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A miserable looking woman recognized F. B. Meyer on the train and ventured to share her burden with him. For years she had cared for a crippled daughter who brought great joy to her life. She made tea for her each morning, then left for work, knowing that in the evening the daughter would be there when she arrived home. But the daughter had died, and the grieving mother was alone and miserable. Home was not “home” anymore.

Meyer gave her wise counsel. “When you get home and put the key in the door,” he said, “say aloud, ‘Jesus, I know You are here!’ and be ready to greet Him directly when you open the door. And as you light the fire tell Him what has happened during the day; if anybody has been kind, tell Him; if anybody has been unkind, tell Him, just as you would have told your daughter. At night stretch out your hand in the darkness and say, ‘Jesus, I know You are here!’”

Some months later, Meyer was back in that neighborhood and met the woman again, but he did not recognize her. Her face radiated joy instead of announcing misery. “I did as you told me,” she said, “and it has made all the difference in my life, and now I feel I know Him.”

The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, W. Wiersbe, p. 194

~Psalm 9:2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.
~Psalm 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart.

My life before I repented and accepted the saving grace of Jesus Christ was one where I could only pretend to be “religious.” I knew way deep down in my heart that I was not where I should be but I ignored it. This belief was actually encouraged by my religious leaders. If I attended church, kept a good confession, and kept the sacraments, I was well on my way to Heaven. But I did not have the joy in my heart that the Psalmist expressed in today’s text.  It was not until I saw my sin as God sees them and realized that there was nothing that I, personally, could do to get to Heaven.  (Ephesians 2:8-9) It was all about Christ – all about His death, burial and resurrection – all about His precious shed blood on the cross that paid the penalty for my sin!

Once I understood this and repented of my wicked sin, the Holy Spirit came to dwell inside me and made me whole!  Oh the joy that came into my heart!  The burden of sin was removed and I was immediately set free!  (Matthew 11:28-30) I no longer feel the heavy weight of religion upon my shoulders but now I am free!

I can rejoice with the Psalmist – I can be glad in the Lord and sing praises to His name!!!  Psalm 32:11 says that the righteous should rejoice!  There is no righteousness in me (Isaiah 64:6) but Christ’s righteousness is what covers me and we are the righteous that the Psalmist exhorts to be glad!!  Jesus Christ is my justifier (‘just” as “if” “I” never sinned).  It’s not anything that I’ve done but it’s everything that Christ the Saviour has done!

~Romans 3:26 To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Amen and amen!  Praise the Lord – give glory to His Name!  He is the King of kings and Lord of lords!  He is my Redeemer and my Friend!!!

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Joseph M. Scriven

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.

 

~Psalms 30:5b… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

So many are going through difficult times at the moment. I think of friends who are grieving the loss of a parent. I have family and friends who are sick – some in need of surgery. Others are weary Christians who long for Christ’s return because life has become overwhelming. As well, there are missionaries who feel abandoned by their supporting churches – either from lack of communication or their churches have stopped their support due to financially difficult times.

I dare say that we have all been, and may even be currently,  in one of these situations at one point or another and each of us have cried through the night pleading that the Lord would bring peace and comfort … and He does. Today’s text promises us that joy comes in the morning for the Christian who has cried and prayed through the night at the Lord’s feet.

~Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Along with that joy, our Father brings His precious comfort. Our problem may still exist, however, there is encouragement in our hearts because we know that the Lord has it all under control!  His compassions do not fail His children!

~Isaiah 49:13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

Our Creator knows our weaknesses and His mercy extends to the ends of the universe for His child!  The Perfect Parent is watching over us.  Just as we would not fail our children in their time of need, more so is our Heavenly Father right there along side us during our time of need.

~Lamentations 3:22It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

Be encouraged today, dear Christian. Although it appears that the world is falling apart before our very eyes, the Word is clear that our faith will be made sight very soon! Look up because our redemption draweth nigh!

~Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

~Psalm 100:1 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100 is filled with instruction for the believer! I absolutely love how we are instructed on how to conduct ourselves and our spiritual life.

