Joy-Filled Grace

Psalm 16.pngYou will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasure of living with You forever.                                  Psalm 16:11

Our lives here on earth change constantly; new engaged in new experience and circumstances every day. We learn and grow  and move on. Sometimes there is a lot of sweat and hard labor, but little beauty and rest. Although we enjoy a measure of  success we also often taste failure, disappointment and pain. We mostly find human joy in relationships with friends. But even those are simply a mixture of highs and lows; they come and go, When we are happy and all smiles, when love is strong and warm, we wish that things could go on like that forever. But all earthly joy fades.

there is, however, one joy that is steady and eternal, and that is the presence of God. Many people shy away from God because they fear that He will make their joy disappear. They have the feeling that He will not approve of their lifestyles or that he will be shocked by their faults and the horrors of their sins. He does not, however, do that. But in striving after those temporary earthly pleasures they walk past the ingle greatest joy their is in life to know God and to live close to Him.

If you believe in Jesus Christ and follow Him faithfully, you will know that He does not in any way destroy earthly pleasures; He makes them richer and deeper. He adds a joy that does not fade with the passing years, a personal, tender and life-enriching friendship with Him! What is more, this joy is only the beginning of an even greater joy when this life comes to an end.

 

We man think God wants actions of a certain kind, but God wants people of a certain kind.                           C.S. Lewis

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

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The Heart of Worship

 

Romans 6.pngIn the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourselves to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and offer every part of yourselves to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.      Romans 6:11-14

The heart of worship is surrender. Surrender is an unpopular word, disliked almost as much as the word submission. It implies losing, and no one wants to be a loser. Surrender evokes the unpleasant imagines of admitting defeat in battle, forfeiting a game, or yielding to a stronger opponent. The word is almost always used in a negative context. In today’s world we are taught early in our lives to never give up, or never give in. so we don’t hear much about surrendering. If winning is every thing (like in sports), surrendering is just unthinkable. We would rather talk about winning, succeeding, overcoming, and conquering than yielding, submitting, obeying and surrendering. But to surrendering to God is the heart of worship. It is the natural response to God’s amazing love and mercy. WE give ourselves to him, not out of fear or duty, but in love, “because he first loved us”. True worship bringing God pleasure–happens when you give yourselves completely to God.  Offering yourselves to God is what worship is all about. This act of personal surrender is called many things, consecration, making Jesus your Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, God wants all of you, not just part of you, he wants all of you. Everybody eventually surrenders to something or someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to dear, or to your own pride, lusts or ego. You were designed to worship God, and if you fail to worship him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice. If God is going to do his deepest work in you, it will begin with this. So give it all to God, your past regrets, your present problems, your future ambitions, your fears, dreams, weaknesses, habits, hurts, and hang-ups. Put Jesus Christ in the driver’s seat of your life and take your hands off the steering wheel. Don’t be afraid, nothing under his control can ever be out of control. Mastered by Christ, you can handle anything. I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

 

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

The Family of God

1 John 3.pngGod is the One who made all things, and all things are for his glory. He wanted to have many children share his glory.             ( Hebrews 2:10a) (NCV)

In the book of the Purpose Drive Life by Rick Warren he tells us that we were formed for God’s family. God wants a family, and he created you and me to be a part of it. This is God’s second purpose for your life, which he planned before you or me where born. The entire Bible is the story of God building a family who will love him, honor him, and reign with him forever. It says, “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.” Because God is love, he treasures relationships. His very nature is relational, and he identifies himself, in family terms: Father, Son, and Spirit. The Trinity is God’s relationship to himself. It’s the perfect patter for relational harmony, and we should study its implications.

Isn’t this wonderful to know that we are part of a wonderful family, that in spite of any flaws in us we are simply accept because of God’s great love for ALL of his children. The moment you were spiritually born into God’s family, you were given some astounding birthday gifts, the family name, the family likeness, family privileges, family intimate access, and the family inheritance. The Bible says, “Since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you” (WOW) The New Testament gives great emphasis to our rich “inheritance.” It tells us, “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Jesus Christ.  As children of God we get to share in the family fortune. Here on earth we are given, the riches of his grace, kindness, patience, glory, wisdom, power and mercy. But in eternity we will inherit even more. Your inheritance is worth more than gold or silver, and that my friend is something to celebrate.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friend