Friday, January 26, 2018

Capturing Our Happiness

Capturing Our Happiness
The Christian life is meant to be filled with brilliant passion, an overwhelming love of Christ and exceeding great joy. We find these pleasures articulated throughout Scripture and fortunately we do not have to rely on secondhand information to claim them. So much of our life is spent thinking about how we feel or about how someone else thinks or feels. The famous, scholarly or wealthy people without Christ are not to be our role model for happiness or godliness (II Peter 1:3). The exemplary life of our Lord Jesus Christ written in the pages of Scripture is our ultimate example.

Where does our happiness come from? How can we know that we are truly happy? A person can’t even begin to say that they have discovered true happiness if they are ignorant of the Word of God. One dictionaries' definition of happiness reads: Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. As we search through Scripture we find what makes us joyful and gives to us the unrelenting experience of genuine contentment. The Apostle Paul wrote of his exceeding joy in sharing the gospel with those that he came in contact with. He had great joy because of those that prayed for him and brought him immense comfort (Philippians 1:3-11). His encouragement to them was these words, “Rejoice in the Lord always . . .” (Philippians 4:4).  James 1:2 states, “Count it all joy when you (fall into divers temptations) meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces (patience) or steadfastness.” Absolute, notable joy is in knowing Christ, loving the people called by His name and sharing His Gospel.

The pleasures of this world are often fleeting, but true joy is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and comes as a result of living by faith in Christ. Capturing happiness is founded on the Gospel of Christ, His death, burial and resurrection our foundation, the strength of our joy, and the hope of our salvation.

Lord, my joy, and happiness is in knowing You.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Human Worth

Human Worth
I Corinthians 7:23 
You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.

In the beginning lines of the book, “The Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, he writes, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”. Life in France was hard for the third class people, the peasants and therefore becomes a springboard to the revolt. The upper class, the nobility took advantage of the lower class people believing their only worth was as a means of acquiring more money through taxation. The aristocracy (a group regarded as privileged or superior in a particular sphere) were extravagant, wasteful, and excessive. This left the lower class people of France to virtually starve, beg or rebel.

The French Revolution then erupts with full force in July 1789. The storming of the Bastille was not to free any prisoners but to get ammunition and arms. This fortress was traditionally used by French kings to imprison subjects that didn’t agree with them politically. The Bastille was, therefore, a representation of the oppressive nature of the monarchy. This event was the start of the French Revolution and the eventual fall of the French monarchy.

The measure of human worth, this must have meant something to our Lord. He left the magnificence, grandeur, and riches of His eternal home to come to this sin-cursed earth. He suffered an excruciatingly painful death, defeated death, then rose from the grave on the third day. He ascended back into the splendor, majesty, and glories of heaven and now sits on the right-hand throne of God. We were bought with an indescribable price, Christ’s precious blood a price too unusual or extreme that it may adequately be described. 

Lord, thank You for the ultimate sacrifice, Your life for mine.

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Historical and a Biblical Guarantee

A Historical and a Biblical Guarantee
In the beginning days of becoming an independent nation, the 13 Colonies were determined to break the bonds of England’s insistent control. During the time of the American Revolution, Pierre Eugene du Simitiere was responsible for developing the design for the Great Seal along with our nation’s motto. The motto was written in Latin and read,  E Pluribus Unum meaning: “Out of many, one,”  “One out of many” or One from many.”  The Latin term Annuit coeptis reads, “He approves the undertaking” and Novus order seclorum is interpreted, “New order of the ages.” This was adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782. 

The saying, E Pluribus Unum was our countries’ first motto and stayed our first motto until 1956 when Congress passed an act adopting “In God We Trust” as our official motto. The words, E Pluribus Unum are written on the Great Seal of the United States and is still used today in our present-day currency and the Great Seal as a national emblem. It appears on official documents such as passports, the seal of the President, Vice President, Congress, House of Representatives, and the seal of the Untied States Supreme Court. 

A seal is a guarantee, a formal promise or assurance (generally written words) that certain conditions will be fulfilled. The greatest seal of all and of the utmost importance is the seal Christ has placed upon us. 2 Corinthians 1:22 says, “who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” There is one significant promise or guarantee Christ has given to us and that is He has promised to save us and give us eternal life. When we by faith, believe or put our trust in Him, He miraculously cleanses us from all sin, adopts us into His family and gives us everlasting life. Sola fide ("by faith alone”),  Sola gratia (“by grace alone”) through Solus Christus (“through Christ alone”) are important Latin words which deem us free and biblically guarantee liberty.

Lord,  my faith is in You.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Will I Hear?

Will I Hear?

 Psalm 85:8 
I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints:

The Lord is encouraging us to listen to His Word and His heart when He says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

The soul that hears the Lord and receives the words of comfort from His lips is truly blessed. The divine whispers of God cannot be compared to the complaints, protests, and grievances of this sinful world. When our ears listen to the voice of God and dismiss the voices from without, we are more inclined to hear what truth teaches. To have our eyes closed to exterior things and matters of this world and have our eyes fixed upon Christ, brings true contentment, rest and peace. 

The Lord gives understanding to the hearer and His Words are strength and life to those that listen. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6). We are to write the Words of God on our heart (Proverbs 3:3) and meditate (Psalms 63:6) on them earnestly for temptation will come and we will need strength to overcome. We are to walk before the Lord in truth that we may be defended against the attacks of evil.

Are you listening and attentive to the truth of the Word of God? Is there a longing for knowledge and wisdom to live your life on His behalf?  In the still of the night, does He hear your prayer or do the clamorous voices of this world drown out His sweet voice?

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee (Psalm 143:8).

Lord, I want to hear Your Word and heed what it is saying.