Tag: great joy

Sharing with the Nations!

Scripture reading for March 5th:  Luke 2, Psalm 46, Proverbs 15

Key Scriptures: Luke 2:10-13 “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!””

Luke tells the story of Jesus’ birth and the announcement of an angel to the shepherds who lived and worked near Bethlehem.  They were told not to be afraid but were invited to see for themselves the sign:  a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  Suddenly, the heavens were alive with a mighty angel chorus praising God and pronouncing God’s blessing of peace to those on earth!  Shout the good news!

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I believe the good news of Jesus Christ!  I believe it is for all people of all nations.  Use me to share that good news!

Psalm 46:10-11: “Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

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Walk in Truth!

Scripture reading for November 28th:  3rd John

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  3rd John 2-4  “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.  It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

 John’s final letter is written to a believing friend, Gaius.  This personal letter contains a short prayer for his friend’s health and prosperity.  John prays that he may enjoy good health and prosperity as his soul is prospering.  John encourages his friend to continue in faithfulness and applied truth.  These things bring health, wealth, and joy to a pastor’s heart as well as God’s heart!

Observations for over-comers:  Our walk and talk must always line up with the Truth of God’s word and Spirit.  This brings well-being and health!  “My son, pay attention to what I say, listen closely to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.”  (Proverbs 4:20-22)

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Good Tidings of Great Joy!

Scripture reading for December 25th:  Luke 2:8-14

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified!  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you;  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.””  (Luke 2:8-14)

To the humble shepherds, an angel of the Lord appeared in radiant and blinding glory.  They were tending their flocks, protecting them from the predators of the night and the sight was terrifying!  The angel reassured them with one of the 365 “fear not’s” of the Scriptures.  His message was “good news of great joy” for all people of the earth, Jew and Gentile!  (Luke 2:29-32)  This “Good News” was that a Savior, Christ the Lord,  had been born in the town of David–Bethlehem!  This fulfilled what was spoken by Micah the prophet! (Micah 5:2)  These shepherds were told they would find this child wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

A great company of heavenly hosts (angelic beings) appeared with the angel of the Lord to these shepherds.  They were praising God and giving glory to God in the highest heaven and proclaiming peace on earth to all men who would believe and receive the “Good News”!  Today is still a time of God’s favor and His peace is available to all who will repent of their sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord!  This Good News is for you and all men today!

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Walking in the truth!

Reading for December 20th, 2014

Today we have the short letter of 2nd John as our reading.  Here are a few Scriptures that speak to me from this short letter.  May they minister to your heart as you rest this day.

“Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” 2nd John 3

“It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning.  I ask that we love one another.  And this is love:  that we walk in obedience to His commands.  As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. “ 2nd John 4-6

‘Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world.  Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.” 2nd John 7

“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink.  Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.” 2nd John 12

Have a great day of rest–talk to the Lord face to face and be filled with His joy and peace!

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Contending for the faith!

Scripture reading for December 22nd: Jude

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for he faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” Jude 3

Jude was the half-brother of Jesus Christ.  His letter was written to the church as a wave of false teachers were enticing believers to live in worldly ways and enticing them to sexual immorality and idolatry. (Jude 4)   He planned to write about their common salvation, but instead wrote a letter of encouragement and warning about the need to contend earnestly for the faith! We are in a spiritual conflict and the enemy of our souls is trying to steal our faith!

Jude points God’s people back to God’s past dealings with His redeemed people.  God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  They all experienced God’s grace but not all believed and they were destroyed in the desert.  (Jude 5)  Lot and his children were delivered from Sodom, but God destroyed these towns because of sexual immorality and perversion (homosexual behavior). (Jude 7)  These towns were destroyed by fire and serve as examples for us today of eternal fire that will consume the enemies of God.

Jude’s strong warnings were meant to help those in the church to resist these false teachers and stay on the path of righteousness.  Jude gives some positive instruction to the church to help them.  They are to remember the teaching of the Apostles who had warned about these scoffers of the last times who would seek to divide the church.  (Jude 18-19)

The best way Jude suggested to build yourself up in your faith was to pray in the Holy Spirit.  By doing this, a believer could keep himself in the love of  God and wait patiently for Jesus Christ.  While waiting, each believer should be merciful to those who are doubting or weak in their faith and show mercy to others by snatching them from the fires of hell.  They must be careful to keep their faith and focus on Jesus.

“To Him who is able to keep you from falling and present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy–to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen!” Jude 24-25

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Prosperity and health!

Scripture reading for December 21st: 3rd John

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3rd John 2)  John opened his letter with a greeting to his personal friend, Gaius, and a short prayer for him.

“It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3rd John 3-4)  If we are faithful and walk in the truth, everyone knows about it.  Faithfulness brings great joy to God and to those in authority in the church.  Those in authority have to give an account to the Lord for those they oversee.  (Hebrews 13:17)  When pastors talk to the Lord about those who are disobedient and unfaithful, it brings sorrow and painful intercession!  Gaius had been walking in the truth and blessing visiting missionaries by providing for their needs.  He demonstrated Christ’s love to those preaching the gospel and was commended!

“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.  So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us.  Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers.  He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.” (3rd John 9-10)

Diotrephes was one of those brothers that was causing pain to the Apostle and others in the body of Christ.  A bad reputation also becomes known.   If the person will not change and repent, others in the church must be warned so that they are not caught up in these sins.  John wanted to come personally and deal with the situation.

This short letter shows us how our personal attitudes affect others and are known in the body of Christ.  Leaders must have a good reputation.  When you love to be first like Diotrephes, selfishness indicates that you are not from God.  (3rd John 11)  If you are a loving servant, like Gaius and Demetrius (3rd John 12), you show by your love that Christ’s love and truth is in you!   There’s no greater joy for a pastor than to have God’s people walking in truth and love!

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