Blog

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 24th

IMG_5166

Watching And Waiting. Isaiah 26:8 “Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.”

On Christmas, we celebrate the coming of the Messiah, but the good news doesn’t stop there. The same Messiah whose miraculous birth we remember will return to earth one day. His second coming, just like His first, will take many by surprise, but this time, they won’t miss it. Luke 21:27 says, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” He came to earth as a humble baby, He’ll return as King of Kings.

So, what do we do in the meantime? Watch for him! Worship Him! Make Him known among the nations. After all, that’s the final command he gave. We have to take it personally. As you wait for Him, do what he said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20. He commanded, and He will be with us, for He is still Immanuel.

Luke 21:27-28 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Every day, we are at least one day closer to the return of Christ. As Christians, we should long for His return. Jesus said when you see that He is coming to “lift up your heads, your redemption draweth nigh.” Oh, imagine that day! We will see Christ as He really is. Pray that God will prepare your heart for His return and impress upon you the need for others to know Him.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 23rd

IMG_5162

We’re A Body…Which Part Are You? Psalm 90:17 “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”

There’s something about the New Year that fills us with hope. Maybe it’s because we feel we’ve been given a chance to do it all again, but better. Perhaps it’s just the wonder of what will be. Worship is more than just the singing of songs or the praying of prayers. Obedience is at the very heart of it.

With that in mind, in what ways does God desire your obedience as the New Year approaches? His word promised that He has plans for you. Can you trust him when He says they are “plans to prosper you and not to harm you?” Jeremiah 29:11. This year, seek His plans and follow them. Let Him establish the work of your hands, and you will have success for his word says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. He will meet your needs for He knows them. If you make any resolutions this year, resolve first to trust Him then to serve Him.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27 “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eyes cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” Recognize that we are the body of Christ. Each of us has a place and a purpose, and if we don’t fulfill the purpose God has given us, the body will not function as it should. Imagine your arm if your elbow didn’t bend. Where do you fit in the body? Find your place and fulfill your purpose.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” As you pray today, ask the Lord to reveal to you how He wants you to be involved in His kingdom. How does He want you to serve? Every believer has been given spiritual gifts, and those gifts are meant to build up the body of Christ. Are you using the gifts He’s given you? Ask Him to reveal to you what they are and go show you how to use them.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 22nd

IMG_5159

Only One Way. John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the trust, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

In our culture, almost anything goes. The overwhelming idea is: whatever works for you. It’s okay to believe in God, but it’s not acceptable to suggest there is only one way to know Him.

The problem is that if you believe in Christ, you must also believe His words. He did not say, “I am a way.” He said, “I am THE way.” Think about it. If anything would work, why suffer? If anything else could save us, why would God send His son?

Isaiah 43:10-11 “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.” First, understand that God does want us to know Him. It’s why He sent His son in the first place. Second, recognize that there is only one Savior and put your trust in Him. Perhaps you have long since accepted that only Christ can save you, but have you really accepted that only He can save somebody else? Knowing how much others need Christ motivates us to tell them about Him. After all, “how, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:14. Tell someone about the Savior today!

Today, thank God for sending the Savior. Pray for those who do not know Him, those who live and work right around you as well as those in foreign lands. Romans 10:14-15 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Pray that God will send His people to preach good news and ask Him to give you opportunities today to share His love with someone.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 21st

IMG_5151

He Himself Is Our Peace. Psalm 29:11 “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.”

Our world is full of many things; peace just isn’t one of them. It seems every place on earth is in need of peace. We shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus Himself said we could expect to hear of wars or rumors of wars. As His return draws near, the lack of peace will only increase.

Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to see the state of the world in which we live. We can be tempted to fear, and our faith can falter. Still, Micah 5:4-5 says, “And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.”

Christ knew we would face frightening things and encouraged us to have faith. He said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

There is no doubt we will all face trials, but there is always hope in the midst of them. As Psalm 29:10 reminds us, “The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever.” He is still enthroned over whatever it is that makes you feel like you’re drowning. Put your faith in Him for his word says “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3. Don’t waver in your faith; hold on tighter to Him!

Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Reflect on Paul’s answer to the question of peace. First He says, “Rejoice!” Then He says it again and tells us to take everything to Christ, with thanksgiving. Is there something you need to pray about today? Maybe you’ve prayed about it before but have no peace. Pray again today, but this time, praise God even for your trials for we “know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:3-4 “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Ask Him to make you complete today and remember that He will work all things for your good! Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 20th

IMG_5148

His Will Through His Word. Hebrews 1:1 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.”

For so many years, Israel had looked to prophets to find God’s will. If they were convinced of sin, it was because God sent a prophet to them. If they had hope, it was because, through a prophet, God made promises. God grew silent, and the prophets stopped speaking.

Then, to break the silence, He sent his Word. Never again would we need prophets; never again would we need priests. Christ showed us the Father’s will by the way He lived. He offered the only sacrifice that saves.

For this reason, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15. Commit your way to Him. As the New Year approaches, obey commands God gives in Joel 2:12-13: “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”

God sent His son so His people would repent, so they would turn and seek Him. Don’t waste the gift God has given you. Seek Him today.

Psalm 27:4-11 “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord. Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.” Let it be your prayer today. Sing or listen to the worship song “Better Is One Day” by Chris Tomlin.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 19th

IMG_5145

His Greatest Gift To You. Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”

Before you do anything else today, bask in the light of Christ. Whether you are along or with family, read once more the story of Christ’s birth. Luke 2:1-20 “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David: to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” Before you open the first package from under the tree, unwrap anew God’s precious gift. Focus on it afresh.

Remember that God is the giver of all good gifts, and the greatest gift He bestowed upon us is the gift of His son. Read aloud the account of Jesus’ birth then pray, thanking God for His great gift of grace. Sing your favorite carols and worship the Lord.

Begin the day by giving your time to the Lord. Imagine if, on your birthday, no one stopped to wish you well. Let’s not fail to notice the very One whose birth we celebrate today! Don’t get so wrapped up in celebrating you forget the purpose of the party.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 18th

IMG_5138

The Word Became Flesh. John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory was of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:1-14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Today, if possible, try to stretch your imagination just far enough to think what it must have felt like for the Word to become flesh, for the God of eternity to step into time. It’s almost impossible to fathom, but try. What must He have felt as, for the first time, He was contained? Imagine: You sat upon the universe, held the world within Your hand. Could simply love have made You choose to take the form of man? What glory, what majesty did You choose to rescind. When You came down to earth to take away our sin. The stars, which one You put in place, seen from another view. From far below and not above, must have seemed so small to You. Your flesh and bone, Your earthly shape, could hardly hold You in. It must have been quite hard for You to go from space to man.

Today, remember that because Christ took on flesh, He knows how our lives feel. He can sympathize with us in every way. Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Remember that before He was ever a baby, God said He would be a savior. Thank Him for His body, which was broken for us.