If You Think You Have Nothing, Think Again
When you were little, did you go on a treasure hunt? Today, do you put your treasured valuables in a safety deposit box? The Bible tells us that believers have a treasure within them. What is the TREASURE? Second Corinthians 4:6-7 explains that the treasure is God – His Holy Spirit, the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God shining in our hearts. The treasure we carry about in our earthly bodies is God’s surpassing greatness of power. With humble reverence and gratefulness beyond measure, we bow and worship God for the great gift of His presence in us.
Lord, YOU are the TREASURE men seek, and we have You in our hearts. Help us present You well to others and share out of the surpassing greatness of Your power. We adore and worship You.
“GOD… is the One who has SHONE in our HEARTS to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. For we have this TREASURE in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;”
God is a TREASURE. I hope you are recording each daily attribute in Prayers of My Heart. As you do, it becomes a treasured journal of who God is and how He’s working in your life. Prayers of My Heart – a meaningful gift for everyone on your Christmas list. Regular $14.99. On sale for as low as $7.50 now.
Remember This On Dreary Days
Dreary days. Gray skies. They can make us feel gloomy. The death of loved ones or estrangement from family or friends weigh heavily on our hearts. On what can we focus in those times? Malachi 4:2 tells us. “…for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.” What does that mean? Theologian Charles Spurgeon explains: “Jesus, like the sun, is the center and soul of all things, the fullness of all good, the lamp that lights us, the fire that warms us, the magnet that guides and controls us; he is the source and fountain of all life, beauty, fruitfulness, and strength.” Jesus is called the Sun of Righteousness because on the most dreary of days, when we are gloomy and despairing, we can ask Him to fill us with His Spirit and shine in our hearts and minds.
We praise You, SUN of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and look to You to enlighten and quicken us to holy surrender and fruitfulness.
Are You Ready for Jesus’s Answer
John 2:19-21 records a a question the Jews asked Jesus and His response. Their question? “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” The “things” Jesus had done included driving the sheep and oxen out of the temple, pouring out the money changers’ coins, overturning their tables, and ordering them, “Stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” In other words, Jesus acted like He owned the TEMPLE. Jesus’s replied, “Destroy the TEMPLE and I’ll rebuild it in three days.” Jesus wasn’t talking about the stone temple, however. He was talking about His body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus foretold, He raised His body three days after they destroyed it. Miraculous, yes. But a point God is driving home to me concerns Jesus’s actions and words regarding His temple. He drove out all that wasn’t supposed to be in it. Certainly, He must feel the same about our bodies, His TEMPLES, in whom His Spirit dwells. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Lord Jesus, TEMPLE of the Most High, thank You for coming from heaven and tabernacling in us. Drive out all that is in us that dishonors You.
Do you need encouragement that Jesus cares about you and your body? If so, you’ll find His tender mercy in these 6 short, meaningful chapters.
Perspective. It’s everything. We can look around and feel hopeless and vulnerable; wondering why God has abandoned us. Or, we can turn to the Lord, scale the heights of heaven and gaze on who God is, what He’s done, and will do. Proverbs 18:10 reminds us, “The name of the Lord is a STRONG TOWER; The righteous runs into it and is safe.” God is not uncaring and and He is not inactive. He sent Jesus to overcome the eternal consequences of evil for all who call on Him. God has given us His Spirit to comfort and strengthen us. He’s creating a new world where evil doesn’t exist. From the perspective of heaven’s heights, I’d say our God is wonderful, loving, and faithful to we who are often unfaithful. What say you?
Heavenly Father, You are a loving, good, faithful STRONG TOWER to whom we run. Help us have eyes to see with Your perspective.
How’s Your Heart Toward “That” Person
Have you ever known a hardhearted person? It seemed no matter how hard you tried, they shut you out? If you do anything wrong, they’re relentless and unforgiving. Not so with our Lord. Although He could have every reason to be hardhearted toward us when we sin, instead, He pursues and forgives us. What a TENDERHEARTED Lord we have! And, this is important – in Ephesians 4:32, He commands us to be like Him – kind, tenderhearted, forgiving each other. If there’s someone you’re hard-hearted toward, this Thanksgiving season would be a good time to “forgive, as God in Christ has forgiven us.”
