If You’re Drifting
You need hope. I need hope. Our loved ones need hope. Where do we find it? Do we practice “self-talk” and tell ourselves we are “happy and fine” when we aren’t? Or, do we kneel, look up in praise, and cry out to the One who has gone before us to heaven and intercedes for us? Hebrews 6:19 describes our relationship with Jesus in this way, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered…” Jesus is the ANCHOR OF OUR SOUL. He wants us to bring our worries and fears to Him. If waves of “life” are about to overwhelm you, hold tightly to Christ. He’s holding tightly to you from the security of heaven’s shores.
Jesus, sweet Savior, thank You for being the ANCHOR of OUR SOUL. Thank You that we can fling our arms around You and hold tightly to You when our emotions and thoughts drift toward worry and fear. We love and praise You.
Is Lip Service a Big Deal to God
A person who is not a Christian once challenged me and asked why believers talk about God’s love but never His wrath. I thought about his question and realized that I’m guilty of that very thing. Think about all the wonderful ways we look at God’s love, gentleness, and favor. Today, however, the context in which God’s actions are described as WONDROUSLY MARVELOUS is a reference to His judgment on people who claim His name, but simply give lip service to Him. God uses the prophet Isaiah to call them out in Isaiah 29:13-14. “Then the Lord said, ‘Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote, therefore, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, WONDROUSLY MARVELOUS.'” He goes on to warn them of the consequences of their lip service and rote worship. We might want to relegate our Creator’s wrath to the Old Testament, but Revelation 16 speaks of God’s judgment being poured out in a future day. We may wonder, “Is mankind’s behavior and sincerity of worship a big deal to God?” The answer is, yes.
Lord, You alone are worthy of our praise. You extend mercy to those who call on Your name, but are WONDROUSLY MARVELOUS in Your discipline toward those who give You lip service and rote worship. Forgive us and prompt us daily to live by Your Spirit.
Get it NOW & journal your thanks to God for the best 2020!
Let’s Get This Right
Have you ever considered that because Christ paid for your sins you are worthy of heaven? Say that a few times to yourself and let it sink in. “I am worthy of heaven.” Believers are found worthy of heaven ONLY because Christ is worthy and exchanged His righteousness for our sin. He gave us His righteousness. Colossians 1:10 reminds us of the implication – “so that YOU will walk in a manner WORTHY of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” In other words, we’re to walk in a manner worthy of or “suitably” for our Lord. We may have a hazy understanding of what it means to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, but we know what it means to be suitable. A child who puts on dirty clothes for school is told to put on something suitable, something clean for school. In the same manner, we are to walk worthily (suitably) of the Lord. Let’s get this right this year.
JOURNALING TIP: I wrote in the Meditations section of my journal, “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,” Colossians 1:10. It’s a verse I want to put to memory. Writing and reviewing it helps keep me focused on this important calling.
Lord, thank You for making us worthy of Your presence and of heaven. Help us walk worthily of You!
Excerpt from If God is In Control, Why Am I a Basket Case?
Are You in Need of Wonder Working Power
Happy New Year!
Do you wish you could twitch your nose or snap your fingers and presto, what you long for would appear this year? The fact is, those techniques may work in movies, but not real life. However, God does work wonders. Sometimes those wonders take time. Other times, moments. Regardless of the timing, our Heavenly Father is the One on whom we are to set our hearts if we’re in need of wonder-working power. Moses is but one of many who needed a miracle and God stepped in. Listen to his words of praise in Exodus 15:11. “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?” If we’re in need of wonder-working power, we can go to God, be still in His presence, ask Him for help, and listen to what He quietly impresses on our hearts. Have your Bible, pen, and journal with you so you can turn to a Bible verse He directs you to look up and so you can write down what He prompts you to do. Imagine a year of God’s wonder working power in your life. It’s not a fairy tale. It’s real and it’s available for the person who seeks Christ and desires to glorify Him with their life.
Lord, You are the WORKER of WONDERS! We love and adore You. We look to You for the wonder working power only You can provide. We ask that You do in us what we cannot do, that You be in us what we cannot be, that You speak through us as only You can. May You be glorified in our lives this year.
GET: Prayers of My Heart journal so you can record what God impresses on your heart and your words of praise to Him.
JOIN: Prayers of My Heart Gathering on Facebook for encouragement/tips on journaling.
ATTEND: Starting Strong with 2020 Vision – January 8, 11-noon.
Hard Work, No Joy
Have you ever worked hard for what you thought was Christ, but you experienced little joy? As a matter of fact, you felt agitated much of the time? If and when that happens, it helps to step back and consider if what we’re doing is a mission Christ set us on and we’re relying on His wisdom and power, or if it’s an activity we thought was a good idea and we’re pushing through in our own strength. Why is this important? Colossians 1:18 explains that Christ is “head of the body, the church…so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” In other words, if it is not Christ’s idea, then it’s not a good idea and will not be empowered by Him. Why? As a body is lifeless without its head, so the church is lifeless apart from Christ. We may do what we consider to be important work, but if it is done apart from Christ’s calling and Spirit, it is merely human work. Therefore, it is important for us to continually seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) so that both our individual and corporate deeds flow from Christ’s mind and are done in His power. When we do the work Christ sends us to do, the result will be we enter into Christ’s joy. Matthew 25:23
Lord Jesus, we praise You, HEAD OF THE CHURCH and life of the body of believers! May our words and actions be an extension of Your heart, strength, and power.
