Pray! Praise! Rejoice!

1 Come, let us sing to the Lord!  Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation — Psalm 95:1 NLT 

Psalm 95:1-7 NLT

Have you ever been reading the Bible or praying or just spending some down time with Jesus and suddenly a song of joy and praise comes to your mind and without a thought, you just burst into song?  The purpose of the Scriptures, after salvation, is to teach us about the great mercy, love and care that God has for us.  I believe there are certain Scriptures that the Holy Spirit included for the sole purpose of bringing us great moments of joy.  Joy that overflows our hearts and bursts forth into praises for what God has done for us.  The next time satan has us on the run and we feel the weight of the world on our shoulders instead of having a pity party, let’s commit to finding some of these verses and let them come alive in our hearts and minds.  In fact, why don’t we memorize a few of them just so we can quote them to the old liar.  That’s what Jesus did.  God does not want us to be miserable one second of our lives.  He has given us freedom to choose to be joyous but we have to reach out and access the joy and peace that He offers.  For me, nothing can dispel darkness, gloom and doom as quickly and effectively as a few good verses and a couple of praise songs.  Put some in your memory arsenal and fire away

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

Post 04-11-2019

Praise and Rejoice !

19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.— Ephesians 5:19 NLT

 Ephesians 5:15-20 NLT

If we take any time to read the testimonies of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted by being imprisoned, our hearts will break at the stories of their cruel treatment.  Sleeping in hot containers in the blazing sun or on cold ground in winter time.  Being allowed only one set of clothing with no laundering facilities for months. Being fed one meal a day (on good days) and that being nothing but gruel.  Being given the worst of the chores, such as shoveling out the latrine pools and carrying the waste away in buckets.  Being beaten for witnessing to the other prisoners.  When these brothers and sisters are interviewed (if they survive), they each have amazing stories of how God was gracious to them, providing supernatural spiritual, mental and physical strength.  But there is one common theme that runs through their stories.  When asked the question; “How do you survive such cruel treatment for such a long length of time?”   They tell stories of singing the spiritual songs they have learned while serving Jesus.  Some are old hymns, some are psalms and other Bible verses set to music, some are words that God has given them for just such a time.  Helen Berthane tells her story of imprisonment in the containers in Eritrea in her book,  “The Song of the Nightingale”.  In her book, she tells of many songs that Jesus gave to her.  In our own lives, though we certainly have never tasted such cruel punishment for our Christian beliefs, such songs can get us through the hardest times.  Take the time to commit some Spiritual songs to memory and the next time, satan shoots his fiery arrows at you, repel them with your favorite songs and verses.  He will flee.

Acts 16:25-30 NLT

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

Post 01-14-2019

Gotta Tell Somebody!

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5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” — Matt. 28:5-7 NLT

AN ANNOUNCEMENT — JESUS IS NOT HERE!
 
AN EMPTY TOMB  —  COME! SEE WHERE HIS BODY WAS LYING!
 
GO! TELL HIS DISCIPLES!  HE IS RISEN!
 
JESUS HAS WON THE VICTORY!
 
ACCEPT IT!  BELIEVE IT!
 
RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!
 
YOU ARE NOW A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY OF GOD!
 
REJOICE FOREVERMORE!   PRAISE HIM CONTINUOUSLY!

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

Post 11-21-2018

He’s Coming Back – Be Ready

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Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world? – Matt. 24:3

Ever since Jesus ascended into heaven with His promise of returning, people have asked the question — When?  The disciples had even questioned Jesus about this before His death and resurrection.  Is when important and if so, why is it important?  If we knew for sure Jesus was coming back at the end of this month, would it make a difference? Would it cause us to be more diligent in witnessing to our family, friends and neighbors?  Would we be more committed to living a Holy lifestyle?  Would it change our priorities?  Would we gather our families around us and hold on to them tightly?  Would we mourn or rejoice?  Would we say. “even so, Lord, come quickly” or would we ask Him for a few more days to be sure our families were all saved?  If we are truly honest with ourselves, would it really make any difference?  If it would, then why doesn’t it make a difference even now?   Only the Father knows when Jesus will return and only the Father knows when each of us will leave here.  Since we don’t know either of these times, doesn’t it make sense to assume that it is today and live our lives accordingly?  Shouldn’t we live each day seeking first the Kingdom of God and trust God to take care of the rest?  If we could get to that point, then peace would overflow our hearts and life here on earth would be  “joy unspeakable and full of glory”!  Then “when” would become unimportant.


