1 Chronicles 16:7-36 (NLT2)7 On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the LORD:8 Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.9 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.10 Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the LORD.11 Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.12 Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given,13 you children of his servant Israel, you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.14 He is the LORD our God. His justice is seen throughout the land.15 Remember his covenant forever— the commitment he made to a thousand generations.16 This is the covenant he made with Abraham and the oath he swore to Isaac.17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:18 “I will give you the land of Canaan as your special possession.”19 He said this when you were few in number, a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.20 They wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another.21 Yet he did not let anyone oppress them. He warned kings on their behalf:22 “Do not touch my chosen people, and do not hurt my prophets.”23 Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.25 Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.26 The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the LORD made the heavens!27 Honor and majesty surround him; strength and joy fill his dwelling.28 O nations of the world, recognize the LORD, recognize that the LORD is glorious and strong.29 Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor.30 Let all the earth tremble before him. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Tell all the nations, “The LORD reigns!”32 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!33 Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise, for the LORD is coming to judge the earth.34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.35 Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation! Gather and rescue us from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.”36 Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.
Rejoice The Ark Of Covenant Has Come To Jerusalem
On the day that David and the Levites brought the Ark Of Covenant into Jerusalem and placed it in the tent that he prepared for it David gave Asap, the Levite leader of the “Praise Team”, this song of thanksgiving.
David was so excited about the Ark that his praise embarrassed his wife.
1 Chronicles 15:29 (NLT2) 29 But as the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant entered the City of David, Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked down from her window. When she saw King David skipping about and laughing with joy, she was filled with contempt for him.
1 Chronicles 16:1-6 (NLT2)1 They brought the Ark of God and placed it inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to God.2 When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the LORD.3 Then he gave to every man and woman in all Israel a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins.4 David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the LORD—to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel.5 Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres.6 The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.
David was so excited
This song includes parts of Psalms 105, 96, and 106.
1 Chronicles 16:12 (NLT2)12 Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
Psalm 105:5 (NLT2)5 Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
1 Chronicles 16:15 (NLT2)15 Remember his covenant forever— the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
Psalm 105:8 (NLT2)8 He always stands by his covenant— the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
Genesis 15:1-6 (NLT2)1 Some time later, the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.”2 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth.3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”4 Then the LORD said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.”5 Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”6 And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. (emphasis mine)
In that covenant God promised Abram’s (Abraham) descendants that they would inherit the land in which he was a foreigner.
Genesis 17:7-8 (NLT2)7 “I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.8 And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.”
Abraham’s descendants did not come into possession of Canaan for hundreds of years. They even spent hundreds of years in Egypt most of them as slaves.
Genesis 15:13 (NLT2)13 Then the LORD said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years.
Exodus 12:40-41 (NLT2)40 The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years.41 In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the LORD’s forces left the land.
Verses 20 through 28 are a brief history of Israel before they settled in Egypt. During all this time God warned the nations not to harm His people (Abraham and his descendants) and His prophets.
1 Chronicles 16:21-22 (NLT2)21 Yet he did not let anyone oppress them. He warned kings on their behalf:22 “Do not touch my chosen people, and do not hurt my prophets.”
Psalm 105:13-15 (NLT2)13 They wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another.14 Yet he did not let anyone oppress them. He warned kings on their behalf:15 “Do not touch my chosen people, and do not hurt my prophets.”
Psalm 105 in verses 16-45 provides a history Abraham’s dependents from their coming to live in Egypt, their freedom from slavery, their wilderness wandering, to their entrance into Canaan.
Beginning with verse 29 David includes some passages from Psalm 96
1 Chronicles 16:29-33 (NLT2)29 Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his presence. Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor.30 Let all the earth tremble before him. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Tell all the nations, “The LORD reigns!”32 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!33 Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise, for the LORD is coming to judge the earth.
Psalm 96:8-13 (NLT2)8 Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring your offering and come into his courts.9 Worship the LORD in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him.10 Tell all the nations, “The LORD reigns!” The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. He will judge all peoples fairly.11 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise13 before the LORD, for he is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.
The song ends with praise and thanksgiving for victory over and deliverance from the Philistines which resulted in return of the Ark of Covenant. The final word of the Psalm is Amen or in Hebrew Halleluya (Hallelujah)!
1 Chronicles 16:35-36 (NLT2) 35 Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation! Gather and rescue us from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.”36 Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the LORD.
Psalm 106:47-48 (NLT2) 47 Save us, O LORD our God! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.48 Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD!
Earlier this month I wrote and published “Science And Christianity Are Not Mutually Exclusive”. There is a section in it that responds to the statement “I can’t believe in both science and God.” What follows in this post is an answer to the question “can miracles exist side by side with science. As you will see on reading the article that appeared on beliefnet.com that they can in fact co-exist. As I show in “Science And Christianity Are Not Mutually Exclusive” many of the greatest scientist in history were devout Christians.
As the article says wanting to understand a miracle is not a sign of unbelief just a form of wanting to understand God. However you must accept that you may never understand. As the Scriptures say some things will remain mysterious.
Deuteronomy 29:29 (NLT2) “The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.
The basic questions of who, what, when, where, why and how are as central to Biblical scholarship as they are to the physical sciences.
Can Miracles Exist Side By Side With Science?Miracles do not preclude science and faith from mixing.Many people are convinced that faith and science are at opposite ends of the spectrum. A person can have religion or reason, logic or spirituality. They cannot have both. They cannot believe in scientific theories such as the Big Bang or Natural Selection and still live in such a way that the Bible is central to their lives. Belief in Jesus Christ cannot be mixed with the Theory of Relativity or Quantum Mechanics, right?
