VIDEO Abundant Joy

The Source of Abundant Joy

In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. —Romans 8:37

Paul was speaking here of the things that might seem likely to separate a saint from the love of God. But the remarkable thing is that nothing can come between the love of God and a saint. The things Paul mentioned in this passage can and do disrupt the close fellowship of our soul with God and separate our natural life from Him. But none of them is able to come between the love of God and the soul of a saint on the spiritual level. The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, limitless miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that “in all these things we are more than conquerors.” We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.

Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in all these things”; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4).

The undiminished radiance, which is the result of abundant joy, is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can change. And the experiences of life, whether they are everyday events or terrifying ones, are powerless to “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

We never enter into the Kingdom of God by having our head questions answered, but only by commitment. The Highest Good—Thy Great Redemption


Francis Chan – How To Experience Joy

What Do You Think?

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

“It’s important to me to take care of my body.” The words are easy to say, but if our day-to-day life and actions do not align with our words, the words become empty. Observation is the key to discover what people value. Each area of our lives reveals deep truths about us. The way we treat every area of life—food, work, faith, and family—reveals what we believe and value.

Repetitive thoughts become our deep-seated beliefs, and these are lived out in our actions. It’s easy to say the right things: I believe in being connected to God. But if we never have time for His Word or people, our words are meaningless. Although it is easy to deceive ourselves, God has given each of us a mirror in our actions. As we look at our actions and where our time is going, we discover our beliefs and values. Although it is never a good idea to nitpick at others, reflecting on our own lives is a powerful tool to discover growth areas and then invite God into them.

If you believe in a God who controls the big things, you have to believe in a God who controls the little things. It is we, of course, to whom things look “little” or “big.” Elisabeth Elliot

Blame Game

Genesis 3:8-13

As children, we all played “the blame game.” If caught doing something wrong, we accused a sibling or friend in hopes of escaping discipline. This tactic seldom worked, because the one we accused was quick to give a different account. No one wins by shifting blame and refusing to take responsibility. Sadly, though, many people continue to play the blame game, even as adults.

Shifting responsibility isn’t new. It began in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve sinned. When God held them accountable for rebelling against Him, Adam claimed he ate the fruit because Eve gave it to him. She, in turn, accused the serpent, who had deceived her. Yet they both incriminated themselves with these words: “I ate” (Gen. 3:12-13). Blaming someone else didn’t alter the facts—they were each responsible for their choice and course of action.

So, if we know the futility of the blame game, why do we still play it? Do we think we can avoid the undesirable consequences? Is it an attempt to cause others to regard us more favorably? Sometimes it’s not even other people we blame but circumstances—the way we were raised or the way we were treated. Regardless of the cause, sin is never justifiable, and God always holds us accountable.

While it’s difficult to swallow our pride and admit that we are wrong, it’s always best to take full responsibility for our attitudes, responses, and behavior. That is the only way to walk humbly with the Lord, which pleases and honors Him.

A Tragic Lot

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalm 1:1)

One of the most tragic figures in all of Scripture is that of compromising Lot, Abraham’s nephew, who renounced the land of promise for the sinful society of Sodom, ultimately to lose everything of importance.

His slide into apostasy, as traced in Genesis 12–19, seems to parallel the progression described in today’s text of not becoming a godly believer.

Lot is first mentioned as traveling with Abram and Sarai from their homeland to Canaan in obedience to God’s command (Genesis 12:4-5; 13:5). A petty problem arises that surely could have been resolved (13:6-10), but Lot chose (v. 11) to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly” (v. 13).

Lot soon found a home in the city itself, not content to merely herd his flocks in the fertile valley. By standing in the way of sinners, when Sodom was attacked by enemies he was captured (14:12) and later rescued by Abram (vv. 14-16).

Lot’s identification with wicked Sodom did not end there, as it should have, for when the city’s wickedness was beyond God’s forbearance, Lot was found sitting in the seat of the scornful, a leader of the city, sitting in the gates with the town fathers (19:1). Lot was a “just” [or “righteous”] man, “vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked” (2 Peter 2:7), but his actions (Genesis 19:8) and his lack of spiritual influence even within his own family (vv. 14-16, 31-38) testify to the horror of such a compromising lifestyle.

May God grant us all the persevering faith of Abraham and not the compromising faith of Lot. JDM

Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire

Zechariah 3

Let us read for our personal instruction

Zechariah 3.

