Rejoice! . . .

DAY 1

Sometimes, the only way I know to get me through the day is to make this confession before I get out of bed : “Good morning, Lord. This is the day that You have made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. Thankyou for helping me to do what I have to do today.”

Just as deciding to walk with Jesus is a choice, and of course many things in life are a choice, so too is the decision to rejoice.

For those of us who have a melancholy disposition this choice is an absolute. Some mornings I feel so down that the only way I can get out of bed is to make the decision to, and choose to rejoice in the Lord. David obviously had serious bouts of depression, and he came up out of them every time by praising God. He cried, “But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.” I don’t know if anyone has ever praised God as David did.

I love this, “I will bless the Lord who has counselled me, indeed my mind instructs me in the night.” Every night as I go to bed I drift off to sleep with praise music going and am usually asleep long before it finishes. It ministers to me as I sleep. One night, every time I turned over I heard in my head, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help.” That was long after my music had stopped. That does not happen to me often, but it blessed me so much I got up in the morning and knew that the Lord was watching over me and helping me each day.

That was a reason to rejoice!

But, as I have said, it is a decision, and if for no other reason than the fact that my name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, because I have chosen to walk with God and His wonderful Son Jesus.

And finally, Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4-8 to “Rejoice in the Lord always”. He goes on to say to be anxious for nothing, to pray and be thankful, and that the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 118 24

DAY 2
1 Chronicles 16:10 ~ “Exult in His Holy Name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord.”

DAY 3
Psalm 3:3 ~ “But You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One Who holds my head high.”

Psalm 5:11 ~ “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy.”

DAY 4
Psalm 16:7 ~ “I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.”

Psalm 118:24 ~ “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

DAY 5
Psalm 121:1-2 ~ “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made Heaven and Earth.”

Proverbs 17:22 ~ “A happy heart is good medicine, and a joyful mind causes healing.”

DAY 6
Philippians 4:4,8 ~ “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

DAY 7
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ “Always be joyful. Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Holy Spirit : My Peace, Hope, and Joy . . .

Day 1

I used to be quite a bad-tempered person, particularly in my teenage/young adult years. I’ve slammed doors into the wall so hard, kicked things, or the wall, thrown things so ferociously, that I either made a hole or broke a window. I couldn’t tell you when I realized that my temper had gone, all I know is that when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and received His Peace, Hope and Joy on the inside through baptism in water and the Holy Spirit, I became a new creature.

Having been raised a Catholic, there came a time I really did believe and say the creed from my heart. Then a little while later I got prayed over to receive Jesus into my heart and receive the Holy Spirit. I had never heard anyone speak in tongues before so I respectfully declined that part of the process.

Then, 12-18 months later, 8 months pregnant with my third child, sitting on the end of my bed reading a book on the Holy Spirit by Kenneth Hagin, I got baptised in the Holy Spirit, and spoke in tongues!

God is so good. He knows the perfect time for each of us to take our next step with Him.

When you decide to ask Jesus to come and live in your heart, take the next step as well, and even if you were baptised as a baby, make the commitment to be baptised in water as a born-again new creation and receive the Holy Spirit along with it.

Each of us, as adults, must make our own personal decision for Christ some time in our lives.

Baptism is the outward witness of the commitment to Jesus that has been made. Going down under the water we die with Him, and then are raised to new life as we come up again.

The day I was baptised was the most exciting day of my Christian life.

What I’m saying is : Holy Spirit gives me power from on high to stick with it when things are tough, and not give up. He brings a peace, hope and joy into my life, even in really bad times, that keeps my faith strong. It’s not by my might that I live each day, but by the power of the Spirit of God.

66

DAY 2
Psalm 4:8 ~ “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, do make me to dwell in safety.”

DAY 3
John 14:25-27 ~ But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

DAY 4
Acts 1:8 ~ “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Acts 2:3,4 ~ “And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”

DAY 5
Romans 8:9-11 ~ “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.”

DAY 6
Romans 15:13 ~ “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

DAY 7
Titus 3:4-7 ~ “But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared,
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,
that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

WANT MORE ? ~ Try all of Romans chapter 15.

If you would like to pray the prayer of Salvation, and give your heart to Jesus Christ, there is a link at the top of this page.

Also, for an explanation of how to use this devotional, see my earlier blog : Walking with God . . .

 

Forgiveness . . .

DAY 1

As I have already said, I was brought up in mainstream church, so I have always understood that if I bring my sins to God, He is faithful to forgive them. But many people feel that they are so unworthy to come to Him, even to ask forgiveness, that they miss the amazing blessings that God wants to bestow upon them.

Psalm 118:5 says, “From my distress I called upon the Lord ; the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place.” For me, a large place is somewhere I am free, forgiven, able to move and grow in Him.

God is so good. He could have thrown mankind into the pit with Satan after we sinned. But we are made in His image, we have a spirit fashioned after His, with His breath of life in us, and He did not want mankind, His ultimate work, to be lost.

This is amazing mercy and grace.

He loves me so much that He set in place a plan to forgive me and save me from eternal death. God forgave me for my sin of pride and idolatry (the original sin) He is the God of gods and the Lord of lords. He is great and He is mighty. He is awesome and just and loving, and praised by all creation.

He is worthy to be praised!

Psalm 116 is worth a read. Verses 7,8 say, “Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.” David then asks in verse 12, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? ”

His answer in verse 13 blows my mind.

“I shall lift up the cup of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.”

It doesn’t matter what sin I have committed in my life, God will forgive that sin, if I come to Him genuinely sorry and repentant. He knows my heart and how honest or not I am to receive His mercy and grace. Jesus, as He was dying, forgave those who betrayed Him, condemned Him and nailed Him to the cross. Don’t you think He is willing to forgive you too?

Jesus, as He was dying, forgave those who betrayed Him, condemned Him and nailed Him to the cross. Don’t you think He is willing to forgive you too?

1 John 1 9

Amplified Bible: To confess is to agree with God, to admit that we are sinners in need of His mercy. If we confess our sins to God, He will cleanse us. Forgiveness and cleansing are guaranteed because God is faithful to His promises. Those promises are legitimated because God is just. He can maintain His perfect character and yet forgive us because of the perfect and righteous sacrifice of Jesus, His own Son.

DAY 2
Psalm 103:1-5 ~ “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;
who pardons all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases;
who redeems your life from the pit; who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”

DAY 3
Psalm 118:5 ~ “From my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a large place.”

DAY 4
Matthew 6:14,15 ~ “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

DAY 5
Romans 4:7,8 ~ “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

DAY 6
Colossians 1:13,14 ~ “For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

DAY 7
Colossians 2:13,14 ~ “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,
having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

Without Him ~ I Can Do Nothing . . .

Day 1

I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t come to know Jesus. I was lost at the time I discovered I was pregnant as a single mum. My life was going nowhere and I had no goals or direction. In fact, upon reflection, I would not be here, either from lung cancer or self harm. I heard God knocking at the door of my heart that day my son was born, and I responded. I’m so grateful.

As I reflect upon this week’s devotion I am reminded of the fact that as a mother, I would not have survived without knowing Jesus. There were many times I prayed for healing and protection over my children as they were sleeping and many times I let my praise music envelope me when things were nearing desperation.

There is one particular moment I remember, when my eldest son came home after having passed his driving test and having promised him my car to go and pick up a mate to celebrate with him, as I closed the front door after him, I prayed, “Lord, send your ministering angels to surround my son, keep him safe and help him drive responsibly. I leave him in your hands.”

In his book There Were Two Trees in the Garden, Rick Joyner says, “There is no formula given for Salvation, it is a person. Truth is not just a systematic theology, it is Jesus. He is the deepest desire of the human heart. Only in Him do we really begin to live.”

My FIRST LOVE should be for JESUS.

When I go full speed ahead with my own ideas without consulting God, they usually fail. But when I pray and seek God’s Will, my life is so much easier. Putting Him first in my life puts everything else into perspective and helps me to deal with life’s challenges without worry or panic.

Because of my commitment to Jesus, God has provided me with a wonderful husband and three more beautiful children. I am truly grateful for His help in raising my children, who are all serving God passionately, because I relied on Jesus to help and guide me in the process.

Without God on my side, my life would be very empty.

