1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High. — Psalm 9:1-2 NLT
As we tell and retell the Gospel story and talk about all the marvelous things God has done for us, we are filled with joy. The more we tell the old, old story, the more sure our hope becomes and the more joy we have to help us get through each day. That old liar, satan, comes around every day telling us how bad things are and pointing out all the things we don’t have. But all we need to do is stop and consider all the things with which God has blessed us. Then we need to thank Him and praise Him for all that He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us. We need to remind ourselves and satan about Paul’s admonition to us in Philippians on the things we need to focus on in our daily thought patterns.
God tells over and over that we should not worry, fear or be discouraged, yet, we spend more time considering what we are going to do when bad things happen than we do praising God for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us. Just as we don’t want to hear our kids complaining about what they don’t have all the time, neither does God want to hear our murmurs and complaints every day. It was this kind of behavior by God’s chosen people that caused Him to be angry with them on their trek through the desert. Do we want best friends who only tell us about their problems or those who share their concerns and their victories with us? God is our best friend, let us treat Him like we would our best friend. Talk with Him, not just to Him every day and praise Him for all of His goodness, then we will be filled with His peace and His joy, which is His gift to us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
The plan of salvation and redemption was laid out before the foundations of the world were laid.
19 Rather, the payment that freed you was the precious blood of Christ, the lamb with no defects or imperfections. 20 He is the lamb who was known long ago before the world existed, but for your good he became publicly known in the last period of time. 21 Through him you believe in God who brought Christ back to life and gave him glory. So your faith and confidence are in God.–1 Peter 1:19-21 (GW)
Jesus having fulfilled His mission here on earth now stands at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. We are hidden in Christ and He abides in us. No amount of service or money could ever pay this debt. No amount of worship or adoration by mankind can ever match the marvelous love, mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Humbly bow before Him now and thank Him! Praise Him and give Him glory forever!
23 My lips will sing with joy when I make music to praise you. My soul, which you have rescued, also will sing joyfully.—Psalm 71:23 (GW)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
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.”
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.
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.
When we look around us and we see that we are facing troubles and trials above and beyond that which we are capable of handling because of our human weaknesses and frailties, that is the time that we must muster all of our faith and courage and trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and minds. God has a reason for every trouble that He allows satan to bring into our lives. Sometimes it is to bring us closer to Him, to increase our faith in Him and to teach us that we can never live independently from Him. Sometimes, it is discipline for bad decsions we have made either in our speech and/or in our actions. Either way, our repsonse should be the same as the people of Judah here in this passage. When the circumstances and situations say there is no hope, we must turn to our Hope. The times that we don’t “feel” like praying, praising and singing are the very times that we need to pray, praise and sing the loudest. This lets us, satan and the world know that we have placed our faith in the one and only true Living God and that we know He will deliver us. Our part in the battle is to be obedient and praise the Lord, He will win the battles for us. Fighting with satan is a battle that we can’t win, but we serve a Lord who can’t lose. So, when satan comes against us, we need to stand, sing, shout and watch as Jesus wins the complete victory.
10 If someone obeys all of God’s laws except one, that person is guilty of breaking all of them. 11 After all, the one who said, “Never commit adultery,” is the same one who said, “Never murder.” If you do not commit adultery but you murder, you become a person who disobeys God’s laws. 12 Talk and act as people who are going to be judged by laws that bring freedom. 13 No mercy will be shown to those who show no mercy to others. Mercy triumphs over judgment.–James 2:10-13 (GW)
The law(s) were given to the children of Israel to show them that sin was in the world. Without the law there would have been no disobedience of the law and therefore they would not have understood sin. With the law, they understood sin and also understood that no human being could live up to the perfect standard required by the law. The law was their/our teacher to show them/us that we all need a Savior. This was no surprise to God. Before the foundations of the earth were laid, He had prepared a perfect Lamb to be our Savior. Because God is merciful, He sent His only Son into the world as the only perfect human. Jesus came to us knowing that He would be sacrificed for our sins, although He was sinless. Now we live under grace, the unmerited favor of God. We did nothing and can do nothing to earn grace and salvation. It is a free gift from God. 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.–Ephesians 2:8,9 (NLT)
We should sing praises to God daily. He is a marvelous, amazing God. “What a wonderful Savior is Jesus our Lord”!!!!!!!
1. And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.–Romans 12:1,2 (NLT)
We were created in God’s image and then sin entered into the equation. Sin has taken us from what God created us to be into a fallen state. This was no surprise to God, He had a plan in place before the foundations of the world were laid. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we become a new creation. It is not an instant change, it is a process that takes the rest of our lives to complete. I am reminded of a kids’ song that says it very well in a way that is easy to remember: He’s still working on me to make me what I really ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be, He’s still working on me.
If you are planning to wait until you are perfect before witnessing to those around you, you will never be of any use to the Kingdom. So when satan shoots his fiery darts at you and tries to discourage you, just sing this chorus to him. It will remind satan (and you) that you are God’s child and he has no authority in your life. God knows we aren’t perfect, but He will bless our persistence.
14 This is the reason I kneel in the presence of the Father 15 from whom all the family in heaven and on earth receives its name. 16 I’m asking God to give you a gift from the wealth of his glory. I pray that he would give you inner strength and power through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation. 18 This way, with all of God’s people you will be able to understand how wide, long, high, and deep his love is. 19 You will know Christ’s love, which goes far beyond any knowledge. I am praying this so that you may be completely filled with God. 20 Glory belongs to God, whose power is at work in us. By this power he can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. 21 Glory belongs to God in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time and eternity! Amen.–Ephesians 3:14-21 (NLT)
Yesterday, we read about witnessing by allowing God’s love to shine through our lifestyle. Sometimes we feel like we just don’t have the power and the strength to do that consistently. And in the flesh, we don’t. God will never guide where He will not provide. When God asks us to do something for the Kingdom, He gives us everything we need to accomplish the task. Remember, the battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s. He will gain the victory and the glory, He is just allowing us to participate because of His great love for us. Our part is the same as the singers that Jehoshaphat appointed to go before the people into battle. We are to praise Him as He fights the battle! “Give thanks to the Lord; His faithful love endures forever!”–2 Chronicles 20:21b (NLT)
15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. 16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3: 15-17 (NLT)
We are ambassadors for Christ everywhere we go and whatever we do. Ambassadors are official representatives sent by a country to a foreign country for diplomatic relations. We are aliens and foreigners here on earth representing God and heaven. Our purpose is to inform others about our heavenly home. We can do that with an attitude of gratitude and a happy face. Nothing attracts attention like music that soothes the soul. So, today, smile, sing, and win others to Christ.
Paul tells us in Romans that we should live peaceably with others as much as it is possible. We can only do this when we have the peace of God abiding in us. His love abides in us in all its richness, so show that love to others by sharing the message of Christ Jesus. This may be uncomfortable at first, but it isn’t nearly as uncomfortable as hanging on a cross until death. With practice, it will become a natural outpouring of the love of God that abides in us.