Jesus Christ Is The Lamb Of God

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Names of Christ: Lamb of God

Gordon Robertson – President and CEO, CBN

One of the names of Jesus is Lamb of God. When you look at the history that’s recorded in the Bible, from the sacrifice of Isaac, when Abraham said God would provide for Himself the sacrifice, he is talking about the Redeemer to come. He’s talking about a wonderful appearance that would happen.

In the gospel of John, chapter one, John the Baptist announced Jesus. That was his ministry. He was to make the way straight. He was to declare who was to be the Messiah. Here’s what’s recorded in that gospel:

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.'” John 1:29-30

That’s a wonderful declaration by John the Baptist. We know that John the Baptist was born before Jesus. He’s a miracle birth. We know from Jesus that there is no prophet that was greater than John the Baptist. We know that. But here, John the Baptist is saying there is Someone who came after me but He existed before meAnd He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Now, here’s what Peter did to explain all of this. How could there be a Lamb of God, a Sacrifice of God, that would exist before John the Baptist? That would exist before Abraham? Because Jesus said that, “Before Abraham, I am.” So, He existed before! When Abraham declared God will provide for himself the sacrifice, he is talking about the Lamb of God.

Peter, the great apostle said,

“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” 1 Peter 1:18-20

Today, let the Lamb of God be manifest in your life. Realize that He was foreordained for you! That He was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world to provide a way for you—to provide redemption for you—that you could enter into the presence of God and enjoy it for all eternity.

Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away your sin—who takes away my sin.

Streams in the Desert – December 7

Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hands” (2 Kings 3:16-18).

To human thinking it was simply impossible, but nothing is hard for God. Without a sound or sign, from sources invisible and apparently impossible, the floods came stealing in all night long; and when the morning dawned, those ditches were flooded with the crystal waters, and reflecting the rays of the morning sun from the red hills of Edom.

Our unbelief is always wanting some outward sign. The religion of many is largely sensational, and they are not satisfied of its genuineness without manifestations, etc.; but the greatest triumph of faith is to be still and know that He is God.

The great victory of faith is to stand before some impassable Red Sea, and hear the Master say, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord,” and “Go forward!” As we step out without any sign or sound–not a wave-splash–and wetting our very feet as we take the first step into its waters, still marching on we shall see the sea divide and the pathway open through the very midst of the waters.

If we have seen the miraculous workings of God in some marvelous case of healing or some extraordinary providential deliverance, I am sure the thing that has impressed us most has been the quietness with which it was all done, the absence of everything spectacular and sensational, and the utter sense of nothingness which came to us as we stood in the presence of this mighty God and felt how easy, it was for Him to do it all without the faintest effort on His part or the slightest help on ours.

It is not the part of faith to question, but to obey. The ditches were made, and the water came pouring in from some supernatural source. What a lesson for our faith!

Are you craving a spiritual blessing? Open the trenches, and God will fill them. And this, too, in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected ways. Oh, for that faith that can act by faith and not by sight, and expect God to work although we see no wind or rain.
–A. B. Simpson

Today’s Devotions


December 7

Isaiah 62:1, 6-7 1For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.

6I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, 7and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

The Lord desires our constant intercession. He asks us to pray without ceasing. Regardless of how you interpret Zion and Jerusalem, we have the call to not remain silent. We need to share the great love of our God until so many enter the Kingdom of God that righteousness shines like the dawn and their salvation like a blazing torch. The more an area is converted and sharing by their life’s example, the more the Spirit of God dominates that area. People can’t help but come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, because He has such freedom to work through the prayers of God’s people.

The LORD pleads with us to be consistent in intercession. He wants us to give Him no rest, but to bombard heaven with requests for salvation and the transformation of lives.

One day the heavenly city will be established in Jerusalem. The world will come to worship on bent knee, confessing Jesus as LORD. Peace and righteousness will be the order of the Kingdom, but until that day comes keep praying. Keep interceding for the lost. Keep heaven busy with your prayer requests. Don’t be silent! Don’t let entertainment steal your time that has eternal worth. Pray!

Consider: How does this verse apply to you and your city?

Life and walk of faith

By: Charles Spurgeon,

‘As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.’ Colossians 2:6

Suggested Further Reading: 1 John 2:3–11

There are many Christians whose lives really are not consistent. I cannot understand this if they are walking in Christ; in fact, if a man could completely walk in Christ he would walk in perfect holiness. We hear an instance, perhaps, of a little shopkeeper who puffs and exaggerates as other shopkeepers do; he does not exactly tell a lie, but something very near it. Now I want to know whether that man was walking in Christ when he did that. If he had said to himself, ‘Now I am in Christ,’ do you think he would have done it? We hear of another who is constantly impatient, always troubled, fretting, mournful. I want to know whether that man is really walking in Christ as he walked at first, when he is doubting the goodness, the providence, the tenderness of God. Surely he is not. I have heard of hard-hearted professors who take a Christian brother by the throat with, ‘Pay me that thou owest.’ Do you think they are walking in Christ when they do that? We hear of others who, when their brothers have need, shut up the bowels of their compassion and are mean and stingy; are they walking in Christ when they do that? Why, if a man walks in Christ, then he acts as Christ would act; for Christ being in him, his hope, his love, his joy, his life, he is the reflex of the image of Christ; he is the glass into which Christ looks; and then the image of Christ is reflected, and men say of that man, ‘He is like his Master; he lives in Christ.’ O dear brethren, if we live now as we did the first day we came to Christ, we should live very differently from what we do.

For meditation: Christ gave us a perfect example—in service (Mark 10:43–45John 13:14–15), in kindness, forgiveness and love (Ephesians 4:32–5:2), and in suffering (1 Peter 2:21–23). Could you honestly encourage other Christians to imitate you, as you imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1)?

Jesus Is The Good Shepherd

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Names of Christ: Good Shepherd

Jesus has many names. One that gives me a real sense of peace is the Good Shepherd. Don’t you love that? The Good Shepherd. I think of Psalm 23 (that was my grandmother’s favorite Psalm):

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. (Psalm 23:1-2 NKJV)

That gives you an image in your mind of what a shepherd is. A shepherd knows his sheep. A shepherd is the provider for his sheep. He provides whatever they need to be healthy and whole—to feed them, to protect his sheep, and then to pursue his sheep.

When I think of pursuing the sheep, I think of that Scripture that says there was a shepherd who had 100 sheep. And if one of them was missing, what would he do? He would leave the 99 to go after the one that was lost. It makes me think of the picture that we’ve all seen—of Jesus carrying the sheep on His shoulder back to the flock, back to His flock, back to the place of green pastures and fresh water. Back to belonging.

That’s so encouraging to us, isn’t it? Whether we are straying or we have someone that we love that’s straying, the Good Shepherd is pursuing us. He’s not just the lover of our soul—He’s also the shepherd of our heart. When we walk over here or over there and stray off the main path, Jesus comes to us saying, “Come this way, come this way. I’m going to let you lie down in green pastures. And I’m going to lead you beside still waters. And I’m going to be the shepherd of your soul.”

He is the Good Shepherd.

Hail the Incarnate Deity

By: Chuck Swindoll Crosswalk. com

On that still winter’s night, something was up… something extraordinary… something supernatural. The shepherds raced to the City of David and found their Savior, just as the angel had said… swaddled and lying in a feeding trough. This was the Promised One, the Messiah! God had finally come to dwell with His people, but in such an unexpected way.

Just who was this holy Child the shepherds gazed upon? Make no mistake: He was incarnate deity. The newborn Jesus existed in eternity past as God the Son. He was coequal, coeternal, and coexistent with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. However, Jesus relinquished the privileges and the pleasures of His existence in heaven when He took upon Himself the limitations of humanity (Philippians 2:6-7). In emptying Himself, Jesus voluntarily set aside the prerogatives and prerequisites of life as He had known it, an existence He had enjoyed; He released His right to that kind of life, saying to the Father, “I will go.”

Go where? To Bethlehem. He took “the form of a bond-servant, and [was] made in the likeness of men.” Allow yourself to picture what the shepherds saw. There He is, the baby. Do you see His ten fingers and ten toes? His button nose? Can you hear the cries? There’s humanity. In this holy infant is the beginning of an earthly life. Look deep into His eyes and see the beginning of life itself.

Later, this divine man, completely unique in His nature and in the perfect life that He lived, “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Isn’t that amazing? Of all ways to die, He died on a cross—the most humiliating and painful kind of death.

God the Son lowered Himself. He took on the flesh of an infant. He died a humiliating death. As a result, God the Father “highly exalted Him.” One day, all will bow in worship of the risen Lord, “to the glory of God the Father.”

It’s all about His glory. What a plan. What an execution. What a perfect, awesome wrapping! The God-man. Jesus is undiminished deity and true humanity, two distinct natures in one person, forever. That’s the baby in the manger!

Once a curse but now a blessing

By: Charles Sourgeon

‘And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.’ Zechariah 8:13

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 11:13–24

In the dark ages, to be a Jew was to be deserving of all scorn and cruelty, and of no pity or consideration. To what exactions, to what fines, to what imprisonments and tortures, have not the sons of Jacob been subjected by the professed followers of the Messiah? It is perhaps the greatest of all modern miracles, that there should be one Jew upon earth who is a Christian, for the treatment they have received from pretended Christians has been enough to make them hate the name of Jesus; it has not been simply villainous, but diabolical. Devils in hell could not be more cruel to their victims than professed Christians have been to the sons of Abraham. They have been a curse indeed. Among all nations they have been a hissing and a byword. But the day is coming, and is dawning already, when the whole world shall discern the true dignity of the chosen seed, and shall seek their company, because the Lord has blessed them. In that day when Israel shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for their sins, the Jew shall take his true rank among the nations as an elder brother and a prince. The covenant made with Abraham, to bless all nations by his seed, is not revoked; heaven and earth shall pass away, but the chosen nation shall not be blotted out from the book of remembrance. The Lord has not cast away his people; he has never given their mother a bill of divorcement; he has never put them away; in a little wrath he has hidden his face from them, but with great mercies will he gather them.

For meditation: We should thank God for the Jews; through them he gave us his Word (Romans 3:29:4) and his Son (Romans 9:5); he still has blessings to give to the world through them (Romans 11:12). If you blame them for Christ’s death, remember that he died for sinners, and that you, as a sinner, were also responsible.

God Knows What’s Best For You

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Not What You Wanted?

by Alex Crain,

“What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you?” – James 4:1

A holiday edition of the TV show “America’s Funniest Home Videos” showed various children opening their presents on Christmas morning. Apparently, it’s hard for many kids to see humor in getting an unwanted gift. Most of their reactions were, well… downright childish.

When the ribbons and paper were torn off, one child pulled out a new pair of socks, threw her head back and erupted in an angry sob. A matching outfit given to another child produced a tantrum across the floor followed by stomping footsteps up the stairs. Other children glowered with frowns and snarls. One even screamed at the parent holding the video camera, then hurled the unwanted gift back in his face. Not exactly the funniest home videos.

In contrast to all the immaturity and ingratitude came a bright ray of hope at the end of the montage as a little brown-haired girl in pink pajamas ecstatically jumped up and down with glee. She held in her hands a tiny chestnut and spun around to the camera exclaiming, “A nut! A nut! I got a nut! I don’t know what kind it is, but I got a nut!”

James 4:1-6 says that sinful responses erupt from hearts that are controlled by overwhelming desires. They don’t have to be sinful desires necessarily. The degree to which “harmless” desires become sinful is shown by what happens when things don’t turn out as you hoped or expected. Whether it is irritability, or an angry tantrum or a sulking frown; sinful responses show that something in the heart has replaced God.

Notice verse 1 where James asks the question (paraphrasing), “Why are you so upset? What’s the real problem in your heart?” And then he answers with divine wisdom, “I’ll tell you what the matter is: it’s your pleasures—your desires—that are waging war within you. And the result is sinful fights and quarrels.”

Certainly, there’s nothing inherently sinful about simply having desires in life. God created us to have desires. There are many good things to desire in life: having adequate food, clothing and shelter, having a happy marriage, getting a promotion at work, buying a nice car. There is nothing wrong with these kinds of desires… nothing inherently wrong, that is.

The problems come when, in our hearts, those desires turn into something else. The word translated as “lust” in verse 2 is actually “desire” with the added element of “strong craving.” Epithumeo is not a word that necessarily means “lust” in the sexual sense. The idea conveyed in the original text is “you are controlled by desire.” In other words, some desire—perhaps, even for a good thing—has gotten so wrapped around your heart, that it has become more important than God to you.

Whenever this happens, the result is sinful behavior. And the sin of the heart that must be confessed first in cases like this is no less than the sin of idolatry. False worship occurs whenever worship of the true God is replaced with the god of “my way.”

What a peaceful contrast is painted in verse 6. God gives grace to the humble. That is, those who humbly submit their desires to God and trust Him as the sovereign provider of needs are given grace. Grace here is the desire and ability to obey God and respond in a way that pleases Him. Such recipients of grace are able, then, to deal with whatever happens—whether the present under the tree is a pair of socks, a cool skateboard, the keys to a new car, or a tiny chestnut.

Today’s Devotions


December 5

Isaiah 57:14-15 14And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” 15For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Is there a cleared highway for Jesus to enter your heart? Before a great dignitary of Rome would enter a city, a work crew would go before and make sure obstacles were cleared from the road. Damaged areas were repaired, and washed out areas were filled in. Have you done as much for the Lord Jesus? Does He have a clear path to your heart, desires, and plans? This passage was written to a nation that had idolatry and greed in their roads, but it is applicable to us too.

The God of eternity, who transcends space and time, who sees and knows all things that ever were and are or will be, is utterly separate from us. He can at the same time be the One who orders all things and yet comes to the hurting soul in need with a gentle word. Pride holds out a stiff arm to God. Humility and recognition of need draw us to an intimate place with Him. Could the blockage in our road be the pride that causes us to go our own way without consulting Him? He promises to live with the contrite and lowly person. It takes humility to say, “I need Thee, oh, I need Thee. Every hour I need Thee!” It takes humility to repent of going our own way.

If you want the presence of God in your life and the voice of God to renew and encourage you, you need a heart that is humble and repentant. Whatever would block the road by keeping you from that state of heart and mind must be removed.

Consider: Check the roadway of your heart. Is it open to your Savior?

‘Savior of the Nations, Come’

Scripture Reading — Luke 1:26-38

“The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” — Luke 1:35

“Savior of the Nations, Come” is one of the oldest hymns used in the Advent/Christmas season. It dates back to the fourth century A.D. in the works of Ambrose, and in later years Martin Luther (1523).

This song tells the story of the virgin birth. Mary’s honest question about how it would be possible for her to give birth is explained by the angel in Luke 1:35: “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” The child born to Mary would therefore be called “the Son of God.”

The song also includes the theme we reflected on yesterday from Philippians 2. “Christ laid down his majesty, passed through dark Gethsemane.” The Son of God, the promised Messiah, laid aside the glory of heaven to become a human being, to live among us in this world, and to submit to death on a cross to save us from sin.

Then he rose from the dead and ascended to rule in ­heaven. “Though he left his Father’s home, Christ now sits on God’s own throne.” This echoes the theme of exaltation in Philippians 2 and what the angel prophesied: “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David . . . his kingdom will never end.”

So in this song we proclaim, with believers down through the ages, “Come, Lord Jesus, Savior of the nations!”

The Hour Has Come

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The Hour Has Come

by Debbie Holloway

“The hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11).

Christmas Eve is a special, ritualistic time for many families, especially ones with young children. Children have an almost tangible energy and near-breathless excitement for the festivities of the next day. Parents have all the gifts wrapped and hidden in secret closets, simply awaiting nightfall to relocate to their resting place beneath the Christmas tree. Finally, after too many Christmas treats, laying out milk and cookies for Santa, a recitation of T’was The Night Before Christmas and perhaps a reading from the book of Luke, the kids are tucked in bed.

The work has been done. No more shopping, no more wrapping, no more commanding the children to stop poking around their parents’ bedroom. Preparations have been made. And in the morning, what a glorious day Christmas day will be!

The second candle of advent is called the Bethlehem Candle, and it is known as the candle of preparation. We are still near the beginning of advent, with a few weeks to prepare our hearts for the Lord’s coming. For indeed, not only do we commemorate his first coming on December 25th, but we also know that he will come again. Will we make preparations for our Messiah, just as we make preparations for Old St. Nick?

Will we spread peace and goodwill, as the angels did on the evening of Christ’s birth? Will we offer even the lowliest parts of our lives up to God, as the farm animals made room for him amongst their beds and feeding troughs? Will we sacrifice unto him even our most precious treasures, as the Magi did after many months, perhaps even years, of travel? Will we “wake from sleep,” as Paul exhorts, and prepare for salvation?

Much preparation is needed to make our lives reflect Christ, and we may feel small and unprepared for such a task. Take comfort, then, that Bethlehem was also considered too small for God’s work. As we light the Bethlehem Candle, remember the ultimate significance of this tiny town of shepherds and stables:

“But you, Bethlehem…though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel” (Micah 5:2).

Today’s Devotions


December 4

Isaiah 55:7-9 7Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The cry of God is for us to come to Him. This chapter begins pleading for us to come and take the water and bread of life freely. He pleads for us to seek the LORD, and then begins to give this summary of why we need to come to God. We have gone our own way. Man has decided he does not need his Creator. God has graciously directed man in a way that is not self-destructive, but man refuses to walk in it. We are arrogant enough to think we can come up with a better and more satisfying way. That is the same problem Eve had in the Garden. Our lusting eyes and confused minds lead us into a way that is opposed to the way of God.

Our thoughts that are not yielded to the Spirit of God are the beginning of this downward spiral. God wants us to think His thoughts. A life yielded to the Spirit thinks God’s thoughts, thoughts in line with the character of God. We cannot keep a thought from passing through our mind, but we can decide not to dwell on it.

This is God’s charge against man: our ways and thoughts are not His ways and thoughts. His are pure. Ours are corrupt. His are good and just. Ours are evil and self-serving. He wants us to forsake our ways and thoughts and take in the life of the Son. We are to have the mind of Christ. Does this sound impossible? Jesus died to make it possible for the Spirit of God to live in you.

Consider: If you have received Him, simply let the Word of God live in you richly (Colossians 3:16). His life will shine through you as you walk in His ways and yield your mind to His thoughts.

A Humble Christmas

She gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. — Luke 2:7 ESV

As much as we may want to, sometimes we can’t afford to pull out all the stops at Christmas.

Maybe this year has been leaner than others, or maybe something important has come up and you’re too busy to go the extra mile.

It’s easy to feel discouraged when this happens, especially when everybody else seems to be enjoying a lavish Christmas.

When God sent His Son into the world, He could have placed Him into a wealthy family in a large city. But that is not the Christmas God chose.

Christ came to humble parents in humble circumstances. And the angels announced the news to poor shepherds, not rich noblemen.

Some Christmases are more modest than others, and it can be hard to see the beauty in them.

But what if we didn’t view a humble Christmas with disappointment?

What if, like the shepherds, we came to worship Jesus with nothing but an open heart? Whatever circumstance you find yourself in this year, don’t let anything stop you from connecting with Jesus and those around you. The gift of Christ is beyond price, and it is ours! An extravagant Christmas celebration is not what matters. What counts is our humble worship of the King.

Is there something you’re disappointed or embarrassed about this Christmas?

Why do you think God chose to have His Son enter the world in humble circumstances?

How are you worshiping Jesus today?

Dilemma and deliverance

“Thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:10

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 23

If we could but once believe the doctrine that the child of God might fall from grace and perish everlastingly, we might, indeed, shut up our Bible in despair. To what purpose would my preaching be—the preaching of a rickety gospel like that? To what purpose your faith—a faith in a God that cannot and would not carry on to the end? To what use the blood of Christ, if it were shed in vain, and did not bring the blood-bought ones securely home? To what purpose the Spirit, if he were not omnipotent enough to overcome our wandering, to arrest our sins and make us perfect, and present us faultless before the throne of God at last? That doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints is, I believe, as thoroughly bound up with the standing or falling of the gospel, as is the article of justification by faith. Give that up and I see no gospel left; I see no beauty in religion that is worthy of my acceptance, or that deserves my admiration. An unchanging God, an everlasting covenant, a sure mercy, these are the things that my soul delights in, and I know your hearts love to feed upon them. But take these away, and what have we? We have a foundation of wood, hay, straw, and stubble. We have nothing solid. We have a fort of earthworks, a mud hovel through which the thief may break and steal away our treasures. No, this foundation stands sure —“The Lord knoweth them that are his;” and he will certainly bring them all to his right hand at last in glory everlasting.

For meditation: If the truly converted man can be lost, Jesus must have meant “lend” when he said “give”, “temporary” when he said “eternal” and “perhaps” when he said “never” (John 10:28). Uncertainty is the hallmark of man-made religion.

Joy: True Happiness

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Joy: True Happiness

Joy: True Happiness

I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. — John 15:11

Remember Eeyore and Tigger in the Winnie-the Pooh-books? For Eeyore, no matter what amazing circumstance came his way, doom and gloom remained the focus. For Tigger, bouncing through life without a care in the world, he never perceived anything to go wrong. In our daily lives, it is easy to have the attitude of Eeyore while wishing we could have the outlook of Tigger — two quite extreme viewpoints of life.

The biblical brand of joy is not simply overcoming our inner Eeyore, nor is it strolling through life in ignorant bliss; rather, it is to be found in facing each day’s ups and downs through the contentment Christ offers.

KEY QUESTION: What gives us true happiness and contentment in life?

The first order of business is to identify the difference between joy and happiness. For many folks today, being happy is fully dependent on whether life is “all good.” If someone asks, “Rate your life right now on a scale of 1 to 10,” often the number given is based on the number of problems present. Happiness slides up and down the scale, based on the perception of negative issues going on at the time. Problems rise; happiness goes south. Troubles begin to go away; the happy scale starts to climb. Joy, however, is not dependent on circumstances, and, in fact, ironically, can become strongest when trouble comes. The psalmist reminds us of the reality of joy that comes when we rest in God’s presence:

You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. — Psalm 16:11

KEY IDEA: Despite my circumstances, I feel inner contentment and understand my purpose in life.

Joy has more to do with remaining in the presence of Jesus than with avoiding problems and struggles in our lives. Harkening back to John 15, we know that joy is always available to us when we remain in Christ, through whatever life brings. Let these statements guide you to see how true joy differs from mere happiness.

  • Happiness is a state of mind, while joy is a mind-set.
  • Happiness comes and goes, while joy can be constant.
  • Happiness is dependent, while joy is independent.
  • Happiness is conditional, while joy is unconditional.

The apostle Paul had learned the secret to the joy found in Jesus:

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:11-13

James drives home the definition of joy in the kingdom of God as having nothing to do with eliminating negative outward circumstances, but rather with embracing them as opportunities to strengthen faith and gain resolve:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. — James 1:2-4

Note the end result of choosing eternal joy — being mature and complete in Christ. Joy becomes the fuel for the believer on this road to maturity. Only Jesus can make our lives flourish in the midst of trouble. In him, joy is strengthened when life is challenging.

And finally, there is a source of deep joy available from an intimate place of serving Jesus.

Take a look at his teaching in Luke 15:3-7:

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

Joy comes when the lost are found! When we join Jesus in His work by sharing and seeing people come to Him, we can be a part of the heavenly celebration right here and right now.

It Is Well – Streams in the Desert – December 3

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Is it well with thy husband? Is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well (2 Kings 4:26).

Be strong, my soul!
Thy loved ones go
Within the veil.
God’s thine, e’en so;
Be strong.
Be strong, my soul!
Death looms in view.
Lo, here thy God!
He’ll bear thee through;
Be strong.

For sixty-two years and five months I had a beloved wife, and now, in my ninety-second year I am left alone. But I turn to the ever present Jesus, as I walk up and down in my room, and say, “Lord Jesus, I am alone, and yet not alone–Thou art with me, Thou art my Friend. Now, Lord, comfort me, strengthen me, give to Thy poor servant everything Thou seest he needs.”

And we should not be satisfied till we are brought to this, that we know the Lord Jesus Christ experimentally, habitually to be our Friend: at all times, and under all circumstances, ready to prove Himself to be our Friend.
–George Mueller

Afflictions cannot injure when blended with submission.

Ice breaks many a branch, and so I see a great many persons bowed down and crushed by their afflictions. But now and then I meet one that sings in affliction, and then I thank God for my own sake as well as his. There is no such sweet singing as a song in the night. You recollect the story of the woman who, when her only child died, in rapture looking up, as with the face of an angel, said, “I give you joy, my darling.” That single sentence has gone with me years and years down through my life, quickening and comforting me.
–Henry Ward Beecher

Today’s Devotions


December 3

Isaiah 53:4-6 4Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 52:13 through chapter 53 contains some of the most detailed and rich prophecies concerning the Messiah. The most comforting are those in our passage for today. Man’s greatest infirmity is sin. His greatest sorrow is his estrangement from God. Jesus took that upon Himself while He was on the cross. We cannot comprehend the horror of the sins of the world, but Jesus could. He still took it on for us. Even in the process of dying for man, men cursed, mocked, and insulted Him. They implied that He deserved it for being a liar. Still He went through with it, to the end.

Why was He pierced? For our transgressions! Why was He crushed? For our iniquities! Don’t pass that over without making it personal. The only way we could have peace with God is for someone to pay the sin debt we owed. Someone had to be punished for the rebellion against God and all His goodness. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him.

How could we be healed from this disease of sin that so permeates our nature? By His wounds we are healed! Every one of us is like a dumb sheep that wonders away from the Shepherd that cares and looks after us. We wonder off into the dangerous areas in which we can be attacked and devoured by the Wolf. If we were caught and killed, it would serve us right, for we have refused to follow our loving Shepherd. Yet the LORD laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all.

Consider: How grateful, how thankful, how forever indebted we are to Him!

Consolation in Christ

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies.” Philippians 2:1

Suggested Further Reading: John 16:7-15

The Holy Spirit, during the present dispensation, is revealed to us as the Comforter. It is the Spirit’s business to console and cheer the hearts of God’s people. He does convince of sin; he does illuminate and instruct; but still the main part of his business lies in making glad the hearts of the renewed, in confirming the weak, and lifting up all those that be bowed down. Whatever the Holy Spirit may not be, he is evermore the Comforter to the church; and this age is peculiarly the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, in which Christ cheers us not by his personal presence, as he shall do by-and-by, but by the indwelling and constant abiding of the Holy Spirit the Comforter. Now, mark you, as the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, Christ is the comfort. The Holy Spirit consoles, but Christ is the consolation. If I may use the figure, the Holy Spirit is the Physician, but Christ is the medicine. He heals the wound, but it is by applying the holy ointment of Christ’s name and grace. He takes not of his own things, but of the things of Christ. We are not consoled today by new revelations, but by the old revelation explained, enforced, and lit up with new splendour by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit the Comforter. If we give to the Holy Spirit the Greek name of Paraclete, as we sometimes do, then our heart confers on our blessed Lord Jesus the title of the Paraclesis. If the one be the Comforter, the other is the comfort.

For meditation: Many of the errors taught about God the Holy Spirit would come to nothing if God’s people understood the Scriptural teaching on the relationships between the three persons of the Trinity. May the Holy Spirit help us to grow in the knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent (John 17:3).

God’s Word Is Truth

Truth will always be truth, regardless of how many realize or see. Only God knows and can reveal perfect t… | Realization quotes, Knowing god, Inspirational quotes31 Bible Verses about Truth -
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Is Satan Spamming You?

by Ryan Duncan,

Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship The Lord your God, and serve Him only.'” – Matthew 4:10

“This stock is about to take off!” … “You won’t believe this Miracle Pill!” … “Hello, I am a Nigerian Prince” … These are only a few of the emails that have ended up in my spam folder. We’ve all received them, those obnoxious messages that try to trick you into sending money or personal information to some unknown source. All spam email follows the same design. First, they open up by preying on a person’s fear, insecurity, or general discontent. After that, they propose a simple solution, an easy win for the reader, which convinces the reader to put their trust in something very untrustworthy.

Thankfully, most computers now come with software to filter out the phony emails. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for everyday life. I’ve found Satan often uses the same tactics as these spam mails whenever he wants to attack a human being. First, he takes advantage of your worry, your self-image, or something else in your life. Then he offers you something that might fix the problem, but in truth, only makes things worse. These temptations will always be present in life, but Jesus offers us a powerful reassurance in Matthew 6 that equips us to defend ourselves.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” Matthew 6:25-29

Many people have taken this verse to mean that as long as we trust in God, nothing bad will happen. Not so. We live in a fallen world, and bad things are always going to happen. What this verse does promise is that no matter what we face in life, God will always be there. Sometimes in the healing we desperately prayed for, other times in the shoulder we cry on.

Whatever roads our lives take, Christ is there to provide for us. Don’t allow Satan to fool you with the offer of an easy fix, don’t let fear and despair dictate your actions. God is there, and he will help you.

‘Comfort, Comfort Now My People’

 By: Brian Kuyper, Today Devotions

Scripture Reading — Isaiah 40:1-5

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her . . . that her sin has been paid for. . . . — Isaiah 40:1-2

“Comfort, Comfort Now My People” is an old song with a powerful message. It is based on Isaiah 40:1-5, which gives hope to God’s people. It provides hope that our comfort will come.

In this song we sing about a prophet who was called to pre­pare the way for the coming Messiah. John the Baptist was that prophet (see Mark 1:1-11John 1:19-34); he came to “prepare the way for the Lord.” John called people to repentance, preparing their hearts for the coming Savior. His work renews our hope that God fulfills his promise to comfort his people.

At the birth of Jesus, God fulfills his promise of bringing comfort. Jesus comes for the pur­pose of saving us from our sins. The Bible tells us that our sin has been paid for by Jesus’ death on the cross. Because Jesus has paid for our sins, we have comfort in knowing that we can find true peace and rest in him. Whenever we face struggles and challenges, we can remember that our comfort is in Christ.

The Heidelberg Catechism asks, “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” And it answers, “That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”

There is no greater comfort to be found than in Christ alone.


Lord Jesus, whenever we are discouraged, frustrated, or grieving, help us to find comfort in you, in you alone. Amen.

Streams in the Desert – December 2

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Perfect through suffering (Hebrews 2:10).

Steel is iron plus fire. Soil is rock, plus heat, or glacier crushing. Linen is flax plus the bath that cleans, the comb that separates, and the flail that pounds, and the shuttle that weaves. Human character must have a plus attached to it. The world does not forget great characters. But great characters are not made of luxuries, they are made by suffering.

I heard of a mother who brought into her home as a companion to her own son, a crippled boy who was also a hunchback. She had warned her boy to be very careful in his relations to him, and not to touch the sensitive part of his life but go right on playing with him as if he were an ordinary boy. She listened to her son as they were playing; and after a few minutes he said to his companion: “Do you know what you have got on your back?” The little hunchback was embarrassed, and he hesitated a moment. The boy said: “It is the box in which your wings are; and some day God is going to cut it open, and then you will fly away and be an angel.”

Some day, God is going to reveal the fact to every Christian, that the very principles they now rebel against, have been the instruments which He used in perfecting their characters and moulding them into perfection, polished stones for His great building yonder.
–Cortland Myers

Suffering is a wonderful fertilizer to the roots of character. The great object of this life is character. This is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity… To gain the most of it and the best of it is the object of probation.
–Austin Phelps

“By the thorn road and no other is the mount of vision won.”

Today’s Devotions


December 2

Isaiah 52:13-15 13See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. 14Just as there were many who were appalled at him– his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness– 15so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.

Isaiah wrote four prophetic songs about the suffering servant. They so beautifully describe the life of Jesus that it is a wonder some cannot see it and that the Jews of that day did not recognize Him. The wisest thing Jesus could have done for those He loved was to lay down His life. In the passage today we see the cross raised, lifted into place, and the Son of God highly exalted. Though His body was beaten and torn beyond human recognition, He became the sacrifice whose blood would be our atonement.

Kings bow before the wonder of His sacrificial death. They cannot speak in the presence of One whose love is so great that He would die to give them life. Pilate did not know the prophecies were being fulfilled before his eyes. Kings have not heard the Gospel and yet somehow will know that God has made a Way. God has revealed His Arm, Christ Jesus, and ever since the world has looked in awe at the wonder of His life and death in our place.

Who would ever have guessed that God loved us to that extent? We sit in silence pondering the amazing love of God and our lack of gratitude for it. How could He love us so? The suffering Servant bore our sins that we might forever be right with God. Let the wonder of it grow within your heart.

Consider: See that you never grow calloused toward that great display of His love for you.

Jesus Christ Is The Lord Of Lords

Names of Christ: King of Kings

Jesus Christ: Our King |
Devotion from:

“King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and he shall reign forever and ever…”

The inspiration to the lyrics from the “Hallelujah Chorus” in Handel’s Messiah comes from the book of Revelation. But that name is also found in Paul’s first letter to Timothy, which reads:

“At just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.” (1 Timothy 6:15 NLT)

Focus on this idea of Christ appearing at just the right time. According to Scripture, Jesus first physically appeared as a baby born in Bethlehem. His true identity was known only to his parents and the wise men coming to bear royal gifts. Despite his public ministry, his teaching, the miracles, and a perfect sinless life that fulfilled prophecy, the people who were anticipating the promised coming Messiah somehow missed him. Why? Because they were preoccupied with the cares of the day at a time of great social, political and religious upheaval. Scripture also talks about the hardness of their hearts.

Today, we too live in an era of great social and political unrest. And we’d be fooling ourselves if we think our hearts can’t also grow cold and callous. As we pursue this idea of a perfect Christmas, our distracted hearts and frazzled minds can distort the true meaning of Christmas. We can even miss or forget the greatest gift ever given—Christ himself.

So how do we guard ourselves against this? We can acknowledge the King of kings and Lord of lords is also the Prince of Peace. And we can remind ourselves that Jesus Himself promised to appear again, returning as the Coming Conquerer. As the book of Revelation, chapter 19, describes, the King of kings and Lord of lords, His robe signifies his royal reign and priestly role. And the thigh, associated with the Old Testament, alludes to the idea of an oath or a promise and victory.

That should give us blessed assurance of Christ’s eternal sovereign reign, that He is indeed mighty to save, and we can be a part of His kingdom.

The Devil’s Burdens – Streams in the Desert – December 1

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    120 Jesus is King Of Kings and Lord Of Lords ideas | jesus, king of kings,  lord

There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God (Hebrews 4:9).

The rest includes victory, “And the Lord gave them rest round about;… the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand” (Joshua 21:44). “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

An eminent Christian worker tells of his mother who was a very anxious and troubled Christian. He would talk with her by the hour trying to convince her of the sinfulness of fretting, but to no avail. She was like the old lady who once said she had suffered so much, especially from the troubles that never came.

But one morning the mother came down to breakfast wreathed in smiles. He asked her what had happened, and she told him that in the night she had a dream. She was walking along a highway with a great crowd of people who seemed so tired and burdened. They were nearly all carrying little black bundles, and she noticed that there were numerous repulsive looking beings which she thought were demons dropping these black bundles for the people to pick up and carry.

Like the rest, she too had her needless load, and was weighed down with the devil’s bundles. Looking up, after a while, she saw a Man with a bright and loving face, passing hither and thither through the crowd, and comforting the people. At last He came near her, and she saw that it was her Saviour. She looked up and told Him how tired she was, and He smiled sadly and said: “My dear child, I did not give you these loads; you have no need of them. They are the devil’s burdens and they are wearing out your life. Just drop them; refuse to touch them with one of your fingers and you will find the path easy and you will be as if borne on eagle’s wings.”

He touched her hand, and lo, peace and joy thrilled her frame and, flinging down her burden, she was about to throw herself at His feet in joyful thanksgiving, when suddenly she awoke and found that all her cares were gone.

From that day to the close of her life she was the most cheerful and happy member of the household.

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.


Keep My Running Shoes On

51 Bible verses about Kingship, Divine

By Nichole Huggins,

I love to walk around my house barefoot. I like the feeling of soft carpet on my toes and feel more “at home” without the restriction of wearing shoes. But more and more it seems that I forgo this comfort for the functionality of keeping my running shoes on.

You see, our home is different than many people’s homes. Because our son has autism, our home is louder; he is always singing, making noises, or quoting movies (in the world of autism it’s called “scripting”). Our house is in interesting order; you will find trains lined up on the kitchen table and strategically placed books open to strategically chosen pages. Currently our back door is always open. Our son loves to run outside and play, but it is also his current belief that the back door should remain open at all times—even if he is playing in a different part of the house. Living in this world of autism has caused our home to be a sometimes chaotic, but always beautiful haven for our family. And for now, living in the world of autism has caused me to keep my running shoes on.

For many, running and autism go hand in hand. People who are “on the spectrum” are often runners. Our kiddo is no exception to this pattern. Although he frequently overcomes his urge to run, our son’s current impulsivity requires me to jump up and move quickly at any moment. I have to be ready, so I keep my running shoes on.

I love how the Lord uses my son’s autism to gently sharpen me in my personal relationship with Him. The Lord has recently reminded me that just as I have to keep my running shoes on, the same applies in my walk with the Lord. I need to keep my spiritual running shoes on.

In 1 Peter 3:15, the Bible reminds us to sanctify our hearts and “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…” We need to keep our spiritual running shoes on! It is easy for us to slip our shoes off and run our toes through the carpet of comfortability in life, but that is not the calling of Christians. Life was never meant to be about our comfort, but rather exalting our Creator.

It’s my prayer that people around me will be able to see that my hope is in Christ. May I be quick to help and show love to others. May I be a reflection of Christ in all that I say and do. I pray that I am sharp and “ready to run” this great race called life. Sometimes it’s easy to let our spiritual shoelaces come untied. We become comfortable Christians, and it’s easy for us to get tripped up. I am thankful the Lord can use my precious son to remind me that I need to lace up my spiritual running shoes and be prepared for this sometimes chaotic, but always beautiful life. So, what condition are your running shoes in?

Today’s Devotions


December 1

Jesus Christ - The World's Savior and Redeemer

Isaiah 40:29-31 29He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

In this awesome chapter about the incomparable greatness of God Isaiah, closes with God’s ability to impact the lives of men. Though He is the high and Holy One, He gives His strength to those who are weary and weak. This is a theme that runs throughout Scripture. God does not help the self-reliant. Contrary to the popular expression, He does not help those who help themselves. He helps those who trust in Him. We must realize how helpless and needy man is. Then we can call out to God with our whole heart, without some man empowered backup plan. Our hope must be in God alone. Then He will meet us with the strength we need to endure.

Time and time again, God’s people have come to the end of themselves, and then God has done great things through them. It was when the body of Jesus was nailed to the cross and laid in a tomb that God brought about the greatest victory and greatest display of His strength. It was when Elijah thought he was finished that God began to use him for the majority of his ministry. It was when Hezekiah had nowhere else to turn that God defeated the Assyrian army. We could go on to some of the modern missionaries. Many of them came to the end of themselves and some even to death before their ministry exploded with fruitfulness.

Whatever your situation or season in life, look to God. Look to His strength. Don’t rely on your own wisdom or energy but on the life and strength of Christ in you.

Consider: When you think you can’t go on, and the need is there before you, hope in the LORD, and ask for a renewal of His strength. Then get ready to soar.


Do Not Fear God Is With You


God’s Reminder to Us This Christmas Season

59 Do Not Be Afraid ideas | words, words of wisdom, inspirational quotes

By Debbie McDaniel,

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy the will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10

Four times in the Christmas story, angels appeared at appointed times to give a message to key individuals who were a part of Jesus’ life and birth. And every time, those to whom they appeared were greatly “troubled,” “afraid,” or even “gripped with fear.” And every time the angels said these powerful words, “Do not be afraid…”

To the shepherds: “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy the will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

To Mary:“But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus.” Luke 1:30-31

To Joseph:“…an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him he name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21

To Zechariah: “But the angel said to him, Do not be afraid Zechariah, your prayer has been heard, Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you are to give him the name John.” Luke 1:13

Just like these in the Christmas story so many years ago, we’re often people who can easily become fearful, troubled, even gripped with fear. It’s a natural human emotion, but God never intends for us to stay stuck there. And His powerful words and message to us is still the same, for He never changes. He says, “Do not fear,” over and over in His Word, reminding us that He is with us. And He made sure it was part of the message given to each of those to whom an angel appeared to announce His Son’s birth.

“Do not be afraid.”

For perfect love casts out all fear.

Jesus came bringing peace that the world could never give.

Jesus came bringing light that the darkness could never overcome.

Jesus came bringing freedom from the barrier of sin and brought victory over death, once and for all.

The opposite of fear is not really simply “courage,” but it is peace, faith, love, the assurance that we are held by a God who is Mighty and Sovereign and Strong.

Many of you have faced deep loss this year, the hurt of losing a loved one too soon, illness, cancer, financial troubles, or job loss. Others are struggling through the pain of broken relationships. Many are fighting depression and despair, facing addictions and giants that seem too big.

Whatever you might be battling this season, I pray that you will find deep peace in Him. The One who loves you so much and says, “Do not fear…”

He is greater. Always. He came to overcome it all. And He is with us.


Today’s Devotions

98 Fear Not ideas | inspirational quotes, can hold us, words


November 30

Isaiah 40:25-27 25“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. 26Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. 27Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”?

What will you compare God to? What or who has always been? Who is unchanging throughout eternity? How ridiculous to think we could make some image of our infinite Creator! How arrogant to think that we could give Him advice or suggest a better way than that which He has chosen!

Look at the stars on a clear night sky. You know you can see only a small fraction of them, and yet, God has each one set just where he would place it. It is there at His command and exists for His purposes. Each one has a name given it by its Creator, just as He intimately knows each of the billions of people on earth. None can hide or go unnoticed. We have a hard time remembering all the names of our few friends. When you contemplate God, do not compare Him with finite and error prone men.

Considering His greatness, considering His omniscience, dare we complain that God is not acting on our behalf? Do we think that somehow our case slipped by Him? Do we really believe He isn’t concerned? He knows every detail. He knows a million details about your situation that you are unaware of. Trust Him. One day He will help you see why things happened as they did. The one who places his trust in God will never be disappointed. He is the Holy One. He makes no mistakes.

Meditation: The Eternal One knows what I need and can bring into my life anything He deems necessary.

Streams in the Desert – November 30

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And seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest (Jeremiah 45:5).

A promise given for hard places, and a promise of safety and life in the midst of tremendous pressure, a life “for a prey.” It may well adjust itself to our own times, which are growing harder as we near the end of the age, and the Tribulation times.

I Will Not Fear | Psalm 118:5-6 - Tricia Goyer | Scripture verses, Psalm  118, Psalms

What is the meaning of “a life for a prey”? It means a life snatched out of the jaws of the destroyer, as David snatched the lamb from the lion. It means not removal from the noise of the battle and the presence of our foes; but it means a table in the midst of our enemies, a shelter from the storm, a fortress amid the foe, a life preserved in the face of continual pressure: Paul’s healing when pressed out of measure so that he despaired of life; Paul’s Divine help when the thorn remained, but the power of Christ rested upon him and the grace of Christ was sufficient.

Lord, give me my life for a prey, and in the hardest places help me today to be victorious.
–Days of Heaven upon Earth

We often pray to be delivered from calamities; we even trust that we shall be; but we do not pray to be made what we should be, in the very presence of the calamities; to live amid them, as long as they last, in the consciousness that we are, held and sheltered by the Lord, and can therefore remain in the midst of them, so long as they continue, without any hurt.

For forty days and nights, the Saviour was kept in the presence of Satan in the wilderness, and that, under circumstances of special trial, His human nature being weakened by want of food and rest. The furnace was heated seven times more than it was wont to be heated, but the three Hebrew children were kept a season amid its flames as calm and composed in the presence of the tyrant’s last appliances of torture, as they were in the presence of himself before their time of deliverance came. And the livelong night did Daniel sit among the lions, and when he was taken up out of the den, “no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.”

They dwelt in the presence of the enemy, because they dwelt in the presence of God.


By: Charles Spurgeon

33 Bible Verses about Fear -

“Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.” 2 Chronicles 33:13

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 1:18-25

It takes ten thousand times more faith to be an unbeliever than to be a believer in God’s revelation. One man comes to me and tells me I am credulous, because I believe in a great First Cause who created the heavens and the earth, and that God became man and died for sin. I tell him I may be, and no doubt am very credulous, as he conceives credulity, but I conceive that which I believe is in perfect consistency with my reason, and I therefore receive it. “But,” saith he, “I am not credulous—not at all.” Sir, I say, I should like to ask you one thing. You do not believe the world was created by God. “No.” You must be amazingly credulous, then, I am sure. Do you think this Bible exists without being made? If you should say I am credulous, because I believe it had a printer and a binder, I should say that you were infinitely more credulous, if you assured me that it was made at all, and should you begin to tell me one of your theories about creation—that atoms floated through space, and came to a certain shape, I should resign the palm of credulity to you. You believe, perhaps, moreover, that man came to be in this world through the improvement of certain creatures. I have read that you say that there were certain monads—that afterwards they grew into fishes—that these fishes wanted to fly, and then wings grew—that by and by they wanted to crawl, and then legs came, and they became lizards, and by many steps they then became monkeys, and then the monkeys became men, and you believe yourself to be cousin ape to an orang-utan. Now, I may be very credulous, but really not so credulous as you are.

For meditation: If Manasseh, the greatest of idolaters (2 Chronicles 33:3), could be converted and worship the one true God, your most ardent evolutionist neighbours or colleagues can be converted and worship the God who created them!

A Peaceful Holiday

An Unhurried Holiday

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by Karen Ehman,

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” Luke 2:16 (NIV)

“Hurry up! We’re going to be late to the choir concert!”

“Come on kids. Help me unload these groceries right now. I’ve got to get these cookies baked before bedtime.”

“Is it 6 a.m. already? I gotta get to that door buster sale as soon as it opens so I don’t miss out on the deals!”

With the holiday season upon us, the music at the mall announces that folks are dreaming of a white Christmas. That may be true. But in reality, many women are dreaming of something else white: a little more white space on our December calendars!

Pageants. Parties. Shopping trips. Baking days. Wrapping nights. At every turn there are people to see, things to do, stuff to buy. The hustle and bustle of this supposed-to-be-happy season can knock the holly-jolly right out of our holidays and replace it with hurried-up headaches instead.

As a result, our calendars become overloaded, crowding out the spiritual significance of the season.

I wonder if the participants in the original Christmas story ever dreamed that the celebration of Christ’s birth would become so hassled and hurried. The shepherds? The angels? The wise men? Mary and Joseph too?

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Was hurriedness present the night Jesus was born? We might think that it was not. But actually, there was hurry present that night. However, it wasn’t to the mall or grocery store that people were rushing.

The shepherds were working in the fields when suddenly an ensemble of angels told them the Christ Child had been born. Luke 2:16 says they hurried off to find Him lying in a manger.

If I had been one of those shepherds, I would have been quiet and amazed once I got there. Being around a newborn baby makes me speak in a hushed tone and feel such awe as I see new life. In the presence of Jesus I wonder if those men too were settled and silent.

Maybe we could do the same today. In the midst of our holiday hustle and tasks, we could stop; leave our work. We could slow down long enough to hurry in another direction. We could put our activities on hold so we might quietly meet with our Lord. We could be settled and silent in the presence of Jesus.

As a result we just might discover an unhurried holiday: a season that will strengthen us spiritually instead of sapping our energy and joy.

How about it? Will we pause and purpose to hurry into His presence instead of rushing from task to task? Dare we linger long enough to be refreshed by the company of the One whom the holiday is really about? The tasks will wait while we do.


Saying “Yes” to God

38 Bible Verses about Peace -

by Debbie Holloway,

It seems like every day one hears about all kinds of troubling behavior from people who ought to know better. A family friend leaves his wife and children for his secretary. A pastor resigns from his parish after his drug addiction is discovered. A CEO is caught with his hands on company money. We see it in the news. We hear about it from friends. It invades our households. Destructive, self-centered, sin. And so often the guilty party seems completely blind to his error, or unable to fathom how he ever made such a huge mistake.

As a recent member of what most would consider the “adult” world, I have often pondered how seemingly well-adjusted, often God-fearing members of society can justify such actions in their minds. In fact, in my more panicky moments, I have had a fear of suddenly lapsing into some dreaded sin myself – like these perfectly capable people I see all around me.

After all, does my righteousness exceed that of the Pharisees? How can I claim to have more wisdom than my parents or my pastor? Do I know more about the world than my professors? Could I possibly have a better understanding of morals and truth than my government leaders? If I watch them stumble into seemingly obvious moral blunders, how could I possibly escape the same fate?

Aerses netfter recently confiding this dread to a loved one, I was reminded that drastic sin or
extreme lifestyle choices don’t just appear out of nowhere. Adultery doesn’t just happen. Divorce
doesn’t just happen. Heartless slander and libel don’t just happen. Sin must begin as a small seed,
creep in, take root, and grow. We can choose to feed it …or starve it.

The hard part is that often our sin nature is just as appealing as the prompting of Holy Spirit. Far too often we know right away what the godly course of action would be. Humility. Purity. Hard work. Compassion. Faithfulness. But we still get tired, exasperated, lustful, and proud. So we start making decisions which violate our consciences. Tiny decisions that seem meaningless. But those tiny choices grow and grow. Eventually, our life becomes a messy sin explosion and we cry out, “Where did I lose control?”

The comforting part is that it’s a process. I won’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden think it’s totally OK to steal someone’s car or send nasty, gossipy emails about people I don’t like. 1 John 1:7 says that,

“If we walk in the light, as [God] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

If I say “yes” to God when he shows me how I can remain faithful to him in my lifestyle, in the little things, that will strengthen me to say “no” to life-wrecking choices.


Still Thankful

From: 2020 by Harvest Ministries

“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’” (1 Corinthians 11:23–24 nkjv)

If you knew bad things were about to happen, would you still give thanks?

Jesus did. He gave thanks, knowing that He was about to look into the throat of Hell and bear the sins of the world.

The Bible tells us, “The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me’” (1 Corinthians 11:23–24 nkjv).

Jesus knew the future. He knew what lay ahead for Him would not be easy or pleasurable.

He knew that no one would deliver Him from the cross. In fact, He even knew that one of His own handpicked disciples, Judas Iscariot, would betray Him. He knew the others would go into hiding. And He knew that Simon Peter would openly deny Him.

Jesus knew the whole story. That’s because Jesus is God, and He is omniscient—all-knowing.

Then why did Jesus give thanks? It’s because He knew what His suffering would accomplish. The greatest good of all time came from the worst travesty of justice.

So if someone says they lost their faith because of a certain crisis, then I would say that’s good, because they need to get rid of that faith. It’s worthless. The faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted.

Anyone can praise God when the sky is blue and the sun is shining. But if you can praise God when the roof caves in, when the bottom drops out, and when things go wrong, it says to me that you’re a true follower of Jesus Christ.

We must remember that despite our immediate circumstances, God is always at work. And that’s a great reason to give thanks.

Hope In Christ Anchors The Soul

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Hope-filled Readings and Prayers


first candle lit for first Sunday of Advent

The first Sunday of Advent in 2021 will be Sunday, November 28th. After a tumultuous year, there is comfort to be found when we pause to read, pray, and reflect over the course of the Advent season in which believers eagerly anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth.

The first Sunday of Advent gives us the opportunity to center our thoughts on hope.

It’s a beautiful chance to remember the hope God offers to our lost and dying world, and that He’s given us through Jesus.

Galatians 4:4-8 says:

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

Paul, the writer of Galatians, articulates so perfectly the great hope we celebrate at Christmas! Without God’s intervention, we were all slaves…bound up by our sin nature and hopelessly headed to the grave. Because of God’s great love for us, He came down and rescued humanity by sending his Son as a sacrifice for our sin—so we could be free from the chains of sin and become fully part of God’s glorious eternal family.

On this first Sunday of Advent, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ arrival as a gift to all humanity; let’s stir up in our hearts and homes a sense of anticipation. Over this Advent, we pray that hope would rise up in our spirits in a tangible and life-giving way.

First Sunday of Advent Symbolism and Wreath Candle

The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” Advent in the 4th and 5th centuries was a time of preparation for the baptism of new Christians. Christians would spend 40 days in prayer and fasting to prepare for the celebration that accompanied the baptism of new believers.

Over time, advent was connected to the coming of Christ. Originally Christians used this term to reference Christ’s second coming, but by the Middle Ages, Advent was connected to Christ’s first coming that we celebrate at Christmas.

Today, we celebrate Advent over the four weeks leading up to Christmas each year. This year we begin advent on November 29th and end this season of prayerful anticipation on December 24th.

Advent season is an invitation to set your mind off of the stresses of the year. We can take our focus off of the crazy hustle that can be associated with the Christmas season that often threatens to produce more hassle than delight. Advent is a chance to focus our thoughts on the gift God has given us in his son Jesus who stepped down from Heaven and took the form of a man so that we might believe.

The tradition for the first Sunday of Advent includes lighting the candle of hope.

When You Just Aren’t Feeling That Holiday Cheer – Encouragement for Today – November 26, 2021


“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:19 (ESV)

When I was a child, I could always count on three things being consistent during the holiday season.

The first was my mother’s delicious turkey roasted her signature way — in a brown grocery sack.

The second was my favorite chunky candy bar nestled deep in the toe of my stocking.

And the third was my mom and my aunt crying when all the festivities were over and it was time for everyone to go home. My little mind could never understand why someone would weep at the happiest time of year.

But now, sadly, I can say I get it.

My mom and aunt lost their mother — my Grandma Elsie, whose birthday was on Christmas Eve — when they were barely into their 30s. In the past two years, I have lost my father; my mother; two cousins; an aunt; two uncles; and my stepmom, who’d been part of my life since I was 13.

The cheer and sparkle of the holidays — with the accompanying “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” sentiment — is in such stark contrast to the chimney-sized hole of heaviness in my heart. Knowing that my loved ones are no longer a part of our celebrations drains my holiday joy.

Lost loved ones aren’t the only reason for lamenting. Maybe you have wayward children, poor health or fractured friendships. Maybe this is the first holiday season spent as a family stung by divorce. Or maybe it’s just a deep, dark loneliness. What do we do when we can’t find any holiday cheer?

Thankfully, our key verse shows us the remedy for our aching emotions. Psalm 94:19 declares: “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.”

In the original Hebrew language, the meaning of the English phrase “cares of my heart” (v. 19) comes from two words: sarappim and qereb. The first word means anxious and disquieting thoughts. The second term refers to that which is deep within your body, predominantly in your heart. So much of our sorrow at the holidays disquiets us. However, it isn’t always visible to others. It can remain hidden below the surface.

The phrase “cheer my soul” (v. 19) is a tethering of the Hebrew words sha’a’ and nephesh. Taken together, these words imply that God delights our dejected emotions by smearing them over. He takes the raw and tender places of our souls and smooths His healing balm over them, allowing us to be cheered again.

I find this happens through gut-wrenchingly honest prayer and a plea for renewed vision. I tell God how very much I will miss the crazy, Christmas Eve, “white elephant” gift exchange with my dad and stepmom, and I ask God to comfort me and give me hope. He prompts me to host such a gathering with foreign exchange students from church who cannot be home for the holidays.

When I can’t bear the thought of our first holiday season without my mom and her game of “how many chocolate snowman candies are in the jar?” I pray to God for comfort and perspective. He nudges me to keep the tradition going with all her grandkids, with the added action of each child telling one happy memory of Grandma before giving their guesses.

I recall how my own mom always made Christmas a reason to make someone else’s life better, often signing up to serve the less fortunate or offer financial assistance to local charitable organizations. I’m sure helping others helped her to deal with her own fresh grief that resurfaced each year.

Second Corinthians 1:3 refers to God as “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (NIV). He comforts us so that we, in turn, can cheer and comfort others. When our hearts feel heavy at the holidays, God stands ready not only to soothe our sorrows but also to help us seek out the discouraged and do something to show them that we care — and He cares.

Maybe, then, the holidays really can be the most wonderful time of the year: a time for cheering others with the love of God, even despite our hurting hearts.

Today’s Devotions


November 28

Isaiah 26:3 3You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

Isaiah spent the previous chapters telling of all the destruction that was to come to Judah and the surrounding nations. Then he looked forward in time to when the nation of God’s people will enter their holy city. The walls and ramparts are salvation. God wipes away every tear from their eyes. It is the nation of believers who will not forsake their faith in God.

Because of that faith God keeps them in perfect peace. The world goes through changes and turmoil. Nations rise and fall. So much of our sense of security is in the flimsiest of things, but those whose minds are steadfast, seeing the sovereignty of God, and the love and faithfulness of God, have perfect peace. Perfect peace is not circumstantial. It is much deeper than passing things. They trust that God never changes. They trust that the love that He has shown them and His faithfulness and mercy will continue forever. There is no fear that He will change.

All else is fluid. All else is undependable. But the eye of faith looks past this temporal world and sees the unchanging God. The peace faith brings is perfect. It is deep and abiding. It is the peace He gives us. Do you know this peace? Where is your trust placed? If it is on something temporal, turn away from that today and learn to trust in the unchanging One.

Consider: Do you possess His peace?