Has Anyone Ever Sacrificed Something for You
Has anyone ever sacrificed something for you? Have they sacrificed sleep so you could sleep? Have they sacrificed advancing so you could? Have they sacrificed their plans so you could do yours? Sacrifice. Sometimes we sacrifice but do so begrudgingly. But Ephesians 5:2 tells us Jesus willingly SACRIFICED His life for us. He thought of us, not Himself. Hill Country Ministries is dedicated to telling others of Jesus’s great love and sacrifice. One way we have done this is by taking our P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference to every state. Christians are inspired and equipped to pray more purposefully and live more passionately for Christ. Seekers are given the opportunity to respond in faith to Christ. Thank you for your prayers as we seek how to reach the last 2 states – Oregon and Maine – during the Covid pandemic.
Lord Jesus, thank You for willingly giving up Your glory, Your comfort, Your life for us; for being a SACRIFICE to God on our behalf so that we can be reconciled to You. Help us sacrificially fulfill Your commission to us to tell others about You.
“…walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a SACRIFICE to God as a fragrant aroma,” Ephesians 5:2.
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 speak; to prompt us how to pray and 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.
Have you joined the movement yet? What movement? The movement of Christians who are standing against letting fear consume them. The movement of Christians who are saying, “Yes, Covid-19 has turned my world upside down, but God is with me to help me get through it.” The ones who are saying, “Yes, it’s hard to stay at home and self-isolate, but I choose to use my time wisely. Several years ago, I was going through a hard time. As a heaviness was coming upon me, I sensed the nudge to pull my car off the road and park. Then another nudge to “Look up at the heavens.” As I did, God reminded me that I wasn’t alone. He was there for me, and He was all-powerful to take care of every need I have. Our world is going through a hard time. This is an opportunity for us to say, “Yes, life is hard, but, ‘Lord, You are….” Join the movement. Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion will remind you of the many ways God is with you and sufficient to meet the demands of each day. Be a witness for Christ to those who don’t know Him. Model to your family that this is where a relationship with Christ makes a difference.
How would you describe yourself? Would you use “DOOR” to communicate with others who you are? I certainly wouldn’t. But Jesus did. In John 10:9 He said, “I am the DOOR; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved,…” Why would Jesus describe Himself as a door? He wants us to know that there is an “outside” of heaven and an “inside” of heaven. Heaven is a place and we are “outside” until we go “into” heaven through Jesus. Make no mistake. Everyone will not live eternally “in” heaven. Only those who enter through Jesus will be in heaven. Our Heavenly Father sends a personal invitation to you to enter eternal life in heaven through the forgiveness of your sins Jesus paid on the cross. No knocking required. Just a prayer. Acknowledge your sins to God. Ask Him to forgive you. Receive the gift of His forgiveness and Holy Spirit. Learn more at Meet Jesus.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for opening the DOOR to heaven through Your sacrifice on the cross.
There’s No One Like the Comforter
Thank you for praying for God’s anointing on my speaking on, “Becoming a Leader of Passion and Power” at LIFT Arizona; that women’s ministry leaders would be encouraged, inspired, and equipped as they lead in their respective ministries.
On a cold winter evening nothing feels as cozy as snuggling in bed under the warmth of a soft comforter. The fact is, though, no blanket compares with who 2 Corinthians 1:3 describes as the God of All Comfort. Yes, when a person’s crisp tongue chills us to the core or the howling wind of despair blows through our heart, it is the God of all comfort who comforts us like no one else. The Greek word for comfort means “to call to one’s side, speak to, in the way of exhortation, console, teach.” How incredible that God gives every believer the gift of His presence through the Holy Spirit. Our Comforter is an abiding presence who will never wear out, never become threadbare, and never leave us. The more we cover our lives with His teachings, the more we’ll know the warmth of His presence.
Adapted from Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion, page 67.
LORD, You are the God of all COMFORT! Thank You for the blessing of Your presence!
