Tag: rejoice

Shining lights in a dark world!

Scripture reading for June 16th: Philippians 2, Psalm 120, Proverbs 27

Philippians 2:14-18 “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”

Paul knew that as believers lived in love and unity of the Holy Spirit, they would cease from grumbling and complaining and begin to shine in the darkness of this world. Paul told them that the people living in the world system were crooked and twisted in their ways and thinking. It would require focused living for Christ, clinging to His Words of life, to bring reward when Christ returned. Paul, even though suffering in jail, rejoiced with the Philippians that they were standing fast. He encouraged them to rejoice with him as well. Suffering for the Gospel is part of shining light in the darkness and crookedness of this world.

Psalm 120:6-7 “Too long have I had my dwelling place among those who hate peace. I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the wise counsel of our Brother and Friend, Jesus Christ, and Paul Your Apostle. Help me to rejoice in those of faith who are suffering around this world for standing firm in Christ. Help me to stand firm and share the Word of life, shining Christ’s eternal Light into all darkness. Keep me from war, grumbling or dissention, but guide me in Your peace and unity with my brothers.

Proverbs 27:9 “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a a friend comes from his earnest counsel.”

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Wise to what is good!

Scripture reading for June 6th: Romans 16, Psalm 112, Proverbs 19

Romans 16:17-20 “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise for what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

Paul closes his letter to the Roman believers by personally sending greetings by name to over thirty workers there, plus their families! His last appeal is for watchfulness over the brothers for those causing doctrinal divisions. These people are not serving Christ Jesus, but their own appetites. They try to seduce those who are young and immature. Paul encourages them in their obedience. His pastoral desire is that they stand firm, opposing evil and standing strong for good. He encourages them that God’s power will soon crush Satan and his evil schemes through the grace flowing from Jesus Christ! He rejoices in this prospect and their obedience!

Psalm 112:1-2 “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed!”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for being a God of peace that gives His people victory and discernment. Thank You for Your amazing Word and instruction and the peace that is ours through Your promises. I claim that my offspring will be mighty in the land and that those following me in faith will be blessed by You and protected and used for Your glory!

Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”

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Faith brings mutual encouragement!

Scripture reading for May 16th: Romans 1, Psalm 97, Proverbs 4

Romans 1: 8-12 “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, Whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you–that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”

Paul, writing to Roman followers of Jesus, wanted to encourage them by his own walk of faith and was asking God that he would be able to come and be with them. He wanted to encourage them in the faith and impart some spiritual gift to this body of believers to help them to grow stronger in their faith and increase the testimony of faith going out from that church. When believers share stories of faith and God at work in their lives, everyone is mutually encouraged and faith rises to believe God’s Word and pray for more miracles and salvations. This brings transformation and joy to the believers as the Light of God’s Word, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, advances against the darkness, driving it totally away at Christ’s return!

Psalm 97:10-12 “O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of His saints; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous, and give thanks to His holy Name!”

Prayer: Father God, I love You and trust You daily to use me in the encouragement of other believers. I desire to impart spiritual Truth and the Gospel message that people may be saved and come into God’s family. I desire the Light of the World, Jesus Christ to be exalted and shine through my life brighter and brighter each day until I go to be with You or Your return for Your Bride! Amen!

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

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Faith’s pursuit!

Scripture reading for January 6th: Mark 5, Psalm 5, Proverbs 5

Mark 5: 25-30 “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If I touch even His garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in Himself that power had gone out from Him, immediately turned in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?”

Mark recounted this story of a woman that had pressed in to touch Jesus’ garments. She had had a flow of blood for twelve years. She had spent all she had on doctoring, but was only worse. She was considered unclean because of her illness. She heard about Jesus and decided to pursue Him. Her faith was rewarded and she had the joy of healing, restoration, and immediate results! What a blessing and joy faith produces! God smiles and Jesus allows His power to flow out in response to faith!

Psalm 5:11-12 “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your Name may exult in You. For You bless the righteous, O Lord; You cover him with favor as with a shield.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your church this story of faith’s pursuit. Help me to always pursue You with a pure heart for the needs that I have, realizing that in You is everything I need in life. As You met this woman’s need immediately, allow Your power through the Holy Spirit to flow through me and Your people to bring grace to those You are drawing to follow You. Praise the Lord! Amen!

Proverbs 5:21 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.”

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“Where is your faith?”

Scripture reading for March 22nd: Deuteronomy 10-14, Psalm 5, Luke 8

Luke 8: 22-25 “One day He got into a boat with His disciples, and He said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this that He commands even winds and water, and they obey Him?””

Life as a believer in Jesus Christ is centered on faith. Even in the time of Moses, God called His people to walk in faith in His Word and to love Him by obeying His Word. As they loved God, He would lead them and fight their battles and protect them from harm. They would possess the land of promise by faith and every place they walked would be theirs. As these disciples of Jesus experienced a storm on the Sea of Galilee, their faith wavered as Jesus calmly slept. They woke Him up in fear for their lives. Jesus faithfully protected them and then asked them a penetrating question: “Where is your faith?” This question should cause us all to examine our trust and belief in God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 11:22-24 “For if you will be careful to do all this commandment that I command you to do, loving the Lord your God, walking in all His ways, and holding fast to Him, then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you. Every place the sole of your foot treads shall be yours.”

