Tag Archives: delight

Deuteronomy 30; Psalm 119:73-96; Isaiah 57; Matthew 5

He clears away any mystery–he wants my heart, all of it. It is simple. It is rich. It is the most valuable thing I can give him. It holds my trust, my obedience, my hope, my love, my joy. And he offers me what I think I’ve always craved–his love, his delight, his approval.

When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come on you and you take them to heart wherever the Lord your God disperses you among the nations, and when you and your children return to the Lord your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors. The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. The Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 30:1-10, NIV)

People are fickle and change their desires as it serves them. But he whispers to me, “11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, ‘Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14, NIV, emphasis added)

He will not waffle in his ways. He will not keep me running for a bait he holds out of my reach.

19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20, NIV, emphasis added)

Good Father. My God. My life.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 12; Matt. 11; Nehemiah 1; Acts 11

Merry Christmas; Happy New Year; Glad Tidings; Joy to the world – songs and cards and greetings for a season. Many of us wistfully desire to keep holiday smiles, generosity, and sentimentality the whole year through. Life interrupts. We’re pulled up short. Then we wonder, “Where did my joy go?”

Commercialized industry urges us to pack up our Christmas joy, stuff it in the attic for next year, and wait obediently for the next brief holiday to hit the shelves. I have to admit that I keep my Christmas decorations up long after the New Year’s party is over, perhaps fearing I will box away joy leaving home and heart as void as my depleted checkbook. I was asked the other day if I am someone who sees the glass half empty or half full, and I could only stutter something unintelligible about relativity. So I prayed, “God, teach me where to find Your joy.” I think He took great pleasure in answering right away.

In Genesis 12:2, God promises Abraham that all the families of the earth will be blessed through him, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.” Joy can be found in God’s smile and in the warmth of His pleasure. Even before Abraham left his countrymen to follow God’s plan, God was happy with him. I, too, can enjoy the blessings of an intimate relationship with God.

But fear and anxiety can steal joy. Over the last six months, the grandson of a good friend has been undergoing cancer treatment at St. Jude’s. I marvel to read his testimony of courage and strength, penned by his Christian mother. She points to the blessings spoken by Jesus Christ in Matthew 11:29. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Joy can be found in that invitation, for fear and anxiety melt away when burdens are laid at the feet of Jesus.

Joy also comes from knowing that God looks and listens when we pray. Nehemiah 1:5 records the confidence in Nehemiah’s prayers. “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments; please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night…” Day or night, in triumph or tragedy, even in the midst of confession there is joy in that the God of the universe sees and hears me and, most of all, answers prayers!

So when I look for joy, I need not venture far. I can see the grace of God in me, in my friends, in the church, and in the salvation of each new Christian. I want to be like Barnabas, the New Testament missionary, when he responded to Gentiles receiving the gospel message. Acts 11:22-24 says, “When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.” Joy does not end with the passing of a season or the storage of the Baby in a manger. Nor is my cup half empty or half full. For my  cup is overflowing with joy from the daily blessings of a good Father, divine rest from heavy burdens, and unending grace in the presence of Christ Jesus. Wouldn’t you like to drink this cup of joy?

Cheers to us all!

Janet (jansuwilkinson) All Scripture quoted from The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition. (2002)

After writing, today, I listened to this sermon delivered by the son-in-law of my good friend. What a delight to hear a similar message (much better delivered, too!) about joy.

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Jeremiah 9, 10; 1 Timothy 3

This is what the Lord says:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
    or the powerful boast in their power,
    or the rich boast in their riches.
24 But those who wish to boast
    should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
    who demonstrates unfailing love
    and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
    I, the Lord, have spoken! Jeremiah 9:23-24, NLT

What the Lord says.

I remember Jeremiah being called the weeping prophet. Jeremiah takes his heart and tears to the Lord and lays it all out. The underlying sentiments of the things he tells, I think we can all relate to at some point in life–the brokenness of a sinful world. I sit with somber thoughts.

I sit for a very long time.

I try to steady my thoughts to one place, and my focal point can be any number of things in the reading. And won’t those things affect how I frame a situation?

So I pick what the Lord says.

Courtney (66books365)

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1Chronicles 3,4; Hebrews 9; Amos 3; Psalms 146, 147

I asked a group of kids how they viewed the Lord–whether they saw him as a friendly neighbor or as a close brother. The answers were mixed, and I was ok with that. They are teenagers, and for the most part, have had few hardships in their lives. At least for me, it was through hardship that Jesus moved from a place of weekend worship to one of daily need.

Through regular time in the Word and prayer, and through life circumstances way out of my control–he told me he holds it all together.

The more time I spend with him, the closer we become–just like any relationship. I think of him throughout the day and look for him through his creation.

15 He sends his orders to the world—
    how swiftly his word flies!
16 He sends the snow like white wool;
    he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.Psalm 147:15-16 NLT

I’m not perfect. I sin. I’m terrible at confrontation. I’m prone to worry. I eat too much chocolate. And I shake and tremble after a slight 23 seconds of holding a plank before I drop to the floor. Fortunately, he’s not impressed by strength.

10 He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse
    or in human might. Psalm 147:10 NLT

He’s all about heart.

11 No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him,
    those who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11 NLT

Courtney (66books365)

This morning, listening to Hillsong’s Christ is Enough.

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2Kings 9; 1Tim. 6; Hos. 1; Ps.119:73-96

How long do God’s promises stand?

How do God’s promises stand?

How can we tap into them in our lives?

Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. ~ Psalm 119:89-91

 Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants. ~ Psalm 119:89-91

 If Your law had not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have revived me. ~ Psalm 119:92-93

Revive means “to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live forever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health.”

God’s promises stand firm FOREVER!  They stand because He ESTABLISHED them to do so.  We tap into them when we DELIGHT ourselves in God’s Words.

So of the things that mean “revive,” which one do you need?

I need them all.  I desire them all.  And since they are available to me, then I will stand on them all—and I will keep standing until they have been fulfilled in my life.

Father, thank you for your promises and that they stand firm forever.  Thank you for reminding me that I can choose to stand on them and not sink into the muck.  Do I believe that this is a battle? Yes.  Do I believe that I will continue to have to battle?  Yes.  Do I believe I have to lose?  No, because Your Words—which are buried in my heart—tell me that I am more than a conqueror and I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  I pray that whatever parts of “revive” we need, that You would lead us to Your Promises and that we would be able to stand on them.  I pray that we would stand with and for and by each other.  Lord be with us today.  Give us comfort, protection, rest, and Your peace.  Continue to supply all of our needs.  It’s in Jesus’ Name that I pray, Amen.

Heatherpotts5

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