Tag Archives: gladness

Deuteronomy 7; Psalm 90; Isaiah 35; Revelation 5

My identity in Christ is probably the most important part of my walk with Jesus. When it is threatened, I can go into places of despair quite easily. God’s Word and His promises are the hopes that sustain me during these times and today is no exception.

 Do this because you belong to the Lord your God. From all the peoples on earth he chose you to be his own special people. Remember that the Lord your God is the only God and that he is faithful. He will keep his covenant and show his constant love to a thousand generations of those who love him and obey his commands. So do not be afraid of these people. The Lord your God is with you; he is a great God and one to be feared. – Deuteronomy 7:6,9,21 GNT

I am holy to God, He chose me to be His and I am special to Him. God is so faithful and wants me to love Him and follow Him. I do not have to be afraid for God walks with me.

It is helpful to get inside the prayer life of so many great leaders in the Bible and the prayer of Moses in Psalm 90 is no exception.

I come away with these thoughts – I know God’s hand is on me and it causes me to be full of faith. In Him I am secure. God never fails, never changes, is the same for ever. God calls me by my name and how can I resist such grace. He teaches me the value of time and that my real place is in eternity. So I take time to repent and ask for forgiveness for my sins, for not engaging in His Word and not taking time to pray. I also ask God to fill me with wisdom and I find that He meets me in my quiet time to love me. There is a transforming power that comes from Him working in me. I take on His image more each day. It is His favour on my life that makes His work in me so established.

As I spend time with Him I know that others see the results of that experience when they see my joy.

They will reach Jerusalem with gladness,
singing and shouting for joy.
They will be happy forever,
forever free from sorrow and grief. – Isaiah 35:10 GNT

Chris Tomlin sings a song called “Is He Worthy?” that really expresses my heart. It reaches into the book of Revelation where the call came asking who was worthy to open the scroll.
And I saw a mighty angel, who announced in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” – Revelation 5:2 GNT
The song that was sung was that Jesus was worthy – He is the one who has redeemed by His blood for all peoples everywhere and because of this I am invited to reign with Him.

And sang in a loud voice:

“The Lamb who was killed is worthy
    to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength,
    honor, glory, and praise!” – Revelation 5:12 GNT

My prayer today Jesus is no different – You are Worthy!
Erwin (evanlaar1922)

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Revelation, Uncategorized

Genesis 33; Mark 4; Esther 9,10; Romans 4

Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids.  He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all.  He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother. – Genesis 33:1-3 NRSV

Look at all that energy Jacob went through just to protect his immediate family.  Where did his trust in God go – where does my trust go when I am faced with such a reality as death?  Sad part is that I remember all too well when I let my devotions slip and my prayer life was pretty much at meal times.  How ready do you think I was when those distant troubles became my crises and sudden overwhelming problem.  Oh, did I ever rush out to God for help.  I heard that this is described as a foxhole kind of Christianity.

But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness.  Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the open towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, a holiday on which they send gifts of food to one another. – Esther 9:18-19 NRSV

Like I said, nothing really gets our attention like the reality of death.  So on their knees and fasting went thousand of people – what did God do? – He honoured their hope in Him and saved them.  So this celebration called Purim was instituted.  Why? Something else I do along with forgetting my devotions and prayers, I forget to celebrate God’s amazing miracles in my life.  Do I remember that when I pass from this life that I will be celebrating the happiest day in my life? Should that not encourage me and motivate me to spend more time with my Saviour, my hope, and to rejoice more than mourn?

Imagine how stoked I was to see Paul pull out Abraham’s life in Romans —

Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.”  He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already[b] as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.  No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,  being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.  Therefore his faith[c] “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” – Romans 4:18-22 NRSV

Lord, like Abraham I want to ground my faith on hope.  You are my God who will be and do what You promise to be and do.  

evanlaar

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Esther, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, Romans, Uncategorized

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.

Save

5 Comments

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