Can we have JOY that is untouched by SORROW AND SUFFERING? Nothing can take your JOY from you (John16:22). JOY IN OUR HEARTS is independent of CHANCE or changing circumstances. JOY is the UNTOUCHABLE SERENITY OF GOD that neither LIFE OR DEATH can take from us. Today, who ever we meet, who ever comes to mind, who ever offends us; LOVE THEM, LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY; AND HAVE GREAT JOY! Today we START ALL OVER AGAIN! OUR GOD IS THE GOD OF "INFINITE" NEW BEGINNINGS (Matthew 7:7) and our JOY IS BEYOND SORROW AND PAIN.
Are things GOING SO RIGHT that it is as though SOMEONE is watching over us? Is everything BEYOND WHAT PERFECT COULD BE? Is the POWER surrounding us continuing in UNUSUAL and INCREASING MEASURES? Is it SUPERNATURAL? Are we BLESSED? Or, IS THE FAVOR OF GOD UPON US (Luke 2:40)? Do we have THIS FAVOR because GOD'S LOVE has been poured into our hearts through the HOLY SPIRIT (Romans 5:5)?
Have we ever wondered for whom the Bible was written? BELIEVERS? UNBELIEVERS? OR MAYBE BOTH? To some, the Bible is just words on paper from which we are to draw our own meaning and understanding based upon our own experiences. And to others, the Bible is a PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS (Ephesians 3:17-19), a journey in the FULLNESS OF GOD. Yet to some of us, IT HAS BEEN BOTH. It has provided POINTS TO PONDER, PROPHESIES THAT CAME TRUE, and CERTAINTY TO THE DEEP LONGING OF THE SOUL. Whether we are aware of it or not; WE ARE HAVING OR WILL HAVE, A POWERFUL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS CHRIST! UNBELIEVER AND BELIEVER!
TODAY TAKE ONE VERSE FROM THE BIBLE, AND LIVE IT; MAKE IT YOURS. AMEN.
JESUS has forgiven our sins, given us eternal life, protected us, guides us and HE has reconciled us to GOD. BUT WHAT CAN JESUS NOT DO FOR US? BEING THANKFUL is something HE CANNOT DO FOR US! Maybe THANKFULNESS comes from True Worship and Praise (Hebrews 13:15); where PRAISE is the RESPONSE to the FRESH EXPERIENCE of GOD'S GRACE AND MERCY; and THANKFULNESS completes itself in our BLESSING OF GOD (Proverbs 10:22); where BLESSINGS are good thoughts and actions about THE CHARACTER OF GOD. Is PRAISE the SACRIFICE or is surrendering our WILL, SELFISHNESS, AND PRIDE the SACRIFICE? Would we be CHRISTIANS today if there we no worldly benefits? Would we choose GOD for WHO HE is; and not what we want HIM to do for us? YES, I AM CONFIDENT, there is something JESUS can't do for us...............BE THANKFUL.
MAY CHRISTMAS BE CHRISTMAS, EVERYDAY OF OUR LIVES----PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.......GOD RECLAIMS THE WASTED YEARS.
May we experience the Revelation that GOD'S REALITY is greater than our dreams and imagination. Prayers for the most Blessed Christmas. Peace on Earth. What a better time to Pray for each other (James 5:16)?
Presents wrapped, hustling and bustling done, tired and exhausted, we are all PREPARED FOR CHRISTMAS. In all of our efforts, HAVE WE PREPARED A WAY FOR THE LORD (Isaiah 40:3)? Have we ever just had no presents on December 25th, but remembered how grateful we were for that pair of shoes we received in the midst of winter, someone giving an encouraging act when we thought HOPE was gone, or someone STANDING for us when we were afraid? Maybe WHEN WE PREPARE FOR CHRISTMAS; WE SHOULD BE PREPARING FOR "HIS PRESENCE"; NOT THE "PRESENTS".
Is this an OXYMORON? THE CHURCH IS HOLY but it is COMPRISED OF A "BUNCH" OF SINNERS! Lost Souls trying to lead others to CHRIST; THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND. Isn't SANCTIFICATION (to be made HOLY, set apart from the rest) done by JESUS and not ourselves (Hebrews 2:11)? Are SAINTS sinners who have been forgiven? WHEN WE ARE "REALLY" LOST; DON'T WE TEND TO LISTEN AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS MORE CLOSELY? SAINTS ARE NOT HEROES; THEY ARE FORGIVEN SINNERS.
TODAY OF ALL DAYS, WHY ME LORD? Do we think we are Loved because our parents try to protect us from all pain, do what we want, and give us what we ask for? Do we pout and rebel if our plans are interrupted; are we so "removed" from Spiritual Reality that we do not KNOW GOOD, AND WHO GOOD COMES FROM (Psalm 119:68)? Could we be just as THANKFUL AND GRATEFUL if our question of "TODAY OF ALL DAY, WHY ME LORD was answered with "WHY 'NOT' TODAY, AND 'WHY NOT' YOU?
No song written, no melody composed, says what is in our heart. SO WE SING OUR OWN SONGS, AND MAKE UP OUR OWN WORDS SPONTANEOUSLY (Ephesians 5:19). We find in the Bible this gives GOD great pleasure (Psalm 149:4). Our song becomes a Prayer filled with THE HOLY SPIRIT (Ephesians 5:18). As we sing, we begin to DANCE (Psalm 149:3); YES, DANCING WITH JESUS! "Dance with me JESUS, till the break of dawn; dance with me JESUS on beyond...". We don't memorize words to other songs; BECAUSE NO ONE SAYS WHAT WE NEED TO SAY! YES, NO ONE DOES IT BETTER.
Without ENCOURAGEMENT we can become discouraged and struggle in everything we try to do (1 King's 19:3-10). We are not talking about the "Monumental" "Earth Shaking" things we think we should do; we're talking about the inconsequential, routine duties we face DAY-TO-DAY! ENCOURAGEMENT keeps our hearts from becoming hardened (Hebrews 3:13). ENCOURAGEMENT gives hope (Romans 15:4); it reinforces patience and kindness (1 Corinthians 13:4-7); and it makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires for the ENCOURAGEMENT of others. ENCOURAGEMENT IS THE MUSIC WE PLAY, SO OTHERS CAN DANCE,
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The writer for our daily devotionals wishes to remain anonymous in regard to his work, giving instead Glory to the Author.