When What You Want is Different from What God Wants
Lord Jesus, thank You for modeling being submissive and trusting in our Heavenly Father’s ultimate will.
“He went a little beyond them and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.’” Matthew 26:39
Lost and Found
Have you ever been lost? Perhaps you took a wrong turn in the road and didn’t know how to get to your desired destination. As bad as that is, what’s worse is to be spiritually lost which is how Jesus describes us prior to salvation. As a matter of fact, we were so lost that there was no one who could help except Jesus. In Luke 19:10, Jesus describes Himself as the Son of Man who came to seek and to save the lost – to save us and every person. Jesus left heaven’s glory to come and do what no one else could do. Through the virgin birth of Mary by the Holy Spirit, Jesus was born, the Son of Man, to seek and to save our lost souls so we could be reunited with our Heavenly Father. What good news! Is there someone we need to look for as Jesus did, someone with whom we can share the good news?
All praise to You, Lord Jesus, Son of God, SON of MAN. Thank You for seeking us and saving us. Rouse us to do as You did – to seek the lost in order to share the good news of salvation with them.
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10
Just You Wait and See
Things aren’t always as they appear. Just you wait and see. For instance, Jesus had no earthly possessions, wasn’t married, and when arrested, His friends abandoned Him. He was lied about, mocked, and beaten almost to death. Mark 14:61 records the high priest questioning Him prior to crucifying Him, “‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’” How incongruous. Blessed? Yet Jesus was and is the Son of the Blessed One. So when we think about our lives or circumstances and they don’t appear as us being the “blessed child of God,” remember that is who we are. Things aren’t always as they seem. Just you wait and see.
Heavenly Father, we praise You for Christ, SON of the BLESSED ONE, and for our being Your blessed children.
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 – your mind, emotions, and will? The fact is, believers have just that person 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!
God assumes responsibility for being the Guardian of our soul, but it is our responsibility to tune into Him and follow what He tells us to do both in the Bible and when the Holy Spirit prompts us during the day. Begin each day prayerfully greeting God and lifting up your soul to Him. Invite Him to fill your soul, then pay attention to His prompts throughout the day. You know how I value opening my prayer journal every morning and recording His attribute that I share with you. Being still in God’s presence with pen in hand and journal open is an invitation for God to prompt us how to pray and also to what He wants us to do. If you haven’t yet tried journaling, this time in our lives is the perfect time. Prayers of My Heart Journal
LORD, thank You for being the GUARDIAN of our souls. Help us be ever sensitive to Your Word and will.
If You’re Devastated by the Separation
Have you ever been separated from someone and you desperately wanted to be with them? Whether the separation is due to death, divorce, disease, or distance, the pain of not being able to be with or even get in touch with a loved one is indescribable. “Indescribable.” That’s the word people often use when attempting to explain their loss, suffering, and sadness. Jesus understands such depth of emotion. He loves us and created us to live in union with Him. Indescribable love drove Him from heaven’s glory to earth to seek and to save us. Jesus, separated from sinners, crossed the chasm between heaven’s glory and earth. He offers His outstretched hand to save us for eternity and to save us daily. How tightly are we holding to Him?
Lord, we praise You. You, who are SEPARATED from SINNERS, who came to earth to save us. May we cling tightly to You every moment of our day and night.
“it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;” Hebrews 7:26.
What to Do in Our Shifting Times
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Are you concerned about people’s shifting views about the Bible and Jesus? If so, remember that Jesus is who He says He is and you are doing the right thing by building your life on Him and His Word. As a matter of fact, Jesus says in Matthew 7:24-27 that you are wise.
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall.
Notice that both men experienced the same conditions – the rain, floods, wind slamming against their house. Only one house stood. Our nation is experiencing floods of people and the winds of change. Are you a Christian? If you are, you will stand because your life is built on Christ. If you are not a Christian, you have the opportunity to be what Christ describes as “wise.” On what are you building?
