Surprised By Joy

Go Ahead, Ask! Staightforward Answers from a "Mere" Christian   Happiness happens, but Joy is a Choice!

Meek ain’t Weak

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. —Matthew 5:5

One problem with the English word meek is that it rhymes with weak, and people have linked the two words together for years. A popular dictionary offers a secondary definition of meek as “too submissive; easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless.” This causes some people to question why Jesus would say, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5).

Greek scholar W. E. Vine says that meekness in the Bible is an attitude toward God “in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting.” We see this in Jesus who found His delight in doing the will of His Father.

Vine goes on to say that “the meekness manifested by the Lord and commended to the believer is the fruit of power… . The Lord was ‘meek’ because He had the infinite resources of God at His command.” He could have called angels from heaven to prevent His crucifixion.

Jesus told His weary, burdened followers, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am [meek] and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29). He was the perfect model of meekness.

When we are tired and troubled, Jesus invites us to discover the peace of meekly trusting Him. —David McCasland

Love sent the Savior to die in my stead.
Why should He love me so?
Meekly to Calvary’s cross He was led.
Why should He love me so? —Harkness

God has two dwellings, one in heaven and the other in a meek and thankful heart. —Walton

— 4 months ago
#meekness  #humility  #Peace of God  #God's Strength  #trust  #faith  #Christianity  #Jesus Christ  #spiritual fruit  #blessed. 
In His Time, In His Will

Dear God,

I feel like I have run into a wall. What is going on? Why can’t I move forward? Are you trying to protect me from something ahead? Are you trying to teach me something? Are you working on something and the time is just not right? Maybe you are trying to teach me PATIENCE!

Please help me to see your will and learn from life’s lessons. Please encourage where I am, give me patience and wisdom, and motivate me to move in the direction you want, when you want. Thank you for being with me.

In Jesus’ name,

amen.

— 5 months ago with 4 notes
#God's timing  #God's will  #Jesus Christ  #patience  #spiritual fruit  #spiritual warfare  #Christianity  #stuck  #hitting the wall  #encouragement  #God's protection  #prayer 
We have become the Servant, no longer the master….

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. —Psalm 115:4

Martin Lindstrom, an author and speaker, thinks that cellphones have become akin to a best friend for many owners. Lindstrom’s experiment using an MRI helped him discover why. When the subjects saw or heard their phone ringing, their brains fired off neurons in the area associated with feelings of love and compassion. Lindstrom said, “It was as if they were in the presence of a girlfriend, boyfriend, or family member.”

Many things vie for our affection and time and attention, and it seems we’re always needing to evaluate where we’re focusing our lives. Joshua told the people of Israel that they were to give their affection and worship to God alone (Josh. 24:14). This was significant in contrast to the idols worshiped by the nations around them. These idols were made of metal and were only the work of men’s hands (Ps. 115:4). They were totally powerless compared to the Lord. Therefore, God’s people were exhorted to find their security in Him and not in other gods (Judg. 10:13-16). Jesus reiterated this in His discussion of the commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37).

The Lord alone is our help and shield (Ps. 115:9). May we reserve our worship for Him. —Marvin Williams

For Further Thought
What do our actions in the last few months reveal
about our affections? Is there any indication that we
have placed someone or something above God?

God is most worthy of our affections.

— 5 months ago with 1 note
#technology  #servant  #master  #affection  #devotion  #focus  #priorities  #God's Promises  #worship  #idols  #fashion  #false gods  #True Christianity  #Jesus Christ 
Our Daily Bread — Coming Soon!

March 22, 2014



READ: Revelation 22:7-21

“Surely I am coming quickly.” —Revelation 22:20

A “COMING SOON!” announcement often precedes future events in entertainment and sports, or the launch of the latest technology. The goal is to create anticipation and excitement for what is going to happen, even though it may be months away.

While reading the book of Revelation, I was impressed with the “coming soon” sense of immediacy permeating the entire book. Rather than saying, “Someday, in the far distant future, Jesus Christ is going to return to earth,” the text is filled with phrases like “things which must shortly take place” (1:1) and “the time is near” (v.3). Three times in the final chapter, the Lord says, “I am coming quickly” (Rev. 22:7,12,20). Other versions translate this phrase as, “I’m coming soon,” “I’m coming speedily,” and “I’m on My way!”

How can this be—since 2,000 years have elapsed since these words were written? “Quickly” doesn’t seem appropriate for our experience of time.

Rather than focusing on a date for His return, the Lord is urging us to set our hearts on His promise that will be fulfilled. We are called to live for Him in this present age “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). —David McCasland

Live as if Christ is coming back today.

— 5 months ago
#Second Coming  #revelation  #JESUS IS LORD  #True Christianity  #Faith  #God's Timing  #Savior  #Lord  #God's Promises  #anticipation  #hope 
Discouragement happens, but doesn’t have to stay.

