Tag Archives: Jesus

Do What It Says

A friend and I discussed how to pray for a mutual friend who reads Scripture every day. She said, “We could pray that they can and will apply their Bible reading to their life.”

“Oh yes,” I thought. “That will really help.”

Then the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart, “How are you doing in that department?”

Uh-oh! How many times have I read, for example, Proverbs 3:5 (“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding”) and went on trusting in what I thought was best? And how about Philippians 4:8 (“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, …noble, …right, …pure, …lovely, …admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things”)? Do I think about those things or about how irritated I am about seemingly unsolvable yard problems? I almost know Ephesians 4:29 by heart (“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen). So why do I hear complaining and criticism coming out of my mouth?

Image from Pinterest.

Oh Jesus, I’m struggling to practice what I read too! I need to obey James 1:22 (“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says”). Please let Your Holy Spirit help me as I turn from my own foolish way onto Your right paths. Thank You for Philippians 1:6 (“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”). Amen.

Bible Verses from the NIV.

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Trust Jesus Start to Finish

Jesus, You are the author and finisher of my faith. As You begin Your work in me, You teach me to set my mind on things above and on the Holy Spirit. You empower me to end a mind set on what I want or what might please others.

You start my mind remembering what I need to remember, such as Your mercy, forgiveness, and love which extends all the way to Calvary. You are the author of the sound mind that forgets what You have forgotten like forgiven sin carried away at the cross and the shame of imperfections which are covered by Your love.

(Verse graphic from (Pinterest.)

Lord, You have begun a good work in me and will continue it until the day of Your return when I will see You face to face and will be like You.

I could never thank You or praise You enough for all Your works. Let Your name be glorified forever and ever. Amen!

Hebrews 12:2 “[Looking] unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….”

Philippians 1:6 “[Being] confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

(Scripture quotes are from the New King James Version.)

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Amazing!

Lord God, You know me—who I am inside. You know where I am and what’s going on around me. You also know these things about the past and the future.

Amazing Knowledge!

Holy God, Your everlasting love surrounds and upholds me. You protect me and grant me shelter. You gave Your Son who gave Himself willingly to the cross, so my sins could be carried away from me as far as the east is from the west.

Amazing Grace!

Merciful God, You take me by the hand and lead me where I should go.

Amazing Love!

Savior God, You give me eternal life. No one can ever take me away from You.

Amazing Joy!

Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” NIV

Psalm 23:3 “He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” NIV

John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.” New Living Translation

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Sing a Joyful Song

At this time of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I remember the Easter hymns we sang in church as I grew up. I loved “Christ Arose” partly because of the building excitement in the chorus:

“Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!” *
(Words and music by Rev. Robert Lowry, 1826-1899.)

Now that I’m older, I value more and more the truth of the song. Jesus Christ conquered death, and He offers true eternal life to those who choose to receive and follow Him.

Christ is risen! Hallelujah! He is risen indeed!

“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:20 NIV)


“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3 NIV)

*Several performances of this song are available on YouTube. I liked this one by the Klondike Baptist Church Praise Team: https://youtu.be/UYcEH6vzVas

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Dump the Regrets

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16 NIV).”

One type of arrow, regret, targeted a weak spot in my shield for years. Now I’m learning to protect myself from it.

With the reminders of sin for which I’ve already repented, I can just mark them forgiven and let them go.

But many of those arrows catch fire from coals of ‘I wish’ or ‘if only.’ For example, “I wish I had made wiser relationship choices in college,” or “If only I hadn’t made so many stupid mistakes about a career, then life would be more worthwhile now.”

Wonder what Jesus would say about those regrets? He might say to me, “My child, do you think I have no power to work even your failures and mistakes into My plans and purposes? Can I not do what I said in Romans 8:28 and take these, along with all the rest of ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ and make something better than what anyone could have imagined?”

I’m so silly!

“Oh, right, Jesus. I must have thought You and the Father and the Holy Spirit were wringing Your hands and moaning, ‘If only she hadn’t done that! Now what will We do?’”