There is little to no reason why faith and science cannot be mixed. Many of the greatest scientists in history were devout Christians, and nothing has changed in recent years that precludes this from continuing to be true. God created this world which means that God created the processes by which it functions. By forming creation, God also formed the laws of nature. When He made mankind with an innate curiosity, He created the underlying reason science exists. People become scientists because they want to know why. Why does the world function the way it does? Why are certain things impossible? What is possible that humans have not yet experienced?
Interestingly enough, similar questions form the underpinnings of Biblical scholarship and interpretation. What does the Bible really say? What does it mean when it says this? Why does it say this and not that? What would be different if it said something else? Who wrote this section? What does that authorship mean for the text? The basic questions of who, what, when, where, why and how are as central to Biblical scholarship as they are to the physical sciences.
The fact that the same interest in understanding underlies both the investigation into God’s Word and into natural laws still does not leave everyone convinced that science and faith can mesh together without compromising either one. Part of the reason for this is the existence of miracles.
Miracles are something that even ordinary Christians sometimes have trouble accepting. The idea that Christ truly fed 5,000 people with what was essentially a boy’s lunch or that Jesus actually walked on water are somewhat difficult for a rationally minded person to believe. There is nothing to compare those incredible actions with and so there is no way for logic to accept them as true. That does not mean that a modern Christian cannot or does not believe that the miracles of the Bible occurred, it simply means that those events may be a bit harder for the Christian to really wrap their mind around.
When it comes to miracles, the incredible feats of Christ and the Apostles are easier to accept than those that take place in modern times. When modern miracles occur, people who were not present for the miracle are usually painfully swift to dismiss it as a hoax or try and find a logical explanation for the event. The former is problematic as it casts the recipient of God’s grace and healing as a liar. The latter, however, is not necessarily a problem no matter how much some people would like to cast it as such. Wanting to understand miracles is a form of wanting to understand God. No human can ever manage to do so entirely, of course, but that does not mean it is not an admirable goal. Logic, reason and curiosity can be applied to the study of God’s word in the Bible. Why could they not be used to try and understand the miracles He performs on His faithful?
Loosely defined, a miracle is an event that is impossible to explain but happened regardless. The most common miracles described today are miraculous healings. Naturally, people all over the world want to understand how a woman could suddenly be healed of her cancer or a man cured of his Alzheimer’s disease. Are the physicians bad Christians because they hope to be able to unravel a cure that could save millions? Of course not! They may fail in their endeavor, but they may also succeed if God has decided that His miracle will be what guides a researcher to the correct answer.
Many of the things that modern Christians take for granted would be considered to be miracles in the second and third centuries. Modern houses are made of stones made from liquid that are laid in place by horseless chariots taller than trees. Men and women can soar like eagles in giant metal birds. People can throw their voices across the ocean by speaking into a box that glows like a star. Homes are lit and kept warm by tiny, tamed bolts of lightning that run through thin metal snakes in the walls. How would those everyday objects–concrete, airplanes, phones, electricity and wires– not be considered miracles by early Christians? They would be baffled by those occurrences, to say nothing of what they would think of modern medicine.
Miracles are things that people believe are impossible, but they may not be impossible forever. Humans are extremely curious creatures and are not very good at taking “no” for an answer. Many a man and woman would consider “it’s impossible” as nothing short of a personal insult or pointed challenge. Show them a miracle, and they wish to understand it. This attitude in and of itself is not necessarily unchristian, so long as those doing the investigating understand that they may never get the answers they seek. Some miracles are meant to simply stay miraculous. That does not diminish their value or negate the attempts of others to understand the miracle. Miracles are, quite frankly, everywhere. Some of them are simply ones that people encounter so often that they do not even realize they are surrounded by miracles. Earth is a rock covered in water hurtling through empty space around a giant nuclear explosion along with a number of other rocks without colliding with each other. Humans are made up of trillions of cells each with separate DNA strands that are forever being perfectly copied without a single mistake. Plants and animals live on the slopes of mountains that regularly split open and spew fire into the air. Ice, in defiance of all other rules of solids and liquids, floats instead of sinks which keeps rivers and lakes from freezing completely solid every winter. In nine months, a pair of cells each with only half the DNA it needs to survive transform into a fully formed human being. Miracles are everywhere. What else, after all, is life itself but a miracle?
Mission Impossible is an American television series, now in syndication, that originally aired from 1966 to 1973. The series chronicled the exploits of a team of secret government agents known as the Impossible Missions Force (IMF). Each episode opens with a fast-paced montage after which in we see the agent receive his instructions from a voice delivered on a recording which then self-destructs.
Here is a brief description of the series;
A group of extraordinary spies, each experts in their own fields, belong to the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) -- first headed up by Daniel Briggs and later overseen by Jim Phelps. The IMF is a government agency that undertakes only the most hazardous of espionage missions. The beginning of each episode featured the now-famous tape-recorded message outlining the latest task for the group to tackle. Popular during the Cold War, the group's missions usually centered on overthrowing the government of some small communist country causing problems for the free world. The IMF crew included disguise expert Rollin Hand, charmer Cinnamon Carter, electronics technician Barney Collier, strong man Willy Armitage and, in later episodes, disguise-master Paris.
The television series ended in 1973 but since then, starting in 1996, there have been six full length feature films based on the television series.