Lord Jesus, we worship You, the ROCK of OUR SALVATION. Thank You for the assurance You give us that we will stand because our lives are built on You.
If you missed it, my thank you and what’s ahead.
Several years ago the world was sickened by the confirmation that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been confirmed dead after being tortured in a Saudi consulate. Can you, would you, expect to see him walking around and eating with family and friends after his death was confirmed? No, of course not. Does that help us better grasp why people didn’t believe that Jesus was alive after they witnessed His torturous scourging and crucifixion? Matthew 28:6 gives the shocking angelic announcement to Mary as she stood outside Jesus’s empty tomb. “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.” In addition to Mary and the disciples seeing the resurrected Christ, more than 500 eyewitnesses saw Jesus after His resurrection. The grave couldn’t hold Jesus because He is life. He gives eternal life to everyone who acknowledges they are a sinner and asks forgiveness in His name. People are dying every day because of natural causes, disease, and senseless evil random shootings. None of us know when the life of our family, friends, and neighbors will end. It is time for us to be bold and lovingly ask those who are unsaved, “Do you know where you will be when you die? “Gentle Boldness” is the title of one of my chapters in Discovering His Passion. Prepare yourself to share Christ with others.
Jesus, we celebrate You – the giver of eternal life. Help us gently, but boldly share You with others.
If You’re Drowning In….
Have you ever thought of God as being a Life Preserver? Psalm 116:6 describes Him that way. “The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.” The word “preserve” in this verse means to save a life. No doubt Jesus fits the description. He rescues those who are drowning in sin when they call on Him for salvation. We understand the need for someone to save us from raging waters. Do we understand the need for Jesus to save us from raging sin? We understand the need to be saved from physical death. Do we understand the need to be saved from spiritual death?
Jesus, You are the only One who can rescue us from sin and preserve our soul for eternity. We call to You.
When You Can’t Seem to Please Anyone
Do you ever feel like you can’t please anyone? Or, at least you can’t please someone you want to please? Maybe it’s a co-worker, spouse, parent, child, or friend. You do your best, but it seems they’re never satisfied. Trying to please people who are never pleased can cause us to feel defeated and drained. Unless we keep in mind that we can’t please everybody, and we focus on pleasing the most important person – our Heavenly Father. Jesus models doing that, even when others were disappointed in Him. For instance, the disciples were no doubt shockingly disappointed when Jesus didn’t resist being crucified. Martha and Mary were disappointed when Jesus delayed coming to their sick brother’s side. John 8:29 explains Jesus’s position. ”He (the Father) who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” No, we can’t always please others. But we can follow Christ’s example of pleasing our Heavenly Father.
Following are some of the ways Jesus pleased the Father. Which are you already doing? Which do you want to begin doing?
- Jesus used Scripture to stand against Satan’s temptations. We can do that.
- Jesus shared His Father’s kingdom principles, how to be forgiven, and how to be saved. We can do that.
- Jesus was sensitive to others and reached out to them. We can do that.
- Jesus looked up in prayer and thanked His Father for hearing Him. We can do that.
- Jesus prayed before He made decisions. We can do that.
- Jesus followed His Father’s leading rather than doing things on His own initiative. We can do that.
Heavenly Father, as Jesus was well-pleasing to You, help us please You.
Rethinking to Whom and What We Bow
As we have 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
He continues in the same breath, explaining what it means that His name is LORD. He states He will not give His glory to another. In other words, we are to praise Him and Him alone. His announcement should cause us to think about our lives and if we are giving our praise to anything or anyone besides Him? In other words, are we making anything or anyone besides God the priority of our lives?” If we are, then we must bow before the LORD in repentance and profess Him as LORD. We must realign our lives so they are a praise to Him.
Heavenly Father, Lord God Almighty, You alone are LORD. Forgive us for putting anything or anyone before You. We bow in humble reverence and praise.