Obeying God brings great joy


Have you experienced the joy of obedience?

No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what it right. O Lord Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.

Psalm 84:11-12 NLT

This is what I told them: “Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Only do as I say, and all will be well!”

Jeremiah 7:23 NLT

We all live in a web of relationships dependent upon obedience to authority. Like a loving parent, God sets standards for our good and to protect us from evil and harm. God desires obedience motivated not by fear but by love and trust. Ironically, obedience actually frees us up to enjoy life as God intended, because it keeps us from becoming entangled or enslaved to those things that distract us and cause us heartache. Even though God’s command is sometimes difficult, or doesn’t make sense from our human perspective, obedience will always bring blessing, joy, and peace.

adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 1238

Digging Deeper

For more on obedience, see End of the Spear by Steve Saint, Tyndale House Publishers (2005).

Steve Saint was five years old when his father, missionary pilot Nate Saint, was speared to death by a primitive Ecuadorian tribe. In adulthood, Steve, having left Ecuador for a successful business career in the United States, never imagined making the jungle his home again. But when that same tribe asks him to help them, Steve, his wife, and their teenage children move back to the jungle. There, Steve learns long-buried secrets about his father’s murder, confronts difficult choices, and finds himself caught between two worlds.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Advertisements

Are you filled with Joy?


Are you filled with joy?

I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

John 15:11 NLT

Full Joy

In many ways, we live in bleak times. Millions feel disillusioned with life while millions more feel uncertain about the future — especially young people. Many of you in Generation X have been victims of a great social experiment in which parents who never grew up cast aside time-honored moral values and, in the phrase of the 1960s, did their own thing.

Nevertheless, there is someone to believe in, something to grasp, and someone to trust. You need to go to the next letter of the alphabet, to Y — as in “Why do I exist. Why was I created? And what am I living for?”

According to Jesus, you were created for joy. “These things I have spoken to you,” Jesus said, “that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

The things Jesus spoke of were His teachings about bearing fruit. We were created to bear fruit for God, which essentially means to become like Jesus: His mind becomes our mind, His purpose becomes our purpose. And there’s only one way to produce such luscious fruit, according to Jesus: “Abide in Me” (John 15:4). This is the secret of spiritual growth and the key to overflowing joy. Are you bearing spiritual fruit?

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie (Tyndale House) p 246-48

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

God’s Daily Promise – #11


 

Jeremiah 29:11  

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future.

  (World English Bible)
Promise #11: My plan for your future is filled with hope.

When you think of your own future, how do you feel? Are you excited to think of what is ahead or does the thought of the future cause you to be anxious? With an uncertain economy, wars and rumors of wars, etc., it is easy to feel anxious and uncertain about what lies ahead. Yet in today’s promise, God says that your future is filled with hope.

My favorite Bible translation of this verse comes from the NIV Bible… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV) I find it very reassuring to know that God has a plan for my future that is filled with hope. I don’t have to dread what’s coming because my heavenly Dad already has a plan for me. And of course we know that the ultimate hope is living in the light of God’s love forever!

May the reality of today’s promise fill you with peace. May you know that while the future may be uncertain to you, it is not to God. He has a father’s heart toward you and has determined to fill your future with hope. Does this mean that there will be no bumps in the road? Certainly not. But we do know that all things will ultimately work together for our good as Paul declared in Romans 8:28… We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. (WEB)

God’s Daily Promise – #10


Ezekiel 36:26-27 

26 I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them.
(World English Bible)
 
Promise #10: I have given you a new heart and put My own Spirit in you.  
This passage of Scripture is pointing to the day when people would no longer have to live a life separate from God. They wouldn’t have to try and figure out what the Lord desired from a distance because God promised to give them a new heart and put His own Spirit within them.

Of course this promise was fulfilled when Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, came into the world and made a way for each one of us to receive the free gift of salvation. Because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, we no longer have to live with a cold heart of stone because He has given us a new heart. Because of the New Covenant, we no longer are separated from God because He has given us the most precious gift He could give…the gift of Himself.

God has given each one of us a new heart and He has put His own Spirit within us as a deposit to guarantee our inheritance. There is no greater gift that He could give. May we be aware of the abiding presence of God that lives in us today and have a heart of thanksgiving to God for giving us the precious gift of a new heart and His own Spirit!

Photo by Barry Adams

Click here to read Barry Adams’ new daily devotional at Fatherheart.tv

God’s Daily Promise – #9


Galatians 3:29 

If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed
and heirs according to promise.
(World English Bible)

Promise #9: Since you are in Christ, I have made you an heir of all My promises.
 
Every one of the promises that God made to Abraham now belongs to you and I because we belong to Jesus Christ and are now heirs according to the promise. Just think of that for a moment. You are an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus (Romans 8:17). Every promise that God made to Abraham is part of your own spiritual inheritance!

When God said to Abraham that He would be the father of many nations, and a blessing to many (Genesis 12), you were part of that promise.  The New Living Translation says Galatians 3:29 this way… And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. NLT

May our God and Father give each one of us a revelation today about what it means to be an heir in His amazing kingdom. An heir of God and a co-heir with our elder brother, Jesus Christ. There is no higher call, there is no greater destiny, than to be part of the eternal family of the living God. Be encouraged by the words found in Galatians 4:7 – So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.(WEB)

Photo by Jeff Epp

Click here to read Barry Adams’ new daily devotional at Fatherheart.tv

God’s Daily Promise – #8


Galatians 4:6

And because you are children,
God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying,
“Abba, Father!”

 (World English Bible)

Promise #8: I sent the Spirit of My Son into your heart so you could call Me Father.

The greatest gift that the Father could give us was the Spirit of His Son, the Spirit of Sonship. Each one of us who is born again, carries within our being the very life and nature of Jesus Christ Himself. Galatians 4:7 goes on to say… So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (WEB)

The Spirit of the Son that lives within us continually calls out ‘Abba Father!’. Abba is an Aramaic word for father that little children would call out to their dads in New Testament times. It would be like us saying ‘papa’ or ‘daddy’ in the English language. Because we carry within our very being the Spirit of the Son, our spirit man continually cries out ‘Papa’ to God, whether we are aware of this cry in our heart or not.

I believe it delights our heavenly Father when we cry out ‘Abba!’ to Him, for that is the very reason why God has given us the Spirit of His Son… so that He could be a Father to us. So may a cry resonate deep in our heart today as we join with the Spirit of the Son that lives within us that calls out ‘Abba Father!’.
Photo by Jeff Epp

Click here to read Barry Adams’ new daily devotional at Fatherheart.tv

God’s Daily Promise – #7


John 3:16 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

(World English Bible)

Promise #7: I have given you eternal life because you have believed in Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 is one of the most quoted, most loved Bible verses in the New Testament. This Scripture has been used by evangelists over the years to invite many people to come to Christ. The foundation of this much loved verse is and always will be, the love of the Father. For God (the Father) so loved the world…

It was the great love of our heavenly Father that caused Him to give up His most treasured possession, the life of His Son, so that we too could share in Jesus’ eternal life. What a glorious promise! We were loved so much by God, that He gave up all that He loved in order to gain our love!

May we never take the wonder of John 3:16 for granted, but may we continue to revel in the amazing love our God and Father has for us every day in our lives. Thank you Father for loving us so much, that you sent your only begotten Son to the world in order to purchase our redemption! ~ Barry Adams