From Mourning to Joy and Dancing

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11  You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.  You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,  12  that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!– Psalm 30:11, 12 NLT
 

God is so good to us all the time.  He is always working for us, turning evil into good and our times of mourning into times of joy and praise.  It is His heart’s desire for us to live lives full of joy.  Not happiness and pleasures, which are fleshly and temporary, but abiding joy deep down in our hearts.  Joy that no one can take from us.


John 16:16-24

Joy, that is not pretended or unrealistic, but joy that is the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus made to His disciples and to us.  It isn’t because we deserve it or have earned it in some way.  It is simply because He loves us and wants us to love Him.  He gives us His peace and joy so that we can be free to praise Him in every situation.  So, that we can sing praises to Him and not be silent.  It is true that there are roaring lions out there and one.in particular, that is trying to destroy our joy and us physically.  It is hard to ignore a roaring lion, but as Spurgeon points out, Samson’s roaring lion yielded honey.  God can produce joy and sweetness from the worst of situations.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 12-02-2018

“Praise His Glorious Name Forever”

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23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” — John 4:23, 24 NLT

Our worship of our Lord and Savior should not be limited to a Sunday morning experience.  If that is all the time we spend at the feet of Jesus, then we need to examine our hearts and ask if that is truly worship.  Worship is defined as showing reverence and adoration for a deity.  If we take a look at our calendars and our checkbooks, we might be surprised to see who we really worship.  If we truly adore someone, it is only natural that we would want to spend more time in their presence.  We would be waiting to hear their voice and we would hang onto every word that they had to say.  When we had to leave their presence, we would be watching and waiting for opportunities to tell others what this great person had said.  We would make time to be with them and to let them know how much we adored them.  Our hearts would beat faster at the very thought of being in their presence.  If it were possible to live without ever being away from their presence, we would spend all of our time there.  This person would have to be the center of our world and deserve to have our highest loyalty.  This person would be someone that we would never hurt or betray for anyone or anything. This person’s name would be in our hearts, on our minds and on the tip of our tongues all day long, every day. This person would be someone that we worshiped in Spirit and in truth once a week, all week long.  Let each of us examine our thoughts, our words, our actions and our lifestyles and honestly determine who we worship.  If the answer isn’t  Jesus, and Jesus alone, then we need to take some time to ask His forgiveness and change our habits so that we mirror His glory.

18 Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. 19 Praise his glorious name forever!  Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and amen!  ​ — Psalm 72:18, 19 NLT​
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 10-08-2017

Overflowing With Thankfulness!

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6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. — Colossians 2:6 7 NIV

The most important thing to be thankful for is salvation.  So, from the very moment we are saved, our hearts should begin to be filled with gratitude.  From that point on, all the blessings that we receive daily should continue to fill our hearts with thanksgiving and praise for our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  To the extent that we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, our evil thoughts and desires are changing to good thoughts and desires.  There has/will come a day when we should be overflowing with joy and gratitude because of the goodness and greatness of the God that we serve.   Each day should bring less complaining and more reason to give God praise and thanksgiving. The praise and gratitude that fills our hearts will be reflected in the words that we speak.


 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. — Luke 6:45 NKJV

Every time we bring our petitions before the Lord, we need to remember to bring with them an offering of thanksgiving and praise!  

 

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.  
— Psalm 100:4, 5 NKJV

This is for now and  all generations, not just the future when we enter into the gates of heaven and the courts of God. Every time, we speak His Name, we are entering into His gates and His courts. Let our hearts and our mouths overflow with praise for His goodness and mercy!

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-09-2018

Three Minutes!

