Joy

An Entirely New Existence

IMG_9370

Believers will experience an entirely new existence in which they will have perfect spiritual relationships with everyone else.  Believers will be like angels in that they will be spiritual, eternal beings who will not die.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Mark 12:25.

Advertisements

Happy Thanksgiving!

IMG_9266

Every good gift

and every perfect gift

is from above,

and comes down

from the Father of lights,

with whom there is no variation

or shadow of turning.

James 1:17

Since everything that I’m thankful for is from God, I’m giving thanks to Him today.  Wishing all of you a wonderful day today 🙂

The Greatest Wonder of All

IMG_8972

Rather than being so enthralled with extraordinary manifestations such as power over demons and the ability to work miracles, they should have realized that the greatest wonder of all is the reality of salvation-the whole point of the gospel message and the central issue to which all the miracles pointed.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 10:20.

Happiness or Joy

IMG_7740

Though some people use the terms happiness and joy interchangeably, there is a vast difference in their meaning.  Both cause a pleasant emotional response, but the former relies entirely upon circumstances.  As soon as difficulty arises and pain intrudes, a person ceases to be happy.  On the other hand, joy is a gift from God that enables believers to find hope and peace – even when life seemingly falls apart.

At times, however, even Christians live joylessly.  Sinful behavior, of course, is one reason.  But there can be other causes, too, including regret about past failures, fear of future mishaps, or a pattern of discontentment that’s ingrained in one’s personality.

If you’re a follower of Jesus but lack gladness, take a moment to remember who Christ is and who you are in Him.  To begin with, you are saved eternally, and your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  The love of almighty God is unconditional, and His indwelling Spirit will never abandon you.  He understands everything you face and promises to provide for your needs.

When you stop to consider the blessings that are yours in Christ, gratitude will likely overwhelm you.  Sadness concerning circumstances may still endure, but the joy of the Lord will carry you through even the deepest pain.

Amid the ups and downs of life, does God’s joy sustain you? Or do trials leave you hopeless and discontented?  Our Father offers a higher way of living – not without pain but with strength to endure.  Continually remember the vast treasure you have in Him and His promises.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, January 20, 2018.

Captive

IMG_7503

~Colossians 1:15-20~

Jesus: Our Source of Peace

Before we knew Jesus Christ, our life was full of godlessness and wickedness – we had self-seeking ways and stubborn, unrepentant hearts (Romans 1:18; 2:5, 8).  Like our strife-filled world, we clamored for peace and tried to find it, but our efforts failed.

When we came to faith in the Savior, all of that changed.  We were rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).  Every one of our sins – past, present, and future – was forgiven.  Divine justice was satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice, and God’s wrath upon us (because of sin) was removed.  We became a new creation, washed clean by Jesus’ blood (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Now that sin’s power over us has been broken, we can become members of God’s family rather than His enemies (Romans 5:10).  He sent His Holy Spirit to be our personal guide in this new life, helping each of us experience Christ’s peace (8:6).  We also can look forward to an eternity spent in heaven, where righteousness, tranquility, and joy abound (14:17).

The story of the Prodigal Son’s return is a picture of our reconciliation with the Lord (Luke 15:11-32).  The young man had chosen to leave his father, living instead to please himself.  Repentant, the son eventually returned home; his father joyfully greeted and forgave him, and there was harmony between them.  God has done all this for us.

Our unity with the heavenly Father came at a great price – the sacrifice of His only Son.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, November 30, 2017.

Salvation and onward

IMG_7609

Our life is to be based on the atoning work of Jesus Christ, who died to redeem us from bondage to sin.  His precious blood paid in full the cost of all our transgressions – past, present, and future (Ephesians 1:7).  Upon acceptance of the Lord’s sacrificial death on our behalf, we experience a second birth and become spiritually alive (John 3:3).

At that moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us.  His presence is proof of our new position in Christ, as well as a guarantee of our future inheritance and our place in heaven.  As God’s children, we’re commanded to live a life of holiness, marked by a deep reverence for the Lord.

Our desire for holy living comes from knowing our Father’s character and understanding what it cost for us to be saved.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, November 18, 2017.