doing what He shows us.
  • “and give ear to His commandments”… God knows what works. Are we paying attention to how He tells us to live?

God is our spiritual, emotional, relational, mental, physical doctor. Have we cried out to Him? Are we doing what He shows us?

Jehovah-Rapha, Lord our Healer, we praise You for the complete healing we’ll experience in heaven. In the meantime, may we look to You for direction and then do what You show us.

The Only One

05/23/2020

Have you ever felt desperate and cried out to God for help to fulfill what He’s asked of you? Such was the case for Abraham. God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. It seems crazy and incomprehensible to us, but God never intended for Abraham to kill his son. Abraham knew that. He told his servants, “We will return,” not “I will return.”  But Abraham also knew that God told him to sacrifice Isaac, so he took the steps not knowing what would happen. One step of faith at a time. In the final moment, as he raised the killing knife, God stopped him. He then provided a ram for Abraham to substitute in the place of his son. Genesis 22:14 records, “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” This dramatic moment was a foreshadow, a “seeing” of the day God would provide Jesus as our sacrifice. He would be laid on the wood, stretched out, and killed. In the demand of a human father being asked to sacrifice his son, we glimpse the pain and incomprehensible suffering of God sacrificing Jesus for us. God provided for Abraham and God has provided for us. How are we living in response to the great sacrifice our Heavenly Father made? Who might we share His love with who is killing themselves on the altar of self goodness all to no avail because Jesus is the only perfect and acceptable One?

JEHOVAH-JIREH, You saw our need and provided Yourself as the fulfillment for it. We’re overwhelmed with gratitude. Point us to someone with whom we can share the good news of salvation through Christ. 

Indescribable

05/21/2020

Have you ever been called a “gift” because of who you are and what you give to others? Second Corinthians 9:15   describes Jesus in this way. “Thanks be to God for His INDESCRIBABLE GIFT.” What is the indescribable gift? Jesus Christ laying down His life so that we would receive the free gift of eternal life. The INDESCRIBABLE GIFT of grace, righteousness, and so much more that we receive in salvation! Who is the recipient of God’s INDESCRIBABLE GIFT? Every one who repents and confesses Jesus as Lord. YOU!

Thank You, Heavenly Father and Jesus, God’s INDESCRIBABLE GIFT! 

The Smell Test

05/20/2020

Once upon a time, before Covid-19, when you were grocery shopping, did you ever smell cantaloupe or peaches to determine if they were ripe? I remember the first time I saw someone hold a cantaloupe close to her nose. After she placed it in her basket, I decided to try the smell test. The first cantaloupe had zero fragrance. I returned it and reached for another one, wondering if the smell test was bogus. But as I held the second one close to my nose, I was pleasantly surprised. It had a sweet aroma. That evening at dinner, I wasn’t disappointed. Its taste matched its aroma. The Bible says Christians are a fragrance of Christ to God and to others. In other words, as we connect with people, they get a whiff of either the sweet presence of Jesus or a whiff of our anxiousness, impatience, or sin? How can we become a fragrance of Christ? We can daily focus on a character trait of Christ and pray He fill us with His nature. If you’re not already getting 365 Days of Praise – Beyond Ourselves, subscribe here. Be a sweet aroma of Christ to others.

If You Want to Be Immortal

05/20/2020

People long to be IMMORTAL. “If I can drink from the Fountain of Youth….” “If I can exercise and eat right….” It’s in the human heart to want to live, not die. Yet, we are mortal and will physically die. Jesus alone possesses immortality and He dwells in unapproachable light, as 1 Timothy 6:16 states.  The good news is… the IMMORTAL ONE extends immortality to us. Yes, it’s possible for us to live forever in heavenly light. But we have to drink from Christ, the Fountain of Life. (John 7:37)  We have to enter heaven through Jesus, “who alone possesses IMMORTALITY and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”(1 Timothy 6:16)

IMMORTAL LORD, we praise you and thank You for making us immortal through You.