Beyond Ourselves Podcast

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.  

Hold the God of Eternity

05/09/2020

“I wonder what God is like.” Have you ever had that thought? If so, you have your answer in Jesus. Look at the Son and you’ll know what the Father is like. Read Jesus’s words and you’ll hear God’s voice. Study Christ’s teachings and you’ll know what God wants of and for you.  Jesus is the “spitting image” of His Daddy” as Hebrews 1:3 explains. “He (Jesus) is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature,” Grasp onto Christ and you’ll be holding onto the God of eternity.”

Christ Jesus, we look at You and see and hear our Heavenly Father… His love, grace, wisdom, and glory. We praise You, Lord.

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People listen to the radio in their cars and homes. Our 60-second UpLIFT Radio devotionals encourage and inspire listeners with Biblical truth and God’s love.

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Unwrap It!

04/27/2020

Gifts!  Who doesn’t like to receive a gift?  Presents wrapped with brightly colored paper and bows. A gift tag with OUR name on it. And most importantly, someone holding the gift and offering, “Take it! I bought it for you!”  Beaming, our Lord God waits for us to take the gift described in Romans 6:23. That in spite of our sin, He offers the “free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our Heavenly Father gives us a gift that cost His Son’s life. Forgiveness is the first thing we see in the gift. Then the gifts of His Holy Spirit, heaven, friendship, eternity, and so much more!  With each day, we realize there’s more of God’s love to unwrap. The Gift Giver smiles as our eyes light up in joyful praise.

Lord God, thank You for GIVING us the GIFT of eternal life in Christ Jesus and for all that is encompassed in the gift of His life! We praise You.

Where Is Jesus Now?

04/06/2020

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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Could You Use Some Gentleness to Pass to Others?

04/05/2020

When you think of Jesus, do you think of Him as gentle? In Matthew 11:29, it’s one of the ways He describes Himself. “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 does Christ mean when He says He is gentle or meek? It is often defined as “power under control.” Although I don’t fully understand this great combination of attributes, I see them in my husband. Keith has great strength of character, yet he stoops down to pick a tiny flower amidst a field of grass in order to gently hand it to me on our walks. Christ, while holding infinite power, offers us His gentle heart where we find rest for our souls. He invites us to walk closely with Him and learn from Him. Who in your family or home need Christ’s gentleness expressed to them through you?

Lord Jesus, You are both strong yet GENTLE.  In these days of stress, help us pray and yield to Your gentle Spirit so that we bless others as You bless us. 

Comfort in Dire Moments

04/03/2020

Recently, someone messaged me the following regarding Covid-19:

Make no mistake. When loved ones are removed from your home by ambulance because the virus has hit them hard, you are not going to be able to follow them there, sit by their hospital bed and hold their hand. You are not going to be able to pop in at 7.00 pm for visiting hours. They are going to have no one other than exhausted and brave hospital staff to see them through days or weeks of barely breathing through a ventilator until they either die or recover. They are not going to be well enough to text you. You are not going to be able to phone the ward to check in on them regularly (staff will be too busy for that). During that time, they will be completely alone, while you sit at home waiting to hear whether they have made it . Imagine that person is someone you love dearly. Because it’s going to be a reality for many in the coming weeks. And if that person in the hospital happens to be you, going through that ordeal completely alone, it would be nothing less than terrifying. Please stay home and only go out if absolutely necessary. Social distancing is imperative right now for your family and mine.”

Grim? Absolutely. The worst to think about. However, we who have placed our faith in Jesus have this blessed assurance. In  Isaiah 9:6, we’re told in relation to Jesus that among His many names, “ETERNAL FATHER, Prince of Peace” are listed. Charles Ryrie explains that Eternal Father literally means, “Father of Eternity; that Messiah is eternally a Father to His people, guarding, supplying, and caring for their needs.” There could be no more comforting thought in response to the above message. We have a Father of Eternity who is present with us and our loved ones in our alone moments. He is present – guarding, supplying, and caring for them and us. This is a blessed assurance. Who do we need to share the good news of Jesus with today?

ETERNAL FATHER, our hearts are overwhelmed with Your provision for us in Christ Jesus. Move every one of us who calls Jesus our Savior to boldly speak the truth and hope that we have with everyone in our sphere of influence.

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Is Your View of God Accurate

03/30/2020

Friends, I have no idea why my daily posts aren’t going out to you. I’ve been scheduling them. Thanks for you patience when there are glitches. Thank you for your prayers that God use HCM and stir my heart to ways we can reach out to people with the good news of salvation during this time when so many are dying. The time is urgent for us to care for people’s souls while doctors are caring for their bodies.

Some people have a wrong view of God.  They may 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. 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. There is no better time than now for us to share this message with others. People are dying. Many may never have heard the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Last week I sent you ““Covid-19 – Test for Another Invisible Enemy.”  If you missed it, please read and share with others. If you prefer to watch, you can do that here: video. And, please pray that God will stir the hearts of believers to share the good news with others, and that the unsaved will hear, be convicted, repent, and be saved.

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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A Sippy Cup Won’t Do

03/29/2020

When we come to God for a new life in Christ, we don’t come to a sippy cup of refreshing life. We come to an overflowing fountain of life. “Come to Me and drink!” Jesus invites us. (John 7:37) And don’t stop drinking. God’s fountain flows in the “innermost being” of the one who believes in Jesus.  From where does the living water originate? Psalm 36:9 tells us. “For with You is the FOUNTAIN of LIFE…” God is a FOUNTAIN of LIFE. During these Covid-19 shut in days, why not use the time to dive into a Bible study? You’ll find it quenches a thirst and refreshes your innermost being. It will feed you so you’re strengthened to endure each day. There’s no better time than now to read/study for the first time or re-read “The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World” or “If God is In Control, Why Am I a Basket Case?”  Or, if you prefer to listen, you’ll find “The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World FREE audio so you can listen as you go about your day. Or, pick the thirst quenching study of your choice. (Hint: How to Live by the Divine Nature is one of my favs.)

Lord, You are the FOUNTAIN of LIFE! Thank You for Your Word, Spirit, and presence that fill us and flow in and through us when we drink richly of You. 

Light in the Darkness

03/19/2020

Our nation and world are going through a difficult and what some would call a dark time physically, emotionally, and financially. What should we do in times like this? Turn to God, whom James 1:17 describes as the FATHER OF LIGHTS. The prince of darkness, Satan, would love nothing more than for us to stumble in fear. But James points to our hope.  “Every good thing is 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 stumble in fear, walk by the FATHER OF LIGHTS’ illumination one day at a time.

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.  

Who is For You in the Game of Life

03/18/2020

“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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