Psalm 3 3

Day 2

Psalm 3:3 ~ “But You, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory and the One who lifts my head.”

Psalm 5:11-12 ~ “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You.
For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favour as with a shield.”

Day 3

Psalm 42:1 ~ “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God.”

Psalm 91:1-2 ~ “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!”

Day 4

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Day 5

Matthew 6:33 ~ “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Day 6

John 14:21 ~ “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and disclose Myself to him.”

Day 7

John15:5 ~ “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Gethsemane . . .

He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your Will to be done, not Mine.” Then an angel from Heaven appeared and strengthened Him. He prayed more fervently, and He was in such agony of spirit that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood ~ Luke 22:41-44

In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 14, verse 34, Jesus says, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”

I have been meditating upon this for some time and I want to throw out to you a few thoughts.

Firstly, that Jesus while He was here on this earth was fully human and fully divine. In His humanity He experienced everything we do. Everything that afflicts our mortal bodies. The temptations in the wilderness, which He overcame with the Word of God. All the grief and loss and sickness that He saw around Him and was gracious enough to help and heal.

Secondly, in His humanity He would have experienced fear, and since He died for all our sicknesses and diseases and afflictions as well as our sins, fear would have been in that list.

So, in the garden, I believe He was experiencing such an horrendous fear of what was before Him, that His blood began to be shed at that point, even before His arrest. After all, that is why He came, to bear all our sins and sicknesses and all the rest of our afflictions. I think the fear was so great because He was about to take the whole world upon Himself that it became the world’s fears as well, and after His arrest and when He was tortured and mocked and scourged He was suffering all our illnesses and on the cross He bore our sins.

It’s very difficult for me to write what is in my head about this, because it so profoundly moves me.

Jesus’ whole life on this earth was our redemption. From the moment He got up and proclaimed:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favour has come.” Isaiah 61:1-2

This statement covers it all ~ fears, illnesses, and sin. Jesus bore it all for us while we were yet sinners. He loved us to death. I don’t know whether it’s scientifically possible for someone to experience such grief and fear that they sweat drops of blood, but I am very certain that Jesus did, not only because that is what the Word tells us, but because that is who He was. Our redeemer, our saviour, our freedom fighter and our healer.

He overcame temptation in the wilderness, and lived to fight many more days here on earth to accomplish that which He was sent to do.

He overcame fear in the garden of Gethsemane and went to the cross anyway, and gained freedom for us from that fear.

He had to have experienced all of humanity to be able to free us from tyranny and know and understand all the struggles we have as human beings here on this earth.

He shed drops of blood as He prayed about His fear and therefore understands your fears today. Whatever they may be, sit down somewhere quiet and give them all over to the one who understands and cares for you. Because He’s been through it too.

Jesus Grass

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you ~ 1 Peter 5:7

 

 

 

God’s Not Dead! . . .

There are some who teach that there is no life after death . . . That we just go to sleep, unconsciously aware of anything anymore, and that God will raise from the dead whom He chooses at the final resurrection.

To live this life with all its sorrows and suffering,  and only end  up in the resurrection living here on earth forever ‘under much better conditions’, is definitely not enough as far as I’m concerned.

It is also, not what the Bible says.                                                           1 Timothy 1:4 says not to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather  than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.

The God who created the heavens and the earth, is such a glorious God. His heavenly realm is where He originally intended for mankind to live. Eternally with Him in glory. The thing is, that when Adam and Eve sinned, they brought death upon themselves and their descendants. Adam and Eve were never meant to die physically or in any other way. They had a very personal, intimate, loving, and glorious relationship with their Father (God)

That bond was broken by their sin. God cannot look upon sin.

It was then handed down through the bloodline, from generation to generation.
When Adam and Eve sinned, it was not because of their lack of appreciation for God’s kindness, but because they were deceived and tempted and believed the devil’s word over God’s. When God had told them that if they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they would surely die, He was speaking not only of physical death but eternal spiritual death. Eternity separated from God. Because of their sin, the curse over Adam and Eve became one of pain, separation from God, tyranny and death. Because of their sin, they would now physically deteriorate and eventually die and return to the ground from where they had been taken. But because they were made, each as a spirit, who had a soul and all this lived in a body, when death came for the body, it would drop off and die, and spiritually they would live on.

Whether or not they repented and asked forgiveness would have determined their eternal destination. Eternal life or eternal death.

In Genesis 2:7 the Bible tells us that God formed mankind of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. The difference between mankind and all other creation is the fact that we have God’s life breathed into us.

Who’s breath of life do we have?

God’s.

He is an eternal God, always was, always is, always will be. Therefore we have the same life flowing through us. We will live eternally. We had that right from the very beginning, but sin stole it from us.

However, God began to put in place a plan, to redeem us from the eternal death we brought upon ourselves by disobeying, and not trusting God. The entire Bible is the account of that plan, and all it entailed, to bring about our redemption.

The Bible is a love letter to mankind.

prov 21 21 (1)

Those who receive into their hearts the promises of God’s Word, and believe in His Son, Jesus, will live forever. This amazing book that has survived centuries of persecution, stands strong today as the most read book of all time. It shows us unquestionably that God is a living God who created mankind to love and serve Him and live with Him.

The Bible is Oh so much more than just living, dying and hoping to be chosen as one of the resurrected few. Living ‘under much better conditions’ is nothing compared to the glory that is before us.

1 Corinthians 2:9  says, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

In other words, things which we have never seen or experienced, or heard of, or even imagined in our wildest imaginings; wonderful, glorious things ~
All THAT, God has prepared for us ~ for those who love Him.

In Ezekiel 18:4-9, we see that the sinner will die and the righteous will live. This refers to eternal life or death. The whole Bible is about the journey, and ultimately leads us to the doorway to eternal life.

In the gospel of Luke 8:40-56, we see Jesus heal two people. One, the lady who touched His cloak and the other, a young girl who had died. In verse 55, it says that after Jesus commanded her to arise, her spirit returned. It is not our immortal soul that gives us life, it is our immortal spirit, designed to live forever. The girl’s spirit had not ceased to exist, it had just left her body. So when her spirit returned, it returned  to her  body to give it  life. Plus, whatever had caused her death in her body was obviously fully healed.

In the case of Lazarus, John 11:11-44, when Jesus met Martha and she proclaimed that she believed her brother would rise in the resurrection on the last day, it was her FAITH that Jesus saw in her. And just because there is no account by Lazarus as to where he  was when he was dead, does not prove at all that he was only unconscious in his dead state. Jesus may have asked him not to speak of his death experience; after all Jesus had not yet been to the cross, and heaven was not readily available to those who had already died.

There was another Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, who was very poor, very sick and very hungry. There was also a very rich man who ignored Lazarus and did nothing to help him, but lived in his own splendour and fine living each and every day. When the rich man died, he went to hell. He was in such agony he called out to Lazarus (who had also died) across the chasm which separated them, for help. But it was too late. The place that Lazarus was in was where all who had already died (Abraham, Moses, all the prophets, etc) with faith in God and His promises, went, like a part of hell that separated them from the suffering,  until such time as Jesus went to the cross and redeemed mankind, and opened the gates of heaven for us. That doesn’t look to me as though they were unconscious.

Everything does not stop at point of death, our bodies might, but our spirit lives on.

Ecclesiastes 9:5, says that the living (the righteous) know they will die; but the dead (sinners) do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten. If we look at verse 1 in this chapter, then the living referred to are the righteous, and their deeds are in the Hand of God. ‘Man’ here, is referring to those unrighteous, who are so not wise; have no wisdom, knowledge or understanding; that they know not what is in store for them, it could be anything. They are the dead, who have lost their reward, because they continually sin, deny God, live unholy lives, and therefore, will be remembered no more. It does not say they are unconscious and have no memory, it says that they won’t be remembered any more.

In Romans 6:23, it says that the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The entire Bible leads up  to Jesus’ death and resurrection and ultimately this following statement :

 

I am the way 2

Why did He die and rise again from the dead? (He rose again, He’s not dead anymore!)

So we could live!!!

So, if God is a God of the living ~ Luke 20:38 ~ then, why on earth would we be unconscious and unknowing, when we die. It is only our body that will die. If God is a God of the living, and we have His breath in us, then He intends for us to live forever with Him in Heaven.

I’m very excited about that!