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!
How would you describe yourself? Would you use “DOOR” to communicate to 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 the 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
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 awesome it is that God gives every believer the gift of His presence through the Holy Spirit. This 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, copyright Debbie Taylor Williams, Howard Books, Simon & Schuester, 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.” No, 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 clutched our heart tightly 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 2019.
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 the 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.’”
*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. If you’re trying to think what to get someone for Christmas, I hope you’ll consider this as a gift. BUY NOW.
What We Learn from Stinky Feet
Jesus’s words in John 13:14 and stinky feet and a bowl of water don’t make sense to us at first. He said, “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. A lot of trouble. Dirty. The moment 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 on the cross for us. It would be messy (a bloody mess). He would wash away not just dirt but filthy sins. Jesus taught us we’re to do as He demonstrated: humbly serve one another. Are we?
Jesus, Lord and Teacher, thank You for humbly washing us with Your pure blood so we’d be cleansed of our sins. Help us humbly serve one another as You did.
If You’re Under Attack
Do you feel under fire by a barrage of personal, financial, physical, spiritual, or other attacks? If so, take courage. Look up to your Heavenly Father, who David describes in Psalm 3:3 as a SHIELD about him. Put on the spiritual armor He’s given you. (Ephesians 6:13) Take His Word and bathe your heart and mind in it. (Psalm 119:97-98, 110-111, 114) Jesus hasn’t left us alone to suffer through life’s trials by ourselves. Cover yourself with His love and truth. (from Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion)
Lord, thank You for being a SHIELD about us. Help us stay under the protection of Your divine armor and Word.
“You, O Lord, are a SHIELD about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” Psalm 3:3
Learn more about Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion HERE.
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 do 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 I teach this morning in Indiana.
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 live in heaven.
“…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