In the television series and films the IMF team takes on tasks that would be considered impossible for the average, even superior espionage or counter-espionage teams or agencies. Because of superior intellect, technologies, and luck they are able to accomplish their mission
We Serve God Of The Impossible
Whenever our backs are against the wall and we in a situations or circumstances where there is no way out we can call on our Father and He will do the impossible because with God nothing is impossible.
God of the Impossible
by Dr. David Jeremiah, excerpted from his new 365 day devotional Ever Faithful
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”— Mark 9:23
The word impossible occurs nine times in the New King James Version of the Bible, and most of the references tell us that this word doesn’t appear in God’s regular vocabulary.
Matthew 17:20: “Nothing will be impossible.”
Matthew 19:26: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Mark 10:27: “With men it is impossible, but not with God.”
Luke 1:37: “With God nothing will be impossible.”
Luke 18:27: “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Hebrews 6:18 tells us it is impossible for God to lie, and Hebrews 11:6 adds that without faith it is impossible for us to please Him. It demonstrates how important it is to cast our impossibilities in God’s hands. Just as He parted the sea for Israel, reversed the events in Esther, raised Jesus from the dead, and converted Saul of Tarsus, God is capable of reversing our irreversible problems.
What Is Possible?
There is a part of the body of Christ that has adopted a slogan from the secular self-help movement: “If you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it!” If you can conceive of yourself as an astronaut or a star player in the NBA, and believe it with all your heart, are you likely to achieve such a goal? The answer for most adults is no.
What’s good about the “name it and claim it” school is that it encourages us not to limit ourselves or God. What’s wrong with this approach is that it misapplies the words of Jesus. For example, a corollary of Jesus’ words in Mark 9:23 is that “all things are possible for [God]” — words Jesus spoke on the night of His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:36). Jesus believed it was possible for Him not to go to the Cross, and He also believed it was possible for God to keep Him from that suffering. Yet He went to the Cross anyway.
Our beliefs and possibilities have to be in line with the will of God. That’s how Jesus lived His life and how He taught His disciples to live (John 5:30). When our lives are lived in obedience to God’s will, nothing is impossible. Dream big — but dream biblically!
Excerpted with permission from Ever Faithful by Dr. David Jeremiah, copyright David Jeremiah.
With Dr. David Jeremiah, experience how a clearer understanding of God’s nature and love for you can impact your faith. Ever Faithful, a 365-day devotional, invites you into an intimate, daily relationship with the God who knows you, loves you, and has a plan for your life. Ever Faithful A 365-Day Devotional By David Jeremiah Be the first to review this product Regular Price: $19.99 SPECIAL PRICE $13.99
John 14:13-14 (NLT) You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
Last November I published “Why Do We Pray In Jesus’ Name?” In it I wrote that praying in Jesus’ name literally means praying with in the authority He has given us. He has given us the authority to ask the Father to act on our prayers because we come in His name.
Think of it this way. Jesus’ name is a key, and if you have the key I doesn’t matter if the key belongs to you or not as long as you have it you can open the lock. The power belongs to Jesus but he has given you His key.
Just as an Ambassador has the authority to speak for the leader of a nation we can speak with the authority of Jesus. It is just as if Jesus Himself was talking.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NLT)20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Praying in Jesus’ name is praying for things that will honor and glorify Him. Praying in Jesus' name means the same thing as praying according to the will of God,
1 John 5:14-15 (NLT)14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
What’s so special about Jesus’ name? Honestly, for a long time, I had no idea. I’d hear everybody end prayers with, “In Jesus’ name. Amen.” I thought maybe it was a signal that the prayer was about to end, like a spiritual sign-off — “10-4, good buddy” — or the way the great 20th Century news anchor Walter Cronkite would end all his broadcasts by saying, “And that’s the way it is.”
I ended that post with this;
“Here’s the point: I don’t have any right to get answered prayers from God. I owe him a lot, but he doesn’t owe me anything. But when I come and ask God for requests, I don’t ask on my own merit. I come on the merit of Christ. I just say, “Father, I’m coming to you because your Son said so. I’m coming because of what Jesus Christ has already done for me on the cross. He’s promised that I can ask in his name, so that’s what I’m doing right now.””
Max Lucado, in his book Before Amen, writes about the power of praying in Jesus’ name. Here are excerpts from that book.
The Power of Praying In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Excerpts from Before Amen by Max Lucado
Jesus has unimpeachable authority.
He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. — Hebrews 1:3
God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name. — Philippians 2:9
The Roman government tried to intimidate Him. False religion tried to silence Him. The devil tried to kill Him. All failed. Even “death was no match for Him” (Acts 2:24 MSG).
Jesus “disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross” (Colossians 2:15 NLT). He was not kidding when He declared,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. — Matthew 28:18
Jesus is the command center of the galaxies.
Two sparrows cost only a penny, but not even one of them can die without your Father’s knowing it. — Matthew 10:29 NCV
He occupies the Oval Office. He called a coin out of the mouth of a fish. He stopped the waves with a word. He spoke, and a tree withered. He spoke again, and a basket became a banquet. Economy. Meteorology. Botany. Food supply.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father. — Matthew 11:27
That includes Satan. The devil was soundly defeated by Christ on the cross. Jesus outranks him in every situation. He must obey Jesus, and he knows it.
Prayers offered in the name of Jesus have “divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV). Demolish! Not damage or hamper but demolish. Prayer falls on strongholds like lit matches on a grass hut.