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10  Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us and no longer go out with our armies?
11  Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless.
12  With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. 
 — Psalm 60:10-12 NIV

God had temporarily rejected the nation of Israel because of their continued disobedience and refusal to repent.  His rejection of Israel was not total nor permanent because of His covenant to them.  As Christians we can be sure that God will always have a remnant of believers to carry on His work.  However, God has made no covenant with our nation that requires Him to allow it to stand.  It has stood for over two hundred years because of God’s mercy in spite of our rebellion and disobedience. It appears to us that God has rejected us, but it is we who have rejected Him. We, just as Israel, have turned from God to our own wisdom and to humans to help.  Human wisdom and human help is worthless. But, it is not too late for us, if we, as a nation, will repent and turn back to God. Let us commit, together, to spend three minutes a day praying that our nation will repent, so that God can continue to show us His mercy.  Three minutes; one minute praising God for Who He is, one minute thanking God for what He has done, and one minute petitioning God not to withdraw His mercies.

 

1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior– 1 Timothy 2:1-3 NASB

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-08-2018

Practice Perpetual* Praying and Praising

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2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  — Colossians 4:2-4 NIV
 
Here, Paul tells us to devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. In 1 Thessalonians 5: 17, he instructs us to pray continually, always giving thanks. . How do we apply these instructions in our daily life?  Does Paul really expect us to be in our prayer closets all day interceding for ourselves and others?  Of course not.  So, how do we keep up with our busy lives and at the same time, follow these instructions?  Prayer isn’t about our body posture or whether our eyes are closed or not.  Prayer is about the posture of our heart and mind. So, truthfully, we can pray almost all of the time. While we are doing our daily chores or while we are having a conversation with someone, we can be praying.  But, just as we want the undivided attention of others, so does God want our undivided attention for a portion of each day.  We need to have a place we can be alone with God for a time each day, to truly communicate with Him and not just talk to Him. We can take some advice from Martin Luther who said:
“Work, work, work — from early till late. In fact I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.“

If we start each day with some time alone with God, asking Him to lead us and prepare the way for us, the events of the day will go much smoother. Will they be completely trouble-free?  Of course not, but they will be peaceful and we will find that we have plenty of time to accomplish everything that God wanted us to accomplish. Either before or after we have presented our petitions to God, we need to take time to add adoration, praise and thanksgiving for all that God has done, is doing and will continue to do for us.

*perpetual – occurring repeatedly; so frequent as to seem endless and uninterrupted.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-07-2018

“I Can Do Nothing”

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10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Cor.12:10 NLT
 
In the verses from 2 Cor.11:5 to 12:7a, Paul has been making the case that only a fool would boast about the things that they accomplish in their own strength. He is is making two points. One is that as long as we think we can, God won’t and the other is that we are foolish to think that we can do any of God’s work in our own strength.  Jesus made that fact very clear.

 

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. — John 15:5

We are not put here on earth to brag and boast about ourselves and our accomplishments. Our purpose here on earth is to bring praise to God in our words and actions.

 
 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.​ — 1 Peter 2:9​

It is in our weakest moments that God shows up to deliver us, it is when we come to the end of our rope and ask God for wisdom, that He shows us the open door through which He will take us to safety. Therefore, let us, like Paul, delight in our weaknesses and in whatever situation we find ourselves, trust God. As long as we think we can, God will allow us to struggle on our own.

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its  way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-23-2018

Freely Received, Freely Give

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15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  ​- 2 Cor. 9:15 NLT​
God doesn’t need our tithes, giving back to God and helping others is how we express our love for Him for all the wonderful things He has done and continues to do for us.  Jesus went about doing good and He expects us to do the same. We should give cheerfully expecting nothing in return.  Our acts of kindness in a world where lifestyles are based on greed will attract others to Jesus .  God doesn’t need any proof of who we are or where we are in our relationship with Him, we do these things to prove to ourselves and those around us that we are true, obedient followers of Jesus. This will show those around us that Jesus makes a difference in how we live and respond to others. We can only do this through the generosity of the grace God has shown to us  Acts of kindness will cause others to praise God and bring us joy. We should continually show forth the praises of God because of the indescribable gift He has given us. The gift of giving. Having received this gift of grace and mercy, we should pass it on to others for the glory of God.9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. — 1 Peter 2:9, 10 NI​V

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 06-19-2018