Beyond Ourselves

God Himself Will…for You

04/15/2021

Do you sometimes wish you were stronger in your convictions and more consistent in your walk with Christ? Do you ever wonder how God could love and forgive you? The answer to our questions is summed up in one word: GRACE.  First Peter 5:10 explains: “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” The God of All Grace, who gave His Son to die for our sins, the God of All Grace who ransomed us, the God of All Grace who transferred us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son, that same God of All Grace will perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish us. Praise HIM, He hasn’t saved and forgotten us. “God Himself will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”  Personalize that grace filled promise and say it out loud:

God Himself will perfect me, confirm me, strengthen me, and establish me.  The God of all grace has forgiven my sin by the sacrificial death of Jesus.

Now glory in this truth. Celebrate Christ’s resurrection – proof that God, who called us to His eternal glory in Christ, will by grace, complete what He began in us. Praise the God of ALL grace.

GOD of all GRACE,  I  love and praise you. Thank You for calling me to eternal glory in Christ. Jesus, thank You for sacrificing Your life so  I can live eternally in Your glorious presence. Thank You, God of all grace, for perfecting, confirming, strengthening, and establishing me in Christ Jesus. I love You! 

You Are Mistaken If You Think God is the God of the Dead

04/14/2021

Jesus is the one talking. He has just told those who were asking Him questions that they were mistaken about some things. Imagine that! That humans might ever be mistaken about the things of God. Then Jesus used the Old Testament to correct their thinking. To those who consider the Old Testament irrelevant, please consider its importance. Jesus often quoted from it as the authority of His teachings.  As a matter of fact, scholars have recorded examples of Jesus’s many Old Testament references, citing that “in the four Gospels, 180 of the 1,800 verses that report His discourses are either Old Testament quotes or Old Testament allusions.” What did Jesus quote in Matthew 22:31-32 when asked about marriage relationships after death? GOD IS NOT THE GOD OF THE DEAD, BUT OF THE LIVING. Do you have a loved one who is no longer with you on earth? If so, be assured on the basis of Jesus’s words – your loved one is fully alive and you will see them again. Can I get a hallelujah?

GOD of the LIVING, we praise You for receiving our loved ones into Your presence. Thank You that we too will be alive in Your presence one day.

“…regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB”? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”  Matthew 22:31-32

If You Need Some Order in Your Life

04/13/2021

Have you ever thought about how God is a God of “order”? If not, consider how God’s order is pointed out in Jeremiah 31:35. “‘Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed ORDER of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The Lord of hosts is His name.’” God is a God of order. He created order in the universe. He created order for our days, nights, and seasons. He created order in protons, neutrons, and electrons making up atoms. And of protons and neutrons being made of three quarks each.  If you’re struggling to have order in your days, weeks, and years or order in your family, business, or ministry, call on God. Ask Him for wisdom for how to better order your life, family, days, and weeks. Begin each day with a prayer to the God of Order then walk in His counsel.

Heavenly Father, You are a GOD OF ORDER. Please order our days so we live faithful, full lives that bring You honor. 

 

Could You Use Some Gentleness to Pass to Others?

04/12/2021

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 and in Him we find rest for our souls. Jesus calls to us and tells us to walk closely with Him and learn from Him. Who in your family or home needs Christ’s gentleness expressed to them through you? To the degree we are walking close to Christ we’ll be able to walk in gentleness with others.

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

Could You Use Some Gentleness?

04/11/2021

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 and in Him we find rest for our souls. Jesus calls to us and tells us to walk closely with Him and learn from Him. Who in your family or home needs Christ’s gentleness expressed to them through you? To the degree we are walking close to Christ we’ll be able to walk in gentleness with others.

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

What’s Your Fragrance these Days

04/11/2021

Do you enjoy pleasant fragrances? Did you know that God does, too? Did you know you can be a sweet fragrance to God? He can get a whiff of you and think, “You smell good!” How fun is that – to smell good to our Heavenly Father? How in the world can we smell good to God? Ephesians 5:2 answers that question. It tells us to “…walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a FRAGRANT AROMA.”  Christ’s sacrificial love and life were a fragrant aroma to God. And, we’re to imitate Christ. When we do, we’re a sweet aroma to our Heavenly Father.  What if we haven’t been walking in sacrificial love, but rather been selfish or unloving? We need to acknowledge our sin to our Heavenly Father, repent, and ask Jesus to forgive us.  We need to ask us to fill us with Christ’s Spirit. How does that affect our spiritual “aroma”? When writing Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion, I used my daughter’s puppy, Bailey, as an example that we smell like whatever we hold close to our heart. Bailey had a distinct puppy odor and after holding her, her odor remained on me. It wasn’t pleasant so I showered and changed clothes. Just like a dog has an odor, so sin has an odor. If we’re clinging to a “pet” sin, God and others get a whiff of it. What can we do to rid ourselves of the stench of sin? Put the sin aside and bathe in God’s forgiveness and grace. Then, as Christ was, we’ll be a fragrant aroma to God.

