Recently my son sent me a video, “How big is the Milky Way?” Watching it was an incredible reminder that too often I make God too little. He’s Christ for believers. He’s the Jew’s long awaited Messiah. Jesus died on the cross for people in certain nations. But that’s not what the Bible, God’s inspired Word, says. Rather, Isaiah 54:5, explains, we need to think bigger about who God the Father and Son are. “For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the Lord of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.” God of ALL the EARTH. “For God so loved the WORLD, He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life,” John 3:16. As we celebrate the Risen One’s sacrifice for our life, would you join me in prayerful consideration of how faithful we are being to spread the message of the forgiveness of sin and new life in Christ to our world?
Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus, forgive us when we think too small. Quicken our hearts to take seriously Your words to make disciples of all the nations.
Could God Love Me
Have you ever considered that the Heavenly Father delights in Jesus? Yes, Jesus is God’s DELIGHT as Isaiah 42:1 points out. “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul DELIGHTS.” In a world full of evil, what a blessing it must be for the Heavenly Father to look at Jesus and say, “My soul delights in You.” Reading His words stirs in me a longing for our Heavenly Father to delight in me, but I’m so mindful of my sin, I can’t imagine that being the case. Then again, could our Heavenly Father delight in us, while not delighting in our sin? Yes. Proverbs 3:12 says, “For whom the LORD loves He reproves, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” Our Heavenly Father has set His affection on us. He loved us even before we were saved. (John 3:16) Now that we are saved, He loves and corrects us; like we love and correct our children. So while celebrating God’s pure delight in Jesus, we learn what is pleasing to our Heavenly Father and how to walk by His Spirit so we can increasingly delight Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus, in whom Your soul finds pure delight. Thank You for delighting in us while we learn to walk in Your ways.
Ready or Not, He’s Coming
Did you play Hide and Seek when you were a child? The familiar, “Ready or not, here I come” warns the person who is hiding to be ready. Revelation 1:7 is not child’s play. It’s a serious warning that Jesus is coming and we need to be ready. “Behold, HE IS COMING with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” “Amen” means there’s no discussing it. It’s happening. We will either be ready for Christ’s appearing because we’ve repented of our sins and been forgiven or we’ll be covered in our sin and shame. If you’re not ready for Christ, take this as Him offering you the opportunity to be forgiven. Read John 3:16, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 10:8-11. Confess you’re a sinner. Ask God to forgive you. Receive the gift of His Holy Spirit. This is your opportunity to get right and be prepared for Jesus. Do it today. He’s coming.
LORD JESUS, COMING KING, we can’t imagine the reality of Your coming, except we believe in faith that You came once. So, in faith, we believe You are returning to earth. Help our faith take action so that we tell others how they can get right with You.
You Are Loved
When A Conversation Goes South
Have you ever had a conversation start out one way and then before you knew it, either you weren’t explaining your point clearly or the other person wasn’t hearing it in the way you meant? That happened to me the other day. I was complimenting someone, then somehow the conversation went south. They thought I was saying something I didn’t intend to say. It’s easy to misunderstand one another because we come from different backgrounds and hear from different points of view. One thing our Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to misunderstand is how much He loves us. If it’s been a while since you’ve heard the words in John 3:16, let them soak into your heart and mind today. “God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not die, but have eternal life.” Those are good words. God couldn’t state His love for us more clearly.
The Why Behind This Plant
Have you noticed how stores are filling with poinsettias and people are using them to decorate? The poinsettia, also called the Christmas Flower or Christmas Star, reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. Why? The red petals point to the reason Jesus came from heaven – to take our sin and judgment on His holy body and die in our place on the cross. The green leaves? They point to the gift of eternal life in heaven God gives us when we place our faith in Jesus. The gold crowned center of the poinsettia reminds us that Jesus is the crowned King of heaven, and one day, we will bow before Him. In the midst of shopping and parties, the poinsettia reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas as stated in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” To learn more about Jesus and why we celebrate His birth, visit debbietaylorwilliams.com.
Praise to the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
How old were you when you first heard or learned John 3:16? It’s a pivotal verse in the Bible. Did John realize the line in the sand God drew when he recorded these words? It’s a powerful statement and call to action.
- God so loves the world that He took action to save us from perishing.
- God is personally involved. It required that He sacrifice His Only Begotten Son.
- It’s personal for you and me – whoever believes in Him. There it is – our call to action, to respond to God’s love.
- There’s a promise – will not perish – experience eternal death.
