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Unspeakable Joy Devotional

April 15th

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Holy Week. Yesterday was Palm Sunday and it begins the Holy Week. It is the day we remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem as Savior and King, one week before His resurrection. He had come to save the lost Luke 19:10 “Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Palm Sunday was the “beginning of the end” of Jesus’ work on earth.

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21:1-11

As countless multitudes waved palm branches and shouted for joy, they missed the true reason for Jesus’ presence. The crowds that were crying out “Hosanna!” on Palm Sunday were crying out “Crucify Him!” later that week. Matthew 27:22-23 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed? asked Pilate, But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

May we all grow in the wisdom and knowledge of what happened this week. That we all become aware of the people around us who are lost and that they be saved.

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:38

Christ came for one reason: “Christ died for sins once for all….to bring you to God.”  1 Peter 3:18

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

April 14th

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“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5

In this passage Jesus reminds us that we often pass judgment on others to keep from examining ourselves and this is wrong. It is wrong for us to spend so much time finding all the little things that are wrong with others while we ignore our own huge problems. We need to address our own problems, weaknesses and sins before we start trying to “fix” anybody else!

Romans 2:1-4 “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself because you who pass judgment do the same things. No we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.”

It is important to consider the Spirit in which we seek to correct someone else. Even if we are not guilty of the same offense, we have been guilty enough of other offenses. We need to judge or correct others in a spirit of love, compassion and humility.

The Bible says, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2

Dear God, you have been so patient and kind with me. You provided Jesus as the sacrifice that purifies me from my sin. You sent your Holy Spirit to help complete your work of maturing me. Please bless me as I try to be honest with my own failures, sins, and shortcomings. I don’t want to let Satan use discouragement from my failures to embarrass or alienate me from you or your people. Please work in me your holy will and produce in me your holy character and not find the faults of others to keep me from dealing with my own. In Jesus, I pray. Amen. (Heartlight)

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

April 13th

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Praying for your children. “…pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children..” Lamentations 2:19

Children are a gift and a blessing from God. We spend countless hours loving and caring, nurturing, teaching, training, helping, leading, equipping, encouraging, protecting, and so much more. We spend hours living out life, helping with homework, and driving them to activities. We spend money on sports, lessons and various classes to help them grow and become all they can be. But in the midst of busy, full lives, we have to ask ourselves: Are we praying? Praying over specifics, powerful, promise filled, hope-inspired prayers. Are we praying God’s powerful Word and promises over their lives?

Our prayers are essential today over our children and families, in order to stay alert, aware, and discerning of God’s voice, as well as to stand against the attacks of the enemy in our lives. Pray that the Holy Spirit to create in them a desire for the living God. Christ says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

A prayer I found that you can put your child’s name in the blank is: “Father, lead _________ by ways she/he has not known; guide her/him along the unfamiliar paths. Turn her/his darkness into light, and make the rough places smooth. Do not forsake her/him.” Isaiah 42:16

It is important that we must also be seeking God, just as we want our children to do. “Examine your own commitment to Christ, and make it your goal to be an example for your child(ren) of Christ’s transforming love. Remember: Our example often speaks louder than our words.” (Graham)

Dear God: We praise you for your love and faithfulness. We thank you for your protection and care over our families. Thank you that you give us the power to love well; the wisdom to lead and teach our children. We know you’re for us; that you fight for our families today. You are Redeemer, Restorer, and Friend, we believe you have good in store. We confess, some days, parenting is tough. Many days we can feel anxious or overwhelmed. We ask that you would make us more like You, more aware of your constant Presence in our lives. Help us to release our children to You, so that You are free to fully accomplish all that You desire, in them, through them. Please fill our families with your truth and cover us with your favor. Amen. (McDaniel)

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

April 12th

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Jesus, Your love is my reward. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24

A song entitled “Your Reward” by Kristian Stanfill is amazing, read the lyrics to the song:

I give my life again, every breath I have
For You are my reward
Jesus, take my life, a sacrifice
All I have is Yours, all I have is Yours

You are my reward, all I’m living for
I surrender all my life to You
All consuming fire, You are my desire
No one else but You, I surrender all my life to You
All of You, my Jesus

Jesus, here I am with open hands
Lifted high to You
Could my heart contain all Your love for me?
You’re all I need to know, You’re all I need to know

You are my reward, all I’m living for
I surrender all my life to You
All consuming fire, You are my desire
No one else but You, I surrender all my life to You
All of You, my Jesus

Nothing compares to knowing You
Nothing compares to loving You
I’m giving my life to follow you, my King

Oh, nothing compares to knowing You
Nothing compares to loving You
I’m giving my life to follow you, my King
My King

Nothing compares to knowing You
Nothing compares to loving You
I’m giving my life to follow you, my King

You are my reward, all I’m living for
I surrender all my life to You
All consuming fire, You are my desire
No one else but You, I surrender all

‘Cause You are my reward, all I’m living for
I surrender all my life to You
All consuming fire, You are my desire
No one else but You, I surrender all my life to You
All to You, my Jesus, all to You, my King

Genesis 15:1 “After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.’”

