365 Days of Praise

If You Want to Be Immortal

05/18/2021

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. However, we will physically die. Jesus alone possesses immortality.  The good news is… the IMMORTAL ONE offers immortality to us. Yes, it’s possible for us to live forever in heaven. 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)  

Who do you know who needs a drink from the Fountain of Life? Will you offer them Christ, the living water?

IMMORTAL LORD, we praise you and thank You for inviting us to immortality in heaven!  Stir our hearts and open our eyes to those with whom we can share You.

With Us

05/16/2021

Can you imagine someone telling you what to name your unborn child? How about being told that your fiancé was going to have a son who would be born BEFORE the two of you came together sexually? While your head is spinning, add another piece of information: your fiancé is going to be pregnant not by a man, but by the Holy Spirit. At this point, it’s too much to absorb, but before you can ask a question, you’re told, “you will name Him Jesus.”  Before you can protest that you had planned to name your firstborn son after you, you’re told “Jesus” was selected because he would “save His people.” Your heart is racing. “Save our people?” That thought is a good one! But before you can finish the thought, the messenger continues, “…from their sins.” You want to blurt out, “What? Save people from their sins? But only God can do that.” And, that is exactly what Jesus did. “‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.'” Matthew 1:23

Lord Jesus, IMMANUEL, we praise You! You’re not a God who is far removed. Nor are You one who has left us to die in the guilt of our sins. Rather, You’ve come from heaven to earth, IMMANUEL…GOD WITH US. Thank You, Lord Jesus.

God with Skin

05/15/2021

“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.”* In other words, God with skin, hair, nails, eyes, teeth…a beating heart, a warm touch, wisdom beyond our imagination. When we look at Jesus, we’re looking at God. When we listen to Jesus, we’re listening to God. If it has been a while since you read Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, go back and read it very slowly and carefully. Listen as if you were sitting in Jesus’s presence.  Listen for why Jesus might be speaking those words to you. Then think carefully about if you are heeding them. In other words, taken them into your heart. Have you made His words your way of thinking. This might be a good place for us to start if we want to be kingdom children.

Okay, so I’m not going to suggest that you do something that I’m not doing so I just re-read The Sermon on the Mount, and yes, Jesus convicted me of a sin and reminded me of many truths. It was big. It was huge. I knew there was someone in the back of my mind I needed to forgive and didn’t think I was holding onto any resentment, but I was. I forgave. Jesus took my resentment. It’s lifted. Okay, friends. It’s your turn. I’m pausing typing to pray for you that you will read and take to heart the words of Jesus – God with skin. The Sermon on the Mount

LORD Jesus Christ, IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD, as we gaze on You in the Bible and as we listen to Your words and teachings, quicken our minds to take in your words not just give them a nod of approval. Lord, magnify your words in our brains. Create new pathways of kingdom thinking so we live and walk as kingdom children in our world. We love You. 

Dark Spots, Tunnels, and Light Switches

05/13/2021

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, remember this important fact: God is a lamp who illumines darkness. Yes. God is light.  You know that. I know that. But we sometimes forget. So today, right now resolve to carry the Light of Christ with you into every thought and situation. How? Well, my friend, you’ve already begun. You’ve opened your heart to the psalmist’s words in 2 Samuel 22:29, “You ILLUMINE MY DARKNESS.” So say the words loud and strong to Jesus.  Yes, right now. Say them with me, “Jesus, You illumine my darkness.” Now think on ways He does illumine your darkness. Grab a pen and write whatever comes to your mind. I’ll start us out, then you add to it.

Jesus, You illumine my darkness with the truth. When I read the Bible, you encourage my heart.

(Your turn.) ______________________________________________________________________

Dark spots and times in our lives aren’t the end of the tunnel. Rather, dark spots and times are signals to turn on the light just like when we walk in a dark room. We don’t bemoan the dark room. We don’t stand in one place in the dark room and say, “I can’t see how to move forward.” Instead, we put our hand on the light switch. So we put our hand on the Bible. We turn on the light switch.  We turn the pages of the Bible. Dark spots=invitations to invite Jesus in.

Jesus, You illumine the darkness. You illumine my darkness. Darkness cannot exist when You are present. So fill us. Prompt us to quickly turn to You and Your Word any time darkness begins to move into our heart or mind . We love You, sweet Savior. 

Something to Smile About

05/12/2021
“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, a question like that can be disheartening. 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 CEO of the universe.”  Why might you legitimately say that?  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.” Yep. God describes Himself as HUSBAND to believers. Whoo Hoo! And He’s 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 abundant love and commitment to us. You give us a reason to smile. 

