Friday, January 17, 2014

God’s Presence, Our Joy


“How can we thank God enough for you in return
for all the joy we have in the presence
Of our God because of you?”
1 Thessalonians 3:9 (NIV)

Paul penned these words to a very young church. He, Silas, and Timothy He asks a question of whoever reads this letter. “How can we thank God enough for you?”

Paul and his missions team, like the present day evangelists, receive great joy when we someone comes to know the Lord. Present day. We become joyful when someone makes a commitment to the Lord.

When we have friends do something for us, how can we thank God for them? We can pray for them. We can praise the Lord for their help.

When people choose to turn their lives over to Jesus and let Him guide them, how can we thank Him for their new lives? We can pray for them? We can praise the Lord for their salvation?

Being in God’s house with like-minded believers gives us added joy. I find myself somewhat down when I haven’t been able to be with my brothers and sisters-in-Christ. We buoy each other up and we find ourselves re-energized, ready to face what the world and life has in store for us. God is so good.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

His Presence Fills Us with Joy


“You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in your presence,    
With eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

David wrote these words as an expression of joy for the benefits a person derives by living in companionship with God. The Lord made known the path of life to David. He gladdened the shepherd’s heart. God gave ever-lasting kindnesses to the man who became king.

We even receive these gifts when we enter into His presence.  When we seek God’s presence, we focus on what He has to say to us. As we come away from being in God’s company we have a feeling of relief and exhilaration because:

1.) We have been in God’s presence.
                     2.) He listened to us as we made our requests.
               3.) God directed us in the way to proceed.

We feel humbled by being allowed to enter God’s presence, honored by His listening to our pleas, and uplifted by His directing us though our plight.

Even if we don’t hear God’s voice, we feel better about our need because we have been in His presence and He heard our pleas. When we pray for a friend, we honor him or her. We do this because God tells us to be ready to pray at all times.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Hearts at Rest in His Presence

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with action and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3: 18-20 (NIV) 

“. . . let us not love with words or tongue. . .”
As children of God, we are to show our love in practical ways. When we know someone is hurting, we are to put feet to our prayers. In the writing craft, there is a rule that a writer is to “show, not tell” We need to show our love to our fellow man, not talk about how we love Jesus.

“. . . but with action and in truth.”
We are commanded to love one another. If we choose to love all those around us, we are to demonstrate that we do by helping another person.

“ . . how we know that we belong to the truth. . .”
When I was a child I heard people say ‘how do you know.’ As an adult, I have heard ‘ and you know that, how.” When we give our hearts to Jesus and ask Him to rule our lives, we become children of the truth.

“. . . we set our hearts at rest in his presence . . .”
When we enter into God’s presence, we see Him on His throne. We begin to let go of any anxiety or fear we might have in our hearts. We can do this because God loves us.

“ . . whenever our hearts condemn us.”
Because we are human, we have times of doubt and discouragement. But if we turn our hands palms upward and ask God to take over the issue we face. He will step in and work on the particulars.

“For God is greater than our hearts. . .”
God is bigger than everything-The giant Redwood trees, Niagara Falls, and the Grand Canyon.  Yet God protects the smallest child. He makes the fragile rose petals. He loves us and wants to comfort us. We should learn to yield to Him and allow Him tend to our hurts and attend to our hearts.


Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...