Beyond Ourselves

Jesus Wake Us Up



Death. It seems so final. I’d prepared for my mother’s death because she’d been ill for a long time. But the casket. The cemetery. I broke down weeping. Some family members whispered they were surprised at my grief, but all I could think of was how much I was going to miss her.  So what does Jesus want us to know about death? What did He prove when He raised Lazarus and others from the dead? He wants us to know that death isn’t final. Jesus describes death as sleep and that just as a loved one rouses us from sleep by calling our name, Jesus will rouse us from death.

Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. (John 5:25)

Yes, believer, you will hear Christ’s voice (imagine that!) and will wake in Jesus’s presence. There are no better words we could hear. Who do we need to share them with?

Lord, thank You for the eternal promise and evidence that You raise those who are dead in Christ. We will see You and our loved ones again. 


Dark World, Radiant God


Radiant! You look radiant. Do people say that when they see you? Does the glow on your face cause them to comment? If you said no, neither has anyone said that about me. Guess who that is said about, though? Jesus. Hebrews 1:3 describes Him in this way:

 “He is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature,…”  Hebrews 1:3

The word “radiance” is only used 5 times in the Bible and in each instance refers to God. Commentator Vines defines God’s “radiance” as “shining forth, of a light coming from a luminous body.” Isn’t that exciting? One day we will see Jesus and His radiance. So remember that when things around you are dark, Jesus isn’t. Nothing can extinguish His radiance. One glorious day we’ll join those who are living in God’s radiance. We’ll fall on our knees overwhelmed by what we see. That day is coming when we go to Jesus or when He returns through the clouds. Keep watching and living for Him!

Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus, our hearts are overwhelmed when we think of how we will one day stand in Your radiance.  We praise You and look forward to that day! 


If You Want to Hear God’s Voice and Heart


“Lord, are You there? Speak to me.” Have you ever wanted to hear from God? If so, be encouraged. Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that God is in our midst. He’s a victorious warrior but also quiet in His love. What does that mean? I like to think of when I’ve held our little ones. My heart feels like it could jump out of my skin because I’m so full of love for them. However, I’m not loud with them. Instead, I hold them close to my heart. I wonder if they feel my heartbeat as they rest nestled against me. God is magnificent. The Bible is filled with His words to us. If we wish He would speak to us, He has and still is. Open the Bible. Hold it close to your heart. Feel His heartbeat as you nestle close to Him. Listen to what He lovingly says to you.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”  Zephaniah 3:17

Lord, thank You for Your QUIET LOVE and for the Words you speak to us. May we hold You and Your Words close to our hearts. May we feel Your heartbeat and our heartbeat one with Yours. 

Friends, we’re excited to share with you our updated 1 Peter study: Experiencing Grace and Peace in Cultural Chaos with free YouTube Videos! 




I spoke in New York shortly after September 11, 2001. Shortly after Al Qaeda terrorists hijacked three planes and flew them into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., killing everyone on board the planes and nearly 3,000 people on the ground. Shortly after a fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing all on board after passengers and crew heroically attempted to take control from the hijackers. Evil reigned in the hands of the terrorists that day but evil didn’t ultimately win then and evil will never ultimately win. Christ Jesus is victor over evil! He overcame evil and sin and the sting of sin – death. All who place their faith in Christ will live eternally in His glorious presence. Today and continually we remember with gratefulness our loved ones, friends, and the many we will never know until heaven – those who sacrificed their lives for our nation. Today we also remember with utmost gratefulness the Lord Jesus who sacrificed His life for our souls. We must never forget either.

Lord Jesus, thank You for making PURIFICATION OF OUR SINS. We love and praise You for the ultimate sacrifice of Your life to make us pure as You are pure. 

“When He had made PURIFICATION of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”  Hebrews 1:3


When You’re At the End of You



“I can’t be the Christian I’m supposed to be. I can’t overcome this sin.” Have you ever said those words?  If we sometimes feel incapable of being the Christian we want to be, we’re not alone. The Apostle Paul, who was instrumental in helping spread Christianity, once referred to himself as the chief of sinners. Here’s the good news. God knows that we can’t live the Christian life by self-effort. That’s why He reminds us in Galatians 3:5 that He’s provided us with His Holy Spirit. We don’t please God by trying to improve our old selves. We please God by learning to walk by His Spirit who is in us. Instead of saying we can’t live the Christian life or we can’t accomplish what God’s called us to do, we can ask Christ to fill us and accomplish His work through us. Then, we can practice walking by the Spirit. Will we walk by the Spirit perfectly 100% of the time? No, because our fleshly nature will oppose the Spirit. (Galatians 5:17) and we’ll struggle against spiritual forces of darkness/wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). But we can practice walking by Christ’s Spirit, confident that God is at work in us, perfecting us. 

Lord, thank You for PROVIDING us with Your Spirit by whom we can walk. 

