Posts Tagged 'grateful'

Peace That Overcomes The World

Have you struggled to have peace in your life? Jesus told us many things about how to have peace and we are taking a look today at how to have peace that overcomes the world.

Scripture:
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

Devotional comments:
Jesus spoke of hard truths that most could not accept. The concept of turning the other cheek did not sit well with people who for two millennium had lived with the concept of “an eye for an eye.”

The religious leaders did not understand his message or his purposes and because of that they accused him of being the messenger of Belial and Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24). It seems that they had been blinded to the good he did and they could not even see that in every way he fulfilled the prophesies that had been given hundreds of years earlier that spoke of a Messiah that was to come.

While the religious leaders rejected him and his messianic message of a new kingdom, the common people heard him and readily accepted the hope that he gave them. Though he was speaking to the leaders in Luke 4, his message was to the common people. His message was that he had come to relieve poverty, heal broken bodies, restore broken relationships and set people free of emotional and behavioral bondage (Luke 4:17-19).

The primary thing that the religious leaders of Jesus day did not see was that everything Jesus said and did was from the motivation of love and the purpose of establishing the peace of God in the hearts of men. In his last word to the disciples he summed up his entire ministry with these words; “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart1 I have overcome the world.”

The hope that produces peace in us is this: because he has overcome the world we know that we can also overcome the world. It is our hope in Christ that gives us lasting peace.

Prayer: Lord, I know that on my own I cannot overcome the world but I trust what you have said. Grant me the grace to overcome the world as you have overcome the world. In Jesus Name, amen.
Peace That Overcomes The World

Principle: The world system seeks peace through domination but Jesus brought peace through serving.

Affirmation: I am committed to bring God’s peace through serving others in his kingdom.

Reflection: Why did the religious leaders miss the importance of the message Jesus brought? How was the message of the kingdom Jesus taught different from what the religious leaders were expecting from the Messiah?

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. As our way of saying “Thank You” this month we are giving a free book to those who make a comment. CLICK HERE TO GET COMMENT

We are offering the book, “Hope and Promises From the Word of God” to those who submit a comment. You will enjoy this book that has blessed many to continue their journey of faith. CLICK HERE TO GET COMMENT

Would you like a free book of devotions for the entire month of March? Find out how CLICK HERE

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Ransomed Of The Lord Return With Joy

The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. – Isaiah 51:11

Isaiah prophesied many things to come for Judah and Jerusalem. He wrote his prophesies more than 100 years before they began to come to pass. This passage concerns a time far into the future when the “Arm of the Lord” (v9) would bring restoration to Jerusalem and the people.

He jumps over the time of sorrow that was ahead and goes to the time of being redeemed. Our verse for today speaks of those who would be ransomed and return to the city of God, Zion. When that time comes they will be crowned with everlasting joy.

Some see this passage applying to Judah of that time. Others see it applying to the return of Christ and the eternal kingdom. Still others see it as applying to the church. There are applications for all three of these views, but as applies to us today, we can see the Lord reaching into the world and redeeming men and women by the blood of the lamb.

All of us were in bondage to sin and separated from the joy of the Lord. We were in need of someone who would ransom us from the terrible place that sin had taken us to. Then he, by the gracious act of sending Christ to the earth and ultimately to his death, made opportunity for us to be redeemed – ransomed by the blood of Christ. Yes, it is with Joy that we draw water from the wells of salvation.

We are overtaken with gladness and joy – sorrow and sighing have left us as we rejoice in the great gift of salvation. Hallelujah!

Prayer: I thank you Lord for the price you paid to ransom me from the bondage of sin. Grant me the ability to honor your gift and live faithful to your calling. In Jesus name, amen.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. As our way of saying “Thank You” this month we are giving a free book to those who make a comment. JUST CLICK HERE

We are offering the book, “Hope and Promises From the Word of God” to those who submit a comment. You will enjoy this book that has blessed many to continue their journey of faith. To leave a comment JUST CLICK HERE OR click on the “leave a comment” link just under the title at the top of this post.