Prayer: Father God, my faith is anchored in Your holy and unchanging Word. Forgive me for times when I have been overcome by fear from the events around me. Help me to increase my faith by reading Your Word and applying it to my life daily. Thank You for Your amazing promises of favor and protection that cause me to rejoice in You!

Psalm 5:11-12 “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your Name may exult in You. For You bless the righteous, O Lord; You cover him with favor as with a shield.”

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Suffering halts sinning

Scripture reading for October 15th: 1st Peter 4

Key Scriptures: 1st Peter 4:1-5 “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to life for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but the will give account to Him Who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”

Jesus Christ was a man of sorrows and acquainted with suffering and grief. The trial and crucifixion brought maximum suffering to Jesus Christ and although His flesh wanted to find a way out, He chose to submit fully to His Father’s plan and will. His example should motivate us as well. Jesus promised His followers that as He suffered and was persecuted, so they would also. Peter is pointing out to believers that this same attitude will serve them well. The world will not understand why we cease from sin and live fully for our Lord, but we will be fully rewarded on that Day of Christ.

1st Peter 4:13-14 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for the example of Jesus Christ and the teaching You give us on the value of suffering in focusing our lives on the eternal kingdom and coming King! Help me to live a life free of sins and live fully sold out to You as a witness of Your saving grace to a lost world. Use any suffering for Your will as further purification and increase my focus on You. I rest in my Faithful Creator!

1st Peter 4:19 “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”

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Rejoice! Our life is God’s!

Scripture reading for June 1st: Philippians 1

Key Scriptures: Philippians 1:18-23 “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Chris this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.”

Paul was writing to his friends and fellow believers at Philippi. He was in jail for preaching the Gospel and uncertain of his fate in the hands of the Roman government. There had been false accusations against him as well as other preachers who preached for gain. But He was rejoicing that he could make a defense of the Gospel before those holding him and in fact the whole Roman guard. He was convinced that God would take care of him, whether he lived or died. His greatest desire and hope was that Christ Jesus would be exalted through his life –or his death! In fact, if he could choose, it would be far better for him to depart and be with Christ!

Philippians 1:9-11 “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Paul’s life and testimony from jail. I rejoice today in Your grace to put me where I am most effective. May my life, trials, and passing to glory bring the exaltation of You and the Gospel.

Philippians 1:29-30 “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believer in Him but also suffer for His sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”

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The God of peace and love!

Scripture reading for October 2nd: Jeremiah 14-16, Psalm 76, 2nd Corinthians 13

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 13:11-14 “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Paul’s closing benediction calls the church at Corinth to joy and peace in the Holy Trinity. God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit bring love, peace and joy to all the saints. They are restoring all believers and bringing comfort, agreement and peace. As believers through the grace of Jesus Christ allow and invite God the Father to live in their midst, His love and peace brings true fellowship through the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit living in each one. This is the pattern for God’s people everywhere–and especially in our lives today!

Psalm 76:1-2 “In Judah God is known; His Name is great in Israel. His abode has been established in Salem (Peace), His dwelling place in Zion.”

Faith confession and prayer: Heavenly Father, establish Your abode in my midst and the midst of Your Church. May Your grace and peace and love flow from Your people in unity and fellowship as they are fed by Your delightful Word.

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

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Great reward–in heaven!

Scripture reading for July 22nd: 2nd Kings 4-6, Matthew 5

Key Scriptures: Matthew 5:10-12 “”Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.””

Jesus had gathered a great crowd of people and he began to teach them. The Sermon on the Mount is the longest recorded message of Jesus and one of the most famous. Jesus taught that it was a blessing to be persecuted for “righteousness sake.” He went on to elaborate what this meant. Those who followed Him would be reviled and persecuted and blasphemed against. Those who follow Jesus live righteous lives and preach repentance from evil. This brings persecution and sometimes death. Followers can rejoice because they have a great reward and they join with a long line of persecuted prophets.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I will gladly and with rejoicing take persecution because of You. Help me to stay true to You and Your Word in my actions, words and deeds.

2nd Kings 6:31 “—and he (Joram king of Israel) said, “May God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today.””

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Rejoicing in our inheritance!

Scripture reading for November 7th:  1st Peter 1, Psalms 73-74, Proverbs 7

Key Scriptures:  1st Peter 1:3-7  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.   In this your rejoice, through now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 

Peter begins his letter to the church with rejoicing in Jesus and joy at believers ‘new birth’!  This new life is brought about by faith and is laid hold of by faith.  Faith must be proved genuine and is often tested by trials and temptations here on earth.  Genuine faith will result in “glory, honor and praise” at the return of Jesus Christ for His Church!  We will be caught up in His glory forever!

Faith Confession:  I have been born again into a living hope through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I rejoice in the coming inheritance I will receive, at the revelation of Jesus Christ when He comes for me and all His people of faith.

Psalm 73:24  “You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory.”

 

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