365 Days of Praise

The Only One

05/23/2020

Have you ever felt desperate and cried out to God for help to fulfill what He’s asked of you? Such was the case for Abraham. God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. It seems crazy and incomprehensible to us, but God never intended for Abraham to kill his son. Abraham knew that. He told his servants, “We will return,” not “I will return.”  But Abraham also knew that God told him to sacrifice Isaac, so he took the steps not knowing what would happen. One step of faith at a time. In the final moment, as he raised the killing knife, God stopped him. He then provided a ram for Abraham to substitute in the place of his son. Genesis 22:14 records, “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” This dramatic moment was a foreshadow, a “seeing” of the day God would provide Jesus as our sacrifice. He would be laid on the wood, stretched out, and killed. In the demand of a human father being asked to sacrifice his son, we glimpse the pain and incomprehensible suffering of God sacrificing Jesus for us. God provided for Abraham and God has provided for us. How are we living in response to the great sacrifice our Heavenly Father made? Who might we share His love with who is killing themselves on the altar of self goodness all to no avail because Jesus is the only perfect and acceptable One?

JEHOVAH-JIREH, You saw our need and provided Yourself as the fulfillment for it. We’re overwhelmed with gratitude. Point us to someone with whom we can share the good news of salvation through Christ. 

Indescribable

05/21/2020

Have you ever been called a “gift” because of who you are and what you give to others? Second Corinthians 9:15   describes Jesus in this way. “Thanks be to God for His INDESCRIBABLE GIFT.” What is the indescribable gift? Jesus Christ laying down His life so that we would receive the free gift of eternal life. The INDESCRIBABLE GIFT of grace, righteousness, and so much more that we receive in salvation! Who is the recipient of God’s INDESCRIBABLE GIFT? Every one who repents and confesses Jesus as Lord. YOU!

Thank You, Heavenly Father and Jesus, God’s INDESCRIBABLE GIFT! 

If You Want to Be Immortal

05/20/2020

People long to be IMMORTAL. “If I can drink from the Fountain of Youth….” “If I can exercise and eat right….” It’s in the human heart to want to live, not die. Yet, we are mortal and will physically die. Jesus alone possesses immortality and He dwells in unapproachable light, as 1 Timothy 6:16 states.  The good news is… the IMMORTAL ONE extends immortality to us. Yes, it’s possible for us to live forever in heavenly light. But we have to drink from Christ, the Fountain of Life. (John 7:37)  We have to enter heaven through Jesus, “who alone possesses IMMORTALITY and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”(1 Timothy 6:16)

IMMORTAL LORD, we praise you and thank You for making us immortal through You.

God’s Name

05/19/2020

A person’s name represents the person. If you say “Billy Graham,” not only is a visual of the man formed in your mind but also what Billy Graham represents. If you say the name, “Hitler,” another visual pops into our mind, along with his character.  When Moses asked God what His name is, God replied in Exodus 3:14-15b “‘I AM WHO I AM;’ and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ … This is My name forever, and this is MY memorial-name to all generations.'” His name, “I AM” means “I am the One who is.” His name, “I AM,” emphasizes “God’s dynamic and active self-existence.”*  He is not only the God who was. He is not only the God who will be in our future. He is the God who IS presently active, dynamic, and self-existent today.  How aware are you of His active, dynamic presence in our life?

Lord, we praise you, the great I AM!

*Charles Ryrie, Expanded Ryrie Study Bible Expanded Edition, New American Standard Bible, pg 94.

God Isn’t a Cavity

05/18/2020
Have you ever had a cavity, a tooth that decayed? If so, you know it isn’t a good thing. Can you imagine what a bad thing it would have been if after Jesus was buried in the tomb, His body decayed? It’s what the Jewish leaders hoped would happen. It’s what the Roman government hoped would happen. It’s what many in our day hope happened. Why? Because they don’t want God in their lives. They want to do their own thing without consequences for violating God’s eternal laws. Romans 1:18-25  points out the seriousness of this mentality, of those who ignore the glory of the incorruptible Christ who will never undergo decay. “21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image…24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie…” Some people ignore their teeth. Some people ignore God. Nature dictates the consequences for both.
Lord, You are incorruptible. May we who are saved represent You to others so they turn to You and are saved.

