What makes today happy?

Is it a special day? Is there a party? Is there a reason? Is there something special about it?

Today is the day that the Lord has made, so lets rejoice and be glad in it! Don’t let anything rob us of that joy for the joy of the Lord is our strength! There ain’t nothing gonna steal my joy, how about you?

The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

There ain’t nothing
gonna steal my joy

Does it have to be a holiday? Does it have to be a weekend? Does it have to be a birthday? Does it have to be an anniversary? Does it have to be a party? Does it have to be a gathering? Or can it all be about the overflow of the joy of the Lord pouring out of your life?

Not feeling it? Why not fill up with Him? Did you listen to the above 2 songs? If not and you are questioning start with the one just above and then the first one. Don’t read on till you have listen to both and then come back to this point and continue.

Feeling it more? Needing more? Why not try going to the first one and watch it in YouTube and and allow YouTube to play thru a few more worship songs? This is the day the Lord has made! Music doesn’t work for everyone, so let’s do something powerful and turn to God’s love letter found in the Bible.

Even on special days, sometimes we need to know how much we are loved. Even on special days, the devil will try to rob us of our joy. Even on special days, people will do things or say things that will try to rob us of our joy. But we can’t let that cause us to lose our joy for the joy of the Lord of the joy is our strength and so if we feel it draining from us, lets turn back to God and be refilled. Let’s allow God’s Word to be our fuel for a new day so that in and through us and our lives God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

  • Nehemiah 5
  • Nehemiah 6
  • Nehemiah 7:1-4
  • Ezekiel 46
  • Ezekiel 47:1-12
  • Acts 24:1-9
  • Revelation 17:11-18
  • Psalms 138

We need to defend the oppressed. We need to support the orphans and widows.

We need to ensure that the rules and ways of doing business don’t harm the oppressed.

Let’s live out our lives in a way that shows reverence to God so that in and through our lives, as living sacrifices, He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name.

Let’s live out our lives with the wisdom of the Lord

Let’s not be fooled or tricked but rather live out our lives with the discernment that comes with the Holy Spirit. Trust God!

Let’s complete the good work that God has prepared in advance for us to accomplish.

Let’s be living sacrifices to our God that are pleasing to Him.

Let’s be living out our lives to supporting life and flourishing.

Let’s allow the living water of Jesus to flow in and through us so that there will be life wherever we go.

Let’s be a part of the victory by being on Jesus’s side.

Let’s be a part of the people who will spend eternity with God and not in the pit with the devil.

Let’s give God thanks and praise Him.

‘I give you thanks, O Lord , with all my heart; I will sing your praises before the gods. I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. Every king in all the earth will thank you, Lord , for all of them will hear your words. Yes, they will sing about the Lord ’s ways, for the glory of the Lord is very great. Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord , endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.’

Psalms 138:1-8

So where are you at today? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

This morning when I landed on Bing to get my reward points it started with this page:

Yes, today is my birthday but that isn’t what makes it happy. Thank You Jesus for this new day You have created and have prepared in advance for me. Thank You Jesus for the strength I receive through the joy You have provided me. Thank You for today!

Why is Friday happier than other days of the week? Why is today Good Friday?

Ever wondered or considered why people seem happier on Fridays? Ever considered if there might be a way to expand the happiness? Ever considered if there might be a way to make every day happy? What would it take? What would the parameters need to be? Who would be willing to take on the challenge and allow the joy of the Lord that is their strength to inject joy into everybody else’s day so that more people could have a full week of Happy Todays?

Today is Good Friday. When we consider what this day represents it is the day that Jesus was crucified. When we reflect on that, do you ever wonder what could be good about such a brutal and cruel event? Could it be Good because Jesus paid the price for all the sins of humanity in order that we can be forgiven and reconciled back to God? Could it be Good because it is the Friday during the Holy Week? Is the Friday before Easter Good Friday for you?

Today’s reading gets us started in Numbers 19.

