Praise to Christ, the TEMPLE of God
“Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?’ But He was speaking of the TEMPLE of HIS BODY.”
The question the Jews had asked Jesus was, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” The “things” Jesus had done included making a scourge of cords and driving the sheep and oxen out of the temple, pouring out the coins of the money changers and overturning their tables; and saying to those selling doves, “Stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” In other words, Jesus acted like He owned the TEMPLE, and the Jews asked for a sign of His authority. “I’ll give you a sign,” Jesus said in so many words. “Destroy the TEMPLE and I’ll rebuild it in three days.” But, ahh, He wasn’t talking about the building. He was talking about His body; which they did destroy, and He raised in three days. Miraculous, yes. But the point God is driving home to me is the action Jesus took in the TEMPLE. He drove out all that wasn’t supposed to be there. Certainly, He feels the same about our bodies – His TEMPLE – in whom His Spirit dwells.
Lord Jesus Christ, TEMPLE of the Most High, thank You for coming from heaven and tabernacling in us. Help us honor Your presence.
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.
Praise to Christ, our TEACHER
“If I then, the Lord and the TEACHER, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
The scene doesn’t make sense at first glance: Lord and TEACHER. Stinky feet. A bowl of dirty water. Messy. Jesus on His knees washing feet. However, the moment had to do with more than washing feet. It was about humility, servanthood, forgiveness. Our Lord and TEACHER physically illustrated what He would spiritually do for us. It would be messy (a bloody mess). He would wash away our filthy sins. However, He went further. Our Lord and TEACHER taught us that as He had done, we are to do. We are to humbly serve each other. Jesus is our Lord and TEACHER. Are we doing as He did: serving each other?
Jesus, Lord and Teacher, thank You for humbling Yourself by giving Your blood to cleanse us of our sins. Help us live unselfishly and serve one another as You did.
Praise to our SYMPATHETIC HIGH PRIEST
“For 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.”
Have you ever felt so badly about your sin that you didn’t want to go to God in prayer? The writer to the Hebrews understood. However, he pointed out the flaw in such thinking. First, when we sin and are repentant, the place we need to be is at the throne of grace. Second, he explains that Jesus understands the power and pull of temptation. He experienced it. Third, Jesus knows our weakness. Now, the question is, will we hurry to the throne of grace and receive help in our time of need? Our SYMPATHETIC HIGH PRIEST is waiting for us.
Lord, we praise You that You’re a SYMPATHETIC HIGH PRIEST who invites us to draw near with confidence to your throne of grace!
Praise to Our SUSTAINER
“God is my helper; The Lord is the SUSTAINER of my soul.”
Do you ever feel fragile, like you might “pop”? You can’t take life’s pressures any more? David knew what that felt like and found God to be the SUSTAINER of his soul. What does it mean for God to be the sustainer of our soul? It means that our minds, emotions, and will are revived by Christ. We call to our Sustainer in prayer. We daily sit in His presence. We meditate on His truths. We absorb encouragement from His Word. As we do, the Lord refreshes and sustains us to carry on – by His Spirit.
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!
Praise to the Lord, Our SUPPORT
“They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my SUPPORT.”
Do you ever wish you had more support at work? Perhaps you wish you had support parenting your children. Or, you may wish you had a supportive spouse or friend. I remember one night long ago when I grasped that God was my SUPPORT. I was in a position where no one could help me. It wasn’t that they wouldn’t. It was that I had to go through something by myself. I was lonely and didn’t know what to do. It was just God and me. And guess what. I found that I wasn’t without help. God was with me. He was my SUPPORT. Sometimes it’s better to quit looking for someone to fill the spot that only God can fill.
Lord God, thank You for being our SUPPORT. When no one else is there, or even if they are, You are the ultimate SUPPORT we need.
