Rethinking Who and What We Praise
As we’ve studied, there are times when God announces, “This is who I am. This is my name.” Such is the case in Isaiah 42:8, when God announced, “I am the LORD, that is My name;” In the same breath, He continues; explaining what it means that His name is LORD. It means He will not give His glory to another. It means that our praise is to be given to Him alone. His pronouncement should cause us to rethink our lives, “Are we giving our praise to anything or anyone besides Him; making them the priority of our lives?” If so, we must bow before the LORD in repentance and profess Him LORD of our lives and give Him praise.
God, You alone are LORD. Forgive us for putting anything or anyone before You. We bow in humble reverence and praise.
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!
Better than Bootstraps
Do you feel hopeless? Perhaps the last bit of hope to which you’ve clung just went out the window. Your future may appear bleak. Dark clouds may seem to hover over you no matter where you go or how hard you try. But the good news is, if you’re a Christian, you have every reason to hope. Why? Because Romans 15:13 explains that the GOD OF HOPE is in you through the Holy Spirit. “Now may the GOD OF HOPE fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” It’s not a question of if you have hope. You do. The question is, are you allowing the GOD OF HOPE to fill you with His joy and peace? You can experience hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a matter of switching from pulling yourself up by your bootstraps to believing God is on the throne; that He sees you and loves you. He has your best interest at heart. In faith, pray, “GOD OF HOPE, fill me with joy and peace through the Holy Spirit.”
GOD OF HOPE, thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit so we can abound in hope by His power.
A Blessing to Slow Down and Think About
Do you ever hurriedly read through familiar passages in the Bible? I often have to remind myself to slow down so I grasp the fullness of God’s words. Such is the case with Matthew 26:27-28; which is often read during Communion. “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.'” When we slow down to read this passage, we realize that Jesus identifies Himself as the Covenant Maker. He makes a covenant with us and seals it with His blood. His covenant with us is eternally binding. Nothing can separate us from Him. What a blessing for us to slow down and think about.
Lord Jesus, COVENANT MAKER, You not only made a covenant with us, but You sealed it with Your blood. We worship, praise, and adore You, our Lord and God.
Have You Ever Wished You Had Someone to..
Have you ever wished you had someone to watch your back? Or, better, to watch over your soul? The fact is, believers have just that in Jesus. First Peter 2:25 tells us “…you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” When doing research for my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion about God being the guardian of our soul, I discovered that the word “guardian” is translated from the Greek word episkopos and means an “overseer, a man charged with the duty of seeing that things done by another are done rightly.” (page 98) What a blessing for us to have God as the Guardian of our souls!
LORD, thank You for being the GUARDIAN of our souls!
Are you ever blind to something about yourself that others see? The other day after speaking at a luncheon, I got in my car and glanced in the mirror to check my hair. When I did, I noticed I had spinach in my teeth. I immediately winced and wondered why someone hadn’t told me. Of course, we’re ultimately responsible for ourselves. That’s why 2 Corinthians 13:5 is a good word regarding something much more important than our external appearance. It says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” We’re told to see if Christ’s Spirit is in us. In other words, just as we check our external appearance, we’re to check our internal. If you’re not sure Christ’s Spirit is in you or would like to know how to receive Christ’s Spirit, visit Meet Jesus.
PRAYERS PLEASE: Tonight I’m keynoting at Calvary Baptist Lubbock, TX Women’s Spring Banquet. Lubbock is my where I was born and raised, so it will be special to be back there. It’s also the date we buried my mother, Bernice Taylor, 17 years ago. I’d appreciate your prayers for an outpouring of God’s Spirit. I so want to give back to the community that gave so much to me. Thank you. Topic: The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World.
Do you know the answer to this question? Out of all of God’s teachings, what is the greatest of His commandments? and where is it found the Bible? You get extra points for knowing the Scripture reference. According to Jesus in Matthew 2:37-38, the great and foremost commandment is, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Luke 10:27 includes, “And with all your strength.” As a physician, Dr. Luke would have picked up on that important aspect. We’re to love God with every fiber of our being! Jesus quickly followed in Matthew 22:39-40 with a second great command and explanation, “The second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” There we have it. Our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus are the commanders of the heavenly hosts and are our Commanders in Chief. As citizens of heaven we are to love and follow no one above them. How are we doing?
Lord, You who have given us Your COMMANDS, may we not be presumptuous or live contrary to Your ways, but rather live under Your commands in praise of You!
I’d Never Do That
The other day someone shared with me that they struggled to have time to pray and read the Bible. I didn’t say anything to the person, but I thought to myself, “Not me. I always have my prayer time and daily Bible reading first thing in the morning.” Wouldn’t you know it – the next morning, as I began my Bible reading and prayer time, a thought popped in my mind. Instead of jotting it down as I typically would and continuing my Bible reading, I decided to make the note on my computer. That led to me checking my email. Before I knew it, I’d done the very thing that I’d smugly thought to myself that I didn’t do. Micah 6:8 is a good reminder to us to walk humbly with God. When we do, we’ll also walk humbly with others. That’s a good reminder in case we ever think, “I’d never do that.” The fact is, we just might.
Do you struggle with staying focused in prayer? If so, you may want to consider journaling.
Prayers of My Heart – a tool to help you stay focused in prayer.
It’s Never Too Late
The other day I was surprised to hear a popular singer refer to herself as a god. I was shocked. I wondered how the singer could so pridefully say she was god. Then, God directed me to do a little self-examination rather than be critical of her. Although the musician might say she’s god, do I ever go about my day and act like I am? Oh, I would never intentionally do that. But, do I ever do what I want instead of what the Bible teaches? Do I ever place my desires above those of Jesus? Am I ever more focused on my interests than Christ’s? God put a check on my critical spirit and used the moment to lead me to ask God’s forgiveness. What about you? Could you use a prayer to ask God to forgive you for something? If so, God’s arms are open wide as 1 John 1:9 reminds us. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
You Are Loved