Zechariah 3:1

Every believer is a priest, and his standing is before the angel of the Lord, for in the presence of God and unto him alone is our ministry rendered. The enemy of souls is ever ready to act as the accuser of the brethren, and as the hinderer of all holy service. Often when we know it not he comes forward to oppose our soul’s best interests.

Zechariah 3:2

We have a divine Advocate to plead our cause; he pleads our election and our effectual calling. If the Lord has chosen us and snatched us from sure destruction, will he not accept the service which we render to him? To what end then should the adversary oppose us?

Zechariah 3:3

Alas! this is our condition also, for we have not kept ourselves unspotted from the world; but mark the care and love of the great Advocate.

Zechariah 3:4

Gone, for ever gone, is the iniquity of the believer; he is no longer condemned, but accepted in the sight of God. The goodly raiment of Christ’s righteousness is ours.

Zechariah 3:5

Sin is removed, righteousness is bestowed, honour is conferred, and all through the omnipotent word of that Angel of the covenant in whom our soul delights. He stands by, and therefore all is well. We owe everything to Jesus. To him be glory for ever.

Zechariah 3:7

Believers who act obediently are honoured with service, and are enabled to glorify God by bringing forth the fruits of grace among their brethren. Would to God that more of us were eminent for holiness and usefulness!

Zechariah 3:8

This is the grand announcement of all, Jesus is the branch from David’s root, the fruitful bough on which we hang all our hopes. He shall build the true temple of God, and upon him, as the one goodly foundation-stone, shall all eyes be fixed.

Zechariah 3:9

God and men, angels and devils, saints and sinners, are all gazing upon Jesus. What a graving was that which he endured when justice cut deep into his hands, and feet, and side; then, indeed, iniquity was removed in one day.

Zechariah 3:10

Jesus will bring peace. His reign shall end the woes and discords of the chosen people. Sin being wholly removed, peace will be restored and established for ever. Are we each of us looking to the Lord Jesus for all things? Do we trust in him as our Advocate, and is his righteousness our glorious dress?

 

Guilty we plead before thy throne,

And low in dust we lie,

Till Jesus stretch his gracious arm

To bring the guilty nigh.

 

The sins of one most righteous day

Might plunge us in despair;

Yet all the crimes of numerous years

Shall our great Surety clear.

 

That spotless robe, which he hath wrought,

Shall deck us all around;

Nor by the piercing eye of God

One blemish shall be found.

 

Your Eternal Verity

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

There is a great deal of discussion now taking place about the lack of spiritual power in our Christian churches. What about the New Testament patterns?

Brethren, the apostolic method was to provide a foundation of good, sound biblical reasons for following the Savior, for our willingness to let the Spirit of God display the great Christian virtues in our lives.

That is why we come in faith and rejoicing to the eternal verity of Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever!” This proclamation gives significance to every other section of teaching and exhortation in the letter to the Hebrews. In this verse is truth that is morally and spiritually dynamic if we will exercise the faith and the will to demonstrate it in our needy world.

I think this fact, this truth that Jesus Christ wants to be known in His church as the ever-living, never-changing Lord of all, could bring back again the power and testimony of the early church!

 

From Fetters Free

“The Lord looseth the prisoners.” Ps. 146:7

He has done it. Remember Joseph, Israel in Egypt, Manasseh, Jeremiah, Peter, and many others. He can do it still. He breaks the bars of brass with a word, and snaps the fetters of iron with a look. He is doing it. In a thousand places troubled ones are coming forth to light and enlargement. Jesus still proclaims the opening of the prison to them that are bound. At this moment doors are flying back and fetters are dropping to the ground.

He will delight to set you free, dear friend, if at this time you are mourning because of sorrow, doubt, and fear. It will be a joy to Jesus to give you liberty. It will give Him as great a pleasure to loose you as it will be a pleasure to you to be loosed. No, you have not to snap the iron band: the Lord Himself will do it. Only trust Him, and He will be your Emancipator. Believe in Him in spite of the stone walls, or the manacles of iron. Satan cannot hold you, sin cannot enchain you, even despair cannot bind you, if you will now believe in the Lord Jesus, and in the freeness of His grace, and the fullness of His power to save.

Defy the enemy, and let the word now before you be your song of deliverance: “Jehovah looseth the prisoners.”

 

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