‘The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Here is another legal requirement commanded by the Lord : Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer, a perfect animal that has no defects and has never been yoked to a plow. Give it to Eleazar the priest, and it will be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. Eleazar will take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the Tabernacle. As Eleazar watches, the heifer must be burned—its hide, meat, blood, and dung. Eleazar the priest must then take a stick of cedar, a hyssop branch, and some scarlet yarn and throw them into the fire where the heifer is burning. “Then the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself in water. Afterward he may return to the camp, though he will remain ceremonially unclean until evening. The man who burns the animal must also wash his clothes and bathe himself in water, and he, too, will remain unclean until evening. Then someone who is ceremonially clean will gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them in a purified place outside the camp. They will be kept there for the community of Israel to use in the water for the purification ceremony. This ceremony is performed for the removal of sin. The man who gathers up the ashes of the heifer must also wash his clothes, and he will remain ceremonially unclean until evening. This is a permanent law for the people of Israel and any foreigners who live among them. “All those who touch a dead human body will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. They must purify themselves on the third and seventh days with the water of purification; then they will be purified. But if they do not do this on the third and seventh days, they will continue to be unclean even after the seventh day. All those who touch a dead body and do not purify themselves in the proper way defile the Lord ’s Tabernacle, and they will be cut off from the community of Israel. Since the water of purification was not sprinkled on them, their defilement continues. “This is the ritual law that applies when someone dies inside a tent: All those who enter that tent and those who were inside when the death occurred will be ceremonially unclean for seven days. Any open container in the tent that was not covered with a lid is also defiled. And if someone in an open field touches the corpse of someone who was killed with a sword or who died a natural death, or if someone touches a human bone or a grave, that person will be defiled for seven days. “To remove the defilement, put some of the ashes from the burnt purification offering in a jar, and pour fresh water over them. Then someone who is ceremonially clean must take a hyssop branch and dip it into the water. That person must sprinkle the water on the tent, on all the furnishings in the tent, and on the people who were in the tent; also on the person who touched a human bone, or touched someone who was killed or who died naturally, or touched a grave. On the third and seventh days the person who is ceremonially clean must sprinkle the water on those who are defiled. Then on the seventh day the people being cleansed must wash their clothes and bathe themselves, and that evening they will be cleansed of their defilement. “But those who become defiled and do not purify themselves will be cut off from the community, for they have defiled the sanctuary of the Lord . Since the water of purification has not been sprinkled on them, they remain defiled. This is a permanent law for the people. Those who sprinkle the water of purification must afterward wash their clothes, and anyone who then touches the water used for purification will remain defiled until evening. Anything and anyone that a defiled person touches will be ceremonially unclean until evening.”’

Numbers 19

Today’s reading then introduces us to Amos starting with Amos 1

‘This message was given to Amos, a shepherd from the town of Tekoa in Judah. He received this message in visions two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, was king of Israel. This is what he saw and heard: “The Lord ’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem! The lush pastures of the shepherds will dry up; the grass on Mount Carmel will wither and die.”

This is what the Lord says: “The people of Damascus have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They beat down my people in Gilead as grain is threshed with iron sledges. So I will send down fire on King Hazael’s palace, and the fortresses of King Ben-hadad will be destroyed. I will break down the gates of Damascus and slaughter the people in the valley of Aven. I will destroy the ruler in Beth-eden, and the people of Aram will go as captives to Kir,” says the Lord . This is what the Lord says: “The people of Gaza have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They sent whole villages into exile, selling them as slaves to Edom. So I will send down fire on the walls of Gaza, and all its fortresses will be destroyed. I will slaughter the people of Ashdod and destroy the king of Ashkelon. Then I will turn to attack Ekron, and the few Philistines still left will be killed,” says the Sovereign Lord . This is what the Lord says: “The people of Tyre have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They broke their treaty of brotherhood with Israel, selling whole villages as slaves to Edom. So I will send down fire on the walls of Tyre, and all its fortresses will be destroyed.” This is what the Lord says: “The people of Edom have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They chased down their relatives, the Israelites, with swords, showing them no mercy. In their rage, they slashed them continually and were unrelenting in their anger. So I will send down fire on Teman, and the fortresses of Bozrah will be destroyed.” This is what the Lord says: “The people of Ammon have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! When they attacked Gilead to extend their borders, they ripped open pregnant women with their swords. So I will send down fire on the walls of Rabbah, and all its fortresses will be destroyed. The battle will come upon them with shouts, like a whirlwind in a mighty storm. And their king and his princes will go into exile together,” says the Lord .’

==Amos 1

and continuing into Amos 2.

