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A Holy Jolt

06/17/2021

I struggled with today’s devotional because first I went in one direction and then another. There are so many important points!  The key verse is 1 Timothy 6:15 and the Lord’s attribute is King of Kings. It’s a rich verse. “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the KING OF KINGS and Lord of lords, 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.”  The verse is straightforward. It’s beautiful to read. The context, though, goes contrary to our human bent. Would you share your thoughts as to why the glorious description of Jesus as King of Kings who dwells in unapproachable light is in the context of  1 Timothy 6: 7-19? Warning: if you read it closely, you may get a holt jolt. 

For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.  

But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 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.

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

To which of the King of King’s instruction is He calling you? That you keep His commandment without stain? To repent of the love of money? To fix your hope on God rather than the uncertainty of riches? To be rich in good works? To flee from temptation?  What a blessing that our King sets before us eternal life and tells us to take hold of it. Will we? In which regard?

KING OF KINGS, give us a holy jolt to obey You.

The Missing Verse in Your Bible

06/16/2021

One Sunday during the sermon, my pastor referred to a missing verse – Mark 15:28  – that some Bible versions don’t include. As he talked about the missing verse, I began thinking about how many people have a Bible but it is missing from their daily lives. In other words, they have a Bible but don’t read it every day. If you’re not in the habit of reading your Bible every day or you don’t really know what the Bible says, I’d like to encourage you to begin including Bible verses in your daily routine. It can be as easy as signing up for my daily devotional, “365 Days of Praise. ” I’ll send you a free, 60 second devotional so you will have a Bible verse included in each day of your year. Visit me at debbietaylorwilliams.com and include, rather than exclude, Bible verses from your life. 

One Day Everyone Will Bow Before Jesus

06/16/2021

The wise men worshipped Jesus. The Jews and Romans whipped Jesus.

The wise men gave Jesus gifts. The Jews and Romans gave Jesus the cross.

The wise men celebrated Jesus’s birth. The Jews and Romans celebrated Jesus’s death.

Not all kings are recognized as kings. Such was the case with the Jesus when He walked on earth. Such is still the case with those who refuse to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior. But one day all people will bow before the KING OF THE JEWS.

Where is He who has been born KING of the JEWS?  For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him. Matthew 2:2

Lord Jesus, KING OF THE JEWS and our King, we bow before You in praise and worship You. Reign in our lives in such a way that others see Your influence in us.

Hell on Earth

06/15/2021

“Hell on earth” is a phrase some people use to describe a horrible place or horrible time they’re going through.  Their struggle goes on and on and doesn’t appear to have an end. No doubt the Jews felt that way in Nazi concentration camps. So can a spouse who is in an abusive  marriage. Or an employee who has a relentless boss. Might a Christian feel that way when principalities of evil are rampant? Yes.  Ephesians 6:12 says Christians struggle against rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Too often, though, we may not recognize the forces at play in our lives. We go to church, read our Bible, and try to live a good Christian life. Then something horrible happens or perhaps is ongoing. All we see is what is visible to our eyes. We are deceived into thinking our problem is with a person, ourselves, the government, or society at large. Paul tells us to open our eyes. Satan hates believers and the cause of Christ and will do everything on earth to take you down, destroy your witness, and make you miserable. Why? Because he knows he can’t have you or keep you. Revelation 1:17-18 records Jesus’s words to John when he was exiled on the island of Patmos.

“‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I HAVE THE KEYS of death and of Hades.”

What you are experiencing that may feel like hell on earth is temporary. Jesus has made sure of that. Satan will be bound. You’ll be free. Jesus has the keys and is locking Satan away. In the meantime, remember, Jesus also has the keys to joy and fullness of life. If you know Christ and you know the Bible but are miserable, isn’t it time to start MEDITATING on Scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and your heart to understand God’s inspired Word. Study Ephesians 6 and arm yourself against Satan. Stand firm against what feels like “hell on earth” knowing it is stoked by an invisible enemy.

Lord Jesus Christ, You were bombarded by Satan. Demons nipped at your holy feet. World forces of darkness blinded the religious leaders. But you showed us and taught us the way to peace. You have given us kingdom keys. May we not be blind and ignore Your holy teachings but rather pray without ceasing and walk by Your Spirit.

TIP:  If you need help growing in your faith or prayer life, visit my website where you’ll find resources to help you. Begin with Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion,  If God is In Control, Why Am I a Basket Case,  the P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference available on DVD or CD, or Listen UP: 31 Points about the Holy Spirit every Christian should know.  Take advantage of the many free website resources – slideshows and videos, or podcasts on a variety of topics you can listen to on the way to work or while you go about your day. Browse around. Find what you need. Begin today.  

 

Pray for Yes

06/14/2021

June 14, my husband, Keith, and I are celebrating our anniversary. I’ve known him for almost 48 years. We’ve been married 46 years today. I knew him when he didn’t have money to buy french fries with my hamburger. I know him as the guy who likes to put on an old teeshirt and mow the grass. But, I’ll never forget the first time I sat at the back of the room when he was holding court. After sentencing a criminal, he motioned to me to approach the bench. All eyes turned on me and I suddenly felt nervous and intimidated. Why in the world did I feel that way? Was it the courtroom? Was it his position behind the bench in a long black robe? If I felt that way approaching the judgement seat of my husband, I CAN’T IMAGINE what it will be like to sit in God’s courtroom and hear Him call my name to approach His bench. Are you ready to hear God call your name? Because He will…whether you like it or not.  Second Timothy 4:1 “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to Judge the living and the dead…” In other words, every person will appear before God, our Judge.  Those who received Jesus’s death on the cross as judgement for their sins will be given rewards at the Judgement. Those who rejected God’s gift of forgiveness in Christ will be judged for their thoughts, words, and actions and not on the basis of worldly goodness, but rather on God’s holiness. If you know someone who hasn’t professed their faith in Jesus, diligently pray for them. If you’re not sure what or how to pray for the unsaved, click here.