Then we would laugh.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)


“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.’” (Jeremiah 18:4-6)

(Both verses New International Version)

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Life Overflowing

Niagara Falls – September 2018

God offers me abundant life through Jesus Christ. But if I stubbornly cling to my own way, and don’t listen to Jesus and don’t obey Him, my life limps along in mediocrity. In fact, the more I try to take control of my life, the more “the mediocre” turns to “the pits.” (Matthew 7:24-26)

However, if I listen to Jesus and seek Him in His Word and try to obey what He says, I grow in His love and find more of His goodness—more abundance in life.

Therefore, let me choose to listen and obey.

John 10:10 “…I [Jesus] have come that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (Amplified Bible)

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land….” (New Living Translation)

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Thought Replacement Therapy

God has told us to bring every thought captive to obey Jesus Christ. But how can I do that? My thinking patterns have become knotted and twisted around experiences, people, and natural tendencies. I can drag the whole bundle to Jesus. When I do that, He shows me loose ends protruding from the tangles.

Then the Holy Spirit and I pull one free from the bunch, straighten it out and make it obey Christ. For example, I don’t need to hold onto a bad attitude about some disappointed expectation. When I start to stew, I can say to myself, “No. That’s the old way. I’m new in Christ. I’ll let go of the disappointment and rejoice in Him.” And the next time I think about what happened or didn’t happen, I’ll stop and remind myself that I’m rejoicing in the Lord.

When that thought thread is brought into submission, we can start pulling on another one.

“…[We] take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” –2 Corinthians 10:5
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” –2 Corinthians 5:17
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
(Scripture verses are from the New International Version)

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Written on His Hands

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NIV)

Thank You Jesus, for going to the cross where my name was engraved on Your hands, maybe not on the palms–-with crucifixion, the Romans pounded spikes through the base of the hand where it is joined to the wrist. But You suffered and died for my sin there.

That reminds me of the hymn, “Nailed to the Cross,” which I learned as a young person:

(Chorus)
They are nailed to the cross; they are nailed to the cross.
Oh how much He was willing to bear!
With what anguish and loss, Jesus went to the cross,
And He carried my sin with Him there.*

Thank You, God, for forgiving all our sins and for never forgetting us.


“…He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14) “……God has said,’Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5) (Both NIV)

*Hymn author: Carrie Ellis Breck (1899) Music and lyrics at:

https://hymnary.org/text/there_was_one_who_was_willing_to_die_in

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Rescue

When our boat overturned, the river started to pull me downstream. Then one of the men reached to pull me out of the rushing water. I felt his strong arms lifting me up.

Jesus, when the world pulls at me and I feel as though I’ve lost my footing, please rescue me! Lift me up with Your strong promises which reach out with arms of faithfulness.

My church children’s group used to sing, “Safe am I in the hollow of His hand. Sheltered o’er in His love forever more. No ill can harm me. No foe alarm me, for He keeps both day and night.”*
Lord, I will trust You no matter what happens. I can find rest in You. (See Psalm 62:1)

Psalm 145:13-14 “…The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” (NIV)

*“Safe Am I”; Mildred Leightner Dillon, author; © 1938 by Wm. Dillon (See YouTube https://youtu.be/XPM3ERHPV9M to listen to the whole chorus.

Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com

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Invisible Made Visible

Lord God Almighty, the invisible God, You have made Yourself visible in Jesus Christ Your Son. Hallelujah!

Jesus, Son of God, You existed before anything was created since You are the Word who was with God and was God. Nothing was created except through You. I lift praises to You!

Jesus, You hold everything together and sustain everything by Your powerful Word. You are before all things—Number 1 first, before time, before creation. I praise You, Lord!

All the fullness of God dwells in You, Jesus. When I see You, I see the Father. Holy Spirit, please help me see Jesus better.

All thanks and praise to You God! I used to be alienated from You, but now You have reconciled me to Yourself through Christ’s death on the cross. So I am holy in Your sight without blemish and free from accusation because I am in Christ Jesus.

Praise You, God–Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit!

(See Colossians 1:15-23, John 1:1-3, Hebrews 1:3 and Romans 8:1.)

(Image from Pinterest)

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