Tag: rejoice

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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Life in Jesus!

Scripture reading for August 14th: 2nd Corinthians 13, Psalm 12, Proverbs 8

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 ended his letter with final instructions and a benediction or blessing.  He was a loving pastor who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to instruct God’s church in restoring a repentant brother and healing divisions in the church caused by false teachers and people following men.  Joy was prescribed and a focus on restoration and peacemaking.  Tenderness and affection was to flow from all saints to all fellow believers.  This was enabled by the grace of our Lord and God’s love and gift of the Holy Spirit to help us.

Faith confession:  I thank You God for the grace of our Lord Jesus and the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the precious Holy Spirit enabling me to live life in joy and maintaining the unity of the Trinity in the Church.

Proverbs 8:35-36 “For whoever finds Me, finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but he who fails to find Me injures himself; and all who hate Me love death.”  

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Rejoicing in Grace!

Scripture reading for March 15:  Luke 10, Psalm 54, Proverbs 23

Key Scriptures: Luke 10:17-20 “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your Name!”  And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  

Pride is a subtle thing.  Religious pride is deceitful and dangerous.  Jesus rejoiced in the work of His disciples as they obediently had gone out two by two to confront the powers of darkness by healing the sick and casting out demons.  Jesus said that He saw the forces of Satan fall like lightning as they ministered.  But Jesus cautioned them to focus instead on the grace of God for salvation that they had received, being careful not to begin trusting in their own power or goodness.

Faith confession:  Lord, I rejoice that my name is written in heaven because of Your great mercy to me.  Thank You for the power of Your great Name to destroy the works of darkness and bring freedom to captives.  To You be the Glory forever and ever.

Psalm 54:6 “With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks to Your Name, O Lord, for it is good.”

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Rejoicing at God’s Works!

Scripture reading for May 18th:  1st Chronicles 14-16, Acts 11

Key Scriptures:  Acts 11:21-24  “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.  The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.  When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith.”  

God granted the early church a harvest of souls from among the Gentiles.  The Gospel had power to bring faith and repentance.  Barnabas, a man full of the Holy Spirit, was sent to encourage these new believers in faithfulness and grace.

1st Chronicles 16:8-9 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His Name; make known His deeds among the peoples!  Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wondrous works!”  

Prayer:  Lord, we thank You for the harvest of souls from Jew and Gentile!  Your works are wonderful!  Amen!

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The Plan Revealed!

Scripture reading for March 14th:  Deuteronomy 32-34, Luke 9

Key Scriptures: Luke 9:20-22 “Then He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”  And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”  And He strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man just suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.””

Jesus told His disciples on several occasions what would happen to Him in Jerusalem.  He told them plainly of His suffering, sacrificial death and the resurrection that would follow three days later.  He also told them to tell no one about this at that time.  All things must be accomplished first in God’s plan.

Deuteronomy 32:39, 43  “‘See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god beside Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand.'” . . . .”Rejoice with Him, O heavens, bow down to Him, all gods, for He avenges the blood of His children and takes vengeance on His adversaries.  He repays those who hate Him and cleanses His people’s land.”‘

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your willing sacrifice of Your Son to cleanse Your people and their land.  May I walk in that truth today.  Amen.

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Rejoicing in Father’s Care!

Scripture reading for October 13th:  Matthew 3-7
Key Scriptures:  Matthew 6:25-27  “”Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?””

Jesus Christ taught the crowds that followed Him and His own disciples about the Father and His loving care for them.  He pointed to the birds and how they are cared for.  They don’t worry or fear for their next meal.  God provides for the many creatures He has made.  And man, made in God’s own image is much more valuable than the birds.  We can depend on God’s care for our basic needs and obey His command to seek His kingdom and righteousness first of all.

Rejoicing in Father’s Care:  “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.  He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.  He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.”  (Psalm 147:7-9)

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