The Joy of the Lord

Have you ever witnessed the joy in the face of a smiling baby? Or an expression of excitement when a child receives a new bike? Or how about the comfort and reassurance when someone rises from the waters of the baptismal pool? Somehow, joy and comfort are etched into their complexion. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” I pray that the light of Jesus allows others to see your expression of the joy you feel by knowing Him. God bless you!

Are You Out of Gas?

Once in my life, I played chicken with the gas gauge: I lost, and running out of gas is no fun. Many amateur runners, including me, get so far into a race and “run out of gas” and need to walk. We need to fill the tank. In the same way, when our soul feels spiritually empty, we need to go to God for a refill of wisdom and endurance. How? By spending time in prayer, bible study, praise, and worship. When we feel our faith starting to run out, He will fill our tank. Isaiah 40:31 says. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings of eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. The next time your spiritual tank is getting low, turn to God for a refill. Amen?

To Serve or Not to Serve

Recently, I was asked if I would participate in a “serve” day. My answer was. “Of course.” Serving God is one of the most important principles of our faith, as we are expected to help the church with a joyful spirit. Scripture is very clear to all of us about this. Each of us is given gifts that we should use to serve others. The Bible teaches that serving others is not about doing great things but about doing small things with great love. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Let’s all be aware that others may need our support and be ready to help in Jesus’ name. God bless you!

The Benefits of Gratitude

There are studies that show people who express gratitude experience improved sleep, higher stress tolerance, and more meaningful relationships. Gratitude not only benefits us physically, it also draws us nearer to God. When our perspectives shift off of us and onto God, who gave up everything for us, that’s when we find fresh hope, joy, and purpose around us. Psalm 136:1 says, “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” Today, let’s praise him and show him the gratitude He deserves! God bless you today.

Under Construction

Some people say, “I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” I’m still saying that! Just like our careers, our spiritual life can be like that. We are all under construction and are constantly changing and growing. The truth is: God’s not finished with us yet! We have been given the Holy Spirit to help us in our growth, and one day, we will be finished. 1 John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Until then, let’s be part of the construction crew, growing in the Lord, starting with a firm foundation, our faith, until the day we are no longer “under construction.” God bless you!

Excellent!

We use many words to describe things that are better than average: neat, great, cool, radical, awesome. There is one word especially used in the bible to describe our Lord, EXCELLENT! Psalms 8:9 says, “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” He is indeed excellent and worthy of all our praise! Today, let’s give glory to the one who saved us. God bless you!

He is Risen Indeed!

A common exchange this weekend will be: He is Risen, and the response will be: He is risen indeed! Many of us may sing: We serve a Risen Savior, and indeed we do! Mark 15:6 says, “And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen, he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.” John 20:19 says, ” Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in their midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” We have much to be grateful for because we do serve a living Savior! God bless you this Easter Sunday.

Persistence in Prayer

It is not unreasonable to say that all real growth in our spiritual life – victory over temptation, peace in our time of trouble, hope in times of disappointment or loss depend on the practice of prayer. When we think God doesn’t hear our prayers, He is not ignoring us. Sometimes, our prayers are not the best thing for us, or perhaps the timing isn’t right, or maybe even a sinful habit is hindering our prayers. Remember, He knows what’s best for us. Sometimes He says yes, sometimes He says no, and sometimes his answer is not yet. He wants to hear from us. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” An anonymous author said, “A child of God ought to expect answers to prayer. God means every prayer to have an answer; and not a single real prayer can fail of its effect in Heaven.” So let’s be persistent in our prayer life. God bless you!

Facing Our Mountains

Mountain climbing is hard; I know because I’ve done it in my military training. When you look at a rock formation from afar, it seems smooth, but when you get close, you can see the bumps, cracks, and ledges. Those are the very things that enable climbers to conquer a mountain. In life, we face many mountains filled with crags and bumps, and as we handle them, it trains us to conquer our mountains. Paul said in Romans 8:38, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” I know God will be there to help you whenever you face a mountain. God bless you!

How Do We Begin?

Do you know if you’ll go to heaven when you die? It’s a good opening line when evangelizing. However, many of us are afraid to start the conversation with a stranger because we’re afraid of rejection, criticism, and maybe even anger and hostility. Honestly, we have nothing to be afraid of because the Holy Spirit will help us. John 15:26 says, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” We have nothing to fear, so let’s go forth and tell others of His saving grace. God bless you!