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.

The Places

There were times over the last two years that we hardly went anywhere and that was as much of a challenge as going places. In fact, we thought more about where we were going and who might be there over the last couple of years than we could have ever imagined.

So he we are, living in a freer world — stepping out and moving about, albeit a little cautiously. The places we are going may just be that: nothing special — simply locations. But there is effort and energy in the movement and we have to go.

Are there places you need to go but to don’t care to? Are there places you are excited about? Are there places you are dreading?

Me too. And God is in all those places. When I am heading to the places I need to get to, it helps me to remember that God goes before me, He comes behind me, and He hems me in. He is with me in all of the places.

When I need to go to a place I would rather not be, I say,

Be near me, Lord Jesus!

Wait and see.

I am often impatient. I have what I think is the perfect plan — the ultimate sequence of events. Except it rarely is.

I don’t have the bird’s eye view. I don’t know the bigger picture. I don’t see what God sees that involves generations of impact from early years or for the future. I simply don’t.

The question is, do I trust the One who does?

Of course, there are things I can and should do. But, these things should be prayerfully done. Sometimes plans are delayed for one reason or another and I may not always learn why. Sometimes new things, good and bad, enter my life that waylay my plans. Have I left room for God to move? To create? To work His work? Am I afraid the path might be painful or difficult?

All my doing is not always productive. I can give my effort and pray for God to bless or change it. And I can wait and see what He is doing with my circumstances, relationships, and challenges.

I can be me and wait and see what God is doing. I will wait impatiently and imperfectly, but I will wait and see.

Point of view.

We all have a way we see things. It’s based on our history and experiences and the way we see the world. One important thing to consider is how much of how we see the world has a Godly influence? Are we getting closer to seeing things from God’s point of view?

I definitely ebb and flow a bit here. I can get sucked into the ruts of past ways of thinking— negative first impressions or hard core disappointments on how I (or worse yet, someone I love) was treated. But, remembering that God sees the big picture and He is working things out makes a big difference for me and my point of view.

God is working all things out — the good, the bad, and the ugly. The longer I walk with Him, the easier it is for me to grow my patience and perspective. Slowly, ever so slowly, it is getting closer to His. And that bring me peace.

Keep your eyes open.

God’s work is all around us. Are we too distracted or bogged down to see it? There are two things I do to increase my awareness of what God is doing. One thing I do is ask God:

“Show me what you are doing here!”

Sometimes I say it as a prayer of desperation. Other times it is more like an inquiry. When we are looking for God’s work or His hand in a matter, we will see it.

Other times I simply

Dig in.

Scripture has so many stories and examples of God’s patient and merciful work. And there are other stories — from family and friends and even strangers who have written books. With so much going on in our world, I find I need to be refreshed with encouragement and hope.

God is working.

He never stops. He wants you to see what He is doing. He wants to transform your vision so you can see people the way He does. There is only one way to do that, keep your eyes open and ask Him to grant you His perspective.

My apologies for missing a couple of days in PrayerPoints this season. We have been moving to a new house and things have been crazy: exciting and exhausting. And now we have to unpack and find happy homes for all the things!

Give thanks to the Lord.

Psalm 136:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord.

I don’t know your circumstance. You might be experiencing health, financial, or relational challenges. In spite of these potential scenarios, I encourage you to give thanks. God is good. Your situation might be devastating, but circumstances can’t change God’s nature.

I have been guilty of equating God being good with things going “my way”. Have you? When I am weak, discouraged, or worn down I am susceptible to this mode of thinking. When I am angry or if I have been violated or if someone I love has been injured, I might be tempted to forget God’s goodness. But I cannot.

I encourage you to remember God’s goodness.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

Be constant in prayer.

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Be constant in prayer.

While I can’t possibly say that I am thinking in prayer every single minute of the day, I do have a lot of conversations with God during a day. I ask God for His perspective, His strength, His grace, His patience, His wisdom, His blessing, and more. I thank Him for the opportunities, for my relationships, for my challenges, for my salvation, for my peace, and more. I pray for my family members, friends, and customers. There is so much going on in a day that it is hard not to find things to pray for and about.

Prayers do not have to be long and fancy. God just wants to hear from our hearts. He wants to know that we seek Him first, that we acknowledge His place in our life.

Lord, hear our prayer.

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.