365 Days of Praise - Beyond Ourselves

What Makes My Heart Sing

04/06/2019

Of all the ways that God is described, FORGIVING, is one of God’s character traits that I most appreciate. It’s His character trait that makes my heart sing. Why? Maybe because I’m so mindful of my sins. Maybe because no matter my intent, no matter how hard I try, I fail every day. Maybe because I’m aware of those who aren’t forgiving; who pridefully stand in judgement of the one who sins and points out the error of their ways. I’m blessed to have a husband who reflects Jesus’s heart of  love and forgiveness. But, I know some wives and husbands who don’t forgive. There are some parents and children who don’t forgive. Some friends don’t forgive.  First John 1:9 states it, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to FORGIVE us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That is good news to which we can cling. And, it’s an example He tells us to follow.

Lord Jesus, thank You for FORGIVING us. We pray we not take Your forgiveness lightly, but rather, commit to live more fully for You.

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So What’s Jesus Up to?

04/05/2019

Around Easter, Christians focus on the weeks prior to Jesus’s crucifixion. Resurrection morning, we celebrate that death couldn’t keep Jesus in the grave. But, where is Jesus now and what is He doing?  Hebrews 6:20 tells us where Jesus is. “Jesus has entered as a forerunner (in heaven) for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Jesus is in heaven and He’s praying for us. How do we know He’s in heaven? He told His disciples before His crucifixion that He had come down from heaven to earth and He was returning to heaven. People saw Jesus rise from the earth and ascend through the clouds into heaven. Angels assured those watching Jesus rise in the air that what they thought they saw, they truly saw. Yes, it’s true. An airplane defies gravity and ascends beyond our eyesight into the clouds. An airplane’s power is minuscule compared to Christ’s power. All is well, friends. Christ, our forerunner, has gone ahead of us to heaven. He made it safely there. We will, too, where we’ll be united with loved ones and the Lord forever.

Lord Jesus, forerunner of all who put their trust in You, thank You for safely seeing us through the travail of death and bringing us to heaven’s glory. 

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Is Your View of God Accurate

04/04/2019

Some people have a wrong view of God.  They say accuse Him of not being tolerant. However, our faith is based on the tolerance* or forbearance of God. Romans 3:25b-26 says, “…in the FORBEARANCE of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” It’s not that God is tolerant of sin.  Rather, sin is so “intolerable” to God that He sent Jesus to die for our sins; so we could be made new and empowered to overcome sin. God “passed over” or “paid for” sins that had been committed and would be committed. Our forbearing Lord is just. Our forbearing Lord is the justifier (just as if I’d never sinned) of the one who places their faith in Jesus.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your forbearance,  for bearing with us and justifying us so we can stand before You as if we’d never sinned. Amazing! 

*”Forbearance,” http://www.blueletterbible.org  

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Who is For You in the Game of Life

04/03/2019

“Which team are you for?” “Which candidate are you for?” We often talk about who we’re for. But have you ever thought about who is for you?  It’s a good question. Who is for you? Are you blessed to have a friend or family member who is there for you? But, what if you don’t, and you daily fight the loneliness and sadness of getting through each day on your own? God has an important message for us in Romans 8:31. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is FOR US, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over FOR US ALL…” GOD is FOR YOU. Not only is He not against us, the fact that He’s FOR US is amazing! Say it out loud. “God is for me. He is for me.” God is in the game of our life…saving our souls. Rescuing us. Making a place for us in heaven. Righting our wrongs. Extending grace. Wiping away our tears. Interceding for us. Guarding us. How much is He for us? A tiny bit? A big amount? The Father and Son are so for us they rescued our souls from Satan’s dominion by Jesus switching places with us on the cross. The next time we’re tempted to feel sorry for ourselves or Satan whispers, “you’re doing life all alone,” answer back loud and clear, “Wrong! God is with me and FOR ME.” Then, in genuine gratitude, thank the Heavenly Father and Son.

Heavenly Father, Precious Savior, thank You for being FOR US. We praise You, thank You, and pray our lives reflect our gratitude.