God Delivers On What He Promises
Have you ever had someone tell you they would do something and then they didn’t deliver on it? Although it happens with humans, it doesn’t happen with God. What He says He will do, He does. In Genesis 12:1-3, God made a unilateral, unconditional covenant with Abraham that included the promise of land, descendants, and redemption. In the form of a smoking furnace and a flaming torch, God passed between the pieces of the sacrifice. Matthew 26:27-28 records Jesus stating that He is the fulfillment of the covenant God made. “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.'” What God promises, He delivers on. We can celebrate that today and for eternity!
Lord, COVENANT KEEPER, You not only made a covenant, but You fulfilled it and sealed it with Your blood. We worship, praise, and adore You.
I Get to Go Home
In the month of December, we anticipate the celebration of the birth of Jesus. He is a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger. Fast forward 33 years. Can you imagine His anticipation when, after pouring His teachings into people, completing His mission to conquer death and sin, it was finally time for Him to get to go home – to return to His glory and heaven? He must have been giddy…if gods get giddy. Certainly about to explode in joyous anticipation. Hebrews 7:26 zeros in on the great divide between Jesus and us. “For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens…” High. Priest. Holy. Innocent. Undefiled. Birthed into a mess of sinners. What must His child’s holy heart felt? What thoughts did He have to keep to Himself when growing up? What teenage temptations did Satan pile on Him? What spiritual battles did He fight alone, with no one with whom He could share? We will never know the extent Christ suffered for us long before His scourging death. Then, He awoke from the grave. Alive. But still here. Until finally, Acts 1:9. It was time to go home! Can you imagine what the disciples experienced when Jesus was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight? I can’t imagine it. I’ve tried. Put yourself in the scene. There you are. Jesus is telling you that you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be His witness. Mind boggling. The Holy Spirit, who was upon the “greats” like Moses and Elijah, is going to come upon you! Before you can get your mind around that, Jesus starts ascending, being lifted up. You’re in shock. His feet are literally off the ground. Your head is titled back. You look up and watch until you can no longer see Jesus who is gone…exalted above the heavens…home.
Heavenly Father, we can’t get our minds around Your majesty, throne, and what heaven is like. But, we’re so glad Jesus is with You, exalted above the heavens. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for all You have done for us – incredible!
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Running Low on Cash
“How much money do you make?” In our materialistic society, people often place value on the almighty dollar instead of the Almighty Lord. But, Isaiah 33:6 speaks to what we should value: “Jesus being a wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.” He reminds us that a healthy fear of the Lord is the greatest treasure. Jesus echos Isaiah’s understanding of what true wealth is in Matthew 6:19-21 when He says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Christ’s command causes us to stop and ponder. According to Jesus, we are to consider where are we storing up treasures – on earth or heaven. In other words, where is our heart most focused – on the earth or heaven?
Lord, You are a WEALTH of salvation, wisdom and knowledge. Set our hearts on treasures that count for eternity.
“And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge;
The fear of the Lord is his treasure.”
It’s NOT TOO LATE! Give those on your Christmas list the gift that will keep on giving all year: Prayers of My Heart prayer journal; where they can record their daily gratitudes to God.
Choose the Right One to Please
Do you ever feel like you can’t please anyone? Or, can’t please everyone? It’s normal to want to please those we love. However, we’re wise to realize we can’t please everyone just like Jesus didn’t please everyone. So how do we prioritize who we please? We follow Jesus’s example. In John 8:29 He explained for whom He was living and making it His priority to please: His Heavenly Father. “He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
If you’re in a quandary about how to live so that you at least please your Heavenly Father, follow Jesus’s lead.
Jesus used Scripture to stand against temptation. We can do that.
Jesus reached out to others in love. We can do that.
Jesus prayed before making decisions. We can do that.
Jesus followed His Father’s leading rather than His own impulses and initiative. We can do that.
There is no one more worthy for us to please than our Heavenly Father, and we can do that.
Heavenly Father, as Jesus was well-pleasing to You, help us please You.
If You’re Wondering What to Do About Something
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Are you at your wit’s end? Do you need someone to talk to who can help you sort out your problems and worries? God understands. Our Heavenly Father is the original COUNSELOR. And, Isaiah 9:6 says this about Jesus. “For a child will be born to u … and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,….” In other words, our Heavenly Father and Jesus are Wonderful Counselors who are available to counsel and guide us. They’re excellent listeners, and we can hear their answers when we quiet ourselves in their presence. Talk to God, then follow His counsel. I record what God prompts me to do in my journal, Prayers of My Heart. It helps me follow through because I can review what I’ve recorded. What might God’s prompts sound like? “Call a person who is going through health problems.” Or, “Spend your time working on _____ today.” Make 2020 your best year by recording and following through with how the Wonderful Counsel prompts you. ORDER TODAY so it will arrive before Christmas! HERE.
LORD, You are the WONDERFUL COUNSELOR. Increase our sensitivity to Your Voice. Help us take seriously Your counsel and follow through on what You lead us to do.