Do not hide Your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.” - Psalm 143:7b

Of all the biblical characters, David gives us a glimpse of a man who walked with God with great emotion in victory and in defeat. David never lost a battle throughout his many years of serving as king of Israel. In many of the Psalms, David often lamented about the difficult places where God had placed him. He talked of his enemies and the need for God to deliver him. He talked of God’s everlasting love for him. How do you suppose David came to this understanding after years of being sought after by King Saul who wanted to take his life? His years of turmoil within his family gave him many reasons to lose all hope in a loving God.

David often began his Psalms in a place of discouragement and loss of hope. But he never ended one Psalm in defeat. He always came to a place of victory in God by the end of the Psalm. David always placed his life in God’s hands, knowing He would care for him.

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground (Psalm 143:8-10).

It is okay to feel discouragement. It is part of the process of grieving and working through those times of pain. But God wants each of us to allow Him to walk with us in these places. If you find yourself in one of these places, do what David did. Ask God to show you the way and let Him bring the word of His unfailing love to you.

— 5 months ago with 1 note
Prayer for New Christians



Dear God,
This morning I am moved to pray for new Christians. Satan does not want them to be happy with their decision to follow you. He wants to trip them any way he can. Please, send a legion of guardian angels to surround them and protect them from harm and evil. Give them extra strength to reject the temptations that Satan sends their way. Help them to stand strong upon the Rock of their salvation and not to doubt.
I pray for them and for all Christians to have faith that can move mountains, grace for the moment, and guidance for today and every day to come. I praise you and thank you, all-powerful, all-knowing God, full of grace and truth.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
amen.
— 5 months ago with 2 notes
#Christianity  #believers  #faith  #born again  #Jesus Christ  #Faith  #renewal  #angels  #guardian angels  #repentance  #spiritual warfare 
Prone To Wander

With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! —Psalm 119:10

One of my favorite classic hymns is “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” which was written in 1757 by 22-year-old Robert Robinson. In the hymn’s lyrics is a line that always captures my attention and forces me to do some self-evaluation. The line says, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” I feel that way sometimes. Too often I find myself distracted and drifting, instead of having my heart and mind focused on the Savior who loves me and gave Himself for me. Robert Robinson and I are not alone in this.

In those seasons of wandering, our heart of hearts doesn’t want to drift from God—but, like Paul, we often do what we don’t want to do (Rom. 7:19), and we desperately need to turn back to the Shepherd of our heart who can draw us to Himself. David wrote of this struggle in His great anthem to the Scriptures, Psalm 119, saying, “With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!” (v.10).

Sometimes, even when our hearts long to seek God, the distractions of life can draw us away from Him and His Word. How grateful we can be for a patient, compassionate heavenly Father whose grace is always sufficient—even when we are prone to wander! —Bill Crowder

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above. —Robinson

Our tendency to wander is matched by God’s willingness to pursue.

(Source: rbc.org)

— 5 months ago with 8 notes
#wandering  #drifting  #Grace  #salvation  #Jesus Christ  #Agape  #self examination  #repentance  #sorrow  #selfishness  #spiritual blindness  #sin  #scripture  #assurance 
"You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body."
— 6 months ago with 94540 notes
Better Than Planned

Giving thanks always for all things. —Ephesians 5:20

Interruptions are nothing new. Rarely does a day go by as planned.

Life is filled with inconveniences. Our plans are constantly thwarted by forces beyond our control. The list is long and ever-changing: Sickness. Conflict. Traffic jams. Forgetfulness. Appliance malfunctions. Rudeness. Laziness. Impatience. Incompetence.

What we cannot see, however, is the other side of inconvenience. We think it has no purpose other than to discourage us, make life more difficult, and thwart our plans. However, inconvenience could be God’s way of protecting us from some unseen danger, or it could be an opportunity to demonstrate God’s grace and forgiveness. It might be the start of something even better than we had planned. Or it could be a test to see how we respond to adversity. Whatever it is, even though we may not know God’s reason, we can be assured of His motive—to make us more like Jesus and to further His kingdom on earth.

To say that God’s followers throughout history have been “inconvenienced” would be an understatement. But God had a purpose. Knowing this, we can thank Him, being confident that He is giving us an opportunity to redeem the time (Eph. 5:16,20). —Julie Ackerman Link

Lord, so often it’s the little things in life that get
to me, and there seem to be so many of them.
Whenever I’m tempted to lose my temper, blame
someone, or just give up, help me see You.

What happens to us is not nearly as important as what God does in us and through us.

(Source: rbc.org)

— 6 months ago with 1 note
#inconvenience  #True Christianity  #forgetfulness  #God's Purposes  #jesus christ  #grace  #forgiveness  #impatient  #spiritual blindness