The devil fears prayer. Imagine this scene. He sat in the back of the room during a strategy session. A dozen demons had gathered to hear a report on the life of a particularly stalwart saint.
“He won’t stumble,” groused the imp responsible for his demise. “No matter what I do, he won’t turn his back on God.”
The council began to offer suggestions.
“Take his purity,” one said.
“I tried,” replied the fiend, “but he is too moral.” “Take his health,” urged another.
“I did, but he refused to grumble or complain.” “Take his belongings.”
“Are you kidding? I’ve stripped the man of every penny and possession. Yet he still rejoices.”
For a few moments no one spoke. Finally, from the back of the room, came the low, measured voice of Satan himself. The entire council turned as the fallen angel rose to his feet. His pale face was all but hidden by the hood. A long cape covered his body. He raised his bony hand and made his point. “It’s not enough to take his purity. It’s not enough to take his health. It’s not enough to take his belongings. You must take what matters most.” “What is that?” asked the subordinate.
“You must take his prayer.”
Prayer slaps handcuffs on Satan. Prayer takes problems out of the domain of the devil and into the presence of God. Prayer confesses, “God can handle IT. Since He can, I have hope!”
When we pray in the name of Jesus, we come to God on the basis of Jesus’ accomplishment.
Since we have a great high priest [Jesus] over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. — Hebrews 10:21–22
As our high priest, Jesus offers our prayers to God. His prayers are always heard.
Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. — John 16:23
There are those who say, “Prayer changes things because it changes us.” I agree but only in part. Prayer changes things because prayer appeals to the top power in the universe. Prayer is not a magical formula or a mystical chant. It is the yes to God’s invitation to invoke His name.
Mark it down: IT won’t have the last word. Jesus will.
God raised [Christ] from death and set Him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from His rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. — Ephesians 1:20–22 MSG
The phrase “In Jesus’ name” is not an empty motto or talisman. It is a declaration of truth: My cancer is not in charge; Jesus is. The economy is not in charge; Jesus is. The grumpy neighbor doesn’t run the world; Jesus, You do! You, Jesus, are the Head Coach, CEO, President, King, Supreme Ruler, Absolute Monarch, High and Holy Baron, Czar, Overlord, and Rajah of all history.
Just speak the word, Jesus . . .
Pray! Since God works, prayer works.
Since God is good, prayer is good.
Since you matter to God, your prayers matter in heaven. You’re never without hope, because you’re never without prayer. And on the occasions you can’t find the words to say, pull these out of your pocket:
You are good.
I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Excerpted with permission from Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado, copyright Thomas Nelson.
Before Amen, Max Lucado’s most personal and candid humble book to date, is written for everyone who wants to pray more, better and stronger, with more fire, faith and fervency. Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps.
You probably know most of the prophets in the Bible like Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, Jonah, and the others with Old Testament books named for them, but the bible identifies many more prophets. In this blog series we will get to know most of the prophets of the Bible, the ones with books named after them, and those whose names you may not know at all.
The English word prophet in the Old Testament comes from the Hebrew word “nabiy” which means “spokesman” or “speaker”. The Greek word for prophet is “prophētēs”, which can mean “one who speaks forth” or “advocate.” Prophets are also called “seers,” because of their spiritual insight or their ability to “see” the future, as directed by God.
Last week's post was about Moses' sister, Miriam.
Moses is most known and famous for being the person who was God’s representative in demanding that Pharaoh the ruler of Egypt release the Israelites and free them from slavery. After their release Moses led the freed people on a 40 year trip from Egypt to Canaan, the land that God promised Abraham.
As the leader of the Israelites Moses perfectly fit the definition of a prophet. A “spokesperson”, “one who speaks forth”, “advocate”. He also spoke of a coming prophet like him.
Deuteronomy 18:15, 19 (NLT2) Moses continued, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.19 I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf.
That prophet was Jesus Christ.
Acts 3:17-23 (NLT2)17 “Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance.18 But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things.19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.21 For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.22 Moses said, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.’23 Then Moses said, ‘Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God’s people.’
Who Was Moses?
Just prior to Moses' birth, the ruler Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt at that time, had decreed that all Israelite male children should be drowned. However, after Moses was born, his mother and sister put him in a basket and put him in the Nile River. Pharaoh's daughter found him. Without revealing her relationship to the child, Moses' sister asked Pharaoh's daughter if she should go get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for her. When Pharaoh's daughter agreed, Moses' sister got his own mother.
Exodus 2:9 (NLT2) “Take this baby and nurse him for me,” the princess told the baby’s mother. “I will pay you for your help.” So the woman took her baby home and nursed him.
Moses grew up with did Egyptian royalty.
Acts 7:22 (NLT2) Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was powerful in both speech and action.
When he became an adult Moses fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian. After 40 years he returned, being commissioned by God, to confront Pharaoh and demand that he release the Israelites.
Acts 7:23-34 (NLT2)23 “One day when Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his relatives, the people of Israel.24 He saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite. So Moses came to the man’s defense and avenged him, killing the Egyptian.25 Moses assumed his fellow Israelites would realize that God had sent him to rescue them, but they didn’t.26 “The next day he visited them again and saw two men of Israel fighting. He tried to be a peacemaker. ‘Men,’ he said, ‘you are brothers. Why are you fighting each other?’27 “But the man in the wrong pushed Moses aside. ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?’ he asked.28 ‘Are you going to kill me as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’29 When Moses heard that, he fled the country and lived as a foreigner in the land of Midian. There his two sons were born.30 “Forty years later, in the desert near Mount Sinai, an angel appeared to Moses in the flame of a burning bush.31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight. As he went to take a closer look, the voice of the LORD called out to him,32 ‘I am the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses shook with terror and did not dare to look. 33 “Then the LORD said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.34 I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groans and have come down to rescue them. Now go, for I am sending you back to Egypt.’