‘This is what the Lord says: “The people of Moab have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They desecrated the bones of Edom’s king, burning them to ashes. So I will send down fire on the land of Moab, and all the fortresses in Kerioth will be destroyed. The people will fall in the noise of battle, as the warriors shout and the ram’s horn sounds. And I will destroy their king and slaughter all their princes,” says the Lord .’

Amos 2:1=3

Today’s reading then brings us into the New Testament starting with Matthew 5

‘“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord .’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’

Matthew 5:33-48

and continuing into Romans 3.

‘Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace.” “They have no fear of God at all.” Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 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.’

Romans 3:9-20

As we meditate on today’s Word and consider its application into our lives, lets pray and thank God for today. Let’s thank God for Jesus’s sacrifice but not stop there, let’s celebrate the victory through Jesus as He conquered the grave and rose from the dead on Easter. Let’s not grow weary in doing good works. Let’s not allow the lies and the attacks of the devil to rob us of our joy. Let’s take hold of the fact that we have this day to live and celebrate no matter what happens Happy Today!

Today’s reading concludes with Psalms 109.

‘O God, whom I praise, don’t stand silent and aloof while the wicked slander me and tell lies about me. They surround me with hateful words and fight against me for no reason. I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations even as I am praying for them! They repay evil for good, and hatred for my love. They say, “Get an evil person to turn against him. Send an accuser to bring him to trial. When his case comes up for judgment, let him be pronounced guilty. Count his prayers as sins. Let his years be few; let someone else take his position. May his children become fatherless, and his wife a widow. May his children wander as beggars and be driven from their ruined homes. May creditors seize his entire estate, and strangers take all he has earned. Let no one be kind to him; let no one pity his fatherless children. May all his offspring die. May his family name be blotted out in the next generation. May the Lord never forget the sins of his fathers; may his mother’s sins never be erased from the record. May the Lord always remember these sins, and may his name disappear from human memory. For he refused all kindness to others; he persecuted the poor and needy, and he hounded the brokenhearted to death. He loved to curse others; now you curse him. He never blessed others; now don’t you bless him. Cursing is as natural to him as his clothing, or the water he drinks, or the rich food he eats. Now may his curses return and cling to him like clothing; may they be tied around him like a belt.” May those curses become the Lord ’s punishment for my accusers who speak evil of me. But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord , for the sake of your own reputation! Rescue me because you are so faithful and good. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is full of pain. I am fading like a shadow at dusk; I am brushed off like a locust. My knees are weak from fasting, and I am skin and bones. I am a joke to people everywhere; when they see me, they shake their heads in scorn. Help me, O Lord my God! Save me because of your unfailing love. Let them see that this is your doing, that you yourself have done it, Lord . Then let them curse me if they like, but you will bless me! When they attack me, they will be disgraced! But I, your servant, will go right on rejoicing! May my accusers be clothed with disgrace; may their humiliation cover them like a cloak. But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord , praising him to everyone. For he stands beside the needy, ready to save them from those who condemn them.’

Psalms 109

Do you know what it takes to find happiness, holiness and humility?

It starts with Jesus! We need to receive Him into our lives as our Lord and Savior. This is the beginning of the transformation. It opens up a world of options and opportunities and removes limits and restrictions. Our lives become living sacrifices and as such how we live and what we do are all acts of worship to God! We start to put things into perspective by first loving God and second loving people. Our priorities get aligned so that we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness rather than being selfish or self centered. By making God’s purpose our purpose, we start to live lives that can be bless. By delighting ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our heart!

Ever considered what is it that caused you to stop laughing as much?

Children laugh, on average, 150 times a day. Adults laugh, on average, only six times a day. Jesus tells us to be more like children. — from Day 319: Bible in One Year 2017

The Bible speaks to having childlike faith. What is it that kids know that we have forgotten?How can we live compassionately? Being able to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn? Being able to live a joy filled life because the joy of the Lord is our strength while also being able to be solemn.

1When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
2We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
3Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
What joy!
4Restore our fortunes, Lord,
as streams renew the desert.
5Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
6They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.
–from Psalm 126

It’s a matter of perspective! We need to see the world from the perspective of all Jesus did for us. He is Emmanuel, God with us, and so we can worship Him everywhere! So let’s take hold of what God has done for us thru Jesus and how He is working in and thru our lives via the Holy Spirit and demonstrate that truth in how we live!

