My Joy Thursday, Jan 11 2018 

 

Today’s verse is found in the book of James chapter one verse 2-3: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various [c]trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces [d]endurance.

What? Endurance? When I first read this verse I thought it was a misprint. It was when I became aware of the importance of context. If we read on we find:

And let [e]endurance have its perfect [f]result, so that you may be [g]perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and [h]without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Well, that’s better. I love the idea of being made perfect and lacking nothing. And what a promise about just asking for wisdom it will be given. How great is that!

Now that I can get joyful about for sure.

Whenever I think of joy it reminds me of Paul’s admonition to the Philippians in chapter four verse 4: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

It also reminds me of when Jesus said during the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:11-12:

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

And when Jesus said in John 15: If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so [d]prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

I always feel the greatest joy when God answers prayers. Not just mine but all of our prayers. How cool is that!

God’s Mercies Monday, Jan 9 2017 

When I was in high school, I had a bible verse written on the book covers of every text book I used. We use to make covers to protect our textbooks out of inverted paper grocery bags.

The verse I wrote was:  1 John 1:9King James Version (KJV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

I was what they called a “Jesus Freak”.

Back then, there were three groups in our school; the kids involved in sports, the kids involved in drugs, and the Jesus Freaks.

I have to admit, I was more focused on my own part of that verse than I was on God’s part. Oh, I wanted the purity offered in that verse, don’t get me wrong, but how my confession would bring it about, I had no clue.

I didn’t know that His mercy endured forever. Psalm 136King James Version (KJV)

136 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.

To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:

The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.

10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:

11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:

12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.

13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:

14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.

16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.

17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:

19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever:

20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:

21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:

22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.

23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:

24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.

25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.

26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

I didn’t know He was merciful and forgiving even though we rebelled against him.

Daniel 9:9King James Version (KJV)

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him.

I didn’t know I could share his mercy with others. 1 Corinthians 1:3-11    Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.