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Light in the Darkness

03/31/2019

LISTEN

Are you going through a dark time physically, emotionally, or spiritually? It can happen to even the most dedicated follower of Christ.  What should we do in the midst of trials, temptations, and despair? Turn to God, whom James 1:17 describes as the FATHER OF LIGHTS. The prince of darkness would love nothing more than for us to stumble and fall in the darkness. But James points to our hope.  “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the FATHER OF LIGHTS, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Regarding this verse, Charles Ryrie notes, “God is the source of all light – physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual – and He does not change.”* Rather than stumbling in the shifting shadows of our culture’s ever-increasing darkness, believers can walk by the FATHER OF LIGHTS’ moral, physical, intellectual, and spiritual illumination.

Father of Lights, illumine our spirit with the Light of Your Spirit so we live as children of Light and spread Your Light to others.  

GIFT IT FORWARD HERE

Dear friends, God connected us through our 365 Days of Praise, Beyond Ourselves podcasts, Bible studies, and conferences. Now, we have 3 new venues for spreading God’s Word and Love: “Something to Think About” Instagram stories, UpLIFT radio, and a Prayer Wall. We’re excited to invite you to join us in what God is doing through your generous donation of any amount.

GIFT IT FORWARD – “SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT”

Instagram stories are reaching people in innovative ways. We’re dedicated to using it as a platform for Christ. “Something to Think About” are 60 second videos that invite people to think about Biblical truth as it relates to their daily life.

GIFT IT FORWARD – UpLIFT  RADIO

People listen to the radio in their cars and homes. Our new 60 second UpLIFT Radio spots being developed are designed to encourage and inspire listeners with Biblical truth and God’s love. With your gift, we’ll be able to expand our reach to new listeners.

GIFT IT FORWARD – PRAYER WALL

If there was ever a time people need prayer, it’s now. But not everyone is plugged into a prayer group or has someone they can call for prayer. Our new Prayer Wall that we want to add to our website will allow people to post a prayer and know that someone is praying for them.

Thank YOU for Helping us reach others

*Charles Ryrie, the Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition, New American Standard Bible 1995 Update, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, page 1969.

Where Can I Go from God

03/25/2019

I was in high school when Psalm 139:7-10 first caught my attention. The words were so beautiful that I picked up my guitar and wrote music to accompany them.  “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.” What comfort it is to know that wherever we go, God’s Spirit will be there and His hand will lead us. Which of the verses are your favorite? Which provide you the most comfort? What does it mean to you that God is everywhere and His hand will lead you?

Lord God, we praise You that You are EVERYWHERE, and there is no place we can be apart from Your presence. Thank You. 

GIFT IT FORWARD HERE

Friends, God connected us through our 365 Days of Praise, Beyond Ourselves podcasts, Bible studies, and conferences. Now, we have 3 new venues for spreading God’s Word and Love: “Something to Think About” Instagram stories, UpLIFT radio, and a Prayer Wall. We’re excited to invite you to join us in what God is doing through your generous donation of any amount.

GIFT IT FORWARD – “SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT”

Instagram stories are reaching people in innovative ways. We’re dedicated to using it as a platform for Christ. “Something to Think About” are 60 second videos that invite people to think about Biblical truth as it relates to their daily life.

GIFT IT FORWARD – UpLIFT  RADIO

People listen to the radio in their cars and homes. Our new 60 second UpLIFT Radio spots being developed are designed to encourage and inspire listeners with Biblical truth and God’s love. With your gift, we’ll be able to expand our reach to new listeners.

GIFT IT FORWARD – PRAYER WALL

If there was ever a time people need prayer, it’s now. But not everyone is plugged into a prayer group or has someone they can call for prayer. Our new Prayer Wall that we want to add to our website will allow people to post a prayer and know that someone is praying for them.

Thank YOU for Helping us REACH Others

GIFT IT FORWARD

Are You Worried About the END

03/24/2019

Do you ever worry about the end?  True, our day comes to an end. Our weekend comes to an end. Vacations end. Time with loved ones ends. But, we need not worry because there’s one thing that never ends: God. Psalm 90:2 states, “Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” God has no end. He is EVERLASTING.  He will exist no matter what happens to the earth and world. If you’re feeling a sense of loss or loneliness; or if it feels like everything in our world is changing too quickly, you have a reason  to praise. God is EVERLASTING.  He will never end. His presence will be with you.

Lord, You are the EVERLASTING GOD! We rejoice and rest in You. 

