He is …

He is not here!

He is risen!

He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!

He is the Alpha and Omega.

He is my salvation.

He is the Lord of the Sabbath.

He is the Christ.

He is the Son of Man.

He is King of the Jews.

He is my redeemer!

There are so many ways to describe Jesus. How do you do it?

The work…

The work has been done.

God’s work has been done — it is full and complete. Jesus did it all for you and for me.

We don’t have to strive. We don’t have to figure out how to be acceptable. We don’t have to beat ourselves up. We don’t have to listen to satan’s lies and deception any longer.

It is finished. We are free to rest in God’s goodness, and in God’s deliverance. Jesus bore the brunt of it all and paved the way for each of us.

It is a relief that, because of Jesus, I am worthy. I am God’s creation. And yes, of course there is sin and sadness, there is pain and regret. But, there is salvation. There is more to come.

Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for walking that walk. Thank you for your sacrifice for me. Thank you for the gift of New Life! Amen.

May I…

May I wash your feet?

It’s a little personal. And yet, Jesus set out to do just that when He met with His disciples for the Last Supper.

Foot washing is a little risky for both of parties. It’s making ourselves a little vulnerable— both for the one doing the task and for the one receiving it.

I try to get a pedicure once or twice a year, but it’s been a few years. And so, I am not sure if the person doing the job will judge me for not “taking care of business in a timely manner.” I have so many reasons for not being there and they are all reasonable.

I don’t believe a pedicure and a foot washing with an intention to serve are the same thing at all, but they can invoke similar thoughts and emotions.

I appreciate my feet and all they do for me. Sometimes my feet are filthy—and they would have been especially dirty during Jesus’ time with all the sand and sandals and dusty roads. Even so, Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. He didn’t expect them to get them in shape before He did the task. He took each foot — dirt, callouses, bunions, and all.

And He takes each of us — sin, selfishness, despair, grief, anger, and all.

Lord Jesus, wash away all the ugliness of my sin. Help me to accept the work You are doing on my behalf. Renew that right spirit within me. Grant me your perfect peace. Amen.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

Psalm 121:1-3

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

I know when I am discouraged, disappointed, or depressed I often look down. I look downtrodden. I don’t see all that is in front of me.

The simple practice of lifting my eyes and looking up makes a difference on my countenance. And when I do so, recognizing Who it is that I am looking to for assistance, I am in a good place. I am in a place of humility. I am recognizing that I have a need and I am seeking God for the solution.

My help comes from the Lord.

From daily tasks to huge obstacles, God wants to provide solutions and encouragement. He has things for us to learn along the way, but He is a problem solver. He is a life giver. And He is my sustainer.

As you look at the day and week ahead, look up — seek His face. Ask God to be in your work and play.

Be still before the Lord.

Psalm 37:7

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!

Be still before the Lord. 

I am in a season of learning this. Sometimes I am too patient, but most times I am just impatient. I am mainly impatient with myself– with my progress, or, more typically, lack of progress. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the cycle of doing stuff — anything to keep myself busy when that isn’t probably what needs to happen. Being still before the Lord is a process. It’s a way for my mind and heart and spirit to be quiet before God.

I love to meditate on a short passage of Scripture. It doesn’t actually have to be an entire verse. It can be a snippet. If I read it and it is resounding in me, I like to see why. Of course, all of Scripture can resonate with me, but every verse doesn’t grab my attention at the same time. It can’t. Focusing somewhere means you are not focusing somewhere else. And so when I am busy doing something, it takes away from my being still and hearing God.

Be still before the Lord.

When was your last uninterrupted time of stillness with God. What have you missed hearing because you were too busy doing? Give Him an opportunity to shine His wisdom on your life!

Let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:5-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to GodAnd the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Let your requests be made known to God.

I sure have trouble with this! I feel like I have spent a lifetime practicing the present your requests to God part. I still don’t get that right. And with thanksgiving — in every situation? Well, that isn’t always so easy either. I have a long history with God — and still, I get distracted and overwhelmed.