At first Pharaoh refused to release the Israelites but after a series of plagues, he reluctantly, released them. Moses and the Israelites left on a journey that would take them in circles and last forty years.
In spite of Moses' leadership, the Israelites frequently disobeyed God and He disciplined them. Moses interceded for them every time and God relented. On one occasion because of his frustration with the people Moses didn't do exactly what God told him to do and because of it he was not allowed to go into Canaan, the Promised Land.
Numbers 20:9-12 (NLT2)9 So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the LORD.10 Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?”11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So the entire community and their livestock drank their fill.12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!”
Moses was a man of faith; he served the Lord, and he served the Lord's people. He is believed by scholars to have written the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Pentateuch
Moses was a leader, a mediator, and a deliverer. He was God's representative in establishing the Ten Commandments and the Law. Moses was not perfect.
He wrestled with his emotions, struggled with his calling, killed a man, and disobeyed the Lord. Yet God used him.
Moses is an example of a man who was committed to the Lord. God used him to point the way to Christ.
Deuteronomy 18:15, 19 (NLT2) Moses continued, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.19 I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf.
This post is for everyone especially my Christian brothers and sisters who are hung up on the phrases "America First" and "Make America great again!"
A globalist is a person who advocates the interpretation or planning of economic and foreign policy in relation to events and developments throughout the world.
A nationalist is a person who advocates political independence for a country.
Scripture is clear that God respects no nation’s boundaries He's a globalist not a nationalist.
Yes God chose Israel as His nation. That sounds a nationalistic doesn't it? But he chose Israel to only to be the nation through which He would usher in His Kingdom, a global kingdom, through Jesus a descendant, in the flesh of Abraham.
Genesis 18:18 NIV Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.
Genesis 22:15-18 NIV The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord , that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
In the model prayer that Jesus taught His disciples He said pray;
Matthew 6:9-10 NIV “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
That kingdom has no geographic boundaries.
The kingdom of God is not something that is part of the political systems of this world. No government on earth truly represents God’s kingdom. Instead, Christians are citizens of a kingdom that will one day arrive in consummate glory. Our hope is not that the governments of this world will transform into the kingdom of God, but that the kingdom of God will come from heaven to earth in power and glory.
in Scripture the kingdom of God must be understood as something that is already here on earth but not yet fully present. In other words, the kingdom of God has been inaugurated but not yet consummated.
This kingdom arrived with the coming of Christ, who urged his hearers to repent because the “kingdom of God is at hand.” Christians are now part of that kingdom. As Paulstated, “[God] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). Thus, even though we await the full expression of God’s kingdom that will come in glory and power at the return of Christ, we are at this time living under the reign of God as his people—we are citizens of that kingdom. - From The Prayer That Turns The World Upside Down.
The last thing that Jesus said to his disciples was to go into to all the word not as a nation but to make disciples, and citizens of God’s Kingdom.
Matthew 28:18-20 NIV Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The following are excerpts from a sermon delivered by Victor D. Perez Cracks in the Wall. (All bold is mine) You can find the entire sermon at https://www.preaching.com/sermons-topics/cracks-in-the-wall/
Cracks in the Wall
Sermon by Victor D. Pentz
Text: John 4:4-19
John 4:4-19 NIV Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. ) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.
There was another man long ago who did not love a wall. He dedicated his life, and indeed, his death, to bringing down walls. His name was Jesus of Nazareth.
Have you ever wondered what would Jesus do today if He were in the West Bank in the midst of the terrible conflict between Jews and Palestinians? Well believe it or not, our Scripture takes place on the West Bank, which in ancient times was known as Samaria. And back then, like today, Samaria was populated by people who nursed a deep hatred for the Jewish people. The antipathy was mutual: the Jews despised the Samaritans. It was common practice for Jewish people who traveled to go out of their way rather than pass through Samaria. But John tells us that Jesus made a special point of passing through this troubled region:
Now (Jesus) had to go through Samaria. So He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to Him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can You ask me for a drink?” [Then comes a breathtaking understatement.] (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
This is the Word of the Lord.
Something in Jesus did not love a wall. That is why He passed through Samaria.
On a hot afternoon in that desert region, Jesus found a shady spot and sank wearily to the ground beside a well to wait while the disciples went for food. A little later, a woman came to draw water. Jesus asked her for a drink.
The woman was utterly flabbergasted and exclaimed, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can You ask me for a drink?”
This snatch of conversation was the first warning tremor of the earthquake that would bring down walls dividing people around the world. Today Christianity is the most diverse religion in the world — racially, culturally and geographically. I sometimes chuckle when I hear in the media that the latest trend is “globalism.” Friends, globalism was invented 2000 years ago, when this man, Jesus, told His disciples, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel.” With other major religions, you can point to a map of the world and say, “You will find most Hindus concentrated in this region” or “the majority of Muslims are in these countries . . .” Don’t even try that with Christianity.
