Beyond Ourselves

You Look A Lot Like Our Heavenly Father


Have you ever needed someone to extend mercy to you? You did something wrong, thoughtless, or perhaps careless. You felt bad and desired forgiveness. You asked to be forgiven. What if their heart was hardened and they said no?  And how horrible it would be if that described our Heavenly Father. But it doesn’t.  Second Corinthians 1:3 tells us that God is the Father of Mercies.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the FATHER OF MERCIES and God of all comfort.”  Mercy flows from our Father. It’s His nature. He is the original transmitter of mercy.  So when you go to a Christian sister or brother and ask forgiveness and they extend mercy, they are a reflection of their Father – the Father of Mercies. The good news doesn’t stop with God being a transmitter of mercy and our Christian brothers and sisters being transmitters of mercy. The good news is we can be transmitters of mercy, reflections of our Father. In today’s society, it’s easy to be offended, to hold grudges, to perhaps not want to forgive or extend mercy. But what a precious opportunity for us to reflect on our Heavenly Father. Are we?

FATHER of MERCIES, thank You for extending mercy to us. Help us be extenders of mercy to others who point people to You. 


The Source of Illumination


Our nation and world are going through what some are calling a dark time.  What can believers do?  We can shine brightly with the love, hope, and truth of our Lord, whom James 1:17 describes as the Father of Lights. The prince of darkness, Satan, wants us to stumble in the darkness. 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.” Commentary Charles Ryrie speaks of this reference to God by explaining, “God is the source of all light – physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual – and He does not change.”* Rather than stumble physically, intellectually, morally, and spiritually, we can pray with our heart, mind, soul, and spirit. We can walk through our day shedding the light of the Father of Lights.

Father of Lights, illumine our heart, mind, soul, and spirit with Your Light so we walk as children of Light and spread Your Light to others. 


What to Remember When You A Suffering


Are you or have you ever suffered physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally? The topic of suffering is mentioned throughout the Bible.  Christ suffered.  To suffer means to be afflicted or experience misfortunes. Perhaps the very mention of suffering brings to mind your own experience or the sufferings of others.  Is there any encouragement or instruction in the Bible when we or someone we know is suffering? Yes. First Peter 4:19 gives both encouragement and instruction.  First, Peter says to “entrust our soul” to God.  What a good word of instruction in difficult and evil days. No one can touch our soul, our mind, emotions, and will, when we give them to God. Second, Peter reminds us that God is a faithful creator.  That’s a double blessing and word of encouragement for us to hang onto. Faithful. That says it all. God isn’t going anywhere. He’ll stay with us regardless of what happens to us or around us. Second, God, who created the world, is still creator. He is making all things new. If you are suffering or know someone who is, cling to the instruction and encouragement in 1 Peter 4:19. “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful creator in doing what is right.”

Faithful Creator, Lord Jesus, thank You that we can entrust our souls to You. 


Hold the God of Eternity


“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.


Where Can I Go from God


I was in high school when Psalm 139:7-10 first caught my attention. The words were so beautiful that I picked up my guitar and wrote music to accompany them.  “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.” What comfort it is to know that wherever we go, God’s Spirit will be there and His hand will lead us. Which of the verses in Psalm 139:7-10 comfort you? What does it mean to you that God is everywhere and His hand will lead you?

Lord, we praise You that You are EVERYWHERE. Thank You that we are never apart from Your presence. 


Comfort in Dire Moments


During the height of Covid, someone messaged me the following expressing the dire health and hospital conditions many tragically faced.

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 a reality for many. And if that person in the hospital is you, going through  it would be indescribable.”

Disconcerting? Absolutely. Dire?  Yes!  Tragic.  What is our hope in dire, tragic times? Is there any hope? Yes, we who have placed our faith in Jesus have the assurance that in even the direst of times, our eternal Father and Jesus, the Prince of Peace” are with us. Isaiah 9:6  Bible scholar and commentator Charles Ryrie explains that Eternal Father  means “Messiah is eternally a Father to His people, guarding, supplying, and caring for their needs.” There could be no greater comfort in dire situations. We have a Father of Eternity who is with us and our loved ones. He is present – guarding, supplying, and caring for those who have placed their trust in Him. Who do we need to share Him with today?

Eternal Father, in the direst of times, when our hearts are breaking, thank You for being with us. Stir us to speak the truth and hope we have in You with those in our lives who do not know You.


Are You Worried About the END


Do you ever worry about the end?  Our day comes to an end. Our weekend comes to an end. Vacations end. Time with loved ones ends. But there is one thing that never ends: God. Psalm 90:2 states, “Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” God has no beginning or end. He is EVERLASTING.  He will exist regardless of what happens to the world. If you’re feeling a sense of loss, loneliness, or that everything in the world is changing too quickly, you have a reason to praise. God is everlasting.  He will never end. His presence will continually be with you.

Lord, You are the everlasting God! We rejoice in You. 


When Whims Aren’t Good


Can you imagine if God ruled by whim, by ever-changing emotions and laws? What if on a whim, He decided to not be forgiving? Or, what if on a whim, God decided not to forgive you? What if on a whim, God changed His standard of holiness? I think you might agree with me that we’re thankful that is not who our loving God is. Rather, Psalm 99:4 assures us that our Heavenly Father is a God of justice. He has ESTABLISHED EQUITY.  That is why the psalmist says, “Let them praise Your great and awesome name; Holy is He.” (Psalm 99:3) Yes, that is why we praise our great and awesome God. He is not a God of whims, but rather, a God of equity.

Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t rule by whim, but rather with equity. We love and praise You!  

Please join me for Acts, Part 2.  New teachings each week.  Learn more HERE.


I Can’t or I Can


“I can’t do it!” Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you feel that way about your job, marriage or even getting to the gym and eating healthy. Maybe you know what you need to do as a parent, but don’t have the energy and stamina, so you say, “I can’t.” Perhaps you feel you “can’t” be the Christian that God desires you to be. If you feel that way, you’re not alone. I wish I had a penny for every time I’ve felt inadequate. But the wonderful thing is, Hebrews 13:20-21 assures us that God is able. “Now the God of peace, … equip you in every good thing to do His will…”  We can say along with Paul, “not that I am adequate in myself, but my adequacy comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5

Heavenly Father, thank You for equipping us to do that to which You call us. Increase our mindful dependence on You so we walk by Your Spirit. We love and praise You. 

Please join me for Acts, Part 2.  New teachings each week.  Learn more HERE.


Where is God?


Where is God?  People often ask that question. Where is He? Psalm 113:5 tells us, “He is enthroned on high.” Yet, He humbled Himself to come to earth. Where is Christ? He’s walking a dusty road and teaching us how to live. Where is God? He’s on the cross dying for our sins. Where is the LORD?  He is risen from the dead and ascended to the right hand of God. Looking for God? Look UP.    

Lord, You are ENTHRONED ON HIGH! We praise You!

Please join me for Acts, Part 2.  New teachings each week.  Learn more HERE.