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Unspeakable Joy Devotional

10th July

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God’s Provision. When you put your faith in Christ, God commissions himself to protect, provide, and care for you. Philippians 4:19 “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” God always provides for his children, though often it is not in the way we expect or hope.

The challenge is for us to see his provision and care, even when it is different than we expect. Because God is God, his ways are higher than our ways. Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” But he graciously gives us insight into what he is doing in his Scriptures.

God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, but you may be aware of three of them. Over and over again, Jesus’ disciples missed what he was doing right in front of them. They missed the point of the miracles. The missed the lessons. Which should give us hope for own lack of clarity today.

We may not receive healing in this life, but we will receive perfect healing in eternity. We may not see answers to our greatest prayers in this life, but we will receive fully in eternity. Some days God’s provision and care may seem distant, but it will be ever-present in eternity. We long for our world to stop raging and be at peace, but ultimate peace will only come in eternity.

Our hearts ache under the pressures of this life, but it is only because we were made for another world. We are sojourners and aliens on this earth. 1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

9th July

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Are you drowning? Have you ever felt that moment of panic in the water? Drowning victims are usually in a state of panic. I’ve heard that sometimes a drowning person thrashes so much trying to rescue him or her places the rescuer at risk of drowning as well. The best thing for a drowning person to do is be still so the rescuer can carry the victim to safety.

Hebrews 11:6 says “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Jesus came not to condemn us but to rescue us. He is your rescuer! And if God gave His own Son on our behalf, He is surely willing to graciously give us all things for our benefit. Romans 8:32 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

Is there a sin in your life that is overwhelming you? Is there a circumstance that keeps taking you under? What area(s) are you struggling and panicked about? What is it that causes anxiety and feeling of being overwhelmed?

When you feel the panic rising within you, stop the panic response and be still. Drop to your knees as a physical demonstration of trust in the Savior to rescue you and bring you to safety. Entrust yourself and your circumstance into your Shepherd’s hands, knowing that “whoever believes in Him will not perish.”

The good news is God’s saving grace. It reaches us when we’re drowning in the fact of sin, the consequences of sin and when we’re separated from a holy God. God the Savior dove in, sacrificed Himself on the cross in order to save us from drowning and being destroyed by the devastating consequences of sin. When you think about being saved by grace, think about a lifeguard saving a drowning person. Trust Jesus Christ as your personal sin bearer. Don’t worry about working for favor, because you can’t earn it. If you could earn it, you could swim to shore yourself. But because we can’t earn it and God provided it, you’ll have to let go and let Him do the saving. Give up trying to save yourself and relinquish yourself to Jesus Christ who becomes your Savior and brings you safely to shore. He gives you the gift of eternal life.

Psalm 59:16 “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.”

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

8th July

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Are you a cheerleader for Christ? For those of you who know rodeo, you know Trevor Brazile. He is a 24X world champion roper. But I’m not writing about him, I’m writing to tell you about his wife, Shada Brazile. Yesterday she posted something that I thought was a great read and something great to share:

So today, once again, I was in the stands…..watching my husband compete on my phone at the Calgary Stampede, only 2300 miles away from us, the same time as my 11 year old ran onto a baseball field to compete at the Perfect Game USA World Series in Marietta GA. I woke up this morning so excited and thankful to watch the two boys of the family compete and do what they both love. As I prayed this morning, I prayed for them both to be blessed and to do great. Yap, you read that right, I pray for them to do good!! Great, actually. Agree or not, this is my prayer.every.single.time.they compete. Because I see the blood, sweat, and tears it take to compete. I know the work they put in. We serve a good God and He knows their hearts. That being said, Trevor broke the barrier, and Treston struck out, His team lost….Was my prayer answered??? 100 percent! Because every day, if we learn from our mistakes, we get better! We either lose, or we get better. In the moment it seems like defeat, but being the one in the stands, it’s not our job to point out the obvious! Trust me, they know what they did wrong. Our job is to encourage and lift up. So to all you mommas, and/or wives in the stands, another sappy post from me and a reminder to keep supporting, keep believing, and KEEP PRAYING!!!!”

Hebrews 3:13 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called to day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

God commanded that His people encourage each other because He knows we need it. In the Gospel of John, Jesus warned that “in this world you will have trouble”, which he then followed with a much needed encouragement: “But take heart; I have overcome the world” John 16:33.

God knows His people are in need of grace-filled reminders, so He calls us to encourage each other every day until His son returns. May the Lord do more than we can imagine through just a little encouragement Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

1 Peter 1:8-9 “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Max Lucado writes:  Who was Peter addressing when he spoke of unspeakable joy? “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” 1 Peter 1:1. Peter was speaking to persecuted Christians-people who had been driven from their cities, separated from their families. Their rights had been taken. Their property had been taken. Their possessions had been taken. Their futures had been taken, but their joy had not been taken. Why? Go back to Peter’s Epistle again-this time in another translation: “You have never seen Jesus and you don’t see him now. But still you love him and have faith in him” 1 Peter 1:8. The source of their joy? Jesus! And since no one could take their Jesus, no one could take their joy.

I love that Shada Brazile gives attention to the fact that not all things go our way even though we pray for them to. But she still exhibits joy in the Lord and doesn’t give up in her cheerleading for the Lord and for those she loves. We serve a great God that loves us and listens to us when we pray and talk to Him. Be a cheerleader this week for Jesus and lift up others for Him.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

7th July

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In a Season of Loss. I read yesterday that a young girl’s life was taken at the age of 12 in a car accident. I didn’t know her. But as I prayed for her family, it made me think of the heart ache and grief that goes along when we lose someone. Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.”

