Beyond Ourselves

Are You in Emotional, Physical, or Spiritual Bondage?


Do you ever feel “tied up” in a spiritual, physical, or emotional bondage? Are you concerned for a loved one who is in bondage?  If so, pray to the Lord on the basis of Psalm 116:16 which says,  “Lord, surely I am Your servant, You have LOOSED MY BONDS.”  This verse reminds us that God can do what no one else can do. He has loosed us from the bonds of death and given us eternal freedom. “Unbind him and let him go,” Jesus directed those who watched Him raise Lazarus from the dead. “Unbind her. Unbind him,” Jesus commands when we call to Him in faith to loosen chains that bind us.

Lord, You are the great and mighty God who LOOSENS BONDS. We praise You for the bonds of death from which You’ve set us free. Please loosen and set free those who are still in bondage. Loosen any emotional, spiritual, or physical bondages that may remain in our lives. Free us to run the race You’ve set before us. We look to You to do what only You can do. 


Plain. Simple. Truth.

“I’m thirsty!” How many times have we said that? And, if possible, we reach for a drink of water. Our bodies need water. In fact, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Science School explains how important water is to our body:

“Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water.”

So we get that our body needs water. But, what about our spirit? It needs spiritual water: Living Water, the Holy Spirit. Jesus explained.

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the SPIRIT, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the SPIRIT was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”  John 7:38

As water is to our body, so the Holy Spirit is to our spirit.  Our body needs water. Our spirit needs Living Water. Plain. Simple. Truth. Reach for Him. Drink deeply.

Sweet Jesus, thank You for coming from heaven to speak truth into our lives. Thank You for giving us Your Spirit as LIVING WATER to cleanse and fill us so we can live in Your presence forever. 

When Final Isn’t Final

Death seems final, doesn’t it? I wept at my mother’s graveside. Friends and family comforted me, “You’ll see her again.” But the casket, the shovel, the dirt seemed so final.

During our lifetime, we’ll lose someone to death. Jesus’s disciple, John, saw Jesus die. The scourging. The nails. The cross.  The blood and water. The tomb. It seemed final. But then, John saw Him again!  Imagine what it must have been like for him to see Jesus transformed from the cross’s goriness to heaven’s gloriousness. John was overcome. “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the LIVING ONE; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.’” (Revelation 1:18) Why did John fall like a dead man when he saw his friend in heaven? Jesus is glowing! His eyes are brilliant. His voice tumultuous. He told John to bring us the message that He has the keys of death and Hades. In other words, after your death you don’t have to be locked in death. God recreates repentant sinners with a glorified body, soul, and spirit capable of living eternally in His presence. How can we not tell everyone we know that a glorious resurrection awaits them if they call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation?

LIVING ONE, brilliantly glorious One, even though we can’t see You, we believe in You. Help us love You more each day so our lives are displays of Your glory; drawing others to You.

Praying for our unsaved friends and neighbors is crucial. I designate a column in the Week at A Glance section of Prayers of My Heart to pray for the United States and Unsaved. What do I pray? Check out this short SLIDE SHOW.



Guess Who Is Listening


Do you ever wish that someone would listen to you? You may have even asked someone with whom you were talking, “Are you listening to me?” They may say yes, but you wonder if they’re really hearing you.  We don’t have to wonder if God listens to us when we call on Him and pray to Him. In Jeremiah 29:12, He clearly states that if we pray, He’ll LISTEN.  “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will LISTEN to you.”  Imagine that! Ponder that. The God of the universe listens to you. Are you taking advantage of the incredible opportunity to talk to Him? Are you waiting in His presence to see how His Spirit in you prompts you to perhaps a verse, word of comfort, or course of action? What a great privilege it is to call on God and pray to Him.

Heavenly Father, thank You for LISTENING when we come to You and call on You in prayer!

Get Excited About This

Stuck.  Just the way I am. Dread. Fear. Angst.  Can you imagine how Adam felt after being shut out of the Garden of Eden because of his rebellion against God?  His second born son killed his first born son. “How much worse can it get?” he certainly wondered.  The first Adam made a mess of things and every person born since carries his DNA.  What can be done? It’s been done. God started a new race with a second Adam, called the Last Adam in 1st Corinthians 15:45.  “The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The LAST ADAM became a life-giving spirit.” So here’s how it works.  God created the first Adam and breathed life into him. His heart beat. The earth man took a first breath and was physically alive.  After the first Adam’s fall, God sent Jesus, a Spirit man in an earth body. The heart beat in the first Adam. The Spirit beat in the Last Adam.  We didn’t get to choose if we wanted to be born of an earth man. We get to choose if we want to be born of the Spirit man. Get excited about this grand, heavenly, glorious opportunity to be born again. To get unstuck. To no longer be bound to just the way you were born.  To no longer dread your eternity. To have faith, not fear; peace, not angst.  Which of the following prayers suits you?