Let’s reflect on today’s devotional which closes saying…

Like them, your response should be one of worship: ‘Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy’ (vv.2–3).

There are plenty of tears in the Christian life. If life is tough for you at the moment, pray that God will restore your fortunes. If you are sowing in tears right now, there will come a time when you will begin to reap with songs of joy (vv.5–6).

from Day 319: Bible in One Year 2017

Don’t be arrogant! We need to walk in humility!

We need to allow the work God has started in us to finish its work! It’s not because of us that we are holy , it is because of Jesus that we can be holy . We are saved by grace through faith! It’s not by works so that none of us can boast!

Today’s devotional starts this topic with a quote…

‘More spiritual progress can be made in one short moment of speechless silence in the awesome presence of God than in years of mere study,’ wrote A.W. Tozer. —from Day 319: Bible in One Year 2017

It then goes on to speak of holiness as follows…

Worship is coming into ‘the awesome presence’ of a holy God on his holy mountain. Our God is ‘a consuming fire’ (v.29). You are called to be like him: ‘Make every effort… to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord’ (v.14b). As Mother Teresa said, ‘Our progress in holiness depends on God and ourselves – on God’s grace and on our will to be holy.’ You can decide to let Jesus make you holy.

Relationships really matter: ‘Make every effort to live in peace with everyone’ (v.14a). Don’t do anything that could cause you to miss out on the grace of God (to miss out on his holy presence). ‘Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time’ (v.15, MSG). Pull out the roots of bitterness as soon as you detect them.

We have a responsibility for ourselves and for each other: ‘see that no-one is sexually immoral’ or ‘godless like Esau’, who, in a moment of madness, threw away so much for instant gratification: ‘trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite’ (vv.16–17, MSG).

Look at the contrast between the physical mountain where the Law was given in the Old Testament, and the heavenly Mount Zion where you now come to worship God. Think about the extraordinary display of God’s holiness, which accompanied the giving of the law and which left even Moses terrified (vv.18–21).

Every time you worship, you are surrounded by thousands upon thousands of angels (v.22b) and the very presence of the living God (v.23b). All those who have died in Christ join in the heavenly worship (v.23c). You join with billions of Christians alive now and those in heaven.

Supremely, every time you worship ‘you’ve come to Jesus’ (v.23, MSG) who makes all this possible (v.24b). ‘The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel’s – a homicide that cried out for vengeance – became a proclamation of grace’ (v.24, MSG). The blood of Christ brings a message of cleansing, forgiveness and peace with God to all who place their faith in him.

As you come to worship Jesus, ‘do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God’ (v.28, MSG).

from Day 319: Bible in One Year 2017

Based on today’s reading from Hebrews 12

A Call to Listen to God

14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.

18 You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. 19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. 20 They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.”

22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.

25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.

28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.

–from Hebrews 12

And it closes speaking to the importance of humility. This is linked to holiness. Our natural tendency is to focus on ourselves. Holiness help us to find humility and to live humbly!

Pride comes before the fall. When we start to put ourselves higher than we aught to we are setting ourselves up for a fall. Instead of putting God first we try to put ourselves in His role and then eventually get tripped up in the sin of pride and fall. The higher we put ourselves, the greater the distance we fall. Even if we get put into leadership, we need to ensure we live it out as servant leaders, humbly serving those who we have been put over. We shouldn’t be trying to manipulate or position ourselves as higher allow pride to drive us! pride comes before the fall, do you really want that?

So let’s take hold of Jesus’ example. He came down humbly into this world not to be served but to serve that we could learn the truth that sets us free and give us a road to holiness and salvation. Let’s follow His example! Let’s make a difference in the world around us before it is too late.

Today’s devotional concludes with the following…

According to the biblical world-view, behind the evil in the world there lies the devil. The Greek word for devil, diabolos, translates the Hebrew word satan. We are not told very much about the origins of Satan in the Bible. But this passage is one of the few that might give some hint of the origin of Satan.

Although the original context is the fall of the King of Tyre, it seems that Satan, the ruler of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), was behind the ruler of Tyre.

Read alongside Isaiah 14:12–23 and Revelation 12, it appears that both humans and Satan were created good: ‘You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God’ (Ezekiel 28:12–13). It appears that Satan was an angel: ‘You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God’ (v.14). Satan had access to the throne of grace and to the presence of the Lord. He was blameless in his ways (v.15).

