26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry. – John 15:26-27 NLT
Though the disciples don’t know or understand at this point, this is the 2nd greatest gift that God has promised. His best gift was His Son, Jesus, giving His life for us. Now, that Jesus is leaving, God the Father is sending us a Helper. The Helper will tell us more about Jesus and our Father. Jesus has been telling the disciples what the Father says and He has been showing them what the Father is doing. Now this Helper will do the same for each of us. Our job is to tell others what we are told. These are exciting times to be alive! With all the junk that is going on in the world, God is still in control and our Helper will show us the way home. Not only that, but He will teach us how to live and how to pray. Just as the disciples learned when they received the Helper, so are we learning now. Their sadness turned to joy and so should our lives reflect the joy of the indwelling Helper.
We are born of the flesh and thus we follow after the lusts of the flesh just like the crowds in the day of Jesus. We follow the advice of our fleshly father, satan. Yes, we may have earthly parents who have accepted Jesus, but unless we have made that decision for ourselves, we are still children of the flesh, just as the people were then. If we were truly children of the living God, we would not live a lifestyle of sin. We would follow the example Jesus set for us. We should know and understand that when we accept Jesus, our lifestyles will change. When we have been born of the Spirit, we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Yes, we will occasionally sin, but it will not be our lifestyle. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with a living Lord. It is not a negative lifestyle, but it should be the most positive of all lifestyles since we, and we alone, have the hope of eternal life with Jesus. Jesus came to us from the Father to redeem us from sin and show us the way to the Father. If God is truly our Father, we will tell others about our hope in Jesus because we will be overflowing with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.—Romans 15:13 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. – Psalm 30:5
Are you going through a rough patch? Mourning the loss of a friend? the loss of a child? a parent? a home? Feeling lost with no direction? If you can check one or all of the boxes, you are not alone. And like most, you are wondering when it will end or if will it ever end. Will the memories ever go away? No, I pray that the good memories will never go away. There is a way to lessen the impact of these events on the rest of your life. And listen carefully, I can check all the above boxes, so I know whereof I speak. The first step is to take the “u” out and you will see that moUrning turns into MORNING and a new day begins. Regardless of all the worldly do it yourself projects and rehab programs, study after study shows that we cannot fix ourselves. The best we can do, all by ourselves, is temporary relief. There is no band-aid for the heart, but there is a permanent fix, free and available to everyone of us. Now that morning has come, listen to what God has to say, “Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1). Nothing is hidden from the One that loves you so much that He died to save you. Hope and joy have a Name and that Name is Jesus, Accept Him today as your Savior and your Lord.
16 For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. – John 3:16 TPT
He can fill every void and provide for every need. Not just physical needs, but those deep down in your soul spiritual needs. The healing will begin and the joy will come. Your new day is here, full of His joy and peace, reach out, grab it and never, ever let it go.
Amidst all the glamour and clamor of this holy day season, let us never forget the real reason we are exchanging gifts at this time of the year. Each gift should be a reminder to each of us that God gave us Jesus and Jesus gave us everything. Let each gift be a gentle reminder that Christmas isn’t about us but about the one Who came that we “might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He continues to give to us daily everything that we need to live a Godly life through His divine power and precious promises (2 Peter 1:3-4). On this special day that we have chosen to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, may each one of us take a few minutes to pause and reflect on His goodness and thank Him for His free gifts of mercy, love, peace and joy.
“Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King!”
Each of us needs to pause each day and meditate on what an amazing God we serve. He has every right to be angry with us and punish us accordingly. Instead, He put all of our sins on His only Son and allowed Him to be crucified on a cross for our salvation. Jesus was all man and all God, so God Himself hung on that cross and He has become our salvation. He is our strength and our song. We can trust Him to complete the work He started in each of us when we accepted Jesus as our Savior, No matter the situation, we can turn to Him and draw water from the springs of salvation and they will fill us with joy. Every moment of every day, we should “rejoice and be glad.”