Today 60 % of all Christians inhabit regions equaling two-thirds of the world’s area: Asia, Africa and Latin America. We find more Christians attending worship in China than in all of Western Europe. Today in Scotland, less than ten percent of Christians attend church, while in the Philippines this morning, you will find seventy percent of that nation’s Christians in the pews. In Nigeria alone, there are seven times as many Anglicans as there are Episcopalians in the United States. Korea now has four times as many Presbyterians as we have in this country. Oh yes, this is truly “World Communion Sunday.”
Why? Because Jesus passed through Samaria.
Jesus was friendly as He passed through that hostile territory. He let down His own walls. He struck up a conversation with a stranger. Some of you have told me you grew up in small Southern towns. You remember riding down small-town roads with your parents as a child. Whenever another car drove by, your father would always wave. Can you imagine doing that here in Atlanta? You might be arrested for bizarre behavior. As your father walked on the street in that small Southern town, he considered it simple good manners to tip his hat to each woman he encountered (assuming she was a lady). Those gracious courtesies are a thing of the past. Today it seems we are always surrounded by people we wish weren’t there, people who take our parking spot or who make the lines longer at the supermarket checkout stand. So today friendliness is no longer our supreme public virtue. Nowadays, we value physical attractiveness instead. We spend billions simply to appear attractive. Dallas Willard says we aren’t even aiming for Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame — these days, we’re willing to settle for 15 seconds of fame, content to turn a few heads when we walk into a room. We aren’t looking for authentic relationships, or even casual friendship, just a split-second response to our appearance from a stranger. Willard says that on the scale of social interaction, attractiveness is at the bottom of the barrel.
But Jesus never met a stranger. Our Lord loved robust social interactions, even with people He had just met. Consider some of the things He said to people right after meeting them: “Zacchaeus, you come down from that tree right now and throw another steak on the barbee. I’m coming to your house for dinner.” “Peter, you big old rock, I have a dream for your life . . .” And to this woman He says, “Ma’am, may I trouble you for a drink of water?” Jesus never knew a stranger. To know Jesus means we will never know a stranger.
But more than that, to know Jesus is to surrender our right to decide whom we will love and whom we will hate.
Look at this story from the Jewish perspective. The Jews had many reasons to hate the Samaritans. Let me give you a brief history lesson. In 710 BC, the Northern Kingdom of Israel (or Samaria) fell into the hands of the Assyrians. Judah, the Southern Kingdom, held out until 586 BC. But the Assyrians intermarried with many Jews of Samaria. Their offspring were considered half-breeds by the “pure” Jews of the south. Besides diluting the Jewish bloodlines, these Samaritan Jews came up with their own version of the Old Testament, which omitted the Books of the Prophets. They even rejected the custom of worshipping on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem and declared their own holy mountain, Mt. Gerizim. But the Jews’ hatred of the Samaritans was really fueled by the events of 150 BC. Judas Maccabaeus and his family led a revolt against the Assyrians. They threw out the intruders and cleansed the Temple. The anniversary of this event is still celebrated today on the Jewish calendar as the feast of Hanukkah, at the time of year when we celebrate Christmas. But during the Maccabaean revolt, the Samaritans supported the Assyrians against the Jews!
Today many Christians harbor venomous feelings toward Muslims. After all they rewrote our scriptures, saying Jesus did not die on the cross. They put their Mohammed on our mountain. And today, some Muslims are supporting the enemies of American Christians. Why shouldn’t we despise Muslims? Because Jesus passed through Samaria. God loves the Muslim people.
I once read a book that contained a chapter entitled, “Why are Christians so mean?” That got my attention. The book asserted that so many Christians are mean because we believe that the essence of Christianity is believing the right thing. If we are correct, we have the right to dislike people who believe the wrong thing — even other Christians, if their beliefs are mistaken. The author pointed out that the flaw in this logic is its premise: actually, the true essence of Christianity is taking on the character of Jesus. There can be no holiness without “Christlike”ness. Jesus passed through Samaria. Something in Jesus did not love a wall.
A friend of mine likes to say that Jesus walks through the Gospels like a kung fu expert. A wall prevented Jews from talking to Samaritans. So Jesus cried “Hyah!” and down came the wall. A wall kept lepers from entering the temple and worshiping God. “Hyah!” cried Jesus, and the wall came down. A wall of prejudice kept Gentiles from worshiping God. “Hyah!” cried Jesus, and the wall came down. A wall excluded women from worship. “Hyah!” He chopped it down. And on the day Jesus died, the very last barrier fell: the veil of the Holy of holies was rent in twain.
In coming to this table we acknowledge, to paraphrase the words of the great Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, that the line separating good and evil does not run between this race or that race, or between this religion or that religion, or between this nation or that nation. The line dividing good and evil runs right down the center of every human heart. So we all operate out of mixed and impure motives. I encourage you to bring your impure motives to the table this morning. Let Christ break down the walls in your heart.
Many of us learned a song in Sunday school that goes, “Red brown yellow black and white / All are precious in his sight . . .”
This morning let’s envision all those faces around our table. Oh, the multitude of faces gathered around here is unbelievable. There are black faces, brown faces, yellow faces, red faces, white faces. With flat noses and pointed noses, black eyes, brown eyes and blue eyes, round and almond-shaped eyes. All of them, our sisters and brothers from every tribe and nation, are gathered in this morning’s joyful feast of the people of God.
Let us be a congregation that does not love walls. Let us shatter the walls this morning.
The Rev. Dr. Victor Pentz is the senior pastor of Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA.