 GIFT IT FORWARD HERE

Dear friends, God connected us through our 365 Days of Praise, Beyond Ourselves podcasts, Bible studies, and conferences. Now, we have 3 new venues for spreading God’s Word and Love: “Something to Think About” Instagram stories, UpLIFT radio, and a Prayer Wall. We’re excited to invite you to join us in what God is doing through your generous donation of any amount.

GIFT IT FORWARD – “SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT”

Instagram stories are reaching people in innovative ways. We’re dedicated to using it as a platform for Christ. “Something to Think About” are 60 second videos that invite people to think about Biblical truth as it relates to their daily life.

GIFT IT FORWARD – UpLIFT  RADIO

People listen to the radio in their cars and homes. Our new 60 second UpLIFT Radio spots being developed are designed to encourage and inspire listeners with Biblical truth and God’s love. With your gift, we’ll be able to expand our reach to new listeners.

GIFT IT FORWARD – PRAYER WALL

If there was ever a time people need prayer, it’s now. But not everyone is plugged into a prayer group or has someone they can call for prayer. Our new Prayer Wall that we want to add to our website will allow people to post a prayer and know that someone is praying for them.

Thank YOU for Helping us REACH Others

I Can’t or I Can

03/23/2019

“I can’t do it!” Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you feel that way about your job or ministry. Maybe you know what you need to do as a parent, but don’t have the energy and stamina, so you say, “I can’t.” Perhaps you feel you  “can’t” be the Christian that God desires you to be. If you feel that way, you’re not alone. I wish I had a penny for every time I’ve felt inadequate for a task. But, the wonderful thing is, Hebrews 13:20-21 assures us that God is able.  “Now the God of peace, … equip you in every good thing to do His will…”  We can say along with Paul, “not that I am adequate in myself, but my adequacy comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5

Heavenly Father, thank You for equipping us do every good thing to which You call us through Christ in us. We love and praise You. 

Where is God?

03/22/2019

LISTEN

Where is God?  People often ask that question. Where is He? Psalm 113:5 tells us, “He is enthroned on high.” Yet, He humbled Himself to come to earth. Where is Christ? He’s walking a dusty road and teaching us how to live. Where is God? He’s on the cross dying for our sins. Where is the LORD?  He is risen from the dead and ascended to the right hand of God. Looking for God? Look UP.    

Lord, You are ENTHRONED ON HIGH! We praise You!

When Whims Aren’t Good

03/21/2019

LISTEN

Can you imagine if God ruled by whim, by ever-changing emotions and laws? What if on a whim, He decided to not be forgiving? Or, to forgive one person, but not another? What if God’s standard of holiness changed year by year? But, thank goodness, that is not who our God is.  Psalm 99:4 says He loves justice. He has ESTABLISHED EQUITY.  That is why the psalmist says, “Let them praise Your great and awesome name; Holy is He.” (Psalm 99:3) Yes, that is why we praise our great and awesome God. He is not a God of whim, but rather, a God of equity.

Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t rule by whim, but rather with equity. We love and praise You!  

 GIFT IT FORWARD HERE

Dear friends, God connected us through our 365 Days of Praise, Beyond Ourselves podcasts, Bible studies, and conferences. Now, we have 3 new venues for spreading God’s Word and Love: “Something to Think About” Instagram stories, UpLIFT radio, and a Prayer Wall. We’re excited to invite you to join us in what God is doing through your generous donation of any amount.

GIFT IT FORWARD – “SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT”

Instagram stories are reaching people in innovative ways. We’re dedicated to using it as a platform for Christ. “Something to Think About” are 60 second videos that invite people to think about Biblical truth as it relates to their daily life.

GIFT IT FORWARD – UpLIFT  RADIO

People listen to the radio in their cars and homes. Our new 60 second UpLIFT Radio spots being developed are designed to encourage and inspire listeners with Biblical truth and God’s love. With your gift, we’ll be able to expand our reach to new listeners.

GIFT IT FORWARD – PRAYER WALL

If there was ever a time people need prayer, it’s now. But not everyone is plugged into a prayer group or has someone they can call for prayer. Our new Prayer Wall that we want to add to our website will allow people to post a prayer and know that someone is praying for them.

Please Give Now to Help Us REACH others. Thank You.