Prayer of Praise

Lord Jesus, I praise You, the LAST ADAM, for giving me a new birth through your life-giving Spirit.

Prayer of Repentance

Heavenly Father, forgive me for rebelling against you as Adam did; for hurting You and others. Thank You for Jesus taking my sins on His body and receiving the penalty of death that was due to me. I believe Your Son is Jesus Christ, whom You sent from heaven to give me new, spiritual life. Thank You for the promise of eternal life in Him. I repent of my sins and receive the gift of His Spirit with eternal gratitude. Cleanse me of my sins and fill me with Your Spirit so I can live for You.

“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”  Acts 2:39

So Are You the Life of the Party?


Have you ever looked for “life” in someone or something apart from Jesus? Or, perhaps in your younger years you were “the life of the party.” Maybe in your adult years you bought into the idea that the right job, house, car, or person would bring you what was important in life. But, perhaps later you realized that things and people can disappoint and fall short of our expectations. Our heart will never be happy until we make the Lord our life not just in words but in reality. “Jesus said in John 14:6, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the LIFE; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”  We find LIFE in Jesus not only for eternal salvation but for daily salvation. Ask Him to live His LIFE through you today.

Lord, You are the way, the truth, and the LIFE!  Fill us with Your LIFE. 

Who Is Your Spirit Guide


When you were a child, did you play “follow the leader”? If so, you probably remember how important it was to do what the leader did. If they placed their hand on their head, then you were supposed to place your hand on your head. If they touched their toes, then you touched your toes. In order to follow, you had to keep your eye on the leader. You had to pay attention to the leader’s words. In Isaiah 48:17 God explains something that is not child’s play. Rather, it’s an incredible offer by the spiritual coach and mentor from on high. He tells us, ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who LEADS you in the way you should go.'” Many people seek out a spirit “guide” or life coach so they can learn the best way to go in life. God freely offers His LEAD for us to follow. He teaches us to profit. How closely are we listening to Him? Are we following His lead?

God, You are our LEADER! What a blessing to follow You!

If You’re Getting Run Over


If you’re a parent or teacher, have you ever “laid down the law” to a child and said, “Look left and right before you cross the street”? Why do we say that? Because we don’t want them to get run over.  In like manner, our Heavenly Father lays down moral and ethical laws so we don’t get run over by life and sin. If we don’t listen to Him and we run ahead apart from His laws, we soon find out why He has, in love, given us laws. Isaiah 33:22 spells out the reason we are to obey our Father. “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; He will save us—” Our Heavenly Father gives us laws to save us from pain, separation, guilt, untimely death, loss, regret, and so much more. In what ways might you be running into streets of sin chasing after a ball of fun, money, or a relationship that God has warned, “Stop”? Our Heavenly Father is our LAWGIVER and Savior. We’re saved from so much pain and blessed beyond words when we listen to Him and follow His commands.

Lord, we praise You, LAWGIVER, for Your commands and instructions that protect and provide for us. 

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Niagara Falls Not a Teaspoon


Do you ever feel like you’ve sinned one too many times? Have you ever vowed to never again do something, but broke your promise to God? I don’t know anyone who feels like they’re perfect in God’s eyes. I sure don’t. The amazing blessing is that God, in His love, has provided for us to come to Him by means of His lavish grace. Ephesians 1:7-8 explains, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He LAVISHED on us.” In other words, God’s grace isn’t begrudgingly meted out in teaspoons. Rather, God’s Niagara Falls grace flows over and in us washing away our sins. When you think “God,” think “LAVISH GRACE.”

Heavenly Father, we are grateful beyond measure for Your LAVISH IN GRACE. Thank You!

Are You One of the Few


It’s another day. Maybe a great day. Maybe a blah day. Or, perhaps the worst day of our life. What do we do? If we’re wise, we’ll follow David’s example. He had ups and downs and promises unfulfilled for what seemed a long time. What do we learn from him? In 2 Samuel 22:29 we find his key to success. “You are my lamp, O Lord; and the Lord illumines my darkness.” If we didn’t know the context in which he said this, we might think David is sailing through life with God as His LAMP. But when we read the verse in context, we discover he’s been in the dark, battling an enemy, and with walls to get over. (2 Samuel 22:30) Are you in the dark? Are you battling something? Are there walls you need to get over? The fact that there are dark, difficult struggles in our life is not what is unusual. The fact that the Lord of the Universe is our personal illuminator through them is incredible! There are many people, according to Jesus (Matthew 7:13-14), who do not have God as their LAMP.  If you are one of the few who does, you are incredibly blessed. The question is – are you turning to your LAMP? Are you walking  in the light He shines on your path? Are you reading His enlightening Words in Scripture? Are you following His illuminating Spirit as you quieten your heart in prayer; asking, then listening for His guidance?

Lord, the fact that You, the Lord of the Universe, offer Yourself as a LAMP to our path is unique and incredible. May we who know You respond gratefully and wisely seek and follow Your Light.

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