Instead of worshipping God on the mountain of God ‘his heart became proud, going around saying, “I’m a god. I sit on God’s divine throne, ruling the sea”’ (v.2, MSG). He was ‘trying to be a god’ (v.3, MSG). ‘By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, and because of your wealth your heart has grown proud’ (v.5).

Just as great skills and wealth can lead to pride, so can good looks: ‘Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendour’ (v.17).

This is a description of self-worship, which happens when we put our success down to our own wisdom, skill and abilities (v.4), without realising that these things come from God and that we should worship him alone. Instead of worshipping the Sovereign Lord, the temptation is to worship success, wealth and beauty – the gods of our culture – they are ‘god-pretentions’ (v.7, MSG).

God brings down the proud and exalts the humble. As a result of his pride and sin, Satan was expelled from the presence of God: ‘you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you’ (v.16), ‘So I threw you to the earth’ (v.17; see Isaiah 14:12; Luke 10:18). Satan’s final destruction is assured (Ezekiel 28:18b–19). Jesus defeated Satan by his death and resurrection.

The attitude of Jesus is the complete opposite to that of Satan. He took the opposite path: ‘Who, being in very nature God… made himself nothing… he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ (Philippians 2:6–11).

Worship Jesus today. As you draw close to him throughout your lifetime you will experience these benefits – happiness, holiness and humility.

from Day 319: Bible in One Year 2017

Why and How to Worship

Day 319: Bible in One Year 2017

  1. Happiness … Psalm 126:1-6
  2. Holiness … Hebrews 12:14-29
  3. Humility … Ezekiel 28, Ezekiel 29

Are you happy? What kind of happy? What could make it last?

Ever considered the source of your happiness and the type of happiness you are experiencing? Ever considered the motivation or reason for that type of happiness? Ever considered the longevity for that type of happiness?

What kind of happy is “pleasure”?

 ‘Pleasure’ can come from a good holiday, a pay rise or a box of chocolates. People can become pleasure addicts – always seeking the next fix. But these experiences of pleasure come and go.

What kind of happy is “content”?

‘Contentment’ is longer term – being satisfied with your life, your home, your job and your relationships.

What kind of happy is “joy”?

 ‘joy’. It is not a fleeting emotion, but a deep way of being – a state of mind that is available to everybody. It is not found in things, but in a Person. 

When we accept Jesus into our lives, the joy of the Lord becomes our strength and our world and our lives is transformed in ways we couldn’t have asked for nor imagined! Our joy is found in Jesus, which means in all situation, in all circumstances, we can have joy!

So will you open up to the potential of a happiness that will last? Will you open up to receive a joy unspeakable? Will you invite Jesus into your life today?


Surprised by Joy

Day 283: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Joy in studying the Bible … Psalm 119:9-16
  2. Joy of leading others to faith in Jesus … 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13
  3. Joy in the friendship of Jesus … Jeremiah 21:1-23:8


Today’s reading from God’s Word:

Are you content in every situation?

Despite or in spite of what going on around you and in your life, can you be happy?

Despite or in spite of what going on around you and in your life, can you be satisfied?

Despite or in spite of what going on around you and in your life, can you be fulfilled?

Despite or in spite of what going on around you and in your life, can you be at peace?

If yes, what is the key for you in being able to live that way?

For me it is a relationship and trust in God.

Ever read what Paul wrote on the subject?

10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

–from Philippians 4:10-13

It takes a relationship with Jesus! In Him and through Him, we can do all thing! In Him and through Him, He strengthens me! We need to live based on our position in Jesus rather than allowing the ebbs and flow of our feelings to manipulate us! We need to take hold of the truth of God’s love letter (Father’s Love Letter) to us (the Bible) and consider Ephesians 1:3 which says “Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” since God has provided us with a loving Father and the Holy Spirit who is our comforter and our guide. Media, society, and the devil keep trying to tempt you for more, never being satisfied because there is always something newer, bigger or even better to buy! It bigger than today! Consider the victory you have thanks to Jesus! Consider the position you have as co-heir with Christ! I read the end of the book and Jesus wins! I read the New Testament and Jesus conquered the grave and broke the chains and power of sin over our lives! So with all the good, the truth, and the love, we can be filled and choose to be content in every situation! The choice is ours! It was given to us from the beginning! Will we choose to go with God or against God? We each have to make that decision for ourselves! We can set an example but it is up to others to pick up the baton and finish their race for themselves! Some will work the hard ground! Some will till the soil! Some will pull up the weeds! Some will plant seeds! Some will water! God will make it grow!

