Beyond Ourselves Podcast

When You’re Out of Patience with Your Unsaved Friend or Loved One

08/21/2019

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Are you concerned for a family member or friend who refuses to trust Jesus for salvation? Are you worried they’ll die apart from Christ? If we’re concerned for the unsaved, it’s for good reason. This world isn’t all there is. There’s life beyond the heavens just as there’s life below the ocean that we can’t see until we enter into it. Yes, all people are alive after they pass through this life – either in Christ’s presence or apart from Him.  Jesus implores us to take the road to heaven through Him. So, what do we do if an unsaved friend or family member refuses to turn to Christ? We align ourselves with the Lord, who we’re told in 2 Peter 3:9 is “not slow about His promise, but is PATIENT…, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” God is PATIENT. Keep praying. Keep looking for opportunities to speak the truth in love.

Heavenly Father, thank you for being PATIENT. Help us be like you – patient and prayerful.

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Help is On the Way

05/14/2019

“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 wits 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.  

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Unwrap It!

04/16/2019

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.

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Could You Use Some Gentleness

04/14/2019

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, another word for gentle? 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. So Christ, while holding infinite power, offers us His gentle, humble heart where we find rest for our souls. He invites us to walk closely with Him and learn from Him.

Lord Jesus, You are both strong and GENTLE! We praise You!

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Passing Earthling or Proven Jesus

04/12/2019

Who are you following these days? An earthling or Jesus? Why does it matter?  Because we’re all going to die one day and Jesus says He alone is the “way” (John 14:6) to eternal life in heaven. Some people argue that there are many ways to heaven. Jesus says not so in Matthew 7:13-14. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” And, in John 14:6,  “I am the way,…no one comes to the Father but through Me.” We can believe an earthly spokesman/author or we can believe the One who said He came from “above,” who was crucified, buried, resurrected 3 days later, and ascended into the clouds. I choose to believe the One who demonstrated His other worldly, heavenly powers over an earth born personality voicing their opinions. What about you?

LORD Jesus, we praise You, the GATE by whom all who call upon You can be saved. 

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A Sippy Cup Won’t Do

04/08/2019

When we come to God for 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. Are you thirsty? Are you dry? Go to your Heavenly Father with your heart open wide. Drink in His Spirit.

Lord, You are the FOUNTAIN of LIFE! Fill us. Flow in and through us.

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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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