Lord, we who have received salvation through Christ humbly, gratefully praise You, JUDGE of the LIVING and the DEAD. Open our eyes to the unsaved. Open our mouths to speak loving truth to them. Quicken the hearts of our unsaved friends and family to acknowledge their sin and turn to You; to say “yes” to Your gift of salvation. 

If You’re looking for Someone Kind

06/13/2021

I see it in his eyes. They are kind. His eyes say it all. His eyes tell me what’s in his heart. My husband, Keith, looks at me with kind eyes. My response? I feel the most tender of love for him.

The eyes tell us what fills the heart. And, so we wonder. What fills Jesus’s eyes?  What if you were in His presence and He looked deeply into your eyes. What if you couldn’t take your eyes away from His. What would you see in His eyes for you? You’d see kindness beyond anything you’d experienced. The kindness that causes you to love Him with every fiber of your being.  So, the apostle asks in Romans 2:4, “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His KINDNESS and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the KINDNESS of God leads you to repentance?”  What a question! Do we?  Do we think lightly of God’s KINDNESS and tolerance and patience toward us? In other words, are we going about our day hardly looking Christ’s way? When He convicts us of sin, do we look in Jesus’s eyes and sincerely apologize to Him? Do we pause during the day and look into His eyes and say thank you for the little gifts of life? Look in Jesus’s eyes today. Think deeply of the riches of His kindness.

Dear Savior, You are so kind and loving, and patient. Forgive me for sinning against You and one another.  Help me look deeply in Your eyes and reflect Your kindness to others. 

Record Christ’s attribute, KIND, in Prayers of My Heart. Click to ORDER. 

Beware the Pit of Nothingness

06/11/2021

I need a keeper. Someone to watch out for me and over me. Why? Because it is easy to crash into a pit of nothingness.  The good news is, as believers, we do have a Keeper. Psalm 121:5-7 assures us,

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? In other words, He isn’t snoozing on the clouds. Psalm 121:3-4 tells us,

He who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber or sleep.

Our Soul Keeper is alert and watching out for us. Of anyone 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 38:17 tells us,

It is You who have kept my soul from the pit of nothingness, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back.

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 keeping us from evil and keeping us from the pit of nothingness. We love You!

Getting Away with Sin

06/10/2021

Do you ever feel like things in life aren’t fair? Have you wondered why some people get away with things with no apparent consequences? Often, those questions are warranted. As thinking people, we can’t help but wonder at the justice system. But then we must quickly remember that in the end no one gets away with anything before God. He sees sin and knows people’s thoughts. Most importantly, God is JUST. As Psalm 89:14 states,

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne… 

God weighs hearts and motives. He forgives repentant sinners. He deals with unrepentant ones. Lay any vengeance you have toward another person at God’s feet. He will rule justly because that is His nature – JUST.

Lord, we praise you. You are JUST!

TIP:  Write God’s attribute that I highlight in each 365 Days of Praise devotional in Prayers of My Heart. Writing it on paper writes it on your brain. When you’re troubled, flip through the pages of your journal and thank God for who He is as you reflect on His nature. It will build your confidence, decrease your stress, and help you live a more joy-filled life. Click HERE  to order.

A Spiritual Happy Dance

06/08/2021

“What’s a spiritual happy dance?” someone asked me after I mentioned in an email to my prayer team that I was doing one. I couldn’t help but smile. Then I realized no one except my husband had probably seen me do a spiritual happy dance. Why? Because it’s before God and it comes from a heart flowing with joy. Does our Heavenly Father care if we are joyful? Yes. Jesus said in John 16:24, “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.” This doesn’t mean giving Jesus our worldly wish list. Rather, it means aligning ourselves to our Lord’s will. Verses like John 15:11 where Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” refer to Jesus as having joy and being the giver of joy.  These verses may be a clue as to why believers sometimes don’t have joy. We may be able to quote Jesus, but are we living Him? In other words, if Jesus was on earth, would His emotions be tied to the things to which our emotions are tied? To how people treat us, to  our success, to a certain standard of living? You see, Jesus held loosely to our world and His joy wasn’t tied to it because He had seen God’s KINGDOM, knew this earth’s best and finest is passing away, and that our eternal inheritance is more than we can imagine.

Joy comes when our head, heart, and motivation are Spirit-driven. When was the last time you did a spiritual happy dance? “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy.Psalm 16:11

Lord, we praise You, in whose presence there is fullness of  JOY!

A Verse that Wows Me

06/07/2021

Do you ever read a verse and something about it “wows” you? That’s how I feel about Jeremiah 23:6. “In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’” Why am I wowed by this verse? It’s not only that Judah will be saved and the Israelites will one day live in peace. Although thinking about Israel living in peace is definitely a “wow.” It’s not just that the Lord is righteous. What wows me is the word “our.” It sends me to my knees – literally. It’s the reason I’m on my knees every morning, bowing before the Lord. I’m “wowed” because I’m included in the “our.” I’m not on the outside looking in, longing to be in right standing before God. I’m on the inside looking at His face…praising Him. I’m on my knees because I know I’m a sinner. But that no longer defines my relationship with my Creator. Christ Jesus defines my relationship with the Heavenly Father. Because I am in Christ and Jehovah-Tsidkenu is in me, I am saved. Christ is in us…in all who call on Jesus for salvation. The LORD is OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS – JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU.

Lord Jesus Christ, our Righteousness, all honor and praise and glory belong to You! Thank You for imparting Your righteousness to us when we repent and call on You for salvation!