Our Rejoicing

“But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
For ye are our glory and joy.”  1 Thessalonians 2:17-19  (KJB)

The Right Attitude

“And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying,
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’
” Matthew 5:2-12

The Giver of Joy, Blessing, and Glory

“The king shall joy in Your strength, O LORD; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. For You meet him with the blessings of goodness: You set a crown of pure gold on his head. He asked life of You, and You gave it him, even length of days for ever and ever. His glory is great in Your salvation: honor and majesty have You laid upon him. For You have made him most blessed for ever: You have made him exceeding glad with Your countenance.” Psalm 21:1-6 (KJB)

When God Runs

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 (KJB)

In Luke 15 Jesus tells us three beautiful stories. The first is of a Lost Sheep; the second of a Lost Coin; and the third of a Lost Son. I am dealing with the third today, knowing it is the most remembered one often called the story of the Prodigal Son.

Please read the whole chapter. I will deal mostly with this one verse.

The lost son was lost because he decided to leave the father’s house and go out on his own living (In riotous living), on his inheritance, make friends, and be set for life. He finds himself broke, busted, and bankrupt; and feeding swine, and eating with the very hogs he was feeding. His “friends” had forsaken him, since his money ran out. Something we should all remember is that even as money, the material is temporary; so are people who are friends when you have money.

I like the phrase in verse 17 which states, “And when he came to himself”. He got to thinking. His mind cleared up, and he got to thinking about his father, and the way it could be at home. He humbled himself, went back to his father, to submit to him; not as his son; but to be a servant.

He heads home, and we can see something quite clearly. The father was watching for his son’s return. I can imagine everyday, several times a day he would look down the road in the direction his prodigal son would be coming from, longing to see him treading the way back.

We see the father spotting his son at a far distance, had compassion on him; and I would imagine tears joy and happiness flowing from his eyes; and he runs to greet him. The father prepares a great feast, a party welcoming the son home.

This father represents the God of Heaven. The lost son is anyone who is away from God; out of fellowship with God, and have no joy, peace, or love in their life.

The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ longs for your return. Come to your senses, and know that the Father is waiting for your return. When you start that return He will run to greet you.

When does God run? When ever His wayward child comes home.

GOD Came Visiting

“And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, ‘That a great prophet is risen up among us;’ and, ‘That God hath visited His people.’ ” Luke 7:16 (KJB)

Her son was dead. The widow was grieving. She had no idea what she was going to do now to live. Her son, the joy of her life; as with any mother; was grieved by her loss.  It also went deeper than that. Her son was her means of a living; buying the groceries, keeping the roof over her head. Now he is dead. [Read of the event in Luke 7:11-17]

As the funeral procession was being carried out for burial they pass by Jesus, and He says to the woman “Weep not” then He touched the bier or coffin, and said to the woman’s son, “Young man, I say unto you, Arise”, and he sat up and spoke. O, what joy must have come into this widow’s heart and life on this blessed day.

That is the event that led up to the verse for today. What would have been my response at seeing a dead man rise before my eyes?  What would your response be?  Probably one of wonder, awe, but also fear.

Knowing the One whom I know now; that is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, who is God the Son; I would, and will always glorify God.

God has visited His people. He sent Jesus His holy, only begotten Son, and He is called Immanuel which is “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He is the Great Prophet foretold through Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15).

The greatest of miracles which Jesus performs today is when a soul is saved through His death, burial, and resurrection calling on His name in repentance and faith.

Have GOD come visit you today.

Weeping

“Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.” Lamentations 3:48-50 (KJB)

Jeremiah is known as being the “Weeping prophet”.  When you read his prophecy, and his laments in Lamentations you can see why he is called that.

As I read the Laments this morning I found myself weeping for the prophets pain, and his laments were just for a caring heart and soul.  He hurt for his people. He hurt because of their forsaking of God, and His way, and His word.

There are other verses which show his grieving, weeping heart.  Consider Jeremiah 4:19 and 9:1.

If I stop to think about what I have wept over I am too often ashamed of it.  What should cause me to weep?