Yesterday’s writing ended with us clothing ourselves in the characteristics of Jesus. The outer covering of all those characteristics must be Christ’s righteousness and love. The love of Christ wraps around us, reaches out and touches others and binds us all together in unity and perfect harmony. Jesus promised us a peace that passes understanding and we have that when Jesus is ruling our hearts. The Good News about Jesus fills our lives. Then we are to teach others that message using the wisdom He gives us. That love and unity is how we should represent Jesus to unbelievers. To quote Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel and, if necessary, use words.” Most of all, we should always have “an attitude of gratitude” thanking God for all His love and blessings. That attitude comes from a heart filled with joy and causes our lips to sing His praises all day, every day!
10 I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding- Isaiah 61:10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Accepting Jesus as our Savior is the first step in our journey to heaven. The next step is to allow Him to be Lord of our lives. This means being obedient to His teachings and following His example. If our roots are to grow down into Him and our foundation is to be built on Him, then we must spend time getting to know Him. As we study and meditate on His Word, our faith will grow stronger each day. This knowledge of the truth of Jesus should cause our hearts to overflow with joy and our lips to sing His praises. We must guard our hearts and our minds. The world is full of people spouting vain philosophies and nonsense. They are possessed, obsessed or influenced by evil spirits. They speak of religion and try to compare it with Christianity, which is a relationship with Jesus. Religions are based on man’s thinking and can change every time the wind blows. Our relationship with Christ is built on the Solid Rock and will withstand every storm and fiery dart that the enemy hurls at us. We are in Christ and He is in us, so we are complete with Christ as our ruler and authority.
Salvation does not come with a magic wand. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, all our problems and situations do not magically disappear in a puff of smoke. There are many references we can find in the Bible where Jesus tells us that in this world, we will be offended. Jesus tells His disciples here in John 16:33 that here on earth, “you will have many trials and sorrows.”. In verse 32, Jesus says that He will be left alone by His disciples but that He won’t really be alone because the Father is always with Him. We have that same assurance. Living a Holy lifestyle is not fantasy, it is reality and it comes with its own set of problems. But we are assured over 300 times in the Bible that we will never be alone or forsaken. God’s Holy Spirit is with us, in us, and around us. We are in Christ Jesus. It isn’t magic, smoke, or mirrors. but it is the greatest peace and joy that we can experience here on earth because we are never alone.
24 God can guard you so that you don’t fall and so that you can be full of joy as you stand in his glorious presence without fault. – Jude 24 GW Jude 17-24 GW
We can see the things that are spoken of here in these verses happening in our churches of today. We have church leaders who are leading their congregations astray by teaching them that they have the liberty to live their lives as they please. Their messages “tickle the ears” of the people. Instead of preaching purity and obedience, they are saying “live like you want to live”, fulfill the desires of the flesh, its okay. But God says we are to be holy because He is holy and we are to pattern our lives after Jesus. Do not be deceived by false teachers, we will reap what we sow. If we sow fleshly desires, we will reap the consequences of those acts. If we sow righteousness, peace, joy, patience, forgiveness and the fruits of the Spirit, we will reap the rewards of those actions. Love God and follow His commands daily. Then we will be safe in God’s love.
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. — Phil. 4:8 NLT
If we follow Paul’s advice, we will pray and be thankful for all things that God has done for us. We must continually guard our thoughts and the desires of our hearts. We need to focus on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, excellent and worthy of praise. Then we will become God-conscious. Witnessing for Jesus will be a natural outflow of this kind of thinking. Our actions will be Christ-centered and people will know that we have something they don’t have. If we let our guard down, satan will rush in and have us thinking about the pleasures of the flesh. Then, satan will keep telling us about all the things we don’t have. After listening to that for a short while, we become sin-conscious. In that state of mind, we are of little use to God, ourselves or anyone else. Fight the good fight and stay focused on Jesus. Then we will enjoy God’s peace, joy will overflow and it will be completely natural for us to praise Him for His goodness.