Beyond Ourselves

God of Joy and Love

12/27/2021

It’s a new day, but let me ask you something. Are you short on joy today? It can happen. We race toward special days or live expectantly of something and then it comes and goes. Or, things don’t go as we expected or wanted. What do we do when that happens? We have a choice. We can get down and discouraged. We can dwell on the negative. Or, we can go into God’s presence and talk things over with Him. We can be mindful of Jesus’s love for us and how He longs to fill us and be our companion. I encourage you today to choose to see life today through His eyes and that every day is a gift. Use today to express gratefulness to Him for every single blessing before you: a place to live, family, work, the blessing of a ministry, friends, your health.  Thank God for the freedom to live in a country where you can worship with other believers…if that is the case. I know some of you who receive this worship under oppressive circumstances. Thank God for those partnering with you and the protection God has given you to continue the work you do. In whatever circumstance you find yourself, ask God to fill you with His Spirit and joy. Yield to His divine direction throughout the day. Be a Christian who is known by your love and joy. Meditate on and live by the following:

You (God) will make known to me the path of life;
*In Your presence is fullness of joy*; In Your right hand there are
pleasures forever. Psalm 61:11

By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another. John 13:35

Prayers of My Heart journal can help. I speak from experience. The habit, the discipline of beginning every day focusing my mind on what I’m grateful for that God did the day before is a powerful mind and thought shaper. It begins my day thinking on the positive and God’s powerful sway in my day and life. Writing is a proven brain changer. There is no reason to go into the next year with the same ole negative thought patterns when God tells us what to not do – be anxious and what to do – be thankful and to think on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good report, excellent, and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8

If You Met Jesus in the Next Few Minutes

08/31/2021

Do you “clean up” before something important? Maybe you have a job interview or are going to a wedding or meeting friends for dinner. Most likely you shower and put on clean clothes. You prepare for the person you’re meeting. One of Jesus’s beloved followers tells believers in 1 John 3:3 that we should prepare to meet Jesus. “Everyone who has this hope fixed on Him (Jesus) purifies himself, just as He is PURE.” Purifies himself?  What in the world does that mean? Hasn’t Jesus already made believers pure? Yes, Jesus cleanses us of our sins when we repent and confess Him as Lord.  But John makes an important point. Believers should guard against daily sin in anticipation of meeting Christ.  In other words, if we knew we were going to meet Jesus either by death or in the rapture, what might we do or not do?  The fact is we will soon meet the PURE Jesus Christ.  Click here for “Prayers for All Occasions” including prayers of confession and “Assurance of Salvation” verses.

Lord Jesus, You are the PURE risen Savior. Call to our minds how we might be more pure and therefore purify ourselves

When Your Head is Hangin’ Low, Try This

11/29/2020

Have you ever had your head “hangin” low? Perhaps you were depressed. It seemed everybody or everything was against you. Or, maybe your head was “hangin” low in shame. Or maybe you’re at a crossroads and don’t know what to do.  The acclaimed King David knew what it was like to have his head hanging low. He penned these words,

“You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who LIFTS MY HEAD.” (Psalm 3:3)

His head had been down, but he knew on whom to focus – the Lord. 

If your head is hanging low today, remember this comforting truth – God sees you and cares about you. Whatever you’re facing, He is the  LIFTER of YOUR HEAD, just as He was David’s. How?

Try the following. 1) Turn to Psalm 3:3 and read it. It’s only 8 verses. Read Psalm 1, only 6 verses. 2) Write in your journal a verse that is meaningful to you and a verse that is instructive. Personalize the verses. For instance, I wrote in my journal, Prayers of My Heart, “Psalm 1:1a, 2-3b. How blessed is the woman whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law she meditates day and night.” BLESSED, NOT STRESSED. BLESSED, NOT HEAD HANGIN LOW.

What happens when we follow our Father’s instruction and lift our head and eyes to His glorious Word? We experience hope, peace, grace, and glory found only in Him. If your head is “hangin” low, lift it to God and His Word.

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for giving us Your Word that lifts our head. We love and praise You.