God Himself is our reward.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

April 11th

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“For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34

If your treasure is in heaven, then it can’t be stolen. God will provide for us the things that we need if we have faith in Him and put the interests of God first.

What are the things that we value most? I think most of us would like to say God and the gospel are the most important, it might be closer to the truth if we said that an individual person, or our job, or our car, or the internet, or our hobbies, or flushing toilets, or toys, or music-whatever it is that is closest to our hearts, it very often isn’t God.

I think this is why God suggests giving things up and trading them in, and letting go of worldly possessions-not because we don’t need them sometimes, but because that shouldn’t be where our focus is. I read this example and thought it was really good: If our treasure is a car, then all Satan has to do to get us to distract us for a moment so that it gets in a wreck. If our true treasure is with God, even when the car gets totaled, we can be okay and happy, and focused on moving forward.

Prioritizing God works along with serving and taking care of others. When there is a conflict though, that is when we have to examine our priorities. Things don’t have to get in the way of our relationship with God.  If we put our trust in earthly things, then that can mess up our peace, because anything that is not eternal is eventually going to be lost.

Let’s examine our priorities and our hearts, being honest with ourselves and with God about what is important to us in our lives, and what we are putting first. Make sure your real treasure is with God, and where it can’t be lost or taken. Life will always be better if we get that one priority right, for as God explains in verse 31, if we do, then all the other things that we need “shall be added unto you”.  S. Benner

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Don’t sell your soul to money or things. Instead, put your life and your abilities into Christ’s hands and ask Him to use you for His glory. The greatest wealth we can ever have is a heart filled with Christ.   Billy Graham

 

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

April 10th

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Bad days. Some days we just need encouragement. There are some verses that I like to read and meditate on them. The more we soak up the truth of God’s Word, the more assured we become that He really is going to take care of us! In the midst of chaos, God is in control. Put your trust in Him when things are going great as when it looks like everything is falling apart around us.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:13
Notice that this verse says ALL. He will meet all our needs. It doesn’t say how He will meet our needs and I have found from experience the way He does it is often not what I expected. But God is faithful and He does what He promises.

“Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

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

“He is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense and my fortress, I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 62:6

“Cast you anxiety on Him because He care for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Dear Lord, I don’t know who or what will cross my path today. But I do know that You are my Rock and my Fortress. You are my Shield and my Strong Tower. Help me to anchor myself to You today. Teach me how to stand strong in You and choose only Your way today. Help me walk by Your truth and not my feelings. Help me to embrace anything that comes my way as an opportunity to see You at work and as an opportunity to point others to You. Give me a measure of Your love today; give me the strength to endure trials. Thank you for your love that never ends. And thank you for the crown of joy that awaits me forever in Your Kingdom! Amen. Blight/Rogers

Unspeakable Joy Devotional

April 9th

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30 Seconds. You’ve had a professional career in television and you retire. Your last day at work on national television and at the end you have 30 seconds to say something. What do you say? Answer that question before you continue reading. Yesterday I was listening to KSBJ and heard about Katie Lee Gifford’s last 30 seconds and what she said. Here is what she said:

“Jeremiah 29 says, ‘I know the plans I have for your, declare the Lord’, she said, getting choked up,” ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope’. That’s not just true for me, you guys, that’s true for everybody watching.

“Trust Him. Let Him love you like He wants to love you,” she continued. “Like I am loved by all of you.”

This really made me think about what would I say? Am I always ready and willing to spread God’s Word and to glorify Him in everything I do?

To pursue boldness in the power of the Spirit requires we die to our flesh. “For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live…” Romans 8:13 But it is by that death that leads to life! Romans 8:6 “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace..”

To die to our flesh in order to pursue boldness is really to choose life. And that should lead us to pray: Whatever it takes, Lord, decrease the hold that unbelieving fear has over me and increase my boldness to declare the gospel to everyone you put in my path.

Today pretend you have 30 seconds on National Television to say something, what will you say? I hope this question will help us all prepare to be bold not only in that instance but in our everyday walk on this earth.