An Offer to Come Closer Than 6 Feet

05/11/2021

How’s your heart? Oh, I’m not talking about the physical condition of your heart, although that is important. Rather, I’m referring to your spiritual heart. Why? Because Jesus made us a great offer in Matthew 11:29. He tells us to mosey up close to Him – sincerely close.   Close enough to be yoked together. In other words, closer than 6 feet. Close enough to smell the sweat on each other. Close enough to talk in a normal tone of voice.  Close enough to be in step with each other.  “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” What benefit would there be for us if we walked in step with Jesus? a) We’d learn a lot from Him. b) We’d move in the right direction and with a gentle, humble heart.  I wonder if we should give it a try. I know I’d like to be a lot more like Jesus. Would you? Would others like for us to be more like Jesus and have His humble heart? I think so!

Sweet, humble Jesus, I love You. Thank You for modeling Your humility when You died on the cross for my sins. Thank You for inviting me to come closer than 6 feet, to come right up to you and to learn from You. I’m in!

Are You Clinging?

05/10/2021

Do you ever feel shaky, like you might fall? Do you ever feel like you’re not sure how you can make it through the next day, week, or year? If so, consider memorizing Psalm 18:2 where our Lord is described in this unique way.

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the HORN OF MY SALVATION, my stronghold.”

Perhaps you’re familiar with the Lord being described as our rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, and stronghold. But what does it mean that the Lord is our “HORN OF SALVATION?”  Scholar Herbert Lockyer explains:

“the figure of the Horn is taken from those animals whose strength is in their horns. Because the horn was once the instrument of the oxen’s strength, it became the symbol of power. And our God and Savior came as a horn or mighty instrument of salvation.

In addition, when horns were fixed to an altar they became projections to which sacrifices were bound and to which those who needed protection could cling.”

Yes, as you think about all the ways the Bible describes God, remember to add Jesus as your HORN OF SALVATION. Cling to Him.

HORN OF SALVATION, we praise You, our strength, and salvation. Thank You that we can cling to You. 

Indescribable

05/09/2021

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 we could be heirs of heaven!!! However, there is so much more to the INDESCRIBABLE GIFT. There’s the grace, righteousness, and fruits of the Holy Spirit we receive in salvation! Who is the recipient of God’s INDESCRIBABLE GIFT? Everyone who repents and confesses Jesus as Lord. YOU!

And, along with God’s indescribable gift of Himself and all that entails, we have the gift of our mothers. So to all the mothers out there, a great big Happy Mother’s Day from my heart to yours!

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

Better than Bootstraps

05/08/2021

Do you feel hopeless? Perhaps the last bit of hope to which you’ve clung just went out the window. Your future may appear bleak. Dark clouds may seem to hover over you no matter where you go or how hard you try. But the good news is, if you’re a Christian, you have every reason to ditch any thought of hopelessness.  You have the GOD OF HOPE! Whoo Hoo!  He is not only with you. He’s IN you. Romans 15:13 “Now may the GOD OF HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

It’s not a question of if you have hope. You do. The question is, are you allowing the GOD OF HOPE to fill you with His joy and peace?

News Flash: You can experience hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a matter of not trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps to believing God is on the throne, He sees you, and loves you. He has your best interest at heart. In faith, pray, “GOD OF HOPE, fill me with joy and peace through the Holy Spirit.”

GOD OF HOPE, thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit so we can abound in hope by His power. We love and adore You!  

Overwhelm Us

05/07/2021

Have you ever been overwhelmed with new information yet tried to process it all as best as you could? No doubt, that’s how Christ’s friends felt. They had heard Jesus’s sermon on the mount. That was pretty upside down. Meek inherit the earth. Blessed are the peacemakers. Not warriors???  Deny yourself? Take up your cross?  Certainly they must have had private chats among themselves after Jesus downloaded kingdom principles for their “best life.” However, one of the more overwhelming teaching to process must have been about the Holy Spirit. That He, the Holy Spirit, would come to them and help them. Imagine their questions!  Their frame of reference for the HOLY SPIRIT was God anointing a select few Old Testament people to accomplish divine work on earth. Names like Elijah and Elisha most certainly came to their minds. But them? Common fishermen? Tax collectors? Dazed and confused might have described the disciples as they listened to Jesus tell them God the Father would send the Holy Spirit to them. That the HOLY SPIRIT would teach them all things and bring to their remembrance all Jesus said to them.  That the HOLY SPIRIT would empower them to live in a way that bore witness to Christ. (Acts 1:8)  HOLY. SPIRIT. Isn’t that what God knows we need? A Holy Spirit? So God did just that –  sent His Holy Spirit – the Who, not “it” to live in us. Are we treating His heavenly presence in us as a welcomed, Holy guest? Are we giving Him reign over our lives? Are we yielding to His prompts? Are we asking Him to overwhelm us so we glorify our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ?

“But the Helper, the HOLY SPIRIT, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26

Heavenly Father,  thank You for the incredible blessing of the Holy Spirit. We ask for the Holy Spirit to fill us, to overwhelm us so Christ is preeminent in our lives.