Unspeakable Joy Devotional

2.18.19

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The church. There aren’t many churches anymore with stained glass and steeples, they are becoming a thing of the past. However, I grew up going to a church like this one and have fond memories of it. This church sits just a few miles down the road from where I live and I remain in awe every time I drive by it.

The Bible tells us we need to attend church so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth. Acts 2:42-47 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Attending church is not just a good “suggestion”; it is God’s will for believers. Church is a place where believers can love one another, encourage one another, “spur” one another to love and good works, serve one another, instruct one another, honor one another, and be kind and compassionate to one another.

When we trust Jesus Christ for salvation, we become a member of the body of Christ. Weekly church attendance is not “required” for believers, but when we belong to Christ, we should have a desire to worship God, receive His Word, and fellowship with other believers.

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

2.17.19

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Fear Is A Liar. There is a song by Zach Williams titled Fear Is A Liar. If you have time listen to the words to this song.

I don’t think I am alone when I say I have struggled with fear most of my life. I struggled with anxiety for a good part of my life too. However, I have really come full circle in the battle to overcome fear. The only reason is being grounded in my faith in Jesus Christ. In the song he says “fear he is a liar, he will rob your rest and steal your happiness.” That is what fear does to us!

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I have wanted to barrel race my entire life since I was 9 years old. I would spend hours in the tall grass across from my house and run around imaginary barrels on an 18 year old Appaloosa named Rojo. It taking almost 40 years to live a dream and I could let fear keep me from doing it, but I have entrusted to God all things that I desire to do. I admit that my mind still ponders the what ifs but I quickly give those moments to God and trust Him with my life. After all, life on earth is temporary but life with Him is eternal and forever.

Give your fears to God today and move forward and shine for Him.

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”

Dear God, help me not be paralyzed by my fears, but when I am afraid, help me trust in You. Amen.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

2.16.19

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Take up your cross and follow me. Luke 9:23 Then Jesus said to them all “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Commitment to Christ means taking up your cross daily, giving up your hopes, dreams, possessions, even your very life if need be for the cause for Christ. Therefore, “take up your cross and follow Me” means willing to die in order to follow Christ. This is called “dying to self”. It’s a call to absolute surrender.

Following Jesus is easy when life runs smoothly; our true commitment to Him is revealed during trials. Jesus assured us that trials will come to His followers. John 6:13 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

If there comes a point in your life where you are faced with a choice-Jesus or the comforts of this life-which will you choose?

The reward is worth the price. Jesus followed His call of death to self with the gift of life in Christ: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:25

Suppose you could gain everything in the whole world, and lost your soul.

Was it worth it?    Billy Graham

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

2.15.19

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He Knows My Name by Francesca Battistelli. If you get a chance listen to this song. “You saw my heart and made something out of nothing.”

Isaiah 43:1-2 “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.”

The chorus to the song is: I don’t need my name in lights, I’m famous in my Father’s eyes, Make no mistake, He knows my name, I’m not living for applause, I’m already so adored, It’s all His stage, He knows my name, He knows my name.

Jesus said to the good shepherd “The sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” Then he told the disciples, “I am the Good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” John 10:3

Jesus knows me by my name. I am not a number, not a symbol, not just one in a series. I belong to Him and He knows my name. What a joy and what security!

Blessed Shepherd, the comfort of knowing that you know me by name is beyond all measure. When I feel insignificant and afraid, let me hear Your voice tenderly calling and find security in knowing that I am Yours and You are mine.

Journal your Praises, Thanks and Prayers to God each day.  You can look back and see how God works in your life each day, week and year!

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

2.14.19

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The greatest story of love is the story of Jesus Christ. God showed his loved for man from the beginning of the Bible. God promised a redeemer who would come to earth to save mankind. The sacrifices of the Old Testament were to point people to the ultimate sacrifice-Jesus Christ. While man has sinned, he can be made righteous in God’s sight through a substitutionary sacrifice on his behalf. This sacrifice was Jesus on the cross.

Jesus’ death on the cross in the place of sinners guarantees the salvation of those who come to him seeking forgiveness for their sins. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Paul the Apostle wrote the virtues of Christian love found in 1 Corinthians 13:1-7:

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”.

Dear God, Thank you that you are a loving, gracious God. Thank you that you’ve offered us forgiveness and the gift of new life in you. Thank you that your love is perfect, it never fails, and that nothing can separate us from your love. We pray that our lives would be filled and overflowing with the power of your love so we can make a difference in this world and bring honor to You. We pray in this life to simply to love you and to choose to love others. Thank you that you equip us to face each day with the power of your love, your forgiveness, and your grace.

We love you Lord. Amen.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

2.13.19

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The greatest love letter ever written was from God to humans and it’s called the Bible. The Bible contains some of the most wonderful love stories ever told. One of my favorites is the story of Jacob and Rachel.

Genesis 29:10-11 “When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud.”

Jacob stayed with Laban’s family and he had fallen deeply in love with Rachel.  It was love at first sight for Jacob.  In order to marry her, Rachel’s father convinced Jacob to work for him for seven years and he could marry Rachel. Genesis 29:20 “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”

Laban tricks Jacob into marrying his oldest daughter, Leah. Laban tells Jacob he can marry Rachel if he agrees to work another seven years for him. Jacob agreed and worked another seven years for Laban.

Jacob loved Rachel and he worked years to have her as his wife. He set up a pillar over her tomb when she died. Rachel had died but his love for her never did. Jacob loved Rachel at first sight and at last sight.

The word love is used 628 times in the scriptures. The two greatest commandments are to love the Lord God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. One of our ultimate goals is to learn to love the way God loves.

“For God so LOVED the world that He gave his only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

2.12.19

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You are the salt of the earth. Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men”.

During Roman times, salt was valuable. Salt was a form of wealth. In Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus sees the multitudes and goes to the mountain top to preach. He uses the illustration of salt not just figuratively, but literally as well.

Salt is important to our bodies. It causes our bodies to become thirsty by activating electrolytes. And the water then allows the kidneys to distribute a healthy amount of electrolytes throughout the bloodstream, and this action regulates blood pressure.

As a Christian, we bring ‘the salt of Jesus’ to a dying world that thirsts for direction. We flavor the world. Don’t be salt that loses flavor. As salt, we can make the world thirst for the Word of God.

When we show the love and grace of Jesus, this salt feeds hope to an undernourished world. We are the body of Jesus. We are the salt of the Earth. If salt is wealth, then we, as Christians, are the wealth of Jesus. We inherited His wealth when He died on the cross for us. His sacrifice redeemed us, ransomed our lives from sin and brought us back into fellowship with God the Father.

Dear God, You call us to be salt of the earth and light of the world. We confess that our witness is often bland and gloomy. Forgive us when we fail to be an influence for good, and when we condone or do what is wrong in Your sight. Help us to flavor the earth with righteousness and to reflect the light of Your love in a dark world; through Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. Amen.