  1. That many who call themselves Christian are departing from the worship of God our Creator through Christ Jesus;
  2. That the word of God is considered by too many as being an antiquated book no longer worthy of following, or believing;
  3. That there are many who are perishing in their sins, and are going untold of the wonderful gift of God displayed upon the cross of Jesus Christ, His burial, and resurrection;
  4. That there are too many Christians who are in a backsliden condition, away from God, and do not seem to care;
  5. That Christians seem to see no need for the local church, and are forsaking the assembling of themselves together;
  6. That we have brethren in nations which persecute them for their faith in Jesus Christ while we go without any persecution;
  7. That Jesus Christ is not exalted as He should be.

That list is not exhaustive.  If you can think of another let me know in the comments; and let us pray to draw nearer to the LORD our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Common Place Religion

Please go to this blog written by Doug Eaton at The Fight of Faith.  Here is one paragraph…

The problem is that the way to find this glory and joy in God is to do the exact opposite of what you think you should do. It is like being submerged under a waterfall struggling for air. The most natural thing to do is to try to swim to the surface, but you will never get there because the crashing water will keep pushing you under. The right thing to do in that moment is swim down. It is only by swimming down that the water will spit you out down stream. This counter-intuitive nature is the same in the Christian life. If you are looking for true joy, he must increase, and we must decrease.

 

A Little While

“A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.
Then said some of His disciples among themselves, ‘What is this that He saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me: and, Because I go to the Father?’ They said therefore, ‘What is this that He saith, A little while? We cannot tell what He saith.’
Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask Him, and said unto them, ‘Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.’
” John 16:16-22  (KJB)

In a little while there were events which were about to happen which would cause the disciples great sorrow and they would not be with Him, or see Him; also, in a little while they would rejoice to see Him again.

The world rejoiced at His death.  They still try to destroy, steal, and kill as does their father.

It should be clear to us that He is speaking of His death, burial, and the rejoicing at His bodily resurrection.

The following is from the commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown…

“A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father — The joy of the world at their not seeing Him seems to show that His removal from them by death was what He meant; and in that case, their joy at again seeing Him points to their transport at His reappearance amongst them on His Resurrection, when they could no longer doubt His identity. At the same time the sorrow of the widowed Church in the absence of her Lord in the heavens, and her transport at His personal return, are certainly here expressed.” From the JAMIESON, FAUSETT AND BROWN COMMENTARY

We Christians of 2019 have great cause for rejoicing.  Jesus is risen.  He is alive. He is coming; He is returning soon.  For any and all who do not yet know Him; call on His name He will save you; you will be born again, and have eternal life.

A Merry Life

Having a Merry Heart – Proverbs 17:21-28

21  He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.
25  A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.
28  Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding

Verses 21, 25, 28 –  To beget a fool seems to be a doing of the father in the context of this verse.  The NKJV refers to this son as a “Scoffer”; the Hebrew “kes-eel’

From (Strongs’ Concordance) H3688; properly fat, that is, (figuratively) stupid or silly: – fool (-ish).”  No joy for the father of the fool.

22  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
24  Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.
27  He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

Verses 22, 24, 27 –  There are three things mentioned in these verses (20-22) which are devastating to a “Merry heart”: 1) A crooked and deceitful life;  2) A foolish son; and 3) Discouragement.

Having a “Merry heart” requires that one have these: 1) A sound and guiltless heart and mind;  2) Children growing and walking in the grace of God; and 3) Encouragement by the Spirit, the Word and others.

23  A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.
26  Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.

Verses 23, 26 –  These two verses speak of perversions of justice.  Bribery is a culprit of an evil giver and an evil judge.  It blinds what could have been righteous judgment.  Bribes take place in many forms.

One could be a friendship with strings attached.  Another could be a job which requires lying on forms of acquisition or payroll.  Still another could be… ______________________  I will let you fill in the blank.

It is a grave and evil thing when evil judges and evil people call evil good.  It is evil when good people are punished for what evil people have done.  On this think of the only good man who ever lived.  His name is Jesus.  He went to the cross, suffering at the hands of evil men; and in His death He took the penalty for sin, bearing the wrath of God the Father, and was buried; then three days later arose from a borrowed grave justifying forever all who will believe.

