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
We can read the Word, study the Word and memorize the Word, but as long as it remains head knowledge only, it will have little, if any, effect on the way we live. James tells us that even the demons believe there is a God and we know that satan quoted scripture in his attempt to deceive Jesus. Until we receive the Holy Spirit and He interprets those Scriptures for us, we have little or no heart knowledge. It is out of the abundance of the heart that we speak and act. Just as the anointing oil that Moses poured on Aaron’s head ran down on his beard, and onto his tunic, the message must run down from our brain to our heart. James tells us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. We will not practice doing the teachings and Words of Jesus until it affects our hearts. So, in those times when we feel God isn’t in control and the house seems a little shaky, perhaps, we should check the foundation. Is our lifestyle based on the Word and do our thoughts and actions reflect heart knowledge of the Word of God? If not, maybe we need to ask God to help us remodel from the ground up. Tear out all that fleshly, worldly stuff and build on the Solid Rock. Then when the wind blows and the storms come, the house will not be shaken. Then, we will stand like a lighthouse in a storm and bring others safely to the shore.
58 My dear brothers and sisters, stay firmly planted—be unshakable—do many good works in the name of God, and know that all your labor is not for nothing when it is for God.— 1 Cor. 15:58 The Voice
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
John is reminding each group of people of who they were, who they are now, and how each of us got here. Now that we have been redeemed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus, we need to be walking in the Light and our lifestyle should reflect the example that Jesus set for us to follow. When we are tempted to think that we might be just a little better than our neighbors or when we start to wonder; “how could Jesus save a person like that?” ,we need to remember who we used to be and the kind of lifestyle we used to lead. Just as Isaiah told the children of Israel, remember that we were all cut from the same stone, we are all born sinners.
The Lord says, “Listen to me,
those of you who try to live right and follow the Lord.
Look at the rock from which you were cut;
look at the stone quarry from which you were dug.–Isaiah 51:1 (NCV)
We have done nothing to desire God’s mercy and grace, it is a free gift that is available to all. Thus, the old saying: “Except for the grace of God, there goes you and I,”
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
We will all be judged for what we do and we will all be judged by the same standards. Jesus paid the exact same price for each of us. No one person is more valuable to Him than any other person. Because of the price He paid, we all owe Him everything. Giving Him everything does not even scratch the surface of what we owe Him. He paid a debt that we could never pay. While we were still leading those sinful lives filled with nothing, He loved us enough to shed His blood for us. Because of that and the example He set for us, we have come to trust in God. The God that has never broken a single promise and has never gone back on His Word. He is the Rock on which we can plant our feet and never be moved. He holds the future in His hands, therefore we have eternal hope because He raised Christ from the dead. He can also raise us from the dead and one day He will do just that. Without that hope, we of all people would be the most miserable. So let us continuously give Him praise and glory all day, every day!
15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. —Hebrews 13;15-16 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.—1 Cor. 10:3-5 NIV
As the children of Israel traveled through the desert, they began to complain about the food, so God fed them manna from heaven. They complained about the lack of water, so God had Moses strike a rock and bring forth water for them to drink. The manna represented the body of Christ, just as the wafer we take at Communion represents the body of Christ. The rock is a representation of Jesus Christ and the water would be a foreshadowing of His blood pouring from His side when the soldier stuck his spear into His side. So, the Exodus foreshadowed our journey that we must make. First, they believed Moses would deliver them out of their bondage and they were baptized into Moses. Secondly, they had all the foreshadowing of salvation as represented by the baptism, the manna, and the rock. Thirdly, they had a hope of reaching the Promised Land. If we have accepted Jesus believing that He will deliver us from evil, follow His example of baptism and walk according to the Spirit, we have a hope of reaching the Promised Land, our eternal home in heaven. We, too, must make a journey and some of it will seem like a dry and thirsty land to us. Will we whine and complain or will we really, really trust Jesus and shout for joy in the midst of the storms? Not because of the storm, but in spite of the storm. Will we be Joshuas and Calebs or Dathans and Korahs?
18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. 23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us—1 John 3:18-23 (NLT)
We are saved by grace through faith. Faith requires that we believe that Jesus Christ is the sinless Son of God. If we truly believe this, then we know that our sins are forgiven and that we are children of God. This knowledge will be reflected in our lifestyle and how we treat others. When we fail, and we all do, satan will try to condemn us using false accusations and condemnation. The Holy Spirit does not condemn, it convicts. When we are convicted, we must confess and Jesus is always sure to forgive us of our failures. Remember that salvation is based on knowledge and believing that Jesus died for our sins. Although, some do get emotional when they are saved, it is the knowledge and believing (faith) that saves us. As long as we live in these tents of flesh, our emotions are going to run the gamut of highs and lows. If we allow our emotions to control us, life will be just one long roller coaster ride and, no, it will not be fun and thrilling. It will be scary and depressive. No matter what satan accuses us of doing, we have to STAND on the Rock of Ages. Submit to God, resist the devil and he has to flee. Then we can have the joy of the Lord because God will never leave us or forsake us.
11 I, yes I, am the Lord, and there is no other Savior. 12 First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the Lord. 13 “From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done.”–Isaiah 43:11-13 (NLT)
Although God was speaking to the children of Israel in this instance, it is still true for us today. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is immutable and omnipotent. He exists outside of time as we know it. God divided time into segments for our benefit, but He is not bound by hours or days. He is our Lord and Savior and no one else could do what He has done for us. No one can undo what He has done. He has promised to never leave nor forsake us. He never has and He never will. His faithfulness has no limits. It continues forever. 1 I love you, Lord; you are my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.–Psalm 18:1,2 (NLT) We owe Him all our love. He gives us peace beyond our understanding which causes us to tell the world about the goodness of our Lord and Savior.