It’s Not Too Late
Do you ever get disappointed with the speed of your spiritual growth? In other words, would you like to be further along spiritually than where you are? Would you like to say, “I used to …., but now I’ve got a handle on it.” If so, I’m with you, which is why I find Genesis 17:1-2 to be encouraging. It says, “Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God ALMIGHTY; Walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.’” Ninety-nine and God ALMIGHTY says, I’m the “most powerful God who holds sway over all things. Walk blameless.” The good news is, it’s never too late to open our ears, minds, and hearts to God ALMIGHTY. It’s never too late to say, “Hold sway over my heart.”
ALMIGHTY God, forgive us for times we’ve closed our heart rather than opened it to Your powerful sway. We ask now, “Hold sway over our hearts so we walk blamelessly before You.
*This is one of God’s attributes included in my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion; a perfect read to start 2020.
Do You Know Your Purpose in Life
Do you know your purpose in life? Certainly we would agree it has to be more than the daily grind of work, paying bills, eating, drinking, sleeping, then repeating the next day. In case it’s been a while since you’ve thought about your purpose, 2 Corinthians 5:20 tells us what we are to be about doing. Our purpose is to be an ambassador for Christ. The verse goes on to explain, “as though God was making an appeal through us to people to be reconciled to God.” Just as a country sends an ambassador to another country to represent its interests, God calls us to represent His interests to others; to reconcile people to Him. First Corinthians 10:31 clarifies the kind of ambassador we’re to be; saying, “…whatever you do, do to the glory of God.” Learn more about your purpose in Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You give meaning and purpose to life. You call us to be Your ambassadors, to tell others how they can be reconciled to You through Jesus. Help us be faithful ambassadors who bring You glory.
If You’re Faltering
I’ve had the blessing of holding our newborn children and grandchildren. Holding them was no problem. They weren’t heavy. As a matter of fact, it was a delight to hold them. I could intently gaze on their faces. I could pray for them. The more I held them, the deeper my love grew. Wouldn’t it have been silly if our little ones had argued, “Don’t hold me. I’m too heavy.” Or, what if they had said, “I don’t want to bother you. You don’t need to hold me.” In light of that, consider our Heavenly Father’s words in Isaiah 41:10, “I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will UPHOLD you with My righteous right hand.” In the Bible, God’s right hand symbolizes His strength. His right hand is a strong hand of righteousness. We can relax in His hands. As He upholds us, we become increasingly aware of His deep love for us. In case you feel like you are faltering, be assured – your UPHOLDER has you.
LORD, Thank You for UPHOLDING us with Your righteous right hand. Thank You for the depth of Your love for us. Thank You that we don’t have to be afraid.
“For I am the Lord your God, who UPHOLDS your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’” Isaiah 41:13
*Copyright Debbie Taylor Williams, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion. This is the book that began my collection of God’s 365 names, titles, and attributes. It features chapters that give an in-depth description of 26 of His A-Z names, and includes lined space for you to record your prayers, repentance, and praise. Also included are discussion questions for group or personal study. I pray it blesses and deepens your prayer life. It also makes a great Christmas gift for friends and family as they begin 2020. BUY NOW.
What We Learn from Stinky Feet
Have you ever thought, really thought, about Jesus washing His disciples’ stinky feet? Or, about His words in John 13:14? “If I then, the Lord and the TEACHER, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Lord and TEACHER on His knees washing feet? Messy. Time consuming. Dirty. Unpleasant. The act had to do with more than simply washing feet, though. It was about humility, servanthood, forgiveness. Our Lord and TEACHER physically illustrated what He would spiritually do by His substitutionary death on the cross for us. It would be messy (a bloody mess). He would wash away our filth and sins. Cleansed, we are to humbly serve others and tell them about Jesus.
Jesus, Lord and Teacher, thank You for washing us and cleansing us of our sins. Make us increasingly mindful of following Your example.
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! LORD, thank You for being the GUARDIAN of my soul!
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 speak; to prompt me how to pray and what He wants me to do each day. Try it. I think you’ll like it. Prayers of My Heart Journal; Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion