365 Days of Praise - Beyond Ourselves

Have You Ever Wished You Had Someone to..

10/19/2019

Have you ever wished you had someone to watch your back? Or, better, to watch over your soul – your mind, emotions, and will?  The fact is, believers have just that person in Jesus. First Peter 2:25 tells us “…you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”  When doing research for my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion about God being the guardian of our soul, I discovered that the word “guardian” is translated from the Greek word episkopos and means an “overseer, a man charged with the duty of seeing that things done by another are done rightly.” (page 98) What a blessing for us to have God as the Guardian of our souls!  LORD, thank You for being the GUARDIAN of my soul! 

TIP

God assumes responsibility for being the Guardian of our soul, but it is our responsibility to tune into Him and follow what He tells us to do both in the Bible and when the Holy Spirit prompts us during the day. Begin each day prayerfully greeting God and lifting up your soul to Him. Invite Him to fill your soul, then pay attention to His prompts throughout the day. You know how I value opening my prayer journal every morning and recording His attribute that I share with you. Being still in God’s presence with pen in hand and journal open is an invitation for God to speak; to prompt me how to pray and what He wants me to do each day. Try it. I think you’ll like it. Prayers of My Heart Journal;   Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion 

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When You’re Devastated by the Separation, Take His Hand

10/17/2019

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Have you ever been separated from someone you desperately wanted to be? Whether the separation occurs due to death, divorce, disease, distance, or destruction, the pain of not being able to reach a loved one is indescribable. “Indescribable.” That’s a word victims and survivors often use when explaining their loss, suffering, and sadness. Jesus understands such depth of emotion. He loves us and created us to live in union with Him. Indescribable love drove Him to leave heaven’s glory and come to earth to seek and to save us. Jesus, separated from sinners, crossed the chasm that separated heaven’s glory and earth’s despair to offer us His holy hand of redemption. Will we take His hand?

Lord, we praise You, who are SEPARATED from SINNERS, yet humbled Yourself to come to earth to save us. 

“it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;” Hebrews 7:26.

 Prayers of My Heart  Journal – Record God’s character traits each day as you praise Him for His great love.

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Whose Side Are You On

10/15/2019

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Sides. Children learn the concept of “sides” at a young age. They’re on this side or that side of the field depending on their team.  They learn about historical battles and what each side stood for.  The Bible tells us that there are spiritual sides. God is on one side and the devil is on the other. They’re battling over human souls. Ephesians 6:16 tells us how to extinguish the devil’s flaming arrows. But, we’re not in this battle alone. Our Heavenly Father is the Captain of our side, and He doesn’t use just any arrow to win the war against Satan.  Isaiah 49:2 tells us that Jesus is a  Select Arrow, sent from God’s quiver. He is the One who destroys the works of the devil and saves souls. Take courage. You may be in a skirmish, but if you’re a follower of Christ, you’re on the right side.

Lord Jesus, God’s SELECT ARROW, thank You for coming to earth to destroy the works of the devil and take us to Your side. We love and praise You!

“He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver,” Isaiah 49:2.

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Marco Pollo

10/14/2019

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Did you ever play Marco Polo in the swimming pool? I have fond memories of playing it with my sister, Vicki. We’d take turns closing our eyes and calling out “Marco.”  The other one would respond “Polo” then swim away to avoid being tagged. Some of us may think of Jesus as one who is blindly searching for us when we call out to Him. That is far from the case. Jesus has His eyes on us and is waiting for us to call on Him. Jesus is the SEEKER of the LOST, as He explains in Luke 19:10,  He came to earth to seek and to save. Call on Him. He sees you and wants to be found.

Lord Jesus, thank You that You see us and know where we are. Thank You for SEEKING and SAVING us. May those who are calling for You then running away, turn toward You with arms open wide. 

“The Son of Man has come to SEEK and to SAVE  that which was lost, Luke 19:10.

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You Either Have It or You Don’t

10/13/2019

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We all know what we mean when we say, “I don’t have it in me to….” Then we complete the thought. “I don’t have it in me to go to that reunion.”  “I don’t have it in me to keep working the night shift.” It’s important for us to recognize if we do or don’t have something in us. At the top of our check list should be if we have the life of Christ in us. We either do or we don’t, and 2 Corinthians 13:5 advises every person to test themselves to see if they do. You see, going to church, enjoying nature, or being a nice person doesn’t make a person a Christian. A Christian is one who has Christ “in” them. ChristIaN. How do we get Christ in us? As we sow a seed into the ground so a plant can spring forth, we receive the seed of Christ’s Holy Spirit into our spirit. God does the work. He sows His seed into our spirit when we come to Jesus by faith; confessing Him as Lord and Savior. Why would we come to Jesus? Because we don’t have it in us to be perfect. If we want to go to heaven when we die,  then we need His Holy Spirit in us. The question is, do we or don’t we have Him (the Holy Spirit) in us? It’s a consideration that has eternal consequences for every person. Learn how to receive the Holy Spirit HERE.

Lord Jesus, promised Seed of Salvation, thank You for planting Your Holy Spirit in our hearts and souls. We love and adore You.

“’And I will put enmity
Between you (satan) and the woman,
And between your (satan’s) seed and her seed (Christ);
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.'”

Genesis 3:15

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If You’re Tired of Sinning

10/12/2019

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I wish I wouldn’t sin. I long for for the day when I’m perfected in Christ’s image. How about you? Do you ever tire of your impatience, bad habit, or perhaps careless word? The fact is, as long as we’re in our earthly bodies, we’ll contend with our the sin nature.  As a matter of fact, not only will we contend with it, Galatians 5:17 says our flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Sprit against the flesh; that they’re in opposition to one another…” So we have this little, ummm, big war going on inside of us. Here’s the wonderful news recorded in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. God, in His grace, has chosen to SANCTIFY us, to set us apart for Himself as holy, without blame. Think about it! What we can’t do for ourselves, God has done and will continue to do.  We who call upon the name of the Lord will one day live in heaven completely holy because of Christ. Does knowing that cause you to want to lift your voice in praise to God?

Heavenly Father, Sanctifier, thank You for setting us apart for Yourself and for taking it upon Yourself to sanctify us complete and without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are so ready!

“Now may the God of peace Himself SANCTIFY you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23

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I Think… I Think… Hmmm, What Do I Think?

10/11/2019

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Do you ever feel that things change so fast you can hardly keep up?  Does it seem that people change what they say from one day to the next?  Here’s some good news. God doesn’t change. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that Jesus Christ is the SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER. Society may change standards and morals, but our Heavenly Father will always be the same holy, loving, grace-filled God that He’s always been. If we ever wonder who to align ourselves with, it would be Him.

Lord God, thank You that You do not change.  You are the SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY, and FOREVER

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Has Anyone Ever Sacrificed Something for You

10/10/2019

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Has anyone ever sacrificed something for you? Have they sacrificed sleep so you could sleep? Have they sacrificed advancing so you could? Have they sacrificed their plans so you could do yours? Sacrifice. Sometimes we sacrifice, but do so begrudgingly. But Ephesians 5:2 tells us Jesus willingly SACRIFICED His life for us. He thought of us, not Himself. Hill Country Ministries is dedicated to telling others of Jesus’s great love and sacrifice. One way we do this is by taking our P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference to every state. Christians are inspired and equipped to pray more purposefully and live more passionately for Christ. Seekers are given the opportunity to respond in faith to Christ. Thank you for your prayers as we continue to seek host churches for our last two mainland states: Oregon and Maine.

Lord Jesus, thank You for willingly giving up Your glory, Your comfort, Your life for us; for being a SACRIFICE to God on our behalf so that we can be reconciled to You. Help us sacrificially fulfill Your commission to us to tell others about You. 

“…walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a SACRIFICE to God as a fragrant aroma,” Ephesians 5:2.

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When You Put Your Head On Your Pillow Tonight

10/09/2019

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Do you sometimes wonder what our world and the future hold? Revelation 1:5 gives us great comfort because it tells us this: “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the RULER of the KINGS of the EARTH.” In other words, it reminds us to look heavenward in confidence to the Christ who is RULER of the  KINGS of the EARTH. While things may seem, or actually be,  chaotic under different earthly rulers; there is ONE supreme RULER whose reign has no end and who reigns with justice and with mercy. If you’re a believer, you’re a citizen of Christ’s kingdom. That’s good to remember when you put your head on your pillow tonight.

Lord Jesus Christ, what a glorious blessing to know that this world is not spinning out of control. YOU are the enthroned, RULER of the kings of the earth

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When Life Stinks

10/08/2019

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Have you ever heard someone say, “This stinks!” Or, maybe you’ve said it. It’s a saying for when something awful or suspicious occurs. If bad things repeatedly happen, the term might be broadened to “life stinks.” Instead of focusing on the foul, though, we have a choice to breathe in what Song of Solomon 2:1 refers to as the Rose of Sharon, a reference to Christ and His splendor, heavenly fragrance, and beauty. When life stinks, stay extra close to Christ. Breathe in His fragrance. “I am the ROSE of SHARON, the lily of the valleys.” Song of Solomon 2:1

Lord Jesus, You are the ROSE of SHARON; the fragrant aroma of heaven.Thank You that we can breathe the beauty of Your fragrance in the midst of our day. 

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*Herbert Lockyer, “All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible,” Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, page 247.