Let’s take hold of Matthew 6:25 which says…

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

–from Matthew 6:25

Let’s seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness rather than worrying…

32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

–from Matthew 6:32-33

Worry changes nothing whereas prayer changes everything!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

–from Philippians 4:6

So as we begin today, let’s take hold of Hebrews 13 where it says..

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

–from Hebrews 13:5-6

Want to win? Choose Jesus to be your Lord and Savior! Choose that He will be both in your life! And then live out this life on earth content no matter what circumstances come your way!

Today’s reading from Philippians gives us this piece of information to take hold of…

4Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

–from Philippians 4

Today’s reading from God’s Word:

The Key to Contentment

Day 276: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Find soul satisfaction in God’s wisdom … Proverbs 24:5-14
  2. Find the secret in Christ Jesus … Philippians 4:2-23
  3. Find soul rest on God’s paths … Jeremiah 6:1-7:29


Do you know why? Do you know how much?

Ever been in a situation and wondered why would they do that? Ever wondered what could make them go so far? Ever wonder how much will it take? Ever been in a situation and you think to yourself “they must really love …”? Can you imagine how much someone would love to give their lives for someone else? Can you imagine how much someone would have love in order to give their lives for people who don’t even know them yet?

This morning’s reading speaks to the depth of these questions as follows…

16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.

18Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son. 19This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. 20Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. 21But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.

–from John 3

God wanted to make a way for everyone to be able to get back in relationship with Himself. That’s right everyone, no prejudice, no boundaries, no exclusions. His desire is that everyone would believe in Jesus and turn their lives back towards Him. Imagine the world we live in if everyone who has the freewill to choose would choose this way…

Imagine if we just loved others. Imagine if we just shared Jesus with others. Without prejudice! Without boundaries! Without exclusions! With GRACE! Imagine not judging and just loving others! Imagine humbly service others rather than trying to pump yourself up! Let’s continue with today’s reading and get God’s view of this…

Warning against Judging One Another

11Do not criticize one another, my friends. If you criticize or judge another Christian, you criticize and judge the Law. If you judge the Law, then you are no longer one who obeys the Law, but one who judges it. 12God is the only lawgiver and judge. He alone can save and destroy. Who do you think you are, to judge someone else?

Warning against Boasting

13Now listen to me, you that say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to a certain city, where we will stay a year and go into business and make a lot of money.” 14You don’t even know what your life tomorrow will be! You are like a puff of smoke, which appears for a moment and then disappears. 15What you should say is this: “If the Lord is willing, we will live and do this or that.” 16But now you are proud, and you boast; all such boasting is wrong.
17So then, if we do not do the good we know we should do, we are guilty of sin.

–from James 4

With Jesus there is a hope! With Jesus there is a way! With Jesus there is life! With Jesus we have a pathway to God!

Today’s reading continues with …

Thoughts about Life

1A good reputation is better than expensive perfume; and the day you die is better than the day you are born.
2It is better to go to a home where there is mourning than to one where there is a party, because the living should always remind themselves that death is waiting for us all.
3Sorrow is better than laughter; it may sadden your face, but it sharpens your understanding.
4Someone who is always thinking about happiness is a fool. A wise person thinks about death.
5It is better to have wise people reprimand you than to have stupid people sing your praises.
6When a fool laughs, it is like thorns crackling in a fire. It doesn’t mean a thing.
7You may be wise, but if you cheat someone, you are acting like a fool. If you take a bribe, you ruin your character.
8The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride.
9Keep your temper under control; it is foolish to harbor a grudge.
10Never ask, “Oh, why were things so much better in the old days?” It’s not an intelligent question.
11Everyone who lives ought to be wise; it is as good as receiving an inheritance 12and will give you as much security as money can. Wisdom keeps you safe—this is the advantage of knowledge.
13Think about what God has done. How can anyone straighten out what God has made crooked? 14When things are going well for you, be glad, and when trouble comes, just remember: God sends both happiness and trouble; you never know what is going to happen next.

–from Ecclesiastes 7