Are We or Aren’t We
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If someone were to ask you what makes your life, marriage, family, career, and friendships work well, what would you say? Are you successful because you’re a hard worker? Are you successful because you’re conscientious? Or, perhaps a good listener? It’s an important question. A more important question, though, is what makes your life, marriage, family, career, friendships work to the glory of God? Why is that an important question? Because if we are a Christian, 1 Corinthians 10:31 says that everything we do is to be to the glory of God. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Acts 4:11 reinforces this fact by saying Jesus is the stone that was rejected, but who became the CHIEF CORNERSTONE.” In other words, we’re to build our lives on Christ in such a way that our life brings Him glory. If that’s not happening, we can begin today. We can draw closer to Jesus.
JESUS, You are the Chief Cornerstone on whom we’re to build our lives and glorify You. Help us consider if we’re doing that and if not, how we can.
How Not to Go Crazy with Anxiety
It started as a peaceful morning. 5:30 am alone with God has a tendency to do that. After my quiet time and while scanning emails and news stories, however, I almost came to the conclusion that I’d unknowingly had Covid or might have gotten Covid the day before or maybe two days before. Or, maybe I shouldn’t get the vaccine in case I had unknowingly had Covid recently because someone told me you could get really sick if you didn’t wait 3 months to get the vaccine after having it. I have no idea if that’s true. However, after reading the article that listed 98 SYMPTOMS people who have had Covid have had could make anyone wonder. Scanning 98 symptoms can tend to make one pause. My eyes had been a little red one day last week and that was one of the symptoms. I had dismissed the redness as allergies, but you never know. Okay, I think you get my point. Everyone could probably identify as having had one of the 98 symptoms and go into a frenzy if they are the worrying type, which thank goodness I’m not. However, understandably, Covid has caused an increase in anxiety in our nation and world and if not because of Covid, you may have stressed over politics or any number of other issues. It is normal to feel anxious when our loved ones are ill or when family or financial problems arise. What’s important for us to know in stressful times is that Jesus is with us and cares for us. He doesn’t want us to go crazy with worry. He wants us to cast all our anxiety on Him as 1 Peter 5:7 clearly states. Yes, just like a person casts a fishing line into the water, we can cast our anxiety on Jesus knowing that He cares for us and will see us through each moment each day. If you’re feeling anxious, cast your anxiety on Him right now. Tell Him your anxious thoughts. He loves you, is listening, and He is ever present to comfort you, sweet friend.
Jesus, thank You for being a CARING LORD on whom we can cast our anxiety! Comfort with a comfort that only You can give all those who are suffering with Covid right now or who have lost a loved one to Covid. Bring healing to those suffering and strength to all the care givers. We love You and thank You for caring for us.
Whopper of a Problem?
Do you have a whopper of a problem? Perhaps you’re even where the Lord led you, but the situation is more than you can handle. When Joshua found himself in a tough place, the Lord appeared to him as Captain of the Lord’s Host. Listen to what happened. Joshua 5:14-15 states, “Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, ‘What has my lord to say to his servant?’ The Captain of the Lord’s Host said to Joshua, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” Did we get that? Joshua bowed down and said, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The Lord told Joshua that the place he was standing was holy ground; then He told him what to do. Isn’t that the position we need to take not only when we’re faced with problems, but every day? Bow before the Lord. Ask, “what do You have to say to me?” Then, listen with the intention of obeying.
CAPTAIN of the HOSTS, we bow before You. Speak to our heart and mind. Tell us what to do.
Disturbed by the Star or Delighting in the Star
Curious and aphrehensive about who was scheduled to perform for the 2021 Super Bowl half time show, I googled half time show. The name of the entertainer immediately popped up. Watching a few minutes of one of his music videos, I was pleased it didn’t include cuss words or nakedness. But then…he pulled a gun from behind his back and my heart sank thinking of his influence on fans. Mind you, it was not a hunting video. He is but one of many stars who influence people. Thank goodness, there is another star, more famous than any and his influence will remain long after other stars have come and gone. His name is Jesus Christ. In Revelation 22:16, Jesus says, “I am the root and the descendant of David, the BRIGHT MORNING STAR.” Jesus is the STAR we should watch and emulate. Jesus is the STAR we should listen to so often that we know by heart the verses He’s written. So when you watch earthly stars rise and fall, turn your attention with deep gratitude to Jesus, the Bright Morning Star.
Sweet Jesus, we love and adore You. You are our BRIGHT MORNING STAR. There is none other we follow and worship but You.
Where is Our Faith in God’s Commands
We talk about it. We sing about it. But, how much of it do we have? What am I talking about? Faith. We place our faith in the person of Jesus Christ and that He substituted His body on the cross in place of ours. We stand at a distance and say, “Whew! That’s great. I didn’t have to go through the scourging and crucifixion. Thank You, Jesus. I believe.” But when God says to exercise our faith in regard to cutting off our sin we say, “No way. Can’t do.” He says to exercise our faith and forgive as He forgives us and we say, “Not gonna do it.” He says to lay aside our old self and put on the new self-made in the image of Christ Jesus, and we march on through our day as if we didn’t hear Him. If we really had faith that God “calls into being that which doesn’t exist,” as Romans 4:17 states, then we would obey His commands, trusting that they lead to the promised abundant life. So the question is, where is our faith…in us or in Jesus? Here’s another question – how can we exercise our faith today by obeying a command that doesn’t come naturally for us?
