Something to Smile About
Lord, HUSBAND, Maker, Lord of hosts, Redeemer, Holy One of Israel, God of all the earth, we love You and thank You for Your abundant love and commitment to us. You give us a reason to smile.
An Offer to Come Closer Than 6 Feet
How’s your heart? Oh, I’m not talking about the physical condition of your heart, although that is important. Rather, I’m referring to your spiritual heart. Why? Because Jesus made us a great offer in Matthew 11:29. He tells us to mosey up close to Him – sincerely close. Close enough to be yoked together. In other words, closer than 6 feet. Close enough to smell the sweat on each other. Close enough to talk in a normal tone of voice. Close enough to be in step with each other. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” What benefit would there be for us if we walked in step with Jesus? a) We’d learn a lot from Him. b) We’d move in the right direction and with a gentle, humble heart. I wonder if we should give it a try. I know I’d like to be a lot more like Jesus. Would you? Would others like for us to be more like Jesus and have His humble heart? I think so!
Sweet, humble Jesus, I love You. Thank You for modeling Your humility when You died on the cross for my sins. Thank You for inviting me to come closer than 6 feet, to come right up to you, and to learn from You. I’m in!
Are You Clinging?
Do you ever feel shaky, like you might fall? Do you ever feel like you’re not sure how you can make it through the next day, week, or year? If so, consider memorizing Psalm 18:2 where our Lord is described in this unique way.
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the HORN OF MY SALVATION, my stronghold.”
Perhaps you’re familiar with the Lord being described as our rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, and stronghold. But what does it mean that the Lord is our “HORN OF SALVATION?” Scholar Herbert Lockyer explains:
“the figure of the Horn is taken from those animals whose strength is in their horns. Because the horn was once the instrument of the oxen’s strength, it became the symbol of power. And our God and Savior came as a horn or mighty instrument of salvation.
In addition, when horns were fixed to an altar they became projections to which sacrifices were bound and to which those who needed protection could cling.”
Yes, as you think about all the ways the Bible describes God, remember to add Jesus as your HORN OF SALVATION. Cling to Him.
HORN OF SALVATION, we praise You, our strength, and salvation. Thank You that we can cling to You.
Better than Bootstraps
Do you feel hopeless? Perhaps the last bit of hope to which you’ve clung just went out the window. Your future may appear bleak. Dark clouds may seem to hover over you no matter where you go or how hard you try. But the good news is, if you’re a Christian, you have every reason to ditch any thought of hopelessness. You have the GOD OF HOPE! Whoo Hoo! He is not only with you. He’s IN you. Romans 15:13 “Now may the GOD OF HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
It’s not a question of if you have hope. You do. The question is, are you allowing the GOD OF HOPE to fill you with His joy and peace?
News Flash: You can experience hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a matter of not trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps to believing God is on the throne, He sees you, and loves you. He has your best interest at heart. In faith, pray, “GOD OF HOPE, fill me with joy and peace through the Holy Spirit.”
GOD OF HOPE, thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit so we can abound in hope by His power. We love and adore You!
Beyond Our Imagination – A Deeper Understanding of the Spirit
Do you know all that God has prepared for you in eternity? The answer is “no, we don’t know.” First Corinthians 2:9 says, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” Does that bless your heart? Our earthly days may be rough, but God has prepared a future beyond our imagination. The passage explains that no one knows God’s thoughts except God’s Spirit.
“For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?
Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
Do these verses about the Spirit make you want to have a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit and how you can walk by His promptings? If so, I encourage you to get “Listen UP! When the Spirit Speaks.” The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to Christians. Know Him. Listen to Him. Love and adore Him, for He is the Spirit of Christ abiding in you.
Heavenly Father, Your gift to us of the SPIRIT who SEARCHES ALL THINGS, is the most amazing gift. Thank You! Help us faithfully walk by Your Spirit.
Unclean Lips and Lives
I don’t think there’s any way we can get our minds around what the holiness of the LORD is like. I don’t think we have the slightest idea of the magnitude of heaven’s glory. Isaiah attempted to describe heaven.
“In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, ….
And one called out to another and said ‘HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds trembled…”Isaiah 6:1-4a.
What was Isaiah’s response?
“Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips – And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts,” Isaiah 6:5.
Isaiah’s response to seeing the LORD was a profound awareness that he was unclean. Were it not for JESUS bearing our sins on the cross, it would not be possible for us to live in the HOLY, HOLY, HOLY LORD’S presence, which is why we praise HIM today and every day.
We praise You, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY Lord!
In Favor of the Saints
Do you ever wonder what the future holds? If so, the book of Daniel answers your question. There will be a war and God’s saints will be overpowered UNTIL the One who is more powerful than any other, the Highest One, steps in. I wonder if you feel as I do – overwhelmed with gratefulness to be on God’s side, to be designated as His saint?
“I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” Daniel 7:21-22
Heavenly Father, to be referred to as “Your saint” and to know that You, the Ancient of Days, are going to judge in favor of us is overwhelming. Thank You, merciful Ancient of Days.
Run to the Throne of Grace
Can you imagine what it would be like to go to Jesus after you failed miserably and sinned and He NOT be sympathetic 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 to 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. Neither are we to avoid Jesus because we’re ashamed. Rather, we’re to humbly go to Him and confess, “I sinned. I gave in to my flesh or this temptation. Forgive me and strengthen me to stand against this weakness in my life. Conform me to Your image, Jesus.” 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 to live in a habit of sin but rather to live in a habit of holiness. If we’ve sinned and been avoiding an intimate conversation with Jesus and confession of our sin, now is the time to draw near to our sympathetic HIGH PRIEST.
We praise you, 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.
Groaning. Drained. Hiding.
King David was deceived….thinking he could hide his sin of adultery and murder and merrily continue with his life. But sin isn’t a kind bedfellow. Psalm 32:3-4 records how it affected David. “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” But what happened when David acknowledged his sin and confessed it to the Lord? We find the answer in Psalm 32:5. “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’; and You forgave the guilt of my sin.'” What advice does David give us in Psalm 32:6? “Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found.” David discovered that instead of hiding from God, it was better to make God His hiding place. “You are my HIDING PLACE; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance,” Psalm 32:7. On occasion we might be like David and think we can hide our sin from God. But the truth is, we can’t. He sees us and even knows our thoughts. Yet even while we are in our sin, He invites us to a place of forgiveness – Himself. Today we can choose to stop trying to hide our sin. We can turn to God and humbly confess, “You are my HIDING PLACE; You preserve me from trouble.” We can experience “songs of deliverance.”
Lord, how sweet to know You as our HIDING PLACE who preserves us from trouble and surrounds us with songs of deliverance. Thank You. We praise You.
Help is On the Way
“Help is on the way.” It’s all I could think to say as I grabbed my purse and headed to my car. She needed to hear those words. She needed to know that help was on the way…the kind of tangible help we need when we’re at our wit’s end when we don’t know how much more we can take. And so, God wants us to know, “He is our HELP.” We may not see Him, but we have the full assurance that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present HELP in trouble,” Psalm 46:1. Are you in trouble and need HELP? Are you in despair and need HELP? Are you disturbed about something and need HELP? Unlike the friend who had to wait for me, the Lord is our present HELP. We need only call on Him as Psalm 43:5 reminds us. “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the HELP of my countenance and my God,”
Heavenly Father, we praise You, our HELP, and the HELP of our countenance.