Are you ever blind to something about yourself that others see? The other day after speaking at a luncheon, I got in my car and glanced in the mirror to check my hair. When I did, I noticed I had spinach in my teeth. I immediately winced and wondered why someone hadn’t told me. Of course, we’re ultimately responsible for ourselves. That’s why 2 Corinthians 13:5 is a good word regarding something much more important than our external appearance. It says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” We’re told to see if Christ’s Spirit is in us. In other words, just as we check our external appearance, we’re to check our internal. If you’re not sure Christ’s Spirit is in you or would like to know how to receive Christ’s Spirit, visit Meet Jesus.
I’d Never Do That
The other day someone shared with me that they struggled to have time to pray and read the Bible. I didn’t say anything to the person, but I thought to myself, “Not me. I always have my prayer time and daily Bible reading first thing in the morning.” Wouldn’t you know it – the next morning, as I began my Bible reading and prayer time, a thought popped in my mind. Instead of jotting it down as I typically would and continuing my Bible reading, I decided to make the note on my computer. That led to me checking my email. Before I knew it, I’d done the very thing that I’d smugly thought to myself that I didn’t do. Micah 6:8 is a good reminder to us to walk humbly with God. When we do, we’ll also walk humbly with others. That’s a good reminder in case we ever think, “I’d never do that.” The fact is, we just might.
Do you struggle with staying focused in prayer? If so, you may want to consider journaling.
Prayers of My Heart – a tool to help you stay focused in prayer.
It’s Never Too Late
The other day I was surprised to hear a popular singer refer to herself as a god. I was shocked. I wondered how the singer could so pridefully say she was god. Then, God directed me to do a little self-examination rather than be critical of her. Although the musician might say she’s god, do I ever go about my day and act like I am? Oh, I would never intentionally do that. But, do I ever do what I want instead of what the Bible teaches? Do I ever place my desires above those of Jesus? Am I ever more focused on my interests than Christ’s? God put a check on my critical spirit and used the moment to lead me to ask God’s forgiveness. What about you? Could you use a prayer to ask God to forgive you for something? If so, God’s arms are open wide as 1 John 1:9 reminds us. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
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.
Are You a Zoomer or a Wanderer
Are you a zoomer or a wanderer at the grocery store? Have you ever noticed that there are two types of people at the grocery store? First, there’s the zoomer. They know what they want, where it is, and are in a fast dash to get in and get out. Second, there’s the wanderer. They’re not sure what they want and they slowly push their cart around from one side of the aisle to the other at a snail’s pace. Which are you? Which is better? The fact is, our world needs both slow and fast paced people. God created each of us as unique individuals. Instead of being critical of people who are different from us, Romans 12:10 tells us to “be devoted to one another in brotherly love; to give preference to one another in honor.” That’s a good reminder whether we’re at the grocery store or anywhere else.
Keep Reaching for the Sky
Last year, I planted flowers in a pot outside of our garage. The flowers bloomed all summer but died when it got cold. I pulled them up, thinking they were annuals that needed to be replanted every year. The following year I was shocked to see tiny green shoots pushing their way through the soil in the pot. I was glad I hadn’t uprooted all of them. What amazed me, though, were two tiny green leaves pushing their way through the gravel several feet away. Even though they had no rich soil, they made a way, defied all odds, and eventually bloomed. They’ve given me more pleasure than the ones blooming in the pot. I notice them more because their flowery display shows more grandly against the gravel. Are you like the flowers in the gravel? Going it alone and not under the best conditions? If so, hang in there. Your heavenly Father has His eye on you, as we’re reminded in Psalm 33:13. Keep reaching for the sky and blooming right where you are.
Birds of the Air
Are you a bird watcher? My friend, Janice, loves bird watching and can tell you about a variety of birds. I know a cardinal from a hummingbird, but you might not want to test me past that. The amazing thing about birds is they build nests and eat, but as Jesus points out, they don’t sow seeds or gather grain into barns to sustain themselves. Why did Jesus get on the subject of birds in Matthew 6:25-27 when He was giving a sermon? The people He was speaking to were worried about what they were going to eat and what they were going to wear. Jesus comforted them that just as God takes care of the birds, He’ll take care of us. The next time you start to worry, look at the birds and remember Jesus’s words. You are far more valuable than the birds. Your Heavenly Father will take care of you.
What Do I Do with My Anger
The other morning I looked out my window and saw a brush fire not far from our house. Orange flames and grey smoke rose to the sky. Then, with relief, I noticed my neighbor’s truck. Several men were tending to a fire, watching over it as it burned cedar. You know, anger is a lot like fire. It’s not necessarily wrong if it’s righteous anger. For instance, the Bible tells us that God is at times righteously angry. Ephesians 4:26 tells us to be angry, but to not sin. Why? Because if we don’t deal with anger in the right way, the Bible says it gives the devil an opportunity in our lives. Okay, so you may not believe in the devil, but Genesis to Revelation speaks of him, exposing him as an evil and powerful reality. Our anger, like fire, can be used purposefully or if left unchecked can damage our lives and others. Learn more about what to do with anger at debbietaylorwilliams.com.
The Smell Test
When you’re grocery shopping, do you smell fruit, such as cantaloupe or peaches to determine if they’re ripe? I remember the first time I saw someone hold a cantaloupe close to her nose. After she placed it in her basket, I decided to try the smell test. The first cantaloupe I held close to my nose had zero fragrance. I returned it and reached for another one, wondering if the smell test was bogus. But as I held the second one close to my nose, I was pleasantly surprised. It had a sweet aroma. That evening, when I took a bite, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s taste matched it’s smell. Second Corinthians 2:15 says that Christians are a fragrance of Christ to God and to others. In other words, as we move about and connect with people, they get a whiff of us. I wonder. Do they smell the sweet presence of Jesus or, do they get a whiff of our anxiousness, impatience, or sin? To find out how you can become a sweet aroma of Christ, please click HERE.
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.