Tag Archives: delight

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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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, Nehemiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

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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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year

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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2 Chronicles 17, 2 Chronicles 18, 2 Corinthians 6

Jehoshaphat…sought God…and walked in His commandments. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. 2 Chronicles 18:4-5

 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:15

 “Come out from among them …And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18

 Read athttp://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2Chron17,18;%202Cor6&version=NKJV

2 Chronicles 17        Jehoshaphat…strengthened himself against Israel…he did not seek the Baals, but sought the God…and walked in His commandments and not according to the acts of Israel.

            At this time Israel was not following the Lord God but worshipping false gods.

            Talk about taking a stand! Jehoshaphat didn’t ignore Israel, give platitudes, agreements, or compromises saying ‘your truth works for you, my truth works for me’. – No, Jehoshaphat “strengthened himself against Israel”! Boldly Not being ‘politically correct’!  

            Jehoshaphat was a man of conviction and action! Not only was Jehoshaphat against Israel, but he was against the false gods in his own land AND he taught everyone about the Lord God!! “moreover he removed the high places and wooden images from Judah. So they…had the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught the people.”

             Why would Jehoshaphat do this? Because “his heart took delight in the ways of the Lord”. Jehoshaphat’s heart couldn’t be happier because he ‘heard’ the Lord and walked in His Ways. He didn’t need any one else’s approval or relationship. Jehoshaphat’s HEART DELIGHTED in the LORD. The center of Jehoshaphat’s core had delight, joy, peace and the Presence of the Lord God! It is what motivated him to do all he did! 1 

             Aren’t I supposed to be this way too? Of course! Especially since I have tangible blessings from the Lord God: The full Bible. The knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ by His Word. The God’s promises for the end of His story. The revelation of  Who my Atonement is. The indwelling 24/7/365 Presence of the Holy Spirit within me.  Yet I rejoice in Jehoshaphat! What a man for God! May I be at least as much as he is!!  2 

             And what was God’s response?

Faithfulness, loyalty and fruitfulness to Jehoshaphat and his realm of influence.

The Lord established the kingdom in his hand

The Book of the Law of the Lord was taught to all the people.

The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat.

Some kingdoms brought Jehoshaphat presents, tribute, and more

Jehoshaphat became increasingly powerful,

Jehoshaphat had much property and mighty men of valor

2 Chronicles 18                   By marriage Jehoshaphat allied himself with Ahab.  After some years he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria;  

             What happened to this valiant man of God? God’s Word tells us, “Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance.” Trading righteousness for pleasure and pride, Jehoshaphat unwittingly subverted his own resolve against Israel “by marriage he allied himself with Ahab”, the king of Israel.

             The effect is heard: Jehoshaphat answered Ahab, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war.”  What? How did this happen? Some years before Jehoshaphat was delighting in God and independent of the powers around him, standing valiant against sin patterns. Now Jehoshaphat has fallen so far that he views himself and his people as being like Israel! 3

             The Lord’s gifts became the source of Jehoshaphat’s joy instead of his heart continually delighting in the Lord God. When I let my physical senses distract me from Fear of the Lord, it causes spiritual blindness, misplaced trust and unholy alliances. 4

2 Corinthians 6            Lord God Almighty, may I never misconstrue blessings to be for my own gratification. You alone are my very Great Reward. You command me: I am blessed to be a blessing. I am to work together with Jesus Christ to plead for others “not to receive the grace of God in vain. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” I will accomplish this through many types of pain, discomfort, by God’s truth, power and more, and within every possible circumstance. 5

            Lord Jesus, You have shown me the deep pain of eternal souls who live for Very temporary pleasures. Hell is for real, just as Heaven is. I take Your advice to heart: You are restricted by your own affections…Do not be unequally yoked…For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. 

            Lord Jesus thank You for calling me to grow more intimate with You daily and go far away from surface pleasure and pride. I desire to Live, exist and have my being in Your Word and Holy Spirit, abiding in Your Love. Lord, have my eyes open to the walking dead around me, my ears attentive to Your Voice of Truth and wisdom, and my heart submitted to Your compassion so You will move through me for Your great work to be done, now and always for Your delight and glory! Amen 6

Dear Reader, God pleads with you and me today:

Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” 

1-  Psalm 37:4, 2 Chronicles 17:4, Nehemiah 8:10, Psalm 1, Psalm 119:16

2-  Romans 3:21-26; Hebrews 2:17; 1 John 2:1-2; 1 John 4:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Isaiah 6:8

3 – 1 Kings 18

4- Romans 1; Revelation 2:4; Genesis 15:1; Psalm 37:4; Philippians 2:12

5- 2 Corinthians 6:4-10; Genesis 15:1; Genesis 12:2; Romans 1:16

6-   1 Peter 2:9; Acts 17:28; John 15:1-17

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

2 Kings 6; 1 Timothy 3; Daniel 10; Psalm 119:1-24

Sometimes I’ve gotten really good advice. Sometimes I’ve gotten really terrible advice. Sometimes I’ve ignored all advice and gone with my gut … or worse: my heart. Sometimes I’ve fished for advice until I heard what I wanted to hear, and heard it enough times to ensure I was right. Sometimes I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. Sometimes things worked out the way I wanted. Sometimes it was weeks, months or years later that I realized regret for the choice of following advice (or my gut or my heart). Sometimes, still, those choices haunt.

I think of people who have offered advice over the years: people who don’t want to rock the boat, people who love to watch other people rocking the boat, a therapist, compassionate people, angry people, people who love people, people who don’t always like people, selfish people, generous people, people with no kids, people with kids, people with grandkids, shy people, outgoing people, people who love God, and people who don’t love God.

Sometimes even people with the best intentions, who love me, who are compassionate and generous and love God can still give advice that doesn’t line up with God’s word. And whether it’s a friend, a book, a counselor, a therapist, a Christian (or not), every opinion is flavored by experience, personal preferences or training. I need to think hard before I lock arms and go skipping down a path (thought system, belief or philosophy) and see if it aligns itself with God’s truth.

Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors. Psalm 119:24

Lord, I pray that I would seek you and your will first.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Old Testament, Psalms