You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. — 1 Peter 1:8, 9 NKJV

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

Post 10-19-2018

Recall – Rest – Rejoice – Repeat

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3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. —– 1 Peter 1:3-5​ NIV
 
We should spend as much time as possible each day praying and praising God for all that He has done and is doing for us. We should make every effort to start and end our day with a conversation with God.  That prayer will lead us to praise and we will find that our days go so much better.  We, of all people, should be filled with praise and joy all day long.  We are the only ones with a hope of eternal life with a living Savior and Lord.  We have received this hope as a gift from God that was purchased with the death and resurrection of His Son.  Through the blood of Christ, we have become sons and daughters of God and we have an eternal inheritance that “can never perish, spoil or fade”. No religion on this earth can make such an offer, a gift that is available to everyone but only received by those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are kept and shielded by God’s power.  That resurrection power will keep us until our “the coming of the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”.  Until that comes for each of us, we should practice the three Rs of Christianity:

 

Recall all the good things that God has done and is doing for us.
Rest in His everlasting arms that will never fail to catch us.
Rejoice because you are filled with the Holy Spirit and have eternal life.

 

If this doesn’t fill our hearts with joy and our mouths with praise, perhaps we need to re-examine our relationship with Jesus.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-17-2018

Rejoice! Pray! Give Thanks! Repeat!

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18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18 ISV
 
 
If we rejoice all the time, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances, that doesn’t leave us any time to be idle. Of course, we can’t literally do these things all the time, but we can develop habits that will allow us to spend more time actually doing these things.  We can take all of our thoughts captive and bring them into submission under Jesus Christ.
 

5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.– 2 Cor. 10:5 NIV

When we find our thoughts wandering into areas that lead us into temptation, doubt and worry, we need to immediately bring them back into submission. If we do this, then we will always have an attitude of gratitude.  We will always be in an attitude of prayer regardless of what we are doing physically.  We are not bound by our circumstances or feelings, but by our knowledge of Jesus Christ and who we are in Him.  When we feel those little nudges of the Holy Spirit, we will be ready to act on them and do what God is asking us to do minute by minute. We will also find that our days are full of peace and joy as we are being sanctified daily by the Holy Spirit.  We cannot do this in the flesh, God knows that.  But the God that called us to repentance is able and He is faithful to finish what He has started in our lives. We are saved by grace through faith and we must live our daily lives walking by faith.

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

Post 07-20-2018

Rejoice! Pray! Praise! Repeat!

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11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All God’s people here send their greetings. 14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. — 2 Cor. 13:11-14 NIV

Rejoice!  Isn’t it amazing that after all Paul has gone through and was still going through at this time, that he could say rejoice?  Through all the persecutions, beatings, attempts on his life and bearing the burden of wayward people in the churches he had established, Paul was still rejoicing and encouraging others to continue in faithfulness. One of our highest priorities as Christians should be to pray for and encourage others. Compared to what Paul went through and what our brothers and sisters in other countries are going through today, anything we have to suffer through is certainly “a light affliction”. Yet, some of us are so focused on our own problems that we walk around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh thinking “Woe is me.”.  All of us need more encouragement and more reminding of who we are in Christ Jesus. We need to “zoom out” on our lives and look at the whole panorama that God has given us. The more time we spend focused on Jesus and others, the less time we will have to focus on our own issues. When we take time to fellowship with the Holy Spirit, we find that our spirits are lifted and we can truly rejoice.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.– Phil. 4:4-7

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 06-25-2018