Saturday, October 1, 2011

Holy Laughter

"A joyful heart is good medicine, 
But a broken spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22

I've often thought that Christians should be the merriest people on earth. We have the abundant life in Christ now, as well as all of eternity with Him to which we can look forward. Of course there is a proper time for grief, and we should mourn over sin, but scriptures such as Proverbs 17:22 seem to support my theory that God approves of laughter. I'm not the only one who thinks so. Charles Spurgeon included a chapter called "Pure Fun" in his autobiography, in which he writes, "It is a sort of tradition of the fathers that it is wrong to laugh on Sundays. The eleventh commandment is, that we are to love one another; and then, according to some people, the twelfth is, 'Thou shalt pull a long face on Sunday.' I must confess that I would rather hear people laugh than I would see them asleep in the house of God; and I would rather get the truth into them through the medium of ridicule than I would have it neglected, or leave the people to perish through lack of reception of the message. I do believe, in my heart, that there may be as much holiness in a laugh as in a cry; and that, sometimes, to laugh is the better thing of the two. . ." Hmmm, holy laughter. I like it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

God is Working 4 You!

"It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear."
Isaiah 65:24

This morning I kissed my husband before he was wheeled off to surgery to remove a tumor. As I reached the waiting room, the message alert sounded on his cell phone. I looked at the screen and saw the words of Isaiah 65:24, along with the comment, "Take heart. God is working 4 you!" Isn't this just like our loving Heavenly Father? Before I even had a chance to call out to Him, He was already answering the prayer of my heart. Let atheists claim there is no God. Let skeptics say if there is a God, He doesn't care about our struggles. I know better. I've seen it again and again. Just like this morning. God is intimately involved in every detail of our lives. Take heart. God is working 4 you!

P.S. Dennis came through surgery like a champ. The cyst was benign. All praise to God!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Set Your Seal

"He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true." 
John 3:33

Those who have believed the testimony of Jesus Christ have sealed this upon their hearts: that God is truthful. He doesn't lie. When storms roll into our lives, we remember that everything He has told us in His word is trustworthy. Here are a few of His truths:

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.' John 14:27

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Holy Spirit), that He may be with you forever;"
John 14:16

Believe that God is truthful. Set your seal to it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cherished Child

"O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;  Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. 
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; 
Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me." 
Psalm 131:1-2

Can you see the wisdom in the psalmist's words? When things happen we don't understand, the last thing we should do is harden our hearts toward God and snub Him, thinking we can figure things out on our own. Instead, we should remember that each of us is the Father's cherished child. He wants us to come to Him. To allow Him to take our burden and give us a composed and quieted soul. This phrase from the old hymn "What a Friend We Have In Jesus" says it so well:

Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Death Pardon

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Romans 8:1

Jesus came to earth to receive sinners and to change them. To change them from dead men walking to freed men living. This could only happen through His sacrifice on the cross. My sin and yours condemn us to death -- eternal separation from God. Jesus stepped in and took our place on death row. He died in our place and God said, "By His blood you are pardoned." Now if we reject this great gift of salvation -- God's pardon through the shed blood of Christ -- then we remain condemned and dead in our transgressions. For there is no other name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). But everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus Christ will be saved (Acts 2:21). We are justified before a Holy God by faith in Christ (Romans 5:1). When we place our faith in Him, we are no longer condemned. Eternal life is ours.

Monday, September 26, 2011

True Disciple

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me."
Matthew 16:24

What a challenging statement Jesus makes to anyone who wishes to be His disciple. If you want to follow Him you must be willing to die to yourself.  You must reject your self-centeredness and become Christ centered. This goes against our nature. It goes against our culture. Jesus is acceptable as long as we can keep on living just the way we always have -- for ourselves. So in light of Jesus' words, we should ask ourselves, "Am I truly His disciple? Am I living for His interests, or am I living for my own?" 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Captivated Worshiper

"Make His praise glorious."
Psalm 66:2

What does it mean to make God's praise glorious? According to Pastor Steven Cole, "making His praise glorious does not mean getting pumped up by group enthusiasm or by music that has a catchy beat. Rather, it is the overflow of our hearts when we are captivated by God’s all-satisfying glory in Christ." To be captivated means to be attracted and held. So perhaps when we are so attracted and held by God's beauty, holiness and fullness in Jesus Christ that nothing else will satisfy, that is when our hearts overflow with glorious praise. I desire to be a captivated worshiper every day. How about you?
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