Tag: joy

The Father’s compassion!

Scripture reading for March 23rd: Luke 15

Key Scriptures: Luke 15:18-24 “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”

Jesus gave a series of parables about lost things. There was the lost sheep, one out of a hundred. There was the lost coin, one out of ten silver coins. In each of these parables, there was great rejoicing as the lost was found. Jesus said these represented the joy in heaven over a sinner who repents. And then there was the story of the lost son, one of two, who chose to take his inheritance from his father and wasted it in the far country. This son was reduced to feeding pigs and at that point came to himself. He decided to go home and beg his father for mercy. The father was watching, and saw the returning son. He ran to greet him, hugging and kissing him. When the son confessed and asked for a slaves job, the father restored him to sonship and threw a party! Lessons on our Father’s heart abound in this amazing story!

Luke 15:7 “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing our Father’s great compassion and heart to restore what as sinners we foolishly wasted. May the joy of heaven be increased through my life and sharing of this Good News!

Psalm 86:15But You, O Lord are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

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Persecution spreads the Word

Scripture reading for May 15th:  Acts 8, Psalm 97, Proverbs 4

Key Scriptures:  Acts 8:4-8  “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the Word.  Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.  And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.  For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.  So there was great joy in that city.”  

Jesus had promised that His followers would suffer persecution.  This happened after Stephen was martyred.  The persecution caused the disciples to scatter out of Jerusalem into many other towns and regions.  Philip, one of the first deacons, was scattered to Samaria.  There he proclaimed Christ and preached the Word and God stretched out His hand in signs and healings and demonic evictions.  Great joy was spread as the Word of God spread by those persecuted believers!

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, help me to boldly proclaim Your truth wherever the Spirit takes me.  I want the joy and light of Your truth and healing presence to flow among all people in my path.

Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”

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Faith in Jesus’ Name

Scripture reading for May 8th:  Acts 3, Psalm 92, Proverbs 30

Key Scriptures:  Acts 3:6-10 “But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I gave to you.  In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”  And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.  And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.  And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple asking for alms.  And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.”  

Peter and John were going to the temple for prayer when they were met by a beggar asking for alms.  They did not have money, but gave him more than he asked for.  They spoke a word of faith in the Name of Jesus and reached out for his hand.  As they did, God worked a miracle of healing and the man leaped up and began to walk and praise God.  The miracle brought awe and wonder to all!

Faith Confession:  I  am a believer in Jesus Christ.  I believe that through the Name of Jesus I have authority and power to confront sickness, disease, and demonic power and to trust God for results.  (Action Step:  In faith step out to help someone the Lord puts in your path.  Trust Jesus for results)

Psalm 92:4  “For You, O Lord, have made me glad by Your work; at the works of Your hands I sing for joy.”  

 

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From tears to everlasting joy!

Scripture reading for April 26th:  John 16, Psalm 84, Proverbs 22

Key Scriptures:  John 16:20-22  “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice.  You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.  When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.” 

Jesus plainly told the disciples that they would experience a time of great anguish and sorrow as He was crucified and died.  He likened it to a woman at the time of giving birth.  He told them that the world would rejoice as they were in anguish.  But that sorrow was not the end, they would see Him again and then they would have joy that no one could ever take away

Faith confession:  Thank You Lord for the comfort of Your word!  Even the times of sorrow that we have here while the world rejoices will soon be turned around.  No one can take my joy away!

Psalm 84:5-7  “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house, ever singing Your praise!  As they go through the Valley of Baca (tears), they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.  They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.” 

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Joy in Truth!

Scripture reading for November 27th: Ezekiel 38-40, 3 John

Key Scriptures:  3 John 2-4  “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.  For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  

John, the Apostle, wrote this short letter to a beloved friend, Gaius.  Gaius may have been saved under John’s ministry.  His prayer for this friend was for God’s blessing and good health as he walked with the Lord Jesus.  John was blessed by the testimony of other believers who had been with Gaius and saw how he walked in the truth of the Gospel and welcomed other traveling ministers and missionaries.  In doing so, he was helping fulfill the Lord’s command to take the Gospel to the nations.  This is how to walk in truth.