- There’s a reward – will have eternal life.
It’s personal for God because He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON. It’s personal for us because we either gratefully respond “yes” to Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, or we say “no.”
What are your thoughts about God giving His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON so we can be saved and have eternal life?
Heavenly Father, who gave Your Only Begotten Son, we receive Your eternal gift of life with overflowing, grateful hearts.
Praise to the KING of the NATIONS
Great and marvelous are Your works, O LORD God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
KING OF THE NATIONS.”
Have you ever received a call from a loved one or friend and been told, “I just prayed to receive Christ?” That happened to me just now and tears of joy are rolling down my checks.
The words I’d previously typed for today won’t do. Instead, I appeal to you to consider that God gave John a glimpse of heaven so he could tell us that it’s real; so each one of us can respond to God’s gift of salvation.
The best visual I know to explain how we will one day be raised following our death is to consider a bulb such as an tulip. The bulb looks dead. Human hands bury it in the ground. But, God created life within the bulb and it rises to a new life in a changed form.
Every person will die. But, our burial doesn’t mean we will no longer live. God created us with a soul that lives after the body dies. Every soul goes before God.
In Revelation in a scene in heaven, God lets us know that He is the KING OF THE NATIONS; putting to end the belief that it doesn’t matter who you worship as long as you worship something/someone. It does matter. It matters for your soul.
The soul of the person who rejected God’s gift of salvation through Jesus will appear before God; just as the soul of the person who received God’s gift of salvation will appear before Him. God will honor each person’s response to His gift of salvation. The soul who rejected His gift of life with Him will live eternally apart from Him. The soul of the person who by faith received God’s gift of forgiveness through Jesus will live eternally with Him. And, if anyone thinks they’ll get a second chance after they die, the Bible clearly explains that is not true.
God’s offer of eternal life with Him through the forgiveness of sins is clear:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whoever believes in Him will not die, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
“Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Romans 10:11
“WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” Romans 10:13
If you’e never repented of your sins and called on the name of Jesus for forgiveness, would you now?
Lord, God, KING of the NATIONS, I call on You to save me. I know I’ve sinned. I ask You to forgive me through Jesus’s death on the cross on my behalf. Heavenly Father, please send Your Holy Spirit into my soul and cleanse me. Take away my sins and seal me for eternity with You in heaven. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, God cleaned your soul of your sins and sent His Holy Spirit into it. You can now begin to know your Heavenly Father in a new and special way. You’ll discover that Jesus is God, but also your friend. And, the Holy Spirit is your helper. I want to help you grow in your understanding. Email or call me. I’ll send you my Bible study, Discovering His Passion. Subscribe to this free daily post so you can grow in your understanding of who God is. I’m happy and excited for you. Yes, my eyes are filled with tears of joy for you.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will he not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
No Plug In’s, Please
During the month of February and as Valentine’s Day approaches,
we’re bombarded with suggestions of gift ideas for loved ones. Whether the gift is a card, a phone call to a loved one, or flowers, the gift says something about the giver.
The first gift I received from my husband, Keith, after we were married was
To You, LORD, I Lift Up My Soul
When we enter our prayer time in the mornings, it’s a miraculous experience. Long before man invented the cell phone, God created us with the capacity to commune with Him and He with us. Our spiritual wiring is activitated when we repent and call on the Lord Jesus for salvation. Just like we may receive a credit card in the mail, but have to call the number on the label to “activate” it; so God has reached out to us in Jesus Christ. We need only call on Him. We confess, “JESUS is LORD” and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. He equips us with the Holy Spirit. THAT’S WHY I’M SO GRATEFUL to be ABLE to LIFT UP MY SOUL to HIM EVERY MORNING.
What I record in my Prayers of My Heart Journal most often begins with PRAISE. For instance, my morning reading of Psalm 50 beginning with verse 1 is, “The Mighty One, God, the LORD, has spoken, and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.” In the first column of my “Week At A Glance” (labeled LORD), I record Mighty One Who Speaks. I momentarily ignore the columun lines and write across the page, “Speak to our hearts. We listen, respond, and obey.” That’s a good prayer request, don’t you think? And, it was prompted by God’s reminder to me of WHO HE IS. I then record specific requests for loved ones, friends, our church, and nation.
To You, Oh LORD, I lift up my soul. What a blessing to be able to do that every morning.
Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion TIP: Read a Psalm or Proverb every day. Look for a way in which God reveals Himself. Use your praise of Him as the springboard for your prayers as in the above example.