Would you like a free book of devotions for the entire month of February? Find out how CLICK HERE

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Joy And Generosity In Extreme Poverty

And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. – 2 Corinthians 8:1-2

Not only were the Macedonian churches experiencing extreme trial and persecution, they were also experiencing extreme poverty. Yet, in the midst of this great hardship they were giving offerings to others who were in need. What a tremendous spirit these people had.

Read how Paul elaborates on their generosity: “I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints” (v3-4). Even in their poverty they begged for the privilege to give more.

How could they be such givers when their own need was so great? Paul explains that in the next verse: “They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will” (v5). You can always tell the folks who haven’t fully given themselves to the Lord. They give little and have no joy in what they do give.

You can also tell those who do give themselves fully to the Lord. They give much, and often, like the widow who gave only a penny, they give their all. Instead of being sad and downcast over what they don’t have they rejoice over what they were able to give.

There is a lesson here for all of us. Let us first give ourselves to the Lord, then to those who serve him well, and finally to those who are in great need. Don’t look for financial reward from giving your best, but you can expect that your joy will be overflowing. You may even receive a financial blessing from giving, but whether that comes or not our joy should come from seeing others blessed, not in anticipating a reward.

Prayer: Lord, grant me a heart to give. Not to just give from my abundance but to give even when I am in need. Give me the joy of giving myself fully to you so that your kingdom will be blessed.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. As our way of Hope and Promises Coversaying “Thank You” this month we are giving a free book to those who make a comment.

We are offering the book, “Hope and Promises From the Word of God” to those who submit a comment. You will enjoy this book that has blessed many to continue their journey of faith.

Would you like a free book of devotions for the entire month of February? Find out how CLICK HERE

Please check out our new website at http://www.biblestudydevotions.com

The Humble And Needy Shall Increase Their Joy

In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. Once more the humble will rejoice in the Lord; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. – Isaiah 29:18-19

There are two kinds of needy people. There is the “I need, I want” folks who are constantly wanting someone else to take responsibility for their lives; these people are never satisfied because they will always have a hand out and a mind-set that says, “I need, I want.” The other kind of needy person is the humble needy; these people are trying their best but the circumstances they have to live with keep them from progressing. It is these folks that this passage is promising joy.

We have done some missionary work in Haiti and there are millions of humble needy people in that country. In a pastors seminar there a few years ago Brother Martinez gave this testimony; “In my area there is much sickness, but God heals; In my area there is little food, but God provides.” You should have seen the joy of the Lord that was on this pastor who had walked 9 hours, barefoot, to the pastors meeting. He had shoes, but he didn’t want to put them on until he got there because he just had one pair and he wanted them to last. This man has joy.

A couple of years ago we helped a homeless couple by letting them come live with us for a time. They were the best house guests we’ve ever had. If I left the house for a while the whole house would be clean when I got home. He would mow the grass and pull the weeds. In just a couple of months they got their ownplace. They have a number of difficulties and never have much money, but they live with the attitude that God has been good to them and they are going to make it.

Prayer: Lord, grant me the grace to trust you, even in difficult circumstances. I don’t want to be a “I want, I need” person. I want to be one who endures hardship rejoices in all things at all times.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. As our way of Hope and Promises Coversaying “Thank You” this month we are giving a free book to those who make a comment.

We are offering the book, “Hope and Promises From the Word of God” to those who submit a comment. You will enjoy this book that has blessed many to continue their journey of faith.

Would you like a free book of devotions for the entire month of February? Find out how CLICK HERE

Please check out our new website at http://www.biblestudydevotions.com

There Is Joy In The City Of Our God

Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth… God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress. – Psalm 48:1-3

In the days just after the first Pentecost of the Christian era many thousands of people came to Christ. In fact, there were so many people in Jerusalem becoming believers in Jesus that the Jewish leaders were afraid Judaism would become extinct.
From the day of Pentecost forward many thousands became believers. Some scholars have estimated that in the early days of the church there were as many as 80,000 believers in Jerusalem. That must have been something to see. If all of the believers acted like those did in the upper room in Acts 2 we could certainly see why they created such a stir.
In this Psalm David envisions a time when the city of God would be established as the place from which God ruled the earth. The only thing we have today that comes close to what David was writing about is the congregational community that gathers to worship God in a place we call “the church.”
The corporate congregation of the body of Christ, or the church as we know it, is people coming together for worship, for fellowship and for just sharing their burdens with others. Typically we gather in a building, but church is not about the building, it’s about what happens when people gather in the name of the Lord.
Healing happens; Conversions happen; Restoration happens – and much more. The joy that is in those of us who are believers in Christ is the joy of the house of the Lord – that’s because we are the house of the Lord; we are his body, his church. Rejoice – God is in the house.