Lord Jesus, You CALL INTO BEING THAT WHICH DOESN’T EXIST. Open our eyes today to one of Your teachings that we’re not following. Call into being our obedience as we purposefully place our faith in You.
Bite, Chew, Graze
Are you hungry? Is there a gnawing in you? Do you feel that something is missing? That no matter what you do, purchase, or where you go, you still want more? Do you fill the emptiness, but it quickly returns? If so, maybe it’s your spirit that is hungry. If so, the solution isn’t more food, clothes, or money. The solution is found by filling our spirit with the Holy Spirit of Jesus who John 6:48 describes as the BREAD of LIFE. Jesus is to the soul, what a whopping delicious meal is to our body. Begin your day with bite-size Bible verses. Chew on them throughout the day. At night, graze on the promises of Christ. Go to sleep with your soul fully satisfied in Christ.
Lord Jesus, we praise You, BREAD OF LIFE! Thank You for satisfying the yearning of our spirit as we meditate on You.
The Spiritual Side of Broccoli
I’m doing a happy dance about the broccoli in my garden. Yes, I’ve had small gardens in past years, but I’ve never grown broccoli. Now, however, I have a beautiful head of broccoli on my kitchen counter ready to cook for dinner tonight. I can’t wait! So how did this delicious plant grow? Among numerous items that had to happen, the stem had to stay attached to the stalk. Otherwise, the floret would not have been produced. It is simple logic. We understand it. We don’t question the fruit bearing process. Building on the analogy of that which is common, Jeremiah 23:5 explains our spiritual relationship to Jesus. He describes Jesus as a righteous branch. “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, when I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.’” Our Heavenly Father planted Jesus in our midst on planet earth. Believers are grafted into Him and His righteous Spirit is in us and able to produce the crowning fruit of His life that is visible and tasty to others. We do well to ask, “Is it?”
Heavenly Father, thank You for grafting us into the righteous branch of Jesus Christ. We pray that Christ’s Spirit flow through us so our lives produce that which is appealing to others so they seek to be also grafted into Christ.
If there was something you could do to have a better attitude and increase your happiness would you do it? I imagine you are thinking, “Bring it on, baby!” Okay. Here it is. Write down what you’re thankful for every day. Bam! That simple. But will you do it? It literally won’t take you more than five minutes…if that much time. Research proves it’s a game-changer in our attitude. A simple click on my journal, Prayers of My Heart and you’ll have a journal with three sections from which you can choose as a landing place for you to write, “Thank you, Lord, for…..” Will you do it? How important is your innermost heart? How about your mindset? What about your attitude and how it affects others? Take the step with this game-changer today.
Feeling a Little Wilted?
Have you ever walked through an unwatered garden? The plants are wilted. There’s little fruit if any. What a difference when you walk through a well-watered garden; one loved by the owner. Flowers and fruit abound. The garden has a fragrant aroma. The gardener has withheld nothing and has committed everything to care for the plants. In Jeremiah 31:12 God is described as just such a Gardner and His people like a well-watered garden. “They will come and shout for joy on the height of Zion, and they will be radiant over the bounty of the Lord—and their life will be like a watered garden, and they will never languish again.” If you are languishing today and are physically, emotionally, or spiritually wilted, I understand. Life can drain us at times. Go to your Heavenly Father. Open your Bible. Be filled and refreshed by His Spirit. He loves you! Drink deeply.
Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You, BOUNTIFUL Lord, that although life can be draining, we don’t have to languish. Rather, in You are the wellsprings of life. Thank You for Your ever replenishing supply of love, joy, peace, and strength.
If You’re Alone, Broken, Sick
Are you alone? Are you emotionally scattered? Are you broken or sick? Ezekiel 34:16 tells us that God is in the business of tending to the lost, the scattered, the broken, and the sick. Listen to his words, “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick.” Yes, there are times in our lives when distance, disease, and death leave us feeling like we can’t take one more step, that we can’t get through the day or night. But our Father wants us to know that He sees us, He cares, and He is with us. Turn to Him. Rest in His arms. Put your head on His chest. Listen to the heartbeat of His love for you. He didn’t create the world scattered, lost, and sick, but rather as beautiful, peaceful, and perfect. All that our heart longs for, we will one day experience in His presence.
(Keep a gratitude journal of the ways God is working in your life and helping you and others. It will please Him to see that You recognize His presence. It will encourage your heart.)
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for being with us and BINDING UP the many ways we are BROKEN. Thank You for helping us emotionally, physically, and spiritually.