Some things take a while to come to fruition. Some things are never meant to be. But that peace of God is such an amazing gift. The work God does in our hearts as we wait, in prayer, is His work. The guarding of our hearts and minds is His work, but the presenting everything to Him in prayer and supplication is what we need to do.

I am so thankful that God’s peace is in short supply. He wants to give us this beautiful gift! I just need to remember to turn it over to Him before I have any time to be anxious about it.

Let your requests be made known to God.

God loves to hear from His children! What are you laying at His feet today?

My grace is sufficient.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Power. Strength. Ability. We are not wired to be independent little islands and yet we work towards a level of self-sufficiency that often negatively impacts our relationship with our Savior. Our weaknesses reveal God’s strength. I am often too busy making sure I have done all the things that I forget who is really behind them. And having an ability apart from knowing who has granted it can lead me to a “I did it myself” type of attitude.

Let’s be sure to give the credit where it is due. And rest in God’s good gifts of grace!

Blessed is the man.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.

Blessed is the man.

I have a natural tendency to make a stronger connection to any Bible verses that I know through song. This is one of those verses, thanks to Integrity Music’s Scripture Memory Songs, that hangs out in my head the moment I see the first four words on this Psalm.

I enjoy the song and words on a singing level, but I know how God works — the more I hear His Word in whatever form, the more the words sink into my heart and soul. The reminders, the encouragement, the promises all flow in and through my heart and mind and encourage my spirit.

Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

I probably first heard this song 20+ years ago and it still brings me encouragement. What songs, hymns, and spiritual songs are encouraging to you? Have you listened to them recently?

And a side thought — Have you thought of those songs you want played at your funeral? What songs might bring encouragement to those who will mourn your passing? What are the words from Scripture you want them to hold onto?

I know, this PrayerPoint took a weird turn. But I am going to make a list of words and songs that are important to me today. They may change by the time my time comes to be face-to-face with Jesus, but who knows? We don’t know when our day will come but having thought out a few things ahead of time will make some things easier for those who have to carry on.

I give thanks to you.

 Psalm 86:8-13

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart.

My whole heart. My undivided heart. That heart that cannot curse and bless at the same time. That’s the heart David is talking about.

I can imagine David. His whole heart ready to burst — overflowing with the thankfulness for God’s gifts of forgiveness, grace, and mercy. When we are burden with sin, it’s a heavy load to carry. When we recognize all that God sees and knows about us and and that He still loves us, it is an amazing thing. We are His creation. And He provides for us in ways that are beyond our comprehension.

It’s true we don’t get everything we want. Even those honorable things that seem like they would be good things aren’t always meant for us. Getting to the point of being thankful in all circumstances is a journey of surrender.

But it can begin today.

What difficult things can you look back on in your life and see where God has done some beautiful work? If you have some history with God, you have seen His provision in action. You know what He can do — even if it takes years for it to come to fruition.

What is today’s circumstance that has you wondering is He sees or knows or even cares? Let me encourage you to give thanks to Him for what He has done and what He is going to do. Even if you can’t start with your whole heart, start with part of your heart. As you look back on what He has done, it gets easier to trust Him with your heart. It may start off as bits and pieces, but, between remembering His work in the past and giving thanks for today, you will find that more and more of your heart will participate.

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart.

Teach me your way.

Psalm 86:8-13

There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
    nor are there any works like yours.
All the nations you have made shall come
    and worship before you, O Lord,
    and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
    you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
    that I may walk in your truth
;
    unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
    and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
    you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth.

I never have to worry about whether or not God will teach me. But, as I am learning in my Hungarian lessons, sometimes it takes me a long time to learn something. The teaching is there — no doubt about that. But, am I a willing and interested student? And, as I am learning to walk in God’s truth, will I stumble and fall, just like a toddler does when they are starting out?

Absolutely.

I am pretty sure I am harder on myself about this than God is on me. I just need to remain teachable. I am in my 50s but I know there is still a lifetime of learning ahead of me!

P.S. Yesterday was a busy day and I wrote out the PrayerPoint but completely forgot to hit the publish button…so you ended up with two PrayerPoints today!