Words of the Prophets – Zephaniah

“Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.  The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, He hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.  In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.  The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.  I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.  Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.  At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.” Zephaniah 3:14-20 (KJV)

Expectation for Redemption

Earnest Expectation For Redemption
Romans 8:18-25

In our last study of Romans 8:10-17 we looked at “A Joyful Expectation In The Father”. That Joyful Expectation is due to His promise that we are “Joint heirs” with Jesus Himself. “Joint heir” means; everything that is His is ours. I am glad to be a joint heir with Christ. We must always know that we are not joint heirs due to our behavior, our goodness, or anything else of us. It is due solely by the Grace of God.

The Father has given us the Right, the Privilege to call God Father, Abba [Daddy]. We have been adopted into the family of God and given all the rights of the elder Son.

EARNEST EXPECTATION AND THE REDEMPTION OF CREATION – INCLUDING OUR PHYSICAL BODIES.

Looking at these memorable verses (18-25) we see and learn some wonderful things. First of all in verse 18 we see that there is going to be “Glory” for those who have believed on Jesus. He has written in verse 17, “… That we may be also glorified together.” and he is speaking, of course of Jesus. There is no glory apart from Jesus.

Paul is making a bold declaration. Notice he says, “For I reckon…” He is declaring something to be so, because the Spirit of Christ has already declared it to be so. We need this mindset, which actually begins in the heart of the believer.

The statement Paul makes in this sentence is a strong statement concerning our glory we share with Christ. The glory we will have in heaven is far beyond any suffering we have received while here on this earth. Stop and think about the suffering you have endured, whether for Christ or because of illness, or even some things of suffering you may have brought on yourself. Those will all be forgotten when we see Jesus in His glory, and receive His glory; the glory we have with Him.

In verse 19 we find that the “creation” all created things, are personalized by Paul making it almost human. It is as though the creation is waiting – waiting expectantly – for the ‘Sons of God to be revealed’. This is the revelation to all of creation who are the children of God. They will receive the glory, then, they shall know. “All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory”: How then, can we receive glory? By way of Jesus and His cross – His death, burial and resurrection.

On verses 20 thru 22 the MacArthur Study Bible note states,

“futility’ (NKJV). This refers to the inability to achieve a goal or purpose. Because of man’s sin, God cursed the physical universe (Gen. 3:17-19), and now, no part of creation entirely fulfills God’s original purpose”.

I am going to have to agree with this comment. I have stated in sermons and other things, that, “Man is the only part of God’s creation that does not fulfill God’s original purpose”. In thinking about what the study note says from the MacArthur Study Bible I believe that statement is correct, because when Adam and Eve sinned the earth was cursed. The lamb and the lion no longer lie down together; the calf and the wolf no longer eat together; the child can no longer play on the serpent’s den. And they could before the earth was cursed by the sin of mankind. Through no fault of the creature, ie., creation with the exception of man, thus, the futility, the ‘subjection’ ‘to vanity’. The creation had not sinned, but because of grace, God provides for Adam and Eve and all mankind; who is made after His image and likeness. For the redemption of man, the whole universe is cursed; and because of Jesus Christ, not only is man redeemed but also all of creation. Now isn’t that great or what? In the personification of the creation you can almost see the expectation. Listen as she cries. There was an earthquake at the crucifixion, and the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51). There was darkness over the whole earth from noon to three in the afternoon when Jesus was suffering for the sins of the world (Matthew 27:45). She is still groaning today. Listen as the storms rage. In some parts of the earth she is disturbed and we can feel her torment. Mount Saint Helens blew her top in 1980, and people died. Just last week Tsunami hit leaving 50,000 plus people without a home. On December 26, 2004 over 300,000 people were killed by a Tsunami as it ravaged Thailand and areas around it. You get the picture. Creation when personified is looking for that day when all things will be set right and made brand new.

In verse 23 we are told that those who have received the gifts of the Spirit; or, the “First fruits of the Spirit” are also longing or groaning for that day when the redemption will be complete. Now, know that, if you have been saved, you are no more saved than you ever will be, nor are you any less saved than you are right now. The point is there is coming a day when our redemption will be completed when we see Jesus face to face, then, we will be home. We are waiting for that ‘adoption’ when we receive our inheritance, and the redemption of our bodies. When Jesus comes for His Bride; the Church; all those who have died will be resurrected from their graves, and it does not matter where that grave may be. Those will be raised in their redeemed bodies, then, those who are alive and remain will be changed, and receive their redeemed bodies. Now I am groaning even more. I have had some people ask me, “Don’t you dread getting old?” to which I have replied, “Not at all. The older I get the closer I get to home”. That is the day I am living for.

Verses 24 & 25 speak of the “Hope” we have now. “Hope that is seen is not hope” seems like a bold statement of sorts. It is quite sensible. If we have the new car of our dreams, we do not hope to get one. We have it in our possession. The hope Paul speaks of, of course is much different than is ‘wishful thinking’, or even thinking that has merit to back up the hope. This hope; of which Paul speaks, is based on the trustworthiness of God and His Word. It is based on the worth of God. Therefore, we can know quite assuredly that though what we have now is hope for that day when He comes; it is as good as accomplished, because God has said it. He has promised it. Because He has promised it, “We eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (NKJV), or “We with patience wait for it”. God did not, does not, nor will not make idle or empty promises. His Word will come to pass, therefore, it is worth looking for and well worth the wait.

Through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”  1 John 1:1-4 (KJV)

“…From the beginning…” is certainly a reference to the eternality of the Christ.  If He is eternal then He is Deity – He is God – and worthy of worship.

“We”, John says, “have heard and seen the eternal One.”  How could it be possible for the finite to behold the infinite; for the sinner to hear and hold the sinless?  How can flesh hear, see, and hold the Spirit?  There is only one way.  That is for the Spirit to become flesh.  God became flesh (John 1:1, 14).  God is Spirit (John 4:24).  “…The Word was made flesh…” – the very character of God became man.  God revealed Himself to us.  if we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father (John 14:9).

Jesus then, is the revelation of God to man.  He is God manifested to us.  What God did in His Son Jesus was not secretive, but was done openly for the world to see.  His birth was proclaimed by angels to shepherds; was revealed by a “star” leading the “Magi” to follow where the Child would be found.  The works Jesus did loudly proclaim He is who He claimed to be.  His death was no secret.  The Roman government was deeply involved.  One Roman soldier proclaimed while watching Him die, “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).  It must have been in the way He died.  There was no spite, but forgiveness in Him as He hung there on that cross.  He showed care for those around Him; He assured a thief of his place in paradise; He made sure His mother would be cared for.  Only the loving God incarnate could keep His mind and do these glorious things while so near to death.

Is it important to truly believe these things about Jesus?  YES! We know Him by believing these things and we believe Him because we know these things, because He has been revealed to us.

There is no fellowship with the holy, righteous, just God and Father except through Jesus His Son.  The only way brothers and sisters in Christ can fellowship is through our fellowship with Jesus and the Father.

In order to bring others into the fellowship, we must declare what we have seen and heard.  We must declare our own personal experience of faith in Christ.

The joy of a Christian is far beyond happiness the world often endorses.  Happiness is fleeting.  It can be here today and gone tomorrow.  Our joy is based on our fellowship with God, and circumstances cannot control it.  There is no possible way for one to have Joy apart from faith in God through His Son Jesus Christ, and fellowship with Him.

 

…From the Presence of the LORD

“Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before Me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” Jonah 1:1-3 (KJV)

In the presence of the LORD there is joy, peace, hope, and life.  Out of His presence there is fear, dread, and chaos.

Jonah was an actual man who lived during the reign of Jereboam 2 of the Northern kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 14:25).  He is also mentioned in a teaching by Jesus in the New Testament (Matthew 12:39-41), and Jesus was not referring to a parable, but using Jonah as factual history, and his being in the belly of a great fish/whale.

The central character of the book of Jonah is not Jonah.  It is God.

Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh.  It as a foreign nation which he knew did not believe in Jehovah/YHWH; and Jonah was a patriot of Israel; so he fled, and “went down to Joppa”  hoped on a ship going to Tarshish, paid his fare, and “went down into it.”

It is quite possible that Jonah sold all his possessions to flee.  He was leaving any family he may have had, friends, home, etc. behind to flee from God’s will for his life.