Ezekiel 39:28-29 “Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God,  because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land.  I will leave none of the remaining among the nations anymore.  And I will not hide My face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for the Truth of the Gospel revealed to me by the Holy Spirit.  May there be reports of my walking in Your truth bringing a smile to You and others.  Amen.

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God’s Faithful Word!

Scripture reading for October 25th:  Jeremiah 13-15, Hebrews 10

Key Scriptures:  Hebrews 10:23-27 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  For if we go on sinning deliberately, after receiving a knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”

God honors faithfulness and application of truth revealed.  Christians have a great responsibility to live in obedience and hold Christ’s return in their thinking and actions.   God is faithful and also just!  Willful sinning when the knowledge of God’s truth has been received will bring judgment and eternal loss.  What a joy to delight in His Word!

Jeremiah 15:16  “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your words  became to me a joy and delight of my heart, for I am called by Your Name, O Lord, God of Hosts.” 

 Prayer:  Lord, Thank You for Your faithfulness and Holy Word of encouragement and warning.  May I always delight in Your Word and be called by Your great Name!  Amen.

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Dwelling place for God

Scripture reading for August 28th:  Psalm 129-132 and Ephesians 4

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 4:29-32 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” 

Christians are not under the law anymore, but under grace through faith in Christ Jesus.  They have been forgiven of their sins and cleansed in their hearts.  The Holy Spirit dwells inside them to lead them in the new life of grace.  This changes our speech, attitudes and past anger and malice towards others.  Our attitudes and actions should now reflect Christ Jesus living within our hearts.

Psalm 132:13-16 “for the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place:”This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.  I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread.  Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy.” 

Prayer:  Lord, dwell in me today, fill me with Your Holy Spirit and clothe me with salvation and joy!  I will proclaim Your grace to others.  Amen.

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God’s amazing promises!

Scripture reading for July 25th:  Psalm 44-47, 1st Corinthians 15

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 15:50-52  “I tell you this, brothers; flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Behold!  I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”  

Death looks permanent.  It is common to all flesh.  But through Jesus Christ, we are promised eternal life in the kingdom of God through faith in His death, burial, and resurrection.  Instead of eternal sleep, we are promised changed bodies that will live with Christ in the kingdom forever.  This will happen when the last trumpet will sound announcing the coming of  our King Jesus Christ to rule eternally.

Psalm 47:6-7  “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.  The scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.  Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness beyond Your companions. . . .”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for the amazing promises of eternal life, transformed bodies, and eternal joy.  Your throne, O God, is forever and ever! Amen.

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Righteousness, Peace, Joy!

Scripture reading for July 2nd:  Job 27-29, Romans 14

Key Scriptures: Romans 14:7-9, 17 “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.  For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.  So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the  living.”  …”For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Paul, writing to the Roman Christians, encouraged them to refrain from judging one another based on human rules and traditions.  They were judging others based on their habits.  The kingdom of God was not based on external habits, but brings the fruit of inner righteousness, peace and joy through the presence of God the Holy Spirit within.  The Holy Spirit gives each person a healthy “fear of the Lord”.

Job 29:28 “And He said to man, ‘ Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for the indwelling Holy Spirit bringing us into Your kingdom.  Let me share the righteousness, peace and joy with others.  Amen.

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Thankful for the Spirit!

Scripture reading for August 1st:  Isaiah 11-15

Key Scriptures:  Isaiah 11:1-3  “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.  The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him–the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord–and He will delight in the fear of the Lord. . . .”

Isaiah spoke prophetically of a coming “Branch” from the stump of His father Jesse.  This “Branch” would bear fruit because of the “Spirit of the Lord” resting on Him.  This “Spirit of the Lord” would give Him wisdom and understanding and counsel and power as well as knowledge.  But emphasis was put on the “fear of the Lord” that the Spirit of the Lord would anoint the “Branch” with.  This anointed One would excel in the “fear of the Lord!”

Rejoicing in Hope:  “And Again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse with spring up, One who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in Him.”  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:12-13)

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