Lord, we praise You that You’re TENDERHEARTED toward us. Thank You for Your mercy! Thank You for Your grace! Help us follow You and be obedient to forgive others as You have forgiven us.
Do You Ever Feel Fragile or Like You Might Pop
Do you ever feel fragile or like you might “pop” because of the daily pressure you are under? David knew what it was like to feel that way and found God to be the SUSTAINER of his soul. Listen to his words in Psalm 54:4. “God is my helper; The Lord is the SUSTAINER of my soul.” What does it mean for God to be the sustainer of our soul? It means that God revives our minds and emotions when we sit in His presence, meditate on His truths, and absorb encouragement from His Word. God, the Holy Spirit, refreshes and sustains us so we can carry on.
Lord God, we praise You, SUSTAINER of our souls. Thank You for the many times and ways You sustain us. We love and praise You!
What We Learn from Stinky Feet
Have you ever thought, really thought, about Jesus washing His disciples’ stinky feet? Or, about His words in John 13:14? “If I then, the Lord and the TEACHER, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Lord and TEACHER on His knees washing feet? Messy. Time consuming. Dirty. Unpleasant. The act had to do with more than simply washing feet, though. It was about humility, servanthood, forgiveness. Our Lord and TEACHER physically illustrated what He would spiritually do by His substitutionary death on the cross for us. It would be messy (a bloody mess). He would wash away our filth and sins. Cleansed, we are to humbly serve others and tell them about Jesus.
Jesus, Lord and Teacher, thank You for washing us and cleansing us of our sins. Make us increasingly mindful of following Your example.
Could you use sympathy instead of condemnation
Can you imagine what it would be like to go to Jesus after you failed miserably and fell into sin and He NOT sympathize with your weaknesses? What if He was unrelenting and unforgiving? But that is not who our sweet Lord Jesus Christ is. Although He is God the Son and our HIGH PRIEST, He is sympathetic with our weaknesses. Here’s how Hebrews 4:15-16 describes Jesus. “We do not have a HIGH PRIEST who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” That’s incredibly good news, but we’re not to stop there. “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” In other words, when we sin we’re not supposed to keep sinning. We’re not to hang our heads and avoid Jesus because we’re ashamed. Rather, we’re to humbly go to Him in prayer and confess, “I messed up big time. I sinned! I gave into this temptation…again. Please forgive me and strengthen me to stand against this weakness in my life.” Jesus extends grace to us when we repent, but He also admonishes us, “Go and sin no more.” Why? Because He loves us and doesn’t want us living in sin but rather in holiness. If we’ve been avoiding Jesus because of our sin, today is the day to draw near to our sympathetic HIGH PRIEST.
We praise You, our Lord and High Priest, that although You are high and lifted up, you sympathize with our weaknesses and forgive us when we repent. Help us stand against rather than give into sin.
Do You Want More Strength
An AT&T commercial once asked a group of children, “Who thinks more is better than less?” A little girl quickly responded, “We want more. We want more.” We can identify with her plea for more when we’re going through a difficult time. We want more of God’s strength. We want more of His grace to get us through our day. Second Corinthians 12:9 reassures us that God hears and responds. The verse says, “He has said to me, ‘My grace is SUFFICIENT for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'” What does it mean that God’s grace is SUFFICIENT? Does it mean barely enough? No. Rather, the Biblical word means, “to be possessed of unfailing strength, to be strong, to be enough.”* When we feel weak and like we can’t make it, God Himself is the answer to our cry.
Heavenly Father, thank You that when we’re weak, You respond to our cry for help, assuring us that Your grace is SUFFICIENT unfailing strength.
Why It’s Important to Open Our Hands and Hearts
Do you ever feel empty or drained? What about anxious or uptight? Does mad or angry better describe you? Or sad and melancholy? Whatever our condition, whatever our need, Philippians 4:19 tells us “God will SUPPLY all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Short on perseverance? Feel like you’re going to blow a fuse? Don’t know how you will ever smile again? Although we may have those feelings at times, we’re not hopeless. God offers to and can SUPPLY all our needs according to HIS RICHES in GLORY in CHRIST JESUS. Rather than hold tightly to anger or discouragement, we can open our hands and hearts to God who will pour into them His SUPPLY of glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Learn more about how to do that by pre-ordering my Bible study on 2 Peter, “How to Live by the Divine Nature.” For individual or group study.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for supplying all we need according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus!