A Sippy Cup Won’t Do
When we come to God for a new life in Christ, we don’t come to a sippy cup of refreshing life. We come to an overflowing fountain of life. “Come to Me and drink!” Jesus invites us. (John 7:37) And don’t stop drinking. God’s fountain flows in the “innermost being” of the one who believes in Jesus. From where does the living water originate? Psalm 36:9 tells us. “For with You is the FOUNTAIN of LIFE…” God is a FOUNTAIN of LIFE. During these Covid-19 shut in days, why not use the time to dive into a Bible study? You’ll find it quenches a thirst and refreshes your innermost being. It will feed you so you’re strengthened to endure each day. There’s no better time than now to read/study for the first time or re-read “The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World” or “If God is In Control, Why Am I a Basket Case?” Or, if you prefer to listen, you’ll find “The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World FREE audio so you can listen as you go about your day. Or, pick the thirst quenching study of your choice. (Hint: How to Live by the Divine Nature is one of my favs.)
Have you joined the movement yet? What movement? The movement of Christians who are standing against letting fear consume them. The movement of Christians who are saying, “Yes, Covid-19 has turned my world upside down, but God is with me to help me get through it.” The ones who are saying, “Yes, it’s hard to stay at home and self-isolate, but I choose to use my time wisely. Several years ago, I was going through a hard time. As a heaviness was coming upon me, I sensed the nudge to pull my car off the road and park. Then another nudge to “Look up at the heavens.” As I did, God reminded me that I wasn’t alone. He was there for me, and He was all-powerful to take care of every need I have. Our world is going through a hard time. This is an opportunity for us to say, “Yes, life is hard, but, ‘Lord, You are….” Join the movement. Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion will remind you of the many ways God is with you and sufficient to meet the demands of each day. Be a witness for Christ to those who don’t know Him. Model to your family that this is where a relationship with Christ makes a difference.
Light in the Darkness
Our nation and world are going through a difficult and what some would call a dark time physically, emotionally, and financially. What should we do in times like this? Turn to God, whom James 1:17 describes as the FATHER OF LIGHTS. The prince of darkness, Satan, would love nothing more than for us to stumble in fear. But James points to our hope. “Every good thing is given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the FATHER OF LIGHTS, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Regarding this verse, Charles Ryrie notes, “God is the source of all light – physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual – and He does not change.”* Rather than stumble in fear, walk by the FATHER OF LIGHTS’ illumination one day at a time.
Father of Lights, illumine our spirit with the Light of Your Spirit so we live as children of Light and spread Your Light to others.
Who is For You in the Game of Life
“Which team are you for?” “Which candidate are you for?” We often talk about who we’re for. But have you ever thought about who is for you? It’s a good question. Who is for you? Are you blessed to have a friend or family member who is there for you? But, what if you don’t, and you daily fight the loneliness and sadness of getting through each day on your own? God has an important message for us in Romans 8:31. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is FOR US, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over FOR US ALL…” GOD is FOR YOU. Not only is He not against us, the fact that He’s FOR US is amazing! Say it out loud. “God is for me. He is for me.” God is in the game of our life…saving our souls. Rescuing us. Making a place for us in heaven. Righting our wrongs. Extending grace. Wiping away our tears. Interceding for us. Guarding us. How much is He for us? A tiny bit? A big amount? The Father and Son are so for us they rescued our souls from Satan’s dominion by Jesus switching places with us on the cross. The next time we’re tempted to feel sorry for ourselves or Satan whispers, “you’re doing life all alone,” answer back loud and clear, “Wrong! God is with me and FOR ME.” Then, in genuine gratitude, thank the Heavenly Father and Son.
Heavenly Father, Precious Savior, thank You for being FOR US. We praise You, thank You, and pray our lives reflect our gratitude.
A Perfect Storm
Schools are closing. College students are returning home to study online. Moms, dads, grandparents are working from home. Or, not working and worried about how they’ll make ends meet. Close quarters. High emotions. Worries about tomorrow. Some not feeling well or down right sick. The perfect storm for cross words, eruptions, blame, and emotional distancing. How can we wisely relate to one another? With forgiveness. We can pattern ourselves after Jesus who comes to us in the storm. We can pattern ourselves after our Heavenly Father who forgives us even though we miss the mark with Him. First John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That is wonderful news. It’s also an example for us to follow. He tells us, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God in Christ has forgiven you,” Ephesians 4:32. Just as. In other words we repent and tell God we’re sorry when we mess up. We extend mercy and forgive others. We show grace even when it’s not returned. We choose love. How can we do this? We can’t. It is only possible when we receive Christ into our life, our storm, and asked Him to fill us, take control of us, and live His life through us. A storm is the perfect opportunity for those closest to us to see Jesus – maybe for the first time or in a new way.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You come to us in the storms of life. Thank You that You forgive us when we miss the mark. Thank You for showing us how to forgive others. Fill us. Live Your life through us so others see and believe in You.
Self-Quarantined? Distancing? Consider This
Are you self-quarantined or social distancing because of the corona virus? If so, this is a good time for us to consider how we might use our time wisely. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that there is an appointed time for everything. Which of the following verses might spur us to a positive action such as plant a garden so we have vegetables to share with neighbors, write a note or call someone with the sole purpose of building them up, weep over our nation’s moral decline, embrace loved ones even if not physically, sort things we no longer need to take to a homeless shelter, practice silence during which time we hide God’s Word in our hearts, meditatively listen to God and others, journal our prayers, or focus on being loving rather than judgmental toward others?
1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
Which might we do?
Heavenly Father, how might You want us to use this time of crisis in our world? May we wisely follow Your promptings.
When the Toilet Paper Runs Out
Concern about the coronavirus is sweeping our world – evidenced by empty shelves that were once fully stocked with toilet paper. So what are people turning to when the toilet paper runs out? Kleenex and even newspapers. Yes, An Australian newspaper printed an extra eight pages to be used as toilet paper after coronavirus fears prompted customers to bulk buy supplies, leaving some supermarket shelves bare.* What do people turn to when they can’t control quarantines, school closings, financial crisis, illness, and death? Hopefully, we turn to God. Psalm 46:1-2 is a good reminder. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.” Refuge and strength. Very present help. If you haven’t yet, turn to Him when your ability to control runs out.
Heavenly Father, thank You that at any time, day or night, You are a present help, our refuge and strength. We love You and praise You.
Are You Worried About the END
Do you ever worry about the end? True, our day comes to an end. Our weekend comes to an end. Vacations end. Time with loved ones ends. But, we need not worry because there’s one thing that never ends: God. Psalm 90:2 states, “Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” God has no end. He is EVERLASTING. He will exist no matter what happens to the earth and world. If you’re feeling a sense of loss or loneliness; or if it feels like everything in our world is changing too quickly, you have a reason to praise. God is EVERLASTING. He will never end. His presence will be with you.
Lord, You are the EVERLASTING GOD! We rejoice and rest in You.
Deer in the Headlights
Have you ever felt like a deer in the headlights when you realized you forgot to pray for someone? That happened to me several years ago. A person thanked me for praying for them. I was ashamed that I’d forgotten to and resolved to never again let that happen. The next morning, I asked God to show me a way to record prayer requests for those who asked me to pray for them and also go back and thank Him for His answers. In the quiet of the early morning hours, the word “spreadsheet” came to mind. Put the names of the people you pray for regularly across the top of the paper each week and designate a friend column for additional requests. Do you wish you had a better way to keep up with your prayers? If so, visit debbietaylorwilliams and click Prayers of My Heart. You’ll find prayer and journaling tips to rejuvenate your prayer life so you don’t forget to pray for someone.
When Whims Aren’t Good
Can you imagine if God ruled by whim, by ever-changing emotions and laws? What if on a whim, He decided to not be forgiving? Or, decided to forgive one person, but not you? What if God’s standard of holiness changed every year? Thank goodness that is not who our God is. Psalm 99:4 says He loves justice. He has ESTABLISHED EQUITY. That is why the psalmist says, “Let them praise Your great and awesome name; Holy is He.” (Psalm 99:3) Yes, that is why we praise our great and awesome God. He is not a God of whim, but rather, a God of equity.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t rule by whim, but rather with equity. We love and praise You!