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!

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My Prayer Tuesday, Jan 9 2018 

Today’s scripture can be found in the book of 2 Corinthians Chapter 1 verses 10 and 11:

10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, [f]He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.

Today, my prayer is for you dear reader. That you may know Christ and the riches of His grace toward us who believe. That you may prosper in the calling wherein you were called. That you would be in good health. That your heart might be full of rejoicing. That your character might be molded and shaped by the Spirit of the Almighty God. That you might be renewed in the spirit of your mind. That you might come to know the faithfulness of God in Christ Jesus. That your life might show forth the praises of God who gives to all men liberally as they have need. That your prayers may not be hindered.  That the Spirit of God might reveal to you all the secrets of His grace and mercy. That in Christ you might come to know God, the Father of us all. I pray that you might receive a foretaste of the peace that passes understanding. That you might be delivered from death. That you might receive the free gift of salvation. That you might know that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That you might know that He is able to keep you from falling. I pray that your joy may abound. I pray that you receive the gift of Faith.

I pray that God’s Almighty hand would be upon you all the days of your life. That you would receive a blessing. That you would receive His Holy Spirit. That you would be transformed, and encouraged, and thankful. That you would receive a new heart, a new desire, a new passion in Christ. That you would receive the love of God.

My prayer for you today is a never ending prayer…In Christ Jesus…

 

 

God Glory Sunday, Jan 8 2017 

Yesterday morning, I was greeted at sunrise with this beautiful display of the sky on fire. What a testimony to the glory of God!

He is awesome in power.

John 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

The Scripture referred to in this verse comes from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 12:1-3 In that day you will say: ” I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw from the wells of salvation.

The wells of salvation are the wells of Yeshua. Yeshua is Hebrew for Jesus. So that fountain that wells up in your heart when you are speaking in the Spirit is the well of Yeshua in you, the hope of glory.

 

 

God’s Fire Tuesday, Jan 3 2017 

When my husband and I were first married, we went camping a lot.  The very first time we went, it rained all night long.  I was amazed at how dry we stayed in that little tent.  We didn’t have all the gear we have now back then, so we set up a big blue tarp over a picnic table and our propane lamp and stove.

In the morning, everything was drenched and there was a river of water flowing down the hill behind our tent from all the rain.

Finding dry wood for a camp fire wasn’t happening. Everyone else that had been there had packed up and left.

Have you ever tried to start a fire outside even with a little wind or rain?  Every time you light a match you have to protect the flame with your other hand until the fire “catches”. You’re limited by the time it takes to catch and the length of your match.  You might waste two or three matches before you figure the direction of the wind and can huddle your whole body against the wind to protect the flame.

That is how it is when you attempt to share Christ with someone who has been unchurched. It is important to get your own fire going before you attempt to light the fire of others. But that same joy that comes when you are finally able to get the fire going comes when you lead a soul to Christ.

When you tip your candle into their candle and there is a sudden crackle and blaze as their candle lights up.  The light shines and they begin to “see” what you’ve been talking about.

When you have the Spirit of God in you to help, it is like having a propane tank at the ready to light up the whole area. People come, even from a distance to share the fire of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

 

God’s Seed Monday, Jan 2 2017 

Have you ever wondered how a little seed becomes a great big tree? Or how deep the roots go down into the soil?

For many years, I grew a garden and even now, I have a few grow boxes in the side yard for tomatoes and herbs. I grow a few flowers including marigolds.  At the end of each season when I pull up the stalks, I harvest the marigold seeds from the dried pods on top. You hold the base of the pod upside down between your thumb and forefinger and twist.  It pops open and gravity brings a shower of seeds out. Each pod contains many seeds.

It always amazes me how many seeds I get from each plant.

That is how God’s word is when you don’t just read it but you dig a little deeper into scripture references, meanings of words, and looking up the Hebrew meaning of names and places; it is amazing how much you can get out of each scripture.

If you take the time to highlight key verses that speak to your heart and memorize verses you can use later as weapons against the attacks of the enemy; then you grow spiritually.  Your harvest becomes peace and joy and love.  The mysteries of God are revealed day by day continually season after season.

2 Corinthians 9:10-15

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

 

God’s Balance Monday, Dec 26 2016 

God’s Balance

Psalm 103: 14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.

It is a wise man who learns that the foundation of life is love. Without knowledge; there can be no joy. Our faith yields a bountiful crop of peace. Healing comes through patience. The most miraculous power on earth is kindness. Prophecy is the cornerstone of goodness. Faithfulness brings the gift of distinguishing of spirits. Speaking in tongues is the epitome of gentleness and their interpretations are brought through self-control.

Psalm 103: 19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

For every fruit of the Spirit there is a gift. God is the ruler of them all. He distributes them as he wills.

You have heard of the “balance of nature” and how delicate it is on earth. With God, that balance expands to the bounds of heaven.

Isaiah 40:The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.”

Isaiah 40: 11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d] of the Lord,
or instruct the
Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
or showed him the path of understanding?

If you are always thinking you need to put your own finger on the scale then you’ll never receive God’s best for you.

The Word of God Saturday, Nov 26 2016 

The Word of God

The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

Psalm 19:7-9

How to Worship God Thursday, Jan 9 2014 

 

In yesterday’s post we talked about How to Read the Bible, today we are going to talk about How to Worship God.

Many people think of worship as only singing in church on Sunday with accompaniment under the direction of the minister of music. While this method is effective in ushering in the Holy Spirit to your service each week, how on earth do you keep Him close the rest of the week without the band and choir to back you up?

Be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember in the LORD’s Prayer the line that says, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?” Imagine yourself standing at the very entrance to heaven with one hand and one foot in heaven and one hand and one foot on earth. Your worship should bring you to this place where there would be no difference between heaven and earth. The angels are worshipping in heaven and you are worshipping on earth.

The whole point of this worship is to usher in the Holy Spirit, to watch what He does, and to copy it. Heal the sick, comfort the down hearted, be an ever present help in times of trouble. Put your hand to His hand and learn from the Master the gift of compassion. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Worship is a time of thanksgiving. It reminds me of that song I learned as a child, “Thank-you LORD for saving my soul. Thank-you LORD for making me whole.”

Accepting the gift of salvation is the core of this time with the LORD. Put your arms out in front of you as if receiving a gift and say, “Thank-you LORD for your free gift of salvation. I accept it. Now change my heart and change my life. Make me a new creature in Christ.”

Speaking to yourself about who God is to you. A Psalm I like is Psalm 8.

8 O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;

What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;

The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Imagine, there are 150 Psalms! If you ever want to learn about the character of God, you can find it in this book. The psalmists sang to the LORD from the depth of their hearts. They knew Him and trusted Him.

Having a time of worship before you study the bible each day can be a powerful experience, but some of my best times of worship are while I am doing other things; multi-tasking like doing the dishes or walking the dog. And yes, I hear the music in my head. I feel the rhythm in my feet.

Making melody in your heart to the LORD includes writing your own Psalms. I began doing this as a child and find it a joy.

I will end with this admonition from Paul to the Colossians:

 

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.