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Praise to God, Our SUPPLIER
“And my God will SUPPLY all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
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, we have a SUPPLIER. Short on perseverance? Ready to give up or cave in? Feel like you’re going to blow a fuse? Don’t know how you’ll ever smile again? Those are temporary, normal feelings that we can have at times. But if we’re a Christian, we have hope. God offers to SUPPLY all our needs according to HIS RICHES in GLORY in CHRIST JESUS. Don’t tightly clutch downcast, angry, or discouraged feeling to your chest. Rather, open your heart and hand. Take hold of what you need according to God’s SUPPLY of glorious riches in Christ Jesus. In my traveling and speaking, I often find moms feel badly about how they are doing as a parent. Even after children leave the house, or if an adult child returns home, moms can feel drained or guilty. If you relate or know a mom who could use encouragement, then consider the gift of The Plan A Mom in a Plan B World. Grasp from the supply of what God offers moms of all ages and stages.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for being the SUPPLIER of all we need according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus!
Praise to the Sunrise from On High
“Because of the tender mercy of our God,
with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,…”
Have you ever been tongue-tied; you couldn’t say what you wanted to say? The godly priest Zacharias had such an experience. Except he was literal unable to speak. It hadn’t always been that way. He had led a remarkably righteous life. Then, one day, when he was performing his priestly service, he was chosen to burn incense in the temple. As the people prayed outside, he entered. The angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias, and fear gripped him. The angel spoke wonderful news; that his wife, who had been barren, was going to bear the forerunner to the Messiah. Now also in shock, Zacharias asked, “How will I know this for certain? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.”* Gabriel told Zacharias that since he didn’t believe him, he wouldn’t be able to speak until John was born. How’s that for a sign? Imagine what it would be like to have a marvelous encounter with Gabriel, to watch your beloved wife grow with child, and not to be able to speak. Finally, at last, baby John is born! Zacharias’s tongue was loosed. What anointed words poured from his heart, mind, and soul?
…Because of the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Let’s sit for a moment and meditate on Zacharias’s words, on the reality of Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God and comes to earth to deliver messages, of tongues tied and loosed, of Jesus visiting us….to shine upon we who are in darkness; to guide us into the way of peace. “Holy, holy, holy” is all I can say right now. What are you thinking?
LORD JESUS, SUNRISE from ON HIGH, we smile in joy and praise of You, who came from heaven’s glory to visit us on earth. We praise You, for the light You shine and for guiding us into the way of peace. We can’t wait to worship You in heaven!
Thank You, SUN of RIGHTEOUSNESS!
“But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings;”
Charles Spurgeon wrote these word in 1871 about the Sun of Righteousness: “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; he is the fosterer of tender herbs of penitence, the quickener of the vital sap of grace, the ripener of fruits of holiness, and the life of everything that grows within the garden of the Lord. Whereas to adore the sun would be idolatry; it were treason not to worship ardently the divine Sun of Righteousness.”* Does that add to your understanding of why Jesus is referred to as the Sun of Righteousness? With which of the descriptions do you most relate to Jesus as the Sun of Righteousness?
We praise You, SUN of RIGHTEOUSNESS, and look to You to enlighten, control, quicken, grow, and ripen us to holy surrender and fruitfulness.
*Debbie Taylor Williams.
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Praise to Christ, who is SUFFICIENT
“He has said to me, ‘My grace is SUFFICIENT for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’”
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 when we are going through a difficult time. What do we want? We want more of God’s grace. We want more of His power. God hears and responds, “My grace is SUFFICIENT for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” What does SUFFICIENT mean? Does it mean barely enough? No. Rather, the Hebrew word means, “to be possessed of unfailing strength, to be strong, to suffice, to be enough.”* God Himself is the answer to our cry for more.
Heavenly Father, thank You that in our weakness, You respond to our cry assuring us that Your grace is SUFFICIENT (unfailing strength).
Praise to the Lord, Who is SUBMISSIVE to the Father
“He went a little beyond them and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.’”
There are times when we are called to do something that isn’t pleasant. We would prefer not to do it. Perhaps for you, it’s a medical procedure. For a tired mom, it may be changing another diaper. A worker may long to stay in bed rather than go to work. Then, there are those excruciatingly painful occasions when we may be called to help with an intervention, or change the lock on a door to keep an abusive person out of the home. Or…die on the cross so that mankind can be saved. Jesus knew the suffering that was before Him. He didn’t want to go through it. He asked His Father for another way. But, in the end, He was submissive to Him. Does that not scream of the Father’s love for us? How are we giving back to Him? How are we showing Jesus that we appreciate Him?
Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ, thank You! For all You’ve done and all You’ve sacrificed, we give You praise!