Throughout Scripture and with the spiritual gifts God teaches Christians to love one another”
1 Thessalonians 4:9 NIV Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
It is natural for people to love, tolerate, and get along with those who are like them, who share similar interests, temperament, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class. In the Kingdom of God the church is different, as it is made up of people from various backgrounds and life stations, who share a more fundamental allegiance to the Lord Jesus that stems from His matchless love for them. Love is the distinguishing mark of Jesus’ followers
John 13:34-35 NIV “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Galatians 3:28 (NLT2) There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
That's globalism not nationalism!
Psalm 113:1-9 (ASV)1 Praise ye Jehovah. Praise, O ye servants of Jehovah, Praise the name of Jehovah.2 Blessed be the name of Jehovah From this time forth and for evermore.3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same Jehovah's name is to be praised.4 Jehovah is high above all nations, And his glory above the heavens.5 Who is like unto Jehovah our God, That hath his seat on high,6 That humbleth himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth?7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, And lifteth up the needy from the dunghill;
8 That he may set him with princes, Even with the princes of his people.9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house, And to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye Jehovah.
Praise To The Merciful God
Psalm 113 is the first of the “Hallel” psalms which were sung at the three Feasts of the Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. These were the feasts that Jewish males were required to attend annually in Jerusalem
The psalmist opens with and appeal to the worshipers of the Lord. The writer appeals to them to speak to the character of God’s nature and manifestations. The praise is to be universal and unending. Blessed be the name of Jehovah From this time forth and for evermore.From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same Jehovah's name is to be praised.
He is to be praised because there is none like Him. Who is like unto Jehovah our God, Jehovah is beyond the range of l human experience., and present throughout creation. In other words He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. At the same time Jehovah considers the needs of mankind. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, And lifteth up the needy from the dunghill;
Jehovah is worthy to be praised. The psalm begins and ends with “Praise ye Jehovah” (Hallelujah)
The difference between Christianity and other religions is the difference between your ability and Jesus Christ’s ability to deliver, save, and make you righteous.
Ephesians 2:9-10 (NLT2)9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Romans 6:14 (NLT2) Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
Romans 11:6 (NLT2) And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.
Romans 3:20-22 (NLT2)20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
2 Timothy 1:9 (NLT2) For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:9 (NLT2) For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.
Rick Warren gives the testimony of a Chinese Christian that quickly and neatly sums it up in a nutshell.
How Can I Get out of This Mess?
By Rick Warren
“Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25 NLT).
Here is the testimony of a Chinese Christian: “I walked through the road of life and had fallen into a great ditch. The ditch was filled with depression, discouragement, and sin. As I lay in that ditch, Mohammed came along and said, ‘It’s your fault you’re in the ditch. You offended Allah, and this is your just punishment.’ Then Marx came by and said, ‘You’re in the ditch because of class warfare. You must revolt.’ But after the government changed, I was still in my ditch. Then Buddha came along and said, ‘You’re not really in that ditch. You just think you’re there. It’s all an illusion of the mind. Be at peace.’ Then Confucius came by and said, ‘Here are the 10 steps of self-attainment by which you can get out of your ditch. If you will struggle, you will climb out eventually.’ But as much as I struggled and strained, I couldn’t get out of the ditch, because it was too deep.
“Then one day, Jesus Christ came by and saw me in my ditch. Without a word, he took off his white robe and got down in the muddy ditch with me. Then he lifted me up with his strong arms and got me out of the ditch. Thank God that Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself.”
Jesus did for you what you could not do for yourself.
If you want healing in your life, you have to believe that Christ can change you. Romans 7:24-25 says, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (NLT).
The answer to your problem is a person. Who’s going to be lord of your life? Who’s going to call the shots? You or Jesus Christ? When you’re mastered by him, you can master your problems.
God has the power you are lacking. He’ll help you out.
What does it mean for God to be Lord of your life?
Jesus did for you what you could not do for yourself. What do you need to trust him for today that is too big for you to handle on your own?
How does your life demonstrate that you believe God can change you?
Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV)10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
After all the activity of Mother's Day I finally got a chance to slow down and do the reading that I usually do in my quiet time in the morning. I didn't do it this morning because I woke up late and had to hurry to get to church in time to start the Bible study that I lead every Sunday. When the light turned green at the traffic signal and I pressed the gas pedal I heard a strange sound and as I continued to press the pedal I noticed that I wasn’t moving. I had just enough momentum to coast to a stop at the curb. Mind you I had just had a rebuilt transmission installed three weeks ago. To make a long story short I had the car towed home and I took Uber to church. My pastor and his wife gave me a ride home. I’ll have the car towed to my mechanic tomorrow. Thank God the transmission is still under warranty.
Because I know that God provides no matter what, and I’ve been writing about praising God in all circumstances and situations, I’ve been able to keep from becoming frustrated although I’ve been tempted by the enemy to start feeling sorry for myself more than a few times. I had one of those times when the Holy Spirit had me read a devotion that consisted of nothing but scriptures on joy.
The devotional reminded me of the things that I had written about joy (see Joy Unspeakable And Full Of Glory);
The dictionary defines joy as "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation."
With this definition, we could say that "happiness" and "joy" are interchangeable. But that’s not biblical joy.
Happiness depends on circumstances, joy depends on God and we have joy because of our faith in Jesus and His sacrifice for us.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit biologist and philosopher, once wrote, “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
One reason that we don’t always experience the kind of joy Peter talked about is that we confuse happiness and joy. We think that both happiness and joy are found in pleasure, security and prosperity. Joy is not the same as happiness — although they may. Happiness vanishes when things get tough; joy continues and may even grow when things get tough. When we focus on the love of Jesus and not the circumstance we realize that the joy of the Lord is our strength. While we may not be, happy as the world defines happiness, we still have joy.