Prayer: Lord, I am thankful for the community of believers who gather to worship you and to give witness to your marvelous love. I am thankful to be your house. Thank you Jesus, amen.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. As our way of Hope and Promises Coversaying “Thank You” this month we are giving a free book to those who make a comment.

We are offering the book, “Hope and Promises From the Word of God” to those who submit a comment. You will enjoy this book that has blessed many to continue their journey of faith.

Would you like a free book of devotions for the entire month of February? Find out how CLICK HERE

Please check out our new website at http://www.biblestudydevotions.com

Restoring The Joy Of Salvation

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. – Psalm 51:10-12

David had sinned. His sin was worse than the sins that most of us have committed. It started with adultery and ended with murder. In the verse for today, David was feeling the weight of guilt and he was feeling separated from God.
His cry is so typical of what we go through when we have sin in our life. You may not have been there, but most of the rest of us have. We have sinned and we don’t want anyone else to know about it so we go on as if it never really happened.
We continue to do all the religious things we have been doing; we pray piously, we read the Bible and go to church. We might even witness a little, but in the depth of our heart we know we have sinned and we haven’t really connected with God for quite some time.
Along the way something happens to make us feel our need of reconnecting with the Lord and we cry out, “Create in me a pure heart, O God.” It’s time for renewal. God is calling us to return to right relationship with him. So we cry out, “Renew a steadfast spirit within me.” We feel deserted and alone as we pray, “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” We are desperate, yet a little fearful as we petition him for renewal.
We long for the joy of his salvation, and again we petition him. “Grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” Then it happens. The heaviness is removed and smile grows across our face as the joy of the Lord returns to our heart. In another psalm David wrote, “Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence” (Psalm 21:6).

Prayer: Lord, grant me a spirit of repentance every day so that I can be cleansed of anything that would hinder my relationship with you and steal my joy. Restore to me the joy of your salvation.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. Thanks.

Would you like a free book of devotions for the entire month of February? Find out how CLICK HERE

Please check out our new website at http://www.biblestudydevotions.com

There Is Joy In His Presence

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?…One thing I ask of the Lord… That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. – Psalm 27:1-6

No one in the entire Bible expresses the joy of being in the presence of the Lord any better than David. The imagery that he uses in expressing his desire for the presence of God is compelling. Dwelling in the house of the Lord conjures up pictures of just basking in his presence day after day.
In another place he writes, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God” (Psalm 42:1). You can see the deer running from his pursuers, and growing thirsty as gains he ground and the pursuing danger is far behind.
The cry of David’s heart for the presence of God stirs a hunger within us to also be in his presence. For many years now I have devoted the early morning hours to being with the Lord and I can tell you there is great reward in pursuing him when the day is fresh and our minds are not cluttered with the e the world.
Every day we are faced with all manner of distractions. There is the attitude of others; there is the natural desire of the flesh for the world; there is the need to provide…. And the list grows. If we don’t set a time to be in his presence, and the earlier the better, then we will never be able to get around to it.
Today is the day! Today make it a purpose that you will dwell in his presence. Start out with prayers of petition and thanksgiving and meditate upon his word. When you make the effort to start the day with him you will have his joy.

Prayer: Lord, I tend to begin the day with good intentions, but early in the day I allow the cares of this life to keep me from being with you. Grant me the grace and the persistence to be in your word and in your presence daily. In Jesus name, amen.

PS: What thoughts did this devotion bring to your mind? I would very much enjoy reading your comments. Please let us know what you are thinking – write your comment in the comments box. Thanks.

Would you like a free book of devotions for the entire month of February? Find out how CLICK HERE

Please check out our new website at http://www.biblestudydevotions.com


Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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