30 December 2016

having real, deep down joy

as i read the following scripture, it reminded me of 2 people that i know. both r finding it very difficult to be joyful or even smile right now. all they see is the struggle they r in.

"letting go and letting God" is a popular phrase Christians often say to one another. sometimes, it's easier said than done. i know, i struggled with it as well. trying to tell someone else to 'let go and let God' can sometimes fall on spiritually deaf ears. sharing and living the example is not easy. it is a struggle. with God's help, which u can only get when u ask and seek Him, u can have His joy and live with a smile on your face daily.

life is a journey of which we cannot make alone. we need someone who can be there with us when we go thru the fire and when we experience the victory. as it says below, all we have to do is ask and believe. sometimes we have to begin even when we do not "feel like it".

my joy is not dependent on what i see, it is dependent on God's presence within my life.


30 December 2016


NIV365-DAY:

Galatians 5:22-23 NASBS

[22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


Joy


Imagine your life saturated with unstoppable joy. You wake up every morning with a smile on your face and fall asleep at night with the same smile in place. Nothing can take away the joy you feel.


Read


God wants us to have that kind of intense, unshakable joy. What is this joy? It’s joy as in fun. Joy as in deep happiness. Joy as in belly laughs that reach down to our bones. God isn’t just about our happiness, but he does want us to be happy: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).


But how do we get this joy? Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24). We receive joy from the Lord. It’s part of the fruit of his Spirit (see Galatians 5:22 – 23). And it comes from being in his presence (see Psalm 21:6).


Think


God wants us to experience and live in his unshakable joy. True joy from God doesn’t come from living in a bubble, nor does it come from living in ignorance of the world’s pain. It comes from a deep assurance that God is good and is working for good in all things.


God wants us to trust so deeply in him and his good heart and good plans that even the world’s toughest situations don’t shake us because we know that our Daddy is on the job. He wants us to walk through life at peace and rest because we are trusting in him.


Live


Part of the full life God wants for you is for you to be joyful. So when he says, “Cast all your anxiety on [me]” (1 Peter 5:7) and “Do not worry about tomorrow” (Matthew 6:34), he’s steering you to him so you can rest in him and find true joy.


God wants you to experience deep joy — not to remove you from the world around you, but to give you the strength to live and to love others in the midst of it. Come to him and take him up on his offer.


Taken from NIV The Great Rescue Bible


U VERSION:

Hebrews 4:16 NASBS

[16] Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


Hebrews 4:14-16 MSG

[14-16] Now that we know what we have---Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God---let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all---all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.


the above scripture from Hebrews encourages us to take God up on His offer. there is nothing wrong with needing help and asking for it. God delights in this so much. He wants us to ask! the joy God gets in helping us in our daily lives is something we do not yet understand but experience when we do the same. God knows we struggle. God knows it is difficult. God knows the answer to both. He is just waiting for u to ask.



04 December 2016

have u ever wondered...

04DEC2016
have u ever wondered y Jesus had to suffer all the things we do? have u asked yourself y Jesus just didn't make it all good while He was here on earth?
many times i have wondered these things. and each time, the answer is the same. Jesus wanted to totally identify completely with those He wanted to redeem, even if they rejected Him.
this total identification brought validity to all Jesus said and did.
and the answer to y Jesus did not make it all good while He was on earth is becuz God, the Father, was not done with His work. u and i were not yet here along with many others. as God waits for His appointed time to fulfill all that is written, we r to follow Christ Jesus' example of how to live life to the fullest even thru the suffering.
when u look at the early believers, u see them rejoicing in the midst of suffering, hardship, as well as in times of rest and fellowship.
what can u see is the key that allowed their suffering to be turned into a time of joy with peace?
the answer, which can be found thru out the epistles, is OBEDIENCE.

from LASB devotional is a good question:

Hebrews 2:10 NASBS

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.


Hebrews 2:10 MSG

It makes good sense that the God who got everything started and keeps everything going now completes the work by making the Salvation Pioneer perfect through suffering as he leads all these people to glory. 


How was Jesus made perfect through suffering?

His perfect obedience (which led him down the road of suffering).


in order to walk this road of obedience, u must have discipline in your life. and spiritual discipline starts with u and i being willing to put aside what we want and discover what God wants.


NIV365-DAY

Hebrews 6:11-12 NASBS

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.


Hebrews 6:11-12 MSG

And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don't drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.


Growing in Christ


Spiritual discipline is essential for Christian growth and development. Though at first painful, spiritual discipline resulting from obedience and faith produces abundant blessings (Heb 12:11). Every believer should seek to become disciplined in order to grow spiritually.


Spiritual discipline is a continual process that helps the believer mature in Christ and know God’s will. It is as much an attitude of commitment as it is an activity in holiness. Specific spiritual disciplines may include personal training in Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship, service or witnessing, among other godly practices. A conscientious, creative pursuit of these spiritual disciplines should continue throughout a believer’s life (Heb 6:11–12).


Spiritual discipline is essential to deliverance from the power of sin and obedience to God’s will. Without spiritual discipline, believers cannot walk with Christ, grow in faith or receive the heavenly rewards awaiting those who diligently practice spiritual discipline.


Taken from The Woman’s Study Bible


now look around u.

what do u see?

is there a need u can meet?

is there a job u can help with?

is there someone who can use a smile, a hug?


sometimes, the hardest thing is to take the first step. but as the song says, "put one foot in front of the other, soon u r walkin' across the floor."

our spiritual discipline will help us move forward in obedience to Christ's command of reaching people and drawing them in to a relationship with God.