Christ Jesus, we praise You for walking in love and giving Yourself as an offering and sacrifice to God; a FRAGRANT AROMA. Help us follow Your example. 

***Be a fragrance of Christ to God and others. Share 365 Days of Praise to others by forwarding it as an email or use the social media buttons below to share them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. AND, if you like the example of I gave above from Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion, you’ll enjoy plenty more in the online study we’re preparing that can be delivered to your inbox. Stay tuned. 🙂 

Dead…but God

04/10/2021

DEAR FRIENDS,  OUR WEBSITE HAS BEEN GOING THROUGH SOME UPDATES & COMPLICATIONS. I APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE & PRAYERS FOR IT TO BE UP AND WORKING SMOOTHLY AGAIN.

Have you been with someone when they died? I was with my mother, father, and mother-in-law when they died.  Webster defines death as “the irreversible cessation of all vital functions especially as indicated by the permanent stoppage of the heart, respiration, and brain activity.”  That is what happened to Jesus as a result of the horrific scourging and crucifixion He suffered. The Roman soldiers who oversaw His death were skilled in their profession. They pronounced Jesus dead. But, as we know and Romans 4:17 explains, God  “GIVES LIFE to the DEAD and calls into being that which does not exist.” Death seems final, but God. Yes, but God who gives life to the dead, gave life to Jesus, had given life to our loved ones who have gone before us, and will give life to us after our bodies cease functioning. How does it make you feel to know that God will give life to you after you die, just like He did to Jesus?

Heavenly Father who GIVES LIFE TO THE DEAD, we praise You and exalt Your name! Thank You for Jesus’s sacrificial death and resurrection. Thank You for raising our loved ones to eternal life. Thank You for the resurrection life we will one day experience. We love You and praise Your name! 

If You Can’t Catch Your Breath

04/10/2021

Do you ever feel like you can’t breathe because you have so much weighing on you? Or maybe you’re running so fast, it’s hard to catch your breath.  Or, at times we may feel like we’ve had the breath knocked out of us because of financial, physical, emotional, or relational blows.  When that happens, we can turn to our Heavenly Father.  Isaiah 42:5-6 says, “Thus says God the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it, I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, and I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations.”  What comforting words!  God gives us His breath and spirit to walk through our day. Our BREATH GIVER reminds us that He holds us by the hand and watches over us. Our BREATH GIVER has appointed us as a light to the nations. Our identity, our comfort, and our purpose are God-breathed. In trying days, hold your Bible close to you and breath deeply.

LORD, thank You for giving us Your BREATH and SPIRIT. May we in turn, live for You as a light to our nation. 

Tornado Alley

03/28/2021

In a tornado, a storm shelter is the “go-to” place. It must be near. It must be stocked. Knowing we have a storm shelter gives us hope when we’re surrounded by deadly tornadoes. God is mindful that we live in stormy times on enemy ground. The apostle Peter writes that the devil prowls the earth looking for someone to devour. New Testament writers address the evil in the world. The question is, are we mindful that God is our FORTRESS? He’s our “go-to” person in the midst of life’s storms and temptations?  Perhaps you, like me, haven’t always thought of God as your fortress. If that’s the case, we can increase our mindfulness that He is and join the psalmist David’s resolve, “I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust.'” (Psalm 91:2) We can live the coming days with confidence in God, our FORTRESS. Are you in?

Lord God, You are our FORTRESS. Thank You that we can turn to You any time, day or night. 

BORN from the DEAD

03/24/2021

Some time ago I went to a funeral. We celebrated the life of a dear woman who went to be with the Lord. She follows Christ, who  Colossians 1:18 describes as “the beginning, the firstborn from the dead so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”

“Born from the dead.” Have you ever thought about what that means? Christians have a “new birth.” Before our salvation, we are “dead in our trespasses and sins.” However, after we repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord, we receive the Holy Spirit and are “born” and made alive in Christ. What we experience internally at salvation will be fully realized eternally at our bodily resurrection. Witnesses saw the resurrected Christ lead the way as the firstborn from the dead. As He rose, we will rise to be with Him forever in heaven. Share the good news!

Lord Jesus, we praise You, the FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD