Enjoy Rejoicing In The Lord

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Just As I Am

Our Daily Bread

Good memories flooded my mind as I sat in a concert. The group’s leader had just introduced the song they were about to sing: “Just As I Am.” I remembered how years ago at the end of his sermons my pastor would ask people to come forward while we sang that song, indicating they would like to receive the forgiveness Christ offers for their sins.

But the leader of the musical group at the concert suggested another occasion when we might sing this song. He commented that he likes to think that when he dies and goes to meet the Lord one day, he will sing in thanks to Him:

Just as I am, without one plea

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,

O Lamb of God, I come!

Years before writing this song, Charlotte Elliott asked a minister how she might find the Lord. He told her, “Just come to Him as you are.” She did, and later during a discouraging time of illness, she wrote this hymn about the day she came to Christ and He forgave her sin.

In His Word, the Lord encourages us to seek Him: “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near” (Isa. 55:6). He calls to our hearts: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters . . . . Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live” (vv.1,3).

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can come to Him right now and will one day go into eternity to be with Him forever. Just as I am . . . I come!

Let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. —Revelation 22:17

Streams In The Desert

David cared for them with pure motives; he led them with skill. Ps 78:72
When you are doubtful as to your course, submit your judgment absolutely to the Spirit of God, and ask Him to shut against you every door but the right one…Meanwhile keep on as you are, and consider the absence of indication to be the indication of God’s will that you are on His track…As you go down the long corridor, you will find that He has preceded you, and locked many doors which you would fain have entered; but be sure that beyond these there is one which He has left unlocked. Open it and enter, and you will find yourself face to face with a bend of the river of opportunity, broader and deeper than anything you had dared to imagine in your sunniest dreams. Launch forth upon it; it conducts to the open sea.
God guides us, often by circumstances. At one moment the way may seem utterly blocked; and then shortly afterward some trivial incident occurs, which might not seem much to others, but which to the keen eye of faith speaks volumes. Sometimes these things are repeated in various ways, in answer to prayer. They are not haphazard results of chance, but the opening up of circumstances in the direction in which we would walk. And they begin to multiply as we advance toward our goal, just as the lights do as we near a populous town, when darting through the land by night express.
—F. B. Meyer
If you go to Him to be guided, He will guide you; but He will not comfort your distrust or half-trust of Him by showing you the chart of all His purposes concerning you. He will show you only into a way where, if you go cheerfully and trustfully forward, He will show you on still farthcr.
—Horace Bushnell
As moves my fragile bark across the storm-swept sea,
Great waves beat o’er her side, as north wind blows;
Deep in the darkness hid lie threat’ning rocks and shoals;
But all of these, and more, my Pilot knows.
Sometimes when dark the night, and every light gone out,
I wonder to what port my frail ship goes;
Still though the night be long, and restless all my hours,
My distant goal, I’m sure, my Pilot knows.
—Thomas Curtis Clark

The Joy of the Lord is your Strength!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 (8:43 am)

Nehemiah 8:9-10 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people were weeping, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Last night began the Biblical feast of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) throughout the world!

Roughly 2500 years ago, there was a special Sukkot celebration in Jerusalem. The people of Israel were exiled and dispersed all across the Babylonian empire. Later, they were given the right to return and start construction on the 2nd temple of Israel. Nehemiah 8 speaks of the special celebration that happened at that time. We read how Ezra taught the people out of the book of the law and how they responded in weeping and repentance before the God of Israel.

Interestingly, Sukkot is a holiday in which the people were commanded to rejoice, yet they were weeping in repentance. And then, in verse 9, they did! Isn’t it true that joy always comes after the mourning?

The word for strength in Hebrew is ”mah-oz”. Not only does it mean strength, but it also means fortress and rock. When we commit our lives to walking in repentance and practicing holiness, then we will live in a constant state of joy. As the Apostle Paul said, Rejoice always! In our joy we find our fortress, our rock – the stability of our lives!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

 

Enter In!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 (10:29 am)

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy News

Psalms 105:3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

As we close out the fall feasts here in Israel I’m meditating on the deeper significance of this season. I’m realizing how God’s ordering of the festivals contains a deeper meaning than one might see at first glance. It’s not just about apples and honey and building tabernacles. The Lord gave the Jewish people these feasts as a beautiful picture of His ultimate plan; repentance, faith, atonement, forgiveness and joy. He carefully ordered these feasts to call us to a profound internal reflection designed to lead us from sin and alienation to reconciliation, fellowship, freedom and great joy.

Beginning with Rosh HaShannah and the days immediately following, (commonly called the Days of Awe) we are invited to a season of deep self examination and repentance, culminating at Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). This highest holy day reveals the way in which God forgives our sins through the offering of a spotless lamb, which lays the foundation for the joy of reconciliation with God and one another experienced at Sukkot.

As we can see, this entire sequence is a precise picture of the Lord’s New Covenant redemptive plan. We cannot enter the joy of the Lord except through repentance, faith and redemption through His Son.

Enter the joy of the Lord! Let’s examine ourselves today, confess our sins, trust in the absolute forgiveness of God through faith in His Son — and REJOICE!!!

 

Do ya love me?!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 (3:38 am)

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

An ancient story in Church history tells of the apostle John. He would constantly repeat the words, “Little children, love one another.” And his disciples became weary of the phrase. Finally, in his old age, as John was being carried to their assembly, the disciples asked him, “Why do you always repeat these same words?” “Because friends,” John replied, “it is the Lord’s commandment — and if only this one were fulfilled, it would be enough.”

What is the greatest witness we Christians have to the world around us? I can tell you it’s not only our words of wisdom, though they may be wonderful. It’s not only our knowledge of the Scripture, though it may be vast. It’s not only our material giving, though it may be great.

The greatest witness we have is the kind of love that the Bible defines above. Have we been patient and kind with others? Perhaps instead, we’ve been envious, boastful, proud, rude, self seeking or easily angered. I know I have. Have we kept a record of wrongs? Have we we delighted in evil? Uggh. When we express the true love of God, we always rejoice in the truth, protect, trust, hope and persevere.

Love never fails. Love can turn evil to good, darkness into light and enemies to friends. True love can totally transform the world around us.

I am humbled, are you? Let’s strive to start loving the way the Lord would have us love. Yeah — you know why. ‘Cause there’s just so much work to be done!!

Rejoice, this is the day that the Lord has made!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 (3:50 am)

Psalm 69:32 (YLT) The humble have seen–they rejoice, Ye who seek God–and your heart liveth.

There is an important lesson here and in other places of God’s Word, namely that humility and gladness go together. What do the humble and the joyous have in common? They both look up. The humble are those who don’t look down on anyone. The truly humble look up all the time. They have to look up, because their eyes are on God, and He’s above them. The joyous are always looking up as well, otherwise they wouldn’t be rejoicing.

The joyous are believing the Good News, so they rejoice! The prideful, however, are those who think they’re above everything else and so they look down on people. The prideful are connected to the others who look down, the cynical, the doubting, the despairing, the depressed, the sorrowful and the hopeless. In the same way that the humble and the joyous go together, so do pride and despair. Humility leads to joy. Pride leads to despair.

Let’s get our eyes off ourselves, off of our problems, off of the world around us. Let’s fix our eyes on Him, the Redeemer of our souls. Those who look up in humility, also look up in joy! Together, let’s fix our eyes on Him and be glad!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

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