This was one time when this prophet had no intention of obeying God.  Did he know about God’s richness of mercy?  Most certainly he did.  It is probably why he chose to flee.  He did not want to see a hated enemy repent and experience the mercy of Jehovah God of Israel.

Notice the common thread of all who “flee from the presence of the LORD”.  The “presence of the LORD” is the only place of contentment, peace, rest, and fulfillment.  The “presence of the LORD” is the will of God for our lives (those who are in the faith of Jesus Christ).

Please notice the path of fleeing from the presence of God:  Every step is a downward step:

  1. “Went down to Joppa”  (v. 3);
  2. “Went down into it [the ship] (v. 3);
  3. “Was gone down into the sides of the ship…” (v. 5)

Twice in verse three its says, “…from the presence of the LORD”.  There is warning there for everyone who would step out of God’s will for any reason; no matter how reasonable it may seem.

It is shocking to find how easy it is to find the means to flee from God’s will for our lives.  A ship was at Joppa.  It is very possible that Jonah purchased the whole use of the vessel – he being the only passenger, and the other men being the captain and the crew.  We can always find means to flee, but we rarely find the means to do His will.

Did Jonah think he could go some place where God could not find Him? It is not likely.  For Jonah to flee was pure rebellion against the sovereignty of God in his life.  For any one who openly rebels against God’s will they flee “…from the presence of the LORD”.  We all must learn that where God calls us is going to be the place where we are content, at peace and joyous in the LORD.  That all begins by believing what God tells us about His Son Jesus who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day.  Call on Him and begin your life living in the presence of the LORD.

 

Christmas Day 3 (2, Christmas Day)

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want all my family and friends (Including those who visit this blog) who are traveling to have safe, trouble free traveling to their destinations; and to have a joyous, peaceful, healthful, happy and a Christ filled MERRY CHRISTMAS.

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, and thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule My people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found Him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship Him also.” Matthew 2:1-8 (KJV)

Prophets Speak – Christmas Day One Hundred Forty and Seven

“For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” Isaiah 65:17-19 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas today?

I want you and the world to know the One who is, and will create new heavens and a new earth; who is able to make your life brand new, forgiving all your sin, and making you clean and more whole than you have ever been; I want you to know that He has done that through sending His Son Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, was buried, and He rose again, to be ready for His second coming; and of that time we do not know, but is coming, and will provide us a place with no more weeping or crying.

Christmas Day Two Hundred Forty and Four

What do I want for Christmas?

I want today to be a day of faith, joy and peace for all who will seek the face of the Lord Jesus.

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near…” Isaiah 55:6 (KJV)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7

Day 270

What do I want for Christmas?

I want you to know the love, peace, joy, grace, and power of God in your life; I most of all just want you to know God through His Son Jesus Christ; that you might have His mind and heart.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (KJV)

Day Two Nine Four

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to live my life in the fulness and power of the Holy Spirit of God; that others might see the power and work of God, His Word and His Spirit in me.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”  Galations 5:22-26

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”  2 Corinthians 3:17 (KJV)

Stop, Look, and Listen

This title are words of warning I learned as a child about Railroad Crossings, and crossing them: STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.  Perhaps you remember them; and they are practical words for all of life.  Especially for the words of our Lord.

“Hearken to Me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” Isaiah 51:1-3 (KJV)

People will hear what they want to hear. Have you heard that statement before? It is illustrated by the story of two men walking on the busy streets and sidewalks of New York City. One man is telling the other of how people will only hear what they want to hear. The one being told this did not agree, so the one who made the statement dropped a coin, on the concrete sidewalk, and nearly everyone stopped.

How much do we miss by not listening and by not hearing what God has to say? Much. Very much I would say.

The words above, “Hearken to Me…” is the plea to God’s people to listen to Him. He makes this plea to the “righteous” to those “that seek the LORD”. Note what He is asking them to do. First He tells them to listen; then, He tells them to “Look”.

It is very basically a call to remember the promises He has previously given. Promises concerning Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 12:1-3). It is a promise that He will bring them back to the land of Promise; and that it will be prosperous once again.

This too is a promise of the fulfillment of all that God has promised to Israel, His nation, and Zion [Jerusalem]. That is a promise which will be fulfilled when Jesus comes to earth again.

