365 Days of Praise - Beyond Ourselves

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“May I talk to the manager, please?” The person with whom I was talking was friendly but didn’t have the authority for what I needed. At times, we may feel that we need advice or direction and family and friends are willing to help, but we need direction from someone higher up. In those times, Jesus is the right person to ask.  Ephesians 1:20-21  says Christ is “seated at His (God’s) right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.’” If we have a situation that calls for the highest input, there is no one higher than Jesus. He is ABOVE all. And, this is the good news. He is our friend, brother, and bridegroom. He offers, “Tell me your needs. Let Me help you.” What a wonderful Savior!

Lord Jesus, You are ABOVE ALL powers and principalities and names; above all that constrains and binds us, above all our worries. We praise You!


Do You Worry About Dying


I thought I had killed a bee, but I only stunned it. Before I could blink, the bee was moving. There’s a difference between stunning something and abolishing it.  When you think about death, does it worry you? Here’s the deal, and it’s great news! Second Timothy 1:10 assures us that we don’t have to worry about death. Why? The verse explains that when Christ died on the cross, He didn’t stun death, but that death continue to be a reality for us. Rather, it says,  “ …our Savior Christ Jesus, abolished death and brought life and immortality to light…” In other words, when our body ceases to live, our spirit continues to live. Those who have placed their faith in Christ and whose human spirit is wed to Christ’s Holy Spirit will live eternally in His glorious light. That’s something to celebrate, not fear.  

Lord Jesus Savior, we praise You for abolishing death! Thank You for eternal life in You. 


I Can’t Do It!


I can’t do it! I can’t live the Christian life God calls me to live. Our Heavenly Father understands that. He knew that Abraham couldn’t fulfill His vision for his life, and He knows we’re not able. So what is our part in living for God? Faith. Faith that God is able. Romans 4:19-21 explains the importance of our faith in God.  “Without becoming weak in faith he (Abraham) contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” That’s it! Abraham nailed it. God called him to have a son when he was not physically able, but he trusted God to do it. That is how we are to live. Note that the verse says Abraham grew strong in faith. We may feel that our faith is weak, but it can grow stronger.

Heavenly Father, we PRAISE YOU, that You are ABLE to perform what You have promised in Your Word. 

This is Reassuring


In your lifetime, how many people have you seen take positions of leadership and then be unseated? It happens. People and countries are left shaken … swinging between being hopeful of a new administration or fearful of the one that’s taken office. But our Lord wants us to know that He’s on the throne and He’s not going anywhere. First, there’s no person or spirit or power that can touch Him. Second, if they could, they couldn’t over-power our Lord. If we want someone in our lives on whom we can depend, then we need look no further than the Lord who abides forever. Psalm 9:7  assures us, “…the Lord abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment.’”

Heavenly Father, we praise You that You have established Your throne and no power, person, or principality can unseat You. We love and praise You.


You Can’t Kill Him Dead Forever


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Can you imagine the conversations that took place after God raised Jesus from the dead? Some didn’t believe it at first. Others couldn’t help but acknowledge His resurrection when they saw Jesus, touched Him, and observed Him eating fish. He wasn’t a ghost. He wasn’t a figment of their imagination. Five hundred people witnessed seeing the resurrected PRINCE OF LIFE. In other words, they couldn’t “kill Him dead” forever. Jesus walked right back into life. Why? How? Because Jesus is the PRINCE of LIFE.  What’s more – He is your PRINCE OF LIFE. He won’t let you stay dead. He’s waiting on the other side when you walk the corridor of death. You need not fear.

Lord Jesus, we praise You, the PRINCE of LIFE

“…you put to death the PRINCE OF LIFE, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.” Acts 3:15


Who’s Your Daddy


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Have you ever seen the startled look in a child’s eyes when they were afraid of something? On the other hand, have you seen a child recognize their father in a crowded room and run to their father gleefully? Have you seen a child cry and call on their daddy and say “Daddy, Daddy,” or maybe “dada”?  It’s hard to believe but Romans 8:15 says believers have “received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘ABBA FATHER;” which means Daddy! Daddy! What does it mean that God is our Abba Father? It means closeness. A personal relationship.  He cares about us. That we can call on Him. You may not have had a great earthly daddy, but you have a great heavenly daddy and that’s a reason to be joyful.