Dark Spots and Tunnels

05/16/2020

Are you in a dark spot? Maybe not literally, but it feels like it. You’re down. You don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps it’s the sin that surrounds you that oppresses your spirit. Maybe you’ve lost your vision for future projects or the vision for the family for which you long. Perhaps the thought of growing older and entering the sunset years seems bleak. Whatever you’re going through, there’s good news. God is an eternal lamp that illumines darkness. Wherever you go, whatever your future, He will be there. Day by day, moment by moment, look to the Light of His presence in the midst of your darkness.  Say with the psalmist, “You ILLUMINE MY DARKNESS.2 Samuel 22:29

Jesus, thank You that even in the worst of times, You are present. You ILLUMINE MY DARKNESS.

When the Nations Are Rocking Over Control

05/15/2020

Power. Control. Who has it? Who wants it? To what extent will people go to gain control? Daily, we see people driven to have control over others whether at the local, national, or world level. I wonder how we would live if we kept Hebrews 1:2  in our thoughts, that Jesus is the HEIR OF ALL THINGS.  At the time those words were written to the Hebrew people, it appeared the government had control over everything. However, God wanted the Hebrews to know that Jesus is the possessor of everything. He created the world and it is ultimately His. It was important for the first century Christians to be assured of this fact. It’s important for us to be assured of it. How does it make you feel when you reflect on this great reality and truth?

LORD, we praise You for appointing Jesus as the HEIR OF ALL THINGS. Thank You for the assurance this brings us.

God with Skin

05/14/2020

“I wish I could see God.” Have you ever said those words or wished you could ask God for His opinion on a particular subject? If so, look to Jesus. Study His walk on earth. Pay attention to His teachings. Why? Because Colossians 1:15 says Jesus is the image of the invisible God which means “an exact replica, representation, or ‘picture’ of an original.”* When we look at Jesus, we’re looking at God. When we listen to Jesus, we’re listening to God. Jesus – the IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD. Jesus – God with skin.

LORD Jesus Christ, we love and praise You, the IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD.

Something to Smile About

05/13/2020
“What does your husband do?” Many women are asked that question when first getting to know someone. For a single woman who longs to be married, such a question can be exasperating. For a woman whose husband works in a position she doesn’t respect, the question can make her uncomfortable. But what if someone asked about your husband and you replied, “He’s God of all the earth, the Lord of HOSTS.” Why could we legitimately reply that way?  Isaiah 54:5 says, “For your HUSBAND is your Maker, whose name is the Lord of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, who is called the God of all the earth.” God describes Himself as our HUSBAND who is committed to us for eternity. That’s something to smile about.   

Lord, HUSBAND, Maker, Lord of hosts, Redeemer, Holy One of Israel, God of all the earth, we love You and thank You for Your tender care and commitment to us. 

Help is On the Way

05/12/2020

“Help is on the way.” It’s all I could think to say as I grabbed my purse and headed to my car. She needed to hear those words. She needed to know that help was on the way…the kind of tangible help we need when we’re at our wit’s end when we don’t know how much more we can take. And so, God wants us to know, “He is our HELP.” We may not see Him, but we have the full assurance that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present HELP in trouble,” Psalm 46:1. Are you in trouble and need HELP? Are you in despair and need HELP? Are you disturbed about something and need HELP? Unlike the friend who had to wait for me, the Lord is our present HELP.  We need only call on Him as Psalm 43:5 reminds us. “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the HELP of my countenance and my God,”

Heavenly Father, we praise You, our HELP and the HELP of our countenance.