Christian, we can rejoice in knowing that these promises of God are irrevocable, and that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29).  Take time today to STOP what you are doing; LOOK into the word of God; and then LISTEN and hear His invitation to come to Him for deliverance from your sins.

Be sure and listen to our Lord, Creator, and Saviour today, and everyday.

Salvation’s Wells

“And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:1-3 (KJV)

“That day” spoken of is carried over from chapter eleven, and has to do with that day when the Messiah of Israel returns to earth, and sets up His kingdom.

In that day will be a wonderful day of salvation for the nation of Israel. They will sing a song similar to the song of Moses and of Miriam (Exodus 15).

The MacArthur Study Bible note says, “They are the earthly counterpart to the heavenly doxology in Rev. 19:6, 7”

One thing I noticed as I read verse 2 above was the use of the name “LORD JEHOVAH”. “LORD” is the shortened “Jah” name of Jehovah, and “JEHOVAH” is the full name. It is given to give us double assurance of who God is; and that He is the covenant keeping GOD.

For the Christian today we can rest in the assurance of who God is. He is our strength and our song. He is also our salvation. We can be assured that He will redeem Israel; and keeping His covenant with Israel is an assurance He keeps His covenant with all who trust in His Son Jesus.

Trust in GOD: Rejoice

“But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because Thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee. For Thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt Thou compass him as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12 (KJV)

One of the most glorious things about the Bible, and it is the Word of God; is that right in the middle of it is a Song Book. One hundred and fifty of the most wonderful songs that have ever been written. Most of them probably written by David.

Psalm 5 shows David’s anger toward evil, and that God is angry toward evil. We can understand that their is none righteous except those whom God declares righteous. We cannot declare ourselves as righteous. That is an empty endeavor. A vain thing.

“Let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice” Yes! All trust must be placed in Jehovah [YHWH]. He is a Jealous God; and is worthy of all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Jehovah is our Defender; our Righteousness; and our Shield. Let us shout for joy. Let us rejoice every morning when we awake. When we roll from our beds, and our feet hit the floor let our first thoughts be of Him; and not the dread of the day ahead.

Do you have God’s favor today? When you come to Him through His Son Jesus who is Righteousness in person; through the cross – His death, burial and resurrection – you have His favor.

Let all those who put their trust in God rejoice.

Joyous, Glorious Salvation

“Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.” Nehemiah 12:43 (KJV)

The rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, and their return to Jerusalem was cause for great joy. It was celebrated by the sacrifices; great numbers of lambs, bulls and the bringing of the first fruits of the fields were offered. There was much music and singing.

The celebration was filled with joy. It was the “joy of Jerusalem”. The people had returned after 70 years of captivity.

Everyday the Christian should celebrate the deliverance which Jesus Christ has provided for us through the sacrifice of His own blood. There were many sacrifices offered that day in Jerusalem, but all that blood was only a portrayal of the blood of the one sacrifice that could eternally take away sin.

When an individual trust in Christ as the sacrifice for sin we can rest assured that our salvation; our redemption is secured for all eternity. There is “Great Joy” in the heart of the follower of Jesus Christ. The sacrifice of Jesus will never occur again.

See these verse: 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:17 – 27

Give Place to Weeping, and to Praising

“And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.” Ezra 3:11-13

The people of the captivity in Babylon had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.

Now the foundation was laid, and there was praising and shouting for joy; however, the ones who had seen the original temple (the “ancient men”); saw the new foundation and wept because they remembered the beauty of the old one.

There can be rejoicing, singing, and praising when there is a return to the land of Promise. It should be that way.

There should also be weeping because of the peril of sin. It was the people’s sins and their forsaking of God and the Sabbaths (2 Chronicles 36:19-21; Jeremiah 25:1-11) that brought them to this point in their lives. It could be that that was part of the reason for the “ancient men” weeping.

It does us good to remember our past; lest we be doomed to repeat it. It does us good as well to rejoice in today, and God’s good blessings, and to love Him every moment; to rejoice with singing, praising and giving of thanks for His wonder mercy and grace.

Weep for your sins. Rejoice in God’s forgiveness, and praise Him.