The Bible says when you go through a season of loss, the first thing you need to do is release your grief. Tragedy always produces strong emotions-anger, fear, depression, worry, and sometimes guilt. These feelings are scary to us, and we don’t know what to do with them. When we have experienced a major loss, these enormous feelings bubble up within us.

There’s a myth that God wants you to walk around with a smile on your face all the time saying, “Praise the Lord!” Jesus says in Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” It’s okay to grieve. When people are Christians, we know they will go on to Heaven, so we need not grieve like the world. Our grief can be different. We grieve because we’re going to miss them, but we can also be at peace because we know they are with God.

Job asked this all-important question: Job 14:14-15 “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to work of thine hands.”

At some point we will all suffer loss. For most it’s the loss of grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, older siblings, friends and neighbors. Sometimes it is losing a child, a loss that is so hard to bear. Only faith in God and the loving support of family and friends case ease that pain.

As Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

To receive peace and rest in Christ, the instructions are clear.  Jesus says, “Come to Me.”

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

 

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

6th July

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If I Had More Money I Would……Often the first thing we think in response to our struggles is “if only I had enough friends, or if only I had more money, then Jesus would be enough.” But the message of the gospel is that Jesus is always enough.

2 Corinthians 8:10-12 “And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”

People hate to hear churches talk about money. And I can’t say that I blame them. Too many times churches have abused the generosity of others or given the impression that money is what’s most important.

The problem is magnified when we see how much the Bible talks about money. It means that churches should talk about money yet walk the fine line of doing so in a way that points people closer to God rather than further away. In the verse above, Paul is writing to a church in the city of Corinth. This church had become key financial contributors to ministry and in this specific example they were collecting offerings to be distributed to the poor in Jerusalem.

We learn great things from this passage. First, the people of this church were the first to have a desire to give. Second, Paul tells them to not just have the desire, but to finish the work. In other words, to take the desire to do what is right financially and actually do it! He reminds them and us that the amount doesn’t matter. Some can give a little and some can give a lot-what matters is giving in relation to what God has provided. Paul is teaching that God only cares that we are being obedient and that He isn’t impressed with our amount. It would be better for a poor person to give a tenth of $1 than for a rich person to give less than a tenth but more money.

Being a giver is a reflection of what we truly believe about our heavenly Father because he was the ultimate giver in giving his son. When you examine all areas of your life, do you see the alignment in your finances? Are you giving back to God the first tenth of what he gives to you first? Generosity is not something God wants from you. It’s something he wants for you.

Thank you, God for all that you have given to me. I recognize that all the things that I have are true gifts from you. Give me the desire to give back a portion to You like the church in Corinth. I want to commit to start doing so today. Give me the faith that You will take care of me and bless me according to my obedience and faith.

2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.”

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

5th July

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God’s will for you isn’t to stay as you are. He wants you to grow. 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

If our faith isn’t rooted in the Bible, it will wither like a plant pulled out of the soil. Only a strong faith-a faith based on God’s Word-will protect us from temptation and doubt.

Do you want your faith to grow? Then let the Bible begin to saturate your mind and soul. The Bible says “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Romans 10:17

Faith doesn’t just happen; it grows when it is planted in the fertile soil of God’s Word. Is your faith growing stronger and stronger, day by day? If we stay rooted in God’s Word our faith will become unwavering. (Graham)

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

4th July

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Freedom Isn’t Free. I’m so grateful to live in a land where there’s freedom to worship the Lord and preach His Gospel message. Yet these freedoms are under attack today, and it’s time for God’s people to again take a courageous stand for liberty.

Many people still don’t experience the gift of freedom. Much of the world still suffers under dictatorships and repressive governments. But the deeper problem is a spiritual one. Of the world’s nearly 7 billion people, over 2 billion have never heard the name of Jesus even once. Over 250,000 people die each day, and many of them have never experienced the freedom from sin that Christ came to give them. What a tragedy. And it’s also tragic that many believers aren’t truly walking in the spiritual liberty available to them in Christ.

Jesus paid the ultimate price for your freedom when He died on the cross. Because He paid the penalty for your sins with the shedding of His precious blood, you truly can be “free indeed” John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” not just politically free, but more importantly, free from sin, sickness, and the power of the enemy.

So whatever chains of bondage or oppression you are experiencing today-whether addition, depression, fear, anger, lust, bitterness, financial lack, or some other stronghold-Jesus came to set you FREE!

The Bible declares that you’ve been “bought at a price” 1 Corinthians 6:20 “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” and “redeemed from the hand of the enemy” Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” That means Satan, the evil master, no longer has any claim over you. No longer does he have any right to interfere with your life or enslave you to sickness, poverty, depression, or addiction.

Those who have heard about the price Jesus paid for their freedom have a choice. They can choose to remain a slave to sin-or to whatever else is holding them in its grip-or they can choose to receive their redemption and be set free.

Christ died on the Cross not only to pay the penalty for your sins, but He also came to set you FREE!

On the Cross, Jesus looked up to His Father and said, “It is finished!” John 19:30 “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” The cost of your freedom was marked “Paid in full!” You were purchased out of bondage by His precious blood, so you don’t have to remain a slave! You can get unstuck from whatever was held you back from the incredible life God has planned for you. (D Cerullo)