“…does He who PROVIDES you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”  Galatians 3:5

Friends, we’re excited to share with you our updated 1 Peter study: Experiencing Grace and Peace in Cultural Chaos with free YouTube Videos! 


3 Securities in Times of Fear


Does the prevalence of evil in our society cause you to be fearful for loved ones, yourself, and even those you don’t know? Once, after speaking at a church, a mom confided in me that she feared for her child. Part of her fear was because she had been molested as a child. Part was due to the moral decline in our nation and the increase in lawlessness throughout our world.  What hope was I able to give her?

PRAYER:  Jesus teaches us to pray, “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We can daily pray that for others and ourselves. We can pray that for the unsaved and those who are blinded by evil. We can pray God will open their eyes and they will turn to the Truth and Light.

The BIBLE. The Bible is a safeguard that teaches us what to do and not to do. We can teach our children to respect and obey God and His Word which will keep them from walking in evil ways.

ETERNAL SALVATION.  We can’t escape all evil influences, but, 2 Thessalonians 3:3 comforts us that the Lord is faithful and will strengthen and PROTECT us from the evil one. How we need this at this time!

Which of the above three could you strengthen to safeguard you, your family, and our world from evil?

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your Word that shows us how to live, for being able to pray to You, and for Christ’s faithfulness to strengthen and protect us. 

TIP: Record prayers for loved ones and our world here.


Can God be Satisfied?


Are you familiar with the Rolling Stones’ 1965 song “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”?  Keith Richards and Mick Jagger’s lyrics, “can’t get no satisfaction” resonated with people in the 1960s and also today. But do you know who has found satisfaction? God. First John 2:2 says, “He (Jesus) Himself is the PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”  The word propitiation means satisfaction. This verse tells us that Jesus satisfied God’s righteous requirement that sin be dealt with rather than ignored. How did Jesus do that? He substituted His life for ours. How incredible! If we haven’t thanked Jesus lately for satisfying God’s righteous requirements of the law, now would be a good time to do that. 

Jesus, thank You for sacrificing Your life and being the propitiation for our sins. We love you so! 


When You’re Tired of Failed Promises


Have you ever promised something and then didn’t fulfill your promise? If you have, you know what a horrible feeling it is. Maybe we promised, “I’ll never say that again.” Then we did. Or, maybe we said to God, “I promise if you get me out of this mess, I’ll do better next time.” Then we failed to do as we said. Or maybe we don’t trust people because they’ve made promises to us they didn’t keep. When it comes to God, however, Romans 4:21 assures us “that what God PROMISED, He was able also to perform.” In other words, we or people may be well-intentioned but fail. Not God, though. What He promises He will do. What a blessing to know that God keeps His promises.  In the midst of failed promises and lies, it’s a great time for us to read God’s promises in the Bible.  Our hearts can be at peace as we read them because we know they are true. Which of God’s promises are your favorites? Share them in the “Comment” section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Heavenly Father, in a world that is filled with lies and failed promises, we praise You for being a faithful promise keeper.  


If You Feel Like a Ragamuffin

Do you ever feel like a ragamuffin? Disheveled, poorly treated, overlooked? A modern-day Cinderella? Everyone knows her story. Countless versions of it have been written and made into movies. Why is it such a popular theme? If you’re a guy, the prince, you get your bride. If you’re a girl, you get swooped off your feet by the rich lord of the land and live happily ever after in a palace in a kingdom. Guess what. If we’ve confessed Jesus as Lord, Cinderella’s story is ours.  Isaiah 9:6 tells us that Jesus is the PRINCE of peace. Not only that. He’s chosen us ragamuffins to be His bride. Our Prince is coming for us and we will live happily ever after where He is Lord over His kingdom. Think about it. Smile.

Jesus, PRINCE OF PEACE, thank You for coming to earth and taking us as Your bride. We can’t wait to come to Your glorious kingdom and live happily ever after with You. 

“His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, PRINCE OF PEACE.” Isaiah 9:6


Death Leads to Life


Can you imagine the conversations that took place after God raised Jesus from the dead? Some didn’t believe it at first. Others couldn’t help but acknowledge His resurrection because they saw Jesus, touched Him, and observed Him eating fish. He wasn’t a ghost. He wasn’t a figment of their imagination. Five hundred people witnessed seeing the resurrected PRINCE OF LIFE. In other words, Jesus IS LIFE and He walked right back into their lives. Is the PRINCE OF LIFE walking in our life? Are we aware of His presence? Are we experiencing His peace within ourselves? Are we mindful that just as He is alive and not in the grave, our loved ones who have died are not dead but alive, and that we won’t be dead even though our body is in the grave? The Prince of Life is with us when we walk the corridor of death. We and our loved ones will never be alone. We need not fear.

Lord Jesus, we praise You, the ever-present PRINCE of LIFE

“…you put to death the PRINCE OF LIFE, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.” Acts 3:15

Friends, we’re excited to share with you our updated 1 Peter study: Experiencing Grace and Peace in Cultural Chaos with free YouTube Videos!