365 Days of Praise - Beyond Ourselves

4 Marvelous’s to Know About

08/02/2019
FYI:  For the next week, “365 Days of Praise/Beyond Ourselves” will be sporadic.  
Thanks for your patience!  
I want to pause today. We’re more than half way through our 365 days of praising God. Thank you for joining me on this pilgrimage to better know our Heavenly Father and Jesus. The reason it thrills me to admire a different facet of God each day is because He wants us to know Him. The Bible is God’s love letter in which He reveals Himself. Think of it this way. Online dating has become quite popular. People share online about themselves, their favorite books, sports, music, movies, places to visit, and restaurants. They share their religious and political views. In the Bible, God puts Himself out there and says, “I want you to know Me;” then provides a progressive revelation of Himself. Today, we add another adjective to the One we will soon meet. MARVELOUS. What’s marvelous about our Lord?
  • His MARVELOUS WORKS. In Revelation 15:3 Moses celebrates the works God has done. “’Great and MARVELOUS are Your WORKS, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations!’”  In what way do you see God working in your life or in the life of someone close to you? Wouldn’t you agree God is marvelous?
  • His MARVELOUS LOVINGKINDNESS.  The psalmist writes, “Blessed be the LORD, for He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.” Psalm 31:21.  In these verses, marvelous means “wonderful, surpassing, extraordinary, separate by distinguishing action. Doesn’t that fit our Lord’s lovingkindness? It’s surpassing, extraordinary, and His death for our sins is distinguishable.
  • His MARVELOUS SALVATION.  In Matthew 21:42, Jesus asks, “‘Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES‘?”  Jesus used the word “marvelous” in relation to God’s plan for saving mankind. It means “worthy of pious admiration, admirable, excellent, passing human comprehension, causing amazement joined with terror, extraordinary, striking, surprising.” Each of those words define how marvelous God’s plan of salvation is.
  • His MARVELOUS LIGHT.  First Peter 2:9 is one of my favorite Scriptures because it defines who we are and our purpose. “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His MARVELOUS LIGHT.”  We have a message to tell of the excellencies of Christ. We are not in darkness, but rather in marvelous light; meaning “excellent, extraordinary, striking, surprising light.”

Yes, today we’re again amazed at our Marvelous Lord and bow in reverence and praise. Add “MARVELOUS” in Prayers of My Heart in whichever place you’ve chosen to record His attributes and names. I use the first column of Week At A Glance. But you can also use the Month at a Glance section if you’re not recording your 3 daily gratitudes there.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are marvelous in Your work, love, kindness, salvation, and light. We celebrate and worship You!

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It’s Not Always Happy

08/01/2019
FYI:  For the next week, “365 Days of Praise/Beyond Ourselves” will be sporadic.  
Thanks for your patience!  

In Christian circles we often speak of the joy of the Lord, and rightly so. He tells us to pray in His name to our Heavenly Father so that our joy will be made full.  We share Christ’s joy when we use the gifts He’s given us. Joy is a “fruit” of the Holy Spirit in our lives. That doesn’t mean, however, that life is free of sorrow or that we’ll be on a joy ride to heaven. Far from it. I remember when Philippians 3:7-10 became my life verses. I prayed, “Lord, I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection!” I was changed after that prayer. The Holy Spirit filled me and I read the Bible with new eyes. I had an intimacy and passion for Christ that I’d not before experienced. But I need to let you in on a little secret. I stopped my prayer before the end of verse 10. I did my own edit of applying the Bible to my life. Philippians 3:10 says, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” I did NOT pray “and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” I saw the end of the verse. I read it, but I didn’t want anything to do with the fellowship of suffering with Christ. Years later, after the Lord faithfully let me know Him more fully through studying His divine nature and attributes and allowed me to experience Christ’s power in ways beyond my power, it was time for me to experience the “fellowship of His sufferings.” It hurt. It was not fun. I cried. I journaled Scriptures. And, my intimacy deepened with the Lord in a way it could not have had I not gone through that time and others since then.  Isaiah 53:3 states about Jesus, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a MAN OF SORROWS and acquainted with grief…” If you are going through a time of sorrow or grief, that doesn’t mean something is necessarily wrong with you/in you. Of course, if it’s due to sin, that is another subject which the Bible addresses and has guidance concerning. But if you are staying the course with Jesus and are suffering in some way, this is when you can get up close to Him, curl up in His arms, read your Bible with opened eyes, and discover that He’ll see you through it.

Jesus, MAN OF SORROWS, thank You for being here for us when we are going through hard, sorrowful times. Help us fellowship well with You. 

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Is This Cool or What?

07/31/2019

In case we ever wonder who made the heavens, earth, and us, the LORD tells us: HE DID. “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, ‘I, the LORD, am the MAKER of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself and spreading out the earth all alone…'” (Isaiah 44:24)  Is that cool or what?  So look around in wonder at the sky, earth, and sea. Take a deep breath of air. Thank God for making you and all of creation. Yes, look around. Give Him praise.

LORD, our MAKER, You are so awesome! Thank You for the glory of heaven, earth, and the wonder of the human body that shouts Your praise. 

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We Can’t Wait!

07/30/2019

Is there anything you look forward to and can’t wait to happen?  Have you ever looked forward to something and then it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be?  If so, here’s something to look forward to that will not disappoint. The day you are see what Peter describes as not just “majestic,” but MAJESTIC GLORY.  It’s the best Peter could do to describe his experience of being with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration “when He (Jesus) received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the MAJESTIC GLORY, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased’—” (2 Peter 1:17) What Peter saw and heard, we will one day see and hear – God, the MAJESTIC GLORY.  Are you ready? Are you excited?

Heavenly Father, MAJESTIC GLORY, we can’t wait to be in Your presence. Thank You for this eternal opportunity!

How Not to be a Sourpuss

07/29/2019

Are you a sourpuss? You know, grumpy, negative, never satisfied? If so, take your thoughts CAPTIVE to Christ. Pay attention to what you’re thinking. Why? Your thoughts make you who you are. An example: After God opened a way for the Israelites to cross the Red Sea on dry land to escape the Egyptian army, Moses could have said, “Boy, that was close! I don’t know why God let that happen! He about got us killed.” Yes, he could have complained but He chose not to. Instead, Moses sang praises to God. “Your right hand, O LORD, is MAJESTIC in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy,” Exodus 15:6“Who is like You among the gods, O LordWho is like You, MAJESTIC in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?”  Exodus 15:11

If we’re a sourpuss and tend to focus on the negative, we’re not doing ourselves or any one else a favor, including God. As a matter of fact, we’re being a bad showcase of our Majestic Lord. Isn’t it time we change?  If you’d like to, then obey God and take your thoughts captive to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Yep, go right up to the throne room and examine them. Moses isn’t the only one who has a God MAJESTIC in power and holiness. We do, too! Isn’t it time we change our thinking (Philippians 4:8) and act like it?

If you have Prayers of My Heart, turn to the Meditations, Notes, and Prayers section and write words of praise to your Heavenly Father. Do you need prompts? He’s saved you. He forgives your bad behavior. His Word straightens out your wayward thoughts. His Spirit is your downpayment and security of heaven. His grace is new every morning. Do you have a family or friends, a roof over your head, clean water, food, a bed to sleep in at night? Write words of thanks to Him now.

You, O LORD, are MAJESTIC in HOLINESS and POWER! We sing Your praises for all the things You’ve done, are doing, and will. Help us showcase You by examining our thoughts in light of all we have in You. 

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Wishing for a Smile On Your Face?

07/28/2019

Are you tired of life as it is? God understands. He never intended us to do “life” apart from Him. He created us to share life in Him and with Him; to live by His divine nature and experience His MAGNIFICENCE. We can get back on track. We can do life better. How? First, turn from sin and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. Second, daily meditate on God’s Word to us. Why?  Second Peter 1:4  tells us “…He has granted to us His precious and MAGNIFICIENT promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”  In other words, we have the joy and privilege of learning Kingdom ways and promises. Third, begin our morning welcoming our Heavenly Father and praying, “Heavenly Father, thank You for this day. Please fill my spirit with Your Holy divine nature. Help me discern Your ways and walk through my day sensitive to Your voice.”  Yes, the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Bible are MAGNIFICENT. Renew your mind with His ways. Saturate your heart with His promises. Walk by His MAGNIFICENT divine nature and you’ll soon discover a smile on your face.

LORD, You are MAGNIFICENT and Your promises are MAGNIFICENT. Thank You for salvation, by which we become partakers of Your divine nature. Thank You for the Bible and Your Spirit by which we walk by Your magnificent, divine promises.

Record your praise to God that He is “Magnificent” in Prayers of My Heart.  Pray for yourself and intercede for your family to learn and live by God’s magnificent promises.

Dropped Out of Heaven

07/27/2019

“I need this. I need that.” Sometimes our human nature screams for what we want. We long for a magic genie to give us or tell us what we want to hear. Sometimes, we may be frustrated because we wish God would drop from heaven the perfect life we envision.  How do we reconcile when God, Jehovah Jireh, which means “The LORD will Provide,” doesn’t appear to provide?  First, we need to understand the context of God’s name, “The LORD Will Provide.Genesis 22:13 is a verse with which you’re likely familiar. God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his son, as a test of his obedience. Abraham walked in faith, conveying to Isaac that God would provide the sacrifice. The Hebrew words, “Jehovah Jireh,” means “the LORD will see to it.” God seeing to that there was a substitute sacrifice for Abraham to use in place of Isaac foreshadowed Jesus “seeing to it” by providing Himself as our sacrifice. Now, what about those things on our wish list? God “sees to it.”  He has gifted us with His own Holy nature to equip us to live beyond our human nature. God “sees to” our problems by instructing us in the Bible how to do life, relationships, money, parenting, envy, anger; and the list goes on. Jesus is God’s provision. The Bible is God’s provision. The Holy Spirit is God’s provision.  He is “seeing to it” above and beyond our eternal needs. He is “seeing to” our daily needs.  Are we walking as Abraham, according to God’s Word, and thereby experiencing His provision?

Heavenly Father, we praise You, Jehovah Jireh. You are the LORD WHO PROVIDES for not only our eternity but our every day. Help us not foolishly ignore Your daily presence, Spirit, and Word, but rather see each as a bountiful gift that You’ve dropped out of heaven into our arms. 

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The Privilege of Being Part of Something Big

07/25/2019

Does the word “work” scare you in relation to serving the Lord? For instance, when a minister announces the need more workers for Vacation Bible School or for volunteers to go on a mission trip, do you sink in your pew and hope your eyes don’t meet his? Do you shrink back from the idea of talking about Christ openly with friends and co-workers? If so, perhaps it’s because we haven’t yet gotten our minds around the incredible privilege and invitation Jesus invites us to. In Matthew 9:37-38 when Jesus said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the LORD OF THE HARVEST to send out workers into His harvest,” He wasn’t calling us to busy work. Rather, Jesus looked at the fields of people who were stressed and discouraged, and He had compassion for them. He invited us to share the good news that His Heavenly Father loves them, that sins can be forgiven, and we can live by Christ’s divine nature rather than by our flawed human nature. We can have the hope of heaven and eternal life. What greater, more meaningful “work” could we be employed doing than joining Jesus’s team?  If you want to be a part of something bigger than the daily grind of this earth; something heavenly and eternal:

  1. Pray and ask God to use you.
  2. Be open and sensitive when the Spirit prompts you to share Christ with others. Here are verses you can use to visit with someone about Jesus.
  3. Share this 365 Days of Praise post each day by forwarding it to friends or family. Or, click the Facebook or Twitter symbols below everyday and share it on your Facebook page with friends. You’ll be sharing the good news with fields of people.
  4. Keep your heart open to ways God might want to use you in your church or community.

LORD OF THE HARVEST, thank You for coming to earth and telling us the way to eternal salvation. Use us to share with others the good news so they can have a relationship with you like we do. 

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Stop Weeping. He’s Got This.

07/24/2019

We live in a time where many are sorrowful and weeping over the loss of family, friends, and the future. We’re looking for the right leader. The perfect one who can claim their rightful position and authority.  In a scene in heaven, John records where our hope is fulfilled.  Revelation 5:5 where Jesus is called LION OF JUDAH. “Stop weeping; behold, the LION that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” Lion of Judah can be traced to Genesis 49:9 when Jacob blessed his son, Judah, and referred to him as “Young Lion.” Christ, who came from this noble tribe of Israel, is not a “Young Lion,” however. He is not one who prowls around like a roaring lion like Satan seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) He is not a fictional Lion King character.  Rather, the Lord Jesus Christ is THE LION of the TRIBE of JUDAH, meaning He is the noblest of all. He is the most powerful One. He overcomes all, even death. He alone is worthy to open God’s book and seals.  That’s our Lion King!

Lord Jesus Christ, LION OF JUDAH, we worship You who is worthy above all others! Thank You that we don’t need to weep over our future but rather, can trust it to You. 

Your Hope is Well Placed if It’s Here

07/23/2019

Could you use a shot of hope that God sees and hears you?  If so, consider James 5:4 where God is referred to as Lord of Sabaoth.  At one time I thought the word Sabaoth had something to do with the Sabbath in this verse. “Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.” However, “SABAOTH” means host or hosts, especially in relation to warfare or service. It’s a reference to Jehovah SABAOTH’S reign over the host of angels, the air, nations, and demons. To think that the LORD OF SABAOTH heard the cries of workers who were unfairly treated by their bosses is amazing. Are you being unjustly treated? Does it seem like no one notices? Rest assured. The Lord of SABAOTH sees. Your hope in Him is well placed.  The One who reigns over the hosts of angels, the air, nations, and demons hears your prayers.

Lord of Sabaoth, we worship You and are humbled that You see us and hear our prayers. We hope in You knowing You will answer in Your perfect timing.