  1. Praise your Lord:  The words from our mouths should be a joyful noise, not sounds that grate on people’s last nerve.  I’m sure you’ve been around Christians who appear as though they have been sucking on lemons!  Nothing is ever right for them.  They are in a constant state of complaining.  This is not becoming of a Christian.  Why would the unsaved world want what the complainer has?  I think of Matthew 5:13 when the Lord Jesus said we are the salt of the earth.  Salt causes one to be thirsty and our testimony should cause the unsaved to thirst after what we have, which is salvation.  Do you really think your complaining will cause the unsaved to thirst after what you have?  What kind of testimony is a complaining spirit to your Saviour?  Who would want Him after listening to you?  Let’s rejoice!  Let’s praise the Lord who saved us from burning for eternity in the Lake of Fire!  Praise the Lord!  Sing to Him hymns of praise and rejoice!  Rejoice, Rejoice oh Christian, lift up your voice and sing!  Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King!!
  2. Serve your Lord:  Everything we do should be a joy because we are His!  Jesus told His disciples that if they gave a drink of water to someone who thirsted, it was as if they had given it to Him.  If we did each of our tasks in our daily lives as though we were doing it for our Lord, wouldn’t our attitude be different?
  3. Acknowledge your Lord:  We must remember who God is and it is He that created us!  We can’t rule the Master – the sheep can’t lead the Shepherd!  We must acknowledge that He is our Maker and He is our leader and we must follow.  When we acknowledge this daily in our prayer life, it is easier to follow.  It is when we try to do things on our own without His direction or His help that we find ourselves in trouble!
  4. Thank your Lord:  Everywhere we go we should be ready to share what God has done for us!  A grateful heart leaves no room for bitterness or discontent.  A grateful heart is ever ready to praise the Lord for all that He has done.  Some have to dig deep before they can find one tiny morsel of thankfulness!  How sad is that?  When the heart is thankful, the Lord is glorified!
  5. Embrace your Lord:  As you meditate on the Lord’s attributes, you realize just how small you are and just how big He is.  Our sinful nature is in need of His goodness and mercy!  Praise the Lord that His truths endure to all generations!  Praise the Lord that He loved us so much that He was willing to pay the price for our sins!  Oh what great love!  I know I can speak for many who say that once I enter Heaven’s gates, it will be His neck that I hug first thing so I can thank Him and praise Him for what He has done for me!  For without His mercy, I would lost for eternity!

He Lives!

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.

Chorus
He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives,
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.

Trials and tribulations are not considered a positive experience in life. In fact, we dread ever having to go through them. Leave it to the Lord to teach us that we should not look at our trials through negative eyes but to count it all joy! You’re kidding, right? There is no joy in sinning for the believer. Therefore, the word temptation in this verse does not mean temptation to sin but a “trying” – a trial – adversity.

peirasmos
pi-ras-mos’
From Strong’s G3985; a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication adversity: – temptation, X try.

Why should we count it joy, though? James answers this question a few verses later saying that these same trials will give us patience. If we are patient and we do not give up, our trials will turn into blessings. God will teach us something with every trial. Whether the trial was for our own personal benefit or for the benefit of another, there is a blessing to be had!

James teaches us to look at our trials at the git go as an opportunity to witness an upcoming blessing. Rather than be fearful of the trial its outcome, be thankful – be at peace – be joyful in your heart knowing that the King of Kings has your back. Your Shepherd is on the job, keeping you. Once your thoughts are off the circumstances about you, you can now share that peace and that joy with those who are watching you as you go through your trial. People are watching, you know. Your children are watching – your relatives are watching – your friends are watching – your co-workers are watching! You may not realize it but the way you conduct yourself, spiritually, will clearly define your faith in your God.

This is important for two reasons. The unsaved do not want to believe in a God that cannot prove Himself in someone’s life. In other words, how can your God help me if you are falling apart at the seams during your financial crisis? The second reason is that our trials help other believers to grow – we are a living testament of God’s abilities. If a young believer is watching you as you go through a severe trial and he sees you falling apart, he is not learning to run to God in all things. Instead, the babe in Christ is learning to run to his friends and family before running to God. He does not have the opportunity to witness God’s mighty hand in your life.

What a testimony it can be to all who are around us when we radiate peace and joy in our hearts! This same peace and joy brings with it gracious words, praises to the Almighty and the believer glorifies God in his actions!

What kind of living testament are you of the Living God to those around you?

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~John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

This time of year is where people hear about “peace” the most. But what kind of peace does this world have to offer? It comes disguised in materialism. However, “things” bring only temporary happiness. There is no permanent joy in “things.” They do not bring peace at all. In fact, the more stuff we have, the more we have to worry about. Isn’t it a conundrum?

Our precious Saviour is the only one who can truly give this peace and joy – and His comes with a guarantee of eternal life! What blessings! One can be in the middle of a spiritual battle, a physical ailment, or an emotional struggle – but yet, peace surrounds them like a warm blanket! Christ knows what we are going through every step of the way. As we ache when our children are hurting, so does He. He is always waiting to comfort us!

Let Christ work in your heart this Christmas season. There’s no reason to be caught up in worry and stress. Reach out to Him for the peace which is beyond your comprehension!!

~Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

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~3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Walking in truth requires action. We can know the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and accept it – this is forward motion. But to stop there and not continue is a travesty. Many are satisfied with merely crawling in spiritual matters. The Word of God is not a treasure to them and, therefore, they do not feed themselves with its truth on a daily basis.

When you first discover something that peaks your interest, your enthusiasm is high and you try to learn as much about it as possible. You do not rest until you have captured everything about your new interest. A good example is a new book by your favorite author. You cannot wait until you get the book home – you curl up on the couch and open to the first page, anxious to get caught up in the story.

The Christian should have this same enthusiasm with the truth from God’s Word. Unlike a story, each word of the Bible is God breathed. Each page uncovers truth after truth from the God of Creation. The Word of God reveals enough about God’s nature to give us a glimpse of our Creator and man’s need for a Saviour. We will not fully understand His nature until we reach Heaven. However, we have enough information to draw us closer to Him.

God is perfect love and perfect grace and mercy. Experiencing these traits as each page of the Bible unfolds brings joy to the believer. This joy is then shared with the unsaved world. There is no better testimony than that of a Christian who knows his God because he knows His Word!

Joy is increased by spreading it to others.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne

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