I’d never looked at the pew before…really looked. However, a few days ago, I found myself studying an antique pew my husband and I’d bought years ago. I wondered if the craftsman had been a Christian who lovingly carved the pew or a hired hand who begrudgingly completed his day’s work? And, what about us? What is our story about our day’s work? Is it that we go about our day mindful of our calling by God? Or do we forget that Christ who saved us as Ephesians 2:10 tells us has placed us on earth to accomplish good works He’s prepared for us to do? To the degree we are mindful of our calling we are able to maintain a peaceful heart and persevering spirit. Learn “How to Live by the Divine Nature” of God so the story of your life will be one of a Christian who walked mindful of their upward calling.
The God of Weights
Unable to go to the gym during the pandemic, I began working out at home. Although I’d worked out with weights before, I wanted refresher tips so googled recommendations for the number of repetitions. Soon, I became engrossed with exercise tips and found myself thinking more and more about them. Then, one morning as I knelt to pray, I noticed my weights a few inches from my Bible. God quickened me to the fact my newfound interest had been a distraction from my time with Him. Is working out with weights wrong? No. It’s great. The believer’s body is God’s temple and we’re to take care of it. But God is to have first place in everything. Has anything become a preoccupation with you and taken away from your time with God? If so, return to giving Him first place. Get your copy of Prayers of My Heart Journal to help rekindle your intimacy with God.
What’s In Your Mouth
Do you know what often rises to the top of people’s New Year resolutions? You may have guessed it: eating healthier. Why is it such a challenge for us to put healthy food instead of unhealthy food in our mouths? How do people successfully make the switch to good habits? They have a plan along with their resolution. What other resolutions do we often make? To read the Bible every day. To pray more. Why are these good resolutions? Because as food is healthy for our bodies, reading the Bible and praying is healthy for our souls. Psalm 34:1 says, ”I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” If you get stuck on what to praise God for, check out Beyond Ourselves, a free devotional you can receive every day that features a different trait of God for which you can praise Him. Resolve to not only put healthy food in your mouth but to also put healthy praise in your mouth…a resolution with a plan.
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Better Than Mighty Mouse
When you were a child, did you watch the cartoon, “Mighty Mouse”? Do you remember the chorus, “Here I come to save the day!” When I was young, I was confident Mighty Mouse would save the day. Growing older doesn’t mean we no longer need someone to save us. We do. We need someone to save us from our sins. We need someone to save us from physical, emotional, and spiritual threats. Unlike Mighty Mouse, the One on whom we call is real. Joshua 22:22 says, “The MIGHTY ONE, God, the Lord, the MIGHTY ONE!” Our God can save our today and tomorrow. Call on Him. Commit Psalm 119:147 to heart, “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.” Learn ways you can call on the Mighty God by getting a copy of my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion.
Did you read the article titled “The Quarantine Bubbles Are Coming?” The writer defined a quarantine bubble as a group of individuals or families whose members have been safely quarantining during the pandemic and who can therefore start hanging out with other quarantine bubble groups. While quarantine bubbles may be relevant, of more relevance is whether or not we are quarantined for heaven. Yes, people who have been cleansed of their sins and received Christ’s vaccination so they never die spiritually are quarantined for heaven. Have you accepted Christ’s invitation to be quarantined in heaven with other sin-free people? If so, get your copy of “How to Live by the Divine Nature.” Enjoy the fulness of all that is yours because you are quarantined in Christ.
Soul, Not Clothes
The forecast was proving to be right. The sky darkened. Thunder clouds formed. In anticipation of the much-needed rain, I stepped outside and gazed at the glory of the heavens as the last sunray peaked through the dark sky. The heavens rumbled and I wondered if this was what it would be like at the Rapture when Christ appears in the clouds and believers are caught up to meet Him in the air. Aware of how unpresentable I looked, I took comfort in the fact that all Christ would look for at His return was my soul. Was it sealed with His Holy Spirit? If so, I’d be raised to meet Him in the air. Are you ready for Christ’s return? Revelation 1:7 forecasts Christ’s return and unlike weathermen, God’s forecasts all come true. If you’re not sure you’re ready to meet Christ, visit “Meet Jesus.” Be ready!
A Heavenly Summons
Have you struggled with your thoughts or emotions lately? Illness, the economy, and cultural issues can wear on even the most committed Christian. It’s easy to wish things were like they used to be and to have little hope for the future. But that’s not to be our mindset. Rather, the Lord summons us to pray for our families and leaders. Are you unsure your prayers would make a difference? If so, commit 1 John 5:14-15 to heart. “And this is the confidence that we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests for which we have asked from Him.” Friends, it’s time to raise our voices in faith. Find tips for how to pray and verses of faith in my journal, Prayers of My Heart, here or at Amazon.
“Are you wearing a mask when you go to the store,” a friend asked. I quickly replied yes. “Whew,” she responded. I’m not sure what her response would’ve been if I’d said no, but she seemed relieved. Wearing a face mask is a government recommendation to help stop the spread of a physical virus. But, are you aware of God’s spiritual mandate to stop the spread of sin? Yes, Ephesians 6:10-18 says to put on God’s armor of truth, righteousness, peace, and faith and to take the sword of Spirit which is the word of God. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve trained ourselves to put on a mask to stop the spread of a virus. Are we putting on our spiritual armor to prevent the spread of sin? Learn how to armor up in my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion.
Our family has had several dogs but one was particularly clever at communicating what she wanted. She would go to the door, which was her way of saying, “Heh, get up from your desk. I need out!” Then, she’d turn and go to the kitchen hoping for a treat. She could certainly communicate. I learned what she wanted by her small prompts. In the same but much more important way, Christians can learn God’s prompts. Jesus explained in John 16:12-14 that He would send the Holy Spirit to guide us. What a gift! How can we learn the Holy Spirit’s prompts so we walk in the ways He’s leading us? We ask God to help us learn His voice. We evaluate our thoughts and actions in light of Biblical truths. Learn more about how to know and follow God’s voice and prompts in Listen UP.
I So Messed Up
Looking at the nail holes in the wall after rearranging pictures, my mother’s suggestion came to mind. “Use toothpaste to fill holes.” However, after filling the holes I realized I had messed up because her walls, unlike mine, were white. The toothpaste fillings were worse than the holes. Have you ever messed up on matters of far more importance? When we mess up, as in sin, guilt can consume us, but it’s not where God wants us to stay. Instead, Psalm 32:5 tells us how to move from guilt to grace. “I acknowledged my sin to You; and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’; and You forgave the guilt of my sin.” In whatever way we mess up, we can acknowledge our sin to God, turn from it, and embrace His grace. Learn more in my book, The Plan A Mom in a Plan B World at Amazon or debbietaylorwilliams.†