Our joy should rise above circumstances. This joy is not produced by something external that makes us feel happy. It is supernatural result of a life filled with the Holy Spirit of the living God.
“Joy is more than happiness. The word happiness comes from the root hap, which means “chance.” Where happiness is circumstantial, joy is not. Joy is an unshakeable confidence in the truths of God despite circumstances.” - From God’s Word for Life for Mothers
Here are the scriptures that I read that stopped the enemy’s thoughts in their tracks. As the Bible says.
James 4:7 (NLT2) So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
2 Corinthians 10:4 (NLT2)4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
The weapon that we resist with is the word of God;
Ephesians 6:17 (NLT2) Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (emphasis mine)
God’s Words of Life on Joy
Romans 15:13 (NLT2)13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 97:11 (NLT2) Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.
Job 8:21 (NLT2) He will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
Psalm 30:5 (NLT2) For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 32:11 (NLT2) So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
Psalm 119:14 (NLT2) I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches.
Isaiah 51:11 (NLT2) Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.
Psalm 5:11 (NLT2) 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.
Psalm 100:1-2 (NLT2)1 Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth!2 Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.
Proverbs 10:28 (HCSB) The hope of the righteous is joy, but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.
Psalm 70:4 (NLT2) But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!”
Psalm 126:5 (NLT2)5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
Isaiah 55:12 (NLT2) You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
Joel 2:23 (NLT2) Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring.
John 16:24 (NLT2)24 You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
James 1:2-3 (NLT2)2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (I’ve seen this verse almost everyday for the last month)
Romans 14:17 (NLT2) For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 4:4 (NLT2) Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again--rejoice!
Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT2)10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”
Psalm 126:3 (NLT2) Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!
Psalm 119:111 (HCSB) I have Your decrees as a heritage forever; indeed, they are the joy of my heart.
Luke 6:22-23 (NLT2)22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.
Psalm 16:11 (NLT2) You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 19:8 (NLT2)8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.
Psalm 33:20-21 (NLT2)20 We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield.21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
Isaiah 61:10 (NLT2) I am overwhelmed with joy in the LORD my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.
1 Samuel 2:1 (NLT2) Then Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.
Luke 1:46-47 (NLT2)46 Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
1 Peter 1:8 (NLT2) You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.
Revelation 19:7 (NLT2) Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself.
1 Peter 4:13 (HCSB) Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.
Jude 1:24-25 (NLT2)24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
(emphasis mine on all scriptures)
This excerpt from a sermon preached by Bill Booknight titled “Almost Persuaded” should cause us all to pause at those times we start to look at our own righteous apart from Jesus. It is also a information to share with someone who believes that we must do good works to gain God’s favor and eternal life.
Matthew 19:16-22 NIV - Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
The well-known pastor from Chicago, Bill Hybels, was on an airplane one day. The passenger beside him asked Bill what he did for a living. When he replied that he was a minister, an interesting conversation ensued. The man said, “I believe in God, but I don’t attend church. I don’t see why I need it. I am an honest guy, and I try to treat other people decently. One day when I die and meet God, I believe that my record will be acceptable to Him.”
Bill Hybels took a legal pad from his briefcase and said, “I agree with you that God will judge all people. Let’s do some preliminary figuring on how we might stack up before God. I’m going to draw a line across the middle of this page. Let’s say that this line represents a passing grade with God. Who is the best person you can think of, the one who grades out highest with God?”
The man thought for just a moment and replied, “Billy Graham.”
“Fine,” said Bill, “let’s put Billy Graham on our chart, but we must place him here where Billy Graham himself says he ought to be. Billy Graham has said repeatedly that he is a sinner who deserves to go to hell; but in fact he is going to heaven, only because Jesus paid for his sins on the cross. So, we must put Billy down here beneath the middle line.” Then Bill said, “I’m going to put my own name on this chart well beneath Billy Graham’s name. Like Billy, I’m a sinner whose only hope is the cross.”
Bill Hybels noticed that his new friend had suddenly become strangely quiet, perhaps anticipating the next question.
Bill turned to him and asked, “Brother, where should we put you on the chart? You don’t want to be ranked above Billy Graham, do you?”
After a considerable pause, the man replied, “You have certainly given me food for thought.”
Today is a day of decision and commitment. Don’t be like the rich young ruler who was almost persuaded. He walked away from the best offer on earth, and his life thereafter was a tale of sorrow. Today is a wonderful time to become a forgiven, redeemed child of God!
Dr. Bill Bouknight retired from the pastorate in 2007 after more than 40 years of serving churches in South Carolina and Tennessee.
If our growth as disciples of Jesus Christ happened without effort and cost, the country would be as overgrown with committed Christians as the South is with kudzu (a quick-growing eastern Asian climbing plant with reddish-purple flowers, used as a fodder crop and for erosion control. It has become a pest in the southeastern US).
If the churches of mainline Protestantism are to reach the pre-Christian population of North America, they must offer them a message that is clear, compelling, and grounded in the absolute truth of Scripture. In this volume Bouknight models such preaching, demonstrating how preaching that remains faithful to historic, orthodox Christian beliefs remains the only way to reach those who, weary of the non-answers given by this relativistic and skeptical age, hunger for a genuine experience of God.
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.