LORD, You are ABBA FATHER! We praise and thank You for adopting us as Your child. Help us trust and obey You. 

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Does God See? Does God Care?


When you sin, are you mindful that God sees you? Most of us probably don’t think about it. But the Bible clearly says that He does see and hear us. When we sin, it affects our fellowship with God. In Joel 2:12, God calls His people to return to Him “with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning.”  What is God’s response when we repent? Joel 2:18 says, “Then the Lord will be zealous for His land and will have pity on His people.” God is ZEALOUS for us. Why? He wants us to take hold of the joy, beauty, and glory of abundant life He gives us in Christ Jesus. What better time in our nation could there be than now for us to be zealous for Christ and live purposefully for Him? Return His zeal by choosing to pray more purposefully and live more passionately for Christ in 2020. Register now for “Starting Strong with 2020 Vision.” January 8, 11-12, TBC Kerrville, TX.

Lord, thank You for being ZEALOUS for us. Forgive us when we sin. Kindle in us a zeal for You and the abundant life we experience when we follow Your teachings. 


Making Tracks, But Are They the Right Ones


Have you ever wished you had a mentor; someone to follow; to teach you how to do your job better, to be a better spouse, or how to better live in a way that pleases our Heavenly Father? Many lack a good “example” as evidenced by the normalization of arguing, lying, materialism, and trusting in “self” rather than God. Yet our Heavenly Father gives us a good example – His Son. Jesus shows us how to stand against temptation, how to live for God’s will, how to treat others, and even how to suffer when choosing to follow God’s Word rather than the world. Ultimately, Jesus is an eXample of how to entrust ourselves to our Heavenly Father’s care. First Peter 2:21 reminds us of the importance of following Jesus’s example. “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,” In a world filled with bad examples, our Father calls us to follow Jesus.

We praise You, Lord Jesus, our EXAMPLE! 


A Time. A Place. A Person.


Does it seem surreal to think about being in heaven and seeing Jesus?  For most of us, it probably does. The fact is, Jesus is a real person and at a real time in a real place we will see Him. In Isaiah 6:1-5, Isaiah describes his experience of seeing Jesus in 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.”

“I saw the Lord.” Let those words sink in.

There was a time – the year of King Uzziah’s death.

There was a place – sitting on a throne in a temple.

There was a description – lofty…exalted…the train of His robe FILLING the temple. How does that even happen?

There were others – Seraphim stood above Him. There was talking. The seraphim called out to one another, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

There was more talking – “And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.”

Isaiah’s response was, “‘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.’”

What will our response be in that time and place when we see the EXALTED LORD JESUS?

EXALTED Lord, we can’t imagine what it will be like when we see YOU. Our hearts tremble at the thought of Your majesty and glory. May our awe and reverence for You be lived out in our daily decisions and behavior… in anticipation of the day, time, and place we meet You. 


Is Lip Service a Big Deal to God


A person who is not a Christian once challenged me and asked why believers talk about God’s love but never His wrath. I thought about his question and realized that I’m guilty of that very thing. Think about all the wonderful ways we look at God’s love, gentleness, and favor. Today, however, the context in which God’s actions are described as WONDROUSLY MARVELOUS is a reference to His judgment on people who claim His name, but simply give lip service to Him. God uses the prophet Isaiah to call them out in  Isaiah 29:13-14. “Then the Lord said, ‘Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, therefore, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, WONDROUSLY MARVELOUS.'”  He goes on to warn them of the consequences of their lip service and rote worship. We might want to relegate our Creator’s wrath to the Old Testament, but Revelation 16 speaks of God’s judgment being poured out in a future day. We may wonder, “Is mankind’s behavior and sincerity of worship a big deal to God?” The answer is, yes.

Lord, You alone are worthy of our praise. You extend mercy to those who call on Your name, but are WONDROUSLY MARVELOUS in Your discipline toward those who give You lip service and rote worship. Forgive us and prompt us daily to live by Your Spirit.

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